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Rat Terrier

Although often mistaken for a Jack Russell Terrier, the Rat Terrier has a different profile and a very different temperament. Rat Terriers are finer of bone and have a more refined head. They always have a short single coat—never wire coated. Rat Terriers tend to be less aggressive than Jack Russells; while they have a definite terrier personality they also have an "off switch" and love lounging on the sofa in a lap as much as tearing about the yard. Rat Terriers are normally cheerful dogs but they tend to be more sensitive than Jack Russells to changes in their environment, owner's moods, or to unexpected noises, people, and activities. The "social sensitivity" of Rat Terriers makes them very trainable and easier to live with for the average pet owner but it also means that extensive socialization from an early age is critical. Proper socialization of a rat terrier puppy includes exposing the animal to a wide variety of people and places, particularly during the first 3 months of life. Like most active and intelligent breeds, Rat Terriers tend to be happier when they receive a great deal of mental stimulation and exercise.