Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix: The Ultimate Guide

Published: 03/01/23 •  13 min read

The Chihuahua Rat Terrier is a small, mixed-breed dog created by combining the Mexican Chihuahua and the American Rat Terrier. For those looking for a lovable and active small companion pet, this mix is one of the best out there!

Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix
Photo: Instagram

Standing at under two feet tall and weighing less than 15 pounds in most cases, the Rat Chi or Rat Terrier Chihuahua is a dog with high energy levels, like both parent breeds – but also knows when to relax and loves nothing more than to cuddle into bed at night, as they are fiercely loyal to their owners.

Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix – At a Glance

Weight:10 – 15 pounds
Height:10 – 16 inches
Lifespan:12 – 18 years
Coat Colors:White, black, brown, sable, red, grey, fawn
Temperament:Protective, loyal, affectionate, highly energetic
Most Suitable For:Active families, active single individuals, apartment dwellers

What Does a Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Look Like?

Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix
Photo: Instagram

Like all designer dog breeds, the Chihuahua Rat Terrier mix will inherit different parts of it’s physical appearance from each parent breed. Given that there’s not much size difference between the Rat Terrier and Chihuahua, it will likely resemble the Chihuahua in it’s body – with a small, muscular body and single coat.

They will likely have long nails that will need to be routinely trimmed – your Rat Terrier Chihuahua may be a nail biter. Your Rat Terrier Chihuahua may have the small, wedge-shaped head of the Chihuahua, but adopt the bat-like ears of the Rat Terrier.

As both of their parent breeds are close in terms of their physical appearance, it is difficult to get a good fix on exactly what parts of each parent your Rat Chi is likely to inherit. Mix breed dogs tend to adopt more of one parent breed than the other, due to the predominant genetics of either parent breed, although exactly which parent breed is a game of chance.

The History of the Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix

Like most mix breed dogs, we don’t know precisely when Rat Terrier Chihuahua was developed, or where it came from. But its likely that the Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix originated in the United States sometime during the 1990s or early 2000s.

During that time, a Rat Terrier crossbreed such as the Rat Chi were becoming more popular across the country, as crossbreeding surged in popularity throughout the United States.

The History of the Rat Terrier

The History of the Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier was developed in the United States as a rat-catching dog, although they stretch back in the country to the 1545, when the remains of one was retrieved from the Mary Rose, a sunken vessel of Henry VIII. That dog’s name was “Hatch”, and he was thought to have been brought onboard to catch rats on the ship.

However, the modern iteration of the rat-catching Rat Terrier stems from the 19th century, when English immigrants to the United States brought their rat-catching dogs with them. They were also used in conjunction with the Jack Russell Terrier as hunting companion of small game. It’s thought that the Jack Russell Terrier is one of the breeds that helped create the Rat Terrier back in England, prior to their arrival in the United States.

During the course of the early decades in the United States, in 1890, the breed became a very popular crossbreed and were crossbred with a variety of different dogs, seeking combine the speed of the Rat Terrier with the hunting capabilities of other similar breeds. Other farm dogs also contributed to a Terrier crossbreed, such as the Beagle (to create the Beagat Terrier), Golden Retrievers (Golden Terrier), Border Collies (Collie Terrier), Great Dane (Ratdane Terrier) Pitbulls (Pitrat Terrier), and even unlikely breeds such as the Dachshund (Dachrat Terrier),

Renowned for the intelligence and speed, the Rat Terrier was quickly recognized by the United Kennel Club in it’s Terrier Group (in 1936), the American Kennel Club also recognizes the breed.

How Popular Are Rat Terriers in the United States?

Rat Terrier have been popular throughout the United States since their arrival and popularization among farmers and others, who relied on them to catch rats.

In 2021, the AKC measured the Rat Terriers’ popularity as the 86th most-popular dog in the United States.

Who Are Rat Terriers a Good Dog For?

Given their small size, Rat Terriers are commonly thought of as good pets for people with apartments. However, as high-energy breeds, the Rat Terrier does much better with a house & yard. Although, their overall size could make them a good fit for the elderly, providing that the person can keep up with the energy levels of the Rat Terrier.

Rat Terriers are known to be loyal and affectionate breeds, although they can be prone to separation anxiety and destructive behavior – which can be quelled with effective training. They’re a good pet for the active retired couple who will be around the house during the day. Otherwise, make sure you’re able to effectively house train your Rat Terrier.

As they have a single, thin coat, Rat Terriers should wear polar fleece coats during the winter and aren’t well-suited for cold weather.

How Did Rat Terriers Come About?

The precise origins of the Rat Terrier is a bit of a mystery, though they were first noted aboard the Mary Rose in the 16th century, but their modern iteration really began it’s life in the United States during the early to mid-19th century, when British immigrants brought over the Rat Terrier from England and bred with various other hunting breeds.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Rat Terrier?

The Rat Terrier has long been a popular Terrier crossbreed since it’s arrival in the United States in the early to mid-19th century. Several popular Rat Terrier crossbreeds included:

The History of the Chihuahua

The History of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a Mexican dog breed that’s renowned for having a bit of a Napoleon complex, but loves spending time with it’s owners and is an incredibly affectionate pup! While it’s exact origins are unknown, the Chihuahua’s lineage stretches back to the 9th century, when an Aztec tribe known as the Toltec Peoples kept a small, mute dog known as the Techihi. Most cynologists are of the belief that this is the progenitor of the modern-day Chihuahua.

Despite their ancient lineage, the Chihuahua wasn’t noted in Mexico until the mid-19th century, when the breed was sold and traded to many American tourists, who crossed the Mexican/American border on vacation. But it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Chihuahua as a toy breed in 1904.

Their small size makes the Chihuahua an excellent companion pet for the elderly single owner, or retired couple.

How Popular Are Chihuahuas in the United States?

Since their introduction to the United States in the late 19th century and recognition by the AKC in 1904, the Chihuahua has maintained steady popularity among Americans and is a popular celebrity dog – with owners including Reese Witherspoon, Pamela Anderson and others.

In 2021, the Chihuahua was the 37th most-popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club’s population statistics.

Who Are Chihuahuas a Good Dog For?

As a small dog breed, Chihuahuas are often the beloved baby of many families. They tend to do better with families without other rodent pets or birds, as Chihuahuas can display aggressive tendencies towards rodents.

As they have high energy levels, Chihuahuas are well-suited to those with a house & yard, although shouldn’t be left outside in bad weather – their single coat type doesn’t do well with cold weather. If you’re taking your Chihuahua on a walk in bad weather, buy them a polar fleece coat!

Chihuahuas are also well-suited for the active retired couple, providing they can keep up with their energy levels. As loyal dogs, Chihuahuas are attached to their owners from the puppy stage and shouldn’t really be left alone all day. While you can house train your Chihuahua, they tend to suffer from separation anxiety – which can lead to destructive behavior. Bear this in mind if you’re the kind of person that’s used to leaving dogs home alone without issue.

How Did Chihuahuas Come About?

While the precise origins of the Chihuahua is somewhat lost to history, we do know that the breed originated in the Mexican state of the same name. Their progenitors are the Techichi, a small, mute dog kept by the Aztec tribe of the Toltec Peoples in the 9th century.

However, the Chihuahua was first noted in Mexico in the mid-19th century and didn’t become a popular pet in the United States until the late-19th century and were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Chihuahua?

As a small dog, the Chihuahua is most commonly naturally mixed with dogs of similar size to create a more compatible, easier match for the pregnancy. When the Chihuahua was first crossbred is largely lost to history. However, today, there are several popular Chihuahua crossbreeds. These include:

How Important Is a Dog’s Temperament to Your Family?

One of the most important aspects of dog ownership is understanding your dog’s temperament and how it interacts with your own family’s temperament and lifestyle. Before obtaining your pup, whether you adopt or purchase, you should conduct thorough research on the possible temperament of your parent breed.

If you’ve been searching for an active pup for your family, your next question could be if you want a small dog or a larger one. While this may seem trivial, it will help you narrow down the vast options. A Fox Terrier is a fantastic option for those searching for an active, small pup. In contrast, a Siberian Husky or Golden Retriever is better for those looking for a slightly bigger fur baby.

What is the Temperament of the Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix?

The Chihuahua Rat Terrier mix is a very affectionate companion – loving and loyal to their owners. Both parent breeds are small and active, making them wonderful options for a retired couple. The Chihuahua Rat Terrier, like other mix breeds is receptive to training, despite it’s independent, stubborn nature.

Is The Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Friendly?

The Chihuahua Rat Terrier mix will initially be standoffish and suspicious of strangers, but will eventually warm to them. Once they’ve gained an affinity for them, though, the Rat Chi will be incredibly affectionate and can be hyperactive at times.

Is The Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Easy to Train?

The Chihuahua American Rat Terrier mix will likely be quite easy to train, given it’s nature of wanting to please it’s owner. However, you can experience some initial from the Chihuahua American Rat Terrier mix, this can be trained out with positive reinforcement or reward-based training.

How Much Can A Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Weigh?

The average weight of a Chihuahua Rat Terrier mix is between 10 and 15 pounds.

How Tall Can A Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Get?

The Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix can reach between 10 and 16 inches tall.

Similar-Sized Breeds

There are a few similar-sized breeds to the Chihuahua American Rat Terrier mix – some are members of the Terrier group. These include:

Does the Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Shed?

The Chihuahua Rat Terrier will likely have a short, wiry coat and will be a light-to-moderate-shedder (similar to that of a Jack Russell Terrier), this will require semi-regular grooming. While professional grooming is a good option every quarter, regular brushing is encouraged. Regular washing (baby shampoo is among your best bets for washing this breed) is also encouraged.

How Much Exercise Does A Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Require?

The Chihuahua Rat Terrier mix will be an incredibly active dog, requiring at least 45 minutes of daily exercise. This includes off-leash time where they’re free to roam.

Alongside physical exercise, mental stimulation is also an important part of owning a Rat Chi! We encourage you to stimulate your Rat Chi’s brain with either physical exercise that requires some thought, or the use of toys like KONG toys – these are particularly useful if your Chihuahua Rat Terrier mix is to be left alone for a period of time.

How Long Can a Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Live?

The average life expectancy of the Rat-Chi is between 12 and 18 years.

What Health Conditions Could the Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Have?

How Can You Find a Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Puppy For Sale?

Before you start searching for a Chihuahua Rat Terrier mix puppy for sale, we highly recommend you consider adopting a Rat Chi pup instead! Many Rat Terrier mixes such as the Dachrat Terrier or Ratdane Terrier often find themselves languishing in animal shelters or vet clinics across the country.

Many either aren’t prepared for the energy level of a Rat Chi, or have some other reason for putting their Rat Terrier Chihuahua up for adoption. Consider searching your local vet clinic or animal shelter, or look online at, to see if anyone has put their Rat Chi up for adoption.

How Much Does a Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix Puppy Cost?

The average cost of a Chihuahua Rat Terrier mix is between $400 and $800. This is generally a fraction of the cost associated with adopting a Chihuahua Rat Terrier mix!

However, if you do decide to purchase a Rat Chi, be sure you’re searching for a reputable breeder when looking for a Rat Terrier Chihuahua. Far too many dogs such as the Rat Chi – particularly those in the Terrier group – end up in puppy mill situations that aren’t good for them.

To help you distinguish a puppy mill from a reputable breeder, we’ve created this handy guide. We urge you to read it before embarking on this journey to Rat Terrier Chihuahua ownership!

Is the Chihuahua Rat Terrier Mix the Right Breed For You?

If you’ve been searching for a small, active and affectionate family pet, then the Rat Terrier Chihuahua mix might be everything you’ve been searching for! Whether searching for yourself or an elderly relative, the Rat Chi may be the perfect fit!

However, if you’re convinced that the Rat Chi isn’t the right breed for you, we’ve created dozens of other breed guides to help you in your search for the perfect family pet.

Nick Meagher

I'm Nick Meagher, a lifelong dog enthusiast and the voice behind this blog. Having grown up with dogs, I've developed a deep understanding and an unbreakable bond with these amazing companions. Through MyK9Life, I aim to share insights, tips, and heartwarming stories, celebrating the joy and journey of life with our four-legged friends.

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