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So You Want a Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re considering bringing a rat terrier/chihuahua mix into your home, you’re in for a treat! These small dogs are known for their energetic and playful personalities, and they make great companions for people of all ages.

But what is it really like to own a rat terrier chihuahua mix?

In this post, we’ll explore the unique traits and characteristics of these adorable little dogs to give you an idea of what to expect. From their grooming needs to their exercise requirements, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the rat terrier chihuahua mix.

Get to Know The Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

The rat terrier chihuahua is a mixed breed between a rat terrier and a chihuahua. The rat terrier is a breed of dog developed in the United States for pest control. Chihuahuas are companion dogs that originated in Mexico.

Breeding to purebred dogs together creates what is known today as a hybrid breed, or designer dogs.

About The Rat Terrier

American Rat Terriers were originally developed in the United States as working farm dogs and vermin hunters. Of course, in order to hunt vermin, you need a tiny dog and that’s exactly what you get with a rat terrier.

This small to medium-sized breed was created by crossing the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Manchester Terrier with other terriers like the bull terrier, and possibly the beagle and whippet.

This dog has a high prey drive, a strong body, and a tenacious personality. It’s these characteristics that make it such a great hunter of rats, mice, and other small rodents.

In addition to its hunting abilities, the American Rat Terrier was also used for a other tasks including herding livestock and serving as a watchdog. Today, the breed is still used as a wording dog but is also popular as a companion animal.

About The Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a small breed of dog that originated in Mexico. It is named after the state of Chihuahua, where it is believed to have originated. The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world and is known for its large, prominent eyes and small, delicate features.

The breed has a long history, with evidence suggesting that it was present in Mexico as early as the 9th century. Chihuahuas were originally bred for a variety of purposes, including as companion animals, ratters, and guardians.

In modern times, Chihuahuas are primarily kept as companion animals and are known for their loyalty and affectionate nature. They are also popular show dogs and can be trained for a variety of activities, such as obedience and agility.

rat terrier chihuahua mixes are intelligent dogs.

Grooming Requirements of the Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

Rat terrier chihuahua mixes have relatively low maintenance coats that only require a weekly brushing to keep them looking their best and to minimize shedding.

Possible Health Conditions For a Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

Dental Issues

Like many small breeds, rat terrier chihuahua mixes may be prone to dental problems such as tooth loss, gum disease, and misaligned bites.

Be sure to regularly brush your dog’s teeth between professional cleanings.

Eye Problems

Rat terrier chihuahua mixes may be prone to eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy.

These conditions can lead to vision loss or blindness if left untreated. It’s important to have your dog’s eyes checked regularly by a veterinarian.

Skin Allergies

Rat terrier chihuahuas mixes may be prone to skin allergies which can cause symptoms such as itching, redness, and hair loss.

These allergies can be triggered by environmental factors such as pollen or mold, or even by certain foods.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastrointestinal problems such as inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and gastrointestinal parasites may be a problem for this little breed.

These conditions can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss.

Orthopedic Issues

This breed may develop orthopedic problems such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and patellar luxation. Conditions like these can cause lameness and pain.

Genetic Health Problems

Rat terrier chihuahua mixes may also be prone to other health conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and heart disease.

Nutritional Requirements of the Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

When choosing a dry dog food for your rat terrier chihuahua mix, select a high-quality brand that is formulated for small dog breeds. The food should be balanced and contain all of the nutrients your dog needs for good health.

Protein should come from a high-quality source such as meat or fish. The food should also contain a good balance of fats and carbohydrates to provide energy and support healthy skin and coat.

Vitamins and minerals are essential for proper growth and development.

Overfeeding your dog can lead to obesity, which can increase the risk of health problems. It’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount of food to feed your dog. This will be based on their age, size, and activity level.

A Big Personality in a Little Body

Rat terrier chihuahua mixes are small companion dogs that are great for families and single people alike. They are active, energetic, and require proper care and daily exercise to maintain their health and well-being.

This is an intelligent dog that can easily be trained as long as they have consistent, positive reinforcement.

As companion dogs, this breed is known for their affectional and loyal nature. In fact, they’ve been described as having “kittenish” personalities!

While they are generally friendly and social, rat terrier mixes may be prone to barking or being protective of their owners, especially when meeting new people. It’s important to properly socialize and train these dogs to ensure they are well-behaved.

Quick Tips on Training Your Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

Training a rat terrier chihuahua mix to understand basic commands can be a fun and rewarding experience. The key to successful obedience training is to be consistent, patient, and positive. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Choose a Quiet, Distraction-Free Location

This will help your dog focus without distraction, making it easier for them to learn.

Start With Simple Commands

Use a clear, firm tone of voice to teach your dog simple commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “come”. Offer a reward such as a treat or praise when your dog performs the command correctly.

Positive Reinforcement

Encourage your dog with positive reinforcement. This means rewarding your dog with treats, praise, or other rewards when they do something you want them to do. Avoid using punishment or scolding as this can cause your dog to become anxious or fearful.

Practice Regularly

It may take time for your dog to learn new commands. Make sure to allow plenty of opportunities to practice. If your dog is having difficulty with a particular command, try breaking it down into shorter training sessions and gradually building up to the full command.

Hand Signals

Use hand signals in addition to verbal commands. This can be helpful if your dog is hard of hearing or if you need to communicate with them from a distance.

rat terriers were originally bred as farm dogs

Potty Training Your Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

Potty training can be challenging, but rewarding. Here are some tips to get you started.

Designate a Spot

Choose a designated spot in your yard or designated area in your home. This could be a training pad, for example.

Establish a Routine

Take your dog to the designated potty area at regular intervals throughout the day. Good times are after meals, after playtime, and before bedtime.

Use Consistent Commands

Use the same commands every time so as not to confuse your dog.

Supervise Your Dog

Keep an eye on your dog for times they go to the designated area on their own. Be sure to praise them and offer a reward.

Eliminate Odors

If your dog has an accident in the house, thoroughly eliminate odors that might attract them to go in the same spot again.

Increase Intervals Gradually

As your dog becomes more reliable, you can gradually increase the number of times between potty breaks.

Psst! Make Going to the Potty More Convenient

If you haven’t tried a Doggie Lawn, it’s time. Doggie Lawns are made with actual, hydroponically grown grass. There’s no dirt to mess up your house but the grass itself is formulated with scent to make your dog want to use the turf.

You can get them in a variety of sizes, order a frame to fit around it, and put it out on your balcony, in a closet, or anywhere convenient for you.

Of course it’s important to train your dog to use the potty outside, but just imagine how convenient it will be when it’s a pouring rain storm, windstorm, or even snowstorm.

They’re great for apartment or condo owners who have to get completely dressed (boots, jacket, scarf, the whole 9 yards depending on where you live). That Doggie Lawn is going to come in handy on the cold night you don’t want to have to bring your dog outside.

Click the link below to get started on your first Doggie Lawn:

Puppy Starter Set

Leash Training Your Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

Leash training is an important milestone for any dog. Here are some basic tips on leash training to help you get started:

  • Choose a comfortable, properly fitted collar or harness for your dog.
  • Introduce your dog to the leash gradually and allow your dog to walk around the house with it.
  • Once your dog is comfortable on leash in the home, try taking them outside.
  • Start in a quiet, enclosed area such as a fenced backyard.
  • Gradually increase the time you spend walking with them.
  • Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior.

Average Lifespan of a Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

The average lifespan of this breed is between 12 and 18 years. Of course, this can vary based on factors such as the dog’s genetics, size, and overall health.

Exercise Needs

These active dogs have a lot of excess energy and require at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise per day. Idea for providing exercise include:

  • Going for a brisk walk.
  • Playing fetch or other active games.
  • Going to a dog park.

Are Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mixes Good for Families?

This breed can make good family pets, provided they receive the proper care and attention they need. They can be good with young children provided they are treated with kindness and respect. It’s important to teach young children how to appropriately interact with dogs.

Because of their small size, these pups can easily get hurt if mishandled.

Are Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mixes Good With Other Pets?

This breed can be good with other pets as long as they are properly socialized and trained. These dogs are generally friendly and social, and they can get along well with other dogs and cats if they are introduced to them at a young age and taught to behave appropriately.

If you are introducing a new pet to your household, it is important to do so slowly and carefully, and to supervise all interactions to ensure that they are going well.

Are Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mixes Prone to Separation Anxiety

Like all dogs, Rat Terrier Chihuahua mixes can be prone to separation anxiety if they are left alone for long periods of time or if they have not been properly trained and socialized. Separation anxiety can cause a dog to become anxious or distressed when left alone, and it can lead to destructive behaviors, such as chewing or barking.

To help prevent separation anxiety, it is important to properly socialize and train your Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix from an early age. This can involve exposing them to a variety of different environments and situations and teaching them to be comfortable being alone for short periods of time.

It is also important to provide your dog with plenty of mental and physical stimulation, such as toys, puzzles, and regular exercise, to help prevent boredom and anxiety.

If your Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix does exhibit signs of separation anxiety, work with a veterinarian or a professional trainer to develop a plan to manage their anxiety. This may involve behavior modification techniques, such as counterconditioning and desensitization, or the use of medications or supplements.

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Rat Terrier Chihuahua mixes can make great pets for those who are able to provide them with the care and attention they need. These energetic, active dogs require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

They are generally friendly and affectionate, and they can be good with children and other pets if properly socialized and trained. However, it is important to be aware of the potential for certain health conditions, such as dental issues and skin allergies, and to provide your dog with the proper care and preventive care to help ensure their overall well-being.

With proper training, early socialization, and care, your rat terrier chihuahua mix will be a loving and loyal companion dog for years to come.


Cosgrove, N. (2021, March 30). Rat-Cha Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care Guide & More! | Pet Keen. Pet Keen. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from

R. (2020, August 27). Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix Breed Information. Ratterrieradvice. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from

Nevada, S. (2016, May 28). Rat-cha (Rat Terrier X Chihuahua Mix) Info, Temperament, Training, Puppies, Pictures. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from

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