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The Jack Russell cross: Everything you need to know

Brown and white Jack Russell

The Jack Russell cross is a very high energy dog

© Shutterstock

From Jack-a-Doodles to Jack-a-Bees, Jack Russell crossbreeds are becoming increasingly popular.

By Ashley Murphy

Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:28

To understand the Jack Russell cross a little better, you must take an interest in the parent breeds. In this case, the Jack Russell!

Jack Russell personality and training

The Jack Russell ©Shutterstock

Generally speaking, Jack Russells are full of energy, playful, and have a tendency to be a little bit stubborn! They’re also one of the more vocal breeds, so socialisation and training are really important when it comes to Jack Russell puppies. You don't want a naughty Jack Russell on your hands - these small dogs can turn into big problems! But with the right care and attention, most develop into loyal and happy companions. They are also very brave and protective, making them excellent guard dogs.

Exercise requirements of the Jack Russell

Despite their tiny stature, they're not really suited to apartments or smaller houses. Jack Russells were originally bred to hunt foxes, and so they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Without it, they can get restless and even destructive.

Grooming a Jack Russell

These dogs are fairly low maintenance - a weekly rub down with a cloth or soft brush should suffice to keep their coat clean. Both coat varieties shed heavily, though the wire-haired Jack Russell typically sheds less than the smooth-coated Jack.

Jack Russell health

Jack Russells are prone to certain health issues which may affect any crossbreeds. Take extra care of their eyes, as Jack Russells are susceptible to inherited eye disease. They also have a tendency to go deaf as they enter old age. Legg Perthes is another common issue. The exact cause is still unknown, but over time the hip joint begins to deteriorate, leading to pain and eventually arthritis. It's especially prevalent in smaller breeds, so cross breeds like the Jack Chi and Jack-a-Rat are most at risk. There's also the possibility of dislocated kneecaps.

Top 6 most popular Jack Russell crossbreeds

A Jack Russell mix is generally a good choice for people who enjoy long walks and vigorous exercise - these are energetic dogs!

The Jack-Rat Terrier: Jack Russell Terrier x Rat Terrier


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A Jack Russell crossed with a Rat Terrier means double the terrier, so you are going to have a real bundle of energy on your hands. They'll need plenty of exercise and will do best in a suburban or countryside environment. These dogs also have a strong prey drive; they'll run off in all different directions during walkie time, so keep a close eye on them! If not, they're bound to get into some kind of mischief. However, despite their hyperactive natures, Jack Rat Terriers are moderately easy to train, and sociable. They can be a good choice for first time owners, as long as they are prepared to handle their fire-cracker personalities!

The Jackshund: Jack Russell x Dachshund


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A Jack Russell and Dachshund mix, the Jackshund is a low maintenance dog perfect for older couples. They require less exercise than their Jack Russell parent (30-45 minutes a day should suffice). Their laid-back natures means they are good with children too. Due to their loving and affectionate personalities, Jackshunds can be prone to separation anxiety. You must habituate them to alone time from a very young age, if possible. Don't let these guys get too comfortable, Jackshunds are also prone to obesity. You'll need to watch their diet and take them for regular walks.

Find out more about the Dachshund

The Jack-a-Ranian: Jack Russell x Pomeranian


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The Jack-a-Ranian is a product of the union between a Jack and a Pomeranian. This is a high energy dog! Though they don't require as much exercise as a Jack Russell, Jack-a-Ranians should get at least an hour of activity a day, lest you have a destructive pooch on your hands. Their high levels of energy and stubborness mean they can be difficult to train if you don't find the right motivators. Patience is key! They shed a lot of hair - so be prepared for regular grooming and regular vacuuming sessions. This mix has a very loving and affectionate personality, so it'll want to be around you as much as possible!

Find out more about the Pomeranian

The Jack Chi: Jack Russell x Chihuahua


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Also known as the Jackhuahua, this is a cross between a Jack Russell and a Chihuahua. Unsurprisingly, these little things are bursting with energy. They're extremely playful, sociable and likely to keep any owner on their toes. They can make decent family pets if they are properly socialised from a young age. Training can be difficult, due to their head strong characters, but it is primordial! Without it, you may have an uncontrollable pooch on your hands! Unfortunately, Jack Chis are prone to certain health issues, especially allergies.

Find out more about the Chihuahua

The Jack-a-Bee: Jack Russell x Beagle


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Mix a Jack Russell with a Beagle and you'll end up with a Jack-a-Bee. This is a tough, sturdy little dog that is great around kids. Although they can make a good family dog, Jack-a-Bees can be a bit stubborn and headstrong - meaning they can be difficult to train for the novice owner. They need plenty of exercise, but care must be taken when out and about. These dogs have both a strong prey drive and a great nose, perfect to follow a scent for miles and miles...no matter how much you try to call them back to you! If you have a garden, don't expect to keep it neat and tidy with this digger around!

Find out more about the Beagle

The Jack-a-Poo: Jack Russell x Poodle


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You’ve probably already guessed this one, but just in case, the Jack-a-Poo is a Jack Russell/Poodle mix. Also referred to as the Jackadoodle, the Jack-a-Poo is known for its energetic and loyal character. They can be a bit noisy, and due to their independent natures, they can struggle to adapt to new environments as they get older. They can also be quite aloof with strangers, so it's a good idea to start socialising them at a young age. They’re one of the healthiest Jack Russell cross breeds; they have an average life expectancy of 12-15 years.

Find out more about the Poodle

Although the Kennel Club classes the Jack Russell as an official breed, Jack Russell cross breeds still remain unrecognised. However, that doesn't stop these versatile crossbreeds from being excellent, life-long companions. All they need is the right training, plenty of exercise, and lots of love and affection.

Check out these other mixed breeds: