Jack Russell Terriers make for excellent family pets. They are highly energetic, loyal, and clownish. These dogs are the happiest when they are provided with a job to do and the companionship of their human family.
American Pitbull Terriers are an affectionate, intelligent, loyal, and friendly dog breed. These dogs are eager to please and also make for good family dogs.
When two such amazing breeds are mixed, you get a unique breed known as Jack Pit.
When it comes to Pitbulls, there are a few different breeds available. You get a different mixed breed depending on the type of Pitbull mixed with the Jack Russell. For example, if the American Staffordshire Terrier is mixed with the Jack Russell, the breed is known as the Staffy Jack.
Today we will focus on the famous Jack Russell Pitbull mix known as Jack Pit. Regarding crossbreeds, it can be challenging to predict which parent breed’s traits will be dominant. Your dog may behave similarly to a Jack Russell or majorly take after the Pitbull parent.
The article will examine a Jack Pit’s physical appearance, temperament, overlapping traits, health, grooming, and care requirements.
What is the History of Jack Pits?
The Jack Pit is a relatively new breed compared to its Terrier parents. There is no clear recording of when the breed first came into existence, but it is believed that Jack Pits were first breed in the US in the 1980s.
Let us explore the origin and history of this crossbreed to understand better the traits and temperament it can display.
History of Jack Russell Terriers
The breed was developed by Rev. John Russell in 19th century England. They were initially bred to hunt foxes. They were used to drive the fixes to the ground while the hounds would take care of the rest.
The intention was to enhance the working quality of the dog rather than its appearance. This is one of the reasons Jack Russells are excluded from AKC recognition. The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America felt the AKC recognition would take away from the breed’s working abilities. Thus the club requested the breed to be excluded.
The original breed over the year has split into three – Jack Russell, Russell Terrier, and Parson Russell. The AKC recognizes the latter two breeds.
Jack Russells can be playful, affectionate, highly energetic, and clownish. Their hunting origin comes into play as these dogs like exploring, digging, or searching for anything to hunt. However, they can get stubborn, so early socialization and consistent training are necessary.
History of American Pitbull Terriers
The origin of Pitbulls can be traced back to the 1800s. They were first bred from Old English Bulldogs.
Pitbulls have a rather cruel origin story. These dogs were bred for the sport of ‘bull baiting’ in the United Kingdom. The dogs would ‘bait’ or harass the bull until it fell after being tired or injured. In 1835, the UK outlawed the sport.
But this did not provide any respite to the breed. These dogs were later used for another cruel sport called ‘ratting.’ Later on, even dogfighting became prevalent. As the dogs would catch rats or fight one another in a ‘Pit,’ the term became a part of their name.
As these pit sports demanded more agility, Pitbulls were crossbred with Terriers. When the breed was brought to the US, it was named the American Pitbull Terrier. Once the dogs were domesticated, their responsibilities involved herding cattle, guarding livestock, and protecting their human family.
Did you know that the breed was used as the nation’s mascot during WWI and WWII? It was considered the symbol of bravery and loyalty.
Unfortunately, the media portrayal and breed-specific legislation have contributed to the image of a Pitbull being dangerous. But the breed can be affectionate and friendly and, with training and a little love, can be good companions.
What are Some Basic Facts About the Jack Russell Pitbull Mix Breed?
Now that we have looked into the parent breeds let us specifically get into Jack Pits, what they look like, their temperament, and their health.
|Height||14 to 17 inches|
|Weight||30 to 50 pounds|
|Lifespan||10 to 15 years|
|Coat Color||White, black, tan, fawn, chestnut, gray|
|Temperament||Intelligent, friendly, loyal, affectionate|
1. Physical Characteristics
A Jack Pit can grow about 14 to 17 inches in height. They can weigh about 30 to 50 pounds. Their coat type and length can be double or short.
They are available in different coat colors like white, black, fawn, tan, chestnut, and gray.
Again as crossbreeds, you never really know how the Jack Pits may turn out. However, both Jack Russell and Pitbulls have a muscular build. So, you may expect the Jack Pit to be muscular, athletic, and compact.
Their eyes are usually dark colored. Their ears are typically set high, triangle-shaped, and floppy.
These dogs can have different colored noses. For example, their noses could be black, red, blue, or pigmented. Red and blue-nosed dogs are rare because they both need to carry a recessive gene to develop a unique color. If you are buying a red or blue-nosed Jack Pit, ensure you are dealing with an ethical breeder.
Jack Pits can live around 10 to 15 years. You, of course, must ensure their physical and mental stimulation needs are met, their diet is well looked after, and you keep up with vet visits.
Jack Russells and Pitbulls are easier to groom, and you can expect the same of the Jack Pit. Brushing them once a week should be enough because their coats are short. You can bathe them once every 2 to 4 weeks.
When it comes to their ears, Jack Russell’s ears should be cleaned once in 4 weeks, whereas you should clean an American Pitbull’s ears once a week. So, you might have to find a middle ground with Jack Pits.
Exercise is essential to your dog’s routine regardless of its breed. The frequency and intensity of activity can vary. Still, dogs need to move for their physical and mental health.
When highly energetic dog breeds are not provided with enough exercise, they can get bored. They may develop undesirable behaviors as a response to finding outlets to spend their energy.
Jack Russell and Pitbulls are high-energy breeds. The same goes for Jack Pits.
These dogs need a minimum of an hour of exercise daily.
Walks can be an excellent way to get your dog moving and also spend time bonding with it. But it would be best to keep their exercise routine interesting, or they can get bored quickly.
For example, consider running, swimming, hiking, playing fetch, and tug of war. You can also keep them occupied with agility and obedience training, scent work, or flyball.
Do not be fooled by the dog’s muscular and compact build. They are athletic by nature and can keep up with intense exercise and activities.
Jack Pits can be a handful if you have a busy lifestyle or are a first-time pet owner. If their exercise demands are not met, they can get hyperactive and stubborn.
Jack Pits do not have any special diet requirements. However, they generally do well on a high-protein diet. Animal proteins like chicken, lamb, and beef are good protein sources for the dog.
With Jack Russells, accidental overfeeding can be an issue as these dogs tend to scarf down their food quickly. So, you may need to exercise caution with Jack Pits as well.
You can control portion sizes and food quantity according to the dog’s age and weight. For example, an adult Jack Pit weighing around 15 pounds could do well with 450 to 600 calories daily. However, you could limit the calorie intake to about 550 calories for senior dogs.
If in doubt, please talk to your vet. They can help develop a customized diet plan according to your pet’s unique needs, health, and activity level.
How is the Temperament of Jack Pits?
Jack Russells and Pitbulls can be intelligent, affectionate, loyal, clownish, friendly, and stubborn.
So even with a crossbreed like Jack Pit, overall, you can expect the dog to be affectionate, loyal, and playful. But, of course, the time you spend with the dog, training, exercising, playing, and socializing, also makes a difference.
As the Terrier breeds were bred for hunting, you may find your dog chasing after scents or small animals or objects. It would be wise not to leave your pet hamster or cat alone with the dog.
These dogs love to explore and dig. If you do not want the dog digging all around the backyard, giving them a separate space where they can dig all they want would be a good idea.
Do not get bogged down by the media portrayal of Pitbulls. If you talk to Pitbull parents, they are most likely to describe the breed as gentle, affectionate, and obedient.
Jack Pits are typically friendly towards children, dogs, and other people. One of the reasons they make for good family pets. But you must invest time in exercise, mentally stimulating activities, playtime, training, and socialization.
If the dog is not kept engaged, it can get challenging to manage and may not gel well with other animals and people. If you do not have time, it would be best to keep looking for other dog breeds.
Overall, Jack Pits can be friendly, affectionate, playful, curious, and fearless. However, they are more suited to experienced pet parents.
How do Jack Pits Fare Health-Wise?
You may have heard that cross breeds tend to have fewer health issues than purebreds. But according to AKC, this is a common misconception. When it comes to health issues, any dog or breed can get sick.
In the case of Jack Russells, some common health conditions that may affect them are:
- Dental Issues: Stinky breath can be an issue. It would help if you kept up with regular teeth cleaning sessions to avoid tartar and plaque buildup. The breed is also prone to dental abnormalities like misaligned teeth or having an underbite or an overbite.
- Primary Lens Luxation: This is an inherited condition commonly found in this breed. The fibers that hold the lens in place can get damaged and break. As the lens falls out of place, normal eye circulation is hindered, and the dog can experience secondary glaucoma.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes: This degenerative genetic disease can be painful for the dog. The femoral head of the dog can become brittle and break.
In the case of American Pitbulls, some common health conditions that may affect them are:
- Hip Dysplasia: During the growth stage of the dog, the hip joint can loosen, resulting in pain and dysfunction. With continued wear and tear, the condition can lead to arthritis and muscle atrophy. The condition can be managed through surgery or medication.
- Thyroid Disease: The dog may see a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones. Such dogs can experience various symptoms like weight gain, chronic skin and ear infections, skin pigmentation, lethargy, laziness, and thinning hair.
- Gastric-Dilation-Volvulus: This is an acute and life-threatening disorder. It is commonly seen in large breeds and deep-chested dogs but can affect any dog. In the initial stage, the condition may lead to bloating and, if not treated, can be fatal for the dog.
Jack Pits may or may not be affected by these conditions. There is no guarantee either way. However, you can do your homework, understand the possible health conditions that may affect the breed, and choose a responsible breeder who follows health testing guidelines.
Are Jack Pits Easy to Train?
Jack Pits are a highly energetic and intelligent breed that is eager to please their human parents. These traits make training a fun activity with them.
You can start with obedience and agility training. Then, you can indulge in fun activities like treasure hunts, hide and seek, or the name game. Finally, you can use snuffle mats or interactive puzzles to keep the dog engaged for longer.
With Jack Pits, a simple one-hour walk will not be enough. You will have to keep training interesting and challenging, or they can get bored or develop behavioral problems.
You will have to socialize them and keep them disciplined. Early socialization would be ideal. Ensure the dog is well-trained and listens to your commands before going out to crowded places like a dog park. They do tend to chase after small animals, so it would be best to keep them on a leash while on walks.
Training a Jack Russell Pitbull mix can be fun, but you must remain consistent and invest time in the process.
Can a Jack Pit be the Right Pet for You?
Jack Pits can prove to be an affectionate and loyal companion. We understand the hesitancy that may come from the American Pitbull is one of the parents. But I know that Pitbulls can also make for good pets. A little love and training can go a long way in making them good family pets.
Jack Pits can fall on the high-maintenance list regarding exercise and training. They are this bobbing ball of energy. It will be your responsibility to direct their energy into productive outlets.
So you need to have time if you want to raise a Jack Pit. They can be good around kids, other dogs, and strangers.
Yes, the dog is indeed more suitable for experienced pet owners. But, if you are willing to put in the effort, having a Jack Pit in your home can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life.
One of the common Jack Russell Pitbull mixes is known as the Jack Pit. With crossbreeds, it can be challenging to predict which parent’s traits the dog will inherit. But you will be glad to know that Jack Russells and Pitbulls can both be friendly, affectionate, intelligent, and playful.
A Jack Pit can grow around 15 inches and weigh about 30 to 50 pounds. They can have a short double coat. The red and blue-colored-nosed Jack Pits are some of the rarest in the world.
A high-protein diet will work well for the breed. They will need a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise a day. Keep the exercise routine interesting, or the dog could get bored.
A Jack Pit can be a hands-on dog. You will have to invest time and effort in training and caring for the dog. And if you can do that, you will be rewarded with a loving and loyal companion.
Elena Gherman is a highly skilled and knowledgeable animal care expert. At the start of her career, she gained practical expertise with multiple animals. In addition to that, she works as a DVM veterinary editor for Joy Pet Products, which focuses on offering reliable information on pet health and wellbeing. She meticulously reviews each piece of writing before it is published to make sure pet owners get the most precise and updated information possible.