The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier (pronunciation: TED-ee ROAZ-uh-velt TAIR-ee-uhr) is a breed of small-sized American hunting terriers developed for its great temperament, soundness of health, and good looks. Characterized by a slightly longer body than it is tall, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier comes with a wedge-shaped head, slightly domed skull, well-muscled cheeks, chiseled muzzle, black nose, small eyes, V-shaped ears, moderately arched, long neck, smoothly muscled shoulders, compact feet, and a docked tail.
|Other Names||Short-legged Rat Terrier, Bench-legged Feist, Type B, Teddy Roosevelt Rat Terrier|
|Coat||Short, dense, smooth/medium hard, shiny|
|Color||Solid white, white and black, lemon and white, white and tan, tri-color|
|Category||Terrier, Companion Dog, Hunting Dog|
|Temperament||Fearless, agile, reserved, spirited, affectionate, swift|
|Litter Size||3-5 puppies|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||USA|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||DRA, AKC FSS, UKC, UTRTCA|
Although its origin is unclear, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier shares its ancestry with the Tenterfield Terrier, American Rat Terrier, and Fox Paulistinha. Believed to be a cousin of the Rat Terrier, the Bench Legged Feist’s ancestors were early terrier-like dogs brought to the United States by the English immigrants.
Since the objective was to create a breed that would clear the houses and farms of rats and vermin, there was little-planned breeding. Dogs with agreeable characteristics like the Bull Terrier, Feist, Smooth Fox Terrier, Whippet, Manchester Terrier, Italian Greyhound, Turnspit Dog, and the English White Terrier were likely crossed with Beagle or Beagle mixes.
During the 1990s, the Rat Terrier Club of America segregated the short-legged variety from the long-legged variety and named it Teddy Roosevelt Terrier in honor of President Roosevelt, though he never had a Rat Terrier, nor contributed in the development of Teddy. The first breed standard was set up by the United Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Club of America (UTRTCA) in 1996. The UKC accepted the Teddy Roosevelt Terriers and Rat Terriers as separate breeds.
A good family companion, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier bonds closely with its people, always craving for affection and human interaction. It has a desire to please and loves to follow its master around.
Being bold, alert, protective, and territorial by nature, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier makes a good watchdog. Initially suspicious of strangers, it takes time to accept the presence of unknown people in the house.
Because of its hunting heritage, the Roosevelt Terrier has a high chasing instinct and will instinctively go after rats, squirrels, and stray cats. However, with its well-developed pack instincts, it can learn to coexist with children, dogs, and other household pets when raised with them.
Owing to the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier’s stubborn personality, it needs a firm hand in training.
As with all dogs, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier puppies need early socialization, which can be achieved by introducing them to different sights, sounds, experiences, unknown people, and pets. Walking your dog regularly on a leash will help it not only to run into social interactions but also expend its pent-up energy, which means it will be a lot calmer and submissive.
Working with its preying instinct
Observe your Roosevelt Terrier pup when it is out in the yard. Hold a cut of meat and hide it in hand. The moment it tries to go after a squirrel or a rat bring out the piece of meat and wave it in front of your pet’s nose. The scent of the treat will help in getting your dog’s attention away from the prey. Once it looks at you, put its leash on and offer the piece of meat. Then walk about 10-12 feet away and instruct the terrier to sit. Bring your pup into the house after it completely relaxes.
As with most dogs, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier requires a nutritious dry food, the total quantity usually given being three-fourth to one-and-a-half cups per day.