The Ratshire Terrier is a mixed breed of the American Rat Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier. Two small dogs with hunting backgrounds and great personalities, both the Rat Terrier and the Yorkie, because of their variety in size, have transitioned to being pets and family dogs.
The Rat Terrier was probably a result of crosses between European breeds brought over by immigrants and feists, small hunting dogs native to the southern part of the US. Farmers made good use of their hunting skills by setting them onto the rats and other pests around farms and barns. Eventually they found their way inside the house, where they made a welcome addition to the family.
Yorkies were developed in England in the 1900's, and put to work as ratters in clothing mills. The distinctive Yorkie coat, with its long luxuriant fall and fine, silky texture, is often jokingly said to be woven from the mills.