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Jack Tzu

Nicole Cosgrove

June 9, 2021

The Jack Tzu is deliberately bred mixed dog whose parents are the Shih Tzu and the Jack Russell Terrier. He has talents in tricks, watchdog and obedience and a life span expected to be between 12 to 15 years. He is a small cross breed but is very lively and active and friendly too.

Here is the Jack Tzu at a Glance
Average height 10 to 11 inches
Average weight 14 to 23 pounds
Coat type Double coat, long and straight like the Shih Tzu or short to medium mix like Jack Russell
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Moderate to frequent
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Somewhat sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Can be left alone for moderate amounts of time
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Low to good depending on coat
Tolerance to Cold Good to very good
Good Family Pet? Excellent
Good with Children? Very good
Good with other Dogs? Very good
Good with other Pets? Good with socialization – may chase them as prey
A roamer or Wanderer? Can range from moderate to fairly high
A Good Apartment Dweller? Very good but as a very active dog needs a lot of exercise indoors and out
Good Pet for new Owner? Good as can be stubborn
Trainability May be moderately hard
Exercise Needs Very active
Tendency to get Fat Fairly high
Major Health Concerns Patellar luxation, kidney and bladder problems, eye problems, Umbilical hernia, liver problems, Legg-Calve-Perthes, deafness,
Other Health Concerns Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, dental problems, snuffles, reverse sneezing,
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $300 to $750
Average Annual Medical Expense $460 to $560
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $355 to $700

Where does the Jack Tzu come from?

The Jack Tzu is also known as a designer dog. Designer dogs are commonly though not always two purebreds crossed to create an offspring. That is then given a name that blends theirs together. Over the last 3 decades or so there has been a huge increase in popularity for these crosses. Celebrities have them, the public has them, you even see them on TV and in films. If the Jack Tzu is the dog for you make sure you research the breeders before you buy. There are a worrying large amount of puppy mills and bad breeders taking advantage of this trend to make money. They have no love for their animals, and are combining breeds without any thought or care.

Another thing a lot of these dogs have is a lack of details about their origins. Therefore to get a better idea about this dog we can look at the parent origins and temperaments but still remembering that genetics cannot be controlled in this kind of breeding. Anything can happen and even in the same litter there can be different personalities and looks.

The Jack Russell Terrier

It was Parson Russell who developed the Jack Russell Terrier in England in the mid 19th century. He was looking to create a dog who could hunt fox working with hounds. He was a popular option with horseback hunters. By the 1930s he had come to the US.

He is a spirited and energetic dog, enthusiastic about life and loving and loyal with his owner. He can be highly entertaining and loves to chase and is quick too. Though he is smart he is also willful so training can be hard. Sometimes he is not great with other dogs and he likes to chase smaller pets as prey so early socialization is very important. Training should be kept short and interesting.

The Shih Tzu

The Shih-Tzu is thought to be in the top 14 oldest breeds around, coming from either Tibet or China. They were treasured as companion dogs and can be found in paintings and documents across Tibetan and Chinese history. They were referred to as little lion dogs and were docile, intelligent and happy. The first breeding pair to leave China and come to England happened in 1928.In 1969 he was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

The Shih-Tzu today is still very much a companion dog. He wants to please and be with you, he is very affectionate and loves to receive it too. He will spend as much time as he can in your lap and is a happy little dog when he has lots of attention. He can be lively and likes to play and is friendly too.


The Jack Tzu is a smart dog who while loves to play and can be lively is also laid back and happy. He is loyal to his owners and affectionate. He is a friendly dog but he loves to lick and dig! He does have a stubborn side and he can get up to some crazy antics. He is not overly yappy like some small dogs and enjoys lap time with you. He is very loveable, he is alert and adores being the center of attention. He is likely to follow you around the house and with his independent side can come a certain arrogance which means he does need watching around larger dogs who is may try to challenge.

What does the Jack Tzu look like

The Jack Tzu is a small dog weighing 14 to 23 pounds and standing 10 to 11 inches tall. He has longer legs like the Jack Russell with a longer face and muzzle too. Usually he is smaller than a Jack Russell though but with a strong body. His ears tend to flap over and he can come with a beard and mustache. His neck is thick and his tail curls and is medium length. His coat can be like either parent, long soft and silky or short to medium and a mix of rough and smooth. Colors common to him are black, brown, white, golden, cream and light brown.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Jack Tzu need to be?

This dog loves to play, he will chase and fetch a ball for ages, he is agile and loves to walk and to run. Take him to a fenced in area so he can enjoy time off leash, he has a lot of stamina and can last quite a while burning off some energy. He can adapt to living in an apartment in terms of size but he is very active and it would be great if possible for him to have access to a yard to play in. As well as meeting his physical needs to ensure he is better behaved and remain healthy, he should also be given some mental challenge too.

Does he train quickly?

While his is a smart dog so it is not a case of he cannot learn, he is very stubborn sometimes and that can slow things down. Early training and socialization should not be skipped though for any dog, he will be a lot better and confident for it. Make sure that you are clear about being the boss, and that goes for other people in the house or he will try to boss you or others. Be patient, positive and firm. Reward him with treats, praise and encourage him.

Living with a Jack Tzu

How much grooming is needed?

He is a dog who can shed anything from a moderate to frequent amount so there will be some cleaning up to do after him. Brush him daily to keep up with the loose hair and get rid of any debris stuck in there. Longer haired Jack Tzu may be prone to tangles if their coat is not looked after properly and he should be taken to a groomer for a trim on a regular basis. The shorter to medium coated dogs are easier to groom. His nails should be clipped when they are too long being careful not to cut through the quick. His ears should checked for infection and wiped clean once a week. His teeth should be brushed two to three times a week.

What is he like with children and other animals?

In general he gets on well with children and other dogs but needs some help and early socialization especially with other pets. Otherwise he tends to chase them as if they were his prey. He is good with children of all ages too though they should always be taught how to touch and play with dogs so that they do not hurt them.

General information

The Jack Tzu loves to eat so make sure food is not available all day as he will overeat. He should be fine with ¾ to 1 1/5 cups of dry dog food each day, split into two meals. He does not bark much usually but if he is around other dogs who bark a lot he will pick it up from them. He is alert and should be a good watchdog.

Health Concerns

The parental health issues that a Jack Tzu could inherit include Patellar luxation, kidney and bladder problems, eye problems, Umbilical hernia, liver problems, Legg-Calve-Perthes, deafness, Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, dental problems, snuffles and reverse sneezing. To try to avoid higher risks of your dog having one or more of these issues before you buy ask to see health clearances for the parents and visit the puppy at the breeders to assess the conditions he was kept in.

Costs involved in owning a Jack Tzu

A Jack Tzu puppy could cost between $300 to $750. Other costs to be ready for come between $455 to $500 and that will cover blood tests, deworming, shots, chipping, neutering, crate, carrier, collar and leash. Yearly medical costs for basic needs like shots, check ups, pet insurance and flea prevention come to between $460 to $560. Other yearly costs that are not medical like food, toys, treats, license, training and grooming come to between $355 to $700.


Looking for a Jack Tzu Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

This dog is great for people who are fans of the Jack Russell but want a dog a little less full on than the purebred version. He will need a family or owner who can give him plenty of exercise each day and be prepared for the slight challenge of the training.

Featured Image Credit: mariesascha, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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