Are Rat Terriers Good Family Dogs? FAQs Answered With Tips

Are Rat Terriers Good Family Dogs? Are Ratties Good Pets?

Deciding to adopt a dog in your family is not a decision you should take lightly. It is interesting, at the same time, challenging. This is why you have to do some research before getting a dog. When it comes to Ratties, you might be worried that are Rat Terriers good family dogs? Or do they make good pets?

And doing a background check is extremely helpful for you to figure out which dog would suit your family the most. This article will be talking about the suitability of Rat Terriers as family dogs. Read through to find out whether they are good family dogs or not.

So, are Rat Terriers good family dogs? Yes, Rat Terriers can make good family dogs under the right circumstances. They are known for their affectionate and loyal nature, which can contribute to their ability to form strong bonds with their human family members. However, it’s important to consider various factors to determine whether a Rat Terrier fits your specific family and lifestyle.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Energy Level: Rat Terriers are generally energetic dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. They enjoy activities like playing, walking, and participating in interactive games. Rat Terriers can thrive in a family environment if your family can provide the necessary outlets for their energy.
  • Socialization: Proper socialization from an early age is crucial for Rat Terriers to develop good manners and positive behaviors around family members, including children and other pets. Exposing them to various people, environments, and experiences can help them become well-rounded and confident family companions.
  • Training: Rat Terriers are intelligent dogs and can respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. Consistent and structured training is important to establish boundaries, teach commands, and reinforce good behavior. Training can help ensure they are well-behaved and compatible with your family dynamics.
  • Temperament: Rat Terriers are generally known for being friendly, playful, and eager to please. However, individual temperaments can vary within the breed. It’s important to spend time with a Rat Terrier and observe its personality to ensure it aligns with your family’s preferences and dynamics.
  • Children and Other Pets: Rat Terriers can do well with children if they are properly socialized and raised together. However, supervision and teaching children how to interact respectfully with the dog are essential to prevent any potential issues. Additionally, introductions and gradual socialization should be done when integrating Rat Terriers with other pets in the household.

Remember, every dog is an individual, and while Rat Terriers can be great family dogs, it’s important to assess their compatibility with your family’s lifestyle, needs, and abilities to meet their exercise, training, and socialization requirements.

Responsible ownership, proper care, and providing a loving and stimulating environment are key to ensuring a successful and fulfilling relationship between a Rat Terrier and your family.

So let’s dig a little deeper and find out what makes these dogs a good fit for your family. Also, understand if there are any cons among the pros of having a Rat Terrier as a family dog.

What makes Rat Terriers perfect family dogs?

Here’s a question that you should ask yourself. What do you interpret as a perfect family dog? Well, the answer to this question may vary depending on one person to the other.

One might think if the dog is friendly, obedient, loyal, and alerted, that is the perfect family dog. If the dog is generally healthy, easy to train, and easy to groom, that could be the ideal dog for another person.

Also, some people pay attention more or less to all these factors. So, let’s find out what ultimately makes Rat Terriers perfect family dogs.

To answer the above question, first, let’s try to understand the temperament and personality of a Rat Terrier. Rat Terriers are lively, affectionate, and intelligent dogs.

These dogs thoroughly enjoy human companionship; therefore, they are often known as people-oriented dogs.

Also, they are loyal to the owners. Personality-wise these dogs are ideal for any household with children or even seniors.

If we focus on the physical traits of a Rat Terrier, these dogs are small in their body size. Therefore, if you live in an apartment or less spacious home, it won’t be an issue for you to have a Rat Terrier.

Moreover, these dogs are considered low-maintenance dogs, which is also a huge advantage for a dog owner.

Another fact that makes a Rat Terrier a good family dog is its socialization skills. As previously mentioned, these dogs tend to be intelligent; hence they socialize pretty well. Not only with humans, with other dogs, or other pets that you have in your house. 

To sum up, Rat Terriers are friendly, playful, loyal, good watchdogs, easy to train, come in a small size, easy to groom, generally good with other pets, and have a long life span which certainly makes them perfect family dogs. 

Are Rat Terriers aggressive?

Usually, Rat Terriers aren’t considered aggressive dogs. They get along pretty well with humans as well as other pets.

Still, you have to keep in mind that, like any other dog, Rat Terriers could act aggressively in specific scenarios. For instance, in front of strangers or due to a sense of jealousy.

The good thing is Rat Terriers have high intelligence levels, so you can quickly train them from a young age so that they won’t be aggressive as they grow up.

However, compared to many other dog breeds, Rat Terriers are easy to handle, and they are generally not aggressive dogs.

Are Rat Terriers good with kids?

Rat Terriers have good energy levels, and they love to play, which makes them ideal to have around kids. Speaking of kids, if they are below three years, you may have to train your Rat Terrier to be gentle with them.

This doesn’t mean that Rat Terriers harm toddlers, yet they might not match their energy levels perfectly. So training would help them to be well behaved around toddlers.

But, for children above three years, especially between five to twelve years, Rat Terriers will be excellent companions for them. They bond very well with children. They make children happy and be very protective of them.

Pros and Cons of Rat Terriers as family dogs

Rat Terriers indeed make good family dogs due to several reasons. But with all the pros that you can get by having a Rat Terrier, there could be some cons as well.

Pros of Rat Terriers as family dogs

If we talk about the Pros, as elaboratively discussed earlier, these dogs have charismatic personalities.

They are smart, hence easy to train. Most importantly, they are loyal to the owner, love them, and protect them. If there are children in your house, having a Rat Terrier is indeed advantageous because they get along very well with them.

If you often travel, Rat Terriers are good travel buddies. Another big advantage of having a Rat Terrier is that you don’t have to spare much time for grooming.

These dogs have a short-length coat, so they don’t shed much. Brushing their coats once a week and bathing as required will be enough to keep them nice and clean.

On top of everything, Rat Terriers are a breed that owns quite a long life span.

Cons of Rat Terriers as family dogs

In my personal view, there aren’t many cons of adopting a Rat Terrier. However, if the owners do not pay enough attention to the dog, that could cause negative consequences.

One of the possible cons of having a Rat Terrier is their strong prey instinct, as they were bred for hunting. These dogs are intelligent and very alert.

Suppose the owners do not train them to socialize, especially with other animals, that could increase the prey instinct of a Rat Terrier. Sometimes they could be stubborn too.

Rat Terriers are energetic dogs; therefore, they need a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Rat Terrier might not be the perfect fit if your entire family has busy schedules because these dogs need company.

How to train your Rat Terriers to be good family dogs?

A dog’s personality and behavior play a huge role when deciding if they are a good fit for a family. Rat Terriers naturally inherit some personality traits that make them good family dogs.

But there’s a fair amount of actions that should be taken from the owners to enhance the personality traits of a Rat Terrier.

So here are some essential tips that you can follow to train your Rat Terrier to be a good family dog.

  • Start training from a young age 

We say that the younger, the better, and that statement is accurate when it comes to training any dog, including Rat Terriers.

Since Rat Terriers are intelligent dogs, they quickly learn what you teach them. So it is advisable to train them from a young age.

That way, they’ll quickly get used to the family and develop their skills to socialize. To train a Rat Terrier, you don’t have to be a professional at it.

Some dogs do need professional support to train, but you can train a Rat Terrier very quickly on your own. All you have to do is follow easy training techniques, be patient with them, and reward them.

  • Show them love

Rat Terriers are active dogs, so they prefer to play rather than cuddle with their owners. But it is essential to show love as required.

Once you come home after a long day, just spare a few minutes to spend with the dog. If they follow you, touch their head and show that you care rather than ignore them.

Small actions have a significant capability to enhance their love for the family. 

  • Teach your Rat Terrier to respect you

As the owner, you have to ensure that the dog shows enough respect to you. This is not something you can get forcefully.

As much as you love them, make sure you avoid them doing unnecessary things. For instance, if they chew cushions at home, you can be strict and not let them do it.

If your Rat Terrier does not show respect to you, they might act out stubbornly. So don’t let that happen. When they have proper respect for the family, that will also increase the bond. 

Final thoughts about Rat Terriers as family dogs

Today we discussed whether Rat Terriers are good family dogs. As I mentioned at the very beginning, raising a dog is fun, yet all the fun and excitement comes with a great deal of responsibility.

For anyone who’s dreaming of getting a small family-friendly pooch Rat Terrier without any doubt, is a good choice, but it is crucial to be aware of both pros and cons of having a Rat Terrier as a family dog.

Not everyone considers the same criteria when getting a dog. Nonetheless, as long as you love them and take proper care of them, Rat Terriers are the ideal family dog for any dog lover out there.


  • George Brown

    George B. is the founder of the JRO Organization. He believes in creating a better world for domestic animals. He believes domestic animals are more vulnerable than other animals, especially dogs, since they have been used to depending on their owners for generations. So, he started JRO to share his ideas and insights while helping vulnerable dogs worldwide. George runs multiple projects on street dogs in developing countries, especially Sri Lanka.

    [email protected]

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