Rat Terrier And German Shepherd Mix (Rat-Shepherd) - Hybrid Dog Breed

Rat Terrier German Shepherd Mix (Rat-Shepherd) – Hybrid Dog Breed

This article is about a mixed hybrid dog breed known as Rat-Shepherd resulting from Rat Terrier and German Shepherd mix. Let’s find out the important facts about this uniquely designed dog breed.

What makes a dog unique? As we all know, there are hundreds of dog breeds. The appearance and temperament of each breed differ from one to the other. Besides purebred dogs, several hybrid dogs have been developed over the years.

As the name implies, hybrid dogs are the Semi version of two separate dog breeds. Since hybrid dogs get their looks and personality traits from two dog breeds, it undeniably adds more uniqueness.

Rat-Shepherd is the mixed version of Rat Terriers and German Shepherds. You might already have heard a lot about German Shepherds and Rat Terriers, as these breeds are popular worldwide.

Rat-Shepherds become dynamic dogs inheriting feisty looks and bold personalities. Thanks to their loyal, courageous, active, and intelligent characters, they are now famous among dog lovers.

There’s so much that you can learn about Rat-Shepherds. And if you have a fair knowledge about the breed, Rat-Shepherds will make great family dogs.

As a dog owner, you must educate yourself regarding your pet’s maintenance, health, dietary requirements, and physical activities.

The more you know, the easier it is to raise a hybrid dog. This article will cover all the essential facts that you should know about the Rat Terrier and German Shepherd mix. 

Fast Facts of Rat Terrier and German Shepherd Mix (Rat-Shepherd)

Average height 15 – 20 inches 
Average weight 40 – 50 pounds
Lifespan 13 – 16 years 
Suitable for Active seniors, Singles,
Families with kids
Temperament Loyal, Courageous,
Active, Intelligent
Good for families? Yes
Other nicknames Rat-Shepherd, Shep-Rat
Complied by Jack Russell Owner

Origin of Rat Terrier and German Shepherd mix

Speaking of hybrid dogs, it is somewhat hard to trace their origins precisely, and no exception with Rat-Shepherds.

Although we cannot find out exact information regarding their roots, we can get a general understanding by studying the parent breeds’ origins.

Rat Terriers were initially bred in the early 1900s and originally came from the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Rat Terriers have their roots related to a hunting background.

On the other hand, German Shepherds were generated in the latter part of the 1800s to protect herds. As the name implies, these dogs were developed in Germany.

Both parent breeds have their own extensive history, yet their hybrid version is not the oldest hybrid dog breed. Terrier cross breeding became demanded in the late 1900s.

They were developed to create dogs with unique looks and great personalities. Rat-Shepherds gained popularity in recent years. Most probably around the 1980s.

The appearance of the German Shepherd and Rat Terrier mix

The appearance of the German Shepherd and Rat Terrier mix

We should agree that both Rat Terriers and German Shepherds have fierce looks. It is also clear that these two breeds have distinct appearances.

So what would their mixed-breed look like? Rat-Shepherds could have more physical characteristics from one parent over the other or be a perfect blend of both breeds.

Purebred Rat-Terriers are considered small-sized dogs, and German Shepherds are considered medium to large-sized dogs.

Therefore, it is hard to pinpoint which category Rat-Shepherds belong to. Rat-Shepherds typically have a weight of 40-65 pounds and a height of 15-21 inches.

However, these measures aren’t fixed, so there are possibilities for a Rat-Shepherd to be bigger or smaller than the given height and weight ranges.

They have short to medium length coat that often combines two to three colors, including black, white, brown, and tan.

They have erect ears, sharp eyes, and slender yet muscular bodies, which add more boldness to their appearance.

How big do Rat Terrier and German Shepherd mix get?

As mentioned above, it is hard to predict exactly how big a Rat-Shepherd would get. Inheriting genes from a small dog breed and relatively a large dog breed, Rat-Shepherd often becomes a medium-sized dog.

Therefore a full-grown, healthy Rat-Shepherd could have an approximate weight of 40- 50 pounds and a height of 15-18 inches. Genes are the primary determinant of their size.

Meanwhile, few other external factors, such as nutritional food and physical activities, also impact the growth of a Rat-Shepherd to a reasonable extent. The measures could slightly differ due to the mentioned factors.

The temperament of Rat Terrier and German Shepherd mix

In the early stages, neither Rat Terriers nor German Shepherds were bred as family pets. Nonetheless, as we know, now these breeds have become trendy family dogs.

These dogs are affectionate and loyal. Also, they have bold personality traits that they own. Therefore, Rat-Shepherds get a blend of these temperaments.

Rat-Shepherds are active, energetic, tenacious, clever, and highly protective. Rat Terriers and German Shepherds are both energetic and lively dogs which undoubtedly makes their hybrid versions the same.

On top of it, Rat-Shepherds are excellent watchdogs; hence German Shepherds have a great reputation as watchdogs.

Sometimes they can be a little feisty due to the predator instinct they especially get from Rat Terriers.

Rat-Shepherds are generally good around children and other pets, but early socializing is necessary. Raising them with proper training from a young age will make them great family pets. 

How long do Rat Terrier and German Shepherd mix dogs live?

Rat-Shepherds typically enjoy a good life expectancy range thanks to the parent breeds.

RatTerriers are considered one of the dog breeds with the highest life expectancy, around 16-18 years.

German Shepherds have a life span of 10-12 years. So if your Rat-Shepherd is in good health condition, it will likely enjoy a life span of 13-16 years.

How long do Rat Terrier and German Shepherd mix dogs live?

How much do Rat Terrier and German Shepherd mix puppies cost?

The price of a Rat Terrier and German Shepherd mix could vary for several reasons. Mainly depending on the parent breeds’ bloodline and the breeder’s reputation.

The average price of a Rat Terrier would be 300-1000 US Dollars and 800-2000 US Dollars for a German Shepherd. Previously mentioned factors could change their price.

Therefore the cost of their hybrid version also varies accordingly. Usually, you will have to spend around 500-1500 US Dollars if you are willing to buy a quality Rat-Shepherd. 

Maintenance tips for Rat Terrier and German Shepherd mix

I don’t have to stretch on how fun and exciting it is to have a pet dog in your home. However, you should never forget the duties and responsibilities you should fulfill as a dog parent.

Maintenance is one of the crucial things to pay attention to when having a dog. You might feel like it will be hard to maintain a hybrid dog, but if you have a fair understanding of the maintenance of parent breeds, you can ace the job.

Below you can find some valuable tips regarding the maintenance of Rat-Shepherds.

  • Follow a grooming schedule

Grooming schedule of a dog changes from breed to breed. Nevertheless, following a grooming schedule is very important no matter what breed they belong to.

The good news is it is not tiring to maintain a grooming schedule for a Rat-Shepherd because these dogs require minimal grooming needs.

Rat-Shepherds mostly get short to medium length coats. However, it will not be as dense as a purebred German Shepherd coat. Weekly brushing would be sufficient to maintain a healthy and smooth coat.

These dogs can be prone to dental issues, so make sure to brush their teeth a couple of times a week to maintain their oral hygiene.

It is also important to trim their nails and check their ears at least once a month. 

  • Pay attention to general health

If you are cautious enough of your Rat-Shepherd’s general health, it will be beneficial to avoid many severe issues.

Rat-Shepherds could be affected by common health implications from both parents, such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, and allergies.

None of these are extreme health conditions, but as soon as you notice sudden and frequent changes in the dog’s behavior, do not hesitate to do a veterinary checkup.

  • Feed good food, and make them exercise 

Nutritional food and plenty of physical activities are mandatory to ensure the well-being of a Rat-Shepherd.

These dogs do not require complex dietary needs, but you must feed them with quality food as they have high energy levels.

The number of calories that a Rat-Shepherd needs varies according to their body weight. Typically two to three cups of dog food would be sufficient per day.

When it comes to exercises, you can simply take them for a walk or play with them for 45-60 minutes. Also, try your best to be consistent with the exercise schedule.

Final thoughts about Rat-Shepherd dog breed

If you are a first-time dog owner, you might feel reluctant to get a hybrid dog because it is fair enough to think they could be a handful for an inexperienced dog owner.

However, if you educate yourself with the basics, it will not be as complex as you think. Rat-Shepherds are the hybrid version of two all-time favorite dog breeds, Rat Terriers and German Shepherds.

Whether you are a first-time dog owner or an experienced one, Rat-Shepherds will be a good fit for you. Rat-Shepherds will make affectionate, loyal, and protective family friends if you raise them with proper care. Hope you found this article helpful.

Thank you for reading this article! Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your favorite dog breed.


  • Lisa Watson

    Lisa W. is a practicing certified veterinarian (BVetMed Hons in Veterinary Medicine) who graduated from Royal Veterinary College, UK. One of her research fields is mixed-dog breeds and their temperament, behavioral issues, and genetic health concerns. Also, she gathers data about purebred dog breeds and their origin, lifespan, and genetic conditions. Lisa is a loving dog parent who is keen to share her expertise with other fellow dog parents.

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