Jack Chi

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
fast facts

About Jack Chi

8-18 lb
13-18 years
not applicable
Best Suited For
Singles, as well as families with children and other pets, living in a house or apartment, with or without a yard
Energetic, alert, friendly, affectionate, playful, sweet
Comparable Breeds
Chihuahua, Jack Russell Terrier
14-15 inches

Jack Chi Basics

Who says good things don’t come in small packages? If you’re looking for a tiny dog with a huge amount of spunk, then meet the Jack Chi. This pup is a natural born charmer. These compact canines don’t just have a big attitude, they’ve also got an even bigger heart. When trained and socialized in a manner that prevents some of their potential behavior issues, these mini doggos can be lovely companions for families of all shapes and sizes. Their sweetly affectionate nature and undeniable intelligence ensures a certain degree of adaptability, but there are still some things to consider if you have your heart set on this Chihuahua and Jack Russell Terrier mix. No dog is perfect after all, no matter how adorable they are.

Also known as the Jackuahua, the Jack Chi packs boundless energy in its pocket-sized package. If you are ready to share your home with a canine that requires plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, but is also intelligent, friendly, and perpetually ready to snuggle? Then this designer breed could be an ideal choice. It needs to be said that the Jack Chi can be a bit of a challenge, despite its many fantastic qualities and its absolutely adorable appearance. You need to be prepared. You need to know what you’re dealing with. So, what exactly are the Jack Chi downsides that prospective owners need to be wary of? Well, read on to find out. We’re about to tell you everything that you need to know about this breed to decide if this small pip with a big heart is what your family needs. Let’s learn more about the quirky little Jack Chi. 

The Jack Chi is a cross between a purebred Chihuahua and Jack Russell Terrier.


Designer dogs are a fairly recent trend in the world of canine breeding. Because of this, it can sometimes be challenging to discover their exact origins and the story behind their appearance. Up until recently, crossbreeding was purely incidental, and no breeder would intentionally mix two purebreds unless it was a part of a long-term multigenerational breeding program. However, when the Labradoodle became popular in the 1980s, it all changed. Hybrids, or first generation mixes, became highly sought after and a lot of different breeds became a part of the crossbreeding trend across the United States. The Jack Chi was one of the big successes of this crossbreeding boom. Unfortunately, there’s not much more we know about the breed, beyond the fact that it was probably created in the heights of the designer dog craze- sometime in the last 20 years. There just wasn’t much documentation kept about these pooches.

However, despite the short history of the breed, the Jack Chi’s qualities are not a matter of mystery. Simply by looking at the parental breeds of this hybrid, we know as much as we would if the Jack Russell and Chihuahua mix was around for decades. Jack Chis tend to embody the best (and worst) qualities of their beloved parents. This makes them a very versatile designer breed, with a ton of positive traits that greatly outweigh the few negatives that they might have. 


The Jack Chi is a cross between a purebred Chihuahua and Jack Russell Terrier. This is a first generation or F1 mix, which means that the puppies are usually a product of two purebred parents. The mom is usually a Jack Russell Terrier, as the smaller Chihuahua wouldn’t be able to deliver the bigger offspring. The fact that Jack Chi is the mixed breed offspring of two purebreds means that their appearance will be unpredictable. Some puppies might look more like a Chihuahua, while others could take their looks from the Jack Russell Terrier. The same goes for their temperament. These pups can be unpredictable. That’s just the nature of first generation mixes. However, some breeders also claim that first generation mixes are the healthiest, but the jury is still out on that. Sadly, there simply hasn’t been enough documented research put into this type of dog breeding yet.

In spite of the fact that both of his parents are purebred dogs, Jack Chi is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. In the eyes of major canine organizations, designer dogs are mutts with a fancy name and they do not meet the necessary requirements for recognition. As a result, Jack Chi puppies won’t have pedigree papers. That’s a shame a shame, but as the popularity of designer dog breeds continues to grow, the American Kennel Club’s prejudice against these types of canines will have to change. It’s only a matter of time.

Food / Diet

Like most dogs, the Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua cross does best on high-quality dry food for dogs. Kibble will meet their dietary needs because it contains meat-based protein, carbs, and healthy fats in just the right ratio. However, not all dry foods are the same: only premium kibble made from high-grade ingredients will be a good choice for your pup. Furthermore, the blend you choose should be suitable for their age, size, and activity level. If you are ever uncertain about which food and serving size is right for your dog, then always consult your vet. Not all dogs are the same and even premium kibble recommendations can’t possibly take every factor into consideration for every breed. So, when in doubt, talk to your vet. That’s why you have one, after all.

Even though your Jack Chi might be a picky eater, they usually like their kibble well enough. Once you manage to pick the right flavor, that is. Some experimentation might be necessary to find the right food for your Jack Chi, but don’t give up. You pup might be picky, but there is a brand out there that they’ll love and provides the right nutrients. That said, it’s important quite not to let them overeat, as their petite bodies don’t handle extra weight easily. Health problems could arise if they start to pack on the pounds. So, always stick to recommended serving size and don’t indulge them with too many treats. A good rule of thumb for any dog breed, not just the Jack Chi.

When it comes to training your Jack Chi, prepare to remain patient and consistent, as these dogs may not be easy to train.


Training is a mandatory part of every dog’s life. Without it, you risk having an unruly pet with many character and behavioral problems. So don’t overlook this process. When it comes to training your Jack Chi, prepare to remain patient and consistent. Unfortunately, these dogs can be quite stubborn and may not be easy to train. First-time dog owners and those with little experience training dogs may find a Jack Chi difficult, and if you do not properly train and socialize your dog from puppyhood, issues like separation anxiety and spatial aggression could occur. So, this is a big responsibility that will determine the relationship that you have with your pup for the rest of his life. It’s best to be strict and assertive while focusing on positive reinforcement in order to establish yourself as the pack leader, as this little dog can be pretty tough. However, when you wear down your Jack Chi and train him properly, he will quickly turn into the love of your life. So, the work will be worth it (or at least the cost of hiring a trainer will be worth it, whatever makes the most sense for you).

Just be sure to start the process while the dog is still very young – a puppy. This is the time when they will soak up most of the information with ease, and learn all the ground rules. Starting training late, when they are already adults, can be a major challenge and require professional help. Still, be patient, be confident, be assertive, and be kind – this is a sure recipe for a successful training. 


Just like its parents, this is a relatively small sized breed. The Jack Chi weighs between 8 and 18 pounds. Just like the parent breeds – the Chihuahua and the Jack Russel – the Jack Chi has a tiny stature. Of course, this small size equals versatility! This means that these dogs will be suitable for a variety of spaces and accommodations. Anything from tiny homes to large and average homes will work for them! All that is important is that they can have plenty of free space to play, rest, and run around. And besides all that, you will need to provide them with enough time spent outdoors. Balance is key for every dog breed! Take them for long walks or plays in the park – no matter how much free space there is at home. Of course, if you own a fenced-in yard, that’s great too – plenty of space there. 

This is good news for tiny house owners! Tiny homes gained popularity in recent years, but finding a dog that can thrive in such a small space can be challenging. As long as it is not confined and cramped, a Jack Chi can thrive in such a home. Just make sure they get plenty of exercise outdoors and they'll thrive and be happy.

Temperament / Behavior

The Jack Chi is a fun-loving dog with a sweet personality. This friendly canine just wants to have fun, and he will thoroughly enjoy being around you and your family, including your kids and any other pets. You can even expect that this pooch will want to become friends with strangers, rather than attack them. This is a loving pup that will spread that love everywhere that he possibly can. Fortunately, he will only bark occasionally too. So the Jack Chi is an excellent choice if you’re searching for a generally quiet dog.

When not exhibiting high energy, this dog is calm and enjoys cuddling. However, you should know that these dogs can exhibit the nervous and hyper qualities of the Chihuahua. Your dog won’t tire easily, as he prefers to be active, so regular exercise and time outside is absolutely necessary to keep Jack Chi’s happy. And these dogs don’t like being in cold weather, so you can even buy cute little doggie outfits to keep your canine friend warm during time outside in the winter.

Common Health Problems

It is sometimes wrongly believed that crossbreeds can suffer from a string of genetic issues and healthy problems. This is not all that true, and hybrid dogs can often be much healthier than their parent breeds. Still, because the Jack Chi is a hybrid dog breed, it could be prone to the health conditions that affect its parents, the Jack Russell Terrier and the Chihuahua. However, despite that this is a hardy breed overall. They are tough enough to get through a lot.

Keep an eye out for allergic reactions to food ingredients like soy or to environmental allergens like grass. Also, your dog’s skin may be sensitive to insects and insect bites, such as fleas and mosquitoes, and he may also suffer with teary eyes. As always, it’s best to get your dog thorough checked by your pet to avoid any potential allergies before they arise. You can research what ailments might affect a dog breed all you want, but your pup is different from all the rest and only a vet can tell you what will specifically have an impact on them.

Of course, it goes without saying that all of this only applies if you provide the pet with quality care and attention. They will need to have the benefits of a balanced diet, of regular vet checkups, regular exercise, and plenty of affection. Only with these things can they hope to be the healthy and happy dogs that they truly are. 

Life Expectancy

The Jack Chi has an average lifespan of 13 to 18 years. And that is quite the number! If you take into account that most dog breeds have a maximum lifespan of 15 years, you can see that the Jack Chi goes well beyond that number. This places them amongst the world’s most long-lived dog breeds, and a lot of it has to do with their reasonably good health and the genetics that come from their parentage. Of course, in order for your Jack Chi to actually reach that maximum lifespan, you will need to provide the best of care throughout their life. Balanced diet, regular exercise, vet checkups, and love and affection all count for your pet’s overall wellbeing.

Exercise Requirements

These are active dogs that have a lot of energy to expend, so you need to be able to dedicate enough time to providing them with the necessary daily exercise. This will help keep your dog happy and healthy, and it will also prevent destructive or negative behaviors that could result from pent up energy. Although tiny, Jack Chi’s are not really susceptible to obesity. They don’t eat way too much, and will burn all extra calories through their energetic behavior. Still, this is not an open invitation to feed them everything and anything. Improper diet can lead to a string of issues, so make sure it is healthy and measured. Of course, your vet can always direct you if you’re unsure about what diet is best for your Jack Chi.

You can play ball with this dog, go for a long walk or a jog, or even just let him outside in your enclosed backyard to play in a safe environment without a leash. There are many options, so it should be easy enough to keep your Jack Chi healthy and happy. But still, you should be prepared –these doggos are full of energy that really waits to be unleashed! Of course, if this happens under your supervision, in the park or the yard, great! But fail to meet these daily goals, and you might end up with a Jack Chi with zoomies who is running all over the place or an unhappy pet that gets destructive in their boredom.

The Jack Chi is a fun-loving dog with a sweet personality.

Recognized Clubs

The Jack Chi is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, as it is considered to be a hybrid breed. However, this breed is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR). Still, there are a lot of reputable clubs and organizations that are dedicated solely to the Jack Chi breed. These are run by the owners and enthusiasts, and can be a great source to discover all the important tips and details surrounding this breed and its traits. If you are a future owner of a Jack Chi, these clubs are a great way to become prepared ahead of time. Of course, it is also a great way to learn more about this designer breed’s pedigree – their looks, characteristics and general appearance.


Every dog’s most recognizable detail is its coat. It can be shaggy, smooth, and colored whichever way – but it is always beautiful. And it needs to stay this way! A Jack Chi’s coat will be short and dense, so shedding will be minimal and you don’t have to worry about having too many responsibilities when it comes to grooming your furry friend. Simply brushing your dog with a hard-bristled brush weekly should be enough to keep his coat healthy and smooth. Create yourself a reliable routine to follow, in order to never neglect your pet’s hygiene. Brush lightly for just a few minutes each day, and bathe only when necessary (AKA when they fail the nose test) – you would be surprised how effective this simple routine can be. Your pet will always look clean and tidy, and their hygiene will be top notch. Just don’t forget that good hygiene is a huge part of a dog’s health and wellbeing. It can’t be neglected! 


When they are puppies, all dogs look incredibly adorable. The Jack Chi is no exception – this is a small dog, so Jack Chi puppies will be tiny as well. And their cuteness can attract a host of eager cuddlers whose kind intentions can be actually harmful to a puppy. So, be gentle with these dogs, and teach your children to be kind to them as well in order to prevent injuries. The more you socialize your puppy and treat him well, the more he will love you and be devoted to your family. Avoid crowded places early on, especially if there are a lot of children around. Not only will this stress out a tiny puppy, but can also harm them. After those first months are safely passed though, they will be eager for company and fun!

These dogs are known for being chewers, so be sure to supply your puppy with chewable toys. In this way, he’ll learn to use the toys rather than things he finds around the house, like your shoes or furniture, and these good habits will continue into adulthood. Also, because this breed can be difficult to train, it really is best to start as early as possible. Remember, if there is anything you see that your puppy does and you don’t approve of it, quickly try to root it out. Be determined and follow through, and you are guaranteed to have an adult dog that is obedient and well behaved. 

Photo credit: eriklam/Bigstock; Meredith Haley Sonson/Bigstock; sjallen/Bigstock

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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