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The Toy Rat Terrier Dog Breed

The Toy Rat Terrier
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life span: 13 – 18 years
  • Height: 8.5 – 11 in. (At Shoulder)
  • Origin: United States of America
  • Temperament: Loyal, Playful, Intelligent, Friendly, Spirited, Alert
  • Colors: Varies; every color you can imagine

Here is information on the (mini) or Toy Rat Terrier Dog Breed

Toy Rat Terriers are active and inquisitive hunters. They are intelligent, easy to train, need attention and understanding and will reward their owners with love and affection.

They are also: feisty, funny, energetic, lively, vermin-chasing, and not capable of being boring. My Toy Ratty is a little clown.  They get along great with other dogs and some, like mine, love the water.

They make wonderful family pets, they like children and are generally friendly to everyone they meet.

Although small in stature, measuring approximately 8.5 in. to 11 in at the shoulder, in their minds, they are much larger!  My Toy Rat Terrier (Lexi) is only 5 pounds and is very outgoing and wouldn’t hurt a fly…but she’s also a great watchdog. She lets me know whenever someone is coming around the house.

A good family pet, Rat Terriers are amazingly perceptive and intuitively respond to your moods. They have a great desire to please, love praise, and will follow you around the house. Bred to work all day on the farm, these little dogs need a lot of exercise.

Indoor Dog Exercise Ideas - For Small Dogs

Toy Rat Terrier care and grooming are similar to that for many short-haired dogs. They will require regular brushing and bathing and their toenails need to be checked from time to time, however, since they are such an active dog their toenails tend to stay short. As with all dogs, a Toy Rat Terrier’s ears may require cleaning regularly. My little Lexi is super easy to bathe in the sink.

Ear Infections and Hot Spots - 2020 Remedy for Dogs

Your Toy Rat Terrier will require a securely fenced yard and will need to be walked on a leash. Due to their inquisitive nature, they are likely to get into mischief if let out alone.

Toy Rat Terriers were bred to be hunting dogs (they love to hunt mice and rats) and their instinct is to work alone, unsupervised by man. This can make Toy Rat Terrier training an interesting

Toy Fox Terrier Dogs - Care and Training

experience! Training needs to be positive and fun; they are quick to pick up new things and do not respond to negative treatment. Because they have been bred to work alone they do not require constant approval as adult dogs, although as puppies they require a great deal of attention and will not like to be left alone during the day. Here is my article to prevent boredom for your dog.

Overcoming Boredom for your Small Dog

You can expect your Toy Rat Terrier to live a long and healthy life – often to 13 years or more. They are strong and seldom get ill if properly cared for.

Your Toy Rat Terrier will consider itself to be a part of the family and will want to be with you wherever you are and whatever you are doing! I take Lexi all over the County and on road trips.

  • She loves to go on hikes and swimming at the beaches and bay.
  • Rat Terrier is also the best ball fetcher I’ve ever had!
  • She will play fetch for hours and always drops the ball at my feet. I never trained her to do this. It was natural for her since she was a puppy.

KONG Air Dog Squeakair Dog Toy Tennis Balls, Small (6 Pack)
194 Reviews
KONG Air Dog Squeakair Dog Toy Tennis Balls, Small (6 Pack)
  • Squeaker to induce play
  • Non-abrasive tennis material will not wear down your dog's teeth
  • Available in five sizes: XS, S, M, L and XL

Be sure to get your Toy Rat Terrier dog some toys of its own to play with. This can add a lot of fun and happiness to its life, but more importantly, getting the dog involved in family activities will have a positive effect on its mental state and happiness, not to mention wearing out all that energy!

Kong Low Stuffing with Squeaker Dog Toy Size:XSmall Type:3 animals
537 Reviews
Kong Low Stuffing with Squeaker Dog Toy Size:XSmall Type:3 animals
  • This item is not a manufacturer-created variety pack and will not be sent in the original manufacturer’s packaging

They love to be taken for walks or a run along the beach. They get to look at different environments and interact with strangers and other dogs.

This social interaction is very important for the overall well being of your Rat Terrier dog and it is something that needs to be done regularly.

Any time spent with your terrier dog, whether it is training or just enjoying playtime, is great for building a long and happy relationship.


Toy Ratty’s playing in the pool

Toy Rat Terriers Swimming in Pool


More great information on the breed can be found here Rat Terrier Review

experience have you had with a Toy Rat Terrier or the larger Rat Terrier? Please share your stories or comments below!


The best toys for Toy Rat Terrier:

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Wobbler Large
5,947 Reviews
Wobbler Large
  • Dispenses food and treats for hours of fun; prevents rapid eating
  • Entertaining wobble action
  • Twist off dispenser; easy fill
  • Made in the USA
  • Measures 7 x 6 x 10.5-inches; suitable for dogs weighing 25-pounds or more
Chuckit Flying Squirrel Spinning Dog Toy Assorted Colors 3 Sizes Available
289 Reviews
Chuckit Flying Squirrel Spinning Dog Toy Assorted Colors 3 Sizes Available
  • FLYING DOG TOY FOR LARGE DOGS: The flying squirrel frisbee spinning toy for dogs is aerodynamic for playing fetch in the...
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Trixie Pet Products Flip Board, Level 2
3,197 Reviews
Trixie Pet Products Flip Board, Level 2
  • For intermediate canine players. Designed especially for small dogs
  • Flip lids using knobs
  • Slide disks to side
  • Lift up cones note that design prevents cones from being knocked over they must be lifted straight up to remove
  • Vary number and placement of treats to increase level of difficulty
Wobble Wag Giggle Ball, Interactive Dog Toy, Fun Giggle Sounds, As Seen On TV
7,448 Reviews
Wobble Wag Giggle Ball, Interactive Dog Toy, Fun Giggle Sounds, As Seen On TV
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  • WOBBLE WAG GIGGLE Ball With just the nudge of a nose, off the ball goes! Wobble Wag Giggle does not require batteries -...
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  • GREAT FOR INDOOR & OUTDOOR PLAY Whether your dog likes to play in the park or in your home Wobble Wag Giggle interactive...
  • PETS KNOW BEST in choosing their toys. Wobble Wag Giggle is sure to catch your dog’s attention with the found sounds...

Written by Johannes


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  1. These are lovely toy dogs. We all spend a lot of money on food but these things are also of great importance for their health and enjoyment. I really like this and will forward it to all my friends who have pet dogs.

  2. Wow, such a cutie =) I am a chihuahua lover and seeing a close resemblance to these cute fur babies excites me =) I am super happy you shared this Tammy =) Now, you made me want a Toy Rat Terrier too =)

    • Hi JR! I love chihuahua’s too. They do resemble each other for sure. If you happen to ever get one, please come back and share with us, thanks!

  3. wow what a gorgeous dog, he’s like the perfect mix of my two dogs – I have a chihuahua and a fox terrier (which looks like a bigger version of the rat terrier). Despite their size they look like they have a ton of energy! Thanks so much for sharing, cheers, Karen

    • Hi Karen, I love the combo of your dog! I’ve had a “Toy” Fox Terrier. She’s very similar as far as energy, intelligence, friendliness and size. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting!

  4. What an adorable dog! I have two dogs, as well as watching dogs in my home everyday. One of mine, Teddy, is part Maltese and part terrier. There are so many varieties of Terrier, that it is hard to know which one he has. BUT, after seeing these pictures, specifically the first one, I can see so much resemblance to my Teddy. Glad I found this information! Thanks.

    • Thank you for visiting and commenting on the Toy Rat Terrier. I bet your Teddy is super cute too! Here is another terrier breed you may not be aware of: The Toy Fox Terrier. Very similar, but does not come in all colors, mostly white.

  5. What an amazing breed! I’ve never ever heard about this dog before but by the looks of it, I truly want one now. My kids will love to have one. Since they are easy to train, they’re friendly and intelligent I think this is a no-brainer. They are just too cute not to pass up. Thanks a lot for the wealth of information you’ve provided here 🙂 Cheers and have a great day!

  6. I don’t realize how small these dogs are until I see the surroundings – she can fit inside of one kitchen tile! And that tennis ball is almost as big as her face! But still, I like that yours is a good watch dog and that they are friendly to people and kids…I know that friendliness isn’t common to every breed especially small breeds (thinking of chihuahuas here). Thanks for the great info, there is just tooo toooo much to learn about dogs.

    • Hi Penelope, the ball photo was when she was a puppy (and the ball is “mini” size). She was super tiny. Now it fits in her mouth, barely! She’s only 5 pounds full grown. These dogs are very friendly and not yappy or nippy, like a chihuahua. Although, I feel with the correct socialization and upbringing, Chi’s can be just as enjoyable as the toy rattys. Thank you for the comment! 🙂

  7. Hi Tammy, I agree with Penelope, Once we see these dogs in real, then we realize these are too tiny and super adorable, so cute. These balls are awesome for their play, i have gifted these same balls to my friends dog and he thoroughly enjoys it, our little pets also needs toys and fun to play and stay happy and healthy.

  8. How do i know if my Ratty is a toy? I had a Ratty for 15.5 years and she was a medium size build. I now have a 4.5 month old Ratty and she is super tiny. It seems as though she is not growing. I started doing my research and came across toy rat terriers, which I had no idea were a thing.

    • Hello Elise, where did you get her? From a breeder, rescue or shelter? They should know if from a breeder since they will have the mom and dad. A full grown toy rat terrier will average 4 to 7 pounds. What is her height and weight? Maybe she is a runt or has a health problem if she isn’t growing. I recommend taking her to a vet unless she’s active and eating well. Most are VERY active with lots of energy! True purebred toy ratty’s are registered. Enjoy your little fur baby! ?

  9. We thought we were getting a tea cup chihuahua, my son got her for me after I lost my buttons of 17 yrs.. I knew right away she was different, lol. Then we found out she was a rat terrier. She’s now 9 months old (had her from 5 weeks) and fully grown at a bit over 6lbs. She is awesome! She loves to play, fetched right off without training, took only 3 1/2 weeks to potty train, she is so smart! She tries pulling little tricks (and usually succeeds) on the other pup we have to get her way.. shes loving and we haven’t had a bug or vermit sneak into the house since we’ve had her! She does like to chew, but only her toys and chew sticks.. our biggest problem was teaching her she can only play bite on the other pup, not humans.. but even that didn’t take long! I highly recomend this breed.. shes great with the grand children and always an entertainment!

    • Hi Gracie, thanks so much for sharing about your Rat Terrier! They are so much fun, I just love mine to bits. I hope you have many loving years with yours. 🙂

  10. Thank you, I’m sure I will.. her name is gracie fay.. would have included a pic, but don’t know how.. she has human eyes too..

  11. I have a Rat Terrier, Peanut. A lot what was said in the article about their behavior is absolutely correct. Someone broke into our house, Peanut alerted me something was wrong. I had initially thought he heard some deer out back, but no. Had a stranger in my den. Scary but Peanut acted like a German Shepard and stayed at the intruders feet barking the entire time, unlike the cat who graciously welcomed the intruder. And when I had a seizure and passed out a few months back, Peanut apparently tried to wake me as I had a ton on scratches on my back. I love him with all my heart. One mistake I did make was when I got him as a puppy, he was so small and cute I was taking him to the office with me. When he reached 6 months old, I had to start leaving him home for the day. It took 3 months to get him comfortable with me leaving. To this day, I have to give him treats he loves so I can get out the door or he will bolt for the car. So if you wanna an awesome dog, a Rat Terrier is a great choice. Just make sure you like to walk. They need lots of that. But they also love to snuggle and cuddle too.

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