Alzheimer's disease (AD), for which there is no cure, is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. Despite tremendous efforts by the scientific community, the AD drug development pipeline remains extremely limited. Animal models of disease are a cornerstone of any drug development program and should be as relevant as possible to the disease, recapitulating the disease phenotype with high fidelity, to meaningfully contribute to the development of a successful therapeutic agent. Over the past two decades, transgenic models of AD based on the known genetic origins of familial AD have significantly contributed to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the onset and progression of the disease. These models were extensively used in AD drug development. The numerous reported failures of new treatments for AD in clinical trials indicate that the use of genetic models of AD may not represent the complete picture of AD in humans and that other types of animal models relevant to the sporadic form of the disease, which represents 95% of AD cases, should be developed. In this review, we will discuss the evolution of non-transgenic rat models of AD and how these models may open new avenues for drug development.