Toy Rat Terrier History

5280LOGOCRWN - Copy

History of the Toy Rat Terrier
By: Nancy Anderson






Prior to UKCI’s acceptance the Rat Terrier
was being developed all over England,
Great Britain and the United States
into the breed that it is today.

It’s origin starts in England in the 1820’s

where they were crossing the
Smooth Fox Terrier and the Black/Tan Manchester Terrier
along with other breeds like the now extinct
White Terrier in the hopes of achieving a superior varmint dog.

American Breeders however refined the Rat Terrier

into the breed that it is today with crossing England’s
version of the Rat Terrier to Toy Foxes, Chihuahuas,
Italian Greyhounds and Beagles.

UKCI (Universal Kennel Club International)

was the first registry to recognize the Rat Terrier
as a purebred and accept them as a recognized Purebred breed in 1936.

The Rat Terrier is a well known farm dog as far back as anybody
can remember but their numbers started dwindling in the 1950’s
when modernization of farms turned more to

chemical/poison varmint control thus the need for less varmint type dogs.

A few breeders still had small packs of these

wonderful dogs but the gene pool was declining to very small numbers.
In an attempt to revitalize the dog and

it’s numbers the crossing of these dogs with the Toy Fox,

Chihuahua, I.G. and  Beagle breeds was acceptable practice

from the ’70’s until January 1, 1998 when

UKCI officially refused to register any dog as a

Rat Terrier that was not bred from 2 previously registered Rat Terriers.

The introduction of the Toy Fox, Chihuahua and Manchester Terrier into the bloodlines
gave the smaller size that many desired for a smaller dog needed for hunting of small prey.

The Rat Terrier is a tenacious squirrel dog and some say can do the job of finding,
killing, retrieving and bringing home the kill all by themselves.
The introduction of the Chihuahua and Italian Greyhound gave the breed

the multitude of colors that it enjoys today including the merle pattern.
The introduction of the beagle was done to hone hunting instincts but served little other purpose.
It only takes watching this vivacious little dog in it’s determined attempt to retrieve
it’s prey to see that it’s hunting instincts are very much intact today.

A rat stands little if any chance against a determined Rat Terrier of any size.

This little dog may have started out being developed as a

small type hunting dog but it has evolved into a dog of many purposes.
It is as at home in somebody’s bed as it is in the woods.

It is as happy in somebody’s lap as it is in the back yard.
It’s heart may be small in comparison to larger breeds but NO dog can be any more loyal.

recognized breed for registration and each Registry
carries their own set of standards according to their breed clubs standards.

Registries that are most prevalent in promoting the Rat Terrier

as a purebred are ACR (American Canine Registry),
UKCI (Universal Kennel Club), APRI (America’s Pet Registry Inc.)

and UKC (United Kennel Club).
Other registries do register the Rat Terrier as a breed

but their registration policies are less stringent than the ones above
therefore making me question the PUREBRED status of such puppies/dogs.
There was rumor in 2001 that AKC (American Kennel Club)

was to accept Rat Terriers for foundation stock into their registry.
This would be a happy/sad occasion for the Rat Terrier as a breed.

It would mean that one of the largest registries

in the world has finally accepted the Rat Terrier as a
breed probably due to it’s increasing large number of breeders and

pups being produced but it could also mean the loss of health of our beloved Rat Terrier.
Show Breeders have a tendency to continually
breed back to related dogs which can give them a superior sho

The Rat Terrier made a huge come-back

and gained the public’s eye in the 1990’s
and with the popularity came the “WILL OF OTHERS” to

change things to their own liking.

Breed standards that had served the Rat Terrier breed

well for over 50 years started being scrutinized, argued over and changed.
One change was in the acceptable patterns. 

Merle and Brindle became an overnight disqualification in some registries.

Colors and Patterns were hashed over from one end

of the United States to the other and

eventually the “POWERS THAT BE” got their way
and most breed standards across the nation

were changed to their will.  2 registries stand out for their courage and knowledge
in not allowing a few to change the standard for us all

and those 2 are ACR – American Canine Registry and APRI – American Pet Registry Inc.
who stood their ground and refused to eliminate things in the breed standard

that was certain to once again reduce the Rat Terriers numbers and gene pool
and without doubt would be unfair to the breeders who were already registering with them.

The UKCI adopted the National Rat Terrier Association’s (NRTA)

standard of the Rat Terrier and that
is the standard that all UKCI registered Rat Terriers

should be judged by.
The ACR adopted the Rat Terrier Club International standard

of the Rat Terrier and that is the standard
that all ACR registered Rat Terriers should be judged by.
Keep in mind here though that several registries now accept the Rat Terrier as 

dog but can also give them less vigor, more health problems and will
surely start to change the looks of the dog that we so love as it is now.  

The rumor was indeed true and AKC now does FSS Foundation Stock Service of the Rat Terrier.
Once the database has been built to a sufficient number they will be recognized as a full AKC breed.

(2014 Update), AKC, now has a full database, the dog is recognized as a full AKC breed, only as a Standard, NOT Toy.

Although Toy breeders are still falsifying paperwork to register their dogs, including patterns such as merle.

While the RTCA tries to make it seem that they were the official breed standard

producers of an accepted breed standard that could be nothing further from the
truth as UKCI did and does to this day have a recognized

breed standard long before RTCA was even a dream.

Many try to accredit UKC (*UNITED) as being the first registry of Rat Terriers

and again this is nothing but untruth.  UKCI (*UNIVERSAL)
was the first REGISTRY to recognize and REGISTER the Rat Terrier.

A registry is nothing but a company who DOCUMENTS and ISSUES paperwork

and that is EXACTLY what UKCI has been doing with the Rat Terriers since
1936 which is a far cry longer than UKC’s acceptance and documentation of the breed in 1999.

Added to 2010 Jennifer Mason

In May 2010, International Dog Registry opened it’s registry to the public.

After years of Toy Rat Terriers and Tiny Tot Rat Terriers (teacups) not being accepted in the show ring,
a group of breeders joined  together and decided our breed needed representation.
We felt if our breed was just as beautiful , and just and well bred.
As this has grown other breeds have
come forward and admitted they too need representation.

Our dogs will have a place to be shown, registered, and represented

  in all colors , and all sizes.

This is a registry for your Merle, your Brindle, your UNIQUE Coat Color.

All Breeds, sizes and colors not recognized by other registrations.

 We will also be supporting the all dogs currently

registered with other registries.

If your breed calls the color a fault, most likely we embrace it.

  We are not here to remake any standard already out there,

standards will remain the same,

coat colors are the only item ever up for debate in the community.

Conformation  standard is very important to maintain to keep the integrity of the breed,

and  integrity as we move forward with a new registry.

Supporting new coat colors will be very touchy. 

Some breeds have had new breeds introduced for the sake of color,

 this is not the same breed of dog,

this is a new breed, and will be recognized as such.

If this has happened with your breed,

it will be a foundation stock registered dog.

Our stand on this matter is, we are not supporting new colors cropping up just for the purpose of  breeding dogs.

However there are several colors and breeds already recognized worldwide, we will recognize in this registry.

This registry will be offering SHOWING for all of these beautiful breeds through our registry,

something most if none currently have.

However this will take time.

The Toy Rat Terrier is recognized,

and documented on your registration paperwork by the following registry’s.


The Tiny Tot is recorded by these following registries

NRTA and IDR, UKCI keeps track of the smallest Rat Terrier born, it can be seen on their website.

Although different registries classify the TOY in different weight categories.

Check your registries breed standard.

Jennifer Mason


This is a re