We here at KnD breed to the UKC (Uninted Kennels Club) and AKC (American Kennels Club) the 2 most reputable dogs registries in America, breeding standards for a true pure bred Rat Terrier. Those standards say- AKC: A miniature Rat Terrier is 10" up to and including 13 inches at the withers.
UKC: A miniature Rat Terrier is - up to and includuing 13 inches at the withers. So, you see a miniature Rat Terrier does not have to be a BIG dog anyway. I infact, think that UKC should take from AKC on this account and have a bottom measurement. A Rat Terrier should not be smaller than 10" at the withers. A Rat Terrier is a small to medium size "RATTING" dog. It should be small enough to work under and around things in a barn or house, where the rodents love to live, but big enough to kill a BIG ol' rat. This is the breeds history I am talking about here. It's not just because a registry says this is what we should be breeding for, but becuase it is the breeds HISTORY.
This is how to measure your Rat Terrier per the 2 most reputable registries in America AKC and UKC.
Now, go get a ruler. I'll wait here. Look at the 10" mark. SEE!! it's little isn't it? This goes to show you that these breeders are cross breeding in Chihuahua (unnecessarily) and/or using the words tiny, toy and tots only for selling and marketing points. It has nothing to do with breeding a better dog or making a new breed.
I have also been researching the Chihuahua because SO MANY want to say that this is the breed behind the merle and that it is in the Rat Terriers history. Well, suprise they are not. We all agree that the Rat Terrier got it's first beginings from Great Britain, being ratting dogs and used to bet on in rat pits and were brought over by mining immigrants int eh 1800's. Well, the Chihuahua did not even make it to Great Britain until the 1930's. Excerpt: "The real pioneer of the breed was the late Mrs Powell of London, SW4 who exhibited as early as 1930 and had built up a strong team. When the late Mr Croxton-Smith wrote his last book he briefly mentioned the Chihuahuas and Mrs Powell, and said there were none in the country now.
So, we now know for sure that Chihuahua's were not introduced into this breed before the 1937 via Great Britain.
Chihuahua's In USA:
A lot about the Chihuahua's history is obscure, but what we DO KNOW is- Chihuahua was plunged into obscurity, until 1850, when several very small dogs were found in old ruins near Casas Grandes in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, from which the breed gets its name.
Chis remained rare until 1904, when they were finally recognised and registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC). In the 1930s and 1940s, Xavier Cugat, known as the Rumba King, gave the breed widespread exposure when he appeared in movies and television shows with them. The Chi’s popularity took off, reaching its peak in 1964, when it became the 3rd most popular breed in the USA.
Source:All About Chihuahuas
We know now that the Chihuahua was not even discovered until 1850's and it remained rare until 1904. They were not even widespread through the USA until 1930's and 40's. This breed was not widespread through the USA in the 1800's when Rat Terriers made it's entance in to USA and even after this breed became more and more popular, it is very unlikely that this little companion breed would have been used for hunting and varminting.
In the 1990′s people crossbred the Chihuahua into our Rat Terriers to make a small easy to sale dog and banked on the Rat Terriers good reputation. Even then the merle didn’t start showing up until the late 1990’s - 2000.
Fact or Fiction
This is suppose to be the Rat Terriers family tree. I have asked many many purebred Rat Terrier breeders where it came from. NO ONE knows and most would disagree with it.
More About Toys and Tiny Tots...
TOY, MINIATURE, STANDARD or GIANT?
There are officially no Toy or Giant varieties. The Standard by which our breed is judged by both the AKC and the UKC separates the varieties by height at the shoulder: "Over 13 inches", and "up to and including 13".... BTW: These same measurements are used in the Bull Terrier, Beagle and American Eskimo breeds for the separation of the varieties, and were also found to be the median height for our breed too. (10" to 19" are the acceptable and desired heights for our breed). THERE IS NO TOY VARIETY FOR RAT TERRIERS IN EITHER AKC OR UKC.
Rat Terriers are considered by weight to be a small to medium breed. Due to the many size variations found in the Rat Terrier, using height allows for the separation of the varieties, but includes most every size of our breed and therefore allows the opportunity for their development within a breeder's strain without individual's being disqualified. (Rat Terriers are officially part of the Terrier group, and not the Toy group. There are toys out there, but if you are looking for one of these smaller 3-7# toys, we suggest you check out the Toy Fox Terrier www.atftc.com. The TFT has been a recognized breed for over 60 years. Buyers Beware - so-called Toy (UKCI registered) RT's are not true purebreds and may have been hybridized by some breeders, having Chihuahua, Toy Fox Terrier and/or Manchester Terrier bloodlines added, of which, we do not condone the use of).
SOURCE:RTCA Scroll down the list of FAQ and you'll find it.
From the AKC breed Standard- This dog should not be rangy nor fine boned and toyish.
Many of the "Toy and Tiny Tots" breeders will tell you they are indeed a different breed and they are seeking recognition. I recently had a discussion with a "toy" "tiny tot" breeder who did confirm this. That they do have Chihuahua in their back ground and merle. That they are a companion breed. A purebred Rat Terrier has no Chihuahua nor merle. We like to think of purebred Rat Terriers as a do it all terrier. They are family pet and hunters...of which a toy companion is not. Rat Terries are of good soild bone and muscle of which a toy is not.
My only question is, if they are indeed a different breed why do they not call them something else? I believe it is becasue they wish to market their "breed" using the Rat Terriers GOOD repuation.
These "Toys" are hybrids and not a TRUE PURBRED Rat Terriers. If this is what your looking for, good, but, please do not be taken by the name "Rat Terrier" cause they are not. The "Tiny Tot's" need to become another breed and I encourage them to do so, but, please, do not call them Rat Terriers as they are NOT Rat Tereriers.
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