Australian Jack Russell Terrier

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The Australian Jack Russell Terrier mix is a cross between the Australian Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier. This is not to be confused with the short-legged Jack Russells that are sometimes also called the Australian Jack Russell.

These are more commonly known as English Jack Russells or "Shorties," and you can read more about them here.

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Aussie Jack Russells are a mix breed, whereas the English Jack Russell resulted from generations of breeding between Jack Russells with shorter-than-average legs.

Australian Jack Russell Terrier Traits and Care

The Australian Jack Russell Terrier mix will show a combination of the physical and character traits of both breeds. In particular, Australian Terriers are generally all one or two colors, generally black and tan. They also have longer hair, especially around the head and legs, which can give a shaggy look. The coat is rought, similar to the rough coat Jack Russell. It's not unusual for the white coloring from the Jack Russell to be lost in this mix.

Australian Terriers also have very short legs. 10 inches is about the average size (the height of a dog is measured from the toes to the top of the shoulders). As a result, the Australian Jack Russell is a short legged dog. Like the Jack Russell they were bred for hunting and there's even a chance they share some common breeding history somewhere in the past. Australian Terriers in particular were used for rat control, which is a talent shared by the Jack Russell even though they were bred to hunt larger game such as foxes.

In an Australian Jack Russell puppy, expect to see some of these Jack Russell characteristics:

  • high stamina
  • excitability
  • independence
  • strong hunting instinct
  • impressive physical strength
  • affectionate
  • sense of humor

While Australian Terriers also share many of these characteristics, there are a few others that may show up in a mix:

  • no white coloring
  • long body relative to leg length
  • bossy and prone to "small dog syndrome"
A lot of the personality characteristics are similar between different types of terriers, so it's the physical differences that are more noticeable in this mix. Because of the similar personalities between most terriers, it's important to have good specific training info. My new ebook is a complete training guide designed to make your life easier.

What Are The Benefits And Downsides of an Australian Jack Russell Terrier Mix?

As mentioned above, they are excellent rat catching dogs, so if you have recurring rodent problems one of these dogs might come in handy. You should be prepared for the possibility of all the aggressiveness over space, food and toys that come with a purebred. However, Australian Jack Russells are just as easy to train as a purebred, if not easier. They have a reputation for being relatively easy to train, as far as terriers go. As with any Jack Russell mix, early socialization, structured training and establishing yourself as the authority in your dog's world will help you to avoid most dog behavior problems before they happen. Still, I wouldn't recommend one if you have children under 6.
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These mixes don't need a huge amount of grooming. A few runs through the coat with a brush each week should do the trick. Exercise requirements are the same as for a purebred, so plenty of walks and games will be on the cards.

Also, Australian Terriers generally don't live quite as long as many other breeds, so an Aussie Jack Russell might not have the same life expectancy as some other Jack Russell Terrier mixes or purebreds.

Want to understand your dog better and avoid a lot of training and behavior hassles? My complete guide to Jack Russell training contains an entire chapter specifically dedicated to explaining the challenges of training JRT mix breeds.

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