Breed Information

What to Expect in a German Shepherd Jack Russell Mix

German Shepherd Jack Russell Mix

Many people are choosing to purchase or adopt mixed breeds of dogs. Purebreds have their advantages, and crossbreeds have their benefits.

However, if you are considering a mix, be sure to research the qualities of the purebreds behind the mixed breed.

German Shepherds and Jack Russell Terriers are two common purebreds with their unique features, but how do they measure up as a mix?

Some people prefer crossbreeds as there are negatives to purebred dogs. Dog expert, Michele Welton, explains some of the truths about purebreds.

Michele is a dog trainer and breed selection consultant and points out some of the negatives about purebred dogs.

Conversely, breeding experts from Dogs Love to Know point out that when you crossbreed, it is difficult to predict what type of look or temperament you may get when mixing breeds. The size of the dog is not predictable even if the same dogs are bred together more than once.

Crossbreeding German Shepherds and Jack Russel Terriers is becoming an increasingly popular mix. The results of this cross have been producing dogs that have a great instinct to protect their loved ones.

This is a mix that loves to walk on streets and in yards and gardens. They seem to do very well with children as well as other animals.

As with any dog, purebred or mixed breed, there are certain qualities you want to look for to make it the ideal family pet.

Most Important Qualities Any Dog Can Have

Dogs are like people in that they each have unique qualities and personalities. They possess strengths and weaknesses that can be compensated for or modified.

Dog trainer, Sarah Wilson, suggests certain qualities should be intact from the beginning that will make a dog a more personable and pleasant pet.

1. Your dog should love people

When you meet a new puppy or dog that adores everyone, wags its tail nonstop, and approaches people of all sizes and ages, this is not just a result of socialization.

Socialization creates stability and teaches the dog how to interact appropriately, but the “friendly” gene is not a created response.

Choose a dog or puppy that already has that, “I just met you but I know I love you,” attitude. Those types of dogs do not need to be purebred and come in every size, color, and mix.

2. Pick a dog that can self-calm

A dog that can’t sit still for any length of time and that is constantly anxious, makes for a hectic household.

A dog not able to self-sooth will bark at noises and then continue to bark until you make him stop. This can be miserable. You want a dog who will eagerly greet guests, but then be willing to go lie down.

A dog who can self-calm may cry the first few times when crated, but will eventually fall asleep and be able to fall into a comfortable routine. This is a good sign of a dog who can self-soothe.

3. Choose a dog who is life-resilient

This a term used by experts who train Seeing-Eye Dogs. It is a temperament test. Puppies are exposed to something new three times. The test is to see if the puppies are calmer or get more startled with each repetition.

This is a sign to test a dog’s natural response to stress. Stress response can’t be trained, it can be modified or made better, but it can’t be completely changed.

4. A good dog will tolerate other dogs

The ideal dog does not have to love every dog he meets, but he should not be aggressive toward others. It is very stressful to own a dog who you can’t take places without the fear of getting into an altercation with another dog. While training can alleviate or make the aggressiveness less, it is not easy and it is very time-consuming.

Sarah understands that finding a dog with these qualities is a gift. It doesn’t matter what breed or cross of breeds your dog is, but having a canine companion who has these traits will make your relationship more pleasant and your lives together that much better.

The German Shepherd, Jack Russel Terriers Mix

What type of dog will this cross-breeding produce? Success has been had with mixing Shepherds with Terriers and producing a mid-sized dog that is not only personable but quite athletic.

The Daily Puppy has a YouTube video that will melt your heart and make you want to own one of these unique mixes.

Let’s take a look at the traits of both breeds, that when combined, are capable of producing a family-friendly dog that will make a great addition to your home. Be aware that the potential exists for a puppy to strongly favor either breed or its characteristics.

German Shepherd

The Shepherd personality is very active. They are very intelligent and are easy to train and have strong guarding instincts. They do require a lot of exercises or they may become hyperactive.

Physical attributes:

  • Weight: between 75 and 95 pounds
  • Height: 23 to 25 inches
  • Naturally upright ears
  • Energy level: Average
  • Longevity: 10 to 12 years
  • Exercise needed: 40 minutes a day
  • Desire to bark: low
  • Desire to dig: moderate

German Shepherds were bred for herding animals and as guard dogs. They have a medium-length double coat and they shed heavily twice a year, and minimally on a continuous basis. They come in most colors and require moderate grooming.

You can expect German Shepherds to be large, powerful dogs with a strong guarding instinct. They need to be socialized at an early age and obedience trained to help channel their intelligence and instincts in a positive direction.

Shepherds should be integrated with family members and exposed to pets and people around the neighborhood while under supervision. They do not have a good personality for being confined to a backyard or kennel with other dogs or alone.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell has a strong personality and is not a breed for everyone. Jack Russells are extremely energetic and require lots of exercises.

They tend to be very vocal because of their instincts as hunters. They love to explore and have a tendency to bolt and wander.

Physical attributes:

  • Weight: between 13 and 17 pounds
  • Height: 13 to 14 inches
  • Energy level: Extremely energetic
  • Longevity: 13 to 15 years
  • Exercise needed: 40 minutes a day
  • Desire to bark: high
  • Desire to dig: moderate

Jack Russells were bred for fox hunting. They have short, double coats, with white, black, and tan markings. Their need for grooming is low but they have three different coat types. All three coats (smooth, rough, and straight long hair) do shed.

This breed is compact and muscular. They are very happy and energetic dogs that love to work. The dogs that have a job to do are the happiest.

They do love to dig, especially if they pick up the scent of a rodent. Hunting ground animals are in their breeding and untraining this instinct is nearly impossible.

Because they are hunting dogs, Jack Russells will be vocal. They make great watchdogs as they are always alert. They are not the best dogs for young children because they are assertive. They tend to be aggressive when they meet other dogs.

Since this breed needs lots of exercises, a home with a very large fenced in yard is the best environment for this dog. They can get along with other family pets if they are introduced to them as puppies.

These dogs will be the happiest when going for a long hike or playing fetch. They are not good dogs for those who like to stay indoors and spend the day on the couch.

What Shepherd/Terrier Owners are Saying About Their Dogs

Forum Breedia had a post from the owner of a Shepherd/Terrier mix. The puppy was a result of an accidental breeding between a Jack Russell and a German Shepherd living in the same household. Five puppies were born. The owners of the puppy said he had a very sweet nature and was a quick learner.

Yahoo forum answers what you can expect from this breed, from an owner of this mix. She has had her dog for five years and previously owned two other dogs. Her Shepherd/Terrier mix has the most unique personality of all her dogs.

She believes her dog inherited the intelligence from the Jack Russell and the loyal and protective features of the German Shephard.

She loves the combination and is very happy with her dog. Her dog is protective but not the point where she posses any danger. She is a great guard dog, loves to play, and learns fast. She highly recommends this mix.

Conclusion

It seems to mix a German Shepherd and Jack Russell can result in a dog who is loyal, smart, playful and learns quickly.

The two breeds seem to blend well and produce a mid-sized dog who has energy but has inherited Shepherd’s ability to focus that energy in a positive direction. This mix will most like produce a medium-sized dog that will be a good family dog.

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