Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Owner’s Guide: Fun, Fast and Feisty!

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

Standing no taller than 15″ in height, a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix is particularly deceptive. A character full of devotion, energy and charm, this hybrid dog has won the hearts of many.

Not a pure-bred dog, the Jack Chi, or sometimes known as the Jackahuahua, is a designer cross breed of a Jack Russell Terrier and a Chihuahua.

First registered as a breed by the International Designer Canine Registry in 2009, there has been a steady interest for those owners seeking a loyal lap dog with a huge personality.

Feisty by nature, let’s take a look at where they came from and what it takes to care for them on a daily basis.

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Info Summary
Breed TypeMixes and more
PurposeLap Dog / Companion
Suitable ForAdults (not children) and families with older children
Size Between 10-15″ in height
Weight8 to 18 pounds (normally males are heavier)
Lifespan13 to 15 years
Color VariationsBlack, white, brown, chocolate, cream, fawn, bi-color and tricolor
TemperamentPlayful, devoted, lively, energetic, feisty and loving
Daily ExerciseMedium – A 30 to 60 minute walk each day
Daily Food Consumption40 calories per pound of body weight
Known Health issuesDental overcrowding, Patella Luxation and Glaucoma

What is a Jack Chi? Breed Overview

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Playing

A Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix is a small dog bred for companionship as a result of mating a purebred Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua. The resulting litter will have between three to five first generation Jack Chis.

Uncertain of their origin, we believe that this adorable little guy appeared sometime around the 1980’s and 1990’s, just when designer cross breeds were becoming popular.

Most people adore the personalities which have been combined in this feisty little guy. The loyal Chihuahua mixed, with the lively and energetic Jack Russell Terrier, makes for a fun and always happy temperament.

The goal of most cross-breeds is to continue desired traits and out-breed others, specifically health concerns, yet studies have shown that mixed breeds don’t always have an advantage over pure-breed dogs. For this reason it is essential to research reputable breeders and check the health of your puppy before purchasing.

Finding Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

Typically the dam will always be a Terrier and the sire a Chihuahua, because of size differences and difficulties associated with breeding Chihuahuas.

How Much Does a Jack Chi Puppy Cost?
The price for a puppy can range dramatically, anywhere from $150 – $15,000 USD based upon their parent’s pedigree.

This is one of the most expensive dogs we have ever discussed. The higher end of the price bracket usually relates to the Chihuahua part of the mix; Chihuahuas are particularly popular and expensive – thanks to their celebrity interest.

Let’s take a look at its parents, to understand a little more about their working history.

The Jack Russell Terrier – Tireless and Athletic

Jack Russell Dog

It was the mid 1800’s and Rev. John Russell required fox-hunting dogs. He needed a tireless, intelligent and athletic dog. Originating in England, the Russell Terrier was then further developed in Australia.

The need for working terriers has slowly declined but due to their long lifespan and larger than life character, Jack Russell Terriers have become superb companion dogs.

The Chihuahua – Loyal and Loving

Chihuahua Dog

It is thought that this feisty little pooch dates back to the Aztec time. When the Aztecs conquered the Toltecs, they took their dog too and refined it into a smaller, lighter dog, that we now know as the Chihuahua.

Registered with the American Kennel Club in 1908, these devoted lap dogs have soared in popularity, achieving great fame along the way. Chihuahuas are loved for their larger than life personality, they are loyal & loving and super house dogs.

So the intelligence, athleticism and energy of a terrier, mixed in with the spirit, character and devotion of the Chi, this small dog is certainly an addition which will keep you entertained.

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Temperament

As the Jack Russell and Chihuahua Mix is a cross-breed, you can never be 100% sure on the temperament or personality of your dog. Parental temperament, and early socialization, will give you a good indication, as will continued training and socialization. You may have more Jack than Chi personality, or vice versa.

Generally, the Jack Chi is a high energy little guy, thanks to the Jack parent. They were bred to be tireless and athletic so he will need his daily walks and mental stimulation.

Early socialization gives you the best chance at them being friendly towards other dogs and humans; they can be barkers which sometimes makes introductions difficult. Speaking of barking, both parent breeds are renowned for being good house dogs – they will certainly let you know if something is amiss. The neighbor coming in from work, or just the mailman dropping in? You’ll know about it first with a bark.

Chis can also be prone to suffering separation anxiety, this is common in the Chiweenie too, another Chi Mix. So if you leave your Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix for long periods of time, they will bark, chew and generally destroy. Typically they are devoted lap dogs and that’s where they are happiest.

Due to their small size, Jackchis are better suited to adult only homes or those family homes with older children. They don’t tolerate rough handing or playing and can get snappy.

Chihuahuas are renowned for their stubborn streak, so if your designer mix has inherited this, training could be difficult – patience is a virtue and we will give you some top tips on housebreaking later in the article.

In short, if you are looking for a dog who has a personality with a larger than life character, who is utterly devoted to their family and you have the patience and experience to work with his little nuances, the Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix will be a perfect addition to your lifestyle.

Jack Russell and Chihuahua
Their small size isn’t suited to rough housing with toddlers.

How to Care for a Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

Caring for this mix will require lots of attention and love. The best way to tackle their stubborn streak is to have every member of the family on the same page with positive reinforcement dog training and socialization.

How Much Does a Jack Russell and Chihuahua Mix eat?

Daily Food Consumption
Calories 550
Cups of Kibble One Bowl of Kibble Required per Day

Prone to weight gain, it is essential that table scraps are kept to a minimum, or, if you are treating regularly, that his daily food allowance is swapped out to accommodate for this.

To monitor his weight, keep in contact with your veterinarian and attend regular weigh-ins. Ensure you can always see his waistline and you should be able to feel his ribs. Their stubborn nature means you may use more treats than normal to encourage positive behavior – use healthy dog treats or see which human foods are healthy options.

You can also keep his weight in check by ensuring he is exercising adequately and his weight is within tolerances for the breed:

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Growth Chart
Min Weight in Pounds
Max Weight in Pounds

On average, a small active breed will eat around 40 calories per pound of body weight per day. So if your Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix is weighing in at 14 pounds, he will need around 560 calories per day.

Ensure your Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix meets his daily nutritional requirements by checking the food labels; ingredients are listed in amount order. The first ingredient is the highest content, this should be a meat source in order to hit their required 18% protein and 5% fat dietary requirements.

Exercise Requirements

Daily Exercise Requirements
Minutes 30 – 60 minutes
Activity Level This is a medium activity dog breed

Thanks to the Terrier parent, the Jack Chi is a very high energy mixed breed. Expect to walk them for between 30 and 60 minutes per day with plenty of playtime thrown in.

The stubborn nature of the Chi would suggest to keep your Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix on leash when not in an enclosed area. This will remove the likelihood that he sees a squirrel and bolts. Remember, Jack Russells were originally bred to hunt.

Because of the Terriers working pedigree, your Jack Chi will be very inquisitive out on walks. Give your dog the time to explore and take in the new experiences. This is a crucial part of his socialization – he needs to see and experience the world, in a safe and controlled way.

His athleticism means he will be suited to rural living, being more than happy hiking through the woods or up mountains. Equally, due to his size, he can cope with city living and walks around the block. Just remember to throw some mental stimulation in to keep his intelligent mind active.

Training Requirements

Speaking of their intelligent mind, the Jack Russell and Chihuahua Mix is trainable, but, they can be stubborn if they have retained more of the Chi personality; this is common in other Chihuahua Mixes. Here are some puppy training tips for your Jack Russel Chihuahua mix.

Like all other dogs in the animal kingdom, they respond best to positive reinforcement and reward based training. Thanks to their love of food, rewarding in this way may be your best chance (even better than praise and attention!).

Chis are renowned for being hard to housebreak, this could become an issue for you and your Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix. Some of our favorite tips for housebreaking this mix are:

  • Keep your puppy on regular meal times and take him out after every mealtime.
  • Take puppy out first thing when you wake up and last thing before you go to bed.
  • Visit the same spots outside if possible so puppy’s scent is there.
  • Praise once puppy has finished doing his business, not during. If you praise during, they may stop as they get so excited.
  • Stay calm, never punish if he defecates or urinates in the house.
  • Take puppy out regularly through the day.
  • White vinegar is a brilliant urine neutralizer if he does have any accidents in the house.

Known Health Problems with Jack Russells and Chihuahuas

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mixes are prone to dental overcrowding, a common issue in many small breeds. This is where their mouths are just too small to fit all of the teeth in. Dental overcrowding causes teeth to rub against each other which wears the enamel down. The Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix may also suffer from:

Patella Luxation
Another common health issue in small breeds is where the kneecap becomes dislocated. It is an inherited condition which usually develops after four months of age. Surgery is an option but rarely successful.

This is where pressure in the eye causes inadequate fluid drainage resulting in loss of vision and eventually blindness.

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix lifespan
Thanks to the Jack Russell, this designer mix has a long lifespan of approximately 13 to 15 years.

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix Appearance

You cannot predict the appearance of a mixed breed dog.

Because the Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix is a hybrid dog, there isn’t a breed standard, or consistent generational breeding. Because of these two reasons you can never be entirely certain on the appearance of your pup. You may have one that looks more Chihuahua than Jack Russell or Russell than Chi!

In general, the Jack Russell and Chihuahua Mix have a short, dense coat which comes in a range of colors including; black, white, brown, chocolate, cream, fawn, bi-color and tri-color.

Their ears can be erect and pointy (like their Chihuahua parent) or soft and floppy (like their Jack Russell parent). You generally notice the Jack Chi by the size of their ears though – they are usually quite large.

Thanks to their short coat, they come in relatively low on grooming requirements. Two brushes a week is ample to keep their coat in tip-top condition. A visit to a grooming salon, or a home bath, a couple of times a year for a bath and dry package will keep them sweet smelling.

Whoever is on vacuum duty in your home will be thankful of this guy, he doesn’t even shed that much. However, this doesn’t mean they are hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, the terrier coat can cause allergic reactions in some people, so they may not be a good choice if you are concerned about allergies.

Check his ears regularly and remember to brush his teeth. A Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix is prone to suffering dental issues, as are most small breeds. Introduce teeth brushing from a young age, he will learn that it is just part of his grooming routine.


The Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix is most definitely a fun, feisty, and devoted lap dog.

If you are seeking a dog to curl up with at the end of the day, but you also like a bit of character to keep you entertained, then the Jack Russell Chihuahua is a perfect match.

Inheriting the energy of the Jack and the alertness of the Chihuahua, you will have a super walking partner and a brilliant house dog; however, they are not great for people with allergies.

Unfortunately, they are prone to keeping a stubborn streak from the Chihuahua, this can make training difficult, but, the intelligence from the Jack makes it achievable.

Suited best with adult-only homes, or those with older children, they don’t tolerate roughhousing, however, they will equally thrive with rural or city life.

Make sure you’ve hit their daily exercise quota, and you have a perfect companion for those who like their dog with a little attitude.

Other Chihuahua Mixes

If you’re interested in learning about other Chihuahua mixes, check out the hybrid dog breeds below.

Chihuahua Mixes

About John Woods 299 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.


  1. My Jackawawa is everything you said. He is the best! Charlie Brown is black and white with bug eyes and is friendly with everyone.

    • I love my Jack Russell he is the best dog that I’ve ever owned he is very smart great with my family and always looking for a new trick he is an amazing dog and would recommend him for anyone these dogs are truly a blessing in the most smartest loyal pet ever

  2. Thank you for this article! My rescue I believe is a Jack Russell Chihuahua,I have had him for years and he has brought so much fun and loving to my life. He is now seven, he did have major dental surgery last year, and he does have a collapsed trachea. Domino is the best thing that has ever happened to me he’s very social sweet loving and hopefully at the end of the year I can get him a little brother he’s a rescue and so his little brother will be also he is 7 years old and I wish you would outlive me. Loved the article, thank you.

  3. Bowie. Is my 2 year old Jack Chi she is a beautiful soft white coat with fawn colored ears and spots. She is the sweetest pup loves everyone smart little girl

  4. I have a Male JackChi which I obtained in 2017 at 3 months old. Now soon to be 2 years old, he never had issues with my kids (then ages 9 and 6). They rough house, but he is a guardian. He will attack anyone that comes near them and is particular with any man coming near me. JackChi’s are so smart that I’ve registered mine as my official service dog and has prevented my hyperthyroidism from going full blaze into a thyroid storm. Rocco is white and fawn color, a sweet angel.

  5. I’m having trouble with my Charlie. He is a Jack Chi who is two and 1/2 years old. He started out being very sweet and loving to everyone until he was around 1-1/2 years old. Then he just started growling and wanting to bite everyone except me, my hubby, my daughter, my grand daughter and my best friend. No one had treated him badly or anything. In the last three months he has become very mean to me sometimes when I try to pick him up or just move him over on the sofa or the bed. He has bitten me and broken the skin twice. Otherwise, he is sweet and loving to me and my hubby. I can stick my hand into his bowl while he is eating, but I dare not reach for a tissue or anything he’s chewing on. He will ‘drop it!’ If I tell him to in a big voice. Can you tell me what is going on? Thank you. L. Baker

    • Hello Linda,

      Thanks so much for your question. It can’t be an easy time when you’re unsure what’s going on with your little guy! Are you absolutely sure he hasn’t had a negative interaction with a human, perhaps someone outside of the home?

      The issue around you moving him or picking him up makes me wonder if he’s in pain? Have you been to see your veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues that could be causing him to react this way?

      It’s not easy raising a dog – there is so much conflicting advice out there, but I think it’s beneficial to mention a study that has been carried out which highlights the removal of food/dish during mealtimes is actually associated with an increase in resource guarding behavior. In light of this, it may be helpful to avoid reaching into his bowl or taking things away from him and focus more on asking him to drop it/leave it, as you have been doing.

      Don’t worry about having a big voice – just help him make the right choice. Reward the positive behavior and ignore the negative behavior. If you are trying to re-direct his behavior, the new behavior needs to be so much more interesting that the unwanted behavior.

      If it’s becoming difficult to manage in the home with visitors, it could be helpful to set up an area where he can call his own. Is he crate trained? It can be easy to explain to visitors (kids and adults) that the crate space is his, and no-one else goes in there. If you are worried, he may become unpredictable with visitors you can ask him to go to his crate. That way, he knows he is safe, no one will bug him.

      If you are trying to move him over on the sofa or bed, grab some treats and lure him to where you want him to go.

      However, if you are concerned about his behavior, please seek the advice of a qualified behaviorist and pop to see your veterinarian to rule out anything that may be causing him pain.

  6. Brian is my “Jack Chi” and I call him my 4-legged son. He is 3 y/o and he’s a rescue. I’ve had him since he was 10 weeks old. I can’t imagine life w/o him. He is my greatest joy and I thank God for him daily. He’s highly intelligent and extremely observant! I’d almost say he’s human.

  7. Hello Everyone,

    I’m thinking of purchasing a Jackchi puppy, has anyone had any issues with its suitability with cats?

    • My jack chi rescue is best friends with my kitty rescue. Since they were both rescues I got around the same time, they instantly bonded. They play together and the cat bathes the dog. They even share a kennel at night. I have an old chihuahua too who is 14. My jack chi keeps him young with her energy, but she does try to dominate. Luckily he is super easy going as he’s a long haired pure bred chi.

  8. I have a Jack Chi. She’s now 8mths. Named Hannah. I brought her into my family of 1 dachshund, 1 chihuahua,and 1 yorkie. (3 female, 1 male). She runs circles around them and its hilarious and exhausting at times. A ferrel cat has joined us and Hannah loves it too. She washes its face, he washes hers. They rough house but know their boundaries. Every evening she’s back on my lap to cuddle. Very territorial and jealous but so loveable with all.

  9. Should they have peanuts? My pup has been itching and biting hair out I’m trying to find out if it is food allergy. He eats everything and I was thinking of different things we eat.

    • Hi Patsy,

      Whilst peanuts aren’t toxic to dogs they are high in fat so not an advisable treat to give.

      If you are concerned he has an allergy it would be worth visiting your vet and considering an elimination diet. This is where you create a plan to take things out of his diet to see if his symptoms improve.

      Aside from his diet, some dogs can have allergies to the things we use in our homes, like air fresheners, diffusers, scented candles, plug-ins, detergents, fabric softener, soaps and even the beauty and hygiene products we use on ourselves.

      Dogs can also have seasonal allergies to grasses and pollens.

      Allergy testing is available which can tell you if your dog does have any, you can then prevent exposure if necessary. Itching and biting are signs of irritation so well done for pursuing this.

  10. My JackChi (Luke) is 14yrs old and still has a high level of energy. He has experienced the issue with his patella (as stated above) and has arthritis in his hips but is too stubborn to let me carry him up the stairs. I can agree with just about everything in this article except the bit about shedding. My little guy sheds immensely and has done so his entire life! I can’t walk Luke without him stopping by anyone who makes eye contact with him or calls him cute (which of course he is). If they happen to motion to him he will want to stop and play.

  11. We just adopted an 11 year old JackChi who has fast become the most loving dog we’ve ever had. He’s smart, full of energy and has adjusted to our home in less than a week. He did have some major dental work just before we rescued him but he’s made a fast recovery. Jack has already met several of our neighborhood dogs on his walks and he’s been friendly to all of them. We couldn’t be happier.

    • I agree with everything except the shedding. My jackchi leaves fur all over me an all over my house. He is very high energy and very loyal to our family and me particularly. He is the best dog ever and I love him to pieces.

  12. My Jack chi is a rescue. I got her around 1 year old. She is everything you said. I have had her a little over a year. Is there anything I can do to get her to like kids? She growls lightly whenever she sees a kid of any age, even if she is indoors and the kid outdoors?

  13. I recently rescued a two year old Jack Russell Chihuahua mix and I don’t think he has ever been socialized with other dogs. He is very aggressive with other dogs. Whenever I take him for a walk he is pulling on the leash constantly and seems so nervous and excited he doesn’t even notice the treats I offer. He lunges and bars aggressively going bonkers when he sees other dogs but then he cries when we or they leave his sight so I think he really wants to interact but is scared. How do I go about socializing him in a safe way for him and other dogs?

    • Hi Jonnika, first of all it i essential to reduce his overall stress levels, which means staying away from anything that he is reactive towards. He needs to be emotionally stable if you are to consider helping his adapt to the outside world. Try to walk in quiet areas where you are unlikely to meet people and dogs. If this means going out earlier or later than usual, this may help. Then, you would slowly start introducing him to other people and dogs, but never reaching his threshold where he reacts. Keep your distance, this could be 100ft or 50ft, all dogs have their own threshold. If you reach the point where he is ignoring you, or any attempts at positive associations, then he has passed his threshold. It can take time, so if you are unsure of how to progress, it’s important to seek the advice of a qualified behaviorist or force-free trainer.

    • I took mine to a dog park. But I had a mussel on him till all dogs got along. He still dislikes male dogs.

  14. My Charlie has whisker hair all around his mouth, above and below his lips, and chin/lower jaw. Not extremely thick. In fact, can easily see through. I haven’t been able to find any pictured like that.

  15. My little one is a girl now about 8 years old. I think she was the runt because she weighs about 4 or 5 lbs. Has had a couple litters and her puppies have been roughly the same. very small and cute but exactly as above mentioned. I call her Mama Odie…shes very good at playing catch and fetch. but i do have a question, she isnt fixed and seems so lonely and unhappy when in heat. should i get her fixed?? will she get fat and lazy??

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