Everything you need to know before getting a Jack Chi dog

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What is a Jack Chi? It’s the adorable nickname of a Jack Russell Chihuahua mix.

Also known as Jackawawa or Jackhuahua, this crossbreed is an excellent companion due to their fun-loving nature.

Meet the Jack Chi puppy

Get to know this designer dog further and find out if it’s the canine buddy for you and your home.

Facts about the history of the Jack Chi

There’s no doubt that this pooch is a result of the designer breeds trend – a dog breeding craze and a product of the crossbreeding boom that developed in the United States.

Thought to be first created sometime in the last 20 years, the Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is one of the big successes of the canine hybrid world.

Mixing these purebreds created a furry friend that could fit in with modern living, especially in small houses in cities.

As a crossbreed, the American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t recognize the Jack Chi. However, the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), the Dog Registry of America (DRA), and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR) have this mixed breed on their registries.

But for us to get a better idea of how this hybrid turns out, let’s find out more about its parents.

The hardworking & baying Jack Russell Terrier

Hardworking and baying Jack Russell Terrier
Meet the hardworking and baying Jack Russell Terrier

Initially bred for fox hunting in the 1800s in the United Kingdom, the Jack Russell Terrier is actually considered a crossbreed.

It got its name from Reverend Jack Russell, who is believed to be the creator of the Jack Russell by interbreeding two different types of Fox Terriers – the Parson Russell Terrier and Russell Terrier.

The firm hunting enthusiast created a robust and compact breed whose sturdy, muscular body and legs could maneuver underground and into foxholes, stirred on by their sheer determination and ardent temperament.

They were also used for vermin control on farms and cities.

The Jack Russell’s personality is a feisty one, known for always being on the go and having a determined, lively spirit.

The small yet mighty Chihuahua

The mighty small Chihuahua
Meet the small yet mighty Chihuahua

Thought to be the Aztec’s favored companion, the history of the tiny Chihuahua can be traced as far back as the 9th century with Mexican artifacts from this era depicting the breed.

In fact, one of the 32 Mexican States is even named after this dog – the state that borders Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Chihuahuas are said to be descended from the Techichi breed, a now-extinct type of ancient dog that dwelled in the deserts.

They were first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904 when a dog, aptly named Midget, was added to the registry.

Today, the Chihuahua is still the smallest breed in the canine world and is the third most popular toy dog in the United Kingdom.

What does a Jack Chi look like?

Appearances of designer dogs are harder to predict as they can take after both parents, or inherit more from one parent.

Typically, they have a stout, muscular body like the Jack Russell, while inheriting the narrow snout, and short, skinny legs of the Chihuahua.

The Jack Chi’s ears can either be the curled over, like a floppy version of the Jack Russell Terrier or upright and erect like the Chihuahua. Their long tail is quite fluffy and slightly curled near the end.

They have a triangular-shaped head with wide eyes, giving them an alert look.

Size: How big will a Jack Chi get?

The Jack Chi is a toy- to a small-sized dog that stands about 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm) in height when fully grown, and has a sturdy weight of 8 to 18 pounds (4 to 8 kg). 

When taking on the dominant traits of the Chihuahua, you can sometimes get a miniature Jack Chi.

This is a rare instance where the puppy’s mother is the Chihuahua in the crossbreeding, but are sometimes called miniature Jack Russells.

Due to their small size, the Jack Russel Chihuahua mix is well-suited for any type of house. They can be just as comfortable on farms as they are with apartment-living, provided they get regular exercise.

Are Jack Chi dogs hypoallergenic?

Some say that this fido is considered hypoallergenic, but the truth is they still shed minimally.

Their coat is quite short and thick and usually has a two-color combination of black, white, or brown. Although sometimes, there are tri-colored Jack Chi – displaying light and dark brown along with white or black.

A long-haired Jack Chi is also possible if it takes after a Chihuahua parent with long hair.

Watch this video of an adorable Jackhuahua named Yuki to see what this hybrid looks like:

Temperament: Are Jack Chi dogs aggressive?

Jack Russell & Chihuahua mixes are delicate pets and can get aggressive if they’re threatened or mishandled.

Although they’re friendly and playful doggos, it’s best to supervise interactions between a Jack Chi and little children as they have limited tolerance for rough play.

They can easily get hurt and may react if their ear or tail is pulled. As sweet and approachable this mixed breed is, we recommend them to families with older kids who know how to handle small dogs properly.

If they’re loved and respected, Jack Chis are full of love and energy, and enjoy meeting new people, even other furry companions! Watch out if you have small pets, though.

If this hybrid inherited the hunting instinct of the Jack Russell, it might start to growl and run after mice, rats, or even snakes.

They may not be known for excessive barking, but they can be vocal when there’s a stranger nearby, so pay attention when your fido starts making noises.

The only time that they can get too loud is if they’re left alone for long periods, which can lead to separation anxiety, and eventually, destructive tendencies.

When you’re not at home, or can’t bring your doggo along, provide toys that will entertain him for a while. Maybe some plush animals or treat dispensers can keep him happy while on his own.

This will help in keeping him away from chewing your favorite shoe or pricey furniture whenever he gets bored.

If you have other canine babies, they’ll be great companions for the Jack Chi, especially since they do well with other dogs.

You may find this cute because despite their size, they have a big attitude and will like being the leader of the pack.

After all, its Chihuahua parent is known for having a small dog syndrome, also called “Napoleon Syndrome”.

This video compilation of Jack Russell Chihuahua mixes will show you what they’re like as a pet, and with everyone else around them:

Another quirk that the Jack Chi may get from its Terrier parent is being stubborn. Since they can quickly get bored or excited, it may be challenging to train this fido.

Aside from being a firm alpha, take advantage of their eager-to-please quality so you can nip undesirable traits like this at the bud.

Taking care of a Jack Russell & Chihuahua cross

Jack Chis are pretty easy-going and can tolerate most climates. However, during winter, they may need extra protection to keep them warm, like a nice coat.

The Chihuahua side of this mix can be particularly susceptible to colder weather and is known to shiver and shake if it gets too cold.

How much exercise does a Jack Chi need?

This crossbreed is prone to obesity and requires regular exercise to lessen this risk. A long walk of about 30 minutes to an hour, and additional bursts of playtime throughout the day will be needed to keep the Jack Chi entertained.

Exercise and training for a Jack Chi dog
Meet Pedro, the Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix – Image source

Your fur baby will love anything that keeps its mind busy, and its hunting instincts honed, so challenging, mental exercises such as dog puzzles are an absolute hit, like chewable doggie toys.

It’s a good idea to have different activities to keep intelligent breeds like the Jack Chi entertained. Change it up from exercise and play in a park to fetch with a ball or frisbee, or even a fun game of hide and seek.

Make sure your backyard has high walls that your Jack Chi can’t jump over or dig under.

This mixed breed has the powerful legs of the Jack Russell Terrier parent and is good at doing both.

If cooped up in an apartment, this hyper doggo will need to be taken on walks a couple of times a day.

If you are walking your Jack Chi in a new area, you may find your dog will want to sniff out any new scents. That’s the hunting instinct, so it’s advisable to keep your dog on a vest and leash when out on walks.

Grooming your Jack Chi

As a low-maintenance companion, Jackhuahuas will only require brushing once a week with a bristled brush to remove loose debris, dead hair, and ensure there are no parasites on your dog.

If you have a long-haired Jack Russell-Chi mix, then your dog may require more frequent brushing.

Bathing should only be done when necessary, and you’ll probably find that a quick bath every few months will be enough unless your pup likes playing in the mud, which is possible with overactive dogs.

Do a weekly check of your pet’s ears to ensure that there is no discharge, odor, or redness. Dental care and nail clipping should also be done regularly to keep canine diseases at bay.

What to feed a Jack Chi?

As with most canines, a high-quality dry kibble is recommended to meet their dietary requirements. It has to have the right amount of protein and not packed with fillers.

With their size, they should be fed about 500 to 560 calories or 1 ½ to 2 cups of dog food daily.

The Jack Chi can be a picky eater, and some experimentation may be necessary to find a food that your dog likes to eat every day.

Once you have found their favorite kibble, be sure not to overfeed your Jack Russel Chihuahua cross as this dog will eat anything placed in front of it.

A slow feeder can help your pooch to take his time when enjoying his meals.

Health: How long does a Jack Chi live?

This designer dog is considered generally healthy and has a lifespan of 13 to 18 years. Still, crossbreeds can inherit health problems from their purebred parents.

Most of the common illnesses that a Jack Chi may suffer from is because of their small size. Leg and orthopedic issues, such as patellar luxation, can lead to abnormal gait, pain and limping.

Just like the Chihuahua, this hybrid has a small pelvis and has an increased risk for dystocia.

Some would advise having female Jackhuahuas spayed as soon as they’re medically able to avoid unwanted and dangerous pregnancy.

Other diseases to watch out for are collapsed trachea, hydrocephalus, heart problems, congenital deafness, eye problems like cataracts or glaucoma, and allergies.

Finding & buying a Jack Chi puppy

Before purchasing a Jack Russell & Chihuahua mix pup, it’s best to be aware that most designer breeds can be quite expensive.

Typically, a Jack Chi can have a litter size of 4 to 8 pups, and each would have a price range of $200 to $750.

Meet Penelope, the Jack Chi
Meet Penelope, a Jack Chi puppy – Image source

Costs can be affected by different reasons, such as the availability of puppies, the popularity of the kennel, the breeder’s location, and even the lineage of the purebred parents.

If you decide to purchase a puppy, please do your research and buy from reputable breeders.

Some of the good signs that it’s a breeder that cares for the welfare of its breeding stock and their puppies is if they allow you to visit the facilities and meet the dogs.

It will be an excellent opportunity to get a glimpse of the parents so that you have an idea of what your pup will be like when he or she grows up.

While you’re there, ask to see the parents’ medical records before the breeding process to ensure that no genetic diseases would be passed on to your potential pup.

If the puppies already got vaccinated, ask to see those documents, too.

Jack Chi breeders

Currently, there are no specific breeders and kennels that sell Jack Chis, but these marketplaces have a lot of Jack Russell Terrier mix puppies that are worth looking at. They may help you start your search for a canine buddy:

Don’t forget about the Do’s & Don’ts when dealing with someone who is selling puppies to avoid backyard breeders and puppy mills.

You can also use this questionnaire when a seller asks about having an interview to find out if their dog is the right match for you.

Jack Chi dogs for adoption

It’s common to find Chihuahua Jack Russell mixed breeds in shelters, although sometimes the dog may also have a mix of another breed, such as a Corgi or Dachshund.

Breed-specific rescue groups for Chihuahuas or Jack Russell Terriers often have crossbreeds available for adoption. Here are some rescue sites to check out:

Alternatively, just pay a visit to your local shelter, and you may be surprised to find the perfect pup looking for their forever home.

Same, same but different

Pomeranian Chihuahua mix dog with brown Sarawasi
Meet the Pomeranian Chihuahua mix dog

There are many toy and small dogs that are similar to the Jack Chi. Jack Russell Terriers and Chihuahuas are often crossed with a variety of breeds to result in interesting and super cute designer breeds.

Jug (Jack Russell and Pug mix)

Jack-a-Poo (Jack Russell and Poodle mix)

Chiweenie (Dachshund and Chihuahua mix)

Chipit (Chihuahua and Pitbull mix)

Chorkie (Chihuahua and Yorkie mix)

ShiChi (Chihuahua and Shih Tzu mix)

Pomchi (a cuddly Pomeranian Chihuahua mix breed)

Why get a Jack Chi?

Why you should get a Jack Chi dog
Meet Charlie, the adorable Jack Russel Chihuahua mix – Image source

If you’re ready and excited to add a furry pal with high energy and can bring laughter in your life, this pooch might just be for you!

They adapt well to different types of home and climate, and they require minimal maintenance.

You won’t even have to worry about yapping tendencies, as long as you provide enough attention to your Jack Chi dog.

Do you already have a Jack Chi that you just can’t get enough of? Be sure to share your favorite experiences with this hybrid in the comment box below.

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