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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Jack Chi (Jack Russel Terrier & Chihuahua Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, Care & More!

Jack Chi (Jack Russel Terrier & Chihuahua Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, Care & More!

Jack Chi

The Jack Chi is adorable, friendly, affectionate, and energetic mixed-breed dog that comes in a small package, with a big attitude and a bigger heart. This is a first-generation mix between a purebred Jack Russell Terrier and a Chihuahua. The female Jack Russell Terrier carries the pregnancy because they can deliver the bigger offspring.

Since the Jack Chi, or Jackhuahua, is a mixed breed, it is impossible to predict their appearance or temperament. This is because they can take the traits of both their parents.

Breed Overview


 12-15 inches


8-18 pounds


13-18 years


Black, Brown, Chocolate, White, Cream, Fawn, Golden

Suitable for:

Families living with other pets or children, people living in small apartments or homes with/without a yard, singles or couples, active owners


Outgoing, affectionate, friendly, active, alert, playful, easy to train, bossy, intelligent

Nevertheless, these dogs are known to be loyal, affectionate, and energetic. They love the company of family and other pets. And when strangers come around, they welcome rather than attack them. Moreover, they love to be cuddled.

Sadly, even though Jack Chi is a first-generation breed from purely bred parents, the American Kennel Club does not recognize or offer pedigree papers. Luckily, the little charmer does not need the recognition papers to impress!

Jack Chi Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Jack Chi Puppies

Jack Chi pups are outgoing and active. They are fairly easy to train but they are playful so make sure you have time for both work and play.

They will fit right in if you have kids or other pets. That being said, they also make wonderful companions if you are living in an apartment.

Image Credit: Left – Lysenko Andrii, Shutterstock | Right – Herbert, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Jack Chi

The Jack Chi has a sweet personality and loves having fun. They will want to be around you, your kids, family, and friends, particularly when socialized at a young age. The hybrid dog will likely develop a close bond with one family member and be overprotective of them.

When they are not performing acrobatics, jumping, or running, they will burrow in their blankets – or yours – and stay calm. At other times, the dog will rest beside you for a cuddle.

You can also expect them to show affection to strangers. These tiny, cute dogs have a big heart ready to share their love wherever they go.

Although the Jack Chi is friendly and affectionate, they can get aggressive when mishandled or threatened. Therefore, any time they are interacting with children, it is best to supervise them. These playful dogs have little tolerance for rough play.

The Jack Chi also possesses an outgoing personality. Whenever they step into a new environment, they do so confidently and rarely shy away. They also love being dominant, and it is easy for them to walk over sensitive breeds of dogs.

It is impossible to predict their prey drive. But when a Jack Chi is more of a terrier, it will chase and bark at mice, rats, birds, squirrels, and other small pets.

If you are looking for a quiet dog, the Jack Chi fits the profile. They only occasionally bark when they feel there is a threat.

Also, if they are left on their own for too long, they can get bark noisily. These dogs get too lonely being by themselves which can result in destructive tendencies and separation anxiety. It would be best to train them from a young age to curb this. Additionally, introduce toys, stuffed animals, or treat-dispensing machines to keep them stimulated.

It is important to note that this mixed breed can inherit nervous, stubborn, and hyper traits from the Chihuahua. If they inherit stubbornness, training will prove to be a difficult time.

How about their intelligence? The Jack Chi is an intelligent breed that constantly seeks new adventures. They learn fast, but their stubborn nature gets in the way.

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Things to Know When Owning a Jack Chi:

Before taking a Jack Chi home, you need to know about their dietary requirements, exercise training, grooming, and health conditions.

Food and Dietary Requirements🦴

Since the Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is a small breed, they do not need much food. According to experts, the dog needs 1 1/2 to 2 cups of food equivalent to 500 to 560 calories daily.

Since there are various dog foods in the market, it is recommended to check the label to confirm the serving. Also, choose a dog food that is formulated to meet all their nutritional requirements.

These little dogs are prone to gaining weight. Therefore, minimize their intake of treats and scraps.


A Jack Chi is an active designer dog breed with high energy. They need exercises and mental stimulation to channel their energy. Therefore, set aside at least 30 to 60 minutes a day for activity.

A great way to achieve this is by playing fetch or taking the dog for regular walks. Ensure that your pet has a safe leash during walks because they love to follow every scent they catch, which can be problematic.

In addition, these dogs are agile, excellent runners, and can jump high. You can enroll them in dog sports like swimming, acrobatics, or other areas of agility.

Ensure your yard has high walls and is well-fenced for the dog’s safety. Furthermore, always keep an eye on the dog when playing outdoors to prevent mischief. They may surprise you by digging an escape hole through your fence.

What if you live in an apartment where your living space is small? Well, the dog will have a great time, too, as long it has a lot of playtime. You can buy plush animals, chew toys, or play hide and seek to keep them entertained.

Remember, if the Jack Chi does not get enough exercise and mental stimulation, they will display destructive behavior.


Jack Chis are intelligent but not the best dogs to train. They will test your patience time and again with their stubborn nature. And they will likely be chewing everything they can fit in their tiny mouths.

Does that mean you should give up? No. On the contrary, the keys to winning are staying calm and maintaining a consistent schedule. In addition, reward the dog with treats and praise to reinforce positive training. Who wouldn’t want to learn while receiving goodies?

Also, it is best to train early with a puppy. Socialize and train the pup from a young age to prevent the likelihood of spatial aggression and separation anxiety.

Remember, no matter how complex or challenging training proves to be, never get annoyed or angry with the mixed breed. Doing so can cause a downward spiral in Jack Chi’s learning. Rather than get mad at the dog, consider hiring a skilled trainer. It will save you the frustration.


Jack Chis have a short coat that requires less grooming. Besides, they do not shed much. To keep their fur tidy, you will only need to brush them with a hard-bristled brush once or twice a week.

If they have a wild coat like their Chihuahua dad, you’ll need to brush it several times a week. They will also need a haircut every few months. Include an occasional bath with dog shampoo to clean dander and foul odors.

Apart from tidying their coat, you need to pay attention to their eyes, ears, and teeth. This is because the mixed breed is prone to dental problems, eye, and ear infections. So, brush the dog’s teeth twice a week using a toothbrush and doggie toothpaste to prevent plaque and tartar.

Additionally, wipe the dog’s eyes to clean the tears that collect underneath. You do not want them to develop a dog’s eye booger – a condition where the dried tears stink when not cleaned.

Also, clean the ears using a soft cloth and warm water once every week. Doing so prevents the buildup of dirt and reduces ear infections. Clip the nails, too.

Health Conditions🏥

Sadly, the Jack Chi is prone to minor and severe health conditions.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Open Fontanel
  • Dental Issues
Serious Conditions
  • Glaucoma
  • Patella Luxation
  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Heart Problems

Minor Conditions

  • Allergies: The dog may experience an allergic reaction from eating foods with soy or after playing in the grass. They may also be sensitive to insect bites.
  • Open Fontanel: It is a minor condition in puppies where the skull’s soft spots have incomplete closures. It takes 2 to 11 months for the fontanel to close.
  • Dental Issues: As with other small dogs, a Jack Chi has a small mouth to fit all their teeth, which leads to overcrowding.

Serious Conditions

  • Glaucoma: This is a condition where the dog’s eyes have abnormally high pressure. This causes the eye to produce and drain fluid constantly.
  • Patella Luxation: The patella is a small bone located where the femur and tibia meet. Jack Chis suffer this condition when the patella is misaligned. This leads to an abnormal gait or lameness in the leg and can be painful and distressful.
  • Tracheal Collapse: When the windpipe flattens due to weak cartilage, it restricts airflow leading to a chronic dry cough known as tracheal collapse. The illness is treatable with medication or specialized surgery.
  • Heart Problems: Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) is a severe health issue among Jack Chis. It affects the mitral valve – a flap that separates the left atrium from the ventricle – causing the blood to flow backward. It is manageable with medication, but it does not have a cure. It is wise to purchase your puppy from reputable breeders to reduce and prevent health complications. This way, you are assured that the parent breeds underwent regular health check-ups. Also, schedule regular vet appointments for your dog’s optimal health.

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Male vs. Female

If you are wondering whether to get a male or a female Jack Chi, the answer solely lies in your preference. A Jack Chi’s temperament is not based on their gender. Whether you opt for male or female, this hybrid dog will display high energy levels and affection towards you.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Jack Chi

1. The American Kennel Club Does Not Recognize One of Jack Chi’s Parents

The AKC recognizes the Chihuahua but not the Jack Russell Terrier. They consider the Jack Russell a hybrid dog, a reason why it is not among the official list of dogs. When breeders petitioned for recognition, AKC agreed to include the breed but under the name “Parson Russell Terriers.”

2. Despite Their Small Size, Jack Chis Can Act as Guard Dogs

It turns out that the dog does inherit the Jack Russell Terrier’s nature of being a hunting and guard dog. The Jack Chi has qualities like attentiveness, courage, and intelligence and will bark loudly and continuously to alert you of a threat.

3. Jack Chis Have an Average Lifespan of 76-80 Human Years

This mixed breed lives for 13 to 18 years. Convert this to human years, and the dog has a lifespan of over 70 human years! Amazing, right?


Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a high-energy and affectionate pup, you just found the Jack Chi. They demand minimal maintenance and adapt quickly in homes. Besides, they are friendly with kids and other pets.

In addition, these dogs are active and energetic. Therefore, set aside time for daily exercises and mental stimulation. Also, be patient and consistent when training them because they can be stubborn and bossy.

Featured Image Credit: Kaitlin Kelly, Shutterstock

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