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French Bull Rat Terrier (French Bulldog Rat Terrier Mix): Pictures, Temperament & Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

French Bulldog and American Rat Terrier

Height: 12 – 18 inches
Weight: 15 – 25 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: White and black, black, tan, liver, white and tan, speckled, multicolored
Suitable for: Semi-active individuals, apartment living, families with older children, urban living
Temperament: Loyal, companionable, affectionate, clever, determined, playful

French Bull Rat Terriers are a type of hybrid, crossing the French Bulldog with the American Rat Terrier. They’re a delightful mix of calm and hyper, yet they’re usually less than 25 pounds and can make great apartment dogs. While they’re super affectionate with their favorite people, they tend to find themselves in troublesome situations. However, in the right environment, French Bulldog Ret Terrier mixes can be great pets. If you’re looking into this designer dog breed, read on to see if they’re the right dog for you:

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French Bull Rat Terrier Puppies


French Bull Rat Terriers are not purebred dogs, and there’s not a big demand for them, so their price range is usually on the lower end. Unlike other hybrids like Labradoodles, French Bull Rat Terrier breeders are few and far between. Finding a legitimate breeder for these hybrids will be very difficult, as many of these types of hybrids are created for pet stores. Some are also the product of accidental and backyard breeding, as well as puppy mills. While they may have the hybrid you’re looking for, these places are far from ethical and often mass-produce puppies for profit.

We highly recommend adopting a French Bull Rat Terrier mix if you can find one, which also may be a challenge. Local dog shelters, Rat Terrier rescues, and French Bulldog rescues are the best places to check. Although you may not find one to adopt right away, it’s a much better option than supporting the low-quality breeding practices of puppy mills.

3 Little-Known Facts About the French Bull Rat Terrier

1. They’re Surprisingly Calmer than They Seem

While purebred American Rat Terriers are notoriously energetic, French Bull Rat Terriers are not nearly as hyperactive due to the French Bulldog’s calmer temperament. While they still enjoy playing and going for some walks, they don’t need as much exercise as high-energy breeds like purebred terriers.

2. They May Bark a Lot

Barking can be a bit of an issue with French Bull Rat Terriers, especially in an apartment setting. These hybrids can be noisemakers, so it’s important that you curb excessive barking as soon as possible. As long as they learn to stop barking, they can make great apartment dogs.

3. They’re Great for First-Time Dog Owners

Despite the feisty terrier genes, French Bull Rat Terriers can be great for first-time dog owners. They can be quite stubborn, but they’re also quite smart and fairly easy to train. With some time and patience, new dog owners can train these dogs without too many problems.

Parent Breeds of the French Bull Rat Terrier
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the French Bull Rat Terrier 🧠

Temperaments can range within purebred dogs, but even more so with mixed-breed dogs. Since French Bull Rat Terriers are mixed breeds that usually have purebred parents, the best way to tell what you might be dealing with is to look at the temperaments of the French Bulldog and the American Rat Terrier.

French Bulldogs are famous for their easy-going and playful temperaments. They’re great for apartment living as well as being great family pets, especially because of their compact and small size. They generally do well around people, though some may become a bit protective or territorial around their families and property. French Bulldogs are quirky dogs and do have some stubbornness, but they’re otherwise great for first-time dog owners.

American Rat Terriers are the essence of the terrier family, quick and driven hunters that were bred for chasing vermin. Rat Terriers are energetic and alert, needing a good deal of exercise for a small breed. They also bond very closely with their families, however, so they can be great companions in the right environment. While they can be a challenge for new dog owners, Rat Terriers are smart dogs that can be rewarding to train.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

French Bull Rat Terriers do best in a home with older, calmer children. While they’re active and playful, their small bodies are less tolerant to rough housing. They’re also less tolerant in general with younger children, so these mixed-breed dogs may not be the right fit for your family. In a calmer living environment, French Bull Rat Terriers can be great family dogs.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Generally, yes, French Bull Rat Terriers can get along with other pets besides small animals. The prey drive of Rat Terriers is very high, but the French Bulldog influence can create a less driven dog. Small animals like guinea pigs may still be tempting, but animals like cats and dogs are usually okay.

French Bull Rat Terriers can get along with other dogs and cats through socialization and proper introduction. They need frequent socialization as puppies to prevent aggressive tendencies towards other animals. If your household has multiple pets, make sure to introduce them to your new puppy slowly.

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Things to Know When Owning a French Bull Rat Terrier:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

French Bull Rat Terriers are small-sized dogs with medium-level energy, so they need diets that can provide them with a balanced diet every day. We recommend finding a dog food recipe for small dogs, as well as mixing in wet food for hydration and additional nutrition. These hybrids are prone to obesity, so t’s important to measure each meal to prevent overfeeding and weight issues.

Exercise 🐕

French Bull Rat Terriers aren’t as energetic as purebred Rat Terriers, but they still need daily exercise to stay healthy. Two brisk walks a day and an hour of playtime is a good place to start, and they don’t need as much space as bigger dogs. These mixed breeds are great for apartments for this reason alone, as well as their small size. They also do well with routine, so set up an exercise schedule for walks and other activities.

Training 🦮

Small dogs tend to have a bad reputation for being stubborn or unable to learn, but that’s quite far from the truth. There are plenty of toy and small breeds that can out-perform bigger breeds, especially breeds coming from the terrier group. Though they may be feisty, terriers and terrier-mixes are very intelligent dogs that can excel in training. We recommend starting with high and medium value treats and positive reinforcement techniques to train your French Bull Rat Terrier.

Frequent socialization and obedience training need to start right away, so we recommend finding group puppy classes to start. Your French Bulldog-Rat Terrier mix will learn quickly while also learning to react properly around other people and dogs. If you’ve never trained or raised a dog before, group classes are a great place to learn the basics as well.

Grooming ✂️

French Bull Rat Terriers are easy to groom with their shorthaired coats and mild shedding. Brushing the coat can help reduce shedding and massage the skin, so we recommend it once a week. Stick to bathing no more than once or twice a month, as they’re prone to dry skin and other skin problems. Clean your dog’s ears only when necessary, avoiding the use of harsh chemicals. You’ll also need to trim your puppy’s nails once a month or as needed.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Small dogs are generally healthy dogs, but they’re still prone to some serious health conditions. French Bulldogs are particularly prone to several health problems, which can also affect your puppy later in life. American Rat Terriers are heartier dogs, but they also have conditions they may develop. To know which conditions to look out for, here are the most common health conditions of the French Bulldog and American Rat Terriers:

French Bulldog
  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Spinal Issues
  • Skin Infections & Allergies
  • Ear Infections
  • Obesity
American Rat Terrier
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Mitral Valve Disease (MVD)
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Dental Infections
  • Eye Problems (Lens Luxation, Cataracts)
  • Male vs. Female

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Male vs. Female

Male and female French Bull Rat Terriers are pretty similar in temperament but less so in size. Males are usually bigger in height and weight than females. Males may also start marking indoors, which can be a hard habit to break once it forms. Aside from those two concerns, the choice of male or female is a personal preference.

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Final Thoughts on the French Bull Rat Terrier

French Bull Rat Terriers are a rarer type of hybrid, a unique mix of two opposite types of dogs. They’re a low-maintenance dog and can be great for apartment living, but they have a great potential to be a family dog in the right environment. French Bulldog-Rat Terrier mixes are smart dogs that pick up on routine easily. These dogs are a true balance of energetic and calm, making them a good choice for new dog owners. If you’re looking for a Bulldog or Rat Terrier mix, the French Bull Rat Terrier could be a rewarding dog to have.

Featured Image Credit: Left – French Bulldog (speckfechta, Unsplash) | Right – American Rat Terrier (Michele M Vogel, Shutterstock)

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