What is a Basenji Rat Terrier Mix?

Crossbreeding has become increasingly popular among dog enthusiasts. One interesting blended breed gaining traction is the Basenji crossed with a Rat Terrier, often called a Ratenji. What results from this union of spirited hunting companions? Let’s explore the distinctive Basenji Rat Terrier mix.

What is a Basenji Rat Terrier Mix?

A Basenji Rat Terrier mix is a cross between a purebred Basenji and a purebred Rat Terrier. This fusing of historic lineages combines the athletic, independent Basenji with the lively, vermin-chasing Rat Terrier into a petite but demanding package. They thrive as affectionate companions for active owners able to stimulate their energetic minds and bodies properly.

What Does a Basenji Rat Terrier Mix Look Like?

Basenji and Rat Terrier mix
Image: cheybebez Instagram
  • Small, slender yet muscular build, 15-30 lbs
  • Large upright ears with pointed tips
  • Curly tails or tails held erect over their backs
  • Short, sleek coat in tan, white, tricolor, red, or brindle

In appearance, most resemble a miniature Basenji in coloring and substance but with a Rat Terrier’s eager expression. Expect endless energy and fearlessness behind those cute masks as well!


The Basenji originates from Africa, and Rat Terriers come from America’s farms. Crossing these quick-footed breeds likely began deliberately in the last decade as designer hybrids became popular.


This blend showcases the independence and wariness of the Basenji balanced with the lively, busy nature of the Rat Terrier. Providing plentiful positive outlets for exercise and mental stimulation helps ensure adjusted, adaptable dispositions. Confident leadership skills and secure fencing are a must with these apt escape artists!

Common Health Concerns

Like most breeds, the Basenji Rat Terrier mix may inherit health issues from both parent breeds. Common health issues include:

  • Patellar luxation
  • Eye issues
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip dysplasia

You should take your dog through regular vet check-ups and provide a healthy lifestyle to mitigate these risks. Careful screening of parent breeds for sound structure and temperament is also vital.

Care and Grooming Practices for the Basenji Rat Terrier Mix

Here are common care and grooming practices to observe if you own a Basenji Rat Terrier mix:

  • Regular Exercise: Basenjis and Rat Terriers are energetic breeds, so your mix will require daily exercise to stay healthy and mentally stimulated. Aim for at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity, such as walks, runs, or play sessions.
  • Mental Stimulation: Keep your Basenji Rat Terrier Mix mentally engaged with interactive toys, puzzle games, and obedience training. Mental stimulation is essential for preventing boredom and destructive behaviors.
  • Nutritious Diet: Feed your dog a balanced diet appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Consult your veterinarian to determine the best diet plan and feeding schedule for your Basenji Rat Terrier Mix.
  • Grooming: Basenji Rat Terrier Mixes typically have short, low-maintenance coats that require minimal grooming. Brush your dog’s coat weekly to remove loose hair and dirt, and bathe them as needed.
  • Dental Care: Practice regular dental care by brushing your dog’s teeth several times a week to prevent plaque buildup and dental issues. Dental chews or toys can also help promote good oral health.
  • Ear Cleaning: Check your dog’s ears regularly for signs of wax buildup or infection. Clean their ears as needed with a veterinarian-approved ear cleaning solution to prevent issues.
  • Nail Trimming: Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to a comfortable length to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. Trim nails as needed, typically every 4-6 weeks or when you hear them clicking on the floor.
  • Training and Socialization: Begin training and socialization early to ensure your Basenji Rat Terrier Mix develops good manners and is well-adjusted around people and other pets. Use positive reinforcement techniques and provide plenty of opportunities for social interaction.
  • Veterinary Check-ups: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your dog’s overall health and catch any potential issues early. Vaccinations, parasite control, and preventive care are essential for keeping your mix healthy.
  • Environmental Considerations: You should provide a safe and comfortable living environment for your Basenji Rat Terrier Mix, with access to shelter from extreme weather conditions. Ensure they have plenty of opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation to thrive.

    basenji rat terrier mix
    Image: cheybebez Instagram

How Much Does a Basenji Rat Terrier Mix Puppy Cost?

You should expect to pay between $500 to $1500 or more for a Basenji Rat Terrier mix puppy. Show pedigrees may be expensive. Adoption fees for rescued young adult mixes start around $250.


Pairing the vocal Basenji with the plucky Rat Terrier results in a cheerful hybrid perfectly suited for life on the go with active companions. Even with diligent nurturing, expect some willful tendencies in these strong-minded crosses. Prior spirited breed experience serves prospective owners extremely well in anticipating the needs of this hybrid. Proper leadership and positive outlets provide the keys to success!

READ ALSO: What does a French Bulldog Yorkie Mix Look Like?


How big does the Basenji Rat Terrier mix get?

15-30 pounds. Males typically reach the top of the standard. Diminutive size depends on which parent they favor most.

What health problems does the Rat Terrier Basenji mix have?

Patellar luxation, eye diseases, and hypothyroidism are the most common issues. Buying from health-tested parents is critical.

Is the Basenji Rat Terrier mix easy to train?

Their intelligence allows them to learn quickly, but their independence complicates training. Positive reinforcement and confidence building ideal.

How much exercise does a Rat Terrier Basenji mix need daily?

At least 60+ minutes of vigorous exercise and mental stimulation. They thrive with canine jobs or athletic activities suiting their endurance.

Does the Basenji Rat Terrier mix shed?

Yes, the Basenji Rat Terrier mix will shed somewhat year-round and most likely undergo seasonal heavier shedding periods based on the Rat Terrier’s coat genetics.