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Jack Russell cross Pug: everything you need to know

Jack Russell cross Pug advice
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The ‘jug’ is enjoying new-found popularity among owners because of its friendliness towards humans and other animals. If you are thinking about buying a jug read on to learn more about the pros and cons of the famous 'Jack Russell x pug'

By Nick Whittle

What is a jug?

A jug is crossbred dog born of a pug and a Jack Russell terrier.

They measure 9 – 14 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 5 and 7 kilogrammes. A jug’s features can reveal various characteristics of her Jack Russell x pug heritage: some jugs have the wrinkly skin of the pug; some the straighter snout of the Jack Russell. Jugs tend to have short but stocky legs.

A jug’s back appears straight, her stance is noticeably upright and her body is well-built and compact.


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In response to the British Veterinary Association’s warning of the perils of poorly bred brachycephalic breeds (such as pugs and bulldogs), breeding clubs in the UK and abroad are focussed on a consistency of jug breeding.

Their careful monitoring of first generation litters of Jack Russells and pugs is intended to reduce the instances of inherited physical defects.

Both types of parent dog are known to suffer congenital abnormalities of their eyes, hips and face. Thus a good breeder wants to avoid litters that are blighted by genetic deformities. The health of the jug is of paramount importance to breeders who are concerned for the dog’s welfare.

The history of the jug crossbreed

The jug is thought to have first been born in the 1960s in the United States. However, up until now the crossbreed’s popularity has been lacking in the UK. Jugs appear to have inherited the better qualities of their parents’ personalities and are an increasingly popular choice of families with young children.


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Caring for jug puppies and young pups

Unlike puggles, jugs are fast learners. They are keen to please their owner and respond well to confident and forthright training. However jugs are known to quickly develop bad habits.

To avoid their indulging in less desirable behaviour a jug should be given consistent training and not allowed to forget what they have already learned as ‘good’ habits. A jug's owner should therefore be prepared to devote a good deal of time to the training of their dog.

Jug puppies require a lot of attention and care in the early days. They should not be left alone for long periods of time. If they are, they will soon feel vulnerable, which will cause them to adopt their own modus operandi.

Jack Russell x pug puppies are inquisitive and boisterous. If you intend to buy a young jug you should first ensure that your home is suitably safe.

Tools, fine china and precious belongings should not be left where a jug puppy can reach them; toxic plants should be removed from the garden and the house, electric appliances should be placed out of reach and access to stairways should be blocked.

Feeding jugs crossbreed

Generally speaking, puppies should be fed a diet recommended by the breeder from where they came. Any sudden changes of a jug’s diet cause her to have an upset stomach. As your puppy grows up you will be able to change her diet but should still do so gradually.

Adult jugs are not sensitive eaters but should be fed with a high quality meal. Feed your jug twice a day with a nutritional dog food but do not over-feed her. Make sure she gets plenty of exercise; jugs, like their parents have a tendency to gain weight.

To check whether your jug is overweight perform this series of simple physical examinations.

What is the temperament of a Jack russell cross pug?

Both of the parents of a jug are known for their intelligence, ability to socialize and activeness. A jugs inheritance of these traits makes them highly adaptable to family life and new surroundings. The pug parent’s loyalty and attentiveness are also revealed in the personality of the jug. All in all, its personality makes the jug a much sought after crossbreed.

The Jack Russell parent brings some challenging traits to the jug's character. Jugs can be feisty and short-tempered; they have a tendency to try to dominate other dogs and family members. They are known to be courageous and protective, but this trait can lead to problems associated with the family hierarchy and meeting new people.

Jug traits to be aware of

Jug behaviour

Jugs have been known to exhibit some additional behavioural problems (such as prey drive and separation anxiety) but, in truth, no more than any other dog. However, herein is the disadvantage of owning an early-stage crossbreed: you sometimes find their dominant inherited traits are not always the ones which are socially acceptable.


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Jug afflictions

Unfortunately, dogs born of a Jack Russell x pug breeding seem to have inherited some of the physical deformities of their pug parent. These include:

Eye complaints: Jugs are known to suffer with a bulging eye condition, which tends to make their eyes more susceptible to damage and infection. Regular check-ups by the vet are recommended for jugs.

Pinched nostrils: Specific to short-muzzled dogs, this congenital deformity restricts the dogs breathing. Over-exercise and exercise in hot weather can exacerbate the problem and cause the dog to become asphyxiated.

Cryptorchidism: This is a condition that prevent one or both testes in the mail jug from descending into the dog’s scrotum. It can be a painful ailment and one which can lead to complications. Should your dog suffer with cryptorchidism he should be neutered.

Jugs are a breed of the moment. They are therefore be expensive. A jug should only be bought from a reputable breeder, one that can answer your questions and concerns without hesitation. Be aware of online breeders in particular, especially since many of them will try to scam their customers.

Although the jug is not recognised by the Kennel Club, the club still offers advice and guidance on what to look out for before purchasing a dog. If you are thinking about buying a crossbreed born of a pug you should consider carefully the level of care it may need in the event of an illness caused by her inherited traits.

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