Jack Russell Terrier Chihuahua Mix: All About The Jack Chi

The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is also known as the Jack Chi. The Jack Chi is a relative newcomer to the designer dog scene and is a cross between a purebred Jack Russell terrier and a Chihuahua. It’s thought that the Jack Chi hybrid first appeared in the 1980s or 1990s when they were bred for companionship.

This breed has a ton of energy and is not the right mixed breed pup for all families.  If you have a hectic work schedule and need to leave your pups at home all day, this probably isn’t the breed for you.  With that being said, Jack Chis are known as affectionate, friendly, bright, and energetic. These pups are always up for a game with their beloved owners!

Is this mixed breed pup the right dog breed for you?  Let’s dive into the parent breeds, as well as every other aspect of the Jack Chi that you’ll need to be aware of before you decide to bring one home to meet your family.

Parent Breeds

A designer dog is simply a term that was coined to describe a dog that was created by crossbreeding two purebred dogs.The idea behind crossbreeding is to produce a healthy, hardy dog that carries some of the parent breeds’ looks and temperament. If the cross is successful, the undesirable characteristics of one of the parent breeds can be counteracted.

There’s no way of telling which parent will have most influence over the pup’s looks and character. So, you might end up with a pup that looks more like the Jack Russell terrier mom but has more of the personality of the Chihuahua dad. It’s important to note that some health conditions may be common to both the parent breeds. That means the puppies might not be as healthy as you think. So, now that you understand more about designer dogs, you’ll need to know more about both the parent breeds.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell is a feisty, busy little dog that has a very high prey instinct, especially where small furries such as rabbits and squirrels are concerned. That’s because these pups were bred to hunt down and kill vermin, including foxes. So, anything small and furry that runs away when chased is considered to be fair game by these lively little dogs!

The Jack Russell breed loves to dig and can be destructive too. These pups have the reputation of being barkers, which can be an issue with the Jack Chi, as the Chihuahua can be a yapper too! Jack Russells need lots of mental stimulation and physical exercise to keep him happy. The breeds’ sharp mind can make them tricky to train.

The Jack Russell is a small, stocky dog, measuring between 13 and 14 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 13 and 17 pounds. Robust and generally healthy, the Jack Russell can live for up to 18 years.  They are also popular dogs to combine with other breeds, like the Beagle Jack Russell Terrier mix.

Chihuahua

The diminutive Chihuahua is a member of the toy group. Despite his tiny size, the Chihuahua has a massive personality! The Chihuahua is Mexico’s national symbol but is probably better known as the purse dog companion of many celebrities. But the Chihuahua is not a timid lap dog! These feisty pups are also known as “armpit piranhas” as they have a reputation for being snappy and super-protective of their owners.

The Chihuahua breed dates back to the ancient pre-Columbian kingdoms when they were popular pets. And today, these chirpy little dogs are still a family favorite. Something that’s important to note for prospective Chihuahua owners is that these cheeky little pups are confirmed yappers.  Chihuahuas are commonly mixed with other breeds to make other designer dogs.  Some popular picks include the Chihuahua Yorkie mix or the Chihuahua Pom mix.

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix has the well-deserved reputation of being a friendly, lively, playful crossbreed. As we’ve mentioned, these pups are also commonly called the Jack Chi. Jack Chis can range in size, weighing from eight to 18 pounds and growing up to 15 inches tall. The Jack Chi is a relatively healthy pup, and both parent breeds are pretty love-lived.

Temperament

The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is known for being a bright, lively, and tenacious pup. That said, your Jack Chi’s temperament will depend somewhat on which character traits your puppy has inherited from either parent.

The Jack Russell is an incredibly exuberant dog, whereas the Chihuahua is more laid back. So, if your Jack Chi puppy takes more after his Chihuahua parent, that could help to balance out some of the Jack Russell’s hyperactivity. However, you should be prepared for a livewire dog that loves having a job to do.

You’ll find the Jack Chi to be a devoted dog who loves to spend time with his human family. Unfortunately, the Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is prone to suffering separation anxiety if left alone for too long. That can lead to copious amounts of yapping and barking, which could be a problem for you if you have near neighbors or live in an apartment. Also, Jack Chis can become very destructive if they become bored or stressed when left alone.

The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is not usually an aggressive character, although the breed can be snappy if playtime becomes too rough. That makes the Jack Chi unsuitable for a family with small children who might torment the dog or handle him roughly, albeit unintentionally.

Most Jack Chis get along just fine with other dogs, provided you socialize your puppy while he’s young.

However, extreme care is advised if you plan on introducing your Jack Russell Chihuahua mix to other small pets in your household. The Jack Russell was used for hunting small prey animals and vermin. The breed’s prey instinct is still very strong, and if your Jack Chi takes after his Jack Russell parent, you may find the family cat or rabbit are considered fair game!

Size and Appearance

The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix’s appearance varies depending on the characteristics that the dog inherits from his parents. The Jack Chi grows to around ten to 15 inches tall, weighing between eight and 18 pounds.

All Jack Chis have a short neck and a long body that’s heavily muscled, especially around the hindquarters. The head is usually triangular in shape like that of a Jack Russell, whereas the eyes are large and round like those of a Chihuahua.

The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix has either pointed, erect ears like a Chihuahua or floppy, folded ears like the Jack Russell. The Jack Chi usually has short legs and a curly tail.

Coat and Colors

The Jack Chi typically has a short, dense coat. Their coloring includes Black, White, Brown, Cream, Golden, Fawn and Chocolate. Bi-colored and tri-colored variations are also seen too, commonly black and brown, black and tan, black and white, brown and white, light brown and dark brown. There’s a small chance that this pup will inherit the brindle color gene that the JRT parent may carry.  The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is a minimal shedder, so grooming requirements are minimal.

Exercise & Living Conditions

The Jack Chi is a playful little chap who needs plenty of daily exercise to keep him happy, healthy, and out of mischief! As well as at least two walks each day, your Jack Russell Chihuahua mix will enjoy lots of playtimes too. Your Jack Chi will be equally happy playing with other pups in the dog park or running around loose in a well-fenced yard.

Another great way of exercising your Jack Chi is to teach him canine sports such as agility or take him out for a hike with your family. Owners of Jack Chis who take after their Chihuahua parent should note that these thin-skinned pups don’t handle the cold too well. Be sure to provide your pup with a warm coat for outdoor exercise in cold weather.

Training

It takes perseverance, patience, and time to train your Jack Chi. Ideally, you should begin your dog’s training from day one. The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix has a strong personality, and allowing your new canine companion to take charge from day one will only lead to problems further down the road.

The Jack Russell is, by nature, a dominant dog who likes to be the leader of the pack. That, combined with the Chihuahua’s stubborn streak, can make these pups tricky to train. When training your Chihuahua, be sure to remain consistent and firm, but always use positive reinforcement methods, rather than punishment.

To keep your super-bright, lively pup from becoming bored, keep all your training sessions short, and avoid repetition. The Jack Russell is a born escape artist with a highly tuned sense of smell. So, if you plan on holding training sessions in your backyard, make sure that you keep your Jack Chi on a leash or ensure that your fencing is secure!

Jack Chis love to dig. So, you’ll need to teach your pup that the yard is the place where he can indulge his passion, not on your sofa, your kids’ sandbox, or your cat’s litter tray! The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix can sometimes be defensive and aggressive around other dogs and people too. You can guard against that undesirable character trait through early socialization.

Health

Your Jack Russell Chihuahua mix can inherit genetic health problems from both his parents. That’s why it’s important to understand the health conditions that can affect both the Jack Russell and the Chihuahua. Common health problems that are known to affect the Jack-Chi include Patella luxation, Hypoglycemia, Cardiac problems, Legg-Calves-Perthes disease and Collapsed tracheas.

Most mixed breed pups can be healthier than their purebred parents, particularly because the poor genetic traits will often be offset by the other parent breed, resulting in a lower frequency of health defects.  This isn’t always the case, but is a common plus side of adopting a mixed breed dog.

Nutrition

The average adult Jack Russell Chihuahua mix will eat around one cup of high-quality dry dog food per day. Although that might seem like quite a lot of food for such a small dog, these pups are extremely lively, and they do burn off the calories pretty quickly. Although puppies who are teething will appreciate soft food, you should always feed your adult Jack Chi dry kibble. Why? Well, small dogs can suffer from dental overcrowding.

That condition can allow bacteria and plaque to accumulate between the dog’s teeth, eventually causing gingivitis (gum disease), which can ultimately lead to canine periodontal disease. Kibble (biscuits) can help to clean the dog’s teeth as they crunch the food, removing potentially harmful plaque.

Grooming

The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix has a short, dense coat that doesn’t shed much. So, that means you won’t need to spend hours grooming your pet! Use a hard-bristled brush to groom your Jack Chi once or twice a week. That should be sufficient to keep your dog looking smart, and will keep his coat and skin in good condition.

Once a week, check your Jack Russell Chihuahua mix’s ears for any signs of infection and clean them carefully, using a cotton ball and warm water. Keep your dog’s teeth in good condition by brushing them with a doggy toothbrush and special dog toothpaste at least twice-weekly. You can get these from your vet or in good pet stores. Your Jack Chi’s nails should be kept short enough that they don’t click on the floor when the dog walks. If you’re not confident in clipping your dog’s nails, ask your vet or vet nurse to do the job for you.

As Family Pets

  • The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is great if you have an active family with older kids.
  • Small children and Jack Chis often don’t mix well, as the breed can be impatient.
  • Tiny dogs are not a good idea for families with small kids, as these pups are smaller.
  • You’ll need to have lots of time available as these dogs require lots of activity.
  • Jack Chis can suffer from separation anxiety, so will not do well in a household when left alone.
  • The Jack Chi can inherit the very strong prey drive of the Jack Russell.
  • This is something to  keep in mind if you have other small pets, such as cats, rabbits, and the like.
  • The Jack Chi is a low shedder with modest grooming requirements.
  • That said, the breed does shed, making the Jack Chi unsuitable for a house with pet allergy sufferers.
  • The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix can be stubborn and easily distracted.
  • That makes the breed tricky to train and best-suited to a household of experienced dog owners.

Finding a Breeder

The Jack Chi is a fairly well-established crossbreed, and there are quite a few breeders around the country that you’ll find via a quick Google search. However, you must always research the breeder or kennel to make sure they have a good reputation before you part with any cash. Always visit the puppies and their parents before you make a decision.

You could also check out social media platforms and link with other Jack Chi fans who may be able to point you in the direction of a good, reputable breeder.

Puppy Costs & More

The current cost of a Jack Russell Chihuahua mix puppy varies from between around $200 to $750. The price will depend on whereabouts in the country the breeder is situated, the sex of the puppy, and the puppy’s parent’s show record. However, you should be very wary of buying a Jack Chi puppy that’s available at a very low price.

Cheap puppy’s often come from large-scale breeding operations called “puppy mills.” Puppies from mills are churned out in great numbers to catch the current wave of popularity for a particular breed of designer dogs. Dogs in puppy mills are often kept in poor conditions and are usually not health-checked. You could finish up making a very expensive mistake if your Jack Chi puppy turns out to be sickly or has inherited any serious health problems from his parents. So, always buy your puppy from a reputable breeder.

It’s extremely important that you are able to visit the breeder’s kennels and meet the pup’s parents and siblings. Often, you can get a good idea of the puppy’s temperament by interacting with his parents. Also, you can get a clearer idea of how big or small the adult dog will turn out to be. Remember to ask the breeder to show you the pup’s parents’ health screening certificates before you part with any cash.

Rescue and Shelters

If you don’t want the hassle and hard work of taking on a puppy, why not consider offering a forever home to an unwanted Jack Russell Chihuahua mix from a shelter or rescue center. The Jack Chi isn’t the most common designer crossbreed, but you may be lucky and come across a suitable pup that’s looking for a home.

You may be offered the chance to take a Jack Chi on a “try before you buy” basis for a month.  This happens at local rescues when you offer to foster a dog.  It’s a great way to find out whether the individual is a good fit for your family. And you’ll have the option to return the pup to the shelter if you aren’t compatible.

Final Thoughts

If you have an active family that would enjoy the challenge of training and exercising a lively, loyal, affectionate dog, the Jack Russell Chihuahua mix might be a good fit for you. The Jack Chi could also be the right choice for you if you live in an apartment or small house. However, these pups do have a tendency to bark, which could be an issue for your neighbors!

Also, small kids, cats, bunnies, and other small furries don’t make happy bedfellows for the Jack Chi, as the breed can be short on tolerance and has a very high prey drive. The Jack Chi is a low shedder who doesn’t need much grooming. However, these dogs do shed year-round, which wouldn’t suit a household with allergy sufferers. So, you now have all the information you need to know whether a Jack Russell Chihuahua mix would be the right choice for your family. Good luck in your search!

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