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Rat Pinscher (Rat Terrier & Miniature Pinscher Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Rat Pinscher mixed breed dog

Height: 9–18 inches
Weight: 10–25 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: Black, red, rust, brown
Suitable for: Active families, apartments or houses with yards
Temperament: Intelligent, curious, fearless, loving, active

The American Rat Pinscher is a cross between the Rat Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher and is a small, brave, and affectionate hybrid. The Rat Terrier is a part of the Terrier Group, and the Min Pin is in the Toy Group. Together, they create the tiny, playful Rat Pinscher, also known as a Rat-A-Pin.

As with most hybrids, the appearance of the Rat Pinscher will depend on which parent it takes after most, but the Rat Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher are relatively similar in appearance. The Rat Pinscher has a sturdy, compact body with long, slim legs and triangular ears that flop over or stand erect. The short coat is usually in bi-color with a lighter shade, such as rust on its legs, chest, and face.

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Rat Pinscher Puppies


When you’re looking for a Rat Pinscher, make sure you’re dealing with a breeder who is experienced with this dog breed. Another alternative is adoption. Adopting a dog from a rescue group will give the dog another chance to live a better and happier life.

You might end up with an adult dog and know little of their background, but you will also end up with a devoted dog that has been rehabilitated and vet-checked.

The Rat Pinscher is a very high-energy, robust dog with a long lifespan. They are trainable but might have a bit of a stubborn streak. They are friendly with strangers but might try to be the alpha with strange dogs.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Rat Pinscher

1. The American Rat Pinscher Can Be an Escape Artist.

If left alone in a backyard, they can jump, climb, or dig their way out of their enclosure, so you either never leave them alone or ensure there is no way for them to escape.

2. The Rat Pinscher Loves to Chase.

They enjoy a good chase, whether it’s a ball you’ve thrown or that squirrel running up that tree, so keeping them on a leash when out is important.

3. The Rat Pinscher Can Live a Long Life.

They are healthy dogs that, if well taken care of, can live beyond their 15-year lifespan. The Miniature Pinscher has a 16-year lifespan, and the Rat Terrier can live up to 18 years. Therefore, the American Rat Pinscher could live as long as their parents.

The parent breeds of Rat Pinscher
The parent breeds of Rat Pinscher: Left – Rat Terrier (Tanya Consaul Photography, Shutterstock) | Right – Miniature Pinscher (maxxxiss, Pixabay)

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Temperament, Personality & Intelligence of Rat Pinschers 🧠

Rat Pinschers are courageous, lively, and loving dogs known to be mischievous sometimes. They love to climb, run, and play but also cuddle up on a warm lap.

These are highly intelligent dogs that need attention and opportunities to expend their energy. The Rat Pinscher is not a shy dog and is happy to meet new people but should be watched around strange dogs as they have big dog syndrome and might get hurt during rough play.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Rat Pinscher is an excellent family dog but would do best with older children. There should be supervision with younger children who might not be gentle with this small dog. All children should be taught how to treat animals gently.

The Rat Pinscher also makes a good watchdog, and they will alert the family to any strangers approaching the house but aren’t known to be aggressive or to bark excessively.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

As long as the Rat Pinscher is socialized as a puppy and is raised with the other animals in the household, they get along very well with other pets. The same socialization will help them adapt and accept other dogs at the dog park. They have a high prey drive, so small animals running could trigger a chase.

Black Rat Pinscher
Image Credit: Marina_Nik_11, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Rat Pinscher:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

A diet for small dogs should include high-quality dog food, and how much and how often you feed your Rat Pinscher can be determined in part by the guidelines on the food bag. Be careful feeding your dog treats and human food since obesity can be a problem.

You need to ensure that anything you feed your dog will not harm them. You can also consult your vet if you have any concerns or questions regarding your dog’s health and weight.

Exercise 🐕

The Rat Pinscher requires a fair amount of exercise every day. They should have a minimum of 45 minutes of exercise every day, including walks and activities that involve running to keep them mentally stimulated.

The Rat Pinscher can live in an apartment as long as they get the required daily exercise but might do best in a house with a yard. When left alone and not engaged enough, they will resort to destructive behavior, including chewing things up and digging.

Training 🦮

Training the Rat Pinscher can be easy thanks to their intelligence and energetic nature, but they can be prone to stubbornness and need a firm and patient trainer. Just remember to be consistent and to use loving and reward-based training. The Rat Pinscher, like most dogs, will do best with early socialization to make new situations easier.

Grooming ✂️

The Rat Pinscher has a short and sleek coat and is easy to groom. A quick brush with a bristle brush can remove excess fur and dirt. Bathing a Rat Pinscher should only occur when necessary and no more than once a month with a high-quality dog shampoo.

They have sensitive skin, and removing the natural oils from their coat could create skin problems. The Rat Pinscher’s ears must be cleaned approximately once a month, and their nails should be trimmed every 3 to 4 weeks. Their teeth should be brushed tow to three times a week

Health and Conditions ❤️

The American Rat Pinscher won’t be nearly as likely to inherit these health conditions since they’re a mixed breed, but your vet will check your dog’s hips, knees, and elbows and run urinalysis and blood tests. The vet will check your Rat Pinscher’s thyroid and eyes in addition to a complete physical exam.

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Male vs. Female

The American Rat Pinscher is 9 to 18 inches tall and can weigh anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds. The discrepancy in height and weight stems from the fact that the Rat Terrier parent comes in two sizes: miniature and standard. Female dogs are smaller than males, so expect the female Rat Pinscher to be closer to the smaller and lighter side of the scales and the male on the heavier and taller side.

If you want your Rat Pinscher to be spayed or neutered, the difference in the surgeries is slightly more complicated for the female. Spaying the female American Rat Pinscher is a more complex surgery, which means it’s somewhat more expensive and takes longer for the female to recover. However, the advantage of spaying and neutering your Rat Pinscher can help prolong your dog’s life. It might prevent future health issues, and your dog might become less aggressive and less likely to run off.

The final difference between male and female American Rat Pinschers is that the male dog is more aggressive and less affectionate than the female, but there are ongoing debates about this. However, the primary determinant for your dog’s personality will be how they were socialized and trained as a puppy and how they have been treated as adults.

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Final Thoughts

The American Rat Pinscher is a courageous, healthy, and loving dog that will love spending time with you wherever you may be. Whether walking, sitting in your backyard, or lounging on your couch watching a movie, you’ll have an adorable companion always next to you. Finding a Rat Pinscher shouldn’t be too difficult because there were a number of puppies for sale at the time of this writing.

You can start looking for one by talking to breeders of Rat Terriers and Miniature Pinschers and local and national dog clubs. Don’t forget to keep an eye on dog rescue groups. Posting your interest in a Rat Pinscher on social media will also get your message out to a wider and potentially knowledgeable audience.

The American Rat Pinscher is a feisty, smart, and affectionate hybrid that will bring love and a certain amount of mischievousness to the right household.

Featured Image Credit: Heather Whitehouse, Shutterstock

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