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Ratshi Terrier (Rat Terrier & Shih-Tzu Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

rat terrier shihtzu

Height: 8 – 10 inches
Weight: 10 – 20 pounds
Lifespan: 14 – 17 years
Colors: Gray, brown, black, blue, silver, sable, white, red, cream, fawn, and brindle
Suitable for: Owners without children or with older kids, seniors who want an affectionate pup
Temperament: Independent yet affectionate, energetic and intelligent, can be nervous, likes to bark

Are you ready to find out more about the sweet and playful Ratshi Terrier? These cute little pups were created by crossing two small pedigree breeds that are packed full of personality: the Rat Terrier and the Shih Tzu.

The result is incredibly cute pups who have way more energy and bounce than can fit into their tiny bodies! These little dogs do require a certain type of owner who can help bring out their best side. While they’re affectionate and full of love for their pet parents, they can be nervous and temperamental too.

The Ratshi Terrier is quite a new breed of designer dogs, so you may not know as much about them as some other breeds. If this pup has been on your list of potential breeds, now’s the time to find out everything you need to know. Perhaps they’re going to be your perfect match!

divider 10Ratshi Terrier Puppies


We know it can be almost impossible to visit any litter of puppies without being tempted to bring at least one home with you. But before you reserve your pup, it’s important to make sure you can provide what a particular breed needs to thrive and grow into a well-rounded adult dog.

Ratshi Terriers are smart and affectionate, but they can also be vocal and temperamental. They need knowledgeable and calm owners who can set clear boundaries through training but also provide the loving confidence that these pups need to feel safe and secure.

The Ratshi Terrier can feel overstimulated in loud houses full of young kids, and this isn’t an environment that they will enjoy. These nerves can manifest themselves as both yappiness and nippiness that can become difficult to manage.

These pups do best in a calm, quiet home without small children. They can also be prone to separation anxiety and toilet training issues, so a patient owner who understands how to train to minimize these issues is going to be key. If you think that sounds like you, then a Ratshi Terrier will make a loyal and loving companion who will stick to your side like glue.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Ratshi Terrier

1. These little pups can be stubborn

The Ratshi Terrier combines two breeds known for their large personalities, so it’s no wonder that the resulting puppies are highly likely to share this trait. Shih Tzus are skilled at getting their way and often manage to charm their owners into letting them get away with things that another breed would surely get told off for!

As with most Terrier breeds, the Rat Terrier has evolved to be independent and determined. This means they can sometimes come across as stubborn, but they’re just used to solving problems for themselves.

When training a Ratshi Terrier, using positive reinforcement and plenty of variety will help keep them interested and focused.

2. You never know quite how your Ratshi Terrier will turn out

As with any hybrid or designer breed, it’s more difficult to predict what the resulting Ratshi Terrier pups are going to be like in terms of their appearance and temperament.

You might get a pup that looks like a Rat Terrier with the personality of a Shih Tzu or vice versa! The other possibility is a pup that is a mixture of both parent breeds.

Some breeders will favor a first-generation cross, where they breed a Rat Terrier and a Shih-Tzu, and others will work with second- or third-generation crosses, where two Ratshi Terriers are bred together. It’s a good idea to speak to a breeder to find out which they prefer and why.

The best way to make sure you’re prepared for however your puppy turns out is to make sure you know as much about both parent breeds as possible and that you can meet their needs. That way, whatever your puppy is like, you’re going to be prepared!

3. The Ratshi Terrier is accepted by certain breed associations

Because they’re a hybrid or designer breed, the Ratshi Terrier isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club. But they can be registered with a few other breed associations! A Ratshi Terrier breeder may choose to register them with the American Canine Association, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the Dog Registry of America, or the International Designer Canine Registry.

Parent Breeds of the Ratshi Terrier
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Ratshi Terrier 🧠

The Ratshi Terrier is sweet and affectionate with their owners, but they can also be nervous and short-tempered if they feel cornered or threatened. Socialization is vital from a young age so this breed can grow up to show off their positive nature rather than be allowed to become nervous.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

In all honesty, the Ratshi Terrier is going to be happiest in a home without kids or with older children who can safely interact with them and pick up on the signs that your pup has had enough.

While the Ratshi Terrier can come across as a confident breed, they can be nervous around people or things they’re not used to. Small kids, with their slightly unpredictable behavior, can make the Ratshi Terrier feel unsafe. If their initial subtle warning signs go unheeded, they won’t hesitate to bite or nip whoever isn’t listening to their request for more space.

While you can train your Ratshi Terrier that nipping isn’t an appropriate response, the humans spending time with these dogs also need to learn when your pup is overstimulated. Knowing when they need time alone is all part of being a good pet parent! If you intend to keep a Ratshi Terrier in a home with younger children, the kids must learn to interact with your Ratshi Terrier gently and leave the dog alone when it wants space.

Ratshi Terriers love spending time with their favorite humans and will happily follow you around the house. The hustle and bustle of a large and loud household can make them feel uneasy, so they prefer a quiet house with fewer people.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

They do have the potential to get along with other pets, but this will depend on the personality of both pets and how you intend to keep them. Ratshi Terriers may never make friends with other pets, but they can be taught to tolerate them.

Rat Terriers have a high prey drive, which is hardly surprising considering their name! As a result, Ratshi Terrier pups can inherit this trait, which can make keeping them in the same household as timid cats or rodents a bit of a challenge. They should never be left alone with smaller pets.

They can get along with other dogs, as long as they feel that they can retreat somewhere if they want to. Their nervous disposition means they can sometimes go from playing nicely to snapping in a flash. They also bond tightly to their owners, which means if your other dog also wants to be close to you, they may both become frustrated with each other.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Ratshi Terrier

Ratshi Terriers might be small, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to slot into your household without making a splash! These little pups have plenty of energy and aren’t afraid to let their owners know their opinions.

Choosing to become a pet parent to a Ratshi Terrier is a big commitment in terms of the time and money that you’ll need to provide them with a great life. So, before you go ahead and reserve that pup, let’s take a closer look at more things to bear in mind about this breed.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Ratshi Terriers will benefit from high-quality food that’s designed specifically for smaller breeds. It’s best to choose an age-appropriate blend, so start with a puppy mix and then gradually switch to a food with the correct amount of nutrients for adult dogs as your puppy reaches maturity.

Whether you choose to feed dry kibble, wet food, or a mixture of the two is totally up to you! Your pup will probably let you know what they prefer! You can also feed a raw diet to these little dogs.

Ratshi Terriers do love to eat, and due to their small size, they can soon pile on the pounds if you’re not careful! So, it’s best to avoid over-feeding them, and don’t leave a bowl out with kibble in all the time, as you can guarantee that they’ll eat it all and then wait for someone else to fill the bowl up again. It’s also best to avoid fatty table scraps, as these contain way too many calories for your small dog.

If you use treats during training sessions, remember to account for these when calculating your pup’s daily ration. Your veterinarian should always be able to advise you on how much to feed your pup, depending on their activity levels and health.

Exercise 🐕

Ratshi Terriers are active and will enjoy regular walks, as well as playing in the backyard. They’re also happy to relax with their owners, though! You should anticipate your Ratshi Terrier to need between 45 and 60 minutes of exercise per day. Some dogs will end up needing less than this, but it will be difficult to tell the energy levels of your particular pup until you get them! Some Ratshi Terriers are laidback enough to be happy to wait until they get time outside, and others will let you know that they need a walk now!

Due to their small size, you might find that your Ratshi Terrier gets at least some of their exercise simply from following you around the house or playing in the backyard. But that doesn’t mean you can forgo their daily walk.

Ratshi Terriers love going on hikes and long walks, but watch out that those little legs don’t get too tired.

If your pup doesn’t get enough exercise, they may become excessively vocal or start to develop other behaviors, like chewing and scratching things around your house. Some Ratshi Terriers will get vocal when it comes to reminding you that they do need a walk!

Training 🦮

Ratshi Terriers are intelligent and eager to please their owners. But as with any Terrier breed, they also have a stubborn streak, which means they can be a little too difficult to handle for first-time dog owners. Positive reinforcement is one of the best techniques to use with these pups, as they prefer to work for rewards and praise. You will need to be consistent and firm in what you expect from your pup, or these smart little dogs won’t hesitate to see if they can bend the rules.

Socialization from a young age is vital for a Ratshi Terrier, to make sure they don’t become excessively wary of strangers and other dogs. Nipping can be a problem with this breed, so it’s important to build confidence in your pup from a young age, and puppy training classes are perfect for this.

One area of training that can be a challenge is toilet training. Plenty of positive reinforcement, as well as being clear about where your pup can go to the toilet, will help, as will a healthy dose of patience! If you’ve signed up for puppy training classes, then your trainer will be able to offer plenty of excellent advice to help your particular pup overcome this problem.

Grooming ✂️

How much grooming your Ratshi Terrier needs is going to depend on the type of coat that they inherit. As a hybrid breed, it’s impossible to predict certain characteristics of the Ratshi Terrier with any accuracy. Given that the Rat Terrier has a short coat and the Shih Tzu a long coat, your pup could end up with a wide range of possible coat types!

A litter of pups may have some with shorter coats, others with long coats, and a few will be somewhere between the two! The medium-length, slightly wiry coat seems to be the most common, though.

Their coats shouldn’t shed too much, but again, the amount of dropped hair is going to depend on the type, length, and texture of coat that your pup inherits.

As well as keeping their coats in good condition, you should make it a habit to check your pups nails, teeth, and ears every week. Ratshi Terriers can be prone to dental issues, so your veterinarian may recommend brushing your pup’s teeth to minimize any problems developing.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Hybrid breeds like the Ratshi Terrier are generally more healthy than purebred dogs. This is due to something called hybrid vigor and relates to the fact that crossing two purebred breeds like the Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu increase the gene pool of the resulting puppies.

As a result, those pups tend to suffer from fewer health problems that can affect the parent breeds. Of course, that doesn’t mean they won’t suffer from any health problems at all, so it’s important to be aware of the main conditions that can affect the Ratshi Terrier. We’ve listed serious and minor conditions below. Any reputable breeder will be happy to talk to you about these, as well as provide the results of the health tests that they’ve carried out on parent dogs and their puppies.

Minor Conditions
  • Ectropion
  • Entropion
  • Alopecia
  • Demodectic mange
  • Exposure keratopathy syndrome
  • Dental problems
  • Urolithiasis
Serious Conditions
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Patellar luxation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Leg-Calve-Perthes disease

Divider 5Male vs. Female

Maybe you love everything you’ve read about the Ratshi Terrier so far and are now excitedly imagining what puppy you’d pick.

If you’re trying to decide between male or female, we think the best idea is to visit a litter with an open mind and pick the puppy that appeals to you most in terms of character, without worrying about what sex they are.

If you’re concerned about hormonal behavior, most of this will be eliminated when you get your puppy spayed or neutered at a suitable age.

Divider 3Final Thoughts

The small and sparky Ratshi Terrier can be a loyal, affectionate, and bouncy dog, but they need to find the right home to fulfill their potential.

They prefer a quiet home, without too many people. Ratshi Terriers bond strongly to their owners and don’t enjoy being left alone for long periods. While they can have reasonably high energy levels, they also enjoy relaxing at home after a walk.

This breed can be vocal and nervous if they feel unsure about a particular situation. This can mean they become nippy, especially around younger children.

If you can give these little pups a quiet home where they can be around people most of the time, combined with gentle yet effective training, the Ratshi Terrier will make you a loyal and loving companion who will never fail to keep you entertained.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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