The American Rat Pinscher is a mixed breed, so they don’t have history as their own breed. Both parent breeds, however, are well known and loved. The Rat Terrier is an American breed that is the result of crossbreeding between the Fox Terrier, Bull Terrier, Manchester Terrier, and Old English White Terrier, to name a few. The need for the Rat Terrier to catch prey and pests drove breeders to start adding new strains to the breed in the 1910s and 1920s. A Rat Terrier appeared alongside Shirley Temple in the 1930s movie, « The Little Colonel, » which helped boost the breed’s popularity. President Theodore Roosevelt is said to have named the breed, but this is disputable. He called his personal dog, who had solved the White House rat problem independently, a Rat Terrier. There is debate on whether the dog that President Roosevelt owned was the same Rat Terrier that we know today. In 1972, the first hairless Rat Terrier was born and from that little hairless female a new strain of Rat Terrier was developed. The hairless Rat Terrier is now known as the American Hairless Terrier. The American Hairless Terrier comes in two sizes, miniature and standard. The American Kennel Club still does not recognize the American Rat Terrier as a breed.
The Miniature Pinscher is thought to be an old breed, but documentation can only trace them back definitively by several hundred years. The breed was developed in Germany to kill rats in homes and in stables. While it’s frequently thought that this breed is simply a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher, this breed was developed separately and is actually older than the Doberman. From 1905 until World War I, the Miniature Pinscher rapidly grew in popularity in Germany. After World War I, breeders in Germany and also in the Scandinavian countries worked to improve the line. Around 1919, the first Miniature Pinschers were imported in the United States. A mere 10 years later and the breed was recognized by the AKC as a Terrier. In 1930, they were reclassified as Toys and called Pinscher (Miniature). They were renamed Miniature Pinscher in 1972.