Rat Terrier Training Guide - FAQs Answered With Tips

Rat Terrier Training Guide – FAQs Answered With Tips

This article is for Rat Terrier owners and anyone willing to raise one of these dogs. Do you need to be a professional trainer to train a Rat Terrier? And how hard is it to train them? Let’s find out all the necessary information about Rat Terrier training.

Rat Terriers are intelligent, devoted, and eager to please dogs; therefore, it is relatively easy to train them. But if you are a first-time dog owner, you might find it challenging to train a Rat Terrier primarily due to their intense energy levels and prey drive.

However, if you familiarize yourself with basic cues of dog training, you will be able to train them very well. And Well trained Rat Terriers certainly make ideal family pets. 

Dog training is an art that one can master. But as we know, not all dog owners are professional dog trainers. Nevertheless, dogs are considered one of the most trainable pets.

The connection between humans and dogs is unforced. Proper training allows you to connect even better with your pet, and it will help the dog be well-mannered.

If you talk to a group of Rat Terrier owners, they might have different experiences regarding training their dogs.

Remember that it mostly scales down to how effective you are in teaching your dog. This article will answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding training a Rat Terrier. 

How hard is it to train a Rat Terrier?

Is it hard to train a Rat Terrier? If so, how hard is it to train them? One can answer this question subjectively.

As already mentioned, not all Rat Terrier owners go through the same training experience. One could find it easy to train these dogs; on the contrary, another person may find it complicated.

If that’s the case, how will we determine if Rat Terriers are hard to train or not? 

Although it is hard to give a fixed answer to the above question, the most straightforward one would be that Rat Terriers are generally easy to train.

Previously I mentioned that dogs are one of the most trainable pets; they sure are, but depending on their breed, the trainability varies. Each breed has its own physical and personality traits.

Therefore some dogs are naturally easy to train, whereas some are a little hard to train; you have to have a thorough knowledge or put a lot of effort into training such dogs.

You will not find it frustrating to train a Rat Terrier based on their behavioral traits. Just because Rat Terriers are easy to train, you should never take their training process lightly. 

Rat Terriers are intelligent and people-oriented, but at the same time, as they have their origins coming from hunting backgrounds, they have a strong prey drive and they can be stubborn.

If you ignore their training, there are many chances for them to be little trouble makers. So make sure you start the training at the correct time and do the training correctly. If so, you can raise a well-mannered Rat Terrier. 

Are Rat Terriers easy to house train?

You should train your Rat Terrier to fit into their new environment. House training is mandatory unless you have to face troubles.

Dogs are intelligent creatures, but they don’t have the ability to potty train themselves; this is why you should do it for them.

House training dogs, including Rat Terriers, could be a bit of a hectic duty. But the good thing is if you know what to do, it won’t be a big issue to deal with.

There is no exact age when to start house training a Rat Terrier, but it is always advisable to start this from a young age, like 8 to 10 weeks.

Following a house training schedule during the pup stage would be more effective. To elaborate, you can feed them, water them at proper times, and take them outside when they wake up, after playing, eating, or drinking.

Also, pick some specific spots as their bathrooms. That way, they quickly learn where to do their business. Usually, your Rat Terrier will take some time to get used to this.

You cannot expect a Rat Terrier puppy to go out and do their bowel movements; they will do it wherever they want, but if you are consistent in their house training, they will eventually get used to it. 

When to begin your Rat Terrier’s training?

The sooner, the better. It is often recommended to start training Rat Terriers around 8-10 weeks, which means they are two months old.

The best age range to train a Rat Terrier would be 2 to 18 months. Puppies can sometimes be a handful to train, but as they haven’t gone through training before, they will quickly grasp what you teach them.

Suppose you decide to raise an adult Rat Terrier; when would you train them? Do they need training? If you raise a grown-up dog, it could be a foster dog, rescue dog, or an abundant one.

A grown-up dog has already gotten used to some behavioral traits and manners from the environment they used to be in.

However, you might want to adopt them according to your demands when you bring them home. It is not impossible to train a grown-up Rat Terrier.

Maturity will help them understand things quickly, but you should be very gentle and patient with the training as the owner. 

What do you need to train your Rat Terrier?

Before training the dog, you have to be prepared with the things that you need for the job. You will find it easy to train your pet when you are ready. Let’s find out what you will need to train a Rat Terrier. 

  • A dog training manual/ information gathered from the internet 
  • A quiet and less crowded place
  • A leash and collar 
  • Toys such as squeaky balls and target sticks
  • Small snacks/treats 

Tips for training a Rat Terrier

Here we have come to the most crucial part. You might not be an experienced dog trainer; most dog parents are not. However, there are easy training techniques that anyone could follow to train a Rat Terrier.

Below you can find some helpful tips.

  • Stick to a schedule 

You must follow a proper schedule when you train your Rat Terrier. It aids in maintaining the consistency of training. Before making a schedule, you should pay attention to two main factors.

When to train and what to train. “When,” as mentioned earlier in the article, start the training once your Rat Terrier is 8-10 weeks old.

Furthermore, you can do training a couple of times a week. You do not have to spare heaps of time for training; 15-30 minutes per session would be sufficient. “What” to train? Well, you can start with simple commands such as sit or catch.

Make them good at basic commands then you can eventually teach them advanced things. But do not be too hard on the training.

  • Reward good behavior

Who would not love to get rewarded? A Rat Terrier would certainly love appreciation from their owners.

If your Rat Terrier performs well in training sessions and indicates well-mannered behavior, you can reward them with a dog treat.

When they get rewarded for good behavior, it will likely encourage them to maintain it.

  • Spontaneous lessons

You must follow a training routine to train your Rat Terrier, but it is also equally important to teach them on time.

To elaborate, assume that your Rat Terrier does something naughty or unacceptable. You can be a bit strict to the dog and try to make it understand that it did something wrong.

Do not use harsh punishments, but it is okay to be a little strict unless the dog won’t know that it did something wrong. Such spontaneous lessons help them a lot to improve their behavior.

  • Teach to respect the owner 

Rat Terriers get along very well with their owners. However, you must train them to respect you. As friendly as they are, they should also be respectful.

If they don’t respect you, they will not listen to you. It will make it hard to build a mutual bond between the dog and the master.

Therefore, making your Rat Terrier obedient is an integral part of their training. 

Final thoughts training your Rattie

This article attempted to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding training a Rat Terrier. Rat Terriers are not the most challenging dogs to train. These dogs are naturally people-oriented, which makes them trainable.

Nevertheless, like any other dog, Rat Terriers also require proper training from a young age. First, as a Rat Terrier owner, do a background check on the breed, educate yourself on basic training methods, decide the ground rules, and be consistent and timely.

Most importantly, don’t make the training hectic for your Rat Terrier or yourself. Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts.


  • Sofia Williams

    Sofia W. is a professional dog trainer who completed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) certifications. Also, she has completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification. Sofia is interested in creating nutritious food formulas for dogs to give them a longer and healthier life. She believes food and training are a collective combination of a healthy dog. So, she is with us to share her expertise and knowledge with other dog parents.

    [email protected]

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