I'd never owned a terrier before we got Niko. He was one or two years old (the go-to vet age when no one really knows for sure except that they aren't puppies and they aren't old)when I found him on Craig's list and added him to the family. He's a very handsome guy, and incredibly athletic. He is sweet, even tempered, and, for the most part, pretty easy going. He weighs in at 16 pounds. However, he is a killer. The breed was bred to go after vermin(hence the moniker), so that anything that moves means that his entire focus is on that thing. That also means that he is constantly alert to movement and noise, and, with incredible speed, will take off after anything moving. He's so fast, and so intense, that in a moment he can be out of my sight, headed straight for some kind of big trouble.
When I really think about it, I feel terrible for the constraints I place on him. He has to put up with the indignity of a leash, a fenced yard, and when he is free and running I'm always calling him back, pulling him away from the incredibly wonderful sights, sounds and smells of his Rat Terrier world. Not only did I have him castrated, but, to add insult to injury, I bath him after each time he finds the most wonderful things to roll in--usually shit or a dead carp--completely nullifying the magic of the back deep in the ground, digging deep roll. He gets scolded for just being himself, for discovering and eating great great things(I don't even want to know). I watch him, I admire him, I love him and even with all the care I take, I worry that one day, that Rat Terrier nature will take him too far away for him to come back.