- Activity Level: moderate
- Grooming Level: low
- Trainability: high
- Adaptability: high
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Small
- Average Lifespan: 12-18 years
- Prey Drive: high
- Watchdog: very alert
Rat Terrier Mix Breed Profile
A Rat Terrier Mix is a cross between a Rat Terrier and another dog breed. Because a mixed-breed dog can inherit any combination of traits from their parents, it’s important to ask the breeder about the other parent breed in the mix.
Should a Rat Terrier Mix take after their Rat Terrier parent, they will be a small dog with a big, energetic, and playful personality. They love their families and are devoted to them.
Rat Terriers are intelligent, exuberant, and affectionate dogs that tend to get along well with children and other dogs. They have a high prey drive, so will need some extra socialization and training with other pets in the household.
As long as they are well-socialized, they tend to open up to strangers quickly once they are introduced. They also make alert watchdogs and can be prone to barking a lot. If you start to train your dog to stop barking early on, you can keep this from becoming a nuisance behavior.
If the other parent breed in the mix has a similar temperament, then you can expect the same from a Rat Terrier Mix. The other parent will introduce their own quirks, so you do want to make sure you ask the breeder about them. You can also meet the mother in-person to see what temperament she has and to see the behavior she is modeling for her puppies.
A Rat Terrier is a highly adaptable that does well in apartments and in larger homes. They tend to be a better fit for fenced-in yards because their high prey drive means they have an urge to chase. Because of this, they should only be let off-leash in secure areas.
They do well in most climates. As with any dog breed, they are sensitive to heat and may need to bundle up in the cold. Having the right mix of winter dog products can be a big help while out on walks when temperatures drop. These little dogs also do not like to be left alone for long periods of time.
If the other parent breed is also highly adaptable, then you can expect something similar from a Rat Terrier Mix. Still, you want to ask the breeder about the other parent breed as they may have traits that could affect adaptability that you will want to be aware of.
Although mixed-dog breeds can sometimes be healthier than purebred dogs, it’s not a guarantee and it all depends on breeding. Just as a mixed-breed could inherit none of the conditions common to their parents, they could also inherit any combination of them or even all of them.
From the Rat Terrier side, potential health concerns to be aware of include luxating patella, eye disorders, heart issues, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, and hip dysplasia. Because reputable breeders screen their dogs to avoid passing issues on to puppies, you should be asking about the health and genetic history of both of the parents.
Rat Terriers are highly intelligent, eager to please, and pick up on things quickly. But, their stubborn streak and determination can be a challenge for first-time dog owners to handle alone, so puppy training classes are encouraged.
The other parent breed could introduce the potential for a Rat Terrier Mix to be easier or more difficult to train, so you do want to ask the breeder about them. Even if you don’t need them, puppy training classes can still be a great resource to reinforce training, strengthen your bond, and also socialize a puppy.
A Rat Terrier Mix could end up with a coat that is similar to one of their parents or a coat that is truly a mix of both. Should they have a Rat Terrier coat, it will shed a bit year-round and shed heavier as seasons change.
Weekly brushing and a monthly bath are usually enough for a Rat Terrier coat. The other parent breed may have an effect on grooming requirements for a Rat Terrier Mix coat, so you want to make sure you are asking the breeder about them.
In addition to coat care, you will also need to care for your Rat Terrier Mix’s nails, ears, and teeth. Cutting your dog’s nails once or twice monthly is usually enough to keep them from growing too long. Weekly checks and careful ear cleanings as needed can help prevent ear infections.
As a small dog breed, a Rat Terrier Mix is more prone to developing dental diseases later in life. This makes practicing good dental care for dogs early and consistently throughout their life even more important. Daily brushing or using an enzyme toothpaste every day in addition to cleanings at the vet as needed are ideal.
Although Rat Terriers can be highly energetic dogs, they tend to sit in a more moderate range because they are small and will get tired eventually. Daily walks plus some playtime and time to run are usually enough for them, but they are also often up for more if you are.
Should the other parent breed have similar exercise requirements, then you can expect the same from a Rat Terrier Mix. But, if the other parent breed is lower or higher energy, then you will need to be prepared for that potential range.
A fully-grown Rat Terrier is usually 10-18 inches tall and weighs 10-25 pounds. The other parent breed can affect this, especially if they are the mother, so you do want to ask the breeder about them.
Although it’s not a guarantee, you can also meet the mother dog in-person. This can give you an idea of what size to expect in a Rat Terrier Mix.
Rat Terriers generally live for 12-18 years. Although the other parent breed may affect this slightly, you should be able to expect a similar average life span in a Rat Terrier Mix.