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Rat Terrier Poodle Mix : The Rattle Dog

The Rat Terrier Poodle mix, also known as a Rattle Dog, is not a common poodle mix breed. 

In fact you would be hard pressed to find any dog breeders that breed the Rattle dog.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a Rattle dog if you are looking for one.  Since the Rattle dog is a combination of the Poodle and Rat Terrier, both popular breeds in the US, you can find Rattle dogs in shelters all across America.

If you are considering getting a Rattle dog keep reading.  Here we will provide you with an in-depth review of the Rattle Dog from someone that lives with one. 

Quick Overview of the Rattle Dog

The rattle dog is a small to medium sized dog that can live on average between 13 and 18 years old. Their hair can be short and coarse like the Rat Terrier or soft and curly like the Poodle.

Most rattle dogs end up with a combination of the two with the most common combination being long, straight hair. The pointy ears of the Rat Terrier also tends to be a dominate feature on the rattle dog, though you can still find a few Rattle dogs with the floppy ears of a poodle.

Our Rattle dog shown in the picture above took on the appearance that is closer to the poodle, but her hair is more wavy then curly.

Rat Terrier Poodle Mix : The Rattle Dog title pic with a picture of a gray dog.

While Poodles have a reputation of being highly intelligent and aloof, Rat Terriers are known to be affectionate. They are family dogs that like to be close to their people. The combination of the two traits helps to balance out the two extremes.

Bella -The Rattle Dog - small gray dog with long fur and black nose.
Rat Terrier Poodle Mix – Rattle Dog – Bella

But like all terrier breeds, Rat Terriers were bred to work independent from their people. That independent streak along with the high intelligence of a poodle can make training a Rattle a little tough.

But the personality of a Rattle dog more than makes up for any of the training issues.

Overall a Rattle dog can make a good companion dog for a family, couple or single owner as long as they have an active lifestyle. The rattle dog is not a couch potato. They are happiest when active.

What do you call a Rat Terrier Poodle Mix?

A Rat Terrier/Poodle mix goes by many names. The most used name is the Rattle Dog. However it does have other names including; RatDoodle or a Ratapoo.

It’s funny that they have so many names considering they are not that common.

Differences between a Ratdoodle and a Labradoodle

Although a Ratdoodle is a type of doodle there are differences between a Ratdoodle and a Labradoodle. The biggest one is predicting what they may look like as an adult dog.

Picture of a white Labradoodle walking in the grass.

Let’s look at a Labradoodle first. A Labradoodle is part Poodle and part Labrador Retriever. Both breeds have a lot in common. They are fairly close in size. They also both have floppy ears and longer snouts. This means that when you combine the two you know the approximate size your doodle will be and that it will have floppy ears and a longer snout.

The one thing you will not be able to tell is the fur type. People with Labradoodles have reported that their dog’s fur changed as they became an adult. As fully grown dogs some doodles will have short straight hair like a Labrador and some will have fluffy, curly hair like a poodle.

American Rat Terrier in a field
American Rat Terrier

Now let’s look at the Ratdoodle. The Rat Terrier looks nothing like a Poodle. A Rat Terrier has large, pointy ears that stand erect at all times. They also have short fur and a small, thin frame.

A poodle on the other hand has floppy ears, tend to have a fuller body and a long curly coat. When you mix them together you don’t know what the dog will look like until they are fully grown.

So, if you want a dog that will look like the typical teddy bear looking doodle then a Rat Terrier Poodle mix puppy may not be right for you.

Rat Terrier Poodle Mix aka the Rattle dog

Rattle Dog Lineage

The Rattle dog is a hybrid or mixed breed dog that does not have a standard for its breeding. It’s a combination of the Poodle and an American Rat Terrier.

Both the Poodle and the Rat Terrier are also a combination of other breeds. But these breeds have been standardized over the years so you know what to expect from the breed.

Since there is not a standard for the Rattle dog you need to look at the two parent breeds to understand what they may be like.


The Poodle comes in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The miniature and toy sizes are bred down from the standard Poodles. All three sizes have the same general characteristics.

Poodles are known for their intelligence, ranking only second to the Border Collie. They are active, fun-loving dogs that like to clown around. Poodles are easily trainable and thrive on attention making them a good choice for active families.

Although the poodle’s origins are disputed what is agreed upon is that they descend from water dogs that were used for retrieving prey.

Rat Terrier

It’s believed that the original Rat Terriers were brought to the US as mongrels by working class British migrants. The dogs were used in rat-baiting, and bred for speed.

As the dogs became popular on American farms the breed was refined by breeding them with Beagles, Italian Greyhounds, and Manchester Terriers. The Rat Terrier was bred to be independent and to hunt vermin.

Can a dog smile?  Many Dog Trainers and Animal Behaviorists will tell you that dogs cannot smile, at least not in the true sense of a smile.  But I am not so sure they are correct.  Check out why I think some dogs can smile.

Rattle Dog Appearance

As I mentioned earlier since these two breeds look so different you will not know what your Ratdoodle puppy will look like until they are fully grown.

However you should be able to get an idea of what they will look like when they are still puppies. Take a look at the pictures below.

Picture of three rat terrier puppies that look different.

All three puppies are sisters. Their mom is a Rat Terrier and their dad a Mini Poodle. As can see two inherited the long, fluffy hair and floppy ears of a poodle but one has short, straight hair, pointed ears and the markings of a Rat Terrier.

The one in the middle is our Bella when she was just 8 weeks old. Below is a picture of what Bella looks like now.


Temperament is not only based on the breed but also how the dog is raised.

Gray Rat Terrier Poodle mix on black bed.

Our Rat Terrier Poodle mix is a very affectionate, loveable dog with a big personality. She is probably the most vocal dog I have ever had. Not that she barks a lot but if she wants something she uses her “voice” to let us know.

Watch Dog

Although she is small she makes a great watch dog. Every day while we work she spends her day on her perch on the back of the couch.

There she spends her time looking out the window making sure no one enters the yard without us knowing.

Pack Dog

True to her pack animal heritage she prefers when we are all together. An example of this is she will force us to wait for everyone to come together before she will proceed on a walk.

The flip-side to that is I don’t believe Bella would do well being alone for long periods of time. This is not something we have tested since we work from home.

Born Hunter

She is also a born hunter that keeps our homes free of creeping, crawling things. However the hunting instinct may not be good for a home with small pets like hamsters or mice.

Along with the hunting instincts she also likes to burrow.  This is a common trait with small terriers.  We often find her under the couch or bed sleeping, even though she has a safe spot with comfy bedding.

Are Rat Terrier Poodle Mixes Hypoallergenic?

Since the Rat Terrier is not a hypoallergenic dog breed there is no way to guarantee that the Rattle dog will be. It will depend on the type of fur they inherit.

Our Rat Terrier Poodle mix has a single coat of soft wavy hair. Although she is not odor free, I find that she does not trigger off my allergies like some of the other dogs I have lived with.

To learn more about terrier poodle mix breeds that are hypoallergenic, please see our post on Terrier Poodle Mix Breed Guide

Grooming needs

Grooming needs will depend on the type of fur your Ratdoodle has. A Ratdoodle with a wavy or curly coat will require daily brushing and professional grooming every 6 to 8 weeks.

Short haired Rattle dogs will require less grooming but will shed more.

Life Expectancy

Both the Mini Poodle and the Rat Terrier enjoy long lives. The median lifespan for a mini poodle is 15 years, with a range of 14 to 16 considered normal, while the average life span of a Rat Terrier is 15 to 18 years. Since hybrid dogs tend to have fewer breed specific health issues a lifespan of 15 to 18 years is not unrealistic.

Of course genetics are only part of aging in a dog. Proper nutrition and exercise is required to keep your Rattle dog around for a long time. Also you need to make sure your Rattle dog maintains a healthy weight

Exercise requirements

Since both the poodle and rat terrier are high energy dogs, a Rattle dog will need to be exercised regularly.

They are the happiest when they are active. Lack of exercise will result in your Rattle dog becoming bored. This in turn will cause them to be destructive.

Recognized Clubs

The Rattle dog is not recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

Where to find Rat Terrier Poodle Mix Breeds

As I mentioned above you will have a hard time finding a breeder that specializes in Rattle dogs. Most often the mix comes about by accident.

Therefore, if you are looking for a rat terrier poodle mix you should look at rescue sites like or Rat Terrier Rescue organizations like the ones listed below.

National Rat Terrier Recues

This list is a courtesy. We do not endorse any clubs or rescues listed.

If you are looking for a poodle mix dog you can learn more about other mixes with these posts:

Final Thoughts

Although, I would never suggest that people should start randomly breeding Rattle dogs, if you happen to come across one in a shelter they can make very good companions.

Are You Looking for a Rescue Dog to Adopt?

Here are some resources to help you with your search

Marlene Noll

Sunday 25th of February 2024

My dog, Molly is a ratdoode. She is very playful. Minds good. Knows her boundry on three acres. Does not go beyond and loves the freedom she has to run unleashed. She is good at going on a pee pad when we are gone for several hours.


Sunday 25th of February 2024


Wow, sounds like a great pup! Ratdoodles are pretty smart and ours is very independent. Is your pup a rescue?

Thanks for stopping by!


Markleta Williams

Sunday 28th of November 2021

I just rescued a ratdoodle from ruff start in MN. I wasn't looking for that breed, I was actually looking for a Shih Tzu. But I love my little Cayanne Pepper. She is fiesty and soooo adorable. She is 11 weeks old now and makes me smile every day.


Monday 29th of November 2021


Congratulations on your new pup. Rat Terriers are known to be very affectionate. We found that our Ratdoodle was also that way. She loves to cuddle now that she is older. But not so much when she was a puppy.

Wishing you many happy years together.



Wednesday 31st of March 2021

My Granddaughter had onevand she chased motor cycles and finally got Granddaughter is heartbroken...i am going to tryto find her another one.


Thursday 1st of April 2021

Hi Jennifer,

I am so sorry to hear about your granddaughter's dog. Losing a pet is always hard.

Although you can never truly replace a beloved dog, getting another one will at least help with the sorrow.

Best of luck with finding another dog.