Rat Terrier And Shih Tzu Mix (RatShi / RatZu) Hybrid Breed Info

Rat Terrier Shih Tzu Mix (RatShi / RatZu) Hybrid Breed Info

This article is all about the Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix, also known as Rat-Shi or Rat-Zu, a mixed hybrid dog breed. Give a read to find out if they are your ideal family dog.

Dogs are the most incredible animal companion that humans could ask for. As enjoyable as raising a dog, there are also plenty of responsibilities you must fulfill as a dog parent, which is why you should properly decide which dog breed suits you the most.

You might be someone who has a tight daily schedule, living in a small house or an apartment; living with older people, toddlers, and children, or you might be a first-time dog owner. All these factors should be put into consideration when you get a dog.

RatShi or RatZu Terrier is the hybrid version of Rat Terriers and Shih Tzus. Both parent dogs are well-known breeds in the dog world. As the mixed version of Rat Terriers and Shih Tzus, RatShis become adorable-looking small dogs. Despite their petite bodies, they are little energy balls. Their cheerful personalities will undoubtedly light up your home with joy. 

Hybrid dogs inherit genes from two separate dog breeds. Therefore you will find many exciting things to learn about them, and the same with RatShi Terriers.

There is a lot that you should know about the looks and personalities of this hybrid dog breed. Without further ado, let’s jump into the details.

Fast Facts of Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu Mix (Rat-Zu)

Average height 8 – 10 inches 
Average weight 10 – 20 pounds
Lifespan 15 – 17 years 
Suitable for Active seniors, Singles,
Families with kids, Couples
Temperament Loyal, Vocal, Stubborn,
Active, Intelligent
Good for families? Yes
Other nicknames Rat-Shih, Rat-Zu
Complied by Jack Russell Owner

Origin of Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix

Generally speaking, dog cross breeding is not something that started recently. It has a long history associated with it. Mainly hybrid dogs were created to develop dogs with unique looks and dynamic personalities.

However, it is hard to precisely track when hybrid dogs were bred, no exception with RatShis. Still, you can trace the roots of parent breeds to get a rough understanding of the origins.

Speaking of the roots of parent dogs, Rat Terriers were initially bred in the early 1900s. These dogs were developed as hunting dogs, and their earliest roots came from England.

On the other hand, Shih Tzu is a breed from Tibet. These dogs are known as dynasty dogs as they were first bred in the mid-1800s during the ruling eras of the Ming and Manchu dynasties in China.

Since the early 1900s, these dogs were gifted to nobility in European countries and eventually became a popular breed worldwide.

Regarding the origin of the mixed version of these two dogs, there’s only a limited amount of information that exists.

However, this designer breed generally doesn’t own an extensive history like the parents.

Observing the current data, we can assume that these dogs were developed around 20 to 30 years ago.

The appearance of Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix

The appearance of Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix

Rat Terriers and Shih Tzus are dogs that have different appearances. But both dogs are relatively small-sized, and they have undeniably adorable looks.

How about RatShis? As a designer dog, RatShis most likely get a fair blend of looks from both parents, but sometimes they could get more physical traits from one parent.

Ratzus are small-sized dogs with an average weight of 10-20 pounds and an average height of 8-10 inches. Still, they have compact bodies.

The coat possibilities of RatShis vary; hence Rat Terriers are dogs with short length coats and RatShis with long lengths. However, they mostly end up getting medium-length coats.

The coat combines two to three colors: white, black, gray, brown, ebony, and cream. RatShis get floppy ears, but they can also be erect or semi-erect.

Furthermore, they have brownish eyes. Overall these dogs have a sweet look that will make you fall in love.

How big do Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix get?

As mentioned earlier, RatShis belong to the small dog category. The weight and height of these dogs primarily rely on their genetics.

Nonetheless, other factors such as quality food and physical activities also considerably impact their growth.

A healthy, full-grown RatShi could weigh around 15 pounds and stand up to 8 inches tall. But always keep in mind that these measures are relative, so if you notice slight differences, it is not something to panic about.

The temperament of Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix

Not only RatShis get sweet appearances, but they also often have sweet personalities. It is hard to predict the exact temperament of any hybrid dog as they get genes from two different breeds, but you can relatively understand it.

Rat Terriers and Shih Tzus share similar personality traits and significantly different ones. RatShis are a blend of these temperaments.

The best way to introduce RatShis would be that they are cheerful dogs. These dogs have Rat Terriers’ energy and Shih Tzus’s liveliness.

All put together, RatShis become spirited, active, and positive dogs. RatShis love humans, but it is important to know that RatShis are not the best dogs to have around toddlers.

They will get along with grown-up children but not with toddlers and kids. Although they are active, RatShis prefer calm environments, so the reckless behavior of toddlers will likely make them feel nervous, creating chances for them to act aggressively.

However, RatShis are generally not aggressive dogs. If you train them, you can avoid their unacceptable behavior.

Still, if you raise a RatShi in a house with toddlers, you must be extra careful. Growing in a positive nature will make RatShis great family pets.

How long do Shih Tzu and Rat Terrier mix dogs live?

How long do Shih Tzu and Rat Terrier mix dogs live?

We all know that dogs age differently than humans. One year of a dog is usually equated to 10 years of a human. Therefore dogs generally live around 10-12 years.

But depending on their breed, the lifespan of a dog considerably varies. Based on genetics, small dog breeds live longer than huge ones.

Rat Terriers and Shih Tzus belong to the small dog category, and both breeds have a longer life expectancy than many other breeds.

Hence their hybrid version also becomes dogs with a long life span. If your RatShi is in good health, it would typically enjoy a lifespan of 15-17 years. 

How much do Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix puppies cost?

There are certain crossbreed dogs that are equally popular and available as purebred ones. Still, RatShi Terriers do not belong to that group.

Although the parent breeds are pretty famous, you won’t often get to see their mixed version.

Therefore, the price can be somewhat higher, primarily based on the puppy’s lineage, its appearance, and the breeder’s reputation.

So if you are willing to buy a RatShi, you will have to spare around 500-1000 US Dollars or even above this average.

If you get to purchase these puppies for a lower price, you should find out why. Despite the price, getting any hybrid dog from a certified breeder is advisable.

Tips for maintenance of a Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix

Maintenance plays a pivotal role in raising a happy and healthy RatShi Terrier. As a dog parent, you should educate yourself regarding the general care of the dog.

Let’s look at some tips for the maintenance of a RatShi.

  • Follow a grooming schedule

A consistent grooming schedule is a must for this dog breed. As mentioned before, RatShi Terriers often have a medium-length coat that is straight and pretty dense; to maintain a healthy and silky coat, you must brush them regularly.

However, if they have a short coat, you can reduce the brushing frequency. When bathing your RatShi, use a recommended dog shampoo. Other than that, you can brush their teeth to maintain oral hygiene. 

  • Feed good food

Balanced and nutritional food undeniably help your RatShi’s well-being. These dogs do not require vast amounts of food.

One cup of dog food per day would be sufficient to meet their everyday dietary needs. It is often recommended to feed them dry food. Also, do not overfeed them.

  • Make them exercise 

This breed is generally fun and active, but they will not get the physical activities they need if you leave them home for days.

Although these dogs are small, they need a fair amount of exercise to stay healthy and fit. You can take them for a walk or play with them for at least 30-45 minutes on a daily basis.

  • Be aware of general health

If you have a rough understanding of the breed’s general health, it will help your dog enjoy its maximum life span.

When you are conscious enough of their health, you can easily spot the differences and take action to mitigate them.

Some common health issues that can be seen among RatShis are patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, entropion, and urolithiasis. 

Final thoughts about this RatShi dog breed

RatShi Terrier might not be the most popular hybrid dog breed; nonetheless, this breed gained popularity over the last few years due to its adorable looks and dynamic personality.

If you train them and raise them with proper care, they will be loyal, affectionate, and easy-going family pets. When buying a dog, we have to consider many things.

I believe this article gave you valuable insights to decide if Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix is your dream dog.

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.

    [email protected]

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