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The rat terrier is a dog breed whose origins stem from the United States of America. The rat terrier puppy was previously used for pest control as they possessed a high agility and prey drive on a very small body. They were recognized by the AKC as being part of the terrier group in 2013. These dogs can adapt to living in both an apartment and a large house. They will require constant attention, if not they could get bored and develop nerve-wracking traits such as barking a lot. They will be most comfortable in moderate climates and will do poorly in extreme temperatures.
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They are energetic and fun to play with making them a great addition to the family. However, due to their high prey drive, they will require socialization from an early age to make them cohabit peacefully with other dogs and smaller pets. They could serve as watchdogs as they are very alert and will signal you whenever your home trespasses. They might experience some health setbacks such as hip dysplasia, eye defects, patellar luxation, heart issues, and Legg-Calves-Perthes disease. It is important to get information from the breeder as to which of these aforementioned conditions your rat terrier dog is likely to experience.
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Notwithstanding their intelligence and eagerness to please, rat terriers will be a moderately trainable dog due to their stubborn antics and willfulness. For first time owners, it is advised to undertake puppy training classes to smoothen the training and also as an opportunity to socialize the dog. Weekly brushing and a monthly shower should be enough to keep this rat dog’s low-shedding coat looking clean and fresh. High emphasis should be put on their dental care as they are prone to a lot of gum diseases. Cleaning their ears and trimming their nails is very important too for this dog’s comfort.
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Unlike their size, the rat dog is known to be a highly energetic breed. They enjoy a variety of exercises like playing fetch, trips to the park, and swimming. Be sure to try many more out to have an idea of the ones they love most. These dogs can also excel in dog sports so try it out sometime with them. The usual rat terrier size is 10 to 18 inches in height and it weighs 10 to 25 pounds. The usual rat terrier life span is of 12 to 18 years.