Jack Russell mix breeds have become common in this age of designer dogs - Jackapoos, Jackabees, Jack Chis, Shih Tzu Jack Russells - the list goes on. Here are some of the more common, as well as some lesser-known Jack Russell Terrier mixes.
As with all mix breeds and designer dogs, Jack Russell Terrier mixes will show a combination of the features and characteristics of Jack Russells and the other breed in the mix. This can result in a great variety of appearances and personalities, depending on the breeds involved and the temperaments of the parents themselves. Regardless of the mix, you will save yourself a lot of time by educating yourself on the best techniques for training Jack Russell, all of which are gathered together in my book on training.
Westie Jack Russell Mix
The West Highland Terrier, or Westie for short, is a small dog with a long, shaggy white coat. It was originally bred in Scotland. They are a little bit smaller than the average Jack Russell, so a Westie Jack Russell will usually be smaller than a purebred JRT. An average Westie stands between 9 and 11 inches (23-28cm), whereas a Jack Russell is between 10 and 15 inches (25-38cm) according to the JRTCA breed standard.
Because of their coat type, Westie Jack Russells need a lot of grooming, but they don't shed the way Jack Russells do. A Westie Jack Russell mix may or may not shed hair - it will depend on the length and texture of the hair it inherits from its parents. Because of their long coat and white coloring, Westies tend to get dirty a lot more easily than your average Jack Russell.
I know I say this at risk of annoying a few hard-core Jack Russell purists, but the breeding history of these two breeds is so alike that it's almost debatable whether or not this even counts as a mix. Jack Russells were originally a type of Fox Terrier, before this term was used to refer to a specific breed but rather indicated any terrier used for fox hunting.
So a Jack Russell Fox Terrier mix will be very similar in a lot of ways to a purebred of either breed. The most noticeable differences in the Foxy are the variations in colors, as well as longer legs and a longer muzzle. Like Jack Russells, Foxies come in both the smooth and rough coated variety (grooming requirements will depend on coat type). Personalities, exercise requirements and grooming are very similar as for a purebred Jack Russell.
The Maltese is a toy dog with a coat that can grow very long. They were the companion dog of choice in ancient Europe. These mixes will tend to be smaller than a purebred Jack Russell, as it's rare for a Maltese to grow taller than 10 inches (25 cm) - the minimum height for a Jack Russell Terrier. Maltese dogs almost never weigh more than 4 kilograms.
Purebred Maltese dogs are completely white. A Jack Russell Maltese mix may be all-white, or is may be spotted depending on whether or not it inherits the "spotting gene" from the Jack Russell parent. Expect a Jack Russell Maltese mix to be more of a gentle, yappy play-friend than a frantic hunter. They are ideal for someone who lives in an apartment or has a small back yard. While they require a good deal of grooming, they are, like the Jack Russell Poodle, hypoallergenic. So if you're usually allergic to dogs, you might consider a Jack Russell Maltese mix for a pet.
This is an interesting mix, because Australian Shepherds or "Aussies" for short are a completely different type to the Jack Russell and were developed for a very different purpose. The Australian Shepherd, as the name suggests, is a herding dog. The natural tendencies and temperament of a herding dog are different to those of a hunting dog. They get along well with most other animals. They are known for being very intelligent and easy to train, as herding requires strict following of the owner's commands. The hunting style of the Jack Russell, on the other hand, does not rely on commands from the owner. So a Jack Russell Australian Shepherd mix will tend to be a more readily trainable dog than a purebred Jack Russell.
Australian Shepherds are much bigger than Jack Russells, on average around 21 inches (53cm) at the withers (top of the shoulders). Their colors are similar to Jack Russell colors, although the pattern of the colors differs, with Aussies showing less white. They also sometimes show other colors that are not found in Jack Russell purebreds. Also, like Huskies, Australian Shepherds can have a different eye color in each eye.
Australian-Shepherd-Lovers.com All About Your Favorite Breed. Information and resources featuring sections on Australian Shepherd history, health, genetics, temperament, training and agility with directories of rescue organizations and breeders.
Jack Russell Dalmatian Mix
The modern Dalmatian is a bit of an oddity. While the Dalmatian breed itself is very old, the dogs were used in more recent times for a very specific purpose. Their job was to clear the path for horse-drawn carts, and then to protect the carts when they came to a stand still. They were used for this purpose by early American fire brigades, and they are still a symbolic part of the firefighting community in the United States.
A Jack Russell Dalmatian mix will be a medium-sized dog, predominantly black and white (although Dalmations can have spot colors other than black). The size and colors depend on which parent's genes are more dominant in the mix. A Jack Russell Dalmatian mix can range in size from around 13 inches (33cm) to around 24 inches (61cm).
Both breeds have a strong hunting instinct, and Dalmations are also excellent guard dogs. A Dalmatian Jack Russell mix will be an excellent pest control dog. However, they are definitely not an apartment dog - lots of exercise is a must for this mix. They also shed a great deal, so expect your house and clothes to be covered in hairs all year round.