NKC Breed Standard For The Rat Terrier
General Appearance and Coat
A well balanced, sturdy built small to medium dog. This dog should be alert, attentive, and show a genuine hunting spirit, and should be a very loyal companion type dog. It should have a good coat of short hair, (no long or shaggy coat).
Head and Neck (teeth, jaws, muzzle, ears, and eyes)
The head should be well muscled, wedge in shape from the side with muzzle & skull in equal length (no snippy muzzle). Ears erect, tipped or buttoned. Ears that are tulip shaped (flying), flopped non-matching are a disqualification. Nose black or match eyes, eye rim & coat color. Eyes alert and watchful, round and eye rims match nose color. Scissor bite is preferred in teeth but level even teeth are allowed. Neck should be moderately long, muscular, tapering slightly from the head to the shoulders blending smoothly.
Front Quarters (chest, shoulders, front feet and legs)
Good strong legs (bench legs acceptable). Chest and shoulders should be small, strong, and wiry indicating speed and endurance. Chest should be broad and deep with plenty of lung space.
Hind Quarters (hips, back, back feet and legs and tail)
Hips and back showing strength and good muscle tone back slightly arched. Legs straight or benched. Tail either long or stub (however docked tail preferred).
Height and Weight
Height standards for miniature variety not to exceed 13 inches and Standard Variety are not to exceed 19 inches. Weight will vary on different types of dogs. But oversized dogs are considered a fault.
Gait and Movement
The dog should move in a free-swinging gait indicating speed, strength, and endurance. Jerky or awkward movements are a serious fault. When hunting, the dog should be very alert and watchful.
The Rat Terrier should appear bold, confident, trusting and loving with its master, neither too shy nor to aggressive, with a strong treeing and hunting instinct.