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The Jack Russell Shih Tzu cross is a designer breed that is a result of crossbreeding the Jack Russell with the Shih Tzu. Though it may seem like an unusual mix to some, this breed has grown in popularity and can make great companions.
This article will go over everything you need to know about this adorable mix such as what they’re like, how their personality differs from both their parents, and how they fare in regards to living with allergies.
Appearance of the Jack Russell Shih Tzu Cross
Appearance wise, the Jack Russell Shih Tzu cross looks quite different from the parent breeds. The fur of this breed comes in a variety of colors ranging from white to black and can be short or long. Their coat is soft and thick, and there is minimal shedding as well. Though their hair may feel coarse at first, it will soften up after regular grooming.
This breed varies widely in size despite their small frame because they inherit their height from the Shih Tzu and their weight from the Jack Russell. Depending on the bloodline, you can expect your Jack Russell Shih Tzu cross to be anywhere from 8 to 16 inches high and weigh anywhere from 13 to 30 pounds.
The personality of your Jack Russell Shih Tzu cross will vary depending on how exactly it was raised as well as how much each parent’s genes come through in the pup. Generally, these pups have a spirited demeanor which stems from their playful parent, the Jack Russell. Their temperament is playful and affectionate toward their owner(s) and can be protective toward them as well.
Their playfulness can sometimes be misconstrued as stubbornness. They can be tough to housetrain due to a lot of their energy and will not want to stay in their crate or kennel unless you use it as a bed for them. They also have an affinity for toys and chew things like ropes, shoes, and bones, so you should keep these items out of their reach.
Health and Living Conditions
Because this breed comes from two small breeds that don’t have much hair, wear, or tear, the Jack Russell Shih Tzu cross is fairly low maintenance. Their short coats mean that they require no special grooming unless it starts to get really bad between baths. They don’t have any skin allergies as far as we know, but check your Jack Russell Shih Tzu cross’s ears and paws for signs of an infection by a veterinarian.
Caring for their paws can be tricky because they are small and can grow to be quite sensitive later on. If they do get in trouble with their nails, you should clip their nails regularly to avoid matting so that it doesn’t get infected. Be sure to use a good pet nail clipper designed specifically for dogs that won’t hurt them when using it.
The Jack Russell Shih Tzu cross isn’t a small dog by any means, so they also require more space than most other small breeds. They require a good amount of exercise to maintain their health and well being as well. You should plan on taking them for at least two walks every day, one of which can be longer and more rigorous if you want to do so. They enjoy hikes and sprints as well, and could even do agility training if you are up for it (it would be fun to watch!).
Training a Jack Russell Shih Tzu Cross
Training this breed is easy because they are intelligent dogs that love to please their master(s). Though they can be stubborn, they are still easy to train and will be eager to please. All that is required is lots of patience and praise when they do something right.
Housetraining this breed is not always an easy task, but it can be done with consistency and an abundance of good treats. The Jack Russell Shih Tzu cross doesn’t understand the concept of personal space easily, so you may have to move furniture out of their way or make them a strict boundary that you don’t want them to cross. Keep training sessions short at first since they can get overwhelmed if you hold it for too long.
History of the Breed
The Jack Russell Shih Tzu cross can trace its lineage back to the early 2000s when the breed was originally developed. The first four Jack Russell Shih Tzu crosses were created by a man named Joe Hyer at his kennel in Georgia. He bred a male Shih Tzu dog he named Chu to a female Jack Russell bitch he owned named Tracy. Chu and Tracy produced three puppies, and after they matured, Joe paired them with other dogs from each parent breed for further breeding.
Since Chu was a male, he was only able to produce more Jack Russell Shih Tzu crosses through artificial insemination with his own sperm. While Chu’s offspring were genetically pure, he and Tracy were already too old to breed more pups. Fortunately, their offspring bred with other dogs of the same breed were able to produce new Jack Russell Shih Tzu crosses.