The Poodle and American Rat Terrier Mix
|Height:||10 inches–23 inches|
|Colors:||Black, brown, white, silver|
|Suitable for:||First-time owners, families, houses with a fenced yard|
|Temperament:||Alert, easy to train, loyal, vocal|
This spirited and intelligent dog can be a great match for first-time owners because of its love and loyalty to its humans. They are eager to please and respond very well to attention and praise. Here’s everything you need to know about this fun and quirky dog.
Rattle Dog Puppies – Before You Get One…
3 Little-Known Facts About Rattle Dogs
1. The Rattle Dog has only been around for about 40 years.
This dog is a relatively new hybrid that started appearing between 30 to 40 years ago. It’s most likely that it joined the wave of hybrid breeding as breeders started showing more interest in low-shedding dogs.
2. This dog has a very mixed lineage.
Although the Poodle is purebred, the American Rat Terrier is a mix of several different terriers. The American Rat Terrier’s lineage includes the Fox Terrier, Bull Terrier, Manchester Terrier, and Old English White Terrier.
3. The Rattle Dog isn’t a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Because this dog isn’t purebred, it isn’t a recognized breed of the AKC. The American Rat Terrier only recently became a member of the AKC’s Terrier Group in 2013, and they’ve been around since the 1800s.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Rattle Dog
Rattle Dogs are alert, curious, and intelligent. They can be a little stubborn if they inherit that trait from the American Rat Terrier. However, they generally love pleasing their owners, which makes them fairly easy to train.
This dog is also known for its bark, so it may not be suited for apartment life if your apartment has strict noise rules. However, this trait—mixed with its loyalty—makes the Rattle Dog a great watchdog.
Rattle Dogs also require a lot of attention. They love being with their humans, and you can find them actively participating in whatever their families are doing. Therefore, they should never live outside of the house or be left alone for long hours.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Rattle Dogs tend to be great with families. They love being a part of the action and playing games with others. This breed also loves receiving attention, so having multiple people around can greatly benefit its happiness and well-being.
As with many dogs, early socialization will be very helpful for Rattle Dogs. It’s important to introduce young children when Rattle Dogs are in puppyhood so that they can learn to play with each other.
Rattle Dogs typically play gently with children. However, make sure to supervise their initial interactions until they know how to play safely together.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Rattle Dogs can live with other pets, but it may require a lot of training. They are fairly social, so they can do well with living with other dogs. If they heavily take after American Rat Terrier traits, they may have a strong prey drive. Therefore, they may see smaller pets as prey and try to chase them.
It’s best to introduce other pets to Rattle Dogs when they are puppies because it’ll most likely take time for them to get used to smaller pets. They should always have someone supervising if they’re in the same room.
Things to Know When Owning a Rattle Dog:
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Rattle Dogs have a lot of energy, so they’ll benefit from a high-protein diet. Always look for food with meat protein as the first ingredient. Avoid foods with meat meal or meat byproducts because the contents tends to be ambiguous. Therefore, it doesn’t guarantee nutritional value and can contain low-grade meat products.
Since Rattle Dogs have a high metabolism, it’s best to feed them two or three times a day. They tend to vary in size, so the amount of food they eat depends on the dog’s size and daily exercise. Make sure to consult with your veterinarian to determine the correct meal portions.
Rattle Dogs also like to jump and can develop hip dysplasia. Therefore, it’s helpful to add joint support and mobility supplements to their diets.
A few daily walks meet the Rattle Dog’s bare minimum exercise needs. Rattle Dogs are balls of energy and love to chase things. Therefore, they’ll enjoy playing fetch in a fenced yard or at a dog park. They should have around two hours of exercise scattered throughout their daily schedule.
Don’t let their small size fool you. Many Rattle Dogs can keep up with hikes and enjoy off-leash walks in safe areas. They may require extra training to learn polite leash walking because of their prey drive. Because they love to chase, owners should generally anticipate Rattle Dogs to chase birds and squirrels, no matter how well-trained they are.
Rattle Dogs are eager to please and love to learn and keep their minds active. Training can become a fun activity for them because they can receive attention and learn something new. Some Rattle Dogs may be a little stubborn at times. However, it usually isn’t a significant issue. Consistent training and having a strong bond with the owner will help immensely.
As we’ve mentioned before, Rattle Dogs may take a long time to learn to walk on a leash. Expect to show a lot of patience and see progress in very small increments.
Start by walking inside the home in a space with minimal distractions. As the Rattle Dog learns to walk politely, you can start to move walks to the front of your house. Once your Rattle has mastered this, you can start to incrementally expand the distance of the walks. These gradual steps will help the Rattle Dog to walk around the neighborhood without dragging you around.
Overall, keep training fun and treat it like a game. The Rattle Dog will be an enthusiastic and willing participant.
Rattle Dogs tend to have a short coat, so they don’t require much grooming. They just need to be brushed occasionally to keep their fur from tangling. If a Rattle Dog inherits more Poodle fur, then they’ll need more regular brushing. It can be helpful to keep their hair cut short to minimize tangling.
Since Rattle Dogs have floppy ears, make sure to clean their ears regularly to avoid infections. Regular tooth brushing will also help prevent tartar buildup and dental issues down the road.
Health Conditions 🏥
Rattle Dogs are generally healthy, but they may inherit some health concerns from their purebred parents. Minor conditions include obesity, eye issues, and bloating. You can avoid most of these issues if you keep your dog active and on a healthy diet.
The Rattle Dog may inherit more serious conditions from the Poodle, such as Addison’s disease, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia. Serious conditions from the American Rat Terrier include patellar luxation and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.
Male vs Female
There aren’t very distinguishable traits between male and female Rattle Dogs. The temperament and size of the dog don’t heavily depend on the dog’s sex. These traits have a closer link to the dog’s pedigree.
However, you may notice different behaviors if dogs are neutered or spayed. Neutering and spaying can benefit a dog’s overall health and can reduce roaming and urine marking.
The Rattle Dog is an energetic and intelligent breed. They love to learn and play and are thrilled when their humans join in on the fun. Their loyalty makes them excellent family dogs and watchdogs.
Rattle Dogs need a lot of attention, and they’ll find ways to incorporate themselves into your schedules. They’re a great companion, and with the proper training, they can bring a lot of love and laughter into your life.
Featured Image Credit: Sarawut Sriphakdee, Shutterstock