Hello and Welcome.
I am Darice Ragan and my avocation is raising Rat Terriers
and American Hairless Terriers. The Rat Terrier breed has
been part of my family since the 1940's.
I was five years old when I owned my first Rat Terrier. Penny
was a button ear, red sable with white Rat Terrier. I dressed
her in doll clothes and painted her nails. She went
everywhere with me. I pulled her around the neighborhood
in a little red wagon. She was my special baby.
In the early 1900's, Rat Terriers were bred to hunt and kill vermin to protect America's
agriculture and food sources. Still today at RaganRat, we work to maintain the hunting
instinct in our dogs. Not only will my Rat Terriers hunt mice, rats and moles, they will
hunt squirrels and rabbits, too. The breed has a good nose and can be trained to
search for drugs, contraband, cadavers and more.
Good temperaments are imperative in my breeding program. My dogs are known
across the country for having wonderful, balanced temperaments. Our dogs are also
smart and analytical. A friend summed it up one day, "RaganRats are scary smart!".
It is extremely important in my program to maintain Breed Type. A Rat Terrier should
look like a Rat Terrier; not a toy fox terrier, not a chihuahua, not a basenji. An American
Hairless Terrier should look like a naked Rat Terrier, period.
In addition to maintaining breed type, my mission has been to produce structurally
correct dogs so they are capable of performing jobs asked of them, and not physically
break down while doing those jobs. The Rat Terrier Breed Standard is my blueprint.
All our dogs are health checked before they are bred. Each dog has OFA certification
results in their photo album. The dogs are tested for Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)
unless they are proven to be clear-by-parentage.
My policy is to operate my breeding program with only a few dogs. My philosophy is my
program doesn't need numerous dogs to be successful. I have worked slow and
methodical at producing the best. The results speaks for itself.
Our puppies are born inside our home and have daily interaction with humans. My
daughter helps with whelping and puppy wrangling and also manages the dogs when I
am traveling. My husband assists me with the dogs at shows. We live on twelve acres
but have fenced dog lots that are 14 x 50 feet, so the dogs can be outside and remain
safe. When outside the dogs have access to a heated and cooled building for their
My dogs have won many nice honors and titles through the years. BUT, what I am most
proud of are the stories of joy the dogs have brought to the people who have allowed a
RaganRat to own them! We have references available upon request.
I am happy to mentor people interested in the RT or AHT breed.
If you are a breeder, or new to the breed, and your breeding philosophy
reflects mine, contact me.
- United Kennel Club Senior Judge #6778
- United Kennel Club Event Advocate
- Great Smoky Mountain Dog Club (UKC)
~ President, Co-founder, Event Chair, Event Secretary
- American Rat Terrier Association (UKC)
~ President, Treasurer, Newsletter Editor,
National Specialty Event Coordinator
~ Powerpoint for Judge's Education of Rat Terrier Breed Standard
- Rat Terrier Club of America (AKC)
~ Member, Powerpoint for Judge's Education of Rat Terrier Breed Standard
- American Hairless Terrier Association (AKC)
Background of the Breeds
Rat Terriers are a do-it-all breed with wash-and-go maintenance. They have little to no
odor and are a low shed breed. This is not a yappy or hyperactive breed, but will alert
and enjoys activities with the family. They are an overall healthy breed. They are scary
smart, intuitive, and make a terrific companion for anyone. Rat Terriers were first
registered with Universal Kennel Club International (UKCI). In 1999, the United Kennel
Club (UKC) recognized the breed and offers conformation shows as well as a variety of
performance events. The breed is also AKC-FSS registerable and currently shown in
the Misc. conformation classes with American Kennel Club (AKC). The breed began
full AKC status in June 2013.
The American Hairless Terrier is a natural mutation of the Rat Terrier, with the first
recorded hairless terrier born in 1972. Unlike other hairless breeds, the gene causing
the lack of hair is recessive, not dominant. AHT's are born with a soft downy fuzz on
their bodies. As the puppy matures it loses the fuzz, which is actually a downy covering.
AHTs can also develop puppy pimples during the molt, but the pimples will eventually
go away. Adults are completely hairless other than a few whiskers. Their skin is soft like
suede. The AHT can sunburn, so care must be taken when outside with sunscreen
and/or clothes. AHT's were first listed by the United Kennel Club in 1999 as the Rat
Terrier Hairless Variety. Then in 2004 the American Hairless Terrier was officially
recognized by the UKC as a distinct breed. The American Hairless Terrier has been
recorded in the AKC Foundation Stock Service since October 2011.
Mawmaw Nelson with
ratties Jerry & Snooks
Rat Terrier with my Mother & Uncle
Darice & GRCH
(sired by Bailey)
|© Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved
|Judge Darice Ragan awards a BIMBS in PA
|Judge Jackie Craver &
Judge Darice Ragan arrive in
Phoenix, AZ to a warm