A Patterjack is a cross between a Patterdale Terrier and a Jack Russell Terrier. These friendly yet strong-willed little pups can make a perfect companion if they’re cared for and trained appropriately.
As a mix between two terrier breeds, people often assume that the Patterjack will be somewhat of a handful. But truthfully, when they’ve been trained and socialised well, they’re the ultimate canine companion. This type of pooch is best placed with an experienced dog owner who knows how to handle a terrier dog. They’ll also need access to a garden and an active lifestyle - trust us, they’ve got a lot of energy to burn!
First, let’s take a look at the Patterjack’s parents. Although it’s impossible to predict what your Patterjack pooch will inherit from each parent, by knowing the traits of each parent breed, you’ll have an idea of every possibility.
“The Patterdale Terrier is a breed of dog native to the Lake District of Cumbria. Most Patterdale puppies are bold and confident beyond their capabilities. They have great stamina and can play all day with the kids. Yet, indoors they are relaxed and quiet,” says Nicolae Sfetcu in About Dogs.
“Jack Russell terriers are smart, playful and loving. They enjoy being near people. They’re active dogs and are happy living in apartments or houses but they need space to run and play. Jack Russell's love to hunt, dig and explore,” explains Julie Murray in Jack Russell Terriers.
Physical attributes of the Patterjack
- Height: 12-20 inches
- Weight: 15-30 pounds
- Lifespan: 10-12 years
The Patterdale and Jack Russell are both small dogs - so you can almost guarantee the Patterjack will be small. Despite their teeny size, they pack a lot of muscle and are surprisingly strong. Patterjack’s have a short, dense coat which is normally black, brown or tan to grey or white - but they’re usually a combination of two. Their heads are a wedge-like shape, with high-set ears which fold over and a long muzzle. Their eyes are dark and striking in amber or dark brown shades.
In a way, the Patterdale cross Jack Russell is a real contradiction. At times they can be stubborn and come across as slightly aggressive, but for the most part, they’re cheerful, laid-back and friendly. Most of this comes down to their training and exercise regimes. When a Patterjack has been socialised amongst children and trained well, they’re a fantastic family pet.
They’re energetic, active, alert and will love to get involved in family activities, especially those taking place in the great outdoors. If there’s one thing a Patterjack certainly isn’t, it’s shy! These pups are bold, lively and confident in themselves from a very young age. They’ll need plenty of toys, games and attention to keep their alert minds occupied. An unhappy and unstimulated Patterjack can become difficult.
Territorial behaviours might rear their ugly head, such as excessive barking and digging. But a happy Patterdale cross Jack Russell appears loyal, calm and affectionate.
Patterjack exercise requirements
Coming from a working background, the Patterdale cross Jack Russell is an energetic dog who needs a very active lifestyle. This is something to bear in mind if you’re considering adopting one - you’ll need to ensure you walk your dog thoroughly every single day. One long walk is fine, but a Patterjack will be much happier with two. Aim for at least 2 hours of exercise per day, even if some of that is simply playing fetch in the garden.
They need to be let off the lead at times to fully stretch their legs and release all that energy. To tire them out mentally, you could incorporate some agility work or set puzzles and tasks for them to complete. Scatter feeding is effective, too.
Grooming a Patterjack
Patterdale cross Jack Russell dogs are easy to maintain. Their coats are dense and short, requiring only a gentle, weekly brushing. However, as the Patterjack naturally loves to dig, you might sometimes be left with a muddy pooch on your hands - so they’ll often need a good bath!
Remember to check their ears regularly and give them a gentle wipe if needed, always drying thoroughly afterwards. Teeth brushing and a regular feet/nail check and clip are essential, too.
Training and socialising a Patterjack
These dogs are very intelligent - which hypothetically means they should learn quickly. While that’s true, their intelligence means they get bored of training sessions relatively easily and may even be stubborn towards training.
Patterjack’s ideally need an experienced terrier handler who knows how to get past their ‘selective deafness’ and help them become an obedient, well-behaved pooch. If this isn’t you but you’ve already committed to a Patterjack, you should seriously consider professional training. Keep your training sessions short, sweet, fun and varied with plenty of positive reinforcement and incentives.
Remember, the Patterdale cross Jack Russell enjoys doing new things - so fresh aspects to training are sure to spark their interest. Get creative! Socialisation from a young age with other dogs, kids and adults is particularly important with this breed. This will ensure they know how to play nice around others. They have a very strong prey drive, meaning they might chase cats and other small animals.
Unfortunately, this is sometimes hard to tackle - so ideally, they shouldn’t be placed in a home with other pets except for other dogs.
Generally, the Patterdale cross Jack Russell is a healthy dog when exercised enough and fed a high-quality diet. However, they are more prone to certain diseases and conditions than other breeds. These include:
With consistent and creative training, early socialisation and a loving, active family, your Patterjack will be happy as can be - good luck!
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