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10-15 lbs
United States
Rat Terrier

The Rat-Cha is a crossbreed between the purebred American Rat Terrier and Chihuahua.  This designer dog has high energy and is very loving toward its family.  The Rat-Cha, which may also go by Rat-Chi, is frisky and can be overprotective of its people.  Owners can prevent aggressive or undesirable protective traits by early socialization with people, places, and other dogs.  The Rat-Char tends to bond with a single person in the family and will spend much of its time on that person's lap.     

Date of Origin
American Rat Terrier and Chihuahua

Rat-Cha Health

Average Size
Male Rat-Cha size stats
Height: 10-12 inches Weight: 10-15 lbs
Female Rat-Cha size stats
Height: 10-12 inches Weight: 10-15 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA)
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Dental Disease
  • Alopecia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Skin Evaluation
  • Radiographs
  • Full Physical Examination
  • Blood Sugar and Thyroid Tests

Rat-Cha Breed History

The Rat-Cha is a popular designer breed due to the high popularity of both parent breeds.  Despite its popularity, detailed accounts of its breeding programs and history are not available.  This is most likely due to the recent hybridization of both parent breeds and the number of variations that can be present in the Rat-Cha offspring.  Owners who wish to understand the histories and potential traits of their Rat-Cha can review those of both parents for insight. The American Rat Terrier is an American breed long in the making.  The breeding program included several other well-established breeds, such as the Manchester Terrier, Bull Terrier, Old English White Terrier, and the Fox Terrier.  The purpose of the breed programs was to produce a small Terrier type that was a tenacious ratting dog, and that could get in tight places.  Despite its late recognition by the American Kennel Club in 2013, the American Rat Terrier has been long bred in the United States.  A Rat Terrier appeared alongside Shirley Temple in The Little Colonel and was the Terrier of choice of President Theodore Roosevelt who wanted a rat dog to handle the White House rat problem.  The Rat Terrier varied in the United States depending on the region it was from as well.  In the south, the Rat Terrier was crossbred with the Beagle to produce a pack-minded ratting dog while the Greyhound and Whippet breeds were used in the midwest to give the Rat Terrier fleet abilities against the fast jackrabbits. The Chihuahua is also a dog of the Americas but from Mexico.  Accounts of the Chihuahua, known then as Techichi, reach back as far as the 9th Century in the Mesoamerican region where the little dogs were bred as both vermin hunters and companions.  The Techichi was so well loved that they were often buried alongside their masters at death.  The Techichi faded into obscurity during the Spanish invasion of the Aztec State, but the small, resilient dog maintained itself in the region and was rediscovered living in the Mexican state of Chihuahua during the mid-1800s, where the breed gained its new name.  Shortly after its rediscovery, the Chihuahua made its way north to the United States by the late 1800s and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1904.  Interest in the Chihuahua grew fast, and by the 1960s, the Chihuahua was considered one of the most popular dogs in the country.  Today, the Chihuahua still enjoys a high popularity ranking in the American Kennel Club.      

Rat-Cha Breed Appearance

The Rat-Cha may vary widely in appearance not because the parents are so widely different but because there is variation in the parent breeds standards.  However, this hybrid is sure to be small with a soft, sleek coat.  Some Rat-Chas have longer hair, depending on their parentage as both parent breeds may exhibit longer hair.  The Rat-Cha's head is small and round with large, triangle-tipped ears that stand up.  The eyes are dark, round, and prominent but do not bulge out as much as the Chihuahua parent's eyes.  Both parent breeds suffer from dental issues, and the Rat-Cha may have missing teeth or poor dentition, such as an underbite, both of which are not desirable traits.  The body is compact and long, thin legs and a wiry short to medium-length tail.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Rat-Cha eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Rat-Cha nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Rat-Cha coat
white Rat-Cha coat
brown Rat-Cha coat
red Rat-Cha coat
fawn Rat-Cha coat
sable Rat-Cha coat
gray Rat-Cha coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Rat-Cha straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Rat-Cha Breed Maintenance

The Rat-Cha is an easy dog to maintain and has minimal grooming needs.  They are moderate shedding dogs, and weekly brushing will help remove any excess loose or dead hair.  The Rat-Cha is not a hypoallergenic dog, but weekly grooming will help keep the allergens down.  The Rat-Cha is not known to have a doggy odor so any fouls smells may point to a health concern, such as ear infection or dental issues.  The Rat-Cha is prone to developing dental problems, many of which may be prevented by keeping its teeth clean.  Owners can help their dogs maintain healthy mouths by brushing their teeth frequently and providing them with hard, rubberized chew toys.
Brushes for Rat-Cha
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Rat-Cha requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Rat-Cha Temperament

The Rat-Cha is an affectionate companion that typically bonds with one person within the family.  They require early socialization to reduce aggressiveness toward strangers and are not well suited for young children.  The Rat-Cha has high energy but prefers activities on its own terms rather than being forced to play.  Often, the Rat-Cha is perfectly contented on its owner's lap.  They do not have a pack mentality and prefer to be single dogs living under one roof.  However, with socialization, the Rat-Cha can learn to live in harmony with other dogs.  The prey-mind may make living with cats more difficult, but socialization will also help with this.  House training the Rat-Cha is relatively easy, considering how small the breed is.  This is attributed to the Rat-Cha's high intelligence and desire to please its master.

Rat-Cha Activity Requirements

The Rat-Cha is an active hybrid with high energy.  However, activities are often done in short bursts, and the Rat-Cha can get most of its daily exercise in the home.  The Rat-Cha is highly adaptable to small space living, but a small backyard where it can run and jump is ideal for this designer dog.  The Rat-Cha should not be left alone outside and does not tolerate being alone for long.  They may develop negative behaviors, such as chewing or digging if they become bored or lonely.  The Rat-Cha does not do well in cold environments and prefers warmer ones.  However, this breed can live just about anywhere considering it will spend most of its time in a climate controlled home.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes

Rat-Cha Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
0.5 cups
Daily Cost
$0.75 - $1.00
Monthly Cost
$20.00 - $30.00

Rat-Cha Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Rat-Cha size stats at six months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 11 lbs
Female Rat-Cha size stats at six months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 11 lbs
12 Months
Male Rat-Cha size stats at 12 months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 12 lbs
Female Rat-Cha size stats at 12 months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 12 lbs
18 Months
Male Rat-Cha size stats at 18 months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 12 lbs
Female Rat-Cha size stats at 18 months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 12 lbs

Rat-Cha Owner Experiences

11 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Rosita was diagnosed with seizure disorder 5.5 years ago. Cause was ruled out as liver disease. She is maintained on potassium bromide. I would like to share this experience as to frequency of this disorder in her breed..rk
2 months, 1 week ago
9 Years
3 People
House & Yard
She is one of the dorkiest dogs I have ever met. She is very particular about which people she likes. She is very protective of her family and will act like a guard dog. She is very curious and loves food. When she was a puppy she was very easy to train and is very good about being potty trained. Loves to sleep at times and then will get bursts of energy. Definitely a loyal dog to those she loves. Has suffered from some seizures in the past with unknown causes does not have them frequently though. Also sneezes a lot which actually gives her character. For her age she jumps around and still has a lot of energy.
2 months, 2 weeks ago
Abigail "Abi"
1 Year
2 People
Playing fetch
She is the sweetest dog on the planet and loves to play! She's easy to train and is incredibly smart.
4 months, 1 week ago
5 Years
5 People
House & Yard
His favorite thing is to lay and sleep under blankets. Loves to cuddle anybody. He is very intelligent and easy to train. Very, very protective of everybody in the family! Actually barks and "attacks" if there is play hitting going on or wrestling. Biggest issue is separation anxiety; If family is leaving and he knows he will be all alone, he will whine and bark. However, this makes him very excited and happy when somebody comes in. Does amazing with new people. Doesn't get along with other dog, and acts okay with cats. No dental issues or health issues (yet), and very low maintenance. Does play from time to time and have funny bursts of energy. Not too bad in the bath and just fine on walks. Probably the best dog we have had!!
4 months, 2 weeks ago
2 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Playing fetch
He's a great friendly dog who gets along with every dog he comes into contact with. His high energy can be annoying at times, but it's just part of his personality. If you let him play hard and run around till he tires himself out, then he'll be a good lapdog like this site says.
5 months, 3 weeks ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd