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Jack Russell Pit Bull Mix: All You Need To Know

Jack Russell Pit Bull Mix: All You Need To Know

When you cross the energetic Jack Russell Terrier with one of the Pit Bull type dogs, you get an adorable pup with high energy levels. Both Pit Bulls and Jack Russells are amazing dogs, so why not mix them and get the best of both worlds.

The most common Jack Russell Pit Bull mix is the Jack Pit, a cross between a Jack Russell and an American Pit Bull Terrier.

They may not be as popular as some of the Poodle mixes, but a Jack Pit’s charming personality will win over anyone who meets them.

If you’re thinking about getting one for yourself, this article will help you understand what to expect.

The origin of the mix

cheerful Jack Russel stands on the grass in the park

The Jack Russell Pit Bull mix is a modern designer dog created by crossing a Jack Russell Terrier with one of the Pit Bull breeds. To better understand the characteristics of this cross, we need to take a look into its parents’ history.

Jack Russell Terriers were first bred as hunting dogs in early 19th-century England. Their name comes from Reverend John Russell, who bred fox-hunting dogs in the mid-1800s. His strain of working terriers was the foundation of today’s JRTs.

They were primarily bred for their working ability rather than for their appearance, so they have a wide genetic make-up and a broad standard.

They needed to be compact enough to follow prey through the bushes and into the ground, but they also needed to be fast enough to run with the hounds.

Over the years, these fox-working dogs diverged into three lines of terriers; the Russell Terrier, the Jack Russell, and the Parson Russell.

The American Kennel Club only recognizes the Russell Terrier and the Parson Terrier. They excluded the JRT from their list of purebred dogs at the request of the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America.

The organization thought that staying in the AKC wasn’t beneficial for the breed as they didn’t pay enough attention to the dogs’ working abilities.

The Pit Bull side makes up 50% of the genes in the Jack Russell Pit Bull mix. The term ”Pit Bull” includes several different breeds, which descended from the Old English Bulldog.

adorable Pitbull dog resting in the woods

The Pit Bull -type dogs are Staffordshire Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Bullies, and sometimes American Bulldogs and Bull Terriers.

When people talk about Pit Bulls, they usually have the American Pit Bull Terrier or the American Staffordshire Terrier in mind.

Their ancestors, the Old English Bulldogs, were used for bull-baiting in the 1800s. This cruel bloodsport provided entertainment for the masses until 1835 when it was outlawed in the UK.

However, their fighting history didn’t end there. Instead, they were crossed with Terriers to create smaller dogs for new popular sports, such as rat-baiting and dogfighting. A dog would be released into a ”pit” to chase rats or fight other dogs. This is where the ”Pit” part of their name comes from.

Although dog fighting is illegal in many countries today, it’s still common within underground rings. This cruel practice largely contributed to the Pit Bulls’ bad reputation.

The negative image of Pit Bulls and other ”dangerous” dog breeds led many U.S. states to impose breed-specific legislation, banning or restricting particular types of dogs.

Dog owners and Pit Bull enthusiasts have been fighting against breed discrimination for years. Pits are not vicious by nature; they can be loving pups when raised well. They shouldn’t be held responsible for the mistakes of irresponsible owners.

What are the different Jack Russel Pit Bull mixes?

a portrait of a beautiful crossbreed dog

Since Pit Bulls are a dog type that includes a few different breeds, there are also different Pit Bull and Jack Russell Terrier mixes.

The Staffy Jack

By breeding a Jack Russell with an American Staffordshire Terrier, you get a Staffy Jack. This cross is relatively rare compared to the other ones, so it’s hard to come across them.

As with all crossbreeds, you never know what traits a Staffy Jack might inherit from either parent. Their height can vary from 10 to 20 inches, and their weight between 12 and 40 pounds.

They usually have a compact body like Jack Russells, with a wider head, which resembles Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Staffy Jacks are very powerful, energetic dogs, so they are best suitable for owners who have had prior experience with Terriers. However, with early socialization and proper training, they can be great family dogs.

The Bully Jack Terrier

The Bully Jack Terrier is a hybrid mix between a Bull Terrier and a Jack Russell. These intelligent, lively pups are perfect companions for people with active lifestyles.

They are medium-sized dogs, with a height of 12 to 22 inches and a weight between 35 and 45 pounds.

Bully Jacks can be very sweet and energetic, but they’re not recommended as pets for people with small children or first-time owners.

They make great companion dogs as they love spending every moment with their owners. However, because of their high demand for attention, they can be prone to separation anxiety.

The specific shape of the head that Bully Jacks inherit from Bull Terriers can help you differentiate them from other Pit Bull Jack Russell mixes.

the Bully Jack Terrier lying on couch

Photo from @_zerothedog

The American Bull-Jack

The American Bulldog and Jack Russell mix is known as the American Bull-Jack. Thanks to their Bulldog parent, they are medium-sized dogs. A fully grown American Bull-Jack can weigh up to 45 pounds and have a height of 25 inches.

Their origin dates back to the early 2000s when designer dogs started gaining popularity. As a caring, calm dog breed, they can be loyal family pets that get along well with children and other animals.

They can, however, be stubborn at times, so training them takes effort. Training and socializing them while they’re young should prevent any behavioral issues from developing.

Bully Jacks usually have distinct facial markings, and their heads resemble the Bulldogs ‘ broad head, with medium-length muzzles.

The Jack Pit

A Jack Pit is a cross between a Jack Russell and an American Pit Bull Terrier.

The name Pit Bull is often used as an abbreviation of American Pit Bull Terrier, so when people talk about Pit Bulls, they usually have these pups in mind.

That’s why we’ll consider the Jack Pit as a representative of the Jack Russell Pit Bull mixes and pay special attention to this energetic pup in the article.

Jack Russell Pit Bull mix puppies

close up portrait of a cute dog puppy

Jack Russell Pit Bull mix puppies are fully grown by the time they are about two years old. The first two years of their lives have a great impact on their future behavior. If you decide to get a Jack Russell Pit Bull mix puppy, be prepared to put in extra effort in their training and socialization during this time.

You can either adopt a Jack Pit puppy or get one from a breeder. The chances of finding a young Jack Pit at your local rescue are not that high, but it’s worth taking a look. If you come across an older dog instead, don’t be reluctant to give him a chance. Adult rescue dogs can be great furry friends, too.

If this option fails, or if you’d simply like to get your puppy from a breeder, then you should look for breeders in your area that specialize in Jack Pits.

Jack Russell or Pit Bull Terrier breeders might also agree to produce a Jack Pit specifically for you, but it will cost more.

The cost of Jack Russell Pit Bull Mix puppies can be anything from $200 to $800 depending on your location and the breeder.

How big does a Jack Russell Pit Bull mix get?

a dog sitting on the grass in the yard

The size of a Jack Russell Pit Bull mix depends on the genes it inherits from its parents. It also depends on the type of Pit Bull used for crossbreeding.

Jack Rusell Terriers are small dogs with a strong, compact build. They can be between 10 and 15 inches tall and weigh 12 to 17 pounds. American Pit Bull Terriers are medium-sized, weighing 30 to 65 pounds, at a height of 17 to 19 inches.

Jack Pits can be of smaller or bigger size depending on which parent they resemble more. Most are somewhere in between, around 15 inches in height and 30 to 50 pounds in weight.

Other Jack Russell Pit Bull mixes are similar in weight and height, although Bull-Jacks and Bully Jack Terriers can weigh more than Staffy Jacks.

A Jack Pit’s appearance

a brown crossbreed dog sits in the desert with a black scarf around his neck

A Jack Pit’s appearance can vary greatly depending on which traits it inherits from each parent. It’s hard to predict what mixed puppies will look like, especially when they come from such different breeds as Jack Russells and Pit Bulls.

Each puppy possesses a unique mix of traits. On the other hand, their purebred parents are more uniform in looks.

Jack Russell Pit Bull Mixes have an athletic, muscular build. Some have the Pit Bull ‘s square head shape while others inherit the small, blocky heads of Jack Russells.

Jack Russells have short tails while a Pit Bull’s tail is naturally long. Tail-docking is common in both breeds. Jack Russells had their tails docked traditionally due to their hunting tasks. A Pit Bull’s tail was seen as a liability during fights. It was also believed that a shorter tail would help them be better guard dogs.

However, if you’d like to get a Jack Russell Pit Bull mix as a companion or as a family pet, then there is no need to have its tail docked.

Jack Pits have dark, almond-shaped eyes. Their ears are high set, falling forward in a v-shape like a Jack Russell’s button ears. They can also be rose-shaped like a Pit Bull’s ears.

Jack Pits can come in various coat colors with different hair lengths and textures as their parents differ in this aspect.

Jack Russell Terriers are double-coated dogs; usually white with black or tan markings. Their hair can be short and smooth, medium-length and wiry, or a mix of those two types. The APBT has a short coat that can be any color except merle.

Pit Bull Terriers not only have a wide range of coat colors, but they can also have different nasal pigmentation. You may have heard of Red-Nose and Blue-Nose Pit Bulls. These beautiful pups are rare, so they are usually more expensive than other APBTs.

The Red-nose Jack Russell Pit Bull mix

The Red-nose Jack Russell Pit Bull Terrier mix is the result of crossbreeding a Jack Russell and a Red-nose American Pit Bull. Their eye rims, lips, and paw pads are also red while their coats are red, fawn, or chestnut.

Red-nose APBTs are the second rarest Pit Pull breed variety. They need to inherit a recessive gene to be born with this unique color. That’s why it’s even less likely that a Jack Pit will have a red nose, but it’s not impossible.

The Blue-nose Jack Russell Pit Bull mix

Breeding a Blue-nose APBT with a Jack Russell can result in a Blue-nose Jack Russell Pit Bull mix. These pups are also rare, so they often come at a higher price.

Some breeders resort to unethical practices to produce them since these dogs are highly sought after, which is why it’s important to get a dog from a reputable breeder.

Blue-nose dogs carry a recessive color gene that is responsible for lower melanin levels. Like red-nosed dogs, they also have different colored eye rims, lips, and paw pads.

Jack Russell Pit Bull mix temperament

playful black and white dog on the grass in the park

It’s hard to predict the temperament of a mixed breed. The best way to understand a Jack Pit’s personality is to look into the possible personality traits they might inherit from either parent’s side.

A Jack Russell is an energetic, tenacious dog with a strong hunting instinct. Like other fox terriers, a Jack Russell loves to dig. Don’t get angry if they dig out your newly planted flowers; it’s just in their nature. On the plus side, they’ll probably get rid of any rodents in your garden.

They tend to chase small animals due to their strong prey drive. If you have cats, leaving them alone with a Jack Pit may not be a good idea.

If you don’t socialize and train them early, they can become aggressive toward other dogs.

Jack Pits are an active mix breed, so they’re not the best choice for owners who don’t have enough time to take care of their exercise needs.

They can inherit the protective and playful nature of the American Pit Bull Terriers. The APBTs make great family and companion dogs, even though they are often described as aggressive in the media.

As loyal, courageous dogs, they can resort to aggression when provoked or if they feel their owners are in danger. However, the Pit Bull’s bad reputation mostly comes from its history as a fight dog that can attract irresponsible dog owners.

With proper training and lots of love, Jack Pits can be affectionate, curious, and friendly dogs.

How long do Jack Russell mix dogs live?

adorable crossbreed dog lying outside

The lifespan of the Pit Bull Jack Russell Terrier mix is between 10 and 15 years. This number comes from the combination of a Jack Russell’s and a Pit Bull’s average life expectancies.

The life expectancy of a Jack Russell is 13 to 16 years while the lifespan of an American Pit Bull Terrier is eight to 15 years. The JRTs have a longer life expectancy because they’re smaller dogs.

Apart from size, there are other factors that impact the dog’s lifespan. The most important factor is health. Taking your pup for regular health check-ups will ensure that any diseases are found and treated in their early stages.

You can also help your pooch live longer by eliminating stress from their lives. As humans living in a busy world, we know what stress can do to us. It’s the same for our dogs.

Making sure that your dog gets enough exercise and has a proper diet can help them stay by your side longer as well. Human foods such as artichokes, plantains, and jicama can help supplement your pup’s diet with the necessary nutrients its body needs throughout the day.

Common health issues

close-up portrait of a cute crossbreed puppy dog

Jack Pits usually have fewer health problems than their purebred parents since they’re a mixed breed. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean they can’t inherit any of the genetic diseases that Jack Russells and Pit Bulls are prone to.

The most common health issues affecting Jack Russells are:

• A portosystemic shunt (PSS), which is a disorder where the liver is deprived of the blood flow it needs to function properly. The symptoms of this disease are stunted growth and seizures, so if you notice these in your pup, be sure to contact a vet.

• Cushing’s disease, which is characterized by the excessive production of steroid hormones. The most common symptoms are increased appetite, reduced activity level, or drinking and urinating more than usual.

• Cardiomyopathy, which is an abnormality of the heart muscle. This can be life-threatening for a dog. This condition is hard to detect, but breathing and exercising difficulties can indicate that your pup is suffering from it.

• Lens luxation, which is a common problem for all terriers. It’s an eye condition where one or both lenses dislocate from their place behind the cornea. It can lead to blindness when not treated in time.

• Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, which affects many small dog breeds. This is a condition where the head of the thigh bone degenerates over time. A dog with this disease usually avoids putting weight on the affected leg.

From the American Pit Bull Terrier side, a Jack Pit can inherit:

• Hip dysplasia, which is a condition that affects the hip joint, leading to pain or arthritis. Dogs with this disease often have trouble running, jumping, or climbing the stairs.

• Allergies are more common in Pit Bulls compared to other dog breeds. A dog may be allergic to different things, from pollen and ticks to certain foods. Allergies are also a common cause of skin infections in APBTs.

• Thyroid disease, which can cause skin problems and excessive weight gain. If your dog’s behavior suddenly changes, it may be due to this disease.

• Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, which is very common in larger breeds. In some cases, it only causes bloating, but it can also become fatal. It’s best to take your pup to a vet immediately if he exhibits signs of anxiety and excessive bloating.

How to train a Jack Pit

dog chases a tennis ball

To ensure that your Jack Pit grows up into the best dog he can be, you’ll need to start training him from the moment he arrives in your home.

They are intelligent pups that learn pretty quickly. However, lack of socialization and training can lead to behavioral problems.

Jack Russell Terrier mixes can be domineering, so you’ll need to assume the role of the pack leader from the start.

Positive reinforcement is the best training method regardless of the breed. Punishing your dog will weaken your bond and make the puppy misbehave more often.

When you bring home a Jack Russell Pit Bull puppy, it’ll first need to be house-trained. Show it where to do its business, but don’t get angry if any accidents happen as puppies have a hard time controlling their bladders.

Dogs also need to be leash-trained before they’re ready to go out into the world. Let your dog see that wearing a leash is a positive experience by using treats and praise.

You can enroll your dog in an obedience school or you can teach them basic commands yourself. The Jack Pit will easily learn how to sit, come, lay, or stay when you provide enough motivation.

It’s also a fun way to bond with your dog. All you have to do is get the treats ready and keep the training sessions short and exciting.

Socialization will ensure that your Jack Russell Pit Bull puppy is comfortable in different environments. The key to socialization is letting your pup meet various people, animals, and objects while they’re young.

You can take your puppy to doggy daycare in order to teach them how to behave around other dogs. This can prevent future dog-to-dog aggression issues.

Early socialization will ensure that you have a well-behaved family dog by the time they grow up.

Is the Jack Russell Pit Bull mix the right dog for you?

portrait of a brown white crossbreed dog

Jack Russells and Pit Bulls possess many traits that make them great companions to various owners, and their mix can inherit any of those traits. Before you decide to bring home a Jack Pit puppy, there are a few things you should consider.

Do you have previous experience with terriers? It will be easier if you do as these pups can be stubborn at times. But, if you’re a first-time owner, you can prepare by reading about them beforehand.

Jack Pits need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation in order to make them perfect pets for active people. On the other hand, they can develop behavioral problems if their exercise needs aren’t met.

You’ll also need to invest time in training and socializing your Jack Russell Pit Bull puppy.

They can get along with other animals when they’re socialized early, but their hunting instincts are never completely subdued. That means you’ll need to be extra careful if you have other pets, especially if those pets are hamsters or bunnies.

All in all, Jack Pits can be wonderful dogs when they get the attention and love they deserve.

Read Next: Long-Haired Jack Russell Terrier: Is There Such A Thing?