How Long Do Rat Terriers Live

How Long Do Rat Terriers Live

Terriers make excellent family dogs since they are smart and easy to train. Due to their high energy and adaptability as farm and family dogs, Rat Terriers are a very popular dog breed in the United States.

While it’s impossible to predict exactly how much time you will spend with your dog, having a well-supported estimate might help you feel more at ease.

This article has all the important details on Rat Terriers, including their lifespan.

So, How Long Do Rat Terriers Live? Relatively, Rat Terriers live longer than the majority of other Terrier breeds. They typically have a life expectancy of 15 to 18 years. Your Rat Terrier’s lifespan can be increased to more than 25 years with proper care. The typical lifespan of a dog, however, is greatly influenced by its genetic composition as well as the kind of care it receives in the case of any health issues.

Origin of Rat Terrier

Throughout history, the ability of Rat Terriers to catch rats gave them their name. They first appeared on American farms, where these little canines were ideal for getting rid of vermin that could wreak havoc on the food kept in stores. They were bred particularly for this purpose, and in the US, they were the most popular farm dog throughout the 1910s and 1920s.

The Smooth Fox Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Whippet, Italian Greyhound, and Beagle are some breeds from which the Rat Terrier is bred. Farmers combined different breeds to get the traits they needed for the work.

Rat Terriers lost popularity as farmers began using poison to eliminate rats, but they began to regain it in the 1990s. The American Kennel Club formally recognized the Rattie in 2006.

When Is Rat Terrier Considered A Senior Dog?

As they age, Rat Terriers become less energetic.

In their early and middle years, they usually radiate lots of energy. A Rat Terrier, however, won’t be as energetic as they once were after they reach the age of 13 to 14.

By that age, you will see certain changes in their behavior patterns; typically, they will act calm rather than playful. So, as they turn 13 or older, Rat Terriers can be considered senior dogs.

how long do rat terriers live?

A healthy Rat Terrier typically lives for at minimum 14 years before dying, even though they can live up to 18 years.

You must realize that dogs are more likely to experience health issues as they age. Therefore, it is impossible to guarantee that your Rat Terrier will pass away at this specific age.

Oldest Rat Terrier

Jake is the “oldest dog living” Guinness World Records holder. Jake the Rat Terrier, who resided in Davenport, Iowa with his pet father Ronald W. Johnson, was the most recent bearer of the Guinness World Records title for “oldest dog living.” Jake was born on July 21, 1994, and died a few days after turning 21 in 2015.

Sadly, Jake has been gone from this world for seven years. He was the oldest living dog, but until today, neither a Rat Terrier nor any other breed of dog has beaten him.

Factors that influence the lifespan of a Rat Terrier


Your Rat Terrier’s genes significantly impact its behavior and health. Rat Terriers are normally considered healthy dogs since they have energetic genes.

It is unrealistic to claim with certainty that an animal’s physical size determines its life span. However, research has shown that small dogs have genes that make them live longer than giant dogs.

Therefore Small dogs, Rat Terriers are substantially less susceptible to hereditary diseases. However, there might also be exceptions. For example, puppies from a mixed breed may have complex genetics.


Another important factor for your Rat Terrier’s long-term health is exercise. As hyperactive canines, rat terriers are usually playful and active.

To help your Rat Terrier release energy and keep active and healthy, you can encourage him to follow an exercise or daily walking program.

Food and appetite 

The lifespan of your Rat Terrier may be greatly affected by its general diet. However, this does not imply that your dog’s survival depends exclusively on what it consumes.

As the owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your dog receives proper nutrition.

Avoid feeding your dog human snacks like Cheese ItzHot Cheetos, or any other type. Instead, giving your dog treats (Either homemade or from the stores) is recommended.

Rat Terrier Common Health Problems


One of the most prevalent medical conditions that can affect dogs, particularly Rat Terriers, is ear infections.

Bacteria, viruses, or fungi cause infections. Examples include rabies, parvovirus, norovirus, distemper, and blastomycosis.

If your Rat Terrier exhibits any changes over time, such as fever, vomiting, runny eyes, diarrhea, excessive shedding, or a stuffy nose, they could be symptoms of an infection.

Bone and joint issues

Due to a genetic predisposition, your Rat Terrier may have problems with its bones and joints. Hips and elbow dysplasia is a prevalent condition in Rat Terriers.

This problem will make your dog uncomfortable. Young Rat Terriers are more susceptible to Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, according to research by veterinarians.

Allergies, hypoglycemia, hernias, and epilepsy are a few additional health issues that Rat Terriers frequently experience.

Remember that not all health problems in your Rat Terrier shorten their life expectancy, but if you ignore them, there’s a great chance they will.


Examples of parasites include ticks, lice, ear mites, and worms like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and heartworms. There are various methods by which these parasites can enter your Rat Terrier’s coat.

If your Rat Terrier has parasites, they may cause dehydration, vomiting, lethargy, weight loss, or being overweight.

Although it is possible to treat parasites, it is crucial to take preventive measures as soon as possible; otherwise, your pet could experience major health problems or even death.


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