The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, also known as the Type B or Short-legged Rat Terrier, is an American breed that emerged from the Rat Terrier lineage. Despite its recent recognition as a separate breed, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier shares a long, colorful history with its Rat Terrier kin. The Rat Terrier, from which the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier descended, has roots dating back to the 19th century. The breed was developed in the United States from a mixture of terriers brought over by English miners and other working-class immigrants. These dogs were mixed with other breeds, such as the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Manchester Terrier, and the Bull Terrier, creating the Rat Terrier lineage. In the early 20th century, President Theodore Roosevelt, who often used these dogs for hunting and farm work on his estate, gave the Rat Terrier its name. However, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier (TRT) was recognized as a separate breed from the Rat Terrier by the United Kennel Club in 1999 due to its shorter legs and distinct body type.
The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is generally a healthy breed, but like any breed, they can be predisposed to certain health conditions. These may include Patellar Luxation, cardiac abnormalities, hip dysplasia, and Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease (a condition that affects the hip joint). Elbow dysplasia and various allergies can also be seen.
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier's are known for their energetic, intelligent, and friendly nature. They are excellent family dogs and get along well with children. They are very active and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Despite their small size, they have a strong instinct to hunt and can be quite determined when on the scent of a rodent or other small animal.
Despite the breed's name, there's no concrete evidence that President Theodore Roosevelt ever owned a dog of this exact breed, though he did have Rat Terriers.
The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is known to be a very versatile breed and has been used in search and rescue operations and as therapy dogs.
Their ancestors were bred for ratting, and today's TRTs still retain a strong prey drive. They love to chase small animals and can become quite obsessed with digging in their yards, often in pursuit of some unseen rodent.