Height: Toy, under 12 inches at shoulder; Miniature, up to 15 inches at shoulder, Standard, 13 to 16 inches at shoulder; Decker, 16 to 19 inches at shoulder
Weight: Toy, 5 to 10 pounds; Miniature, 10 to 18 pounds, Standard, not specified; Decker, 22 to 40 pounds
Coat: short and smooth
Life span: 12 to 18 years
Breed Group: Terriers
These adorable little digging escape artists are true terriers: feisty, funny, energetic, lively, vermin-chasing, and incapable of being boring. Stubborn as all get out, they are not big on pleasing people, but the people who love them laugh all the time. The Rat Terrier is the ideal farm dog that he was always intended to be. President Theodore Roosevelt is said to have given the breed its name after his own terrier had eradicated the rat infestation at the White House; clearly, the Rat Terrier excels as a public servant--as long as it's in his own best interest. He's an American tradition just like apple pie, but watch your plate or you may find you're missing dessert.