Have a reputation as a good family dog, but with careful training needed to avoid development of "small dog syndrome". Very intelligent, alert, active, agile, highly energetic, and playful dogs. Can make good home watchdogs but are not usually too yappy.
The Rat Terrier is an American breed that has been derived from multiple crosses with Fox Terriers and all the various terriers that would have been brought over as farm dogs. Over time the breed has been developed to control different vermin, including Whippet crosses so they could catch the Kansas Jack Rabbits that plagued the crops in the 1910s and 1920s and Beagle crosses to add pack instinct. These crosses served to give the Rat Terrier a different temperament to other terriers, and they are much less aggressive and easier to live with. It is said that President Theodore Roosevelt owned a Rat Terrier that would clear the White House. Although the Rat Terrier is a widespread breed, it has not yet achieved full American Kennel Club recognition. The Rat Terrier has been a member of the Foundation Stock Service since 2004.