The Rat Terrier is an American dog breed that is known for its very cheery disposition. It is a small spitfire that can tear through a vast track of land effortlessly. It is also a gentle dog, sweet in temperament and acts very kindly towards its human companions and animal friends.
A Rat Terrier makes for an excellent house pet. It looks somewhat similar to the Jack Russell Terrier but has the personality of a mischievous little pup. This tiny breed of dog is a veritable marshmallow as compared to the Jack Russell. A Rat Terrier is also known for its abject loyalty to its human companions. Its allegiance tends to rely heavily on the one person it spends the most time with. Training the Rat Terrier and taking it out for exercise or simply playing a game of fetch are some ways to let it develop an emotional attachment to you. Although some people believe that exclusively feeding the dog will establish devotion, this is not necessarily applicable when it comes to the Rat Terrier. It is more likely that your pet will associate you with its meals, or worse, that you are a food source.
Rat Terriers are also perfect for the home because it's relatively a low maintenance dog. It is quite easy to groom because of its very short and thin body coating. It also maintains that clean looking appearance, especially if you keep you pet indoors during most of its active time. Younger Rat Terriers do tend to shed a bit, and its fur shedding cling tenaciously to clothes and furniture. However, as the dog gets older, the Rat Terrier barely sheds at all. You also need not worry about allergic reactions when it comes to the dog's fur shedding. This breed of dog is very hypoallergenic.
Rat Terriers are friendly little dogs - cheerful and upbeat, and safe enough to be around young children - with proper training, that is. In this case, training means early introduction to socialization. This breed of dog does not socialize very easily; this is especially true with older dogs. They seem to have a hard time socializing with other animals. Training your dog early in socialization minimizes its need to chase after animals it qualifies as "prey." It also makes your dog sweeter and gentler in nature. Older dogs can still be trained in socialization, but this should be done in a slow and gradual progress.
Young children who are old enough to take care of a Rat Terrier should have no problems dealing with your pet. Very young toddlers and infants are another matter of concern, though. Your young child could accidentally hit or disturb you pet, and the Rat Terrier's instinctive response would be to bite. If you want to help your dog and your child to get used to each other's presence, make sure that you or someone responsible will always be there to mediate.
And lastly, a properly trained Rat Terrier can also become a great watchdog despite its size. Its keen sensitivity to changes keeps it alert at all times, and yet, it is prudent enough not to go barking off at every little stimulus in the environment.