Rat Terrier Chihuahua
What To Expect In A Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix
The Rat Terrier Chihuahua is a cross between the Rat Terrier and the Chihuahua. It is often referred to as the "Rat-Cha" and is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC). In the minds of some, a cross of any two breeds results in a mutt. While in some cases this may be true, a mutt comes from uncertain ancestry, even if the breeds involved are known or can be guessed at with fair accuracy. A cross or designer breed comes from two pure bred dogs whose ancestry is known and documented.
The Rat Terrier Chihuahua has become a popular mixed breed. It generally has large ears and eyes and a smooth coat. As a rather small dog, it makes an excellent pet for those who live in an apartment. A mixed breed dog tends to have fewer health problems than either of its pure bred parents or ancestors, and the Rat-Cha is no exception. If you are considering purchasing this particular "designer breed", it helps to do some research into the puppy's family tree and also into the characteristics of the two breeds involved. Your dog will exhibit characteristics of both the Rat Terrier and of the Chihuahua; not only physical characteristics, but in temperament as well. The resulting characteristics a given Rat-Cha will have may be difficult to predict, although an experienced breeder can usually give a fairly accurate prediction. Nothing is guaranteed, however. What you have is a mix between a working farm dog and a very tiny animal, the smallest of the dog breeds.
Let’s take a look at the two breeds and the characteristics of each to see what might be expected in the Rat Terrier Chihuahua:
The Rat Terrier
The Rat Terrier was a favorite breed on American farms in the 1930's. Today, it is considered to be somewhat of a rare breed. The breed comes in many colors, with black, blue and brown "tricolors" predominant. A smaller percentage of Rat Terriers are red or lemon in color with white spotting. They do not shed except to shed their winter coat and are generally not considered a problem with people allergic to pets. The breed will weigh anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds, stands 13 to 18 inches at the shoulder, with the miniature size standing 13 inches or less at the shoulder.
Though sometimes confused with the Jack Russell Terrier, the Rat Terrier is far less aggressive, calmer, and easier to train. The Rat Terrier is quite an intelligent breed and is happiest in the company of other dogs or with humans. It loves being active, but also has certain 'couch potato' characteristics.
Sometimes referred to as the "Taco Bell Dog", the Chihuahua is the world's smallest breed of dog. Typically standing between 6 and 10 inches, occasionally higher, the maximum standard weight for the show Chihuahua is six pounds. Pet Chihuahuas may weigh more. Chihuahuas are both long haired and short haired, though genetically, they are the same breed. The range of colors and patterns is quite large for this breed and usually fits into the categories of solid, splashed, or marked. As far as temperament is concerned, the Chihuahua can be a bit hyper at times, though they crave attention. They can be aggressive and will often bite if frightened. They also have a tendency to become a one person dog, and jealous of any intruders in that relationship. Chihuahuas are prone to several diseases and infections including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in puppies, and eye infections due to their large eyes. The life span of the Chihuahua varies from 12 to 15 years and occasionally longer.
The Rat Terrier Chihuahua cross seems, more often than not, to take on the best characteristics of both breeds, especially when good blood lines from each breed have been selected for mating. The aggressive tendencies of the Chihuahua are less pronounced and can usually be managed through training and socializing when the dog is a puppy. While the Chihuahua is not always the best pet to have around very small children, this does not seem to be the case with the cross breeds. Get your Rat Terrier Chihuahua from a responsible breeder who can show you the documented blood lines, give the puppy early training and plenty of opportunity to socialize with other dogs and with humans, and you'll very likely end up with a very fine pet.