What You Need to Know About Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix Feature Image

Any Chihuahua Mix or Rat Terrier Mix is a mini but mighty dog. Also called Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix, Rat-cha, Rat-chi, the Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix is a cross between two popular breeds – Chihuahua and the American Rat Terrier. 

Rat-Chas are a popular designer dog. They are fun-loving and kittenish dogs that demand very little care. All they want is love and affection from their family. By characteristics, the Rat-cha/Rat-chi is small, like its parents, and often inherits the face of the Chihuahua. 

This dog breed isn’t sweet but it can be extremely affectionate. However, as a pet, they tend to be attached to a single person and offer all their love to them while being suspicious of others. Learn more about some fascinating facts about Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix.

What is A Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix?

The Rat-chi first appeared in the 1990s and since then, they have often been declared as the ‘best’ designer dog breed, and so are their parent breeds. However, there isn’t a lot of documentation or history on the breeding origin of the Rat-Cha.

Rat-Chas are not purebred dogs. As mentioned, they’re a cross between two famous breeds: Rat Terrier and Chihuahua.

Rat Terriers are an American farm dog developed to hunt rats and get into tight places, hence the name. Even President Theodore Roosevelt owned a Rat Terrier! During Roosevelt’s tenure, it became the resident rat handler at the White House.

Chihuahuas, on the other hand, originated from Mexico. Like Rat Terriers, humans bred them as companions and rodent hunters, dating as far as the 19th century. The Chihuahua breed eventually made its way into the United States, where it became one of the most well-known designer dog breeds.

Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix Traits


The colors of the Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix can vary from fusion in black, tricolor, or sand-white to markings on their body in tanned tones. Both the parents of Rat-Cha have huge, erect ears, and an alert expression, projecting their intelligence and awareness of everything that is happening around them. 

Again, the ears can resemble either of their parent breeds, depending on which genes of the parents they take after, but they’re usually floppy too.

Height and Weight

The average estimated weight of the Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix is between 12 to 25 pounds and the height of 12 to 18 inches at the shoulder.

Mixed Dog Breeds Chihuahua Rat Terrier


While the size of a Rat-Cha depends on the Rat Terrier, the length of its coat depends on the Chihuahua. Most often, Rat-Chas have short, bristly coats but are soft and sleek that shed a moderate amount. Thus, you should brush their fur weekly to remove excess fur. 

Unless one of the parents was a longhaired Chihuahua, your Rat-Chi will likely sport a short coat. He might require a sweater while outdoors in cold weather. A Rat-Cha’s hair color also varies. 

The most common colors include black, white, brown, golden, cream, and chocolate. Rat-Chas could have solid or multicolored fur.


The Rat-Cha often exhibits the aggressive temperament of both Chihuahuas and Rat Terriers. They are very protective of their people and possessions. They’re also very suspicious of other people and suddenly change mannerisms with another dog.

Rat-Chas are very independent pets too. They don’t care to socialize and play with other dogs, particularly larger breeds. They do best as the only pet in the house. The breed can also display possessiveness over their dog food and toys. 

With proper training, your Rat-Chi will learn to get along with other pets. Starting the training early is the best way to socialize a Rat-Cha breed.

Benefits of a Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix


Rat-Chas are actually smart dogs. In fact, when it comes to tasks like housetraining, their intelligence is on full display. These breeds pick up the idea unusually fast, and you’re not likely to have many accidents. 

Still, early socialization and training will ensure your Rat-Chi behaves positively with others. When training your Rat-Cha, don’t forget to use treats and rewards with positive praise. Socialize your Rat-Chi with as many people, animals, and places as possible. 

Establish yourself as his pack leader early on and consider investing in obedience training.


One of the most intriguing facts about Rat-Chas is that they have a maximum life expectancy of 18 years which is one of the longest living crossbreeds. However, that doesn’t mean that all those years you’ll have a healthy Rat-Cha. 

They are usually prone to experiencing a variety of health conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy, diabetes, obesity, and hip problems. To ensure they’re eating healthy, start investing in nutritious dog food and schedule meals for your Rat-Cha. The amount is similar to dog breeds of their energy levels and size.

Rat-Chis and If They Are The Pet For You


The Rat-Cha breed has surprisingly high energy levels. They love to play, jump and explore. Because Rat-Chas are active and playful, they need some means to burn off their calories. That’s why you need to take your Rat-Chi out for short walks every day. A lot of lazy and boring hours might trigger your Rat-Cha’s yappy or destructive behavior.

Easy Grooming

The Rat-Cha is a small dog that is easy to maintain and has minimal grooming needs. They are moderate shedding breeds, and weekly brushing will help remove any dead fur or excess hair. However, Rat-Chas are also prone to dental issues, and regular oral care and vet check ups will ensure everything looks healthy.

Downsides of a Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

Not Family Friendly

Rat-Chas often devote themselves to one person only. That person will be its lifelong companion and vice versa. And once they choose a person, the Rat-Chi will follow their person everywhere. Because of this, they won’t have much of a connection with the rest of the family and may even growl, snap, or become more aggressive as a protective measure

Rat-Chas are also not much comfortable with kids. Therefore, it is advised to keep younger kids away from them. The last thing you want is for your kids to be afraid of approaching you because of an ill-tempered pet in your lap. Hence, you should either work to make your Rat-Chi accept your kids or bring another dog home.

Does Not Get Along With Other Pets

Rat-Chas don’t have the same pack mentality that many other canines do, so they won’t necessarily feel the need to play or bond with another dog. They’re actually prone to aggression toward other animals, especially if that other pet approaches their beloved person. 

Moreover, Rat-Chas love to do things on their own terms, so similar invitations and playing bows to the other dog will often go ignored. This can become frustrating when introducing the Rat-Cha to the other dog. Rat-Chas also have a reasonably strong prey drive, which they inherited from their rodent hunting parents. Hence, they may try to chase down kittens or other small animals. 

With enough socialization and training, you can convince your Rat-Chi to tolerate just about any other animal. But overall, it is advised to limit yourself to just the Rat-Cha if you decide to take one home.

What You Need to Know About Rat-Chis

Ways to Train Your Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix?

Training a Rat-Chi breed is not that hard although they may develop some stubbornness because of the parents. In such cases, you have to stand firm, be patient, and encourage it with treats and rewards.

Basic Training

Teach your Rat-Chi the basic commands (‘stay’, ‘sit’, ‘come,’ etc.) as early as possible. These commands along with obedience training establish you as his pack leader and keep your Rat-Cha safe in socialization situations. A well-trained Rat-Chi will stop what he’s doing and listen to his owner. They aim to please and will pick up basic command concepts quickly. To help you train your Rat-Cha better, you can use the following steps:

  • Housebreaking is the most crucial of all training. Make sure to walk your Rat-Cha dog, on a leash, to every corner. This will make your dog familiar with your house. Even if he is a puppy, you should carry him to all the areas in the house.
  • It is embedded in the canine nature to have a leader. So as its owner, you need to be the Rat-Chi’s pack leader. You will notice that as you speak, your Rat-Chi perks up his ears. This signifies that your dog is listening to what you’re saying and will obey your leadership. So present the commands with firmness, love, and praise. No matter if it is temperamental and obstinate, the Rat-Cha will ultimately respond to your order.
  • The easy way to train a Rat-Chi to sit on command is to touch its rump and press it down with the tip of your finger as you say the command ‘Sit’. Remove your finger after a bit to check if the Rat-Chi continues to be in the sitting position. If he starts to get up, repeat the procedure. Soon, the small dog will learn to sit. Praise and reward him with a snack when he learns to sit on command only, without your aid.

Once the Rat-Chi learned the basic commands, you can move on to more challenging training.

Potty Training

Between 12 to 16 weeks, the Rat-Cha puppies gain enough control over their bladder and bowel. Therefore, this period is the right time when you should start their potty training. If the puppy is in a cage or crate, take it out to the bathroom after taking meals, after a nap, before going to bed at night, and when you are about to leave it alone. 

Bringing your Rat-Chi to the same area every day will help it learn where to poop and pee. When it is well done, always praise and reward him. Never scold or punish your pet for a tiny, accidental mishap. If you can catch it in the middle of the task, just clap loud so it will understand that something unacceptable has happened.

Leash Training

Leash training is also essential to prevent the feeling of frustration when it is on. Never try to pull your dog forcibly with the leash. Never fix the leash very tight and only use a short one. Dogs are fond of following their owner, so walk in front of him [1]. 

The only trick to your training success is reward and patience. This will let the Rat-Chi dog understand the leash commands shortly and easily.

American Rat Terrier Mix with Chihuahua

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Rat Terrier Chihuahuas Live?

Rat Terrier Chihuahuas have an average estimated lifespan of 12 to 18 years. So don’t take adoption lightly. But, if you decide to bring a Rat-Cha home, adopt one from a reputable breeder with a documented history of its bloodlines. 

Through the breeder, you will also have a better idea of how long a mixed breed Chihuahua puppy will live and a complete history of potential health problems that may emerge in that timeframe.

How Big Can A Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix Get?

A Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix is a small breed that will not grow to more than 18 inches (at the shoulder) or weigh more than 15 pounds. But this can vary by dog. Usually, a Rat-Chi’s Rat Terrier parent determines the weight and size of the puppy. 

If the Rat-Cha dog is small, then perhaps his parent was a Mini Rat Terrier. The size varies with every Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix. Male and female Rat-Chis are just about the same size. But sometimes, males are larger.

Can Rat Terrier Chihuahuas Be Left Alone?

Yes, Rat Terrier Chihuahuas can be left alone for up to 9 to 10 hours as long as the environment is safe, warm, and enough food and water are supplied for safety factors.


The Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix may be tiny but they have high and big spirits and these feisty breeds have no problem making their presence known. Owning a Rat-Cha dog isn’t for everyone, as it can be prone to aggression and other behavioral problems. But their devotion to their beloved humans makes them favorite pets.

They’re especially ideal for single apartment dwellers, as they don’t need much space and prefer to spend most of their doggy time curled up on their special person’s lap. This dog won’t make a great workout companion, but if you are seeking a “The Bachelor”-watchdog buddy, you can’t do much better than a Rat-Cha.