Are you thinking about getting a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix?
This lively, friendly, and playful mix breed is a cross between the popular Jack Russell Terrier and the Chihuahua. They’re also known as the Jack Chi.
Depending on which parent they take after, they can range in size from 8 to 18 pounds and can grow up to 15 inches tall. They’re a relatively healthy dog, coming from two long-living parent breeds.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the Jack Russell Terrier Chihuahua Mix, from their physical characteristics and health concerns to their temperament and behavior.
What’s In This Guide?
Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix FAQs
- Are Jack Chis aggressive?
- How long does a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix live?
- How much should a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix weigh?
- What are Jack Russell Chihuahua Mixes like?
- What do you call a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix?
Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix: Breed At A Glance
- Popularity: Popular designer dog breed
- Purpose: Pet (lapdog)
- Weight: 8 to 18 pounds
- Temperament: Very energetic and devoted
Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Breed Review: Contents
- History and original purpose of the Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix
- Fun facts about Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix
- Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix appearance
- Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix temperament
- Training and exercising your Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix
- Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix health and care
- Do Jack Russell Chihuahua Mixes make good family pets?
- Rescuing a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix
- Finding a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix puppy
- Raising a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix puppy
- Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix products and accessories
History And Original Purpose Of The Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix
The Jack Chi is a new hybrid like many designer dogs, so there’s not a lot of historical information available on them.
They probably originated in the United States in the 1980s or 1990s. It was a time when crossbreeding regained popularity and many designer dogs appeared on the scene.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize hybrid breeds. In fact, as the Jack Russell is considered a hybrid dog, the AKC does not even recognize one of the Jack Chi’s parent breeds.
To acquire more knowledge of what to expect from the Jack Russell Terrier Chihuahua Mix, we’ll look at the history of each parent breed individually.
Jack Russell Terrier Origins
The Jack Russell Terrier was developed in England specifically for fox hunting in the early 1800s. These dogs are originally from the Fox Terrier group.
Their sturdy, compact body, strong legs, and small chest allowed them to follow their prey into the foxholes and maneuver underground. They were also used for vermin control and have a very strong tendency to dig.
They were named in honor of Reverend Jack Russell. He was the hunting enthusiast believed to have bred two different types of terriers together to create this particular breed of terrier.
The UK Kennel Club officially recognized the Jack Russell Terrier breed in 2016.
The tiny Chihuahua is one of the oldest breeds in the Americas with a lineage that extends back to pre-Columbian times. They appeared to be the favored companion of the Aztecs.
And they are believed to have originally descended from the Techichi breed. The Techichi is a somewhat larger breed that was domesticated by the Toltec people.
The Chihuahua came to America in the mid-1800s and was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.
Fun Facts About The Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix
Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Appearance
The appearance of Jack Chi puppies can vary greatly depending on the characteristics they inherit from the parents like any mixed breed.
Jack Chi dogs tend to stand at about 10 to 15 inches in height and range from 8 to 18 pounds.
Common physical features of this mix breed are a short neck and a long, muscular body. They tend to have the large round eyes of a Chihuahua set into the triangular head of the Jack Russell.
Ears can either be pointy and erect like the Chihuahua’s or folded and floppy like the Jack Russell parent.
The snout is usually long but could be thinner than a Jack Russell.
Their hindquarters are strong and muscular, yet the shorter leg length and long, curled tail resemble the Chihuahua.
Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Coat
Their coat is typically short and dense, and their coloring widely varies. Jack Chis can be black, white, brown, chocolate, cream, golden, or fawn colored.
Their coat can be bicolored as well. The most common combinations include the following: black and brown, black and white, black and tan, brown and white, dark brown and light brown.
Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Temperament
The Jack Chi is a tenacious, intelligent, and lively dog.
Likewise, with their appearance, you never know which traits your pup will inherit. The Chihuahua side may help balance out some of that Jack Russell exuberance, but don’t bank on that. Be prepared for a high energy companion that loves having a job to do.
Jack Chis are loyal and devoted dogs that enjoy spending time with their owners. They are also a breed prone to separation anxiety and can become quite vocal or even destructive if left alone too long.
While they are generally friendly and playful dogs, Jack Russell Terrier Chihuahua Mixes can become intolerant of rough play or tail and ear pulling. They are not known to be very aggressive, but they can get snappy if they get annoyed.
They should get along with other dogs well if socialized early. But you can’t be certain what characteristics your Jack Russell and Chihuahua Mix will inherit from its parents in how it interacts with other small pets.
Training And Exercising Your Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix
Jack Chi Training
Training your Jack Chi will take patience and perseverance. It’s recommended to start right from the day they come home with you. Waiting can lead to a more strong-willed pup.
The Jack Russell’s side naturally wants to be the leader of the pack and paired with the Chihuahua’s stubbornness this breed is not the easiest to train.
It’s important to be consistent and firm while using positive reinforcement to let them know who’s in charge.
They are intelligent dogs and can become bored quickly. Keep training short and varied without too much repetition.
It’s in the Jack Chi’s nature to smell, and they will often follow their nose, which is why it is best to keep them on-lease and in a fenced yard.
It is also in their nature to dig, so teach them the difference between the backyard and the living room sofa.
Early socialization is key to eliminate any signs of aggression and to ensure your furry friend will play nice with other dogs and humans alike.
Jack Chi Exercise
These playful pups require plenty of daily exercises to stay happy and out of trouble. They will need plenty of play time in addition to going on long walks a couple of times a day.
Fetch in the dog park or running loose in a fenced yard will help burn off some of that boundless energy and discourage bad behavior.
Both parent breeds are adept at canine sports, especially the Jack Russell. This can be a great way to exercise your Jack Chi’s body and mind.
They also make great hiking companions for active individuals or families.
On the other hand, keep in mind that the Chihuahua side of your mix may not handle the cold well. The Chihuahua has trouble warming themselves up effectively once they are cold. Therefore, dog clothing for cold weather may be necessary for outdoor exercise.
Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Health And Care
The Jack Chi’s health is mostly dependent upon the health of the two parent breeds. While your dog could inherit health issues found in either breed, they are most likely to inherit the ones common to both parents.
Let’s take a look at the health of the Chihuahua and the Jack Russell Terrier to understand more about your Jack Chi’s potential health concerns.
Chihuahua Health Concerns
Most of the health concerns associated with Chihuahuas stem from their diminutive size. They are at an increased risk for dystocia which means they have trouble giving birth.
Dental health is also a major concern as tooth crowding is almost inevitable and promotes tooth decay. To prevent periodontitis, brush their teeth with dog toothpaste at least twice a week.
A less serious, but common, health issue in Chihuahuas is allergies. This breed is prone to atopy, a kind of skin allergy that causes itchiness and affects the feet, ears, belly, and folds of the skin.
Signs often include rubbing of the face, persistent licking, and chronic ear infections. See your veterinarian if you think your dog may be suffering from allergies.
Here are a few more serious health issues that can affect the Chihuahua.
This orthopedic disease is very common in small dog breeds and results in the dislocation of one or both kneecaps.
The condition can be the result of an injury, but it is also congenital and may start to show in dogs as young as 4 months old.
Female dogs have a higher prevalence of patellar luxation than males and one study found that about 23% of Chihuahuas have this condition.
Signs of this problem include abnormal gait, pain, and limping. There may be a popping sound as the knee dislocates.
Treatment can range from massaging the kneecap back into place, to using a brace, to surgery.
Both parents should be screened for a history of patellar luxation.
Chihuahuas are prone to two different heart valve problems: patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and mitral valve disease.
PDA occurs after birth when a small vessel in the heart doesn’t close properly. Depending on the severity of the valve defect, this can lead to congenital heart failure.
PDA can often be repaired with heart surgery once the problem is detected. Signs of PDA include coughing, shortness of breath, weakness in the hind legs, and fatigue during exercise.
Conversely, mitral valve disease tends to occur in mature dogs. It is often caused by weakened heart valves that permit blood to flow backward in the heart and causes strain on the heart.
Signs of mitral valve disease are similar to that of PDA and also includes a heart murmur. This condition is usually managed with medication and possibly dietary and exercise restrictions.
Breeders should have proof of thorough cardiac evaluations of both parents.
This condition occurs when fluid builds up in the skull. This buildup puts pressure on the brain and can result in seizures, a spastic gait, and decreased mental functioning.
It is more common in breeds like the Chihuahua, with dome-shaped heads. Treatment can include medication or surgery.
Smaller dogs tend to have more problems with low blood sugar.
They are affected most often after exercise or excitement, and if they skip a meal.
Symptoms include seizure, collapse, and weakness. Contact your veterinarian if you observe any of these signs in your pet.
The trachea consists of rings of cartilage, and with this condition, those rings may be weak or improperly formed. This can result in the collapse of the trachea.
Signs of this condition are coughing and difficulty breathing. Contact your veterinarian if you observe these symptoms in your dog.
Mild cases may be treated with medication while more severe cases will likely need surgery.
Recommended Testing For Chihuahuas
The AKC’s recommended testing for Chihuahuas includes the following:
- Cardiac Exam
- Ophthalmological Exam
- Patella Evaluation
Jack Russell Terrier Health
Jack Russell dogs are generally healthy, but there are a few conditions they are genetically predisposed to. They are prone to patellar luxation and atopy skin allergies, just like the Chihuahua.
One minor health issue Jack Russell Terriers are prone to is ear infections. Check your dog’s ears regularly for redness, odor, or a brown or yellow discharge. Also, take notice if your dog is scratching their ear a lot.
The Jack Russell has a few other health concerns that could potentially affect your Jack Chi:
Jack Russell Terriers are susceptible to a number of eye diseases including glaucoma, lens luxation, and cataracts.
Glaucoma is caused by increased fluid pressure in the eye. It can become painful and lead to blindness if left untreated.
Lens luxation is when the lens is dislocated from its normal site behind the cornea. This can lead to other optical issues including glaucoma, retinal detachment, and blindness.
Cataracts occur in older dogs and give the appearance of a milky film over the eyes. It will impair your dog’s vision and eventually lead to blindness.
However, it can often be treated with surgery.
Jack Russells are a breed more prone to congenital deafness. There is much speculation that this type of deafness is correlated with pigmentation but no DNA link has been found.
Studies have found that deaf Jack Russells tend to have more white pigmentation in their coats. Right now, there is not a definitive explanation and no treatment.
Legg-Calve-Perthes is also a potential health problem for the Jack Russell Terrier. This disease occurs more in small dogs and can present from around 6 to 12 months of age.
It’s a disease of the hip joints and occurs when the head of the femur disintegrates, causing pain, limping, and eventually arthritis.
Legg-Calve-Perthes is often treated with surgery as the only other option is pain management with medication.
A liver disease called portosystemic shunt (PSS) can affect Jack Russells.
This condition is caused when the blood supply to the liver is altered and some of the blood meant for the liver, instead goes around the liver.
This lack of blood means that the liver can’t grow or function properly. As a result, it cannot remove toxins from the body effectively.
The symptoms of PSS are stunted growth and seizures. This disease is sometimes treated with diet and medication, but in some cases, surgery is needed.
Jack Russells have a genetic predisposition to a couple of rare blood disorders: hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia.
These conditions are a result of the immune system attacking the body’s red blood cells. This can cause anemia and can affect blood clotting.
Signs include lethargy, weakness. bruising, and whitish or yellowish gums. Treatment involves medication and in some cases, blood transfusions.
Recommended Testing For Jack Russell Terriers
The UK Kennel Club’s recommended testing for Jack Russell Terriers includes the following:
- Late Onset Ataxia (LOA)
- Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)
- Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
- Eye Evaluation
Despite being an overall healthy breed, hybrid dogs like the Jack Chi can be prone to health conditions that affect either of its parents.
The Jack Chi might inherit patellar luxation, eye problems, deafness, hypoglycemia, or heart problems. It’s impossible to know which parent breed your dog may take after and what hereditary health issues they have inherited.
Life Expectancy Of The Jack Chi
The life expectancy of a mix breed dog tends to fall within the average parameters of the parent breeds. Fortunately, both the Chihuahua and the Jack Russell are quite long living breeds.
The Chihuahua’s lifespan is about 14 to 16 years and the Jack Russell Terrier’s lifespan ranges from about 13 to 16 years.
The lifespan of a Jack Chi generally falls in the range of 13 to 15 years.
Jack Chi Grooming
A Jack Russell Terrier Chihuahua Mixes’ short, dense coat means minimal shedding and maintenance.
Brushing them once or twice a week with a hard-bristled brush should be enough to keep their coat smooth and healthy.
You should check your Jack Chi’s ears for signs of infection and clean them carefully each week.
As with all breeds, keep their teeth clean by brushing them with dog toothpaste at least twice a week.
Do Jack Russell Chihuahua Mixes Make Good Family Pets?
The Jack Chi mix is a good family pet for an active family with older children.
Jack Chis are not recommended for families with small children as they may not be tolerating of tiny hands tugging on their ears.
Tiny dogs are also not recommended for homes with small children as it is very easy for children to accidentally step on or otherwise harm a petite dog.
Rescuing A Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix
Adopting a rescue dog can be a fantastic way to bring a furry family member into your life.
Dogs with separation anxiety and attachment issues really benefit from the stability of a new forever home and the bond with their new family.
- Look at our list of rescue societies below.
Finding A Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Puppy
There is a definite growth in the popularity of getting a mix as a companion.
As discussed, when you acquire a cross breed like a Jack Russell Chihuahua mix pup, they could have any trait, both physically and temperamentally, of either parent breed.
Your best chance at bringing home a healthy puppy is to purchase your Jack Russell Chihuahua puppy from a small, local breeder.
Here you can visit the kennel facilities, observe the living conditions, and meet the puppy’s parents and siblings.
Whatever the Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix price, it’s imperative that the breeder has tested their animals for genetic health issues that impact both the parent breeds and that they can provide you with these test results.
Remember when you are looking at the Jack Russell Chihuahua price tag, you are paying for a designer dog. It comes with the peace of mind from using a responsible breeder.
Purchasing from a pet store or online ad you never know what you are getting and unfortunately, they are a lot of unethical breeding practices out there. Pet store and puppy mill dogs often have more health issues and more difficult temperaments.
Puppy Search Resources
Picking a puppy can be tricky. But you’re in luck!
Choosing The Perfect Puppy is a book. Packed full of tips for deciding which breed to welcome into your home.
Including detailed reviews of the most popular breeds.
Raising A Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Puppy
Raising your Jack Chi pup is likely going to be a bit of an adventure. You are up against an intelligent, tenacious, and energetic dog. Therefore, start training and socializing from day one.
To help you meet the training challenges of this breed here are a few articles to check out:
- Puppy Training Stages
- Positive Puppy Training—Does It Really Work?
- How To Train A Chihuahua—Your Chihuahua Training Guide
- Separation Anxiety—Teaching Your Dog To Be Alone
Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Products And Accessories
Your Jack Chi needs to keep active, warm and entertained for both your sakes.
Here are some ideas on how to keep your dog happy, busy, stylish, and out of trouble.
As an intelligent and easily bored dog, interactive and puzzle toys may work well with theJack Russell Terrier Chihuahua Mix. And don’t forget to dress your Jack Chi in colder weather.
- The Best Dog Puzzle Toys For Clever Dogs
- Small Dog Coats: The Best Dressed Petite Pooches
- The Best Indestructible Dog Toys
- The Best Interactive Dog Toys
Pros And Cons of Getting A Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix
Still trying to decide if a Jack Chi is the best dog for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this lively and affectionate mix breed:
- Needs lots of exercises and without it, they will make their own fun
- Can be more challenging to train
- Not good for families with small children
- Could suffer from separation anxiety
- Tendency to bark
- There are hereditary health issues from both parent breeds that could affect your dog
- May not do well with other small pets
- Loyal, intelligent, and friendly dogs
- Make good guard dogs, alerting you to everything
- Good family pets for those with older children
- Have a good life expectancy and are generally a healthy breed
- Low maintenance coats and minimal shedding
- Great companions for active people
Comparing The Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix With Other Breeds
The Jack Chi And The Jackabee
Another popular Jack Russell mix breed is the Jackabee. It is a Jack Russell Beagle crossbreed.
The Jackabee is bigger than the Jack Chi. And it is just as energetic if not more so.
Since the Jack Russell and the Beagle are both hunting dogs, this breed is not suited to homes with other small pets that could be mistaken as prey.
The Jackabee may be an easier cross breed to train than the Jack Chi, and their grooming is just as low maintenance.
For more information on the Jackabee click here
The Jack Chi And The Pomchi
The Pomchi is a mixed breed that crosses a Chihuahua with a Pomeranian.
This mix is tinier than the average Jack Chi and has much fewer exercise requirements.
The Pomchi’s coat can vary in length, density, color, and grooming needs, but will likely be a bit more work than that of the Jack Chi.
Pomchi’s are usually friendly but the Chihuahua influence can also add some sass. Like the Jack Chi, they are smart and inquisitive dogs that pick up new tricks quickly.
To learn more about the Pomchi click here
If you are interested in the Jack Chi, here are a few other Chihuahua and Jack Russell mix breeds you may want to consider:
- Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix
- Cocker Spaniel Chihuahua Mix
- Dachshund Jack Russell Mix
- Corgi and Jack Russell Mix
- Miniature Boxer
Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Breed Rescues
Most mix breeds do not have their own specific rescue societies, but often the parent breed rescues will take in related mix breeds as well.
- Almost Home Rescue Of Florida
- Chihuahua Rescue Of San Diego County
- Chihuahua Rescue Indiana
- Russell Rescue
- Texas Russell Rescue
Please comment below if you’re interested to join one of these lists.
Is the Jack Terrier Chihuahua Mix Right For You?
Only you can tell. If you are looking for a loving but spunky dog with lots of energy, the answer might be yes.
Remember that this small breed may not be the best dog around young children or other small pets.
The Jack Chi’s ideal home is with an active owner who has the time and energy to give their loyal companion lots of attention and exercise!
Do you have a Jack Chi?
Let us know in the comments, and be sure to tell us about their fun antics.
References And Resources
- Animal Health Clinic. 2019. “Jack Russell Terrier.”
- Bellumori, T. et al. 2013. “Prevalence of inherited disorders among mixed-breed and purebred dogs.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Capík, I. 2010. “Periodontal Health vs. Various Preventive Means in Toy Dog Breeds.” Acta Vet.
- Comito, B. et. al. 2012. “Congenital deafness in Jack Russell terriers: prevalence and association with phenotype.” The Veterinary Journal.
- Farrell, L. et. al. 2015. “The Challenges of Pedigree Dog Health: Approaches to Combating Inherited Disease.” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.
- Gendler, A. et. al. 2007. “Canine Dystocia: Medical and Surgical Management.” Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practising Veterinarian (North American Edition).
- Harasen, G. 2006. “Patellar luxation.” The Canadian Veterinary Journal.
- The Institute of Canine Biology
- The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America. 2019. “History of the Jack Russell Terrier.”
- Nilsson, K. et al. 2018. “Heritability of patellar luxation in the Chihuahua and Bichon Frise breeds of dogs and effectiveness of a Swedish screening programme.” The Veterinary Journal.
- Oberbauer, A. M. et. al. 2008. “Inheritance of cataracts and primary lens luxation in Jack Russell Terriers.” American Journal of Veterinary Research
- UK Kennel Club. Accessed 2019.“Breed Information Centre Jack Russell Terrier Health.”