My Rat Terrier - The Best Breed in The World!
My Rat Terrier
Rat Terrier's rule! I have been around dogs all my life, but have never met a dog with a better personality than my Rat Terrier, Lexie. Every day, she does things, which put me and my husband in hysterics. And, she is one of the most loving and affectionate dogs you could spend time with.
When I got Lexie about five years ago I was looking for a small dog that was fun, smart and good with children. Although I don’t have kids myself, I have many nieces and nephews so I wanted to make sure the dog would be a good addition to the extended family. I originally planned to get an Italian Greyhound, but when I went to look at the puppies I was drawn to the Rat Terriers. One, in particular seemed to choose me, and I was hooked.
When I mention to others that I have a Rat Terrier, most people have never heard of them. The research shows that Rat Terriers are an American Breed that were common farm dogs in the early 1900’s and were bred for catching barn rats in haystacks. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt is often credited as the one to give them the name “Rat Terrier” because he owned a small, dark colored dog that became well known for eliminating rats from the White House. Rat Terriers come from a mix of many dogs including Whippets, other Terrier breeds, Miniature Pinschers, and Chihuahuas.
The Name Lexie
Lexie is short for Alexa. When I first got my dog I spent hours on the internet looking at baby naming websites. I could tell that my rattie was special so I wanted a special name. Alexa means “defender of mankind”. So, how funny to name a very small dog such a “big” name. She is definitely a Lexie!
The Lobster Walk
One of the funniest things my Rat Terrier does is what we call the Crab Walk. Our house is a combination of wood floors, carpeting and some area rugs. Lexie does not like walking on the wood floors so she maneuvers through the house running from one carpeted area to another. When she has a need to venture out onto the wood floor, for example to grab one of her throw toys, Lexie will slowly walk to the toy, grab it, then walk backwards like a crab, to the carpeted area. It doesn’t matter how far she walks forward, she returns to the carpet with her back legs first. It’s hilarious.
The Jumping Rat Terrier
The Second Hello
My husband and I often come home at different times during the day and get what we call the first and second hellos from our rat terrier. If you are the first one home, when you arrive my pup is usually sleeping in our bed and when she hears you - will leisurely stand up, yawn, stretch and slowly pitter patter down the hall to greet you. She’s happy to see you, but very mellow.
If you are lucky enough to get the coveted second hello it’s a different story. At this point Lexie’s been up and socializing with whomever’s home. When you arrive, this Rattie goes crazy with excitement. She runs in circles, she barks, she jumps ten feet to kiss you and she wags her tail so hard her entire body moves back and forth. You feel extra special when you get that second hello!
The Sink BathOur Rat Terrier is so small that you can give her a bath in the kitchen sink. We plop her in, start the process and she loves it.. not! As soon as she’s in the sink, she frowns, as only a Rat Terrier can do and waits impatiently until the process is over. She especially dreads her head getting wet and will nod up – down – left – right to get away from that sink hose.As soon as we’re done and she’s free from our towel papoose we have a tradition- which is to give her one of her favorite treats- a Greenie. As soon as we say “Do you want a Greeeenie” (extra Es put there on purpose) she has forgotten the pain of her bath and is a happy pup all over again. So cute!
Rat Terrier Themed Gifts
2011 Rat Terrier Calendar
Many Animals In One
My rat terrier is many animals in one. She leaps like a cat, walks on the top of the sofa like a goat, runs like a deer, pops her head up and down like a prairie dog, jumps like a rabbit and so much more. I have never seen one animal with the movements of so many. You might think she grew up in the wild observing many other animals, but alas, she has spent most of her life in suburban condos and houses.
The Perfect Size
Lexie has weighed 11 pounds most of her adult life. This is not 11 pounds of fluff and fur, this is 11 pounds of pure muscle. Although she is small, she plays like a big dog. You can rough house with her, like you could with a 60 pound lab. But, she takes up no space, and makes very small poops, unlike a 60 pound lab. When she curls up in a ball, you don’t even know she’s there. She fits perfectly on your lap. Except when she is “long dog” or “wide dog”.
Long Dog, Wide Dog
For a dog as small as a Rat Terrier is, she can take up a lot of space when she wants to. We’ve nicknamed her poses as long dog and wide dog. When she’s long dog, she has her front legs above her head and her back legs behind her butt and she triples in length. When she’s wide dog, she lies on her side with her legs straight out in 90 degree angles to her body and she doubles in width. I never knew that an 11 pound dog could take up an entire queen size bed or push a large human out of her way. Yet, she finds a way to do this!
In summary... If you are considering getting a small dog, I highly recommend the Rat Terrier breed. I’ve spent time with dogs of all shapes and sizes, yet never met any dog as fun and loving as my Rat Terrier.
Update from 2015: I now have two Rat Terriers, Lexie and Tate, and my opinion has not changed. Rat Terriers are one of the best dog breeds around!