Jack Russell Terrier Vs. The Rat Terrier [What’s The Differences]


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Both the Jack Russell Terrier and Rat Terrier are popular dog breeds. They can attract a lot of potential families to consider adoption.

I cannot say that I blame you, considering I have been the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier (Luna) for the past 4 years. The Jack Russell Terrier certainly makes for an excellent and loving family companion.

The same can be said about the Rat Terrier.

If you are currently debating between adopting one of these dog breeds, it is essential to understand some of the primary differences between the two dogs.

The rest of this brief discussion will break down the differences and similarities between the Jack Russell Terrier and the Rat Terrier.

By the end of the discussion, you should have a fundamental understanding of the differences between the Rat Terrier dog breed and the Jack Russell Terrier dog breed.

Here is how we will break down today’s discussion of the two dog breeds:

Table Breakdown Jack Russell Terrier Vs. Rat Terrier

Before diving into the specifics about each dog breed, here is a snapshot table graph breaking down some of the common characteristics of both the Jack Russell Terrier and the Rat Terrier.

In addition to giving a clear picture of some of the differences between the Jack Russell Terrier and Rat Terrier

Traits Of Rat Terrier and Jack Russell TerrierThe Jack Russell TerrierThe Rat Terrier
Height10-15 inches10-19 inches
Weight12-18lbs12-18lbs
Lifespan12-15 years12-19 years
Health Concerns (Ranked 1-10)44
Suitability As Family Pet (Ranked 1-10)88
Exercise Demands (Ranked 1-10)107
Cost To Adopt$1000.00 (Purebred)$500.00 +
Training Difficulty (Ranked 1-10)98
Grooming Needs and Difficulty (Ranked 1-10)44
Most Troublesome Personality TraitStubbornessSocialization Requires Patience and Effort
Best Overall Personality TraitLoyalty Loyalty and Working Traits

Now, I want to look at each dog breed at a deeper level.

I also want to look at each dog breed at an individual level.

This will give you a better understanding of some of the key differences in personality, behavior, demeanor, and family pet suitability of both the Jack Russell Terrier and the Rat Terrier.

Jack Russell Terrier Overview

jack-russell-terrier-vs-rat-terrier-differences

As a proud Jack Russell Terrier owner myself, I can tell you firsthand this is one of the best dogs you can choose to adopt.

With tons of energy, fierce loyalty, and a genuine working desire.

Overall, compared to other dog breeds like the Rat Terrier, the Jack Russell can pose some challenges for new dog owners.

Jack Russell’s have one of the most robust demands for exercise and don’t take well to lifestyles without much activity.

Overall, The Jack Russell Terrier can also be considered a dominant dog breed and stubborn at times.

Without proper training, the Jack Russell Terrier can quickly become a handful.

Socialization is also imperative for the Jack Russell.

And lastly, discipline.

Discipline is essential for a dog breed like the Jack Russell Terrier, who needs to understand who is in charge and who to look to for guidance and instruction.

Rat Terrier Overview

The Rat Terrier is another dog breed you can classify as a “true terrier.”

Much like the Jack Russell Terrier, the Rat Terrier is excellent at getting into trouble if provided with the opportunity.

Examples can include their actual skill at digging or finding unique ways to get out of the yard.

This just shows that this is a dog breed that needs mental stimulation, training, and not too much free, unsupervised time.

Especially until you, as the owner, are 100% comfortable with how your Rat Terrier behaves when being watched and when given some freedom.

The Rat Terrier was bred originally for its incredible hunting skills.

Much like the Jack Russell Terrier. (More on this later)

The Rat Terrier is also a dog breed that requires a great deal of patience and socialization.

While they may take a strong liking to you and the family, strangers and visitors are not crowd-pleasers with the Rat Terrier.

Proper and frequent socialization can help with this dramatically.

Rat Terriers are also stubborn, know how to get their way, and demand a great deal of exercise or mental stimulation.

Primary Differences Between The Rat Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier

A few things stand out when you look at the primary differences between the Jack Russell Terrier and Rat Terrier.

First, their overall size.

The Jack Russell Terrier will be 10-15 inches tall, while the Rat Terrier can reach 18 inches tall.

Additionally, the Rat Terrier can weigh up to 25 lbs.

While some Jack Russell’s will also reach this size, it is not as expected.

So overall, the Rat Terrier is a slightly larger dog breed.

Additionally, in my opinion, the Jack Russell Terrier is a more attractive dog breed.

While both have attractive and desirable physical traits, the Jack Russell Terrier is a more popular dog breed and likely to be searched for when an individual is in the adoption and planning phase.

Rat Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier As Pets

You won’t find many when it comes to some of the differences you can encounter with the Jack Russell Terrier and Rat Terrier as a family pet.

Both dogs challenge new dog owners mainly because they require patience, training, and consistency with routines.

Both the Rat Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier tend to try to assert themselves into the authority seat.

Both dog breeds can also be troublesome with a lack of training.

Overall, the Rat Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier are much alike, and if you are searching for crazy differences between the two dog’s personalities, you will struggle to find them.

Adopting and Cost of Both The Rat Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier

Now you have one of the most critical considerations individuals want to compare between the Jack Russell Terrier and Rat Terrier.

The cost of potential adoption.

For the Jack Russell Terrier, you are looking at about $1000.00 for a pure-bred.

Of course, the price for a Jack Russell Terrier can always fluctuate based on supply, demand, and the overall genetics and pedigree of the breed.

It is also possible to get a Jack Russell for cheaper if you locally adopt from a rescue or other means.

On the flip side, you have the Rat Terrier.

Generally, the Rat Terrier can be found for $300.00-$500.00.

However, the same applies to the Rat Terrier regarding price.

A Rat Terrier can quickly become a higher price with excellent bloodlines, pedigrees, and proof.

When it comes to the cost differences to raise each dog as an ongoing calculation, the cost will be almost identical.

Both the Rat Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier have relatively low maintenance costs for ongoing costs such as food, toys, and general care.

Common Traits Of The Jack Russell Terrier and Rat Terrier

Now that we have covered most of the differences between the Rat Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier, I wanted to spend a moment touching on some of the primary similarities.

A Working Dog Breed

One of the most dominant traits that I can attest to about the Jack Russell Terrier is the natural desire to please and impress you as the owner and the family.

The Jack Russell Terrier and The Rat Terrier have the drive to work and receive praise for said work.

Both dogs like mentioned before, were initially bred to hunt and work in general.

Putting either dog breeds to work with consistent training and discipline is critical.

Loyalty Is Fierce With Both The Jack Russell Terrier and Rat Terrier

I have owned several dog breeds in my life.

I can tell you firsthand that I have never met a dog breed as loyal as the Jack Russell Terrier.

What I learned along the way is that this is common among most Terrier dog breeds.

Certainly, it holds true for the Rat Terrier as well.

If you are looking for a dog breed that shows love and affection and is by your side no matter what, you can’t go wrong with the Rat Terrier or the Jack Russell Terrier.

Long Life Spans For Both The Jack Russell Terrier And Rat Terrier

One of the overlooked benefits of the Rat Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier is their long lifespans.

While both dogs are prone to some health issues later in life, such as deafness or blindness, overall, they are healthy dogs with lifespans often reaching past the 15-year mark.

This is much longer than some of the larger dog breeds individuals adopt.

Rat Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers Are Two Different Dogs, But Both Excellent Dog Breeds

I think we have made a few things very clear in this discussion today.

The Rat Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier are two completely different dog breeds.

Both the Jack Russell Terrier and Rat Terrier have a lot of differences.

Overall, these dogs have very similar minds and very similar loving hearts.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with either dog breed.

We can assure you both the Rat Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier can make for loving, loyal, and excellent family pets and companions.

Have You Owned Or Raised A Rat Terrier Or Jack Russell Terrier?

Have you owned or adopted the Jack Russell Terrier or the Rat Terrier?

Do you have any other differences that should be added to our list and discussion?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today, and we will see you again next time.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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