Jack Tzu – Owner’s Guide

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 01/24/23 •  7 min read
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Jack Tzu

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It’s challenging searching for the right dog to adopt. For instance, maybe you’d like a small dog, but you’re stuck choosing between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Shih Tzu. That’s a dilemma! How can you choose one over the other?

Well, what if we told you it’s possible to get both dog breeds in one dog? It’s possible, and these dogs are called Jack Tzus!

Are you curious about these small dogs? If so, read on to learn more about this dog breed. We’ve gathered information on these dogs, so you can decide if this is the right fur baby for you and your family. Let’s get started!

What is a Jack Tzu?

A Jack Tzu is a hybrid dog breed that’s a cross between a purebred Jack Russell Terrier and a purebred Shih Tzu. This is a fairly new hybrid dog breed, so not much is known about the history of these dogs. However, we can learn something about them by taking a look at both purebred parents.

Quick Overview of the Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier originally came from England, where the dogs were developed in the 1800s. The breeder was Parson John Russell, from whom the dog breed gets its name. He wanted to create a working terrier that hunted and flushed foxes out of their dens. The result was the Jack Russell!

These dogs are extremely bold, highly intelligent, and athletic dogs. They have an intense desire to hunt and do so with quick determination. The dogs have also become popular from use in TV and movies. Jack Russells are known for having tons of energy and being small.

While there’s no question these are great dogs, they’re also quite a handful. Jack Russells are difficult to train. It takes a lot of patience, persistence, and consistency in training to result in a dog that’s obedient. This is a dog who has a mind of his own! However, they are highly intelligent and learn cues, tricks, and more. They also excel at agility and other dog competitions.

The Shih Tzu

The other purebred parent of the Jack Tzu is the Shih Tzu! The Shih Tzu originally came from China, where the dogs were bred to be the companions of Chinese royalty. Shih Tzus are small dogs that have a regal bearing. And no wonder, when you consider this is a very ancient dog breed.

The dogs are friendly, lively, and devoted to their pet parents. They’re also beautiful dogs, famous for their long, flowing silky hair. They make wonderful companions. The dogs are good-natured and highly adaptable. They can easily live in city apartments or enjoy living in the country.

These dogs love kids and tend to get along with other animals.

With parents like these, how could the Jack Tzu go wrong?

The Jack Tzu usually stands between 10 to 11 inches tall and weighs between 14-22 lbs. They have a life expectancy between 13 to 16 years.

Jack Tzu Appearance

The Jack Tzu is a small hybrid dog breed. And because they’re hybrid dogs, their appearance can vary greatly depending on the genes they’ve randomly inherited from their purebred parents. Even siblings in the same litter can have quite varying appearances.

The most typical look for these dogs, however, is a small Jack Russell body with a solid build. The dogs have longer legs than the Shih Tzu and longer faces. They also usually have hair more like a Shih Tzu’s that may be either long and soft or short and a mix of rough and soft hair.

Their colors can vary quite a bit, too. Their coat colors can come in white, black, brown, cream, and pied; however, they can come in any number of color combinations and patterns.

These dogs usually have folded ears with a beard and mustache. And they typically have brown eyes that are always alert and intelligent. Their noses are usually small and black.

No matter what, these are one of the cutest hybrid dogs around!

Jack Tzu Temperament

The Jack Tzu is a highly intelligent dog that’s loving, confident, and friendly. They want nothing more than to be with their humans. This is a dog that will happily spend the day with you. Even so, this is a hybrid dog breed that is also OK to spend time alone.

However, be warned. If one of these dogs becomes bored, he may come up with “things to do” that you may not like after you get home! They share this trait with their Jack Russell parent.

These dogs can also be somewhat stubborn and “bossy” with other pets. However, training and socialization can curb these tendencies.

Are Jack Tzus Good Family Companions?

Jack Tzus can make wonderful family companions! They love kids and enjoy spending time with them for endless hours of play. They’re also gentle yet protective of their family.

Do Jack Tzus Get Along with Other Pets?

Yes, these dogs can get along well with other pets. However, they love to play, and Jack Tzus may have a lot more energy than the other pets in your home. This can make the dog a bit of a nuisance for animals that don’t have as much energy.

In addition, the dogs are very independent and bossy of other pets, including other dogs. The Jack Tzu will take over as the dominant dog in the house or try.

Jack Tzu Food Requirements

Jack Tzus love to eat; for this reason, it’s important to ensure you maintain control of the dog’s food. They should not be allowed to overeat. These dogs eat just about anything; however, they do best on a dry kibble that’s made for small, active dog breeds.

Exercise Requirements

Jack Tzus are small, highly active dogs! They need at least 120 minutes of exercise every day! This is a dog that has the energy and stamina to play all day long for hours.

So, be prepared to spend that much time daily with your fur baby. He needs the exercise to manage all the energy he has in that little body!


Jack Tzus are highly intelligent dogs that are somewhat easy to train. The dogs have a stubborn streak that can make training a little more challenging.

In addition, these dogs require plenty of socialization. The process helps Jack Tzus and other dogs learn how to interact properly with humans and other animals. They also learn how to behave in different types of situations.


Fortunately, Jack Tzus are pretty easy when it comes to grooming. However, these dogs are moderate shedders. You can keep their shedding under control by brushing the dog about three times a week.

The dogs also don’t require regular bathing. A Jack Tzu only needs a bath about one every couple of months unless he becomes dirty and stinky!

Summing It Up

So, there you have it! The Jack Tzu is a small, energetic hybrid dog breed. They make great companion dogs for very active families. And they love to play with kids.

We’re pretty sure if you adopt a Jack Tzu, you’ll be in for years of playing & exercise equally sprinkled with plenty of love, too!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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