Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog Mix: A Guide to This Unique Crossbreed

Crossbreeds have an allure that’s hard to deny. They offer a fusion of characteristics from their purebred parents, crafting a dog that’s both unique and familiar. Among these enchanting hybrids is the Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog mix.

Often called a Rat Terrier Cattledog, this blend brings together the tenacity of a Rat Terrier with the herding instincts of the Australian Cattle Dog, creating a companion that’s as intelligent as it is independent. For dog lovers exploring the world of mixed breeds, the Rat Terrier Cattledog is a breed worth getting to know.

Origins of the Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog Mix

The Rat Terrier Cattledog’s origin story begins with its purebred parents, the Rat Terrier and the Australian Cattle Dog. The Rat Terrier, an American breed with a history in farm work and hunting, is known for its energy and intelligence. The Australian Cattle Dog, often called a ‘blue heeler’ or ‘red heeler’, hails from the land down under, prized for its herding ability and endurance. The mix between the two brings a versatile working dog that can adapt to various environments and tasks.

It’s important to note that, as a crossbreed, the Rat Terrier Cattledog is not recognized by major kennel clubs as a breed standard.

Appearance: What Do Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog Mixes Look Like?

When it comes to the physical traits of the Rat Terrier Cattledog, variety is a dominant theme. Offspring from the same litter can sometimes have vastly different appearances, offering a medley of traits from both parent breeds. However, there are some general characteristics to expect.


The coat of the Rat Terrier Cattledog mix usually inherits the short, dense, and weather-resistant qualities present in both Rat Terriers and Australian Cattle Dogs. It can come in a range of colors, with speckling or patches being common due to the Australian Cattle Dog lineage. Regular brushing will help keep their coat healthy and minimize shedding.


The size of a Rat Terrier Cattledog mix can vary significantly. Rat Terriers are medium-sized dogs, typically weighing between 10 and 25 pounds, whereas Australian Cattle Dogs are a little larger, ranging from 35 to 50 pounds. This means a Rat Terrier Cattledog could be anywhere in this size range, with some individuals leaning more towards one parent breed in size.

Ears and Tail

Expect the mix to often have high-set, erect ears, and a tail that might be traditionally docked like an Australian Cattle Dog, or natural and often wagging enthusiastically like a Rat Terrier’s.

Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog Mix
Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog

Temperament and Personality Traits of This Crossbreed

The Rat Terrier Cattledog mix is for a certain kind of pet owner. Like its parent breeds, it is typically a high-energy dog that likes to have a job to do. They are not content to laze around all day and can become destructive without adequate mental and physical exercise. This crossbreed is also fiercely loyal, protective, and very intelligent, making them excellent watchdogs.


Early socialization is crucial for a Rat Terrier Cattledog mix. Exposing them to a variety of people, places, and experiences from a young age can help dampen their natural wariness of strangers. Additionally, introducing them to other animals can help prevent aggressive behavior in adulthood.

Agility and Intelligence

Both Rat Terriers and Australian Cattle Dogs are known for their agility and problem-solving skills. Expect a Rat Terrier Cattledog mix to excel in canine sports and training activities that challenge their mind and body.

Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog
Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog

Exercise and Training Needs for a Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog Mix

Exercise is a non-negotiable aspect of owning a Rat Terrier Cattledog mix. They’re bursts of energy on four legs and need ample space to run and play. A couple of vigorous walks a day or a good run in the yard will keep them content, but they will also benefit from more involved exercise such as agility training or even participation in dog sports like disc competitions.

Intellectual Stimulation

Regular training sessions and interactive play are essential to keep them mentally stimulated. Puzzle toys and obedience training can help satisfy their need for intellectual challenges.

Consistency in Training

Consistency and positive reinforcement techniques are the best way to train a Rat Terrier Cattledog mix. They can be independent thinkers, so training sessions should be kept short and fun to maintain their interest.

Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog
Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog

Health Issues to Look Out for in the Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog Mix

The Rat Terrier and the Australian Cattle Dog are both generally robust breeds, and this often carries over to their offspring. However, there are a few health concerns that may be inherited from the parents, which include but are not limited to:

Hip Dysplasia

This is a genetic condition in which the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and mobility issues.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

A degenerative eye disorder that eventually leads to blindness, PRA is hereditary and has no cure.


Congenital deafness can occur in Australian Cattle Dogs, and the risk is present in their mixes.

Regular veterinary checkups and a high-quality diet are important factors in maintaining the health of your Rat Terrier Cattledog.

Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog
Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog


How Much Do Rat Terrier Cattledogs Shed?

Rat Terrier Cattledog mixes have a moderate to heavy shedding tendency and require regular grooming to manage loose hair.

Are These Dogs Good With Children?

When well-socialized, Rat Terrier Cattledogs can be excellent companions for children. They are energetic playmates but owners should always supervise interactions to ensure the safety of both the dog and the child.

How Long Do Rat Terrier Cattledogs Live?

Rat Terrier Cattledogs have a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years when properly cared for. This is a long commitment that potential owners should consider before bringing one into their home.


  • The Rat Terrier Australian Cattle Dog mix is a fascinating blend of two hardworking and intelligent breeds.
  • While they are certainly not low-maintenance, for those who can provide the right environment and plenty of love and attention, these crossbreeds can make loyal and fun family pets.
  • Always remember that crossbreeds are individuals, and the traits they inherit can vary.
  • If you’re considering adding a Rat Terrier Cattledog to your family, spending time with the dog’s parents can give you a good idea of what to expect, but it’s never a guarantee.
  • Enjoy the unique adventure of a Rat Terrier Cattledog mix and cherish the joy it brings to your life!

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