Are Rat Terriers Good Farm Dogs? (Explained)

If you are looking for a farm dog and an excellent guard dog, the Rat terrier is the best breed for you! Sometimes people mix it up with a Fox Terrier with a smooth coat or a Jack Russell, but the Rat Terrier has its own unique and wonderful traits.

Size And Lifespan

Since the AKC does not recognize the rat terrier breed, there are no defined sizes. But still, The Rat Terrier can grow around 13-16 inches tall.

This breed can live from 13 to 18 years.


The Rat Terrier is a fairly intelligent dog that will always find a way to freedom. His hunting traits will make him chase everything that moves. This dog should not be let off the leash, and if you ever leave it, make sure the area is well fenced off.

The rat terrier may seem small, but it is very fast and can jump very high.

If you plan to take Fido to live in a place where noise is not tolerated, then this is not the dog for you. Rat terriers tend to bark while research or at strangers. Also, make sure you have plenty of time for their daily exercise, before bringing this breed into your home or farm.

If you let them get bored or not use up the energy they have, one day you will find your house a mess. They tend to be destructive if they are bored.

When you buy a puppy you should know that his ears are up, but after a while, his ears fall down. However, it is possible for the ears to go up or down again throughout their life.


Rat terriers are cautious and intelligent dogs. They are very warm and affectionate with their loved ones, but not with strangers. Expect them to become aggressive towards other animals and strangers if they are not properly socialized. They are an absolutely fearless breed as a farm dog, which is a very good trait sometimes, except if they get violent.

The rat terrier was designed to be around the farm all day, so you should know that they demand a lot of exercise. If a Rat Terrier doesn’t expend its energy and gets tired, it can get devious just to amuse himself.

They are good as family pets and you will be surprised how responsive they are to your moods. They will please and praise you, and they will give you all the love they have! Also, expect to be followed around the house all the time.

If the rat terrier is not socialized in the initial stage, when they are young, you will end up with an aggressive and disobedient dog. It is good for them to be exposed to various sights, people, experiences, and sounds so that they grow up to be well-rounded dogs.

If you are not looking for a show dog and you need a farm dog to help you protect your home and farm, the rat terrier is the perfect breed for you.

The Rat Terrier will help you for sure with a rat or mouse problem and can make a good hunting dog if trained. They are energetic and playful dogs that will surprise you with their unique character.

Rat Terriers With Children

Most Rat Terriers are very patient with children and even children who are not part of the family.

However, rats that are not used to being with children should not be left unsupervised. They are very loving and caring to their family and expect the same in return. Regardless, children should think about how to act with dogs, how to approach them, and how to interact.

Rat Terriers With Other Dogs And Pets

Rat Terriers like other dogs, although there can sometimes be some disagreements regarding sleeping and food arrangements. They are generally not aggressive and would not fight other dogs. They prefer to play with all the dogs they see, so you have to be on the lookout for aggressive dogs because if the aggressive dog provokes a fight, the terrier will not stay calm.

Unfortunately, like all Terriers, Rat terriers are not aware of their size and would not mind if the aggressor is twice their size. Regarding other pets in your home, be careful, they can be chased.

This breed is prey-driven and would chase fast-moving animals like rats, hamsters, chinchillas, and the like. If they are raised with other pets, they will do well and get along.

Main Highlights Of This Breed

  • Rat terriers take time to loosen around strangers! if you have a lot of visitors, be patient with them, they take some time, but after that they are adorable.
  • Digging and jumping! They are very interested in digging holes and jumping over fences.
  • They have a lot of energy! An individual of this breed demands at least one hour a day of exercise, if you do not give this to your dog, they can cause damage to your home for
    spend energy.
  • Don’t let them get bored! if a rat terrierĀ gets bored, will start to chew
    over things and bark at anything.
  • Eager to chase things! Not a good choice to let them off the leash. Even if they are well trained, if they see a squirrel, they will chase it!
  • You may have seen him alongside Shirley Temple in the movie “Little Colonel.”