Avatar photoShiloh Nevada
Last updated: 18th October 2022



Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 18th October 2022

The Rat-cha is a cross between two other famous breeds –Rat Terrier and Chihuahua. These are playful and kittenish dogs that demand very little care. All they need is love and affection from their family. By characteristics, they are small, like their parents, and often get the face of the Chihuahua.
Rat-chas usually have a short coat, but some individuals might inherit the long hair from the Rat Terrier. They have alert, roundish eyes, small but strong legs, a black nose, and a long tail. The ears might either be bent or pointy, depending upon their genes.

Rat-cha Pictures

Quick Information

Also known as Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix, Rat-Chi, RatChi
Coat Soft, short, straight
Colors Black, Brown, Tan, Golden, Brindle, White, Cream
Type Toy dog, Terrier dog
Group (of Breed) Crossbreed
Life Span/Expectancy 13 to 18 years (average: 15)
Height (size) Small; 12-18 inches
Weight 12-15 pounds (full-grown adults)
Litter Size 1-4 puppies
Behavioral Traits Loving, intelligent, energetic, loyal, possessive
Good with Children Yes
Good with Pets Usually (except for larger dogs)
Shedding Moderate
Barking Yes
Hypoallergenic No
Climate Compatibility Not good for cold climate
Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information IDCR, ACHC, DDKC, DRA

Video: Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix Puppies Playing

History of the Rat Terrier Chihuahua Mix

The Rat-chi was introduced for the very first time in the 1990s, and since then, it has often been claimed as the ‘best’ designer dog.

Temperament and Personality

The Ratchas are affectionate and mostly long for attention. These intelligent dogs yearn for human touch, sleeping on their masters’ laps, or trying to dig a burrow on the bed and cuddle fondly.

The RatChas are not true Terriers, though they can exhibit similar disposition, including suspicion towards strangers, and other dogs at large, very much like their Chihuahua parents. Because of their small size, they might have a hard time interacting with bigger dogs, or coming close to them.

Despite being playful, it is because of their inherent suspicious and outwardly nature that these miniature canines are not much comfortable with kids. Hence, it is recommended to keep younger kids away from them, since the boisterous nature and the rough play of your children might get into your dog’s nerves.

They are territorial and over-protective, being keen to acquire whatever they cherish.



Take your Ratchas out for short walks every day. They are active and playful and need some means to burn off their calories. Remember, these dogs also prefer spending time in the warmth of your bed. Still a lot of lazy hours might trigger destructive or yappy behavior.


Intense grooming is not required. Simply brush them with a soft bristle comb once or twice a week to keep their coat healthy and clean.

Health Problems

Apart from general dog issues (like allergies, etc.), you should also consider the following points:

  • The female rat-chas have often been seen having difficulty during whelping.
  • Extreme care is recommended while taking your dog out in the cold weather, or expose them for too long. Dogs from the chihuahua bloodlines might fall into a coma in such weather conditions. Cover them thoroughly in dog sweaters or something similar.
  • Diabetes is also not uncommon with chihuahua-cross dogs.

Also remember, care must be taken while you pick up these small dogs.


  • To help your dog socialize and mix with other canines safely, plan for doggie-meetings outside its ‘territory’ (your house), in a neutral area, to prevent your Rat-cha from feeling territorial, and at the same time, not letting your dog intrude inside the territory of the other dogs. The apt place for such meetings can be the area in between you and your neighbor’s yard or may be a small, quiet area in a park.
  • Possessive toy behavior can often enhance the inborn tendencies of aggression instead of suppressing them, which can potentially be a very dangerous condition. If you discover your Rat-cha is too much food or toy possessive, it is best left for veterinarians or training professionals.


Schedule for meals that consist of highly nutritious dog food. The quantity is similar to dog breeds of its size and energy levels.

Interesting Facts

  • With a maximum life expectancy of 18 years, the rat-cha is one of the longest living crosses.

108 responses to “Rat-cha”

  1. Patricia Berry says:

    I have a female 3 1/2 year old Rat-Cha and I have had difficulties with grooming her. She has long (soft) fur that mats up something awful! I can’t come anywhere near her with her brush or she’ll freak out tryi g to bite the brush or me. Scissors…forget about it. Same with nail trimmers. What can I do? Dog groomers won’t even help me as she tries to bite anyone who she doesn’t know who gets touching her.

  2. Jeannette says:

    How much for these dogs, an older one

  3. Joyce Taylor says:

    Maggie is a 4 1\2 month old Chihuahua\Rat Terrier mix. She seems to be on the smaller side like her mom. Having a terrible time with her biting when playing. She is not an aggressive dog; however.

  4. gamoko says:

    I have a ratchi RIO. He is very intelligent and he is trained and certified by IPWDA for Human remains detection! I believe with is 8 lbs he is the smallest certified HRD dog in the USA!

  5. Tpot says:

    I have a Ratcha her name is Sox, I’ve had her for around 10 years I was young when I got her. She is very cuddly and very adorable. I had learned some new information about her from here and I’m glad that I did. She is exactly 18lbs and does not like other dogs (my fault for not socializing her) shes gotten into a couple of Incidents but not recently. She is very healthy and loveable.

  6. Cheyenna says:

    I have a Rat-cha names River I’ve had him 6 months. I got him when he was 3 from the SPCA the previous owner didn’t have time for him or money and only had him a year. They had also got him from a shelter so we’re likely his 3rd owners. He’s been great, I love River. He talks a lot makes a lot of hmm and mmm noises he sounds like he’s suspicious or annoyed, it’s super cute. He does bark when someone enters the house, outside he rarely barks, and doesn’t bark at other dogs unless they do it first. He is super afraid of very big dogs I’ve noticed he gets super nervous around them and I don’t blame him. His personality toward other people is he tolerates them he’s always excited to see me and my boyfriend but he just tolerates other people sort of like a cat would.I would say before getting a ratcha think about their health problems every dog breed has some. He has teeth problems I don’t think the previous owners ever brushed his teeth so we have to pay a hefty bill to have them cleaned, a breed like this one needs to have their teeth brushed often unlike other bigger dog breeds. I didn’t know that till I got him. He’s very loving and sweet, taking care of him is the adds to my life.

  7. Kris says:

    I have a RatChi named Lucy. We prefer to call her a Terhuahua. We made the mistake of not socializing her enough when she was a puppy. It takes her a very long time to make up to other people, but she loves her family fiercely. She doesn’t get along with other dogs well, but she doesn’t mind our cat. The funny thing is, she is crazy about my daughter’s guinea pigs! She wants to groom them whenever they are out of their cage. They tolerate it pretty well even though I think they find it quite annoying. I watched the Humane Society for a year waiting for a little dog to sit on my lap and watch tv with me. Finally, she came along. She was a pup when we adopted her, and she is 6 now. We love her dearly. This is a great crossbreed.

    • Courtney Hindman says:

      I have a rat cha Roo He’s 1 year old ,and I need some help He pees ,and craps anywhere without letting me know. I’m at the end of my rope .. Do i get rid of him or. Not ? When I’m done watching tv at 1 am , he immediately jumps up like I’m going somewhere , and doesn’t listen keeping me awake for hours. I do love him a lot.

      • Mike says:

        No just get a Cage put him in to calm him down
        Eveytime he use it on the floor put his Nose in it then take him outside to let him know that’s where he needs to go do that’s till he starts on his own. Trust me I have a boy it works.

        • Carrie says:

          You do not put his nose in it!!!! You never put a dogs nose or rub it in it period….you tell them no and take them out … you are supposed to take them out routinely it’s best to get a kennel leave the door open and put a blanket in it and you need to toilet before bed, meals and after meals and when they wake up
          ….keep in mind you can’t exspect them to hold their bladder that long upon waking. You don’t get positive results with abusive training….

        • Carrie says:


          • Donna Driggers says:

            I have a ratcha named Mia. She’s 14 and has epilepsy. She’s my best friend and thinks she’s my daughter so don’t tell her any different. I could never carry children so she fills a big hole in my head. She’s recently had health problems and I’ve been terrified of losing her but she keeps bouncing back. As long as she’s not in pain I’ll keep doing what ever I can to keep her going.

    • Colleen Claxton says:

      My ratcha bear is the same way…doesn’t get along with other dogs or strangers but he loves me…he doesn’t let anyone get close to me…I can take him to the park but he barks and nips at ppl…I love him to pieces and I won’t take anything for him

  8. Anne says:

    I just adopted my one and a half year old Ratcha, Dexter, a few days ago from an animal shelter. He was listed as a stray and had him marked as a mix breed. No information on him at all. I had to do some investigating and found some pics that looked exactly like him which is how I found out he was a Ratcha. In these few short days my family and I have absolutely fallen in love with him. Hes an amazing pupper, super smart, super friendly, and does well with anyone he comes into contact with. I dont think I’ve ever been so impressed with any dog as much as I am with him. Especially since he was a pound puppy, picked up as a “stray.”

  9. Nathan Nye says:

    My Ratcha is 16 years old and never barks except when he sleeps and guess he is dreaming. He loves walks and burrow under the covers. He was raised with a cat and gets along with other animals but not kids. He’s very loving and when he passes, he will be the last animal I own because I could never get as lucky to have a dog like him again.

    • RicoSuave says:

      My Ratcha turned 9 yesterday, and I feel the same way as you. I’ve had dogs my whole life, but never one so wonderful and loving as him. I enjoy celebrating his birthday, but inside it’s just a reminder that our time is limited. It will be extremely difficult for me to ever get another dog after him.

      • Cheryl Wolak says:

        I agree with you both my ratcha just passed 2 days ago and I am absolutely heartbroken. She was the best. She did get along with cats and dogs . We have 2 big labs and she was the boss. I have a 5 year old grandson too and she loved him. She is so missed. I dont think I’ve ever sat on a couch without her curled up on my lap😭

        • Deanie says:

          Oh I’m so sorry 💔 Can I ask, how old was she? I feel the same way. Mine is always on my lap. I can’t imagine him ever not being on my lap. By my side. Everywhere. Prayers to you 🙏

          • CARRIE says:

            I have a ratcha. Sonny he is the most lovable caring and possessive. I got him at 6 weeks old. He wont let any other dogs near me he will nip them. But he is the smartest dog I’ve ever seen he will do tricks he has never peed or pooped in my house I trained him young . I cannot imagine my life with out him he licks my tears and never leaves my side he will wait for me in the same spot if I leave until I come home he will be there . im so sorry for your loss sonny thinks he’s a lap dog and sleeps. under my blankets at night day or wen ever he can . i pray you got another dog my husband says wen he dies we won’t replace him he’s irreplaceable .hes nipped a few times but bones and food can’t be touched by anyone and he has to have it quiet to eat .. So weird. Prayer and thouhts to you

  10. Faith says:

    Hello! I have a ratcha, he is about 8. His skin is very sensitive at the moment. He is always scratching at it. I have wiped out all the possibilities of fleas but im thinking he is having an allergic reaction to something? ( pip ) also loves going out for walks but he can be very snappy at strangers particularly men. We picked him up as a rescue dog from the pound so im thinking it has something to do with his previous life.

    • Noel Tyler says:

      Diet! Feed him non grain food or real meat if possible. Also add a raw egg to his daily diet. I have one and doing this with him, hes doing great!

    • RWilliams says:

      Some dogs have allergies to the grains in their food

    • LizzieW says:

      My RatCha has skin sensitivities too. I feed him a very clean diet of homemade grain free meals so I know it’s not his diet. I have to use Aveeno baby shampoo on his coat and bathe him at least once a week. I also started giving him fish oil and it seems to help a lot. If he gets extra itchy and red skin my vet told me to give him Zyrtec for allergies. Of course, you’d want to talk to your vet about this… But this helps a lot!

  11. septmeber says:

    I have a rat-cha. she is a female and her name is lucky she is 2 years old she was born 08-31-2016. her mom is a long hair chihuahua. lucky is a very different dog to me. when her mom was giving birth to her i had to help her and i had to pull the sack off her and everything. she is very clingy to me. and she is very sensitive. she does not like people that she does not know if someone comes in my house that she has not seen ever or in a long time she will bark her head off! she is a very very playful dog she wants to play every 5 min. when she has to potty she will let me know… if i ask her and she barks that usually means she does i let her out she does her thing and comes right back to the door. she has cloths i out her in when its cold and she has a rain jacket for when its rainy. if u have any suggestions please let me know.

    • Markita Atwater says:

      How did you train her for the bathroom like that. I have a 14 week old Ratcha and I’m learning and trying to teach him how to go outside andet us know

      • Sandra says:

        I have a 3 year old that I got when he was 3 months old. I hung jingle bells on the door we use for him to go outside. He jingles the bells when he needs to potty. I’ve taken bells with us when visiting family and he knows that’s where he goes. Highly recommend trying it.

  12. Laura says:

    Hello! I found what I believe to be a rat-cha on the street a week ago. Vet said about 7 months old. I was just going to foster her until I found her a home since I have two older cats (at least 15 years old, each of them) and they are fearful of dogs. But she is such a sweetie and I am getting so attached to her it is hard to imagine giving her up. I tried a somewhat slow introduction but she still is very excited when she sees the cats. I think she wants to play- but also had prey drive. She barks and whines when she sees them. The cats keep her in her place when I am around, and they all sleep on my bed at night with no problem, but I wonder if I could ever leave them alone together. I only have a one bedroom apartment so it would be hard to separate them every single time I leave. Any thoughts or advice on this? I know I can find her a wonderful home so if this is a pairing that is not ideal for her or the cats, I can accept that and be happy I found her a good home. Thanks!

    • Cheryl Wolak says:

      My ratcha just passed but she was fine with dogs and cats. My youngest even had a hamster and would take it out of a cage and hold it and she was never trying to attack it. If she was in the yard though and saw a squirrel or a rabbit she would chase after them. I think if they’re race together they’ll be fine

    • Deborah Huston says:

      How did your dog and cat living situation work out? We have 6 indoor/outdoor cats and adopted a rat terrier about the same time u found your dog. At the time we thought he was a chihuahua and 4 years of age but we soon found out the foster group had misread the info and he was 4 MONTHS. He’s nearly doubled his weight from 9 to 16 pounds.
      The cat situation was VERY hard. Much worse than yours, based on what you reported. We consulted with a trainer and I had to literally tie the pup to my waist with his leash for over a week. Every time a cat was in sight I’d say “leave it.” If he listened he’d get praise and a tiny treat. If he tore after a cat I’d put him in the cage for a few mins. It was hard but it worked. He still gives chase sometimes but they all get along and no fur is flying lol

  13. Sunset says:

    We are having lots of problems with being hurt by getting skin tears from the pawing even after nails being trimmed. Any suggestions?

    • Rhonda FARBER says:

      HI. We retired in 2017 and moved to where our daughters and granddaughters live. They surprised us with a RatCha very young (3 months) puppy! Our previous, beloved baby was a male Maltese (he lived through his 20th birthday!)and though we were planning to adopt a new pet, we wanted another lapdog. Now our Freya, being not our first choice, is a perfect fit with Mummy and Daddy and we are now the proud and lovingly parents of a wonderful, extremely playful, and very “sharp nailed” little bugger. Her first nail skin tears on my thighs are scars that will more than likely remain forever. My Physician suggestion Vitamin-E Oil and a scar erase cream, I believe are available in the states. Mine have faded, but my baby is a nail biter, so she seems to be due to be a permanent scar producer! Good luck to you and enjoy your lovey new baby!!

  14. Kerbysmom says:

    Great blog thanks! Our Kerbal is about 10 weeks and doing well in our home wirh two kiddos (8 & 10 yo boys) two 10 yo cats and a guinea pig (Kerby will never formally meet Ms. Piggie Smalls however;) it’s January in WI so she’s being housebroken on potty pads inside and at about 80% sucess. I’m a SAHM so she gets loads of attention and training and can be left for a few hours/day in her crate/playpen with potty pad combo. I’ve got an opportunity to spay her at the end of this month inexpensively @ a reputable clinic but my local vet disagrees wanting to do it @ 6 mos. in case she needs any baby teeth extraction- this is our first rodeo with a tiny Ratcha dog- any advice is welcome.

  15. Michael Ranly says:

    I have what you call a Ratcha. I perfer a ChiaRat. (More fun that way.) I love this dog and he’s my best friend. Yes he sleeps with me. Keeps the bed warm on a cold Winter night and in Northern Wisconsin those are plentiful.

    • Steve Rothe says:

      I call mine a Chirat (chee’- rat). She is 6 or 7 now and I was curious about her life expectancy. Lil or Little Greta is also my service dog. I also have a cat, Skye. Their relationship is ok but not really good buds. I love her and am sooo happy she is a long life mix.

      • Anthony says:

        I have a ratcha named Dobie. I got him and his brother at 8 weeks old in 2001. Dobies brother died of parvo when they were 5. But here it is 2018 and aside from him lossing his sight and going deaf he is still moving around great and still goes for walks although he has slowed down a bit. All in all he is still healthy. It’s hard to believe that I was 17 when I got him and now I’m 34 and still have him.

  16. Lia says:

    I recently took in a stray dog which with research I’ve come to find out is a ratcha. My Lola is the sweetest dog ever, loves cuddling, playing, and burrowing under the covers for naps. She does good with my husband however was hesitant at first. My only concern is her eating, she refuses to eat dog food prompting me to give her table snacks in fear of her going hungry. This is probably due to her being on the streets before we got her. How can I get her to start eating dog food?

    • Denise says:

      Mine did the same thing with the food. I mixed just a small amount of ground soft food, just barely enough to flavor it with its kibble, and heated it slightly in the microwave. That worked.

    • Diane Palmer says:

      I flunked fostering mine. But he doesn’t like dog food at all. Has been with us 5 months and will only eat wet food with people food mixed in. We have cats also. They are all buddies. Kind of funny to watch them. But dry food he won’t touch. Loves the wet cat food but was told it wasn’t good for dogs. Anyone have any suggestions on food?

      • MirandaAlexia says:

        Purina Bella wet food. My rose lived for people food until it lead to a stomach issue so after trying out almost 10 brands of wet dog food purina bella’s Worked the best. After a year of that I switched her to the Bella dry dog food which she currently loves and I decided to do that because she was getting into her Bella containers and opening them herself in the middle of the night while I was sleeping waking up to find 3 cans every morning

        • RicoSuave says:

          Mine suffered from IBS and colitis from regular dog food. Science Diet for sensitive stomachs is the only food his little stomach can tolerate. He gained 3 lbs in 4 months after losing weight from the colitis.

      • Nataya Williams says:

        I watched a bocumentary on Netflix called “Pet Fooled” before I adopted my puppy from the shelter. I only feed Max a raw diet and he loves it! He’s so excited to eat every day!

      • Ronda Ginnis says:

        Yes you can put water in their dry dog food or even some chicken broth , or gravy ! I have two pups that are very picky so I change it up just a bit .

    • Giioia B Jones says:

      Put some table scrap in her dog food and mix it up real good so she can not dig it out

    • Rosalie says:

      i mix a little bit (about table spoon) of good can food into his kibble. he devours it and drinks lots of water after.

  17. Ona-emtnest says:

    We are fostering a 2 year old male, he was rescued from a high kill shelter in So. California brought to Idaho where we found him to be perhaps a good ‘fit’ suited to family which is a retired couple, with two cats and a older Lhasa 9 years old. Here are my questions and perhaps concerns. He had a meet and greet with the Lhasa and we found them comfortable with each other. Now at home charges our cats, stops short and runs opposite direction yipping, guessing he’s had negative encounters with claws, not going to be a problem with our cats as they are both declawed. Our cats are very dog acclimated. He is very obedient and when I say a sharp “NO” he stops immediately. So it just may be temporary and he’ll learn the cats are no threat. Secondarily Idaho has 6 months of cold weather, snow, wind etc. I can make him polar fleece coats but will we have problems with him going outside to potty? The only other short haired do we’ve owned was a rescued a miniature wire haired dachshund, which I made polar fleece coats for and he didn’t have issues with winter but I’m concerned about this for this fur baby. I don’t want to use potty pads. At this time we don’t have training issues as my philosophy is not allow him to fail by encouraging him to go ‘out’ the moment he awakes from a nap, immediately after eating, which is how I’ve done with every dog we’ve had. Being retired he will be with us 99% of the time. We are fostering prior to adoption and I’m finding him so obedient, loving I so want to adopt him but huge concern about our up coming cold winter and going out to do his duties.

    • admin says:

      Hi there,
      When it is snowing, it could be a hard task for you to get your pooch pottying outside. And you cannot blame him for that because when it is freezing cold outside, the ground becomes uncomfortable and unsteady, and his favorite potty areas may all be buried under snow. Since Rat-chas have short, soft coat, they need warm sweaters and fleece jackets to stay cozy. Make sure that the jacket or sweater fits well enough so that he can do his business comfortably without soiling his outfit. If his potty site is covered with snow, you can clear the space using a shovel and create a new area as close to the original potty spot as possible. You may also place potty grass near his regular potty area.

      • Tracy Ann Wilson says:

        Him, we took in our little black rat-cha almost 2 years old ,Onyx last October.
        What I’ve noticed quite interesting is that when he sleeps with us ( i love the borrowing and cuddling.. as we’ve always have had big dogs.. he releases a puppy scent only while sleeping 🤗.. anyone ever hear of this ? I love it I’m just curious about this

        • Oreos human says:

          A puppy scent? Is it like a fishy smell? He’s expressing anal glands. It’s important to take him to a groomer/vet every 4-6 weeks to have them expressed. We had a Pom rupture her glands 2ce because they became so full. So all our dogs (ratchi included, he’s 2) get them done regularly.

  18. John Pasche says:

    I recently bought a rat cha puppy…. she is absolutely adorable & easy to train…… Within one week of having her……at less than 12 weeks she was fully paper trained…..
    Although she is still a puppy and it’s early for her to be in heat..,. I would like to be prepared…. Where can I get more information on possible Behavior changes….. etc.

    • Eirroc says:

      You should get her fixed. There’s no reason not to have her spayed unless you plan on using her for breeding, which isn’t very nice for her. She’ll be miserable in heat – literally the only thing that will quell it is getting laid. If you can’t afford to spay her, call around & ask when a low-cost spay & neuter clinic will be held near you. As a responsible dog owner, you should spay your dog.

    • MirandaAlexia says:

      I got my rose when I was 9 and at that time my mom and I never thought of spaying her I didn’t have the information I do now at 17. She is 9 and because I never spayed her and she never had puppies she has tumors that could potentially kill her if they are cancerous, but they could also be hormonal false pregnancies. I just highly recommend spaying and neutering because the outcome could be tragic

  19. Betty Dehmlow says:

    I am interested in buying a dog, if you sell them. I would like to know how I identify the dog I want if I can buy one

    • Eirroc says:

      Adopt, don’t shop! Watch local shelters & dog rescues and eventually you’ll find the dog that’s right for you. That’s how we’ve found our RatChi.

  20. Jo snobarger says:

    We got our Lola when she was 3 months old mid June 2017 she had a had a good \ adjustment though we question her first months of life as she was abandoned at a gas station and she had worms and then mange showed up that we are treating presently. My husband works from home so she is to lots of attention. I have concern as we going on a trip for a week in august and are planning having a neighbor come and go some during the day to check on her, but she will be needing to stay in her crate during the down time as I don’t think the neighbor will be coming to do much more than to feed her and take her out to potty. Lola is used to following husband around the house during day. Do u think she will be traumatized by the change to her schedule? Also she does not like riding in the car. Is that commom? We love her so much

    • Eirroc says:

      How did Lola do while you were on your trip?

      Our rescue RatChi doesn’t like riding in the car for longer than 5 mins. She doesn’t get sick but pants & whines. We have a Ruffwear harness and an Avalanche seat belt clip that we clip into the back seat & to her harness. She does much better in the back than in the front. We open the windows all the way so she can sniff the air which seems to distract her & make her feel better – even in zero degree weather, we open them for a minute or two at a time. Start by just putting her in the car & giving a tiny treat once in, turning car on as if you were going somewhere, but don’t go anywhere. Wait a couple of minutes while pretending you’re driving, then shut it off, let her out & give a treat. Progress to driving up the driveway, then to around the block, then to a fun place to walk that’s very nearby, always with a treat when getting in or out. Takes patience but over time she’ll hopefully get acclimated & not mind the car. If the only places she goes are to the vet or other not-fun places, she won’t like the car. If she associates it with going to fun places, she’s more likely to not mind it as much.

  21. Rachelle says:


    I rescued a Chihauhau, but I’m now pretty sure she’s a RatChi. They didn’t know her age, but the vet thinks she’s about 13 to 15. She’s getting pretty white in the face and paws. She’s the most loving, smart, well trained and cutest little dog in the world. I’m her person – full stop. If I pick her up and hold her on her back like a baby, she goes to sleep instantly. It’s hillarious. She talks in her sleep, like happy chatter, but sometimes she cries in her sleep. Breaks my heart. She had really bad separation anxiety but with patience, and some training she is much better. She would also go ballistic when she would get her nails trimmed, but I’ve spent time playing with her paws when she’s cuddling with me, and now she is calm when they do her nails. I’m so glad to have her, and a bit sad that it may only be for a few more years. She’s about 9 pounds which would be heavy for a Chi, but I’m hoping it’s about right for a RatChi..? She’s allergic to chicken, so I make her a gruel with Lamb, rice/quinoa, broccoli, pumpkin and glucosamine, and mix it with a bit of kibble. She’s from southern California and now is a Canadian resident who doesn’t like the cold weather. On really cold rainy days, I walk her through our condo parkade for her dailies. Seems to work well. She’s never gone in the house, so I would not know how to pad train her – any suggestions?

    Thanks for your blog and helpful info on these little nuggets from heaven.

    • admin says:

      Hi there,
      If you are thinking about pad training your Rat-cha, you should first identify a permanent location, preferably a non-carpeted room. Make sure the room is large enough so that the dog can potty, play, and sleep.
      Cover the floor with potty pads and take a pad away after 2-3 days and leave the others. Continue removing one pad every alternate day until a single pad remains. If your Rat-cha pees or poops in another location, cover it with pads and restart from scratch.
      Put her on a leash and take her to the pad every 2 hours, as well as after eating, playing, or walking. Say “potty” and if your dog obeys the command and eliminates on the pad, praise her by giving her treats. If she doesn’t relieve herself in 5 minutes, remove her from the pad. Try again later.

      • robyn says:

        My dog later to learn was a ratchi, I have had many Dogs, but without a doubt this is the smartest dog I’ve ever owned (and that’s a big statement) he would never think of going in the house… I had him a year April 14, 16….he’s a rescue… but so typical of what I have read about ratchis… sleeps in my bed. Digs in and burrows, knows every sound in the house especially the jar where his treats are kept… so calm at home… but he knows how to have a good time on walks… he is absolutely beautiful… must have been a stud as he was about 10 or 11 when he arrived and was still intact….. great dog for seniors and singles or couples, but he’s only about 11 pounds, and although he would never bite a child I worry that he may be injured by accident…

        • Oreos human says:

          My ratchi can be smart but he can also be so dumb. My Pomeranians are smarter than he is, that’s for sure. But he can be silly and very loving. He will cuddle in my arms for long periods of time at night. During the days when he’s sleepy, he disappears under blankets and we figure out where he is when one of my other dogs jumps up on the couch and a blanket pops up and all we hear are serious growls. Lol 😂

  22. Beth says:

    I adopted an 8 months old probable rat-chi about 2 months ago. At first he was the “perfect” dog, not house trained completely but… After 2 months, he still doesn’t seem to understand. I know consistency is key. We take him out half a dozen times or more a day. Still he urinates inside at least twice almost every day. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I can’t seem to catch him at it most of the time, so very little to no “scolding”.

    • Rebecca D Patino says:

      I’ve been told by the vet that small dogs are difficult to housebreak. I have found that to be true. They are so small that they will find an area that you will not see right away. I trained my rat-cha to use wee-wee pads when he was a small (under 2lbs.) I put the pads in different areas around the house and he uses them. It is so much easier to just fold them and throw them away.

    • Debbie D. says:

      Brandon Mc Millan teaches a great way to house train. Look up his books. He uses the triangle method of crate, outside, play and back in again. It really works. The dog can not be out of your sight for a moment. It took me about a week to take my 3 year old rescue house trained and it takes patience. However, after he learned, he never made a mistake. However, I always keep track of how long he has been in the house so to guess it might be time to go out. Also, when you regularly walk your dog, he poops and pees so that upon return he can go for hours.

  23. Em says:

    We inherited an eight week old female, what appears to be a rat terrier chihuahua mix. Three pounds when she arrived, up to five pounds now at twelve weeks, best guess. Very loving, typical pup behavior. Teething difficult. However, I believe she was take. From mom too soon and suffers from what would be dis robed in a child as night tremors. She’ll wake up from a sleep, shoot right in the air and literally fly around the room, slamming into walls, sliding under furniture and yelping. I have to catch her and wrap her in a blanket, holding her upwards of half an hour to calm her. Some she screams the whole time, bring flash backs of infant ear infections. After she calms she is really thirsty, and then she sleeps. After she awakens, she’s her old self…busy, happy, prancrs and plays. At first I thought she was having seizures and $300 later testing was inconclusive. Any thoughts?

    • admin says:

      Considering the symptoms you mentioned here, it seems the poor fellow is having nightmares. Canine nightmares possibly revolve around their past experiences or the things they are afraid of. Whatever the traumatic event experienced during the dream, a dog usually shows it through movements and distressing sounds ranging from whining, howling, and screaming. If nightmares occur every night, it is recommended to take your pup to the vet.

  24. Henry says:

    Hello. I am considering adopting a 3-month old Rat-cha from a co-worker but I am concerned about proper living conditions and my semi-regular travels for work.

    I currently have 2 Labs, a 5 and 7 year old adopted 2 years ago, that live outside in my fenced-in backyard with a specially built kennel that can house multiple dogs. Assuming that I introduce the dogs properly would there be a problem if the Rat-cha lived outside in the kennel with my Labs?

    I often travel at least 3-4 days of the month, if not more, for work. While I am away I have one of several dog sitters watch the dogs, making sure they are regularly walked and fed, but for the most part the dogs’ only companions are each other. Would this be an issue?

    • admin says:

      Before getting a Rat-cha puppy, you need to socialize and housetrain your Labs properly so that they consider the newbie a playmate. If you have already trained your existing dogs, then you may follow these useful guidelines after bringing the new pup home.
      • Meal time is crucial in a family with multiple dogs. So, you need to have someone supervising your pets to prevent food guarding or food aggression behaviors. Give them enough interactive food toys so that they learn to give each other some space.
      • Although you would want to shower your affection and pay more attention toward the new member, you should resist that temptation. Treat your three dogs equally and give them similar rewards for following your orders.
      • Enforce play-time rules by managing their excitement levels through play-breaks. During the play-break, you may get one of the pets to follow some commands and then reward him for it. Soon, the others would want to join in, and you could do a relaxing obedience session.
      • Make sure that each of them has separate kennels or crates so that the adult Labradors can rest in peaceful solitude, away from the playful nibbles of the Rat-cha pup.
      • Ask your dog sitter to stay in your house the entire time you are gone. When the puppy grows older, it won’t be necessary to manage them closely.

  25. Debbie G. says:

    I rescued what appears to be a rat chi late Feb this year. She is about 2 yr old. I have gotten her pretty much house trained at this point & she does great with me & adores me! She follows me everywhere I go, sleeps w/ me etc. The problem is that I am the only person who can take her outside to go potty….she will not go outside with my husband ! She has gotten to the point where she will allow my husband to pet her, love her & throw her favorite squeaky toy forever as long as I’m around. The problem is that as soon as I leave the house to go to work, etc she wants nothing to do with him & retreats to the back bedroom until I get home! She will wait to go potty until whenever I get home even if it’s 9 hrs! When my husband has tried to pick her up or put a leash on her to try to take her out, he said she got so scared she would pee & poop all over! Any help…I assume she was probably abused by a male perhaps in her past but who knows…Thanks so much!

    • admin says:

      Your Rat-cha is perhaps a “one-person dog.” Since you are the primary caregiver, your pet might have chosen you as her favorite person. To deal with your hyper-attached dog, you may use any of the following measures:
      • When you are home, try to ignore your dog’s attention-seeking behaviors. If she whines or barks for cuddles, ignore this.
      • Your dog will likely monitor your movement and always want to follow you. Teach her to be patient by going into another room and closing the door. Even if she is whining, do not come back. Remain out of sight till she stops crying, and when you return, reward her with treats.
      • You can desensitize your dog to actions that signal your departure from home. You can make actions like grabbing your car keys and putting your coat or shoes on irrelevant by repeating them periodically and then sitting on the sofa.
      Consult a vet who will likely prescribe calming aids such as DAP diffusers that will help your dog cope with her anxiety.

  26. Michelle says:

    My Ratcha Loki is the best dog ever. He loves his babies (toys) and wants to take them everywhere he goes. He plays ball with me on the floor; when I roll it over to him, he will pass it back to me with his nose. He is very loyal and loves to burrow under the covers too.

  27. Jennifer says:

    My Gypsy has many of the characteristics you all listed above. We got her at 4 months. She’s a year and a half, now. We were TOTALLY not looking for a house dog when Gypsy found us. Everyday, my son would beg me for that dog, almost a week. I finally caved. Best decision EVER.

    She is loyal to a fault, loves to sleep under the covers, hates rain/bad weather/being cold. She has to warm up to strangers and alerts us of anything out of the norm. She is potty trained with a doggie door, so she’s goes in and out at will. (We have a cordless pet fence.) She seriously thinks she is a cat. Bandit, our cat, is her best friend. She will bathe herself, just like a cat. We have 2 outside dogs that she is ok with. She does not like strange dogs and will bark at the top of her lungs if one comes around. She loves to sun herself, and understands shake, sit, bark, lay down, bite (food,) baby (toy,) no, and so many other things. I can not tell you enough of the precious things about this breed, especially my Gyp.

  28. Melissa Velez says:

    My little baby is the cutest looking like a mini collie , with a pink nose . Hates water ,the cold ,dogs, strangers but loves cats ,toys,digging holes,sleeping under the covers and is obsessed with me never wants to leave my sight .I can talk about her for hrs trying to mate her now she is 2 1/2 years old. Loves to still candy especially the sour stuff and will drink juice if you let her but I usually catch her . Oh and she loves to hide things under the bed and plays with any kind of tissue and collects them too.

  29. Lena Marsh says:

    How do we get our dog to get along with our two adult cats? Our dog is 2 months old?

    • admin says:

      It is possible for a dog and cat to live together peacefully under one roof. However, you need to introduce the newcomer carefully to minimize its fear and aggression. Here’s how you can introduce your new pup to the two adult cats.
      • Keep the puppy on a leash and restrain him from lunging at or reaching your cats.
      • Notice his reaction. If he stares down the cats, barks, whines, or pulls to get at them, it means that his predatory instincts are strong. Then you will have to gradually introduce your pup to the cats in a safe setting.
      • Bring them on the opposite sides of a baby gate or door and let them sniff through the gate or under the door. Don’t force the cats if they don’t want to get very close to the dog.
      Reward them with treats and praises so that they can associate the presence of other pets with good things. Train your pup with positive reinforcement so that he can respond to easy commands like “sit” or “down,” and you can get his focus off the cats.

  30. Kirstin Ardrey says:

    I just adopted my 6 year old a few days ago. It is our first dog and she’s so we’ll behaved! We have 3 kids that she loves and takes turns sleeping with every night. The only problem I’m having with her is she pee or poo as soon as I leave, doesn’t matter if I just took her out or on a walk,even when I just take the trash out. Not sure what to do about that, any feedback is appreciated.

  31. Anastasia Reed says:

    My husband got me a RatCha for our anniversary in February. He ended up being very sick, he was 10 weeks old when I got him, and he was covered in fleas and didn’t seem playful. I took him to the vet, weighing in at 2.4 pounds, he was diagnosed with parvo. Three days in isolation with the proper meds, he recovered. Since then, he has been very posessive of me (I visited him 3x a day while in the hospital). He is very skiddish though. I will call him and he cowers down and I am not sure why. He is now five months old, but still doesn’t seem to like any other people. At bed time, however he will curl up and burrow with my three year old son. He also thinks he is a cat, as when I call my cat, Jasper will come running along with my cat, Tyler. Does anyone else have this experience, if so, what have you done to ensure their little RatCha is not so skiddish?

  32. Allison says:

    Got our rescue 6 month female Ratcha less than 2 weeks ago. She totally adores my 12 year old daughter and me. Although she first struggles with men, she is good with my husband. Was slow to be mostly comfortable with my 11 year old daughter…did bite at her some. Did aggressively bite my newly 6 year old daughter. She has already shown psycho aggression randomly to kids and adults while showing complete love to others. I don’t understand how she can be the sweetest thing ever and then turn into aggressive scary thing. I have a trainer coming in two weeks. We are willing to work with her and learn how to help her but wonder if she will always be a liability. It’s a true snarling, barking at, attacking mode she can go into. My kids just want to love all over her and feel safe around our neighborhood with their friends and her too. Not the case right now.

  33. June Lovaasen says:

    Got my Rat cha from rescue shelter . She has been with us for six weeks now and love her so much .she loves car rides , plays well with cats and our black lab . And burrow in bed , lol .

  34. dee says:

    They are extremely intelligent. A bit bossy to the bigger dog but playful.
    Yes, they do not like rain, cold. Mine(female) does a wheelbarrow stance when having to make pee.
    Loves to burrow under the covers in bed. Very cute.
    Have to make an outdoor grass potty for rainy days under cover as she hates going out when rainy.

  35. Danielle says:

    Adopted our Ratcha when she was 2, 2years ago. She left a family that had too many dogs. She is extremely affectionate. Loves snuggling!! Loves other dogs. She is actually better with the larger dogs. High energy, definitely loves lots of short walks. (Long walks tire her out and asks to be carried) loves to chase things. Excellent at listening when called. Hates cold weather and rain! Excellent with strangers and kids. A total lover not an ounce of fighter.

  36. Sandra Schofield says:

    I have a girl ( Boxey) that is a RatCha…she is the sweetest most sensitive dog. She is smart, loves to play..fetch her toys and I never trained her to do it! She burrows under the covers or sits in my lap and loves to give me kisses! So funny, sweet, sensitie, and energetic. She used to chew everything in site but better now. She loves to find bunnies in the bushes but never has hurt one! I adore and love her to pieces! I have a male CHI and she adores him..mothers him though hes 4 years older. They are great together. Cant imagine my life without either of them!?

  37. Kathy Woods says:

    We rescued our Ratcha”Ellie”from a neighbor who did not want her when she was two years old,we have had a lot of smart loving Dogs,but she is the smartest most loving we have ever had,I know she understands everything that is said to her! She is so obedient,learned tricks so fast,wants to please,loves the grandchildren and everyone;The perfect Dog! She is 14 years old now,just lost her 13 year old “Sister”,has had depression,now has kidney problems,when she crosses the rainbow bridge we will be devastated,Our one in a million little girl,but we will go on and rescue another,hopefully one just like “Ellie”

  38. Eric M says:

    I adopted a ratcha 1 week ago from the shelter. He has been very easy to potty train, the next step is to get him to sit, shake etc. He is 8lbs and gets along with my boxador who also is a rescue. Our adult children have small and large dogs, he is well with the big dogs but will snap at thiem if they push on him. Oh and like the other owner this one love to cuddle with the wife and I catch him under the covers fun and loving dog.

  39. Jennnnn says:

    I have a 3 month old ratcha. She is adorable but I can’t get her to calm down and stop attacking (playing) my other small dog, (Who tolerates her but doesn’t want to play 24/7). When can I leave her out of her kennel all day and night??

  40. Jill Weyand says:

    Macy joined our family when she was 12wks old, now 9mo. She has an appt. to be spayed, chipped, shots, anal sacs, and nail trim in two days….thankfully she will be sleeping or drowsy through most of it! I never had a small dog, never heard of Rat-Cha….then came Macy. My husband purchased her for me from a young couple that just had a baby and were moving out of state. I have a dehabilitating disease that often keeps me with limited function and my husband works out of town which leaves me alone a lot. Macy is my emotional support dog. She has been a Godsend! Macy is very smart and intuitive. She keeps me laughing with her hijinks, the more I laugh the more she entertains…she looks at me knowing exactly what her actions are doing. She has MANY TOYS and knows each one by one word association. She loves walks and meeting up with her friends, other dogs and people alike. When we are out and she hears the sound of the plastic poop bag she knows it’s time to do her business. With a click of my tongue she stops and waits for a command….HOME, Macy leads me from any direction right to our door. Macy does bark at every noise outside our door and at everyone when she is outside(She really wants them to notice her) I plan on speaking to a trainer to see if we can curb that. Macy loves everyone once she is not afraid of you anymore. Plus my floor is never dirty….keep picked up, do not even drop a pencil…my Macy will find it for You! Lol I also wear shirts on her during the day to keep shedding down. She will not go out of the bedroom now until I dress her….love my girl!

  41. Angel Havens says:

    I’m looking for a male rat=chi mix prefer white with brindle and a puppy fo a gift. Live in Gainesville fl. Please contact me if you know where I can locate one, will travel anywhere in fl or s Georgia. Angel 352 284 5205

  42. Jamie Castillo says:

    I have a 10 month old and he is my first dog. He is great with our kids and such a sweet guy. He is intact and is not aggressive. He plays well with the neighbor’s dog. He barks to alert us, but is not a “barky” dog. He does need to be walked everyday, otherwise he gets bored and starts getting naughty.

    • Skythepup0 says:

      my mom got my brother and I one and she is 2 years old she is so nice and loving. she loves everyone. she wouldnt even hurt a fly. we all love her and give her so much attension. the only problume is hes really jumpy and m friend is scared at her

  43. Ebra says:

    Love my sweet Rat-chi( MiMi) so much! Got her when she was 7 weeks now she is 5 months . I’m single so it’s just me & her. Most lovable & loyal puppy I’ve ever owned.Very entertaining She keeps me laughing.

  44. Pat Dew says:

    We just adopted a Rat-Cha he is 1 year old. He is the sweetest little boy. Already potty trained, already fix and loves to sleep with us. He loves my boxer Bella. He has a great personality. Saturday will be just a week and we already in love with him. He loves to go walking with Bella and we are so pleased.

  45. Kim says:

    My rat-cha is 3 in a half years old and has such destructive behavior. She’s chewed almost everything in my house. She has toys and a sister for companionship along with lots of love and attention. I’ve become extremely frustrated with her. She’s on her way out!

    • Brittany says:

      We have a male rat-chi he is five and loved all to pieces i understand she is disruptive but please think twice before giving her away once you win her love and loyality she will calm down

    • Jamie Castillo says:

      Does she get walked everyday? Dogs get bored being in the house all of the time. Also, is your home picked up? Tidy?

    • D.MacDougall says:

      If that’s the way you feel, she would be better off without you, and in a more patient, tolerant environment.

  46. Shelia Smith says:

    I have a Ratcha (Nala) and she is very energetic, spoiled and loveable and lives to burrow Under blankets or any type of cover to snuggle and fall asleep. She loves to lay in my lap or anyone she trusts but does not get along very well with other dogs lately. Not sure what changed as she used to have play dates last summer. Very trainable with praise and treats. Loves to be dressed in clothes, especially pink. Great dog!!!

  47. lisa says:

    My dog callie belle a year old had her since 6 weeks old is extremely stubborn and pees on my furniture to mark her territory from my other pets . She’s fixed and I have worked patiently on potty training etc since day one . Nothing works she pees and it’s making me unhappy .

  48. Elizabeth Doran says:

    We have a Rat Cha since she was 8 weeks old and will be 15 weeks on Sunday (New Years Day 2017). She has the zoomies like crazy! She is super smart and learned to sit and to take treats gently! Amazing little mix breed! She is all black with a white heart on her chest and white tipped toes.

  49. This is the best dog we have ever owned.We adopted her from a pet rescue.She is now one year old.Easy to train once you have gained her trust.She is extremely affectionate.Loves to burrow under the covers at night.Do not leave outside as hates the cold.Travels well.
    On command- comes when called,sits,fetches ball,stays,plays dead,rolls over,spins,dances,gives paw & begs.
    Not good with young children as becomes nervous & fearful.
    Perfect for a retired couple.

  50. KVT says:

    My little rescue rat-cha is one year old tomorrow. Gets along great with my other 2 pure breed chihuahuas. The energy makes jack russells look calm. When not playing, he’s a snuggler. Easy pup to love. Wants to be everyones friend.

  51. AZ Gal says:

    My little guy is 15 now. He is doing great, but we noticed that his hearing is diminished a bit. Smart breed! He learned many tricks early on-and the little kids in the family love it when he sits, turns around and does a little howl (barely makes a sound). His name is Gizmo-large ears of course! If you are lucky enough to ever own this breed, it will bless your life!

  52. Suga says:

    I have this kind of dog he is energetic loves follow and protect me. Shreds alot cool with kids and other dogs love his bad sweet butt…

    • Rebekah Warner says:

      I have one but how to train it from not snapping at other family members. She is 8 years old. Plus we just got her last week.

      • admin says:

        Growling, barking, snapping, or biting are behaviors often triggered by ‘small dog syndrome’. All you have to do is, win the trust of your dog for your family members. Ask them to create friendly environments involving your dog. The easiest way is to play with it or plan for family picnics, etc. Ask them to begin playing with your dog (one at a time), and let them give favorite treats to your dog as and when it behaves properly. This might take a little time, but your little dog will gradually begin to feel comfortable with them. So you need patience.
        Best of luck!

  53. kiaradade says:

    i what a dog

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