Ratshi Terrier

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
fast facts

About Ratshi Terrier

8-10 inches
10-20 lbs
14-17 years
Not applicable
Best Suited For
Singles, active seniors, families with older children, people who live in an apartment
Lively, affectionate, playful, energetic, stubborn, curious, alert
Comparable Breeds
Rat Terrier, Shih Tzu
Ratshi Terrier Basics

The shaggy coat and spunky attitude make Ratshi Terrier absolutely adorable. These designer dogs will charm you from the moment you meet them! Ratshi Terrier is truly an example of a big dog trapped inside a small dog body. They have a big heart and personality, and believe that they’re much tougher than they appear to others. They won’t hesitate to bark at “intruders” to protect their territory and family. Sure, a 10-pound pouch is not the best guard dog, but they make excellent little watchdogs.

Ratshi Terrier is a mixed breed dog, so there’s no set standard for their looks. They are a mix between a Rat Terrier and a Shih Tzu and can look a bit like both parents, to favor one breed over the other. In most cases, though, these are seriously cute small dogs who have one-of-a-kind appearance. They can also be found under names Rat Shih or Rat Tzu, although these are not recognized names.

Sweet and undemanding, the Ratshi Terrier is a breed that suits many types of owners. Seniors and apartment dwellers will appreciate their moderate exercise needs and small size. They can be a bit impatient and prone to nipping if not socialized on time, so families with young kids might be better off with another hybrid. Curious to see if the Ratshi Terrier is the dog for you? Read on to learn more about them before deciding!

Sweet and undemanding, the Ratshi Terrier is a breed that suits many types of owners.


The Ratshi Terrier is a fairly recent designer dog breed. When it comes to designer dogs in general, there’s little information about the specific breeds, and only a few fortunate hybrids have a well-documented history. In fact, a lot of people still don’t know what the actual difference between mutts and designer dogs is. Mixed breed dogs have been around for as long as there has been a man’s best friend, so it makes it virtually impossible to pinpoint a place and period when people started intentionally crossbreeding purebreds instead of the process being purely accidental. However, simply by looking at the origin of the more popular hybrids, we can draw some conclusions about the Ratshi Terrier, too. It’s highly likely that this designer dog breed also had its start in the United States, sometime in the last 20 to 30 years.


The Ratshi Terrier is a mixed breed dog- a cross between a Rat Terrier and a Shih Tzu. It’s a 50-50 mix or a first generation crossbreed. Usually, the bitch is the Rat Terrier as they are slightly larger than the Shih Tzu. This direct crossing of purebreds has unpredictable results: puppies can widely vary in looks, even across one litter. Some Ratshi Terrier can look more like mom, others could favor dad, and some can look a bit like both of the parental breeds. This diversity is one of the many things people love about designer dogs, The Ratshi Terrier is particularly unpredictable, too, as the parents have very few similarities in their appearance.

However, it’s not all about the looks. Some breeders believe that first generation mixes are the healthiest, as there’s a potentially lower risk of breed-specific issues. Be it true or not, multigenerational Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu crosses are extremely rare. The reason might be that there are legitimate health concerns, but it’s more likely that this is still a new breed and developed by a small number of people.


Making sure that your Ratshi Terrier has a healthy, well-balanced diet is extremely important. Nutrition plays an important role in your dog’s overall health, so you should be reckless when it comes to what you put in their food bowl. Luckily, this designer dog has no unusual requirements or needs. Like all dogs, the Ratshi Terrier will do best on high-quality dry food for dogs. The “trick” is to make sure you chose the right one.

First, you should steer clear from all cheap foods that are poor in protein but full of fillers and dubious ingredients. Choose kibble with high-grade and natural ingredients, high content of meat and those formulas that are suitable for your pet. This usually means small breed dry dog food blends, as these are formulated to meet the needs of dogs Ratshi Terrier’s size and activity level. Furthermore, their food should be appropriate for their age- puppies, seniors, and adult dogs don’t have the same nutritional requirements.

Also, you should have in mind that Ratshi Terrier is no picky eater. In other words, they’ll pig out if you let them. Don’t overfeed your dog- they can quickly become overweight. Follow the recommendations by the manufacturer (it varies, but it’s usually a cup or a cup and a half each day) and split their dose into two daily meals.

The Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix dogs will vary in character the same as they do in looks.


In most cases, the Ratshi Terrier’s eagerness to please and smarts make him a trainable breed. However, more often than not, those terrier genes bring about a stubborn streak, which makes these designer dogs more suited to someone who has experience with small breed dogs. Their headstrong behavior shouldn’t be met with punishments, however. Positive reinforcement is what works best for these willful little pooches. Once they realize that they’ll get rewards for good behavior and following commands, they’ll quickly get on board with your training sessions. Be consistent and have a firm hand, though, unless you want your puppy to see training as a way to beg for some extra treats and attention.

Training should be started as soon as you welcome a puppy into your home and family. This is usually at few weeks of age, so start with the simple, basic stuff like where to go potty. Basic commands, leash walking and other steps of the process are to follow quickly after. Additionally, you should make sure to socialize your dog on time. Exposing them to different people, animals, and situations will shape them into friendly, adaptable dogs everyone likes to have around.


The weight of your Ratshi Terrier will depend on which parent’s genes are more dominant. In any case, these are small dogs- their weight varies from 10 to 20 pounds.


The Ratshi Terrier has a personality that transcends his petite body. These are small, spirited dogs that have a cheerful, easy-going disposition- their positive energy is infectious. The Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix dogs will vary in character the same as they do in looks, but with timely training and socialization, they all make the most wonderful pets and companions.

Owing to their parents, these designer dogs have a sweet nature, they’re eager to please and they’re very affectionate with their families. They’re not as friendly with little children who want to play roughly, though, so they’re not a fit for families with youngsters. The Ratshi Terrier is not an aggressive dog, but they will have no issue nipping someone in defense unless trained not to do it.

Despite their (occasional) short fuse, Ratshi Terriers can be quite friendly dogs if socialized on time. They tend to grow very close to their humans and will shadow them everywhere they go- there’s nothing more interesting to these hybrids than being around their favorite humans.

Common Health Problems

There is a common belief that designer dogs are somehow healthier than their purebred parents. The idea is that crossbreeding leads to hybrid vigor, which ensures better health and resilience in the hybrid offspring. However, designer dogs are just called hybrids, but they’re not- in the true sense of this word. So, while this theory doesn’t seem to always work in practice, the Ratshi Terrier is still considered a relatively healthy dog. With good breeding, they can have fewer health issues than his parental breeds in general.

The issues that Ratshi Terrier can inherit from either mom or dad include patellar luxation, elbow and hip dysplasia, canine disc disease (if they have the body shape of a Shih Tzu), brachycephalic syndrome (if they have a short snout and flat face), and issues with eyes. As a small breed dog, the Rat Terrier and Shih Tzu mix can also be prone to obesity and early tooth loss.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy for the Ratshi Terrier is 14 to 17 years.

Exercise Requirements

These are spunky, energetic dogs who can become destructive if bored or under-exercised. However, as this is still a pretty small dog, meeting their activity needs isn’t too demanding- an active senior or a person living in an apartment wouldn’t find a Ratshi Terrier a high-maintenance pet.

On average, 45 to 60 minutes of daily exercise will keep these dogs happy and fit. Due to his terrier genes, this hybrid can be a bit more handful than your average lapdog, but nothing too crazy. With a few daily walks and a bit of quality playtime, they won’t become frustrated and destructive. Better yet, you would provide engaging puzzle toys when you’re not around so your designer dog could keep himself entertained.

On average, 45 to 60 minutes of daily exercise will keep these dogs happy and fit.

Recognized Clubs

The Ratshi Terrier is a mixed breed dog, and, as such, is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. There are, however, many other small canine organizations that see the potential designer dogs have and want to help breeders develop them. Those of them who also recognize the Ratshi Terrier as a real breed include the American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America, and International Designer Canine Registry.


The Shih Tzu and Rat Terrier have completely different coats. One sports soft, long hair and the other has a closely cropped coat. In other words, there are absolutely no certainties when it comes to the coat of a Ratshi Terrier. Usually, the two breeds ‘meet somewhere in the middle’, producing a mix puppy with a medium length, shaggy coat that doesn’t shed that much. As for the possible colors, the Ratshi Terrier usually has tri-color or bi-color coat, although cream and fawn variants are also common.

When it comes to grooming, this breed is not demanding. Daily brushing will be enough to keep their coat looking lustrous at all times.


Ratshi Terrier puppies are a lively, adorable bunch and you’ll go bananas for them as soon as you see one. They are tiny but feisty, and their clumsy behavior leaves no one indifferent. However, no matter how cute you think your new pet is, it’s never too early to start training them. Ratshi Terrier can be very bossy and develop small dog syndrome if not socialized and trained on time, so make sure to set the foundations early on.

Needless to say, these hybrid puppies will be very fragile in their early age. Don’t let their rowdy behavior fool you into thinking they’re tougher than they actually are! Be careful when handling them and make sure not to leave them alone with children who could inadvertently injure them in play.

Photo credit: Annette Shaff/Shutterstock; Erik Lam/Shutterstock; koliversen/Shutterstock

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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