Do Rat Terriers make good guard dogs?

No, Rat Terriers would not suit guard dog roles. Despite their tough facade, they lack the suspicious temperament and intimidating presence that security roles demand.

Are Rat Terriers the right size to be guard dogs?

Weighing 10-25 pounds, the Rat Terrier presents a compact, muscular physique. But their small stature does not physically intimidate, limiting protective capacity.

Does a Rat Terrier have the right temperament to be a guard dog?

Though vocal and eager watch dogs, Rat Terriers were bred to eliminate vermin, not deter human intruders. Despite seeming tough, most socialize easily with strangers.

Can you train a Rat Terrier to be a guard dog?

Highly intelligent and trainable overall. However, tapping deeper guarding behaviors would run counter to generations of breeding targeting ratters rather than human aggression.

Have Rat Terriers ever been used as guard dogs?

Originating as American farm dogs valued for ridding properties of rodents, Rat Terriers retain a strong prey drive – not territorial instincts that enable successful guardians.

What are the Pros and Cons of using a Rat Terrier as a guard dog?


  • Energetic ratting dogs
  • Athleticism and stamina


  • Small size
  • Lack protective instincts

While Rat Terrier breeds can pose visual deterrence, their lack of intimidating bulk paired with overly social temperaments make these feisty yet companionable terriers better suited for vermin hunting than guard duties.

Final Thoughts

Requiring intensive daily exercise and mental stimulation, Rat Terriers thrive when engaged productively in activities tapping their high energy athletic drives towards positive outlets.

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