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Last Updated on February 18, 2024 by Scott Lipe

Meet the fascinating Border Rat Terrier, a unique blend of Rat Terrier and Border Collie. This hybrid breed combines the Rat Terrier’s tenacity with the Border Collie’s intelligence, resulting in a spirited and clever companion. With roots tracing back to their working dog ancestry, these energetic pups thrive on mental stimulation and physical activity. Whether herding livestock or playing fetch in the backyard, this mix brings enthusiasm and loyalty to every task at hand. Discover more about this dynamic crossbreed dog that embodies both history and modern charm.

Key Takeaways

  • Consider the Exercise Needs: Ensure you provide ample physical activity for your Rat Terrier-Border Collie mix to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
  • Training is Key: Consistent training and socialization are essential for this mix breed to prevent behavioral issues and ensure a well-rounded companion.
  • Grooming Requirements: Regular grooming and attention to their coat will help maintain the health and appearance of your Rat Terrier-Border Collie mix.
  • Active Lifestyle: Given their energetic nature, be prepared for an active lifestyle with plenty of playtime and exercise to keep your furry friend happy.
  • Social Interaction: These mixes thrive on human interaction, so dedicate time for bonding activities to strengthen your relationship with your Rat Terrier-Border Collie mix.
  • Health Monitoring: Stay vigilant about their health and schedule regular check-ups with the vet to address any potential health concerns promptly.

Rat Terrier-Border Collie Mix Overview

Unique Crossbreed

The Rat Terrier-Border Collie mix, also known as the Border Rat Terrier, is a blend of two intelligent and energetic breeds. This crossbreed inherits traits from both the Rat Terrier and the Border Collie, resulting in a unique companion with a lot of energy.

This mixed breed dog is highly sought after for its agility, intelligence, and loyalty. Families or individuals looking for an active pet often choose this hybrid because it offers a combination of playfulness and companionship that suits various lifestyles.


The Rat Terrier-Border Collie mix tends to be very loyal to its family members while being alert and protective. Due to their high energy levels, dogs require regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy.

  • Pros:

  • Intelligent and easy to train.

  • Energetic with great agility.

  • Loyal and devoted companions.

  • Cons:

  • Requires lots of physical activity.

  • May exhibit herding instincts.

Their intelligence makes them quick learners, excelling in activities like obedience training or agility courses. However, potential owners should be prepared for the amount of time needed for exercise due to their high energy levels.

History and Characteristics of Rat Terriers


Rat Terriers, originating in the United States, were initially bred as farm dogs due to their exceptional hunting abilities. These dogs are a crossbreed between Border Collies and Rat Terriers.

Rat terrier-Border Collie mixes typically have a small to medium-sized frame with a sturdy build. Their short coat requires minimal grooming, making them an ideal choice for those looking for low-maintenance pets.


These hybrid dogs inherit traits from both parent breeds. They are known for being highly adaptable animals that can thrive in various environments. border rat terriers are intelligent and trainable companions with a strong prey drive inherited from their Border Collie lineage.

  • Pros:

  • Highly adaptable

  • Trainable

  • Strong prey drive

  • Cons:

  • Require mental stimulation

  • May exhibit herding behavior if not properly trained

These dogs often display a mix of features from both parent breeds. For example, they might have the distinctive markings of a Border Collie paired with the muscular build typical of Rat Terriers.

  1. Training Tips:

  2. Use positive reinforcement techniques.

  3. Provide regular exercise to satisfy their high energy levels.

  4. Engage them in interactive games or tasks to keep them mentally stimulated.

  5. Grooming Needs:

  6. Brush their short coat weekly to reduce shedding.

  7. Trim their nails regularly. 3.. Clean their ears routinely to prevent infections.

Understanding the Border Collie Breed

Intelligent and Hardworking

Border Collies, originally bred for herding livestock, are highly intelligent and hardworking dogs. Their lineage as herding dogs gives them a unique set of skills that make them exceptional working animals. These traits have been passed down to their offspring like the rat terrier-border collie mix.

These breeds exhibit remarkable focus, obedience, and problem-solving abilities. For instance, when given tasks or challenges, they show incredible determination in completing them efficiently. This strong work ethic is deeply ingrained in Border Collies due to their history as diligent herders.

Mental Stimulation and Exercise

To keep these energetic dogs happy and healthy, it’s crucial to provide them with mental stimulation and regular exercise. Without proper engagement and physical activity, Border Collies can become bored easily. When not mentally stimulated or physically active enough, they may exhibit undesirable behaviors like excessive barking or destructive tendencies.

One way to prevent boredom in these breeds is through activities such as agility training or puzzle games that challenge their minds while keeping them physically fit. Providing outlets for their natural instincts helps maintain their overall well-being.

Physical Appearance of Rat Terrier-Border Collie Mix

Body Structure

Rat Terrier-Border Collie mixes exhibit a diverse range of physical traits, influenced by the dominant genes inherited from each parent breed. Some may have a compact body, resembling the Rat Terrier, while others might possess a more athletic build, akin to the Border Collie. This mix results in dogs with varying sizes and shapes.

These hybrid dogs can weigh anywhere between 15 to 50 pounds, showcasing either a slender frame like their Border Collie parent or a sturdier physique similar to the Rat Terrier. The blend of these breeds often yields an agile and energetic companion that thrives on physical activities.

Coat Colors

The coat colors of Rat Terrier-Border Collie mixes are another aspect that showcases their unique heritage. These dogs can don solid-colored coats reminiscent of one parent breed or display striking multi-colored patterns combining features from both sides. Common coat colors include black, white, brown, and combinations thereof.

This diversity in coat coloring adds to the individuality of each border rat terrier pup, making them visually appealing and distinctive pets for families seeking companions with eye-catching appearances.

Temperament of Rat Terrier-Border Collie Mix

Alert and Active

Border Rat Terriers, a mix of Rat Terriers and Border Collies, are known for being alert and active. They inherit the intelligence and energy from both breeds, making them always ready for action. This blend results in a dog that is keenly aware of its surroundings.

These dogs are often on high alert, quick to respond to any stimuli. Their vigilant nature makes them excellent watchdogs, always keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.

Affectionate Companions

Despite their watchful demeanor, Border Rat Terriers are also incredibly affectionate. They form strong bonds with their families and enjoy spending quality time with their loved ones. These dogs thrive on human companionship and love being involved in family activities.

Their affectionate nature extends beyond just their human family members; they often get along well with other pets in the household if properly introduced at an early age. With proper socialization, these mixed breed dogs can be friendly towards children as well.

High Energy Levels

One key aspect to note about Border Rat Terriers is their high energy levels. Due to the combination of two active breeds, they require plenty of physical exercise to stay happy and healthy. Daily walks or runs are essential to help them burn off excess energy.

Engaging these dogs in mentally stimulating activities like puzzle toys or obedience training can also help channel their energy constructively. Without enough exercise or mental stimulation, they may become bored and exhibit destructive behaviors.

Advantages of Owning a Rat Terrier-Border Collie Mix

Versatile Working Dogs

Rat Terrier-Border Collie mixes, also known as Border Rat Terriers, combine the best qualities of both breeds. These dogs are versatile and adaptable, excelling in various roles from working dogs to loving family pets. Their intelligence and agility make them well-suited for tasks such as herding livestock or participating in dog sports like agility trials.

  • Versatile and Adaptable
  • Well-suited for Various Roles

These mixed-breed dogs inherit the strong work ethic of the Border Collie along with the Rat Terrier’s tenacity. This unique combination results in highly trainable companions that are eager to please their owners. Whether it’s learning new tricks or following commands, these intelligent canines quickly grasp training concepts and thrive on mental stimulation.

  • Highly Trainable
  • Eager to Please Owners

Excel in Dog Sports

Border Rat Terriers are not only great at traditional obedience training but also excel in various dog sports like agility, obedience trials, and herding competitions. Their athleticism and quick reflexes allow them to navigate obstacle courses with precision while showcasing their speed and agility.

  1. Participate actively in Agility Trials

Pros and Cons of Terrier Cross Breeds

Inherited Traits

Rat terrier-border collie mix, commonly known as a border rat terrier, inherit desirable traits from both parent breeds. This crossbreed benefits from increased genetic diversity, potentially leading to hybrid vigor. For instance, they may have the intelligence of a Border Collie and the agility of a Rat Terrier.

Crossbreeding can result in dogs that are less prone to certain health issues that purebred dogs often face. The combination of two different gene pools can reduce the likelihood of inherited diseases common in specific breeds.

  • Increased genetic diversity
  • Potential for hybrid vigor
  • Reduced risk of breed-specific health problems

Training Needs

On the downside, border rat terriers may inherit health issues from both parent breeds. These mixed-breed dogs could be susceptible to various conditions prevalent in Rat Terriers and Border Collies, such as hip dysplasia or epilepsy.

Due to their mixed heritage, these dogs might exhibit unpredictable traits that make it challenging for owners to anticipate their behavior accurately. Consequently, they may require additional training and socialization compared to purebred dogs.

Expectations from a Rat Terrier-Border Collie Mix

Intelligence and Activity

Rat terrier-border collie mixes, also known as border rat terriers, are intelligent and active companions. They thrive on mental stimulation and require regular physical exercise to stay happy and healthy. These breeds are quick learners, making training an enjoyable experience.

Providing your border rat terrier with interactive toys, puzzles, or agility exercises can help satisfy their need for mental challenges. Regular playtime in the yard or long walks will keep them physically active and prevent boredom-induced behaviors.

Herding Instincts and Training Needs

Due to the border collie’s herding background, your mix may exhibit herding instincts, such as nipping at heels or attempting to corral family members. Proper training is essential to manage these tendencies effectively.

Consistent positive reinforcement techniques during training sessions can help redirect any herding behaviors into more appropriate activities. Establishing boundaries early on will ensure that your border rat terrier understands what is expected of them within your household.

Loving Environment for Well-being

Creating a loving and structured environment is crucial for the well-being of your rat terrier-border collie mix. These dogs thrive on routine and respond well to affectionate interactions with their owners.

Ensuring that they have a comfortable sleeping area, nutritious meals, regular exercise routines, and socialization opportunities will contribute to their overall happiness. Remember that providing a secure environment filled with love will help develop a strong bond between you and your furry companion.

Considerations before Adopting a Rat Terrier-Border Collie Mix

Lifestyle Assessment

Before bringing home a rat terrier-border collie mix, assess your lifestyle. This energetic crossbreed requires ample time, attention, and exercise. Are you ready to commit to meeting their needs? Think about how much time you can devote daily to training, playtime, and walks.

Consider if you have the space for an active dog like a border rat terrier. These mixes thrive in environments where they can run and play freely. Do you live in an apartment or a house with a yard? A yard provides more opportunities for them to burn off excess energy.

Finding Reputable Sources

Research reputable breeders or rescue organizations when looking to adopt a rat terrier-border collie mix. Responsible breeders ensure the health and well-being of their puppies through proper breeding practices. Adoption from rescue organizations gives deserving dogs a second chance at finding loving homes.

When considering adoption, visit shelters or contact rescue groups specializing in this mix breed. They can provide valuable information about the dog’s background, temperament, and any specific care requirements they may have inherited from their parent breeds.

Commitment to Care

Understand the potential challenges that come with owning a high-energy crossbreed like the border rat terrier. Be prepared for their need for mental stimulation and regular physical activity. Training is essential due to their intelligence and strong herding instincts.


  • Energetic nature makes them great companions for active individuals.
  • Intelligent traits make them quick learners during training sessions.


  • Require consistent exercise routines to prevent boredom-related behaviors.
  • May exhibit herding tendencies that require proper socialization from an early age.


You’ve delved deep into the world of Rat Terrier-Border Collie mixes, uncovering their history, characteristics, and what to expect when owning one. Understanding the blend of traits from both breeds is key to providing a loving and suitable home for these energetic companions. Remember, each dog is unique, so be prepared for surprises along the way.

Before rushing into adopting a Rat Terrier-Border Collie mix, take the time to reflect on your lifestyle and commitment level. These pups thrive on attention and exercise, so ensure you can meet their needs before bringing one into your home. By being well-informed and prepared, you’ll set yourself up for a rewarding journey with your new four-legged friend. Now go out there and give those pups the love and care they deserve!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Rat Terrier-Border Collie Mix be a good family pet?

Absolutely! A Rat Terrier-Border Collie mix can make an excellent family pet due to their loyal and affectionate nature. They are energetic, intelligent, and thrive on human companionship, making them great for families looking for an active and loving companion.

How much exercise does a Rat Terrier-Border Collie Mix need?

This crossbreed is highly energetic and requires plenty of daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. Aim for at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, including walks, playtime, and mental stimulation to keep them engaged both physically and mentally.

Are Rat Terrier-Border Collie mixes easy to train?

Yes! These mixes are known for their high intelligence levels which make training relatively easier compared to other breeds. Positive reinforcement techniques work best with these dogs as they respond well to praise and rewards when learning new commands or behaviors.

Do Rat Terrier-Border Collies get along well with children?

With proper socialization from an early age, this mix can be great around children. Their playful nature makes them good companions for kids who match their energy levels. Always supervise interactions between the dog and children to ensure mutual respect and safety.

What grooming needs does a Rat Terrier-Border Collie Mix have?

These dogs typically have short coats that require minimal grooming maintenance. Regular brushing helps keep shedding under control while occasional baths will suffice unless they get into something messy. Trim their nails regularly, check ears for dirt buildup, and brush teeth frequently for overall health upkeep.