The history of this breed is not yet clear, but it splits its bloodline with the American Rat terrier, Tenterfield Terrier, and Fox Paulistinha. It is assumed to be the lineage of Rat Terrier, who was brought by the immigrants to the United States.
However, the main objective was to develop a dog that will clear the vermin, rats etc., from farms and houses, breeding was done very carefully. Dogs like Feist, Bull Terrier, Whippet, Smooth Fox Terrier, Italian Greyhound, Whippet Manchester Terrier, English White Terrier and Turnspit were crossed with Beagle mixes.
Rat Terrier club of America separated from the long-legged variety from the short ones and named them Teddy Roosevelt Terrier in respect of President Roosevelt in 1990s. United Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Club of America (UTRTCA) was developed in 1996. UKC also separated the Rat Terriers and Teddy Roosevelt Terriers as different breeds.
Temperament & Personality
These puppies easily bonds with its family members and crave for interaction and affection. They have a pleasing nature and generally moves around its family members. They are bold and protective, also have a territorial nature which makes them a good watchdog. Their suspicious nature prevents them to be friendlier with the unknown faces. Due to their casing instincts, they generally run after cats, squirrels, and rats. If raised with other pets and children they go well with them. However, their interactions require a close check. They do not fit in an apartment living and require a house with a yard.
They are energetic and require a heavy exercising schedule for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, otherwise, they might develop odd and destructive behaviors. Apart from taking for long walks and jogs one can leave them free in a yard where they can run and play to release their excess energy. Owners can also prepare them to take part in mushing, obedience, agility, carting, herding events etc. To keep them mentally active owners can offer them puzzle toys and different training methods.
It is a low maintenance breed and will need brushing weekly to keep their coat clean and healthy. To keep their coat smooth and matt free brush run a comb around their hind legs, behind their ears, on their thighs ‘culottes’ etc. Also, they are moderate shedders and shed when season changes, during this time owners, should brush their coat regularly to remove the loose hairs from their coats. Bath them occasionally with a vet prescribed shampoo to keep their coat smooth and soft.
Additionally, unlike other dogs, they tend to grow nails faster which can crack if not appropriately trimmed and hinder regular activities like walking, run, etc. However, cutting them twice a month will serve the purpose. Their ears can catch infections due to water, dirt buildup and hence needs regular checking to prevent infections and pain. Clean their ears with Vet prescribed ear solution. Also, brush their teeth twice a week to avoid development of tartar and oral problems. Owners should wipe their eyes with a warm washcloth.
This breed might get affected by some serious health problems like elbow dysplasia, ectopia, hip dysplasia, allergies, patellar luxation, malocclusions etc. But proper diet and an occasional veterinarian visit will keep the dog healthy.
They require a firm trainer due to their stubborn personality.
Early Socialization with different environments where it can meet unknown faces and unfamiliar sounds will give them a positive view. Like puppy obedience classes, outings with its family members to different busy places like a supermarket, bus stops busy roads and Dogs Park, etc.
Command training is essential to polish their skills, and minimize their herding behavior. Leash training is crucial for this breed as they have a hunting habit and if kept unleashed they are generally seen running after, small insects, lizards, squirrels and other pets. To minimize their herding instinct offer them treats when they try to chase. The smell of the treat will prevent them to run after any animal and will gradually reduce its instinct.
Dry dog food about one and a half cups or three fourth, homemade foods that rich in vitamins, minerals, veggies, cooked grains etc are perfect for this breed. If they gain weight, reduce table scraps, treats, etc. It is essential to visit a dietician or a vet before choosing a food. But it is advisable to plan a diet depending upon the dog’s size, age, activity level and metabolism. It is advisable to offer them small meals multiple times a day and prevent heavy exercises to minimize the risk.