Breed group : Terrier, Toy
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GENERALBreed group: Terrier, Toy Type: Hybrid
PHYSICALSize: Small Weight: 8 - 20 lbs Fur length: Ears: Flappy Fur type: Straight
Fur Color: Black & White, Brown & White, White / Cream
ATTRIBUTESLife Expectancy: 13 - 18 years Rarity: Uncommon Availability: Hard to find
Climate: Good for every climate
The Ratese is a small companion dog cross-bred from the Maltese and the American Rat Terrier. While the origins of the American Rat Terrier are pretty clear, the Maltese, despite its being named after the island of Malta, is also argued to be from Sicily or even Asia. There are references to it in the works of ancient Greeks, and it is known to be one of the oldest breeds of dog. A breed singularity is that the Maltese of today is of the same size as the breed of old, despite probable cross-breeding down the line. The American Rat Terrier was originally bred to help out around farms by keeping them free of rodents and pests. This largely rural dog is quick and agile, a hard worker and loyal family pet as well.
The Ratese is mostly white-coated. Other colors will be from its Rat Terrier parent, especially pied and brindled patterns.
The Ratese's coat is short-to-medium in length, a compromise between the Rat Terrier's very short coat and the Maltese's impressively long one. The Ratese has only a single coat, and is a very low shedder.
The Ratese is primarily a companion, but being a small dog, it will not do very well in a household with young children. It enjoys play, cuddling and attention, but it could get hurt because of its size, and be snappish. The Ratese, confident and self-important, requires an owner that is able to give it the time and attention it needs. Otherwise, it suffers from separation anxiety, or turns to destructive behavior. On the other hand, a well-loved Maltese is a gently cheerful companion, disposed to returning affection by cuddling, licking or simply settling down in its owner's lap.
Coat care will mean brushing with a soft brush or mitt daily, to keep the coat clean and free of mats. Baths are not necessarily required daily, or even weekly.
Socialization and training are very important for a dog such as the Ratese. Intelligent and yet sometimes with a mind of its own, bad habits such as barkiness, or shyness and timidity, need to be worked out from it as early as possible.
The Ratese will do very well in apartments or condos. A small yard can take care of its need to be outdoors once in a while, although this digger needs a box or a designated area. Energetic but not athletic, the Maltese does not require a knockout routine to be well-exercised, although a variety of activities daily will keep it stimulated and happy.