Working dogs and family dogs are being bred together more and more these days to achieve a dog with a gentle personality that can still serve a purpose. The mix of Rat Terrier and Chihuahua is no exception.
The combination of Rat Terrier and Chihuahua is known as the Rat-Cha. These short, multi-colored dogs are packed with energy that stems from their high prey drive used to hunt down small rodent infestations. When the working day is done, their favorite place is on your lap.
Continue reading to learn more about the Rat Terrier, the Chihuahua, and their designer dog offspring – the Rat-Cha.
You will soon understand the qualities and behaviors of each, and what to expect if you choose to own one of these breeds.
The Rat Terrier, Rat-Cha, and Chihuahua Comparison Table
|Height||10-18 inches (miniature and standard)||12-18 inches||5-8 inches|
|Weight||10-25 pounds||12-15 pounds||Less than 6 pounds|
|Life Expectancy||12-18 years||13-18 years||14-16 years|
|Colors||White Black, white and tan Blue, white and tan Black and white Red, white and tan And more||Black Brindle Brown Cream Gold Tan And more||Black Chocolate Cream Gold Red and white Black sable silver Chocolate brindle fawn And a lot more|
|Coat Type||Smooth with short length||Smooth with short length||Smooth with either short or medium length|
|Affection levels||Very affectionate||Very affectionate||Pretty affectionate|
|Shedding Level||Average shedding||Some shedding||Some shedding|
|Temperament||Very playful Pretty protective||Pretty playful Pretty protective||Pretty playful Pretty protective|
|Health Issues||Hip dysplasia Eye diseases Patellar luxation Cardiac disorders Legg-Calve-Perthes disease||Hip dysplasia Patellar luxation Eye diseases Cardiac disorders||Heart problems Eye diseases Patellar luxation Idiopathic epilepsy potential|
|Trainability||Very easy to train||Average trainability||Average trainability|
|Exercise||High amounts of exercise||High amounts of exercise||High amounts of exercise|
|Friendliness to People||Very open with strangers||Alright with strangers||Alright with strangers|
|Friendliness to Dogs||Alright with other dogs||Alright with other dogs||Alright with other dogs|
|Drooling Levels||Little to no drooling||Little to no drooling||Little to no drooling|
|Mental Stimulation||Very high mental stimulation required||High mental stimulation required||Average mental stimulation required|
|Barking Level||Average barking||Lots of barking||Lots of barking|
About Rat Terriers
Rat Terriers are cute and energetic dogs that make excellent watchdogs. They are great for people who enjoy a little extra exercise and being outdoors. Originally they were bred to protect homes from rodents, hence the name.
In the early 1900’s they were likely some of the most popular dogs in the United States, if not the most. Even the president, Theodore Roosevelt had a few he kept in the White House.
There is a lot of variability with Rat Terriers. Originally, they were considered a mix, and not a breed. They were mixed with Whippets and Italian Greyhounds at some point.
This was done to make them faster, and better at chasing after rats. At another, they were mixed with a Beagle to promote their smelling capabilities. There was even another mix known as the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier.
Because of this, there are two sizes of Rat Terrier, but they are both in the small-to-medium-size range. Miniature variants tend to be a little longer compared to taller, though their legs are still fairly proportionate compared to the rest of their body.
The American Hairless Terrier is closely related to the Rat Terrier, except with a hairless gene.
Bred for the warm temperatures of Mexico, Chihuahuas don’t do well in cooler climates, even if they are a long-haired variant.
Interestingly, many English speakers mispronounce the name of this breed, saying something phonetically along the lines of “Chuh-wow-wowa”. More accurate pronunciation of the breed is “Shee-wa-wa”.
Chihuahuas are highly adaptable to different living situations, despite often being dismissed as simply “purse dogs”, which makes them ideal for the close quarters lifestyle of city life.
Some care must be taken regarding their weight since they love to cuddle in the lap of their favorite person and many people like to tote them around in their arms. This restricts the amount of exercise a Chihuahua gets and can make them prone to obesity.
If you are looking for companionship, a Chihuahua can certainly provide that in spades. Even though they were often kept as ratters, helping households control rodent populations, the modern Chihuahua is often tasked only with the entertainment of its owner.
Be careful in earning and maintaining the “top dog” status as Chihuahuas can be stubborn and push boundaries to get what they want.
Proper training, socialization, and exercise will keep a Chihuahua busy enough to prevent any social revolts between you and your dog.
About The Rat-Cha Dog Mix
The Rat-Cha has plenty of aliases, most being some variation of Chirat or Ratchi, but the only name officially recognized by clubs (the American Canine Hybrid Club and Designer Dogs Kennel Club) is the Rat-Cha.
Are Rat-Chas Healthy Dogs?
Yes, in general, these hybrids are healthy dogs. Their parent breeds have some of the longest lifespans of any dog observed and recorded. In fact, at the time of writing, the oldest living dog currently is a Chihuahua called TobyKeith.
Keep in mind that while a Rat-Cha can have an impressively long life they may not always be in good health, especially towards the end of their years.
Keep an eye out for age-related conditions such as hip dysplasia and consider putting your Rat-Cha down in a loving environment if their quality of life becomes too low.
What Will My Rat-Cha Look Like?
Most designer dogs have a lot of variety anyway, looking anywhere between the two parent breeds, or some unique mix of both.
However, with the two different sizes of Chihuahua, and the variation in the Rat Terrier, there is a lot of discrepancy between various Rat-Chas. Depending on the types of both parent breeds, their sizing, coloration, length, and more can change.
How Much Mental Stimulation Will My Rat-Cha Need?
Rat-Chas need lots of mental stimulation to exercise their brain. If you are not providing Rat-Chas with a consistent task or job you will need challenging puzzle toys and plenty of tricks to fill that void in their life.
Expect to spend a few hours a week training your Rat-Cha and take breaks when they become disinterested or you become frustrated.
They should be rewarded with treats for a job well done but they can also be satisfied simply with the stimulation from doing a designated job.
A Rat-Cha is a mixture of a Rat Terrier and a Chihuahua. They can live for a long time, as both parents are some of the dog breeds that can live the longest.
They are usually full of energy but are more than eager to be with their family as well. They are very smart dogs and need a lot of mental stimulation to feel fully tired out.
While Rat-Chas are fairly rare to find, if you have a family that likes to do a lot of outdoor activities, it may be worth adopting one when you find one. They are unique and full of personality, and you will never have a dog quite like them again.