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Rattle Dog

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021

Poodle-Rat-Terrier-mix_Sarawut Sriphakdee, Shutterstock

The Rattle Dog is a mixed dog coming from a breeding between a Poodle and a Rat Terrier. He has talents in tricks, watchdog and obedience and a life expectancy of 12 to 18 years. He is a medium sized dog and may also be called a Roodle, Ratdoodle, Radle Terrier or Ratpoo. He is a happy dog who needs lots of attention and is very clever and curious.

The Rattle Dog is a good family dog, curious and happy and smart. He is more vocal than some dogs his size though so if that is an issue another option may be better. He needs lots of attention but should be easy to train.

Here is the Rattle at a Glance
Average height 10 and 23 inches
Average weight 25 to 50 pounds
Coat type Single, short, shiny or tight, coarse, curly
Hypoallergenic? Can be
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Quite sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderate
Barking Frequent
Tolerance to Heat Very good
Tolerance to Cold Low with a coat like the Rat, good with a Poodle’s
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? As above
Good with other Pets? Good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Fairly high
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good
Trainability Easy to train
Exercise Needs Somewhat active
Tendency to get Fat Above average
Major Health Concerns Addison’s, Bloat, Cushings, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Legg-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, Eye problems, Von Willebrand’s,
Other Health Concerns Hip dysplasia, skin problems, allergies, incorrect bites, demodectic mange
Life Span 12 to 18 years
Average new Puppy Price $250 to $600
Average Annual Medical Expense $460 to $500
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $355 to $650

Where does the Rattle Dog come from?

The Rattle Dog is an example of a very popular dog trend that developed in the last 30 years of mixing two purebreds together to create an offspring. These are also called designer dogs and they have proved very popular among the public and with the famous. It is important to keep in mind that with these kinds of dogs for the good breeders that are out there, there are also a lot of bad ones. This trend has attracted the bad sort just making money off these dogs. Puppy mills, disreputable breeders they do not care about the puppies health or well being, or that of the breeding dogs either. Avoid buying from these people by doing your research.

With many designer dogs we have little information on their beginnings. One approach is to look at the two parent dogs to get an idea of what can go into the mix. Always remember no breeder can guarantee you a certain look or personality with mixed breeds. Offspring in the same litter can even vary by a lot.

The Poodle

The Poodle was bred to be a retriever or hunter of waterfowl in Germany and then was adapted somewhat more in France and bred smaller to make companions for ladies that they could carry around. There are three sizes, and all are classed as Poodles they are not separate breeds just different sizes. They are toy, miniature and standard.

They are thought to be one of the most clever dogs today but can be sensitive sometimes and do not do well left alone. They train easily however and make great family pets or companions for single owners.

The Rat Terrier

This is an American bred to be a working dog, hunting on farms pests like rats and other vermin. He was bred with Italian Greyhounds and Whippets in the Midwest to create a dog who was fast and able to catch jackrabbits who were a big problem. In the South and Central America though he was bred to Beagles to create a dog who was more a pack animal. When farmers started to use poison they became less common until the late 1970s.

Today the Rat Terrier is a stubborn but intelligent dog who is wary of strangers. While they will be good with a family even if not properly socialized they may be aggressive to other pets and people he does not know. They have a lot of courage and are very good at detecting the mood you are in. They want to please and are affectionate and like your company. He needs a lot of exercise or he can become poorly behaved.


The Rattle Dog is a playful and spirited dog with a very happy disposition and a clever mind. He is alert and while he will not be aggressive towards strangers he will bark. He is sweet and loyal and loves to play and spend time with you and his family. He likes to be active, to get lots of affection and attention and if left to get bored he can become destructive. He has a curious nature and can be loving and affectionate. He thrives in a house where there is always something going on in which he is included.

What does the Rattle Dog look like

In this article we are looking at the medium sized dog weighing 25 to 50 pounds and measuring 10 to 23 inches tall. However you can get 3 different sizes in Poodle and Rat Terrier so you can get varying sizes of Rattle Dog too. He is a sturdy and well built dog with a slightly rounded head, triangular erect ears or flappy, rounded bright eyes and a thin medium length muzzle. His nose is black and his coat can either be like a Poodles, wavy or curly and coarse, like a Rat’s single, straight, short and shiny or a combination of the two. Colors include gray, white, brown, cream, silver, apricot and black and can be solid or a mix.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Rattle Dog need to be?

The Rattle is somewhat active, he likes being busy so having a yard is a good is a idea though he can live in an apartment as long as he gets out every day and enough play time. He will enjoy things like chasing, running, walking, time at an off leash dog park, digging and so on. Because he likes to chase things when not in an enclosed area a leash is the best approach. Have him mentally challenged also with certain toys, training and activities.

Does he train quickly?

Early socialization and training are important for the Rattle, it helps calm the chasing instinct. The Rattle is smart and quick to pick up commands. He should be easy to train and may even need less repetition than some dogs. Keep it interesting, consistent, positive. Reward him, use treats and praise but be firm. Just try to avoid it becoming too repetitive and no harsh methods.

Living with a Rattle Dog

How much grooming is needed?

With a coat like a Poodle he is more likely to be hypoallergenic and very low shedding. But his coat will be harder to brush and will need daily brushing to take care of tangles and debris. It will also need trips to a groomers to have it clipped now and then. A coat more like the Rat Terrier is easier to brush but will shed a bit more. A bath should be given just when he really needs it and his nails should be clipped when they get too long. His ears should be checked once a week and given a wipe clean and his teeth should be brushed at least two to three times a week.

What is he like with children and other animals?

With socialization and training he is great with children, playful and affectionate. With other animals though he may see them as something to chase. Make sure you teach the children how to play safely with dogs and what is acceptable and what is not.

General information

He is a good watchdog, alert and will bark when there is an intruder. However he is a frequent barker otherwise so if you have tight rules in the apartment you live in this may not be the right dog for you. He will need 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of high quality dry dog food a day and it should be divided into at least two meals.

Health Concerns

The issues the Rat terrier and Poodle can pass on to the Rattle include Addison’s, Bloat, Cushings, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Legg-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, Eye problems, Von Willebrand’s, Hip dysplasia, skin problems, allergies, incorrect bites and demodectic mange. Ask to see parental health clearance when buying a puppy to try to have more chance of a healthy dog.

Costs involved in owning a Rattle Dog

A Rattle Dog puppy will cost between $250 to $600. Other costs will be for things like a carrier, crate, collar and leash, blood tests, chipping, neutering, shots and deworming. This will come to between $455 to $500. Annual costs for medical basics like vaccinations, flea prevention, pet insurance and check ups are $460 to $500. Basic costs for other things like grooming, license, training, treats, toys and food each year come to $355 to $650.


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Featured Image Credit: Sarawut Sriphakdee, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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