Barium titanate has been doped with rare earth oxides (erbium, holmium, gadolinium and yttrium), in an attempt to understand the effect upon the reliability of the dielectric material for multilayer capacitor applications. The morphology of the samples used was characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It is suggested that incorporation of rare earth ions into the BaTiO3 is as a result of ionic radius, resulting in varying grain growth and electrical properties. The change in reliability and electrical properties of the capacitor can be attributed to the overall distribution of rare earth oxides and their occupation site within the dielectric. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.