Taking his name from the feisty U.S. President, it’s a sign that this dog is spirited, fearless, and tenacious. Despite its diminutive size, he packs a lot of energy, though more on the laid-back side as compared to its progenitors. A people-oriented dog, he is friendly and affectionate towards his family, loves spending time with them and following them wherever they go. Add his strong protective nature and incredible watchdog skills, no doubt that the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier makes an excellent canine addition to most types of home.
Origins of the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier traces its roots from the different small, and medium-breed dogs brought to the United States by English miners and working-class immigrants. The majority of these dogs were terriers and hunting types of dogs, which were used to eliminate rodents and other vermin from farms and homes.
After years of crossing different breeds, such as the Beagle, Whippet, Manchester Terrier, Italian Greyhound, Bull Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, and the extinct White English Terrier, the “Rat Terrier” was formed, which is deemed to be the ancestor of the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier.
Two types of Rat Terriers were formed, the short-legged and the long-legged versions. The Short-legged Rat Terriers were called the Teddy Roosevelt as many people believed that the U.S. President owned these terriers and helped in the breed’s development.
In 1999, the United Kennel Club accepted the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier as a distinct breed from the Rat Terrier (Long-Legged Rat Terrier). The American Kennel Club is yet to grant its full recognition to the breed but has accepted the breed in its Foundation Stock Service program starting August 2016.
Characteristics of the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
Height: 8-15 inches
Weight: 8-25 pounds
Life Expectancy: 14-16 years
The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a short-legged, rectangular-shaped, small but muscular dog, with a strong build, providing him with an appearance of balance and agility. His head is wedge-shaped but well-proportioned to his body. Meanwhile, his ears stand erect, either button or somewhat folded over. The eyes are dark brown, while the nose is black. As for his coat, it is dense and short and comes in a variety of colors, such as black, white, red, or tri-colored, and bi-color combinations, like black and white, white and tan, black and tan, and white and chocolate among others.
In terms of character, the TRT is an affectionate breed that loves to be with its humans and take part in family life and activities. He gets along with people regardless of age and is famously known to do great with children being able to appropriate their behavior depending on the persons they are with.
Whilst he has amiable nature towards his family, strangers may see otherwise. The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is always suspicious of unfamiliar people, making him a good watchdog. He would alert his human about any intruder and would stand in their way to protect them without any second thought.
An animated breed, the TRT is always on the go and has a limitless appetite for play. As such, little mischiefs are inevitable as he enjoys digging, making his own fun, or finding things that can buy him time, such as taking apart furniture or snatching garments from the clothesline.
The good news is that he can help eliminate almost all types of vermin from a property. From rats to squirrels and gophers, all are no match for his incredible and relentless hunting skills. With that, he must be watched closely if dealing with other small pets, such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and ferrets, as he can give them a good chase.
Though the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier may seem tough, he is somewhat laid-back or easy-going compared to his other Terrier cousins. He is active, yet knows when to settle down for a good snooze or simply, lounge around the house. An indoor chap, he would also relish being inside the home rather than kept outdoors. In general, the TRT is a great, smallish canine friend and watchdog to have at home.
Caring for the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a low maintenance breed, only requiring weekly brushing using a rubber groomer or deshedder to keep it in its tip-top condition. To add a healthy gleam on his short coat, wiping him using chamois will buff and polish it. Bathing him is rarely a necessity, and the need may only arise should he get into a dirt mishap.
Then, trim his nails every few weeks to avoid painful splitting, cracking, or tearing. Hearing his nails hit the floor is a sign that you need to bring out the toenail clipper and grinder. As with any other dog breed, it’s vital to brush their teeth to remove plaque and tartar and help them avoid gum inflammation and other dental diseases.
After going outdoors, inspect his coat and remove parasites, such as ticks and fleas promptly. Also, make sure to examine his ears weekly and wipe it clean from any dirt or debris to avoid any infection.
A lively breed, the TRT will flourish when provided with lots of exercises. Plus, it avoids boredom and frustration on his side, which can result in destructive behavior. Getting him a pair of 30-minute walks each day accompanied by interactive games, such as hide-and-seek or fetch, will keep him physically satisfied. If you’re the outdoorsy type, bring him with you, and he will happily overcome different types of terrains along your side.
When it comes to health, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is susceptible to some conditions, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, ectopia lentis, patellar luxation, malocclusions, and skin allergies. Make sure to bring him to the vet regularly for check-ups, immunizations, flea control, and a proper diet plan for his optimum health and long life.