Affectionately known as the Jack Chi or the Jackahuahua, the Jack Russell chihuahua mix is known for being outgoing, playful, and friendly. If you love Jack Russell terriers and chihuahuas, the Jack Chi combines the best of both breeds into one dog. Before you commit to the newest member of your family, make sure you know all that you can about this popular mix so that you can make an informed decision.
These sweet, small pups only grow about 12 to 15 inches tall. An adult can weigh anywhere from 8 to 18 pounds, and they enjoy a long lifespan of 13 to 18 years. Bred to create an ideal companion dog that could conform to modern standards of living, the Jack Chi is a "designer dog." Sadly, they often end up in shelters.
Jack Russell chihuahua mixes are not renowned as trainable dogs. Often stubborn to even a strict owner, this breed is going to take a little work to get in hand. The key is to start when your Jack Chi is young and to provide positive reinforcement. Dogs respond very well to reward and not as well to punishment. The sooner your Jack Chi associates certain behaviors with reward and attention, the closer you are to a well-behaved best friend.
With two parents with moderate to high energy levels, you can expect the same from the Jack Chi. At a minimum, they need daily exercise. This can look like running in the backyard, taking a long hike, or playing fetch.
Keep in mind that not providing your dog with the necessary amount of daily exercise could lead to destructive behaviors due to pent-up energy, no matter how much effort you've put into training.
People love the loyalty and affection a Jack Chi offers, and this breed is generally friendly with their human family. Their level of comfort with other humans depends on how early their owners socialize them Aggression may be a concern in the early days, particularly around small children, but they can be tempered with a little socialization.
When socialized at an early age, this dog breed gets along well with other dogs and animals.
Although the Jack Chi enjoys socializing with other dogs—and will do well in social settings the more they are around other dogs—it may become harder to introduce an older dog into your home. Additionally, a young Jack Chi may be a little aggressive with smaller dogs.
The Jack Russell chihuahua mix shares its shedding tendencies with its low- to moderate-shedding parents. The breed is often touted as a good dog for those with allergies, but no dog is completely hypoallergenic. While some Jack Chis may shed much less than others, it's impossible to know for sure if you get a young puppy.
This breed is fairly low maintenance. To keep its coat healthy, brush your Jack Chi a few times a week and bathe on an as-needed basis.
Bred to suit more modern lifestyles, these dogs can live just about anywhere. They are wonderful apartment dogs but will also be happy on a large plot of land. Jack Russell terriers were bred to hunt foxes, so Jack Chis love wide open spaces.
This breed does bark a lot when they feel that there is a threat. If you're in a location where there is a lot of stimulation, your Jack Chi may bark incessantly. Fortunately, you can usually train away this behavior with some dedication.
Patellar luxation, or knee dislocation, is common in this breed and often self-resolves or can be easily fixed at the vet. Mitral valve disease, in which a valve in the heart weakens and affects proper blood flow, is also common to the Jack Chi and is manageable with medication. Teeth and gum issues as a result of smaller mouths are extremely common but preventable with diligent care at home and regular vet visits.
Variation in this breed, like in any hybrid, is due to the parents. Contributing factors include the type of Chihuahua (e.g. deer-head, apple-head, teacup) and the type of cross performed: is your new pet a combination of two Jack Chi parents or one chihuahua and one Jack Russell terrier. Coat variations include spotting or tri-color patterns in fawn, chocolate, cream, golden, black, and white.
These energetic dogs can inherit their ears from either parent, while other traits are typically inherited from the same parent breed every time. For example, Jack Chis almost always have the tail of a chihuahua. However, their ears can either be curled like a Jack Russell terrier or straight like a chihuahua. Jack Russell chihuahuas are a newer breed, with the precise date of origin unknown. Bred in the 1980s or 1990s, Jack Chis came onto the scene just as designer dogs were rising in popularity.
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