The Rat Terrier is an American dog breed with a background as a farm dog and hunting companion.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
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The Rat Terrier was a common farm dog in the early 1900s, bred for catching barn rats in haystacks. Purportedly a rat terrier hold the record for most killed in a single infested barn: 2501 rats in 7 hours.
Members of the Rat Terrier dog breed are adorable little digging escape artists who are true terriers: feisty, funny, energetic, lively, vermin-chasing, and incapable of being boring. Stubborn as all get out, they are not big on pleasing people, but the people who love them laugh all the time.
The Rat Terrier is the ideal farm dog that he was always intended to be. President Theodore Roosevelt is said to have given the breed its name after his own terrier had eradicated the rat infestation at the White House; clearly, the Rat Terrier excels as a public servant — as long as it’s in his own best interest. He’s an American tradition just like apple pie, but watch your plate or you may find you’re missing dessert.
Rat Terriers on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Rat Terrier ancestry.