Waaaaay back in 2010, early in the year, I was looking for a small dog for my kids. I wanted something that they could show if they wanted, could do obedience if they wanted, had some intestinal fortitude, but wasn't bat-poop crazy to live with.
I LOVE the drive of terriers; and would have loved to own a Staffie, but alas, I live in Onscario and we have Breed Specific Legislation against anything that looks like a "pitbull". I don't like the coated terriers; so my options were limited.
One day I was selling some collars (I own First Dog Custom Leather) to a lady for her Rottweilers and she asked if I ever made smaller collars. Since all my work is custom; I said sure; what breed. She says . . . Rat Terriers. "What breed is that?", I asked; having only vaguely heard of them. She went on to describe her dogs; sweet, strong enough to hang with the Rotties (which was good; at the time I had my Central Asian Shepherd and my Boerboel at my house), not as frantic as a Jack Russell. Wow; sounded like my kinda dog.
Now I must say; I'm a bit of a dog snob. I do my research with regards to what health issues a breed has. I like to know what to expect (generally of course) with regards to breed temperament. I like to purchase my dogs from breeders who care. Those that rescue, health test, temperament test their pups; who treat their adult dogs like family; not puppy producers. So first I went to the American Rat Terrier Association website to read about the Rat Terrier breed. After perusing their website; still thought this was the breed for me. After that I Googled Rat Terriers + Ontario; rescue showed up and Lisa Sands of Southern Sands RatTerriers was the only American breeder to show up. I shot her an email and a follow phone-call; explaining what I was looking for; and she assured me; the Rat Terrier breed was exactly what I was looking for -- and she was right. At the time she had a litter on the ground; out of Patsy X Indy; and had a few boy pups left.
Since I was just looking at getting into the breed; but interested in showing; I asked which of the boy pups would suit. She said there was a little lad called "Percy" who would suit the bill . . . long story short; little Percy took the flight from Georgia to Buffalo, we picked him up from the airport and for 2 years; he's been a vital member of the family. He's taken 16 hour trips to pick up GSD pups from Kentucky, he's attended numerous horse shows; being the quiet and attentive dog in the stands. Percy is now Jiggs, aka URO1 Sands Full Speed Ahead, 1 competition win away from his Conformation Championship. URO1 is the United Kennel Club's Rally Title 1; and he got his title with escalating scores; of 91-92-93. He is a very good boy; an old soul and sells people on the Rat Terrier breed, wherever he goes.