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Jafox (Japanese Chin & Toy Fox Terrier Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Japanese Chin and Toy Fox Terrier close up

Height: 8-12 inches
Weight: 6-9 pounds
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Colors: Black, white, red and white, multicolored, cream, black and white
Suitable for: Those looking for a companion, singles, apartment living, semi-active lifestyles
Temperament: Fiercely loyal, dignified, self-aware, aristocratic, alert, keen, intelligent

Between the aristocratic Japanese Chin and the determined Toy Fox Terrier, JaFox hybrids are truly a unique companion. Though no larger than the average household cat, JaFox dogs have big personalities with a constant desire to follow their favorite person. These toy-sized designer dogs can vary in energy, but most are great for urban lifestyles and apartment environments. Aside from some stubbornness from both the Japanese Chin and the Fox Terrier, JaFox dogs are usually willing and trainable with the right mindset and techniques. Let’s take a closer look at this uncommon designer dog breed:

Divider 1JaFox Puppies – Before You Get One

Japanese Chin and Toy Fox Terrier puppies
Image Credit: Japanese Chin (Ann Marie Kurtz, Shutterstock) | Right – Toy Fox Terrier (dezy, Shutterstock)

3 Little-Known Facts About JaFoxes

1. Their Coats are usually short.

Although Japanese Chin dogs are known for their iconic long coats, most JaFoxes end up having shorthaired coats similar to their Toy Fox Terrier relatives. However, this may not always be the case, since JaFoxes are hybrids and can have longer, shaggier coats.

2. JaFoxes are almost always first-generation hybrids.

JaFoxes are hybrid dogs, which means they’re crossed between two purebred dogs. While some designer dog breeds have “established” generations such as the Goldendoodle, JaFoxes are usually first-generation mixes and rarely come from two JaFox parents.

3. They’re rare compared to other crossbreed trends.

Some designer breeds become quite popular, especially when mixed with Poodles or Labradors. However, this is not the case with JaFox dogs, which are quite uncommon. This may be due to the fact that Japanese Chin dogs are not quite common, though they’re slightly more popular than the Toy Fox Terrier.

Parent Breeds of Jafox
Image Credit: (L) KaliAntye, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory

Divider 2

Temperament & Intelligence of the JaFox 🧠

Since JaFoxes are not purebred dogs, temperaments and other personality factors can be vastly different within the same litter. Although genetics and bloodlines do play a major role, there’s no guarantee what kind of temperament your JaFox will have. One way to get an idea is to look at the parents of the litter that your JaFox is from, but this isn’t always possible. Another way is to look at the breed profiles of the Japanese Chin and the Toy Fox Terrier. Let’s break down the temperaments of both breeds for a better understanding of JaFoxes:

Japanese Chin dogs are known for their dignified expressions, often found tailing their favorite person. These dogs are true companion dogs, which means they require a lot of day-to-day human interaction. Chins are natural watchdogs and are often shy or aloof with strangers but are still polite and well-mannered. Although they don’t need much exercise, Japanese Chins need a lot of attention to stay healthy and happy. If they feel ignored or left out, they’ll act out or completely ignore commands. However, with the right amount of affection and attention, Japanese Chin dogs are ideal companions for individuals and quieter families with older children.

By contrast, Toy Fox Terriers are active and energetic working dogs that have playful and cheeky personalities. These dogs need daily exercise and playtime to stay happy, especially mental stimulation in the form of training and sense-based exercises. Though they are quite energetic, Toy Fox Terriers enjoy companionship with their families as well. Friendly and social, these toy dogs have no problem taking center stage with strangers. Aside from some classic Terrier stubbornness, Toy Fox Terriers are quick learners that typically do well with obedience training. As long as they’re properly exercised, which won’t take much more than other working-based toy breeds, Toy Fox Terriers can be a great choice for more active families and individuals.

While Toy Fox Terriers and Japanese Chin dogs may seem different, they both have enjoyed being companion dogs. JaFoxes may not be as calm as most Japanese Chins, but they may not be as active as Toy Fox Terriers. Stubbornness may be an issue with JaFoxes, though daily consistent training and exercise will help prevent any stubborn tendencies. Since both parenting breeds require a good deal of human interaction, it’s safe to assume that most JaFoxes will hold their families to the same standards.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Yes, but only for quieter families with older children. While they may have moderate energy levels, JaFoxes are tiny dogs with somewhat fragile bodies. Young and rambunctious children may accidentally injure your JaFox, so we don’t recommend them for families with lots of younger children. For families that live somewhat active lives with quieter, older children, a JaFox can be an ideal household pet.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

JaFoxes can do fine with other dogs, but they may not love sharing the household with another pet. However, dog-aggression is rare with both the Japanese Chin and the Toy Fox Terrier, so your JaFox puppy should not have these tendencies. As for small animals and cats, the prey-drive from the Toy Fox Terrier side may kick in. Because of this, we do not recommend them for households with multiple small animals already established.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a JaFox:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Toy dog diets are crucial for longevity and healthy lives, especially due to the fact that toy dogs are prone to dental problems. We recommend feeding a mixture of dry and wet food, which will help reduce plaque buildup and increase hydration. Look for dog food with around 20% crude animal-based protein, with vitamins and minerals to support normal bodily functions. Toy dogs are prone to obesity, so we also recommend consulting with your veterinarian to prevent overfeeding.

Exercise 🐕

Exercising your JaFox is important, though how much will depend on how energetic your puppy is. At a minimum, a few short walks a day and a half-hour of playtime may do the trick, especially if your JaFox is more like a Japanese Chin. In addition to walks and playtime, mental stimulation is crucial to prevent stubbornness. Puzzle toys can be a great way to stimulate your JaFox’s mind while improving their natural foraging and problem-solving skills.

If your JaFox has moderate energy levels, consider taking up a canine sport like agility. Though they may be small, Toy Fox Terriers are natural athletes. Some JaFoxes are Fox Terrier-dominant, which means they’ll be more athletic and can excel in areas like agility.

Training 🦮

Training any toy dog is extremely crucial from day one, especially to prevent people-based aggression. Early socialization is extremely important, but JaFoxes may not enjoy being social. However, it’s important to socialize them as early and as frequently as possible.

For obedience training, food-based rewards and positive reinforcement methods are the most recommended. Since both Japanese Chins and Toy Fox Terriers are food-motivated, training should not be too difficult. Consistency and confidence are key, else they will gladly take over as leader. Stubbornness may be an issue, but persistence will eventually win them over. If you’ve never owned a toy dog, we recommend hiring a professional to guide you through the process.

Grooming ✂️

Most JaFoxes have relatively short coats, but they may not always be the case. We recommend brushing out their coats as needed, or at least once a week. Since Fox Terriers and Japanese Chins have different coat types, it’s difficult to tell what grooming needs your JaFox will have. Aside from brushing, a visit to the dog groomer for an overall bath and trim may be needed. In addition to coat care, nail trimming is essential for healthy paws. Their nails should be trimmed on an as-needed basis, which will depend on their activity levels.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Since JaFoxes are not purebred dogs, their health and longevity are relatively unknown. The best way to know is to look at the health records of your puppy’s sire and dam. If that’s not possible, the next best thing is to look at the common conditions of Japanese Chins and Toy Fox Terriers. Here are the most common conditions of both breeds:

Health Conditions of Japanese Chin:
  • Heart Murmurs
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Obesity
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Cataracts
  • Dental Issues
Health Conditions of Toy Fox Terrier:
  • Demodicosis
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Elbow Luxation
  • von Willebrand’s Disease

Divider 5Male vs Female

The choice of male and female may seem important, but it should be based solely on preference. Aside from a size difference, with males usually being bigger, the choice should be made with all individuals involved. With toy breeds, some speculate that males are harder to train and housebreak, but this is usually due to lack of training and not due to the dog being a male.

Divider 3Final Thoughts

JaFoxes may be small, but they have distinct personalities that make them stand out as hybrids. These little dogs are the perfect mix of working and companion, with the aristocratic tendencies of the Japanese Chin. Whether they’re in an apartment or a homestead, JaFoxes will gladly trail their favorite person around. Although they’re less than ten pounds, JaFoxes will gladly stand their ground to any intruders on their property. If you’re looking for a companion-type dog with a little spunk and low-to-moderate exercise, this designer dog breed will not disappoint.

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Featured Image Credit: GoranH, Pixabay | Right – everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

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