Jack Tzu: Jack Russell Terrier Shih Tzu Mix [Pictures and Overview]

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As the owner of a Jack Russell Terrier, I find that every mixed breed of the JRT is unique and desirable in its own way.

Some of the mix breeds of the JRT you may find have calmer demeanors while other mix-breeds possess a bit larger size for those looking for a larger dog breed to adopt.

It all just depends on the specific mix breed you are interested in.

Nonetheless, The Jack Tzu is one of the most popular mix breeds of the Jack Russell Terrier that results in breeding the Jack Russell and Shih Tzu.

The Jack Tzu is an adorable hybrid cross and they make fantastic family pets for the right owners.

In this brief discussion, I want to take a closer look at the Jack Tzu’s history, size, appearance, grooming needs, cost to adopt, exercise requirements, behavior and temperament, intelligence levels, suitability as a family pet, and life expectancy.

The more you understand about the Jack Tzu and both parent breeds, the better off you will be.

This will allow you to understand the dog at a deeper level in addition to understanding if this dog makes sense to adopt or if it will make a good addition to your family.

For now, let’s start with a brief overview of the Shih Tzu and the Jack Russell Terrier which are your 2 dogs mixed to make the Shih Tzu.

Jack Tzu Jack Russell Terrier Shih Tzu Mix
Photo courtesy of @luna_live_good on Instagram
  1. History of the Shih Tzu and Jack Russell Terrier
  2. Jack Tzu Overview
  3. Size and Appearance
  4. Grooming Needs
  5. Cost to Adopt
  6. Exercise Needs and Energy Levels
  7. Behavior and Temperament
  8. Intelligence
  9. Family Pet
  10. Life Expectancy
Breed NamesJack Tzu, Jack Shih, Jack Shih Tzu
Height (inches)10″ to 11″
Weight (pounds)12 to 18 pounds
ColorWhite with black, brown, and/or tan
Lifespan12 to 15 years
Cost$300 to $1,400

The History of the Shih Tzu and Jack Russell Terrier

Before we dive into the Jack Tzu, let’s take a quick look at the history of the two breeds that make up this hybrid dog.

The Shih Tzu originated in China, where they were bred to be lap dogs for Chinese royals.

The Jack Russell Terrier, on the other hand, was bred in England for fox hunting.

Both breeds have distinct personalities and physical characteristics that make them unique.

While the Shih Tzu may be known to be slightly calmer than a Jack Russell Terrier, you can certainly expect the mix breed known as the Jack Tzu to possess a lot of similarities to the JRT.

This undoubtedly includes a stubborn side and some personality traits that could be considered demanding.

Especially for a newer dog owner that isn’t experienced with the Jack Russel or the Shih Tzu.

Let’s do a quick dive into an overview of the Jack Tzu before we begin touching on the specifics of the dog breed.

The Jack Tzu Overview

The Jack Tzu is a relatively new mixed breed that has become popular recently. As mentioned earlier, it is a cross between the Shih Tzu and the Jack Russell Terrier.

The Jack Tzu can inherit a mix of traits from its parent breeds.

Depending on your experience with dogs and your reason for landing on this blog post, this can either be a great thing or a potential downfall.

Jack Russells are arguably one of the most demanding dog breeds you can adopt and I can say that from my 4+ years’ experience raising my female Jack Russell Terrier (Luna).

On the flip side, you can bank on the Jack Tzu being affectionate, playful, and enjoying spending time with their owners.

Jack Tzus are known for their friendly nature and are great with children and other pets which we will cover in greater detail a bit further into this discussion.

Sizing and Appearance of the Jack Tzu

Jack Tzu Jack Russell Terrier Shih Tzu Mix
Photo courtesy of @mymadpagandiary on Instagram

Jack Tzus are small to medium-sized dogs and usually weigh between 12 and 18 pounds.

They have a compact body, short legs, and a sturdy frame.

This is nearly identical to what you can expect with the Jack Russell Terrier as well.

My Jack Russell is fully grown coming in right around the 15lb mark.

Their head is typically round, and their ears are floppy, much like a Shih Tzu’s.

Their coat can be either long and silky or short and wiry, depending on which parent breed they take after.

They come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, white, and tan.

Now we need to cover some of the basic grooming needs you will need to understand about the Jack Tzu if you intend to adopt it soon.

Grooming Needs of the Jack Tzu

Jack Tzu Jack Russell Terrier Shih Tzu Mix
Photo courtesy of @cutiesdoggroomingsalon on Instagram

The grooming needs of a Jack Tzu will depend on the type of coat they have.

If they have long, silky hair, they will require daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling.

They may also need regular trimming to keep their coat neat and tidy.

If they have a wiry coat, they will require less maintenance, but still, need regular brushing to remove loose hair and dirt.

It’s also important to clean their ears and trim their nails regularly.

This is much like the Jack Russell Terrier.

Another essential item to note is that regular brushing is imperative and spacing your baths for the Jack Tzu is beneficial.

Overbathing can result in dry skin and cause further problems when it comes to grooming a Jack Tzu.

However, this advice comes best from the breeder you choose to work with or your vet of choice because bathing may vary with the Jack Tzu based on the coat.

Be sure to ask as many questions on topics like this during the adoption to ensure you are providing the proper care required.

The Cost to Adopt the Jack Tzu

If you’re interested in adopting a Jack Tzu, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $1,000.

The cost will depend on several factors, such as the breeder’s location, the puppy’s age, and the puppy’s lineage.

You may also need to factor in additional costs, such as initial gear like a crate, leash, and collar, as well as veterinary expenses like vaccinations and check-ups.

One of the most significant expenses I’ve encountered since owning my Jack Russell Terrier is the cost of keeping her mentally and physically stimulated.

Toys are a necessity for a dog like the Jack Tzu to avoid any destructive behaviors around the home and keep your dog occupied and happy.

Trust me, toys with a dog that comes from a Jack Russell Terrier are likely your smartest investment with this dog breed.

Exercise Needs and Energy Levels of the Jack Tzu

Jack Tzu Jack Russell Terrier Shih Tzu Mix
Photo courtesy of @jasperxthexdog_ on Instagram

Jack Tzus are active dogs that enjoy daily walks and playtime.

Not only do they enjoy daily exercise, but they also require it and you should plan for it if you intend on adopting.

They have moderate energy levels and don’t require as much exercise as the Jack Russell Terrier, but they do enjoy being active and still would be considered more exercise-demanding than other dog breeds.

Compared to a Jack Russell Terrier, you do have a few positives you will be able to enjoy if you opt to adopt a Jack Tzu.

Jack Tzus are adaptable and can do well in small spaces like apartments if they get enough exercise which is something I would never recommend with the Jack Russell Terrier.

A daily walk or play session in the backyard is usually enough to keep them happy and healthy and if you do opt for smaller living, this would become a requirement as opposed to a recommendation.

A daily walk or two and some playtime in the yard should be sufficient to meet their exercise needs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the Jack Tzu can be quite energetic and may require more exercise if they don’t get enough stimulation.

Another thing to note about the Jack Tzu is that they can be prone to obesity, so it’s important to monitor their diet and exercise levels to ensure they stay at a healthy weight.

A balanced diet and regular exercise can help prevent obesity and other health issues associated with being overweight.

Overall, the Jack Tzu is an active and playful breed that requires moderate exercise to stay healthy and happy.

With regular exercise and proper nutrition, they can make great companions for families and individuals alike.

The Behavior and Temperament of the Jack Tzu

Jack Tzu Jack Russell Terrier Shih Tzu Mix
Photo courtesy of @ewokhansen on Instagram

Jack Tzus are known for their friendly and outgoing personality.

They are affectionate dogs that love spending time with their owners and enjoy being around people.

They are also known for their playful nature and can be quite entertaining.

They are typically good with children and other pets, but early socialization is important to ensure they grow up well-rounded and well-behaved.

Much like my Jack Russell Terrier, the Jack Tzu will love spending time with their owners and enjoy getting attention and affection.

They are also very loyal and will often follow their owners around the house.

Due to their playful and energetic nature, they can make great playmates for children but supervision is a must with a dog breed with this energy and overall demeanor.

It’s also important to note that the Jack Tzu can be quite stubborn at times much like the Jack Russell Terrier and Shih Tzu.

This trait is inherited from their Jack Russell Terrier parent and the Shih Tzu, and it can make training a bit more challenging.

Patience and consistency are key when it comes to training a Jack Tzu.

The Jack Tzu can also be quite vocal.

They are known for barking and alerting their owners to anything out of the ordinary.

This is one of the traits that I would say becomes the most annoying about a dog created from the Jack Russell Terrier.

However, for those who want a guard dog or one that can act as one with small body size, this may be viewed as a positive.

Intelligence Level of the Jack Tzu

Jack Tzu Jack Russell Terrier Shih Tzu Mix
Photo courtesy of @misteruy21 on Instagram

The Jack Tzu is an intelligent breed, and they are quick learners.

They can be easily trained with positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise.

However, like most small breeds, they can be stubborn, so patience and consistency are key when training them.

They are also quite curious and can get into trouble if left unsupervised for too long.

My Jack Russell has found ways to get out of the yard more times than once and the longer you leave them unattended the more trouble they tend to find.

Especially during the early stages when they are still learning about the world around them.

If the Jack Tzu Makes a Good Family Pet

Jack Tzu Jack Russell Terrier Shih Tzu Mix
Photo courtesy of @courtney_doka on Instagram

Yes, the Jack Tzu can make an excellent family pet. They are affectionate and love spending time with their owners.

They also have a friendly nature and are typically good with children and other pets.

However, as with any breed, it’s important to supervise interactions between children and dogs to prevent any accidents.

The Life Expectancy of the Jack Tzu

The life expectancy of a Jack Tzu is typically around 12 to 15 years. Like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues, including dental problems, allergies, and eye problems.

It’s important to schedule regular check-ups with a veterinarian to ensure they stay healthy and catch any potential health issues early.

The Takeaway

Hopefully, after this brief overview and discussion, you have a much better understanding of the Jack Tzu and if this dog breed can make a good addition to your family.

Obviously, I’m a bit biased and believe the Jack Russell Terrier is one of the best dogs you can choose to adopt making me believe the Jack Tzu would be the same and a great addition to any family.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck if you do decide to adopt and the journey you have ahead of you.

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Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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