The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is an American breed descended from the terriers brought over by English miners and other working class immigrants. These versatile terriers probably included crosses between the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Manchester Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the Beagle, the Whippet, the Italian Greyhound, and the now extinct White English Terrier, These dogs were used as ratters, and soon became know as "Rat Terriers". Two types of Rat Terriers evolved, distinguished primarily by leg length. The short-legged Rat Terriers developed a devoted following and were named in honor of President Teddy Roosevelt, who was once thought to have owned these ratters.
The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 1999.