American Canine Association


American Rat Terrier


Known as an all around hunting, farm and family dog from the beginning of the 1940's, the American Rat Terrier is actually known as a "feists"; a small mix-breed hunting dog. This small terrier is considered a rare breed, however does make a lovely companion with those who own them today. Please note that this breed is very healthy and hardy.


The American Rat Terrier is a small breed dog, with males and females measuring in only between 11-18 inches in height, and weighing in between 10-23 pounds. This breed has a small but strong built, that appears to be both sturdy and athletic looking. Their short single coat is available in a variety of colors such as black tri-color, tan, calico, bi color and many more. Their skull is small and triangular in shape, as their ears should stand 2-3 inches tall on the top of their head, also triangular. Their tail is generally cropped up to 3 inches in length. Their eyes are generally black or dark brown and almond in shape.


Energetic, family oriented and at times bossy, the American Rat Terrier would be a wonderful and fun addition to any family who has some dog experience and patience for training. This breed is known for being somewhat stubborn as they will at times not listen, until they get what they are asking for. This can be avoided with proper and early obedience training, as well as proper physical and mental exercise daily. This breed requires short, but several bursts of activity throughout their day, and can be fit for living the apartment life as long as those needs are met. As with any Terrier breed, it is important to always remain "pack leader", and make rules and boundaries early within your living space, so your new pup doesn't take control of the household.


This breed requires daily brushing and bathing when needed.

Special Notes

Please note that this breed lives above average at 18+ years. Please fully educate yourself about the American Rat Terrier, prior to adding one to your family. We want to make sure every dog ends up with the proper owner and life long home. Do not add an American Rat Terrier to your home unless you are able to provide proper physical and financial care life long to your new family member. As with any Terrier breed, a proper harness and leash is highly recommended at all times while outdoors, as well as a properly installed fence system for the safety and wellness of your new dog. All dogs originate from wolves (Canis Lupus). Each breed of dog was originally created by mixing different breeds together in an effort to bring forth certain characteristics. Once a breeder has created acceptable “breed characteristics” within their bloodline and these “breed characteristics” have shown to be reliably reproduced in the offspring for three (3) generations, the bloodline may be upgraded from the category of “foundation stock” to “pure-bred”. The same “pure-bred” breed standards vary from different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders. Dog DNA testing companies can have accurate results for a specific bloodline of a small colony of dogs. However, there are tens of thousands of different bloodlines in the world which have not yet been tested for marker baseline results by Dog DNA testing companies as of 2017. For this reason Dog DNA testing companies do not guarantee the 100% accuracy of their breed lineage results and will also show different marker results for the same pure-bred breed in different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders.

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