If you love the intelligence and protective nature of a German Shepherd and the curious, energetic, and friendly nature of a Jack Russell terrier, you can consider adopting their mix. Knowing what a Jack Russell Terrier and Shepherd Mix is can help you understand its diet, health, and exercise requirements.
What Is a Jack Russell Terrier and Shepherd Mix?
A Jack Russell Terrier and Shepherd Mix is also known as a Jack Russell German Shepherd or German Shepherd Jack Russell. It is a small to medium-sized dog with a standing height of 15 to 22 inches and weighs 25 to 30 pounds. It is a hyperactive dog that requires at least one hour of vigorous daily exercise to avoid destructive behaviors.
Due to the many physical differences between a JRT and a German Shepherd, it is difficult to predict the exact physical appearance of the Jack Russell German Shepherd. However, they are loyal and friendly designer dogs with the following behavioral and physical attributes.
Size and Weight
Generally, the German Shepherd is a large dog, while the Jack Russell Terrier is a medium-sized dog. The mix between the two dog breeds is small to medium-sized, usually smaller than a purebred German Shepherd. They have a standing height of 15 to 22 inches and an average weight of 25 to 30 pounds.
This designer dog has pointed ears and long legs that resemble that of a German Shepherd and a muscular, compact build like that of its JRT parents.
The coat of this designer dog can either be short or medium, depending on the dominant genes. Their coat can be similar to the types of JRT coats or German Shepherd coats, which can have various colors, such as white with black and tan markings, brown, blue, or tri-colored.
Just like how JRT breeds have undercoats, these dogs have a double coat, with a dense undercoat covered by a short to medium-length outer coat. You can expect your dog to be thick and smooth-coated, wiry or straight fur, depending on the genes the mix inherits.
These mixes are hyperactive and require an hour of rigorous daily activity and plenty of playtimes to stay healthy, very similar to the hyperactive trait of their JRT parent. Even in bad weather, you can play hide and seek indoors to help the dog remain active and not engage in bad behavior.
Keeping in mind that Jack Terrier breeds are intelligent, it requires some mental stimulation games such as dog puzzle games, obstacle courses, and high-intensity fetch games as they help train the dog’s mind and improve agility and physical fitness.
If leaving the dog to play in the backyard, ensure it is on a leash to prevent it from jumping over the fence. Usually, if these dogs do not get sufficient exercise, they engage in destructive behaviors such as chewing furniture, digging, and barking in an attempt to use up their pent-up energy.
This mix generally eats around one and a half to three cups of food daily, which you should divide into two servings in the morning and evening depending on age, activity level, and health status. Make sure you offer it fresh water to keep it hydrated.
Like any other dog breed, it is advisable to feed this breed high-quality food rich in nutrients for growth and development. Considering that it’s an active dog, it requires a high protein diet, such as turkey, beef, fish, and chicken.
If you opt for commercial food, ensure it contains animal proteins as the main ingredient, with minimal or no fillers like soy, corn, and artificial flavors. You can also offer supplemental snacks, such as chunks of boiled sweet potatoes and grated carrots.
German Shepherds were initially bred for herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. JRTs, on the other hand, were bred as hunting dogs to hunt foxes.
As a result, this dog is loyal and friendly to its human companions, and they will stand to protect them whenever they perceive a threat, just like the strong protective nature of the German Shepherd parent.
Due to the hunting instinct of the JRT, this dog breed may hunt for small pets. However, if trained early, they easily get along with kids and small pets.
These dogs are healthy and can live up to around 12 to 16 years with minimal medical intervention. However, the following genetic disorders can shorten their lifespan.
- Patella luxation
- Hypertrophic osteodystrophy
- Eye lens dislocation
- Willebrand disease
- Myasthenia gravis
- Corneal dystrophy
Can I Train a Mature Jack Russells German Shepherd?
You can train a mature Jack Russell German Shepherd since it’s intelligent and eager to please its owner. However, it is advisable to begin training right from puppyhood to establish a good foundation and make transitioning to more advanced tricks and commands easy.
How Often Should I Groom My Jack Russell German Shepherd Dog?
You should groom and brush a Jack Russell mix daily since it’s a heavy shedder due to the double coat. These dogs require daily teeth brushing, bathing after 4 to 6 weeks, and monthly trimming of nails.
Knowing what a Jack Russell Terrier and Shepherd Mix is can help you know the size, weight, and overall appearance to expect in the breed. It’s an energetic dog that requires around one hour of vigorous daily exercise to keep it physically fit.