Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix: Is This Tenacious Terrier The Dog For You?

The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is most commonly known as the Jack Chi.

They are energetic, intelligent, loving and loyal. Despite their small stature, they have huge personalities, not unlike their parent breeds (the Jack Russell and the Chihuahua).

The Jack Chi is not a dog that requires constant attention, but they do need a good amount of exercise.

If you take the plunge with them, this little guy is sure to reward you with endless love and entertainment.

What is a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix?


The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is a cross between a purebred Jack Russell and a Chihuahua.

They are a designer dog breed first crossed in the United States. This mix is most similar in classification to their Chihuahua parent, who is classed as a toy dog. The Jack Russell was originally bred as a working dog but is much more common nowadays as a companion dog.

As this breed is a crossbreed, it’s not recognized by the American Kennel Club.

They can be quite sensitive to the cold and may not be suited to a home with young children due to their small size (more on this later).

As for exercise, they need around half an hour to an hour each day and lots of mental stimulation in the form of toys and play time.

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Appearance

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

The Jack Chi is a mix of two small dogs so you can guarantee it will also be small.

Being a mix of two breeds, each puppy will be slightly different depending on what characteristics it inherits. They will generally have a short, shiny, wiry coat but sometimes it can be longer if the parent Chihuahua has a longer coat.

Most likely your Jack Russell Chihuahua mix will have the large round eyes of the Chihuahua on the Jack Russell’s triangular shaped head. Their face is long and terrier-like but probably thinner than the Jack Russell’s face.

They may have erect ears like the Jack Russell or floppy ears like the Chihuahua depending on which they inherit. Their tail will likely curl upwards like the Chihuahua. We think this breed is going to be adorable no matter which characteristics it inherits!

Height and Weight

When fully grown, they will be around 10 to 15 inches tall and weigh between about 8 and 18 lbs. This is a very small dog and because of this, there may be issues regarding handling and feeding (more on this later).


Their coat is most often white, black, cream, dark brown or golden. They can have patches around their eyes and, like their Jack Russell parent, can be tri-colored (an interesting mix of three different coat colors).


You can expect them to have a short, shiny, wiry coat that is quite dense.

Sometimes, if the Chihuahua parent has a longer coat they may inherit this trait. If so they may shed a little more.

Personality and Temperament

This dog is an energetic, playful, intelligent, loving and loyal dog. Both parent breeds are well known to be characterful and the mix is almost certainly going to create a unique character too.

As this is a cross breed, it will inherit different traits from each of its parent breeds.

The Jack Russell Terrier was originally bred as a working dog in England. They were bred to hunt foxes and their small size meant they could fit down foxholes. This little dog is extremely high energy and eager to please.

They are very friendly but need regular socialization and training from a young age. They often want to rule the roost but consistent, positive reinforcement training should help them to understand who is boss.

The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog, however, they have massive personalities. This little dog is full of sass and attitude. They have a tendency towards nervous, hyperactive behavior.

As you can tell from its parents, this mix will need a good amount of exercise and lots of play. Barking is likely to be an issue with this little guy as they like to make themselves heard.

Teaching them early in life that barking is not how they get their way will be very important.

As long as they are socialized with other dogs from a young age you should have no problem with aggression. Puppy parties are always a good idea to teach them the polite ways to interact with other dogs and burn off loads of energy.

The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is a very friendly breed and, although they will likely bond to one person, they will want to be friends with everyone.

Due to their small size and fragile bones, they are not suited to the rough handling that may come with young children. Once children are older and able to learn how to behave appropriately around small dogs, they can be introduced to this breed.

Is A Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix A Good Family Dog?

If you have young children, this may not be the breed for you due to their small size and fragile bones. Families with older children who are used to being around small dogs will be fine.

How to Train a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

Jack Chi

The best way to train any dog is through positive reinforcement.

This especially applies to the Jack Russell Chihuahua mix as they are very intelligent and eager to please. This breed can sometimes be a little picky with food so high-quality reward treats are important in training. Hopefully your pup will be food-focused as this makes training much easier.

The Jack Russell part of this breed can sometimes lead to some inherited stubbornness.

They like to be in charge!

What is most important here is consistency, patience, and repetition of the same training techniques.

Mental stimulation will be important in reducing negative behaviors such as barking and hyperactivity. Some Jack Russell Chihuahua mixes may enjoy agility training as they can jump surprisingly high.

Socialization is very important for this breed too. Puppy parties are a great way of introducing your dog to the polite way to play and interact with other dogs. Exposing your dog to lots of people will also help with socialization.

Older children can be socialized with this breed as long as they are taught the correct ways to play and handle a small dog.

They can also chew alot, so be sure to provide lots of good toys to keep them chewing on things you want them to chew.

Caring for a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mixex

Overall the Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is not a difficult dog to care for.

They require around half an hour to an hour of exercise each day but this does not always have to be a walk. They do love to go out but they will also enjoy running around a garden or around the house.

One advantage of this small dog is that you do not need to have a garden and they can live happily in apartments. Regular exercise will be the key to keeping on top of any destructive behaviors.

As for grooming, they will only need brushing once a week because of their short dense coats.

They don’t require a lot of food and can actually be prone to being overweight so keep a careful eye on their diet.

Dental problems may sometimes occur with this mix, so regular cleaning of your pup’s teeth is recommended. To make this easy on yourself, get them used to teeth cleaning from an early age, exactly as you would with cleaning ears and cutting nails. Use treats to make these activities fun and comfortable for you and your pup.

Exercise Requirements

Although this breed does need a lot of exercise, they will get a lot of what they need moving around their home thanks to their small size. They do love walks and we would recommend they are taken out at least once a day for half an hour to an hour.

They can live in an apartment but if a garden is available they will enjoy time running around there too.

This dog can be walked off leash if they have mastered recall, however, due to their small size and high energy, they can be easy to lose. Depending on your pup’s character, it may be easier and safer to keep them on a leash.

As mentioned above, they may enjoy agility classes (this is a great form of exercise). We would not recommend swimming for this breed as they are very sensitive to the cold due to their small size.

Grooming and Shedding

The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix usually has a short dense coat which means small amounts of shedding.

Sometimes they can inherit a slightly longer coat from a Chihuahua parent which will mean slightly more shedding but still not a lot.

Because of this, they will only need minimal grooming (brushing once a week with a hard bristled brush). This will be enough to keep their coat healthy and clean.

Feeding and Diet

As they are only a small dog, they do not need a great deal of food.

Once fully grown, they will only need around a cup of high quality dry food a day. You can also mix in some wet food.

Dogs require at least a quarter of their diet to be protein, so be sure to check the meat content of the food. Good quality dry dog food will not contain any food dyes, rendered fats, corn or wheat gluten.

If they are particularly small (under 10lb) they may need a little less food.

They may also need less food if they are not very active. Being small, they can be prone to being overweight as it’s easy to overfeed them. Make sure you keep an eye on their weight. Sometimes this breed can be a little picky so you may want to stick to what the breeder is feeding your pup if they are eating well.

In terms of calories you should be aiming for between 250-500 calories a day depending on their weight.

Known Health Problems

Being a cross breed they can have issues associated with either parent breed.

One of these issues is allergies, particularly to long grass (they may come up in rashes).

They are also prone to dental and eye issues. It’s important to make sure their teeth are cleaned regularly and that you regularly clean their eyes and ears.

If your dog is not keen on teeth brushing then adding a dental treat into their diet is a good option. Other things to look out for are patellar luxation, deafness, hypoglycemia and heart problems.

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How Long Do Jack Chis Live?

Jack Russell Chihuahua mixes can live from 13 to 15 years on average.

Buying a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

When buying any puppy, your best chance of getting a good tempered, healthy puppy is by finding a reputable breeder.

You should be able to meet both the parent dogs or at least meet the mother and interact with her. This will help you get an idea of what the puppy’s temperament will be like.

You can ask if the Chihuahua parent is Kennel Club registered and ask to see documentation.
However as Jack Russells are not recognized by the American Kennel Club you won’t be able to get documentation for this part of the mix.

You should also ask for medical records from both the parents and a history of the puppy’s vaccinations, worming, and flea treatment up until the point you are collecting the puppy.

Check the puppies yourself to see if they are clean in general, with clean eyes and ears. A really good breeder will not be desperate to sell you the puppies. They will want them to go to suitable homes, so expect them to ask you questions too.

How Much Do Jack Russell Chihuahua Mixes Cost?

A Jack Russell Chihuahua mix will cost you between $200 to $750.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:10 to 15 inches tall
Lifespan:13-15 years
Coat:Short length coat that is quite dense
Color:White, black, cream, dark brown or gold
Do They Shed:Not very much
Temperament:Very energetic, loving, and loyal
Intelligence:Tend to be fairly clever dogs
Socialization:Need to socialize with dogs and people at a young age
Destructive Behavior:Excessive barking, chewing, and some hyperactivity
People Skills:Generally good people skills
Good with Children:Not always good with young children due to their small size but great with older children
Activity Levels:Medium activity levels, will need half an hour to an hour of exercise a day


The Jack Russell Chihuahua mix is a beautiful little dog that would do great in a variety of living situations.

Whether you live on your own or in a family with older children, or if you have a massive garden or just an apartment, this little crossbreed will be happy as long as it is with you.

They are energetic, loving, playful, loyal little pups who will love spending time with you.

They don’t require lots of care, only a good brush at least once a week and regular teeth cleaning, so would be well suited to someone requiring a low maintenance dog. If this sounds like the dog for you then you are sure to have many fun-filled years with them!

More Jack Russell and Chihuahua Mixes

Want a Jack Russell mix or Chihuahua mix but aren’t keen on the Jack Russell Chihuahua mix? Check out these other hybrid dog breeds:

Chihuahua Mixes

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. I have a jack chi “Brody” and he is a wonderful dog he is one of the smartest dogs I have ever owned!! Also they listen well and are very obedient but they do like to own the show and they love attention, as far as being friendly with other dogs.. well my little guy isn’t too crazy about other dogs and its not that he’s territorial its more like he’s jealous they are very emotional dogs and tend to get their feelings hurt when it comes down to giving your attention to other animals. They are very loving and loyal and I think jack chi is one of the coolest breeds I’m thankful to have mine he makes me happy and whoever else is around seems to love him too!!

    • Sounds like our Jack Chi! I don’t agree with the assessment that aren’t intelligent- our Petey is extremely intelligent, but stubborn.

    • Oh yes! Mine is very jealous of me giving attention to any pet or person other than him. However, he has mellowed more in his older age. I have always had a companion dog for him and us, but he is still The Boss, LOL. I “recued” him from a neighbor who bought him as a gift to her very small child. However, I just couldn’t listen to the cries coming from that apartment and I offered to take care of him while they were at work and school. He has been attached to me ever since (long story of how abusive to him she was…) and I ended up having my loving little dog. He’s about 10 now, and I still see the reactionary behaviors from those 2 months that he was in an unwanted situation. He is the most loyal and protective dog ever. Even though his little-man size wouldn’t be able to hurt a fly. He makes up for it in attitude. All of our dogs have such amazing personalities. Anyone who thinks that “dog are just dogs” is really missing out. These little guys are an essential part of our family! Between me and my kids (in their own households), we have 6 rescues. We only wish we could do more. These dogs are a true blessing.

  2. Our Jack Chi is my Veterans PTSD dog and I could not have asked for more. Super intelligent – takes commands well, wakes me from bad dreams, empathetic, keeps things from seeking up behind me… the works.

    Could not ask for a better friend.

  3. I have a wonderful Jack chi named Sparky he is very intelligent and lovable. He is one of the best dogs i have had. I rescued him from an Animal Rescue when he was 14 months old. He is now my best friend as it is just me and him we do everything together as i am retired.

      • I have a Jack Chi rescue baby. She is the love of my life. I had a rescue toy poodle for 15 uea and when he passed I never thought I would have another fur baby. Then Sassy came into my life and we are inseparable!

    • Hi Leonard
      I totally agree with you,my lil guy is called cooper,he is so funny,he is 2yrs old,they are company for us retired people who live alone.

  4. Just collected my Jack Chi yesterday. He is absolutely gorgeous, seems to know his name already and generally intelligent. Except he will toilet anywhere other than on the puppy mats I have down and regularly show him. Is this normal or am expecting too much too soon!?

    • When i house trained our Jack Chi Moo i constantly took her outside, about every half hour. I used positive reinforcement. A little over a week and she had it figured out. Extremely intelligent, social, happy go lucky little girl.

    • Hello, we have a 3 year old jack chi and the same issue happened with us. We just stayed consistent with bringing him to the pad or the outdoor trainer grass pad and because they are so smart he quickly learned to go to the door. Didn’t take long at all to train. When traveling we sprayed the pad or area with a product called Go Here. Great purchase.
      Hope that helps.

  5. I actually have a Jack Chi. Hi so name is shiloh. He is the sweetest most loving and hyper dog. He is sneaky but I love him he’s smart as well.

  6. We have a jack-chi and he is my Daughter’s mini-me (as he follows her everywhere, sleeps under her cover & everything), he is a barker but only when someone pulls in the driveway, he loves playing ball, loves my kids!

  7. My jackchi’ name is Odie
    A wonderful dog. He is a good eatter and fat. He is loving and protective
    He sleeps with me

  8. I have a covid jack chai she is 8 months old and she is aggressive to everyone but me. Any suggestions on how to deal with her would be gratefully accepted please. She is a really beautiful dog.

  9. To add, our Jack-Chi is one of the most intelligent dogs ever. He actually tries to talk and communicate with me. I always tell him “I wish I knew exactly what you are saying and thinking”. He is just so smart and understands everything we tell him!

  10. We have a Jack Chi named Toby. We rescued him 5 years ago when he was 2. He is the sweetest, smartest, most loyal and protective dog I’ve ever owned! He’s a mama’s boy and he loves sunggling under a blanket on the couch when I watch tv or snuggling under the covers between my husband and I when we sleep! He is one special dog!!!

  11. My dogs name is Tink and to be honest he is very clear when he unhappy with me dirty looks very hard to train and forever in to stuff but i love him more than my own life he knows what i am saying to him and responds with a look…lol always a look! but I dont thing the life span is right the age should be 20 somthing…

  12. My jack chi was abandoned. A worker from my husband’s office found her with her head stuck in a fence. She is 3-4 months old. I have had her a week now. I also have an 11 year old Cairn so I am used to stubborn dogs. I find that Poppy is smart, energetic, very loving, funny. Potty training is going fairly well. She follows me everywhere, enjoys her walks, and is loving her large, fenced yard. We are loving this little girl.

  13. Have just picked up a Jack Chi pup (12weeks) pees/poos everywhere but mats or outside. He bites chews absolutely everything in sight & out of it. He is a beautiful little thing. But how do I get him to toilet outside. He does not like to be placed in cage either. Even though we are just leaving the door open for him to get used to it

  14. I’m not a 100% sure my dog is a Jack-Chi, but he has the characteristics of one. The breeder wasn’t registered and she said I was getting a purebred Chihuahua. I paid way to much for him, but he’s here now. I live in Canada and when I first brought him home, it was -20 so it was cold to train him outside. Like the article above, he peed everywhere except the pee pads. He’s getting there now.

  15. i agree with all the owners. I adopted from the humane society and was told he was not socialized due to being a stray for two years. After rescueing dobermans for 40 consecutive years I was not sure I wanted a small dog. Buddy took to me instantly and since he owns the house he plays a lot. he gets lots of exercise and has lots of friends his size at our community dog park. He has been easy to train because he knows he’s loved and cared for. I’m so glad i rescued him and we’re having a good time. he sheds alot so i supplement his special kibble with salmon, mackeral and sardines. I brush him everyday and add a liquid supplement for shedding to his food. it’s getting better so i’ll keep him on this diet. Best thing i ever did for me and Buddy.

  16. I want very badly to find a young Jack Russell chi mix. I love them! I live in Austin Tx. Could you tell me how I could find one—what website? When I try to find the particular mix I get jack Russell’s, or $1500 dogs for sale. I would appreciate any suggestions as to how to find the Jack Russell MIX. Thank you

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