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Hi
I am currently looking at getting a puppy and we are very interested in a Jack Tzu and I just wondered if anyone had experience of this mix?
We have a 2 year old daughter and 2 beloved cats (3 yrs old) so we want to make sure that what ever dog we get is good with children and cats!

Any advice / experience greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Sophie
 

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Keep in mind, my experience with both breeds has been those owned by others (both pet and performance/show homes). Jack Russells, like most terriers in general, can be aggressive with small animals (and sometimes with larger animals, too). They are also a very active breed. If not given enough mental and physical activity, they can be destructive. They can have an "I rule the house" attitude. Because of that attitude, I'd be leery of getting one with young children in the house.

The Shih Tzus I've been around have had very nice personalities. With that breed, I think I'd be more afraid of them getting hurt by accident with a toddler in the house.
 

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Id be worried about blending a small breed dog with a toddler who may be clumsy and crush the dog, or not know how to properly handle a dog. You mentioned you have a cat and JRs can be very prey driven. My boyfriend has two, and once his sister got a bunny and let her outside to hop around in the backyard. The dogs both got out somehow (not sure how as the details are a little fuzzy) and they both charged the bunny, picked it up, and shook/pulled it in all sorts of directions. The bunny lived but was horrified and went into shock as well as obtained some physical injuries.

I'd be careful with JRs and small animals. I personally don't think they're the best candidate for children either. Shih tzus are generally sweet, tolerant, and well rounded dogs ime.

Honestly if you're looking for a mutt puppy I would suggest going to a shelter and asking if you and your daughter can meet the dogs and walk them/play with them first. Most shelters let you and mine has a place to walk them, a fenced run to play, and a room set up like a livingroom you can sit with them to see how they might be in a living environment.

There's tons of wonderful mix breed puppies in shelters :)
 

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Why are you interested in this mix? I know a lot of shih tzus that are great family dogs but what draws you to the terrier? They can be pretty nippy, high prey drive, high energy, yappy, independent, etc. Not one of the first dogs I would think of when looking for a breed that would be good with children and cats. I have one and I love her but she's terrible! I know someone with a jack russell with a similar temperament.
 

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The puppies are cuter, that's my guess.

I would not suggest a JRT or JRT mix for anyone with small children. JRTs are seriously intense dogs and that does not mix well with little kids.
 

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The puppies are cuter, that's my guess.

I would not suggest a JRT or JRT mix for anyone with small children. JRTs are seriously intense dogs and that does not mix well with little kids.
Can confirm. My mom got a JRT puppy from a friend because she felt bad and it was gone within a week because it drew blood on me multiple times (I was 3). My vet took her and she lived for 18 years, though, so she turned out okay with the right circumstances. :p

I don't see why anyone would mix a shih tzu with a jack russell. What are they trying to accomplish? That mix seems like it would be so unpredictable personality-wise.
 

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I wouldn't do it. With that mix you never know what temperament you'll get. And I agree, JRT's are not an easy breed. I have one mostly JRT(1/4 beagle) and she's not easy in a lot of ways. She's extremely well behaved most of the time, but she is not good with other dogs, and has extreme anxiety. She wants to rule the world. She's gentle with humans, but just has no patience with any other living creature. She kills any small animal, and tries to bully other dogs if they look at her cross eyed. Although she is fine with small children, many JRT's aren't. They're rambunctious and independent, and not particularly gentle.
 

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Never get any of those mixes or "designer dogs". They are a scam, overpriced, poorly and cruelly bred, with unpredictable personalities, bodies, and often have poor health. Why is it you came up with this mix and wanted it? Do you just like JRTs and Shih Tzus and wanted to combined them? Or did you see them online or somewhere?

Like someone else said, you do need to be careful having small dogs with young kids, as they can traumatize and hurt small dogs, which can make the dogs retaliate and bite. However, with proper supervision I do think Shih Tzus are a good small dog with kids. Most puppies will be ok with cats if they're raised with them but you do need to be careful with certain hunting or ratting breeds like JRTs that have high prey drives (ie, instinct to chase small fuzzy things).

I think it's also a good idea with your situation to get a medium sized dog from a shelter that's either an adolescent (6-18 months) or adult. That way you know the dog's personality, and it's a bit larger so can do better with a small child. You can find purebreds if you want one, and on the Shih Tzu matter I work in a shelter and there's never a time we *don't* have at least one purebred Shih Tzu! Although unless you live in the NYC area I don't know how prevalent it is elsewhere.

If you insist on a purebred puppy you should go to a good breeder that will show you the mother (and father if he lives there) and kennel facilities, give you extensive health records, and make sure your family is appropriate for that breed/puppy. NEVER EVER buy a puppy from a puppy store or order them from a website or "Breeder" of any sort online. They are puppy mills and backyard breeders and force dogs to live in horrible conditions, and breed unhealthy pups.

Other breeds I might recommend in a small to medium size dog that's good with kids might be a Pug, Cocker Spaniel, Beagle (questionable prey drive though), Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (but they often have serious health issues) and Poodles--NOT anything "doodle" just an old fashioned Poodle. Hope this helped!
 

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The puppies are cuter, that's my guess.
That's a little presumptuous- the puppies all look like little balls of fluff anyways.

I was asking because maybe they like shih tzus but don't want the brachycephalic/big eyed qualities that many have. In which case we could suggest similar breeds with a better skull structure such as the bichon frise, havanese, or coton de tulear.

Or maybe they like terriers but realized how intense they were and wanted something a little more family friendly. Maybe a wheaten terrier would be better in that situation?

So I'm just wondering what specific qualities the OP is looking for in a dog and why they think a terrier mix would suit their needs.


Dogs that are good with children typically aren't terriers. Labs, goldens, beagles, spaniels, amstaffs/pits (though again these guys can have that intense terrier temperament), and "gentle giant" dogs like mastiffs, newfies, and st. bernards are known to generally get along with children. Though it depends on the individual dog as well, their experiences with children, and even the most bomb proof dog and gentlest toddler should always be actively supervised together!
 

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Hi SophBan,

Welcome! I'd like to encourage you to write a bit more about your family, your previous experience owning dogs, and desired qualities in a dog. That would help us a lot in giving your some suggestions.

I was really curious how you came up with "Jack Tzu." Does your local humane society have a dog fitting that description, or did you come across this mix on a website advertising puppies? If the latter is the case, that it's quite certain that the puppy would be coming from a puppy mill. These two threads will help you be able to distinguish between a reputable breeder and a puppy mill:

http://www.dogforum.com/new-additions/puppy-mills-pet-stores-back-yard-11761/

http://www.dogforum.com/new-additions/bybs-puppymills-petstores-reputable-breeders-88226/

Note that almost all, if not all, puppy breeders advertising "designer dogs," (i.e. mixed breeds with fancy names) are highly questionable.

I don't mean any breed snobbery, by the way. I have a wonderful mixed breed dog myself. He's a Pekingese - Shih Tzu mix, but I adopted him from my local shelter.

Anyways, please feel welcome to ask more questions, and best of luck to you.
 

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That's a little presumptuous- the puppies all look like little balls of fluff anyways.
I have met maybe 1 or 2 people who wanted a mix because of bracycephalic faces, etc. I have met dozens of people who want mixes because of this one picture they saw on facebook. I include family members and other people I like in this statement. 99% of the time, that's what motivates people to want a specific mixed breed puppy. (Except for doodles. A lot of people seem to think doodles are breeds like any other. It's so disheartening.)

I'm not even saying there's really anything wrong with wanting a dog that's cute. That shouldn't be your only motivation, but it's certainly a motivation.
 

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I have met maybe 1 or 2 people who wanted a mix because of bracycephalic faces, etc. I have met dozens of people who want mixes because of this one picture they saw on facebook. I include family members and other people I like in this statement. 99% of the time, that's what motivates people to want a specific mixed breed puppy. (Except for doodles. A lot of people seem to think doodles are breeds like any other. It's so disheartening.)

I'm not even saying there's really anything wrong with wanting a dog that's cute. That shouldn't be your only motivation, but it's certainly a motivation.
Fair enough. I still think it would be helpful to hear what the OP has to say on the matter though.
 

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I know it was last year when this lady asked about the mix of a Jack Russell and Shih Tzu. I actually had one. He was a shelter dog and had no idea when I adopted him. Everyone kept asking what he was. At first I kept saying pound puppy but finally had him DNA tested. Must say he was one of the best dogs I've ever owned. He wound up with the best of both personalities. Plus he had the sturdiness of the Jack and would cuddle like a Shih Tzu. I'm not a big fan of designer breeds or even purebreds. Too many dogs are thrown away and wind up in the shelters so I am a huge advocate of rescue. But I did actually look for another Jack Tzu when he passed away. In my search, I found in the UK, it seems they have a lot of this "breed". Just not that many in the US. I trained mine for agility and he loved it. He had the play time of the Jack in the ring plus when he came out of the ring, he could show his Shih Tzu side and be everyone's friend. My main point, my experience with the Jack Tzu was one of pure delight.

I would say that any dog, large or small, needs to have meet and greet by anyone wanting to bring one in around a toddler. If she gets a puppy for a child, be prepared for the puppy to jump on the kid. It's a puppy and they jump until they are trained not to do it. I hope the lady found a nice dog for her child.
 
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