Rat Collie Mix – Your Guide on Border Collie Rat Terrier Hybrid

Due to its unusual origin, the border collie terrier, a dog breed that is a cross between a border collie and a rat terrier, does not have a particular name. The offspring of two pure-bred dogs are usually referred to as a cross-breed. On the other hand, a mixed-breed puppy has a more diverse ancestry and is frequently referred to as a mixed breed.

Characteristics of a Border Collie Rat Terrier Mix

Border Collies are renowned for their high intelligence, which stems from their innate herding instincts and their capacity to acquire new skills. They excel in a range of canine activities, such as herding, obedience, and agility, as well as recreational pursuits like catching Frisbees, retrieving objects, swimming, jumping, and running. It’s important to note that their strong herding inclination necessitates being kept in a yard with a secure fence.

In contrast, Rat Terriers are little canines adored for their cuteness and renowned as escape digging masters. They’re noted for their humor, and zest for life. These dogs are born to rid your home of pests, and they will do an excellent job of it.

Predicting a crossbreed dog’s outward characteristics and temperament can be challenging, especially if the offspring are from two recently developed, genetically diverse breeds like the Border Collie and the Rat Terrier. Therefore, it’s best to avoid obsessing over trivial details when trying to predict your dog’s future.

Height43cm to 58cm or 1.4ft to 1.9ft
Weight11kg to 20kg or 24lbs. to 44lbs.
Lifespan10 to 15 years
GroomingModerate to High
TemperamentEnergetic, Smart, Spirited, Faithful

History of Rat Collie

By understanding the history of its parent breeds, it can provide a good idea of what these dogs may be like. The Border Collie was bred for herding and controlling livestock in Scotland-England border regions due to its energy, endurance, and drive for labor, making them excellent herding dogs today. Conversely, the Rat Terrier was bred to chase vermin and pests, such as rats, making them skilled at this task, although they can be hostile towards humans and other animals. Both parent breeds require proper training and exercise to prevent behavioral issues.

Border Collie History

The Border Collie is a breed of herding dog that was once commonly utilized in British Isles for farming and wool industry. They spread out across the area from their landrace sheepdog ancestors, but eventually settled at the border between England and Scotland.

What is the History of Rat Terriers?

In the 1910s, Rat Terriers were used extensively across the United States on farms to get rid of rats and other pests. The Rat Terrier originated in the US, where it was bred specifically to hunt rodents.  Theodore Roosevelt had Rat Terriers as pets because of their intellect, alertness, and ability to maintain a spotless appearance through meticulous self-grooming. He used them often in his hunting, and the term “Rat Terrier” was given to them because of their skill at catching rats.

Rat Collie Appearance

Although we can accurately predict specific physical characteristics of a Border Collie, such as their height and weight, the particular terrier breed that was crossed with the Border Collie would determine the other physical characteristics present in a Border Collie Terrier mix. Mixed-breed dogs can have very different outward appearances than purebred dogs because they can acquire parts from either their parents or a combination of the two.

Size, Height & Weight

The Rat Terrier is a small to medium-sized dog breed that usually weighs between 10 and 25 pounds and measures between 10 and 18 inches tall at the shoulder. The standard and miniature sizes are two distinct variations that various organizations acknowledge.

Both variations are accepted by the AKC and other organizations, giving potential canine owners more options. Their small size and adaptability make them suitable for apartment life if they get enough movement and stimulation.

Coats & Colors

Rat Collies are typically short-haired dogs with coats that come in black, white, and tan. However, the American Kennel Club (AKC) acknowledges other color combinations as long as there is a noticeable amount of white in the coat.

The coat color of a mixed-breed dog like the Rat Collie can vary widely depending on the genetic traits inherited from each parent. Generally speaking, their coat is shiny and smooth and doesn’t need much maintenance. Overall, the Rat Collie’s coat is a unique blend of both parent breeds and can be pretty striking.

Personality & Temperament of Border Collie Rat Terrier Mix

The Border Collie is known for being gentle, whereas the Rat Terrier can be aggressive, resulting in a friendly and family-oriented mixed breed.

If the Rat Collie gets the strong-willed personality of the Rat Terrier, they may require an experienced owner to establish themselves as the pack leader. Despite their small stature, they can be assertive and want to be in control. However, appropriate socialization can assist them in getting along with other animals. They can also tolerate being alone briefly when the house is noisy or crowded.

In the event that the Rat Collie leans more on its Border Collies genes, you can expect them to be highly intelligent, active, and working dogs that are best suited to country living. They are known for their athleticism, agility, and strong instincts.

Border Collies are known for their high intelligence and trainability, but they also have a tendency to exhibit compulsive or anxious behaviors such as spinning in circles or chasing bugs. It’s important to note that Border Collies require plenty of physical and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. These dogs often form incredibly close bonds with their owners, but may not be as friendly towards unfamiliar animals or people. With consistent training and socialization, however, Border Collies can learn to be more accepting of strangers.

Intelligence of Border Collie Rat Terrier Mix

Border Collie Rat Terrier mix’s intelligence varies from litter to litter, but these dogs are renowned for their intelligence, loyalty, affection, and energy. They also have a powerful prey drive and are pretty vocal.

These mixed-breed dogs are usually quick learners and respond well to training due to their inherent intelligence. Still, they require plenty of exercises and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. While every dog is different, the Border Collie Rat Terrier Mix is a good option for an active family looking for an intelligent and lively companion.


Border Collies are full of energy

As both the Border Collie and Terrier dogs are energetic breeds, it’s no surprise that their crossbreed, the Rat Collie, is also highly energetic. The Border Collie was initially bred as a working dog for herding, while Terrier dogs have a reputation for being active.

To cater to the physical and mental needs of the Rat Collie, be ready to provide them with sufficient playtime and long walks. This will help keep them engaged and stimulated, both mentally and physically.

Family & Kids

The Rat Terrier and the Border Collie breeds are renowned for being family-friendly and can be good pets. Because of its playful and active nature, the Border Collie Rat Terrier can be an excellent addition to any household. Furthermore, these canines get along well with children and can be fun and energetic companion for children to play with.

However, it is critical to provide them with adequate exercise and training to avoid behavioral issues that may emerge due to their high energy levels.

Other Animals

The Border Collie Terrier mix makes an excellent household pet because it gets along well with children and other animals.

When bringing a Border Collie Terrier mix into a home that already has cats, it is critical to keep a close eye on how the two species interact with one another. Both Border Collies and Terriers have strong prey drives, which might cause them to have an inclination to chase cats and other small animals because of their herding instincts. Early socialization and training can help reduce the severity of this behavior and reduce the likelihood of future confrontations.

The chasing instinct of this breed must be managed through effective training that emphasizes consistent training and positive reinforcement.

  • Consistent training – the dog will learn to respond to directions and to refrain from chasing the cats if he receives consistent training.
  • Positive reinforcement – a dog can be rewarded for good conduct and encouraged to continue obeying directions through the use of positive reinforcement techniques such as being given treats or being complimented.

If owners are willing to put in the effort to properly train and socialize their Border Collie Terrier mix, they may assure that their cat and dog will be able to live together in their house in harmony and contentment.


Due to the robust and intelligent nature of the Rat Terrier breed, which can resemble a more diminutive form of a blue heeler, the Border Collie Rat Terrier mix has the potential to create an excellent guard dog.

While the Rat Collie can be aggressive and may be wary of strangers and other pets, it is still a good option for families with young children and other pets. With proper socialization and training, this breed can be an affectionate and devoted companion who gets along well with children and other animals.

Do Rat Collie Bark a Lot?

charming blue merle Border Collie

Collies are delicate dogs that need a lot of love and affection, and because of this, they may bark at night owing to separation anxiety, fear of the dark, or noise sensitivity.

With Rat Terriers, they were initially raised to work as hunting and farm dogs, when barking was a vital part of the job. They can be notorious for their excessive amount of vocalization. On the other hand, owners of such dog shouldn’t put up with  this incessant barking. They should take the time to figure out why their dog is barking; could it be that they are just being alert, anxious, bored, lonely, under socialized, lacking exercise, fearful, or because they are exhibiting territorial behavior.

When it comes to preventing damaging behaviors in Rat Terriers, especially excessive barking, adequate exercise and activities that keep them busy are essential.

Are Rat Collie Good for Newbie Dog Owners?

The Rat Terrier hybrid is well-known for its ability to get along with children and can make an excellent family companion. However, because it tends to be an alpha dog, it may require a firm and experienced owner with pack leader experience. It is critical to provide adequate socialization and exercise to the mix to flourish in its new environment, just like any other new addition to the family.

Training & Exercise of Border Collie Rat Terrier Mix Breed

This dog breed is very energetic and requires an owner who can keep up with their exercise requirements. Because they were bred to work and run all day, merely lying around would not satisfy their dynamic nature. As a result, scheduling long walks and hikes with them is critical to keep their energy levels under control.

Although the American Kennel Club recommends that you give your dog at least thirty minutes of daily activity, the exact amount of time should be tailored to the dog’s age, breed, and size. To maintain your dog’s physical and mental well-being, you should provide him plenty of opportunities for exercise and mental challenges through activities like walks, games, and training sessions.

Failure to provide this breed with sufficient exercise and activity can result in behavioral issues, so owners should ensure they meet these requirements before bringing one home.

Health of Rat Collie

Genetic health problems could be passed down from breed to breed in dogs, but some varieties are more likely to have problems than others. A respectable breeder should ensure their dog’s physical and mental well-being by offering a health guarantee.

Diet & Nutrition

To ensure proper nutrition for your Rat-Collie, paying attention to both the quality and quantity of food is essential. While the amount of food needed may vary slightly based on the dog’s size and age, a full-grown Rat-Collie typically requires one and a half to two cups of dog food per day, which can be divided into two meals.

Because of their high energy levels, they require a diet rich in calories. While dog food is the safest and most convenient option, you can add selected vegetables, fruits, and meats to provide variety and make their meals healthier. However, be careful not to overfeed your dog, as Rat-Collies are prone to obesity.

Life Span of a Rat Collie

The Rat Terrier and Border Collie are both long-lived breeds, with the former having a 15 to 18 years lifespan and the latter ranging anywhere from 12 to 15 years. When these two breeds are mixed together, their lifespan can range from 13 to 16 years, provided they are in good health.

If you take good care of your Rat Terrier and Border Collie mix, you can expect them to be your companion for a significant part of your life. It is important to note that proper care, including a healthy diet, regular exercise, and routine check-ups with a veterinarian, can play a significant role in ensuring your furry friend lives a long and healthy life.

Health Issues

Regarding mixed-breed dogs, it’s important to remember that health conditions that affect the parent breeds can also affect the mixed breed. The Border Collie Terrier mix may be susceptible to health conditions inherited from its parents.

  • Eye problems – the dog may be affected by eye conditions such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and entropion.
  • Bone problems – hip dysplasia may also occur, which causes pain and difficulty walking due to an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Allergies – this may cause skin problems, and respiratory issues in border collie terrier mix dogs.
  • Ear infections – the dog’s ears are particularly vulnerable to infections, which allergies, yeast overgrowth, or infection with parasites or bacteria may cause.
  • Bloating – this is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the stomach twists and traps air and gas inside,

It’s worth noting that while these conditions may be more common in certain breeds or mixtures, not all dogs will necessarily experience them. Proper nutrition and healthcare can help reduce the risk of developing these issues.

Grooming of Rat Collie

Being a mixed breed, Rat-Collies can inherit different coat lengths from their parents. It is essential to adjust the grooming frequency based on the size of their coat. Frequent bathing is not recommended; a bath every two months is enough. Regular brushing of their coat is essential to remove excess and dead hair, which can be done a couple of times a week. To prevent oral health issues, brushing their teeth two to three times a week is also recommended.

Does Rat Collie Shed a Lot?

The Border Collie Rat Terrier mix has a moderate-length coat that requires some upkeep, so it’s not too difficult to maintain. However, it’s essential to note that both parent breeds are moderate shedders, so the mix will likely shed too. It’s important to brush their coat regularly to remove loose hair and prevent matting, which can also help distribute natural oils and keep their coat healthy.

Male vs Female of Border Collie and Rat Terrier Mix

The gender of a Border Collie and Rat Terrier mix is unique to each dog. However, it’s worth noting that male Border Collies tend to be larger and may take longer to develop, potentially increasing their susceptibility to hip dysplasia. This characteristic may be passed on to the mixed breed.

Cost of Border Collie Rat Terrier Mix

The cost of a Border Collie and Rat Terrier mix is primarily influenced by the parents’ bloodlines and the breeder’s reputation. A Rat-Collie with reputable lineage can easily command a higher price compared to other breeds which typically ranges from $600 to $1000.

However, this range is not fixed, and prices may vary depending on the bloodlines of the purebred parents, sometimes exceeding $1500. While it is possible to find Rat-Collies for lower prices, it is advisable to research the breeder and purchase the puppies from a reputable source.


Typically, the cost of a Rat Terrier and Border Collie mix ranges between $300 to $1,000 on average. To ensure the health of the puppies, it’s advisable to purchase them from a reputable breeder, despite the cost. This is the best, and your safest bet in guaranteeing that you’re getting a dog that is free from behavioral problems and known health issues.

Shelters and Breeders

The price of a Border Collie Rat Terrier mix can differ between breeders and shelters. A Border Collie pup’s cost can range from $700 to $2,000, depending on the breeder who raised it. Meanwhile, the adoption cost for an adult Rat Terrier will only cost you $200, while puppies under six months old cost $250. It is crucial to remember that these adoption fees contribute to the rescue and care of Rat Terriers in need.


Border Collie Rat Terrier mix is a highly active and spirited breed that requires a significant amount of physical activity in addition to mental stimulation. As a result, it is well suited for owners who lead busy lifestyles and who can make a long-term commitment to giving their dog with an abundance of opportunities for exercise and play.

This breed is not recommended for owners who do not have the capacity to devote a large portion of their time and energy to the upkeep of their dog companion.

A person’s experience with canines in the past can also be a significant factor in choosing whether or not a Border Collie Rat Terrier is the ideal breed to choose. This breed demands an experienced owner who can provide them with the required training and socialization to avoid any behavioral issues from developing.

If an owner has the time, energy, and experience to invest to their Border Collie Rat Terrier mix, they can expect a loyal, clever, and highly energetic companion that will bring a lot of joy and excitement into their lives. In general, if an owner has the time, energy, and experience to give to their dog, they may anticipate a Border Collie Rat Terrier mix.

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