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Rat Terrier Rottweiler Mix: Rare but Desirable Cross

Rat Terrier Rottweiler Mix

If you wanted to produce a miniature Rottweiler, how would you go about it? Would you wish on a shooting star? Or would you try to aa mixes such as a Chihuahua or Jack Russell? Would you get anything resembling a Rottweiler in character?

Perhaps people sat around wondering about that very thing and came up with a Rat Terrier as a viable mix.
You may not picture ever owning a Rat Terrier Rottweiler mix, but it may be one of the better approaches to trying to get a miniature Rottie.

The Rat Terrier Rottweiler is not a common mix. A compilation of the facts we know about each of the parent breeds gives us a clue as to what traits may appear in the offspring.

Mixing dogs for specific characters is not an exact science as you are usually expanding the gene pool after generations of shrinking it to create highly specialized breeds.

A Rottweiler Rat Terrier mix is a medium-sized black and tan dog with high energy. Loyal and affectionate, this mix is wary of strangers, has a high prey drive, enjoys children and other dogs, and is ideal for owners who can give them plenty of attention and keep them from getting bored.

We examine the unique history and characteristics of the Rottweiler and then the Rat Terrier to formulate what a puppy might look like and how it might behave. The background and a breed’s original purpose have lasting effects decades later on a dog’s conformational make-up and disposition.

What is the brief history of the Rottie Rat Terrier Mix

Where did the Rottie originate?

Rottweilers are German in origin, a product of a town called Rottweil. However, their ancestors were Greek Molosser dogs and British Mastiffs from thousands of years ago. These massive canids gave rise to war dogs, arena blood sports gladiators, livestock guardians, and herding dogs.

Rottweiler forefathers were specialty drover dogs for cattle and helped the Roman legions move their livestock over the Alps.

In Germany, Rottweilers were largely left to their own devices and bred with local dogs. When the Germans retook their country around 400 AD, they selected dogs from the Rottweiler types for their working ability. These Rottweilers ended up larger and with better property guarding abilities than dogs the Roman had brought.

The 1830s took a toll on the Rottweiler breed as rail cars replaced them, but they bounced back in the 1870s and became a valuable commodity with the police force and shortly thereafter the military.

The German people established a Rottweiler breed standard in 1901 and began moving with their dogs to other parts of the world. Emigrants started bringing their Rotties to America around 1929 and the AKC accepted them in 1931.

How did the Rat Terrier come about?

Rat Terrier’s ancestors originated in England around 1820 from a Manchester Terrier x Fox Terrier cross. When emigrants brought them to the US in 1890, farmers crossed them with Whippets, Beagles, Italian Greyhounds, and others to give them the speed and tenacity to exterminate rats.

They lost their jobs to rodenticides in the 1950s and developed into mostly companion animals. They retain characteristics of the Feist group including liveliness, energy, speed, and prey drive.

Children and Other Pets

Rottweiler Rat Terrier crosses do well with children over the age of ten years. They may be snappy and impatient with kids who do not exercise proper canine etiquette such as grabbing at them and getting too close to their faces. High-energy roughhousing can cause this mix to get too rambunctious.

Rottie Rat Terriers get along with other dogs but may be programmed to run down and kill small animals. Unfortunately, their strong prey drive can extend to cats, as Rat Terriers pursued rabbits as well as mice and rats.

How did we get the Rottie rat Terrier cross?

With the success of the Poodle crosses in the 1980s, it became common to experiment with various other crosses. If you wanted specific traits, you used your imagination to mix any variety of breeds. Although it was difficult to standardize the Poodle’s so-called hypoallergenic curls, Labradoodles and similar mixes had such appeal that the hybrid craze continued.

The Rottie Rat Terrier likely originated as an afterthought or “what if” moment in the late 2010s. As with many recent hybrids after the “Doodle,” the purpose of the Rottweiler Terrier mix is a mystery. It eventually found its best niche as a companion animal.

  • Smaller more agile Rottie
  • Larger, more forceful watchdog in a Rat terrier
  • More agility than Rottweiler
  • Better companion dog

What will the Rat Terrier Rottweiler Mix look like?


Rottweilers are about 23 to 27 inches tall and weigh 80 to 130 pounds while Rat Terriers can be three different sizes.

  • Standard is 16 to 19 inches tall and weighs between 20 and 40 pounds
  • Miniature is under15 inches tall and weighs 10 to 20 pounds
  • Toy is under a foot tall and weighs five to ten pounds; Not recognized by the AKC

A Rat Terrier Rottie will likely be between 18 and 23 inches tall and weigh 20 to 65 pounds. Breeding a Rottie with a miniature or Toy may increase your chances of getting a smaller dog.

Physical Features

Rotties are among the most recognizable breeds with their springy athletic trot that is not lumbering and a large square-shaped head.

Rottweilers have wide-set eyes and ears. Their ears are medium and triangular in shape. They fold down close to their heads although you can see their high set when your dog is alert.

The tail is lightly fringed and curves above the horizontal plane when they are excited. In North America, Rottweilers usually have a docked tail. The body is slightly longer than tall with sturdy limbs, powerful shoulders and hindquarters, and a deep broad chest.

Rat Terriers are muscular without appearing bulky and have a smooth and ground-covering movement. Their wedge-shaped head is flat on top with pointed upright V-shaped ears and slanted oval-shaped eyes.

These terriers are slightly longer than tall with strong compact bodies, a deep chest, and balanced shoulders and hindquarters. Even miniatures are strong-bodied and have substance.

A Rottie Rat Terrier will be compact with a strong frame and limbs and a purposeful springy gait. The head will be large but in proportion to the body with a narrower face and slightly longer muzzle than a purebred Rottie’s. You will notice a deep chest that is broader than a Rat Terrier would be.

Your first impression of your mix should be a keen and alert expression and substance to the body. Her tail will be high-set with a slight curve with or without fringes of a plume and may taper to the length of the hocks or be a natural bob.


A Rottweiler should be black and tan, regardless of reports to the contrary that claim rare colors such as black, red, or white. The eyes are brown, preferably dark. Tan is a loose term in the Rottie that covers shades from light brown to rust to deep mahogany. Brown’s points appear in a stereotypical pattern on the Rottweiler.

  • Above each eye
  • Under the tail
  • Cheeks
  • Sides of muzzle
  • Lowe’s legs
  • Chest

Rat Terriers, in stark contrast to Rotties, always have 10 to 90% white coverage. Their color should be pied or piebald, which is a base shade with white patches of varying sizes. In the Rat Terrier, these patches must be larger than an inch long. A Rat Terrier can also be an extreme piebald in which the dog will be completely white with possible ticking or mottling.

The eyes are brown to hazel depending on the coat’s base color. Dogs with the dilution gene will be blue and can have gray eyes. Blue-eyed dogs are not recognized by the AKC and neither are dogs that are not piebald. Rat Terriers have several acceptable base colors. Many dogs have tan points that can vary in shade from cream to rust.

  • Black
  • Lemon
  • Fawn
  • Blue
  • Chocolate
  • Red
  • Apricot
  • Badger, sable

A Rottweiler Rat Terrier will be black and tan but can potentially have large white areas usually on the chest and neck. His eyes will be brown. The cross has more variations possible in the shading of the tan points as these can be cream-colored, beige, light brown, beige, chocolate, rust, or mahogany.

Grooming Rat Terrier Rottweiler Mix is not difficult

Rottweilers have a medium-length double coat that is short on the legs and face. Rat Terriers have short smooth fur. Your mix will have short to medium fur that may be longer around the chest, neck, and shoulder. She will have a thin to moderately dense undercoat that will shed more noticeably in the fall and spring.

The Rat Terrier Rottie’s fur will protect her from moderate cold and hot weather conditions, ideally between 30 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need to brush her once to three times a week to maintain circulation to the skin and remove loose hairs and debris.

Unless your dog has a medical reason, you should be able to keep baths to once every eight to ten weeks. Do not forget to trim the nails and check the ears frequently.

Rat Terrier Rottweiler Mix requires a lot of exercises

Rottweilers need 90 minutes to an hour and a half of exercise every day. Rat Terriers are smaller but still require 40 minutes or more of daily exercise. Both dogs are very intelligent, and you will have to dedicate some of your dog’s activity time to mental stimulation.

Your mix needs 60 to 90 minutes of playing and running every day along with mentally engaging activities. When your Rottie mix is a puppy, training and socialization will accomplish much of your goals for working the brain.

Activities you can consider to build lasting bonds with this type of dog are luring, Shutzhund, agility, fetch, Frisbee, running while you bike or skate, or tracking.

Rat Terrier Rottweiler mixes are healthy

Rat Terriers and Rottweilers each have their brands of troubles they can pass to their puppies. However, the mix is very healthy, living 12 to 14 years.

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia – Rottie
  • Legg-Perthe’s – Rat Terrier; Head of the femur can lose circulation and die causing pain
  • Luxating Patella – Rat Terrier; Kneecap is unstable and moves out of position
  • Dental disease – Rat Terrier
  • Allergies – Rat Terrier
  • Low thyroid – Rottweiler
  • Von Willebrand’s – Rottweiler; clotting disorder

How do you feed a Rottweiler Rat Terrier mix?

While you will be hard-pressed to find a breed-specific dog food that fulfills the needs of your mixed pooch, your pet has the same requirements as other canids. Your dog needs high-quality proteins and fats without any rigid demands for carbohydrates.

Fats and proteins should ideally come from animal sources, but many premium brands use plant-based oils. Progressive dog foods also incorporate the number of carbohydrates to mimic what a wild dog might get feeding off the stomach contents of rabbits or deer.

You can also choose from a wide array of fresh and freeze-dried dog food, consulting with your veterinarian about the right nutritional balance for your dog. Some people even make their dog’s food at home.

Many Rottweiler Rat terrier crosses will be 40 to 60 pounds. They need about 950 to 1,600 calories per day depending on where they are in their growth cycle, their body score, and whether they are active or more sedentary. To give you an idea, 1200 calories is about three to four cups of kibble. Because of their deep chest and risk for bloat, you should break up your dog’s food portions into two or more meals a day.

Are Rottweiler Rat Terriers smart?

Both the Rottweiler and Rat Terrier are smarter and more trainable than average. Rottweilers reign among the top 10 dogs in working dogs, ranking No. 9 according to a Stanley Coren list.

Coren’s work in canine psychology is renowned. He tested 138 breeds, even performing evaluations of instinctual (performance of tasks bred to do) and adaptive (ability to solve problems) intelligence.

Rat Terriers did not receive a ranking in Coren’s test, but it is reasonable to assume they would fall in the mid-30s with so many of the other terriers.

Rat Terriers are people-oriented and thus can be sensitive to raised voices during training. Otherwise, they are eager to please and quick to pick up commands. Rottweilers are strong-willed and can be bullies, but they have a strong work ethic. Both breeds must respect their handlers to follow their lead which is true of your mix.

Expect your Rottweiler Rat Terrier mix to be lively, attentive, smart, and willing to please but sensitive. Training will take patience and quite a bit of positive reinforcement, although your dog will likely pick up commands quickly.

Rottweiler Rat Terriers are excellent family companions.

Several qualities make the Rottie Rat Terrier mix a good family pet.


Your mix should have a lively and alert disposition. Some will be openly friendly and seek human attention like the Rat Terriers while others may be more reserved and more suspicious of strangers.

Most will likely be good watchdogs, but some may also have strong guarding instincts. Your mix will be an observer with a steady temperament.

Where are the Rottweiler Rat Terrier Mixes

Rottweiler Rat Terrier crosses are uncommon, with the focus as of 2020 more on the Jack Russell mix. The best we could find was a side-by-side comparison.

This Rat Terrier is mostly black with tan points and only maybe 15% white. You can notice the pointed ears that would contribute to a mix’s semi-upright or rose ears.

These two dogs theoretically would produce a medium-sized black and tan mix with a white chest.

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