How Fast Can a Rat Terrier Run?

Photo of a Rat Terrier
Photo of a Rat Terrier by Anna Powałowska from Pixabay

Rat Terriers are adorable, funny and full of energy – you may find them bouncing off the walls at home and doing anything they can to release their energy in a playful manner. But how fast can a Rat Terrier run?

The answer may surprise you – a Rat Terrier can reach speeds of up to 28.8 miles per hour! That’s pretty darn fast and means that they can outrun most other breeds of dog.

So, if you’re looking for a dog that can keep up with you on your morning run or hike, then a Rat Terrier may be the perfect breed for you. They’ll certainly keep you entertained and will never say no to a game of fetch!

How fast can a Rat Terrier run at their best?

According to the American Kennel Clubs FAST CAT®, a Rat Terrier bitch has been recorded to run at a maximum speed of 28.88 mph. This is currently the fastest known Rat Terrier to date that’s undertaken a professional Coursing Ability Test (CAT) (1).

The name of the fastest Rat Terrier that is on the AKC record goes by the name CH Meraki Distinctively Different @ River Ridge BCAT and is currently in the top spot in rank 1.

In the second place, we have a Rat Terrier named Crosswinds Mikki Tikki Tavi, that was able to run a speed of 28.73 mph, so very close to the top spot and with some more practice, could take over the top spot in the future.

The average running speed across all 165 Rat Terriers is 24.15 mph, with females averaging 23.91 mph and males 24.35 mph – so males are known to be ever so slightly faster!

The slowest recorded Rat Terrier on the AKC record goes by the name of Giveadurn Bobbles And Beedz and was able to run a top speed of 11.70 mph.

What is the FAST CAT® test?

FAST CAT® stands for Coursing Ability Test and is a sport offered by the American Kennel Club. It’s open to all AKC registered dogs and is a test of speed, agility and enthusiasm for chasing prey.

Dogs must run solo and are timed over a straight 100-yard course. They’re then given a score out of 100, with the fastest dog being crowned the FAST CAT® champion!

Currently, the fastest dog ever recorded is a Whippet, which was able to run 40.99 mph. This is significantly above the 35 mph average running speed for a Whippet.

In second place, we have a Greyhound named Rml Jewel BCAT, a bitch who was able to run 40.22 mph – so very close to that top spot!

If you’re interested in taking your Rat Terrier out to try and beat the FAST CAT® record, then make sure you head on over to the American Kennel Club website for more information. Who knows, maybe your pup could be the next big thing in the world of competitive coursing!

Video of a Rat Terrier running fast in an agility test

Here is a video of a Rat Terrier named Remus undertaking an AKC Agility Test. You can see how fast and agile these dogs can be! Very impressive, well done to Remus!

Rat Terrier participating in an agility test by the AKC

How are Rat Terriers able to run so fast?

Rat Terriers are known to be very athletic dogs and part of this is down to their physiology. They have long, powerful legs in proportion to their body and a deep chest which helps them to take in lots of oxygen when they’re running.

Their tails are also very long and act as a rudder when they’re running at high speeds, helping them to change direction quickly if they need to. All of these physical attributes help Rat Terriers to run very fast and make them excellent dogs for activities such as agility, coursing and flyball.

Here are the top 5 reasons why Rat Terriers are able to run so fast:

Rat Terriers have long, powerful legs

Rat Terriers are known to have physical adaptations that allow them to run at superior speeds, including their long and powerful legs. This helps them to cover more ground with each stride and ultimately, run faster.

Rat Terriers have a deep chest

This may sound odd at first – but a deep chest will allow them to take in more oxygen when they are running and therefore, run for longer periods of time without tiring. This is due to the fact that oxygen is transported around the body in red blood cells and a deep chest means there is more room for oxygen-rich blood to be circulated.

Rat Terriers have a long tail

Their tails play an important part in their ability to run fast as they act as a rudder, helping the dog to change direction quickly if they need to. This is vital in activities such as coursing and agility where they may need to make sudden changes in direction.

This is why in the video above the Ratt Terrier was able to make sharp manoeuvres and still maintain its speed!

Rat Terriers are very athletic dogs

As a breed, Rat Terriers are known to be super athletic and this is one of the reasons why they are able to run so fast. They have strong muscles and bones, which combined with their long legs, helps them to cover ground quickly.

Let’s not forget that they are also very lightweight too, which gives them another advantage as there is less weight for their muscles to move!

Rat Terriers have a high prey drive

If you’ve ever noticed your Rat Terrier be extra speedy when they’re chasing a ball or toy, then this is down to their high prey drive. This natural instinct helps them to run very fast as they try to catch their prey.

As with anything, if we really want something then we will usually find a way to achieve it and this is no different for Rat Terriers! Their high prey drive is one of the main reasons why they are able to run so fast.

How far can a Rat Terrier run?

Rat Terriers are excellent runners and can run for a good amount of time, however, how far they can run will depend on a number of factors. If we’re talking about how far they can run without stopping, then this will be down to how much stamina they have.

On the other hand, if we’re talking about how far they can run in a single day, then this will depend on how much energy they have. As a breed, Rat Terriers are known to have lots of energy and so they could potentially run a great distance in one day!

Rat Terriers can usually run up to about 10 miles in one day, however, this will obviously vary from dog to dog and they will need plenty of rest in between running sessions. In a single running session, without stopping, they can run for two to three miles.

Are Rat Terriers good running dogs?

Yes, Rat Terriers are known to be relatively good at running – in fact, they are known to be one of the best running dog breeds! This is thanks to their long legs, deep chest and high prey drive, which all help them to run fast and for long periods of time.

They are also very disciplined and respond well to training, which means that they can be taught how to run in a certain way – for example, how to pace themselves so that they don’t get too tired, and to stay close when there is danger nearby. They can also be good on recall, which means that they will come back to you when you call them – this is vital if they are running off lead.

As with all dog breeds, sufficient training will be required in order to get the best out of them. If you are looking for a running buddy, then a Rat Terrier could be an ideal dog for you.

How does the running speed of a Rat Terrier compare to other dog breeds?

So, we know that Rat Terriers are fast runners, but how fast are they when compared to some of the other fastest dog breeds in the world? Let’s find out!

BreedFastest Speed
Greyhound45 mph
Saluki33-40 mph
Afghan Hound34-40 mph
Vizsla40 mph
Jack Russell Terrier38 mph
Dalmatian37 mph
Whippet35 mph
Doberman Pinscher31 mph
Poodle30 mph
German Shepherd30 mph
Siberian Husky28 mph
Rat Terrier28 mph
The running speed of a Rat Terrier compared to other dog breeds

Conclusion: How Fast Can a Rat Terrier Run?

This little breed can run up to a speed of 28.88 mph, which is pretty darn fast and quite spectacular given their size. But you shouldn’t ever underestimate them, as they are also known to be one of the best running dog breeds around!

Let’s think about it this way – the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt, can only run at a speed of 27.33 mph (4). So, when you compare the two, it’s pretty amazing to think that a Rat Terrier can actually run slightly faster than the world’s fastest man!

Professional References:

Below are the references used in this content to professional academic research institutions and medical associations, that have been used to help inform the content in this article. To learn more about our process of creating content, please see our about page.

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