Jack-Tzu (Jack Russell Terrier & Shih-Tzu Mix)

Height: 10-11 inches
Weight: 14-22 pounds
Lifespan: 13-16 years
Colors: White, brown, golden brown, light brown, cream or combinations of these 
Suitable for: Active families, individuals or couples
Temperament: Affectionate, friendly and loves to play

The Jack-Tzu is an outgoing, friendly, and intelligent designer dog that loves nothing more than to run about and play. While the exact origin of the breed is unknown, it is the result of a cross between a purebred Jack Russell Terrier and a purebred Shih-Tzu.

Small in stature, these little dogs punch well above their weight when it comes to energy, but they’re also loyal and affectionate towards their owners and at the end of the day will happily curl up in your lap for a snooze.

Jack Tzus also make great family pets and absolutely adore children. They do have a bit of a stubborn streak though, and may not do something unless there’s something in it for them. Fortunately, however, they love a snack, and a small food reward is an easy way to get them to come around to your way of thinking.

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Jack-Tzu Puppies – Before You Buy…

jack-tzu puppies
Credit: Bronty Hannah, Shutterstock

In appearance, Jack-Tzu’s take can take their looks from either parent. However, they typically have longer legs like the Jack Russell as well as a long face and snout.

As well as being bundles of energy and always on the go, Jack Tzus love to dig. So you should expect that your new Jack-Tzu puppy will destroy your garden. Or may turn your lawn into a facsimile of the moon—with little craters appearing here and there.

Jack-Tzus will typically play well with other pets in your household. Yet, like other dogs, they need to be socialized and trained while they’re young to avoid any unwanted bad behavior. They are intelligent and moderately easy to train, however, their stubborn personalities can at times make this a little tricky, particularly if they’re not in the mood for it.

What’s the Price of Jack-Tzu Puppies?

Jack-Tzu puppies range in price from $300-$750, and as always, we recommend that you should purchase your pup from a reputable breeder, rather than a puppy mill or pet store.

As the Jack-Tzu has not been recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club, your Jack-Tzus will not come with a registered pedigree. And as for finding a breeder, you may find the best way is via a recommendation or word of mouth.

You should ensure that before purchasing a puppy, the breeder shows you the health clearance certificates of the parent dogs. These should not show any significant health problems or concerns. While there is never any guarantee, this is the best way to predict the likely health of your new pet.

It’s also a good idea to visit the facilities of your chosen breeder in person and meet their dogs before agreeing to purchase a puppy from them. Once there, you should check to see that their facility is clean and that their dogs are happy and healthy.

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Three Little-Known Facts about the Jack-Tzu

1. The Jack-Tzu does not have a strong doggie smell

Unlike some dogs, the Jack-Tzu does not have a strong doggie odor, which is a major advantage if you want to have your dog inside for most of the day.

This also means that they don’t need frequent bathing, and unless they get particularly dirty for some reason, they can get away with only having a bath about once every two to three months.

2. Jack-Tzus don’t bark very much

Contrary to the reputation that small fluffy dogs have for incessant barking, the Jack-Tzu doesn’t bark very much. This can be a big plus if you live in an apartment as you are extremely unlikely to have any noise complaints about your dog from your neighbors.

This doesn’t mean they’re not good guard dogs, as these energetic little dogs are quite brave, and will fiercely defend their families against any perceived threats.

3. When it comes to eating, the Jack-Tzu is champion

To say that Jack-Tzus love their food is probably somewhat of an understatement. They are extremely motivated by food, and knowing this can be handy when it comes to training. As they also have a stubborn streak, which can often be overcome with the promise of a small treat of two.

A significant downside of their love of food is that later in life, when their activity levels drop, they can quickly put on weight, and this can lead to several health problems.

Parents of the Jack-Tzu
Parents breeds of the Jack-Tzu. Left: Jack Russell Terrier, Right: Shih-Tzu

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Jack-Tzu

Jack-Tzus are quite intelligent little dogs that have affectionate, confident, and friendly personalities. They love being around people and will spend all day with you and then curl-up beside you on the couch at night. Yet, they are also comfortable spending time alone and can be left to their own devices while you’re at work without destroying your house.

They are generally excellent around children and are quite tolerant of kids poking and prodding them, They will also energetically run around all day, injecting themselves into all your kid’s games.

The Jack-Tzu is known to have quite a stubborn streak, and they can be a little bossy when it comes to other pets. However, they respond well to training and benefit from early socializing.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Jack-Tzus make for great family pets. They adore children and will happily spend hours running around the yard, chasing balls, and playing games.

They have a gentle nature but are also very alert, brave, and protective of their family.

In general, the Jack-Tzu doesn’t bark very much. This, together with the fact they are a small dog, means that provided they get enough exercise, they are great dogs to have in an apartment.

Another plus for busy families is that a Jack-Tzu quite likes its own company. That is to say, they can be left alone without resorting to destructive behavior, a fact that makes leaving them alone while you’re at work a lot easier.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Jack-Tzu’s will happily get on with other pets you have in your house. However, you should remember that they love to play, and the Jack-Tzu’s boundless energy may be a little much if your other pets like to be left alone to snooze all day.

The other trait that you should watch for is their independent nature. Particularly around larger dogs, a Jack Tzu will like to show that they’re the boss, and in an established family, having a young upstart who tries to boss the older and bigger dogs around doesn’t always end well.

jack tzu
Image: jeffreyw, Flickr

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Things to Know When Owning a Jack-Tzu:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

As has been mentioned earlier in this article, the Jack-Tzu loves to eat. In fact, we’d go so far are as to say that when it comes to food, they have almost no self-control. As such, it is imperative that their access to food is controlled and that they’re not overfed.

All dogs need to have a well-balanced and healthy diet. With the Jack-Tzu that isn’t a difficult task, they’re not particularly fussy eaters, and will happily eat anything you give them.

A premium-brand of dry dog food that has a mix of good-quality ingredients, including meat, grains, fruits, and vegetables will be an ideal choice for your Jack-Tzu. We suggest selecting a specific small-breed dry food and feeding the amount recommended for active dogs.

With a Jack-Tzu, you must feed your dog twice a day. Give half their daily allowance in the morning and the other half at night. And don’t forget to reduce his evening feed to account for the treat he’s wrangled out of you throughout the day.

Of course, if you have any specific nutritional questions or concerns, you should consult your dog’s vet.

Exercise 🐕

If you’re looking for a small dog to take with you for long walks or a daily run, this may be the breed for you. Jack-Tzus love, and need, a lot of exercise, and are highly energetic dogs that love to run around and will happily play for hours on end.

In fact, if you teach your pup to fetch it is far more likely that you’ll get tired of throwing the ball well before your Jack-Tzu tires of chasing after it.

The exercise requirements of a Jack-Tzu are a particularly important consideration if you live in an apartment. They are not to sort of dogs that will be satisfied with a short indoor play session each day, and will need to spend an hour or two out walking or running around.

Training 🎾

The Jack-Tzu is an intelligent dog and is moderately easy to train. Though, as mentioned earlier, they do tend to have a stubborn streak, and this can make some training sessions a bit of a challenge.

Like many dogs with this trait, Jack-Tzus respond best when their training sessions are kept short and interspersed with periods of active play. And, as the Jack Tzu is crazy about food, using dog snacks can be a great way to keep them motivated and cooperative.

Socialising is also an essential requirement for a Jack Tzu. They need to learn early that they don’t lead the family pack and having your dog interacting with and being around other animals is a great way to do this.

Grooming ✂️

When it comes to grooming, the Jack-Tzu is a relatively low maintenance dog. Although they do shed a lot of hair, which could be a problem for anybody with dog allergies.

To keep their shedding under control, and their coat looking its best, Jack-Tzus need to be brushed at least two or three times a week with a stiff-bristled brush. They don’t generally require a lot of bathing, and you could limit this to about once every two to three months, depending upon how dirty your dog gets.

Unlike dogs that spend most of their time inside, you won’t need to clip your Jack-Tzu’s nails very often. As being such an active dog, they usually wear them down naturally during their daily walks and outdoor play. However, as a general rule, if you can hear your dog’s nails on the hard floors in your house or apartment as they walk, they are too long and need to be clipped.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Being a highly active and inquisitive dog, Jack-Tzu’s can be more prone to accidents than some other dogs. For the most part, this is a minor issue, and overall they are usually happy and healthy dogs.

One thing to watch, particularly later in life when your dog starts to slow down a little, is that Jack-Tzu’s appetite and love of food can lead to them putting on weight. As with humans, this can lead to a host of complications that could otherwise be avoided.

While reasonable rare, some specific conditions that affect Jack-Tzu’s are:

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Skin allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Weight management
  • Diabetes
Serious Conditions
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Deafness
  • Von Willebrand disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

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Male vs Female

In terms of appearance, there is little physical difference between male and female Jack-Tzus. Males are slightly larger and more robust than females, but this is fairly typical with most breeds.

From a personality perspective, male Jack-Tzus can sometimes come across as a little more sure of themselves and are often more high-spirited than females. However, Jack-Tzus are a highly energetic and active breed, and the females aren’t exactly shrinking violets either.

As with all other breeds, unless you plan on breeding them, regardless of whether you have a male or female dog, you should have your Jack-Tzu neutered while they are young. This is the socially responsible thing to do and can also have health benefits for your pet.

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Final Thoughts

The Jack-Tzu is a confident and highly energetic little dog. They make great companions for anybody looking for a dog to take out long walks or daily runs. They love spending time outdoors and will always be keen to play with the other dogs.

They’re also a great choice of dog for families with active kids as they’re quite tolerant little dogs who won’t get snappy at children.

However, a Jack-Tzu probably isn’t the best choice of dog for the elderly, and are not suited to somebody who doesn’t have the time or ability to give them the daily exercise that they need.

Featured Image Credit: Pikrepo