Jack Russell Terrier vs Rat Terrier

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
13 to 15 years
Size:

Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Low

Best For

The Jack Russell Terrier is best for very active people who have the time to train this feisty pup. Jacks and cats do not get along, and if you live in an apartment, you might...

The Jack Russell Terrier is best for very active people who have the time to train this feisty pup. Jacks and cats do not get along, and if you live in an apartment, you might not get along with your neighbors, either—these pups can bark!

Jack Russell Terrier Temperament

For a small dog, the Jack Russell Terrier’s characteristics are most definitely larger than life. When you first encounter this breed’s exuberant bark and tenacious drive, you might actually do a double-take. Their personality thrives on stimulation, so pet parents need to work hard to satisfy this pup...

For a small dog, the Jack Russell Terrier’s characteristics are most definitely larger than life. When you first encounter this breed’s exuberant bark and tenacious drive, you might actually do a double-take. Their personality thrives on stimulation, so pet parents need to work hard to satisfy this pup’s need for speed.

Jack Russells do well with kids and babies, as long as they are properly socialized and training is a priority. Mixing a Jack Russell with other dogs is usually successful if properly socialized and introduced, but the answer is a hard no when it comes to felines. The reason? This breed displays a well-known high prey drive, which means there’s a great tendency to give chase.

In addition to bounding after kitties, their qualities also extend into excavation. That’s right—a very strong desire to hunt often leads this breed to dig like there’s no tomorrow, literally tunneling underground to try and capture vermin (think mice, rats and weasels). So if you consider your rose bushes to be a prized possession, sharing the garden with a Jack Russell may give you pause.

Still, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more fun-loving, charming family dog than the Jack Russell. The breed’s independent streak and innate determination come from their long history of fox hunting, though today’s Jacks have traded this tough physical job for the more plush life of a Hollywood star. Watch for Jack Russell cameos in both feature films and on the small screen.

Jack Russell Terrier Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 18 years
Size:

Small

Maintenance Level:

Low

Shed Level:

Low

Best For

Rat Terriers thrive in busy homes with a loving pet parent. They are good with kids, cats and other dogs as long as they're well socialized as puppies. But with their instinctive prey drive, don't...

Rat Terriers thrive in busy homes with a loving pet parent. They are good with kids, cats and other dogs as long as they're well socialized as puppies. But with their instinctive prey drive, don't even think about adding a pet mouse, hamster or bird to your brood.

Rat Terrier Temperament

Rat Terriers are a big personality in a compact body. Inquisitive and highly intelligent, these qualities work in their favor when it comes to puzzles and games that will provide seemingly endless entertainment. When they’re given a job to do, however, things get serious. They give 100 percent whether they̵...

Rat Terriers are a big personality in a compact body. Inquisitive and highly intelligent, these qualities work in their favor when it comes to puzzles and games that will provide seemingly endless entertainment.

When they’re given a job to do, however, things get serious. They give 100 percent whether they’re hunting vermin, running agility or having a training session. Since Rat Terrier dogs were bred to both function as a working dog and live with a family, they can master both equally.

These small-sized dogs are usually very friendly and tend to get along with kids and other dogs, but it’s important to remember that all dogs are individuals so this can differ from Rattie to Rattie. As long as your dog is properly socialized (aka introduced to different people and environments) from a young age, they’ll be a great companion for all the family, and a friend to anyone they meet.

As their name implies, these dogs kind of have a thing for vermin. So you may want to rethink a Rat Terrier if you keep house with rats, mice, hamsters or birds unless you take precautions to keep them separated. The same goes for cats, but with early and deliberate introductions as Rat Terrier puppies, the two can definitely thrive together.

Rat Terriers are good watchdogs, so don’t be surprised if they bark when someone comes to the door. If you feel that it’s excessive, there are options to help you reduce your dog’s barking.

Overall, Rat Terriers are devoted to their people and they love to be included, so don’t leave them alone for too long or they will pine for you. Don’t forget that they still operate on instinct—no matter their training, your Rattie might still make the occasional, sudden lunge for a squirrel on your afternoon walk. They’re just doing what they were bred to do!

Rat Terrier Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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