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Rat-Cha Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Temperament & Care Guide

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on July 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

rat terrier chihuahua mix dog

Rat-Cha Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Temperament & Care Guide

The cute and perky Rat Cha makes a great low-maintenance family pet that’s lively, loving, and loyal. This little dog is a cross between an American Rat Terrier and a Chihuahua. The Rat Cha is also called the Rat Terrier Chihuahua, and it’s a dog that tends to bond with its favorite human companion.

Breed Overview


12-14 inches


11-15 pounds


13-18 years


White, black, brown, sable, red, gray, fawn

Suitable for:

Anyone looking for a small, animated dog that’s fun to play with


Loyal, loving, intelligent, easy to train, friendly

Of course, Rat Chas aren’t for everybody. If you’re thinking of getting one of these dogs, there’s plenty you should know. We’ve put together this complete Rat Cha guide to tell you all about this breed so you can decide if it’s the right dog for you.

Rat Cha Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Rat Cha Puppies

The Rat Cha is a crossbreed that’s got the Rat Terrier energy level and much of the Chihuahua personality. Small and agile, this little dog will keep you busy with its endless energy levels. A Rat Cha is always willing to play when it’s not spending its time following around its favorite person.

This dog tends to latch on to a single person which is great for a single dog owner but not so great for a family full of dog lovers who are vying for its attention. Rat Chas tend to have very sweet personalities and are incredibly affectionate. They love people of all ages, including small children, as long as they’re willing to play.

Parent Breeds of Rat-Cha
Image Credit: (L) Tanya Consaul Photography, Shutterstock | (R) otsphoto, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Rat Cha

As mentioned above, Rat Chas are smart dogs, and their intelligence is clear to see when you’re working on housetraining or leash walking. This dog aims to please, even though it has a slight stubborn streak. This is a friendly dog that loves to play even if there are no humans or other pets around to play with. Just toss down a few toys and watch this lively and perky little dog have an absolute ball!

Rat Chas can be a bit aggressive toward people and pets they don’t know. This is where the Chihuahua breed shines through. While this dog is not considered dangerous, you should curb any aggressive tendencies you see by correcting the dog using a firm yet gentle voice.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Even though a Rat Cha will likely choose a single person to follow around and cuddle with, this breed makes a good family pet and will be loving and kind toward everyone in the family, including the youngest kids. Because this is a playful and energetic breed, a Rat Cha will fit right in with an active family that’s always on the go. This little guy is always up for any adventure and loves to have fun and explore the great outdoors.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

A Rat Cha can live in harmony with other pets if they’re introduced slowly and correctly. This dog can be aggressive toward other dogs, especially if another dog tries to get close to the Rat Cha’s favorite human. If you bring a second dog into the family after having a Rat Cha for a while, don’t expect your Rat Cha to become close pals with the new dog, even though it’ll probably accept that it’s living there. Rat Chas are more independent than other breeds and like to do their own thing.

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Things to Know When Owning a Rat Cha:

With their small size and short hair, Rat Chas are low-maintenance dogs. However, there are still some important things you should know when owning this breed.

Food & Diet Requirements

A Rat Cha is a small dog that doesn’t eat a whole lot of food, which probably is a fact that doesn’t surprise you much. What may surprise you is that this dog is not highly interested in food. In fact, a Rat Cha may forget to eat if you don’t remind it.

Even with its “who-cares” attitude about food, a Rat Cha can get fat if you pass out too many dog treats. For this reason, feed your Rat Cha good quality dog food without a lot of calories and fat. Place the food bowl down at the same times each day and pick it up when your Rat Cha is finished eating.


Even though a Rat Cha has lots of energy, this little lounge lizard could easily spend the entire day laying in your lap. That’s why you need to get this dog outside a couple of times a day for a nice long walk or a romp in the yard. When you keep a Rat Cha well-exercised, it’s less likely to get a case of the zoomies inside during the middle of the night, or at another time in which you don’t appreciate the show of energy.

Keep in mind that a Rat Cha loves to play, and you don’t have to force it to join in on some fun. All it typically takes is to show your dog its favorite dog ball or rope toy and it’ll be good to go.


A Rat Cha should be trained right away to get along well with all kinds of people and animals. This little dog loves praise, so say it’s a good dog when it behaves calmly and non-aggressively toward other dogs or strangers.

While Rat Chas aren’t known for being fond of learning lots of dog tricks, they certainly can be taught. It’s up to you if you want to teach your Rat Cha to roll over or give you a high five. The most important type of training this dog needs is obedience training. For instance, you should teach your Rat Cha to stay and come on command.

Grooming ✂️

A Rat Cha has a short smooth coat of fur that sheds moderately. Unless you want short dog hair all over your house and clothes, you need to brush a Rat Cha regularly. Use a good quality dog brush and lots of praise when brushing away the loose hairs.

Like other small breeds, Rat Chas are prone to dental issues, and more so when they’re a bit older. Therefore, you should keep this dog’s teeth clean. You can brush your Rat Cha’s teeth with a doggie toothbrush and toothpaste and give it hard and tough treats like bully sticks to help remove tartar and plaque.

Health and Conditions

While a Rat Cha can live for around 18 long years, this dog breed is still prone to illness.

Minor Conditions
  • Atopy
  • Dental issues
  • Glaucoma
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
Serious Conditions
  • Collapsed trachea
  • Diabetes
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation

divider-pawMale vs Female

If you think you want a Rat Cha but don’t know whether to get a boy or a girl, there is no big difference between the two as far as temperament goes. Male Rat Chas do tend to be a little bit larger than the females, but the size difference is not a deal-breaker.

If money is a concern, it always costs more to spay a female dog than it does to neuter a male, so maybe consider this factor when deciding between a boy and a girl.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Rat Cha

1. They Can Live a Long Time

It’s not unusual for a Rat Cha to live 18 years or even longer. This means you must be willing to make a long-term commitment when buying a young Rat Cha puppy.

2. They’re the Ultimate Lap Dog

A Rat Cha adores spending lots of time sitting on the lap of its favorite person. When you own a Rat Cha, you can expect it to always want up on your lap, and once there, it won’t want to get down. Maybe it’s the warmth it craves or the closeness, or perhaps both. Whatever the reason, always have your lap available because this is a lap dog through and through!

3. They’re Smart!

While a Rat Cha may not be all that interested in trying to figure out puzzle toys, this little dog is intelligent. It’s relatively easy to housetrain a Rat Cha, as this breed learns new things with ease and catches on quickly to what you want it to do.


Final Thoughts

Rat Chas are small, big-spirited dogs that love to be loved on! This dog is a lap dog through and through! A Rat Cha is also a fun-loving dog that enjoys playing with its human family and even other dogs and animals like cats.

A Rat Cha can live happily in an apartment if the dog is given plenty of opportunities to get outside. Even though the loveable and charming Rat Cha could cuddle with its favorite human all day, this dog, like other breeds, needs some sunshine and exercise. Overall, a Rat Cha is a cute little dog with a likable personality that will fill your home with love!

Featured Image Credit: Anthony George Visuals, Shutterstock

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