Jack Tzu

14-23 lbs
10-11"
​United States
Jack Russell Terrier
Shih Tzu
Russeltzu


The Jack Russell and Shih Tzu are two small dogs with remarkably different personalities — the former is a tenacious ball of energy, while the latter is loved for their adorable looks and penchant for napping on parents’ laps.

When bred together, you get the Jack Tzu, a hybrid with a combination of their parent’s best features. This makes them great family pets who will get along with virtually everybody who crosses their path.

Be aware that just because this dog is small, they’re no pushover — they do have a little bit of a stubborn streak when it comes to being trained. Someone with a bit of canine experience already under their belt will be able to bring them under control, though.

In this guide to the Jack Tzu dog, you’ll learn:

  • Their body tends to resemble a Jack Russell, but the coat is more Shih Tzu-influenced
  • A Jack Tzu dog can be prone to Patellar Luxation just like other toy breeds
  • This is a breed that sheds a lot and needs regular brushing
  • Some Jack Tzus love to dig in the backyard like their terrier forefathers


Jack Tzu Breed Overview

Those looking for a pocket-sized pup to introduce into their lives would do well to consider a Jack Russell mixed with a Shih Tzu. Even though this hybrid is a relatively new face in the canine world, it would seem that the parent breeds make for a good match.

This is a surprisingly active dog given its size and needs lots of time racing about in the great outdoors. This is important, as they have a tendency to put on weight if not exercised enough. Once a Jack Tzu is suitably worn out, they don’t mind being left alone for short periods of time.

Like lots of small dogs, they have big personalities — sometimes, you might find this a little too big when it comes to training and getting them to learn commands. If you’re new to dog ownership, you might be better off finding a less stubborn breed to begin with and coming back for a Jack Tzu when you’re more experienced.

You might not want to dwell on the bad things that can happen to your beloved pet, but it’s sensible to be prepared — taking out a pet insurance policy is always a smart move

purpose Purpose
​Companion
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
​Shih Tzu, Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Tzu Health

Average Size
Male Jack Tzu size stats
Height: 10-11 inches Weight: 14-23 lbs
Female Jack Tzu size stats
Height: 10-11 inches Weight: 14-23 lbs

Jack Tzu Breed History


Although dogs will have been crossbred for centuries, the craze for hybrid canines really took off at the tail end of the 20th century — particularly with the creation of the Labradoodle.

The Jack Russell Shih Tzu mix would have emerged during this time, although scant documentation means where and when this happened is a little hazy. What we do know a lot more about, however, is the respective histories of the parent breeds.

The Jack Russell Terrier takes its name from a vicar and dog breeder who lived in Southwest England during the 19th century. While studying at Oxford, it’s said he bought a terrier that caught his eye and called him Trump. This dog joined Russell on his fox-hunting trips and proved to be perfectly sized for diving down holes — so much so that Russell used Trump as the foundation stud for a new breed.

After Russell’s death in 1883, several figures continued his work in refining the breed and numbers of the working dog have remained steady since. A close relation with a slight difference in appearance — the Parson Russell Terrier — was also created by breeders.

The history of the Shih Tzu stretches a lot further back. This ancient dog breed was thought to have first been bred by Tibetan monks, most likely as a hybrid of a Tibetan Lhasa Apso and another small dog, possibly a Pekingese. They were given a name translating as ‘little lion’ for their impressive mane and big personality, and would find popularity among the Chinese nobility.

Over the course of the following centuries, the Shih Tzu was embraced by all stratas of Chinese society. However, the breed almost went extinct after the Communist Revolution of 1949 and their population had to be regrown elsewhere in the world from just seven breeding pairs. The American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognised the breed in 1969 and today, Shih Tzus regularly rank in the top 20 most popular US breeds.

Jack Tzu Breed Appearance


Like many hybrids, there’s usually some variation in the appearance of a full grown Jack Russell Shih Tzu mix — sometimes even within the same litter. However, the majority have the solid build of a Jack Russell Terrier, although they’re usually smaller in height. The legs are also normally longer than your typical Shih Tzus.

When it comes to the coat, the Jack Tzu tends to resemble their Chinese ancestors more, with long and soft fur. Some, however, have short hair with a mixture of soft and rough texture. Common colorways include a mixture of white, black, brown, cream or pied.

On the Jack Tzu’s head, the ears are usually folded over, and a trademark beard and mustache combination decorates their playful face. The eyes of this breed are always alert and intelligent, either being dark or light brown. The nose is small and usually black.

Similar Breeds to a Jack Tzu

Interested in similar breeds to a Jack Tzu dog? As well as the Shih Tzu and Jack Russell, there are several other breeds that look quite like the Jack Tzu, including:






Jack Tzu Breed Maintenance



Bad news for parents with allergies — the Jack Tzu sheds quite a lot. Tending to their coat three times a week with a bristle brush and comb should be enough to keep this down to a manageable amount and the Jack Tzu’s fur looking great.  Because of their long and thick coat, they can overheat easily and tend to prefer cooler temperatures.

Bathing only really needs to happen whenever your dog gets really dirty or every few months if not — thankfully, this breed isn’t renowned for having a bad odor. After bathing them, be sure to dry their ears thoroughly as the Jack Tzu’s folded over ears can trap excess moisture very easily, leading to ear infections and irritation. 

Besides brushing and bathing, be sure to trim your dog’s nails every few weeks and brush their teeth several times a week as well.

H2: Jack Tzu Health Risks

As a toy breed, the Jack Tzu has a quite impressive life expectancy, sometimes reaching 15 years old or even more. However, there are a few health conditions to which they’re more genetically predisposed. The main concerns can include:

Patellar Luxation

When it comes to joint problems, larger dogs tend to be affected by Hip Dysplasia, while small or toy breeds are more likely to develop Patellar Luxation. This happens when the kneecap regularly dislocates, leading to a distinctive hopping motion and pain.

Depending on the severity of the case and age of the dog, Patellar Luxation can often be treated with surgery and medication. Parents can often expect their dog to make a full recovery.


Deafness

Jack Russell Terriers are one of the breeds more likely to suffer from congenital deafness, so it’s no surprise that Jack Tzus have a higher incidence of hearing loss. Unfortunately, there’s very little that can be done to reverse this, unless it’s caused by an obstruction or infection.


Exposure Keratopathy Syndrome

Often, a Jack Tzu will inherit a Shih Tzu’s adorably round eyes. Unfortunately, this feature makes them prone to developing Exposure Keratopathy Syndrome (EKS), which presents itself as a dog’s eyes becoming either red, cloudy, or itchy, or ulcers developing on the cornea.

If left untreated, EKS can cause a dog to go blind. Depending on the severity of the case, vets might prescribe medicated eye drops to soothe the immediate symptoms, as well as recommend surgery to reduce the size of the surface of a dog’s eye opening.


Want to stay on top of your dog’s health? A wellness plan includes regular testing and screening that can catch disease at an early stage

What to Feed a Jack Tzu

Unsurprisingly, the Jack Tzu doesn’t have the biggest appetite in the canine world. As portions will be smaller in size, parents should look for high quality dog food packed full of protein, vitamins and minerals to feed them.

They should also consider formulas designed for toy breeds — these will be more nutritionally dense and kibble will be appropriately sized for little mouths. Jack Tzu puppies should also be given recipes tailored around their specific nutritional needs.

Avoid recipes that include lots of carbohydrates or other filler ingredients, as these could cause a Jack Tzu to put on weight.

Our partner Dog Food Advisor is a fountain of wisdom when it comes to your pet’s dinner — here’s its recommendations when it comes to the best dog food for small breeds



Jack Tzu Temperament



There’s no denying the Jack Tzu is an intelligent dog, but they also have a stubborn streak. This adds an extra challenge when it comes to training and socialization. Fortunately, they’re not much of a barker and take well to other dogs and strangers.

Shih Tzus have been used throughout time as watchdogs and Jack Tzus can be protective around family — you might judge this to verge on overprotectiveness if you don’t like being followed around the house constantly.

That being said, they don’t mind when parents are out of their sight temporarily and can cope well with being left alone for short periods of time.


Jack Tzu Activity Requirements


Exercise is important, as this little dog has a surprising amount of energy. If they’re not sufficiently worn out, a Jack Tzu can become destructive. 

Their Jack Russell Terrier lineage shines through in their love of digging, so give them a space to do this in your yard if possible.

Jack Tzu Owner Experiences

Benji
2 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Benji is very friendly with people & other dogs. He has a stubborn streak & was a bit slow with toilet training. He has sensitive skin and has had 2 nasty tummy bugs & 2 ear infections. He has brought so much joy to our lives, and our grandkids love him, he is the best dog ever!
2 years, 6 months ago
Bumbum
6 Months
7 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playing fetch
He is so adorable and very friendly. And he always shows how he loves us and protect us. He has high energy that everyone loves.
2 years, 7 months ago
Milo
11 Weeks
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
We have had Milo a week tomorrow, and so far so good! Very excitable little puppy, loves playing with toys, is a fast learner when it comes to toilet training (after 4 days now regularly goes outside but still has occasional accidents) and overall very loving. We have some issues with chewing people/furniture, which is normal with puppies, and crate training so far is proving a slow process, but i'm confident we will get there in the end. The only part of the article I dont agree with is the 'low barking' as I find if we leave a room, Milo will bark regularly until we return. He is getting better with this, but perhaps this could also be because he is a puppy! Overall a very sociable, cuddly and loving dog breed.
2 years, 7 months ago
Renni
4 Years
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I love my jack tzu. She is vary loving and loyal. She will surely let you know if someone is here.she does well left alone for short times (3days) she gets alone with the cat. Sometimes they fight what siblings don't lol.the first year of her life she was vary healthy then one day she started haveing seziures. They are seziures caused from excitement. Other then that she is daily health we just have to work hard to keep her exercised at home since she can't leave due to the seziures. Some people she likes. And other she will growl and lunge at working on that but she is so stubborn! Wouldn't trade her for the world tho.
6 years, 3 months ago
Holly
4 Months
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Playing
training
Cuddles
Lovely faithful dogs. They love to walk and are very good on the lead.very swift at training for sit ... down etc . At 14 weeks she's mainly toileting outside with the occasional forgetful accident inside.she prone to a mad hour when she zips around and around the house barking at you then around 10 she's flat out for the night
6 years, 3 months ago
Porsche
3 Years
4 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Playing fet
Me and my family love her she has a great personality. She’s all for playing when we are outside and when we are in she loves to just relax on the couch while we watch tv and at night she cuddles right next to me while my husband is working then goes over to his side once he is home
6 years, 1 month ago
Gizmo
8 Years
5 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
swimming
Gizmo came to us just four months ago from someone who couldnt keep him anymore. But he is one of the best most obedient dogs ive ever met. Hes very playful and friendly and loves people. He doesnt like to be outside alone though so hes an indoor dog. He does shed a lot though and isnt very territorial so he doesnt bark at the doorbell. Hes too friendly. He has the shih tzu underbite but scruffy terrier coat. Best but qeird looking hybrid.
5 years, 11 months ago
Kane
6 Weeks
4 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
Run
Ball
He has been so much fun he keeps you up and on the go which is awesome.
5 years, 10 months ago
Gizmo
4 Years
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Ball chasing
Ball2
Run
Ball
Ball4
He barks really loudly when strangers come in, but is scared of them. If they play with them, he will love them and not leave them alone anymore. When my long-distance girlfriend comes over he will sleep in bed with us or whine the whole night through. Takes up my whole side of the bed. I love him super much
5 years, 10 months ago
Martie
5 Months
1 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playdate
Walk
Nap
Fetch
Martie is the sweetest little girl! She’s super friendly with all people and pets, and is a curious little thing! She loves to go on play dates with my parents small dogs. Martie has a cycle playplayplay for a little while, and then she’ll napnapnap! Love her dearly!!
5 years, 10 months ago
Kookie
5 Months
4 People
Condo
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Loyal and loveable. Very independent and smart.
5 years, 10 months ago
Samson
4 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Play
Playing in the snow
Love my Jacktzu, very intelligent, affectionate
5 years, 9 months ago
Lily Ann
14 Weeks
2 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Most amazing puppy ever. Quiet, Loving 5 days to train to the puppy pads . Minnesota gets to cold for puppies. She is 5 pounds and she love attention. She is bonding with a Jack Russell/pointer. She looks like a giant Jack Russell , black and white. TO much ENERGY Abby Rose 35 pounds. Lily is beautiful with a heart nose. I am so happy with her!
5 years, 4 months ago
Kookie Smith
10 Months
9+ People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
It's my first time having such a small breed but I am getting to know her I am in love with her I have to put my big boy down after having him for 16 years an it's my first female dog but I love her she takes more to my husband then me but I know she loves me
5 years, 1 month ago
Rosie
4 Years
5 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Go to Park
Eating Snacks
Rosie is a very good dog with a big appetite she loves humans but she has problems with big dogs or sometimes tiny dogs she loves to sleep and sometimes is very lazy she was very hard to train and at this age she only knows 4 tricks.she loves destroying stuff but she destroys less as she gets older
4 years, 8 months ago
Mia
8 Months
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walk
Very friendly but needy for attention. Hard to remove objects from her, she gets territorial. Good at toilet training but can be naughty when not getting attention. No issues with feeding or drinking. Sheds a lot. But a very loving and loyal girl
4 years, 3 months ago
Oreo
7 Years
2 People
Condo
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
My 'Oreo' is a rescue whom I adopted 2 yrs ago. Oreo is a 'grandma dog'; he LOVES his grandma soooo much!
4 years, 1 month ago
Charles
2 Years
3 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Catch treats
he loves to play in and out of the house. he loves to run and run wherever in the house
3 years, 8 months ago
Benjy’s
3 Years
1 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
He is a friendly affectionate little dog. He is high energy. Very stubborn
3 years, 9 months ago
Daisy
13 Years
3 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
Daisy is really fun to play with, she is very friendly around people, and super nice.
3 years, 8 months ago
Lyric
4 Years
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Playing fetch
Cuddling
I love my Jack Tzu! She’s very friendly, however, you try to take her toys and chewys away and she growles, but I think she was mistreated before because I adopted her 2 years ago. She is the best dog I ever have other than my other two, and we do everything together. She is a mama’s dog! When I’m sad, I go to her and we will watch movies together!
3 years, 5 months ago
JAKE
5 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Jake is a brilliant dog who is fantastic company and extremely loyal. Loves his walks and in general is very friendly with other dogs with the exception of some large dark coloured breeds. He can be a bit stubborn at times but has trained up really well.
3 years, 4 months ago
Lili
2 Years
2 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
She is such a loveable care free dog that is most excited when we come home from work
3 years, 4 months ago
Scruffy
1 Year
8 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
He’s very affectionate, friendly and smart as whip.
3 years, 4 months ago
Cooper
2 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Several walks in the neighborhood every day.
Very affectionate and protective. More vocal than described in your article. Difficult to adjust to new people/pets.
2 years, 12 months ago
Daisy
11 Months
6 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
She is brindle with longish hair
2 years, 10 months ago
Animal Expert Question Icon
Question - Other
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Hello, May l ask if there are amy Jack Tzu breeders in Swizerland or France. We live in Geneva. Many thanks!

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Question - Behavior
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My dog is 10 months old and will play with other males dogs of all ages but when a female dog is introduced he submits puts his tail down and will lay on the floor he doesn't bark or act aggressively towards the other dogs. He has played with a female 10 month pit bull staff mix but female dogs his size he won't play with.

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Question - My pet
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Facts about them it’s a jack tzu

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Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
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