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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
Jatzu - Japanese Chin and Shih Tzu Mix
The parents of Jatzu. Left: Japanese Chin, Right: Shih Tzu

The Jatzu is a small mixed dog the result of deliberate breeding between a Japanese Chin and Shih Tzu. She has talents in watchdog and should live on average between 12 to 15 years. This cross is not a common dog to find. She is a cheerful and friendly dog who also can be a bit mischievous on occasion!

Here is the Jatzu at a Glance
Average height Up to 11 inches
Average weight 8 to 20 pounds
Coat type Straight, fine, silky, fluffy, thick
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate to high
Shedding Moderate to frequent
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Somewhat sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to moderate
Barking Rare
Tolerance to Heat Low to moderate
Tolerance to Cold Good
Good Family Pet? Good to very good
Good with Children? Good to very good with socialization, best with older children
Good with other Dogs? Good to very good
Good with other Pets? Good to very good
A roamer or Wanderer? Low
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good to excellent
Trainability Moderately easy
Exercise Needs Fairly active
Tendency to get Fat Above average
Major Health Concerns Heart problems, eye problems, Patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes, bladder and kidney problems, Umbilical hernia, liver problems,
Other Health Concerns Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, snuffles, reverse sneezing
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $150 to $800
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $575 to $675

Where does the Jatzu come from?

The Jatzu is a designer dog, part of a dramatically growing trend for deliberately mixed dogs that has occurred over the last three decades or so. A lot of these mixes like the Jatzu has a name that blends part of the parent names together ‘Ja’ from Japanese and ‘tzu’ from Shih Tzu. Though some dog people call them mutts there is a difference. These are hopefully bred with thought and care but it is true sadly that not all designer dogs are equal. There are a lot of puppy mills and irresponsible breeders who have seen this trend and joined it to make money. Profit is their only concern not their animals well being.

A lot of these dogs do not have origins known so we look to the parent breeds to get a better feel for the mix. Always keep in mind that there are not any guarantees with how these puppies come out. Any thing could come in from either parent in any combination. Even the same litter can show a great deal of difference between siblings.

The Japanese Chin

While the name suggests these dogs come from Japan in fact originally they come from China. At some point he was gifted to the emperor of Japan where he was crossed with smaller dogs and developed to the breed we are familiar with. In Japan he was seen not as just a regular dog (inu) but as a being of his own (chin) hence the name. Most of the world had not seen them until international trade began around 1853. It was then that dogs were imported to places like the US and Britain.

The Japanese Chin is a charming and happy dog. He is smart and will chat to you but is not overly yappy. He is sensitive and affectionate and tends to adapt to his surroundings so if he lives in a quiet home he is quiet too, if he lives in a livelier house he will be more lively. Because he bonds so closely with his owners he can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. He can also be shy with new people.

The Shih Tzu

Coming from China or Tibet this is an old breed who were valued as companion dogs. Called little lion dogs they were intelligent, cheerful and gentle. It was not until the early 20th century that a breeding pair came to England and they were bred there. In 1928 he was recognized by the kennel club there and the Americans recognized him as a breed in 1969.

The Shih-Tzu today is still very much a friendly 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.


The Jatzu is playful, social and friendly dog always cheerful and sometimes mischievous. She is an affectionate dog and will be very loving to her family. She can be alert and is also loyal. She can also be gentle and loves to be the center of attention. She is even tempered and eager to please. She is not good being left alone for long periods of time as she wants to be with you. She is a great companion dog.

What does the Jatzu look like

She is a small dog standing up to 11 inches tall and weighing 8 to 20 pounds. She has floppy ears and straight fur. Her coat is fine, silky, thick and fluffy and common colors are apricot, white, brown, black, cream and golden. Her body is muscular but well proportioned and she has small dainty feet.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Jatzu need to be?

She is fairly active so will need some regular exercise outside as well as her play time inside. A couple of walks a day would be good, occasional trips to dog parks too. She is good living in an apartment with her size but to be happy and healthy she does need time outside every day. If there is a yard for her to play in though that is a bonus.

Does she train quickly?

She is moderately easy to train as she is smart and eager to please. She learns best with gentle and positive methods so while you need to be firm and consistent you can also use treats, rewards and praise to encourage her. Some dogs can be stubborn occasionally so be prepared. Early socialization and training are important to see her become the best dog she can be.

Living with a Jatzu

How much grooming is needed?

The Jatzu is a dog that needs a moderate amount of maintenance. She sheds a moderate amount and that will mean there will be daily cleaning up of hair around the home. When her hair is kept long it can tangle easily so daily brushing is needed. It may need regular trimming or stripping so that will mean going to a professional groomers. You will need to clean around the eyes too as she can get tear stains otherwise. Bathe her as needed and make sure you use a dog shampoo only which will be better for her skin. Nails will need clipping when they get too long and that could be done by the groomer too. Other needs are having her teeth brushed two to three times a week and checking her ears and wiping them clean once a week.

What is she like with children and other animals?

This is a great dog for families with children as she play with them, is affectionate towards them and can be gentle too. With her size it may be best to not leave her unsupervised with young children who do not know how to be a bit more careful. She also gets on well with other pets and other dogs.

General information

The Jatzu can be alert and can be a good watchdog. She is a quiet dog and barking is rare. She should be fed ¾ to 1 1/2 cups of good quality dry dog food a day split into two meals.

Health Concerns

There are health concerns that her parents could pass to her or that she is more prone to because they are which includes Heart problems, eye problems, Patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes, bladder and kidney problems, Umbilical hernia, liver problems, Allergies, hip dysplasia, ear infections, snuffles and reverse sneezing. Visit the puppy at the breeders before buying to see the conditions she is in and also ask for parental health clearances.

Costs involved in owning a Jatzu

A Jatzu puppy could cost between $150 to $800. Other costs for things like a crate, carrier, collar and leash, micro chipping, spaying, blood tests, deworming and shots come to between $360 to $400. Yearly costs for non-medical essentials like food, treats, toys, grooming, license and training come to between $575 to $675. Yearly basics costs that are medical like check ups, shots, pet insurance and flea prevention come to between $435 to $535.


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

The Jatzu could be a good family dog preferably in a home with older children or a companion for singles or couples. She needs owners who can be somewhat active as while she is a great lap dog she does have some energy to burn. She is a mischievous and cheerful dog who is a joy to be around.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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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