Rat Pinscher (Rat Terrier & Miniature Pinscher Mix)

Height: 9 – 18 inches
Weight: 10 – 25 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Black, Red, Rust, Brown
Suitable for: Active families, Apartment or House with a Yard
Temperament: Intelligent, Curious, Fearless, Loving, Active

The American Rat Pinscher is a cross between the Rat Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher and is a small, brave, and affectionate hybrid. The Rat Terrier is a part of the Terrier Group, and the Min Pin is in the Toy Group. Together, they create the tiny, playful Rat Pinscher, also known as a Rat-A-Pin.

As with most hybrids, the appearance of the Rat Pinscher will depend on which parent it takes after most, but the Rat Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher are relatively similar in appearance. The Rat Pinscher has a sturdy, compact body with long, slim legs and triangular ears that flop over or stand up erect. The coat is short and usually comes in bi-color, most commonly black with a lighter shade, such as rust on its legs, chest, and face.

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Rat Pinscher Puppies – Before You Buy…

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

The Rat Pinscher is a very high energy dog that is robust and has a long lifespan. They are trainable but might have a bit of a stubborn streak. They are friendly with strangers but might try to be the alpha with strange dogs.

What’s the Price of Rat Pinscher Puppies?

Adopting an American Rat Pinscher from a rescue group might cost about $300 to $600, depending on several factors. Puppies tend to be more expensive, and, in some cases, many rescue groups will waive the fee if you adopt a senior or special needs dog. Buying a puppy from a breeder might cost anywhere from $500 to $2500.
Finding a reputable and responsible breeder is essential in order to avoid puppy mills.

These are a few tips on how you know if you’re dealing with a responsible breeder:
  • Meet the breeder: Meeting the breeder in person and at their location should help you see how they treat and care for their dogs. Are the kennels clean and the dogs in good health? Do they seem to have a good relationship with the breeder? If you can’t meet the breeder in person, talk to them over video chat.
  • Medical background: A good breeder will have access to their dog’s medical history and will share the information with you.
  • Meet the puppy’s parents: Having a firsthand look at the puppy’s parents will give you a sense of how your puppy will potentially turn out as an adult and allow you to see if they are well taken care of.
  • Ask loads of questions: Be prepared to ask the breeder as many questions as you deem necessary. The breeder shouldn’t mind answering all of your questions and will be interested in forming a relationship with you.
Beyond the expense of buying a puppy, additional costs need to be taken into consideration.

Daily upkeep for a puppy will include:
  • Food
  • Treats
  • Water and food dishes
  • Puppy training pads
  • Collar, harness, and leash
  • Play and chew toys
  • Bedding and crate
Other expenses to be aware of include:
  • Veterinarian appointments
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Grooming
  • Training classes
  • Microchipping

Adopting a dog from a rescue group will give the dog another chance to live a better and happier life. You might end up with an adult dog and with little knowledge of its background, but you will also end up with a devoted dog that has been rehabilitated, and vet checked. And you’ll be rescuing a dog.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Rat Pinscher

1. The American Rat Pinscher can be an escape artist.

If left alone in a backyard, they have the ability to jump, climb or dig their way out of their enclosure, so you either never leave them alone, or ensure there is no way for them to escape.

2. The Rat Pinscher loves to chase.

They enjoy a good chase, whether it’s a ball you’ve thrown or that squirrel running up that tree, so keeping them on a leash when out is important

3. The Rat Pinscher can live a long life.

They are healthy dogs that, if well taken care of, can live beyond their 15-year lifespan. The Miniature Pinscher has a 16-year lifespan, and the Rat Terrier can live up to 18 years. Therefore, the American Rat Pinscher could potentially live as long as its parents.

rat pinscher parents
The parents of the Rat Pinscher | Left: Miniature Pinscher, Right: Rat Terrier

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Rat Pinscher

Rat Pinschers are courageous, lively, and loving dogs known to be a little mischievous at times. They love to climb, run, and play but also cuddle up on a warm lap.

These are highly intelligent dogs that need attention and opportunities to expend their energy. The Rat Pinscher is not a shy dog and are happy to meet new people but should be watched around strange dogs as they have big dog syndrome and might get hurt during rough play.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Rat Pinscher is an excellent family dog but would do best with older children. There should be supervision with younger children who might not be gentle with this small dog. All children should be taught how to treat animals gently. The Rat Pinscher also makes a good watchdog as they will alert the family to any strangers approaching the house but aren’t known to be aggressive or to bark excessively.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

As long as the Rat Pinscher is socialized as a puppy and is raised with the other animals in the household, they get along very well with other pets. The same socialization will help them adapt and accept other dogs when at the dog park. They do have a high prey drive, so small animals running could trigger a chase.

Black Rat Pinscher
Image: Marina_Nik_11, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Rat Pinscher:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

A diet for small dogs should include high-quality dog food and how much and how often you feed your Rat Pinscher can be determined in part by the guidelines on the food bag. Be careful feeding your dog treats and human food as obesity can be a problem. You need to ensure that anything you feed your dog will not harm it. You can also consult your vet if you have any concerns or questions regarding your dog’s health and weight.

Exercise 🐕

The Rat Pinscher does require a fair amount of exercise every day. They should have a minimum of 45 minutes of exercise every day, including walks and activities that involve running to keep it mentally stimulated. The Rat Pinscher can live in an apartment as long as it receives the required amount of exercise every day but might do best in a house with a yard. When left alone and not engaged enough, they will resort to destructive behavior, including chewing things up and digging.

Training 🎾

Training the Rat Pinscher can be easy thanks to its intelligence and energetic nature, but it can be prone to some stubbornness and needs a firm and patient trainer. Just remember to be consistent and to use loving and reward-based training. The Rat Pinscher, like most dogs, will do best with early socialization in order to make new situations easier.

Grooming ✂️

The Rat Pinscher has a short and sleek coat and is, therefore, easy to groom. Just a quick brush with a bristle brush can remove excess fur and any dirt. Bathing a Rat Pinscher should only occur when absolutely necessary and no more than once a month with a high-quality dog shampoo. This particular hybrid has sensitive skin and removing the natural oils from its coat could create skin problems.

The Rat Pinscher’s ears need to be cleaned approximately once a month, and their nails should be trimmed every 3 to 4 weeks. Their teeth should be brushed2 or 3 times a week

Health and Conditions 🏥

The American Rat Pinscher won’t be nearly as likely to inherit these health conditions since it’s a mixed breed, but your vet will check your dog’s hips, knees, and elbows and run urinalysis and blood tests. The vet will check your Rat Pinscher’s thyroid and its eyes in addition to a complete physical exam.

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Male vs. Female

The American Rat Pinscher is 9 to 18 inches in height and can weigh anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds. The discrepancy in the height and the weight stems from the fact that the Rat Terrier parent comes in two different sizes: miniature and standard. Female dogs tend to be smaller than males, so expect the female Rat Pinscher to be closer to the smaller and lighter side of the scales and the male on the heavier and taller side.

If you want your Rat Pinscher to be spayed or neutered, the difference in the surgeries is a little more complicated for the female. Spaying the female dog is a more complex surgery, which means it’s somewhat more expensive and takes longer for the female to recover. However, the advantage of spaying and neutering your dog can help prolong your dog’s life. It might prevent future health issues, and your dog might become less aggressive and less likely to run off.

The final difference between male and female dogs is it is commonly believed that the male dog is more aggressive and less affectionate than the female, but there are ongoing debates about this. However, the primary determinate for your dog’s personality will be in how it was socialized and trained as a puppy and how it has been treated as an adult.

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Final Thoughts

The American Rat Pinscher is a courageous, healthy, and loving dog that will love spending time with you wherever you may be. Out walking, sitting in your backyard, or lounging on your couch watching a movie, you’ll have an adorable companion always next to you.

Finding a Rat Pinscher shouldn’t be too difficult because there were a number of puppies for sale at the time of this writing. You can start looking for one by talking to breeders of Rat Terriers and Miniature Pinschers as well as local and national dog clubs and attend dog shows. Don’t forget to keep an eye on dog rescue groups. Posting your interest in a Rat Pinscher on social media will also get your message out to a wider and potentially knowledgeable audience.

The American Rat Pinscher is a feisty, smart, and affectionate hybrid that will bring love and a certain amount of mischievousness to the right household.


Featured Image: Heather Whitehouse, Shutterstock