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Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier Dog Breed

Aliases: American Rat Terrier, Ratting Terrier, Feist, Decker Giant

Life Span: 15 - 17 years, though some have lived to be 20.
Litter Size: 5 - 7 puppies with the average being 6 puppies
Group: Terrier
Recognized By: AKC, UKC
Color: most are dual or tri-coloured with white as the base colour. This may include several colours of brown, tan, yellow and black
Hair Length: Short
Size: Toy/Small
Shedding: Lite Shed
Male Height: 14 - 18 inches (36 - 46 cm)
Male Weight: 15 - 25 pounds (7 - 11 kg)
Female Height: 10 - 15 inches (25 - 38 cm)
Female Weight: 8 - 16 pounds (3.6 - 7.3 kg)
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - Medium Risk

The Rat Terrier ranks #73 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. While this is not a high risk breed, there is still a good chance of disease transmission through breeding. Therefore, all dogs intended for breeding should be tested first. 

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #73  391 5.1%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

Rat terriers are extremely long-lived dogs, with few health problems. They are also prone to chemical sensitivity, and you should be very careful when using any scented shampoos or flea and tick treatments, including collars and dips. You should probably check with your vet first before using sub-dermal insecticides. Unscented baby or puppy shampoos should be used.

Mange susceptibility: There is a single gene defect that has appeared in some rat terriers that causes a susceptibility to the parasite that causes the mange. There are treatments available to keep the condition at bay, but it cannot be eliminated, and such dogs should not be bred.