Crossing a Jack Russell Terrier with a Labrador Retriever results in the so-called Jack Russell Lab Mix, colloquially known as the Jackador.
As more and more people seek out unique pets for their homes, crossbreeds are becoming more and more common. One such crossbreed with significantly different parents is the wonderful Jack Russell Lab mix.
However, before choosing to bring one of these pups into your home and letting it become a family member, it’s crucial to understand its behavior and demands.
This will ensure that you are well-prepared and encounter as few surprises as possible down the road.
In general terms, these canines are renowned for being bright, devoted, and active. They make great pets for active families because they are also very trainable and energetic.
However, there is much more to them than what can be said in a couple of sentences, so we’ve decided to put together this comprehensive breed guide.
In it, you will everything from the crossbreed’s history to its appearance and temperament, as well as some incredibly useful info about its health and diet.
So, if you plan on getting a Jack Russell Lab mix for yourself, make sure that you read to the end.
What Is The Jack Russell Lab Mix
It is a perfect example of a designer dog because it combines two beloved breeds that seemingly have nothing in common.
The Jack Russell Lab mix is a mixed breed dog, created by crossbreeding the Jack Russell Terrier and the Labrador Retriever.
Because it is not a purebred dog, the American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t officially recognize it in its registry.
In most cases, the Labrador is the mother and the Jack Russell is the father of this designer dog. This is due to the extreme size differences between the two parent breeds, which makes it harder for the tiny Jack Russell to carry the puppies.
However, because this breed is a hybrid, it is not really straightforward to foresee which physical and behavioral characteristics the pups would acquire from their parents.
One of the things that they will definitely have is the hunting instinct, because that is something that both Jack Russells and Labradors have in abundance.
We can’t really talk about the crossbreed without first talking about its parent breeds. Since these two breeds are popular and beloved among many dog owners, a lot is already known about them, but nonetheless, there are some things you might not know.
For that reason, we will first go over some of the most important traits of the Jackador’s two parent breeds — the JRT and the Lab.
Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier, also called the Parson Russell Terrier, is a vibrant, independent, and witty small dog breed that was created in England over 200 years ago, with the aim to help in fox hunting.
They are incredibly endearing and affectionate, but they can also be difficult to control and train, because of the unique combination of hunting dogs instincts and high energy levels.
For that reason, they are not often recommended for first-time owners, as those people might struggle with them.
This small, cuddly, and loving dog may at first appear like a good choice for first-time pet owners and apartment residents. However, you could be taken aback by their vigor and drive.
JRTs, as well as a lot of Jack Russell Terrier mix dogs, are typically full of energy and can be quite a handful.
These dogs require a lot of exercise as well as tough, ongoing training to prevent undesirable tendencies from developing. However, if you can handle a little bit of chaos and keep up with an active puppy, you’ll be rewarded with a devoted companion for life.
Read More: Jack Russell Growth Chart: Things To Know
The Labrador Retriever was first developed in the Newfoundland and Labrador province of Canada, as a working dog bred, but also as a lovable companion dog.
Throughout their history, they held a lot of important roles and helped out their owners by dragging nets, getting ropes, and pulling fish out of the ice-cold waters of the Northern Atlantic Ocean.
The modern Lab is the most popular breed in America and is just as kind and dependable as its forefathers.
Apart from being trusty companions, modern Labs also do a variety of canine jobs, including being retrievers, support dogs, show dogs, service dogs, as well as search and rescue dogs.
Origin And History Of The Jack Russell Lab Mix
The Jack Russell Labrador mix is an unorthodox cross between two incredibly different breeds. Typically, you wouldn’t think of Jack Russells and Labs as compatible just by looking at them.
However, given how closely they have collaborated on farms and ranches for years, they have a long history of hanging out together, and sometimes one thing leads to another and they accidentally cross with each other.
As a result, the Jackador is a much more common mixed breed than you might think.
Jack Russell Lab Mix Appearance
A common feature of mixed-breed dogs is that their physical traits vary greatly. The Jackador is no exception to this unwritten rule, but there are still some general characteristics that are universally true.
You could describe the Jackador as a small to medium-sized dog, often being right in the middle of its two parent breeds in terms of size and weight.
Read next: Labrador Growth Chart For Dog Lovers
Their legs are proportionate to their stature, giving them an athletic build, and their ears are often floppy but can occasionally be slightly upright.
Probably the two most defining and interesting characteristics of any crossbreed’s appearance are its size and coat type. So let’s talk about those two traits and what influences them in more detail.
This adorable breed is a mix of a small dog and a large dog. You’d assume that their babies would be roughly the size of a medium-sized dog, but this isn’t necessarily always the case.
When they are fully grown, the height and weight of these dogs vary greatly. On average, the Jack Russell Labrador mix weighs between 25 and 50 pounds and reaches 16 to 20 inches tall.
As with most dog breeds, including Labrador Retrievers, the males will be slightly larger and more muscular than the females.
However, genetics and gender aren’t the only things that affect the final size of a Jackador, as it will also be influenced by various outside factors, such as diet and exercise.
Jackadors most often have short coats, although they can be longer than that of a regular Jack Russell. It can also be wirier, thicker, and less fluffy and silky than that of a purebred Labrador.
Just like its parent breeds, the Jackador will have a water-resistant coat.
When it comes to coat colors, JRTs are typically brown and white, while Labs come in those gorgeous, shiny shades of yellow, white, chocolate, and black, among others.
It’s these Labrador shades that are most often inherited by the Jackador puppies, but unlike Labs, they are usually not completely single-colored.
On most occasions, they will have their Lab parent’s color as the predominant hue on their coat, but their face, neck, or chest will be partially white.
Their white faces are the thing that most resembles their JRT parents when it comes to just physical appearance.
Are Jack Russell Lab Mix Dogs Hypoallergenic?
If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic pet that doesn’t shed a lot, then the Jack Russell Lab mix probably isn’t for you.
Labs and Jack Russells are not hypoallergenic, so the crossbreed will not be, either. If you or someone in your household suffer from allergies, you might want to consider getting a different breed of dog.
Jack Russell Lab Mix Behavior And Temperament
The Jackador is predisposed to be an active dog that needs lots of physical and mental stimulation because both the Jack Russell and Labrador Retriever were bred to be either working dogs or hunting dogs.
Furthermore, because they have a long genetic background as hunters, they might be tempted to chase after small animals, which is why it’s recommended that you expose them to other animals as early as possible.
This is particularly true if the Jack Russell Terrier genes are prevalent, as these dogs have been trained for decades to look at small wild animals as prey.
Additionally, because they enjoy being heard, they can inherit their Jack Russell parent’s loud barking, sometimes even at nothing in particular. This might put off some prospective owners, but it is simply a natural part of their genetic makeup.
The Jack Russell Labrador hybrid will be devoted, loving, active, and intellectual, much like its parent breeds. If you are thinking about bringing a Jackador puppy into your home, you will probably be wondering how well they behave around kids, other dogs, and other pets.
So, let’s answer those questions in particular.
Are Jackadors Good Family Pets?
While they have a few quirks that might require some time to get used to, Jackadors are generally great family pets.
It’s not a good idea to leave these dogs alone for long periods of time because they enjoy spending time with their family members. As a result, disruptive behaviors including chewing, barking, unexpected urinating, etc. may occur.
When it comes to their behavior around children, Jackador dogs can get along well with kids, but it’s important to train them from a young age to prevent them from playing rough or “hunting” after the younger kids.
All things considered, when trained properly, they are excellent for families with kids because they are devoted and highly affectionate.
Are Jackadors Good With Other Pets?
We’ve already mentioned how their hunting background affects their tendencies around other animals, and that is definitely something you should consider before getting a Jack Russell Lab mix puppy.
If you have other pets, such as cats or hamsters, the Jackador might have the natural instincts to chase them around and consider them as prey. To prevent that, it needs to be socialized and properly trained from a very young age.
As soon as they are developed enough to move around and explore their surroundings, they should be exposed to other animals in order for them to develop healthy relationships with them.
Once they are fully accustomed and correctly trained, they will no longer have the hunting instincts and they will think of most other animals as friends.
Are Jackadors Easy To Train?
The Jackador’s trainability, intelligence, and ability to follow commands are all things that are mostly determined by its genetics. In order to understand what it’s like to train one of these dogs, you need to know how trainable its parent breeds are.
It is well-known how intelligent and obedient the Labrador breed is. Lab owners typically don’t have much trouble training Labs themselves because they are highly trainable and can be taught to do almost anything.
JRTs, however, were bred to be autonomous. They are highly intelligent and active, just like Labs, but they rely less on their human companions and are more likely to find solutions to issues on their own. Jack Russells are also loud, and they tend to chase anything that moves.
That being said, they can also be clingy and very attached to their person, which is a very complicated combination.
When these breeds are crossed, the resulting Jackadors pick up a bit of both sides. They are intelligent and active, but when they are puppies, they can be stubborn so persistent and strict tough training is needed.
This is done to minimize destructive behavior, as well as to ensure that they never chase cats or other animals, only balls and toys, as well as to keep their loud barking at a minimum.
Although the Jack Russell Lab mix isn’t always appropriate for households with small animals or young children, early socialization and training will make sure that they get along with both youngsters and adults.
Overall, training with positive reward and lots of physical activity can stop Jackadors from exhibiting some of their behavioral problems. Additionally, they will benefit from frequent contact with other animals and people of all ages starting at the age of ten weeks.
Jack Russell Lab Mix Health
One of the most important aspects that every prospective dog owner considers before getting a dog is its health. People generally like to go for healthy breeds because it requires less medical care, but also because they get emotionally attached to their pets and don’t want to see them suffer.
Since the Jackador is a mixed breed, it is highly likely that it will inherit some of the most common health risks that affect both of its parent breeds. In a lot of cases, crossbreeds are more susceptible to various conditions, but fortunately, that isn’t the case with the Jack Russell Lab mix.
They are generally characterized by good health and a long lifespan, however, they might be vulnerable to any of the illnesses that affect their parent breeds. We will list all of those and explain what they are later on in the article.
The Jack Russell Lab mix has a relatively long lifespan, usually living between ten and 14 years. This is due to their overall great health and generally good genetics.
Labrador Retrievers have a life expectancy of 11 to 13 years, while Jack Russell Terriers can live between 13 and 16 years. They are thought to be the longest-living dog breed in the world, on average.
You can see why those good genes make Jackadors such long-lived and healthy dogs.
Common Health Issues In Jackadors
As we already said, Jackadors are generally a very healthy crossbreed, but there are still some potential health risks that you should know of.
Both Labradors and Jack Russells have a few medical conditions that can affect them occasionally, and some of them are inherited, so Jackador owners need to be wary of them, as well.
If your Jackador is more similar to its Labrador parent, it will be more likely to develop some of the health problems associated with that breed, and the same goes if it’s more similar to the Jack Russell Terrier.
If you’re not sure which side of the family is your dog more similar to, you can get a great idea by having it take a DNA test.
When a dog’s kneecap moves out of its natural place, it is said to be luxating. All breeds of dogs can develop a luxated patella, although small or toy types like Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and Pomeranians are more susceptible to the problem.
When it comes to Jackadors, it is the Jack Russell side of the family tree that is more susceptible to this condition. However, since the Jack Russell Lab mix has some Labrador genes and is generally larger than the JRT, they are not as sensitive to it.
Physical therapy and medication can both be used to treat a luxating patella occasionally. However, if your dog’s illness is serious and causes them a lot of pain, surgery can be required.
Jack Russells can occasionally suffer from various eye diseases, such as glaucoma or cataracts. Some of their crossbreeds, including the Jackador, can also develop these conditions, although they aren’t too common.
On the other hand, Labradors can sometimes develop something called progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which is a group term for a number of congenital diseases that affect the eye and can lead to partial or complete blindness.
Ear Infections And Deafness
Although rare, ear infections and partial or complete deafness can affect Jack Russell Terriers, and therefore Jackadors, from time to time.
Hereditary deafness has been reported in some Jack Russell bloodlines. Consult your veterinarian right away if you think your dog’s hearing may not be as good as it should be because a severe ear infection may potentially be to blame for the issue.
The Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is a painful issue with the femur, alternatively known as avascular or aseptic necrosis of the femoral head.
Dogs that have this condition experience the femur’s head begin to deteriorate on its own. This degradation will eventually cause the hip to collapse and bring on arthritis.
It starts with the dog limping on the affected leg, but over the course of several weeks, the limping frequently worsens until the dog eventually stops putting any weight on the injured limb.
Some Jack Russell Lab mix dogs can occasionally develop a congenital disease known as pulmonary stenosis.
This results in the pulmonic artery or valve being malformed and partially obstructing blood flow from the heart to the lungs. Dogs affected by this condition may experience fainting or have a reduced tolerance for exercise if the problem is serious enough.
Hip Dysplasia And Elbow Dysplasia
Dogs frequently suffer elbow and hip dysplasia, which causes the joints to form incorrectly while they are still puppies. As they develop, stiffness in the dogs’ elbow or hip joints may become an issue, which can cause them to experience lameness or have trouble standing up after lying down.
It is normally associated with large breeds, but it can sometimes occur in small breeds, as well. Treatment is available, but it’s best to start as soon as possible to lessen stiffness and pain.
All dogs are potentially susceptible to various forms of cancer, so anytime you think you see an unfamiliar lump on your Jackador’s body, you should take it to the vet for examination.
One of the particularly common ones — at least when it comes to Jack Russells and Jackadors — is the mast cell tumor, which can look harmless to the eye.
When a dog has hypothyroidism, that means that its thyroid is either too active or not active enough. Symptoms include an increased intolerance of cold, as well as unusual weight gain.
The only treatment is a life-long therapy consisting of oral medicine.
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that results in seizures lasting one minute or more in dogs. While the condition is most often genetic, there are some other causes, such as liver disease and brain tumors.
It is typically treated with specialized anti-epileptic drugs.
Jack Russell Lab Mix Nutrition
Creating a fitting diet for a mixed-breed dog can sometimes be a tricky proposition, especially when the parent breeds are so different.
Jack Russell Terriers are small dogs who are not particularly prone to obesity, but any dog, regardless of size, can put on weight with a poor diet and insufficient exercise.
On the other hand, Labradors are much larger and they have a voracious appetite, which makes them gain weight more easily.
How Much Should I Feed My Jackador?
It’s challenging to recommend the precise amount of dog food your Jackador should consume each day because there is a significant disparity between JRTs and Labs.
The amount of kibble your dog consumes each day will depend on its size and energy level. It is recommended to speak with your veterinarian in order to get a clearer picture of your pet’s dietary requirements.
Whatever the situation, make sure you only feed your dog high-quality dog food made for small or medium-sized dogs. A good rule of thumb is to feed your Jackador more frequently, but in smaller amounts.
This way you give your dog enough time to properly digest the food and maintain its activity level throughout the day.
Jack Russell Lab Mix Grooming Needs
The Labrador is a breed of dog that is renowned for having a very high level of shedding, whereas Jack Russell Terriers shed slightly less.
Depending on which side of the family it takes after, your Jackador might shed more or less frequently, and you can’t really predict that in advance.
With that being said, it’s tough to lay out any specific tips on how to properly groom your Jackador. A lot of it will depend on the inherited physical traits from each parent breed.
However, we can give you some universal advice that can be applied whether your pup is more similar to a Labrador or a Jack Russell. That advice is: don’t overdo the grooming.
With a Jack Russell Lab mix, there shouldn’t be many extra grooming activities beyond regular bathing, occasional brushing, and nail trimming. However, since Jackadors aren’t hypoallergenic, you should expect a decent amount of shedding, at least during the height of the shedding season.
During these times, you will need to amp up the brushing, as well as probably the sweeping around the house.
Jack Russell Lab Mix Cost
A Jack Russell Lab mix puppy will cost you between $400 and $650, depending on where you buy it from. It’s generally the best option to buy from a reputable breeder, but since this is a special designer dog, it might be tough to find a breeding facility that specializes in it.
You could, however, reach out to some well-known Jack Russell breeders and check if they breed this particular crossbreed.
The cost that we listed is just the price of a puppy, and it doesn’t include all the additional expenses that come into the equation once you bring your puppy home.
These additional costs include dog food, toys, bed, crates, collars and leashes, as well as various veterinary expenses that will add up over time.
Regarding the vet expenses, your Jack Russell Lab mix dog most likely had two essential vaccinations while it was with the breeder, which indicates that it will still require two additional immunizations spaced out by two weeks.
Those vaccines will typically cost $20 to $30 on average for each shot. The next dose should be administered once every year following the fourth core vaccine.
The Jack Russell Lab mix is a rare cross between two extremely dissimilar breeds. Jack Russell Terriers are small dogs with an aggressive temperament, while Labradors are larger dogs with a calmer disposition.
The resulting Jackadors are energetic, small or medium-sized dogs that fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to temperament and behavior. Be aware of the commitment you’re making when choosing to adopt a Jackador, which is a joyful but potentially difficult mixed-breed dog.
Overall, a Jackador will make a great pet if you lead an active lifestyle and can provide him with lots of exercise.