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Jack Chi (Jack Russell and Chihuahua Mix) The Complete Guide - PawSafe

Jack Chi (Jack Russell and Chihuahua Mix) The Complete Guide

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

The Complete Guide to the Jack Chi or the Jack Russell Terrier Chihuahua Mix

The Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua mixed breed dog, also known as the Jack Chi, Jackahuahua, or the Jackhuahua, is a small yet feisty dog with a big personality. This hybrid breed is a result of breeding a purebred Jack Russell Terrier with a purebred Chihuahua. As a result, it inherits many of the characteristics of both parent breeds.

This means they can vary quite a bit in shape and size. But to decide if this feisty little dog with a powerful personality is right for you, then read on.

History of the Jack Chi

We don’t know much about the Chihuahua Jack Russell crossbreed history because they are not an officially recognized breed. Some designer breeders may breed these dogs on purpose, but they’re more commonly a happy accident. To get a better understanding of this mixed breed, let’s take a look at the history of the parent breeds.

The Jack Russell Terrier originated in England in the early 19th century, named after Reverend John Russell who developed the breed to hunt small game, particularly foxes. The breed was created by crossing various terrier breeds with an emphasis on producing a tenacious and fearless dog. 

Over time, the breed became popular not only for hunting but also as a loyal companion and family pet. Today, the Jack Russell Terrier is recognized by many kennel clubs worldwide as a popular breed with a strong personality and high energy level.

The Chihuahua, on the other hand, is believed to have originated in Mexico, with evidence of similar dogs being kept by the ancient Toltecs and Aztecs. The breed is named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, where it is thought to have been first discovered. 

Although the exact origins of the breed are uncertain, it is believed to be descended from a small breed of dog called the Techichi. The Chihuahua was brought to the United States in the late 1800s and quickly gained popularity, particularly among the wealthy. Today, the Chihuahua is one of the most popular toy breeds in the world, known for its small size and spunky personality.

Physical Features of the Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

  • Height: 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm)
  • Weight: 8 to 18 lbs (3.6 to 8 kg)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 16 years
  • Colors: Pied tan & white, white, brown, tan, or black and white or black

Appearance-wise, the Jack Chi can vary in appearance due to the genetic diversity of its parents. However, most Jack Chis are small, weighing between 8 to 18 pounds and standing around 10 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. They typically have a muscular and compact build, with a short and smooth coat that can come in a variety of colors, including white, black, brown, tan, and brindle. They are most often tan and white

Overview of Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Traits

  • Hypoallergenic: Not hypoallergenic and unsuitable for allergy sufferers
  • Shedding: mild-to-moderate shedding
  • Exercise: 30 to 45 minute walk and playtime daily
  • Housing: suitable for small spaces and apartments, but prone to barking
  • Grooming needs: minimal
  • Temperament: Courageous, feisty, sassy, fearless, energetic, and very attached to their owners
  • Trainability: Moderately trainable

Energy Level

The Chihuahua Jack Russell Terrier mix is a small and active breed that typically has a high energy level. This mix requires daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. They enjoy walks, runs, and playtime in a fenced-in yard or dog park.

Exercise Needs

Another important factor to consider when owning a Jack Chi is their exercise needs. These dogs have high energy levels and require daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They enjoy going for walks or runs, playing fetch, and engaging in other physical activities. Due to their small size, they are well-suited for apartment living, but they will still need adequate exercise to prevent them from becoming bored or destructive.

Diet for the Jack Chi

In terms of diet, a Jack Chi’s dietary requirements are similar to those of any small breed. It’s recommended to feed them high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. It’s important to measure their food and avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity, which can lead to health issues.

Grooming

Grooming needs for a Jack Chi can vary depending on the individual dog’s coat. Some may have a short, smooth coat like the Jack Russell Terrier, while others may have a longer coat like the Chihuahua. Brushing their coats regularly can help prevent tangles and mats. They may also need occasional baths and nail trimming.

Make sure you are equipped with the right products to keep your Jack Chi properly groomed, such as  dental mouth rinse, brush gloves, shampoos and conditioners, nail clippers, and ear cleaners.

Jack Chi Health And Lifespan

On average, a Jack Chi can live for 12 to 16 years.To help maximize a Jack Chi’s lifespan, it’s important to provide them with proper care, nutrition, exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups. 

Due to their mixed breed status, Jack Chis may be prone to health issues that affect both Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers. Some potential health concerns include dental issues, patellar luxation, and eye problems. It’s important to maintain regular veterinary check-ups and address any health issues promptly.

Severe Health Conditions

  • Patellar Luxation;
  • Heart issues;
  • Collapsing tracheas;
  • Liver shunts;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Cataracts;
  • Primary Lens Luxation (PLL);
  • Hip or elbow dysplasia;
  • Legge-Calves-Perthes; and
  • Periodontal disease.

Mild-to-moderate

  • Dental issues; and
  • Respiratory issues.

Occasional

  • Obesity;
  • Hypothyroidism; and
  • Cushing’s disease.

Temperament and Trainability

One of the most appealing aspects of the Jack Chi is their lively and outgoing personality. They are known for their high energy levels and are always ready for playtime. They are incredibly affectionate towards their owners and love to cuddle up next to them on the couch or bed. They are also very protective of their family and can be quite territorial, making them excellent watchdogs despite their small size.

Keep in mind, they are prone to anxiety issues (discussed in why Chihuahuas shake) and they can be aggressive, so be sure to read our article on why chihuahuas are so mean.

Training a Jack Chi can be challenging due to their strong-willed nature, but with consistency and patience, they can be trained to follow basic obedience commands. It’s essential to start training and socializing them at a young age to prevent them from developing behavioral problems such as aggression or excessive barking.

Is the Jack Chi Good With Children and Other Animals?

The Chihuahua Jack Russell Terrier mix can be sociable with children and other animals, but it depends on their individual temperament and socialization.

Socialization is important for any dog breed, but especially for small breeds like the Jack Chi. Early socialization and training can help them become well-adjusted and confident around people and other animals.

When socialized properly, the Jack Chi can be good with children. However, they may not tolerate rough play or handling, so it’s important to supervise interactions between children and dogs to prevent any accidents.

As for other animals, the Jack Chi’s prey drive inherited from the Jack Russell Terrier breed can make them inclined to chase and hunt small animals like cats or rodents. Therefore, early socialization and training can help them learn to coexist peacefully with other animals, but it’s important to monitor their interactions to ensure everyone’s safety.

Overall, the Jack Chi’s sociability with children and other animals can vary, but proper socialization and training can help them become well-adjusted and friendly companions.

How Much Does a Jack Chi Cost?

Generally, Jack Chis can cost anywhere from $200 to $800 USD. However, it’s important to note that the cost of purchasing a puppy is only one of the expenses involved in owning a dog. Other costs may include food, supplies, veterinary care, training, and grooming.

It’s important to do research and choose a reputable breeder when looking for a Jack Chi puppy. 

Alternatively, you can consider adopting a Jack Chi from a local animal shelter or rescue organization. The cost of adoption can vary, but it’s typically less expensive than purchasing a puppy from a breeder. Adoption fees usually cover the cost of vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and other veterinary care that the dog may have received while in the shelter or rescue organization’s care.

What is the Ideal Home for a Jackahuahua or Jack Chi?

The ideal home for a Jack Chi, or Chihuahua Jack Russell Terrier mix, is one that can provide them with the proper care, attention, and exercise they need. Here are some factors to consider when determining if a Jack Chi is a good fit for your home:

Space

Jack Chis are small dogs and can do well in apartments or homes with limited outdoor space as long as they get enough exercise. However, they still need room to move around and play. A small yard or access to a dog park can provide them with ample space to burn off their energy.

Exercise

Jack Chis are active dogs that need daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. A home that can provide them with daily walks, playtime, and exercise opportunities is ideal.

Attention

Jack Chis thrive on attention and human interaction. They are social dogs that do best in homes where they can be with their owners and receive plenty of love and affection.

Training

Proper training and socialization are important for any dog breed, and the Jack Chi is no exception. A home that is committed to training and socializing their dog can help them become well-adjusted and obedient companions.

Compatibility

The Jack Chi’s personality can vary depending on their individual temperament and lineage. It’s important to ensure that the dog’s personality is compatible with the home’s lifestyle and family members, including children and other pets.

Overall, the ideal home for a Jack Chi is one that can provide them with plenty of attention, exercise, and socialization opportunities. A loving and committed owner can help ensure that the Jack Chi thrives and lives a happy and healthy life.

Final Thoughts

In summary, the Chihuahua Jack Russell Terrier mix is a high-energy, small breed that requires daily exercise and a high-quality diet. Their grooming needs may vary, and they may be prone to certain health issues. With proper care and attention, a Jack Chi can make a loving and loyal companion.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

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Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.