Jack Russell Mixed With A Labrador (Pros & Cons)

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One of the fastest-growing designer dog breeds is the Jackador. What are the pros and cons of a Jack Russell mixed with a Labrador?

It is hard to imagine two breeds with more opposite dispositions than a Jack Russell and a Labrador Retriever, but in the world of designer dogs, these unique bloodlines are one of the most popular mixes. As the number of these dogs grows and the market (and price) for them rises, it is essential to know what kind of temperament an owner might expect if you are planning on bringing one of the beautiful pets into your home.

There are things to consider if you plan to make a Jackador a part of your family. Jackadors inherit their boundless energy and independence from the Jack Russell side, but their social skills, trainability, and loyalty from the Retriever bloodline make them excellent family pets.

The last thing you want is to shell out close to a thousand dollars to a breeder, only to find that the puppy is way more than you bargained for. Will this mix accept your family members or cling to one person like velcro? What about other pets? How active are they, and are they hypoallergenic?

This article will review the history of the Jackador and discuss temperament and other considerations so that should you decide to bring one into your home, the transition from pup to pet will be as smooth as possible.

What Is A Jack Russell?

Let’s review the basic information regarding a Jack Russell.

Size and Appearance

The Jack Russell is a small dog that stands about 10 - 12 inches and generally weighs about 12 - 15 pounds. Their life expectancy is 12 - 14 years, and their days are filled with lively energy. Primarily white as a base color, they can have black, tan, or brown markings and are born with long or short hair depending on their bloodline.

History

The Jack Russell, also known as the Parson Russell Terrier (after the clergyman who first developed the breed), was raised over 200 years ago as a hunting dog for foxes for the English aristocracy. Their low stature and single-mindedness made them excellent pursuers, agile and quick, with an intense skill at chasing foxes through dense brush.

The Jack Russell has a claim to fame on television and in the movies, as the dog in RCA Victrola ads or even as the dog on sitcoms like Frasier or in movies like My Dog Skip or The Artist. While the dogs featured in these media events are highly trained, the typical Jack Russell can be an independent source of joy or aggravation for its owner.

The AKC officially recognized the Jack Russell Terrier as a registered breed in 2012.

Temperament

The Jack Russell is a bundle of energy with tendencies of independent thinking. They are quick and have no trouble leading their owners on a chase through the neighborhood. While the Jack Russell is a very active dog, who is carefree and spirited, they also tend to live in the moment, whether in the lap of their owners or digging a hole under the fence.

This breed of dog is keen and alert and will inform its masters of any impending threat. They love to bark to show how tough they are and can be very territorial when other dogs invade their space.

What is a Labrador Retriever?

Let’s review the Labrador Retriever.

Size and Appearance

The Lab is a much larger dog that stands 22 - 25 inches from paw to shoulder and weighs 60 - 85 pounds. They have a life expectancy of 12 - 14 years. Their coat is made from a double layer; the outer coat is waterproof and made of long hair, while the inner coat is a thick layer of hair designed to insulate the dog against colder climates. The AKC recognizes three different colors - yellow, black, and chocolate. Labradors have limited markings and are generally all one hue.

Their larger tail helps act as a rudder in the water, which allows them to head toward prey that their owners may have shot. The Lab has a love for the water, and a soft bite, which enables them to bring home any waterfowl without tearing up the bird's meat.

History

The Labrador was developed as a gundog and fishing mate in Newfoundland, Canada. Raised as a retriever and fetcher, the dog was very resilient to the colder Canadian wilderness, and their love of water and large tail made them excellent swimmers.

Many labradors have trained as service dogs for non-profits and disabled owners. While these dogs need extra training to be a good fit, the Labrador's intelligence and gentle, friendly nature can lend themselves to being an excellent companion to the autistic or disabled community.

The Labrador was registered by the AKC in 1917 and has earned the top spot in American households since 1991. Today, Labradors are the number one registered breed and are an excellent stable bloodline for a never-ending line of designer breeds. It should be noted that most Lab mix breeds are not officially sanctioned by the AKC or registered bloodlines, so the chance of your mix being able to compete in a show or be stuffed out is very slim.

Temperament

A Labrador is a gentle dog with a calm disposition. While they are active dogs requiring at least an hour of exercise a day, they are not high-strung or overly needy. Their long hair tends to shed a lot and is probably not the best selection for homes suffering from allergies. Most Labradors are trainable, which makes them wonderful family pets. They accept other pets, cats, dogs, and small children. While they love being in the water or fetching and retrieving, they can be pretty furious diggers. Chances are if you have planted a garden or flower bed, half of it will be dug up by the time you come back out to check on it.

What are the Characteristics of a Jackador?

The cross-breeding of these two breeds can produce a medium-sized dog that is intelligent and trainable. Read on for a brief overview of this unique mixed breed.

Size and Appearance

This mixed breed tends to be a medium-sized dog with an athletic build. They can have long hair like a Labrador or short hair like a Jack Russell. Their heads tend toward a Labrador with floppy ears and longer snouts. They are around 15 inches from paw to shoulder, weigh no more than 50 pounds, and have a life expectancy of 12- 15 years.

Temperament

The Jackador is intelligent and easy to train. They are loyal but do not cling to one individual as their primary love. They embrace everyone in the family and will not gravitate toward one person like a Jack Russell. They are less stubborn than the Jack Russell parent and willing to obey.

What are the Reasons to Get a Jackador (Pros)?

Most designer breeders intend to bring out the dominant qualities of both breeds into a hybrid dog that can be more than its parental bloodlines. For a Jackador, the Labrador’s calmness and tranquility are bred directly against the full-bodied energy and neurosis of the Jack Russell. The result is often a calmer, smaller dog who is excellent at showing affection and highly trainable.

Both Breeds can Make Great Family Pets.

As mentioned above, Jackadors tend to be more accepting of their family and other pets than the solitary Jack Russell. In this instance, the Labrador's calm demeanor and more tranquil nature seem to come through. While the Jackador can still be protective and bark at what it perceives as a threat (the neighbor's dog, for instance), they do not go into attack mode nearly as quickly. This allows them to be better indoor dogs as long as they receive a decent amount of exercise and open space to run consistently. Like a Jack Russell, the Jackador enjoys being in the presence of humans and responds to affection, petting, and belly rubs whenever they can get them.

Both Breeds are Active Dogs that Love Daily Exercise

Because both dogs are active dogs who need daily exercise, this dog might be your breed if you own a reasonably large yard. They love to play, fetch and retrieve and swim. However, this is likely not the dog to adopt if you live in the city, as both breeds will need to be crated if left alone due to separation anxiety.

Jackadors are Generally Less Stubborn - Easily Trained

A Jack Russell tends toward stubbornness and will do what it wants when it wants to. A Jackador is less independent and will want to obey an owner's wishes and commands. This is also a direct result of Labrador breeding. While training will be needed, early teaching can keep the dog from terrorizing everyone in the neighborhood every chance they get.

Longevity - They Will Be With You For Years

The Jack Russell has a longer life span than the Labrador, so you should expect a Jackador to be a family member for a long time.

What Are the Reasons To Avoid a Jackador (Cons)?

Here are a few reasons you might want to reconsider a Jack Russell - Labrador Mix.

If They inherit Labrador Tendencies - They Will Shed.

The Labrador has a double-layered coat that sheds, particularly during the spring and the fall. As the temperatures get warmer in preparation for summer, the inner coat sheds, and thins, allowing the epidermal layer to be more comfortable. The coat thickens in the winter, pushing out the dead and decaying summer follicles. If your Jackador tends toward Labrador tendencies, you should plan extra grooming sessions and brushing every other day. This breed is not a hypoallergenic dog. Even if they do not inherit the dominance of a Lab, they will shed, just not as much.

There are ways of managing to shed a bit, bathing more frequently, or watching their diet, but many owners think that shaving their dog is the answer. Shaving or buzzing down a dog with a double coat will hurt the dog's ability to grow its hair naturally and make them more susceptible to sunburn or harmful UV rays drying out its skin.

If They Inherit Terrior Tendencies - They Will Be Busy, Busy, Busy.

A jack Russell Terrier gets bored quickly and is ever chasing something. If you like an active dog all over the furniture and frantic with motion, then a Jackador with high Russell Terrier tendencies is what you want. This is not a dog you want to adopt if you are an older person with mobility issues.

The Terrier in them will bark and try to prove that they are more significant than their diminutive stature indicates. While Jackadors often have milder temperaments, some owners report that the dogs bark at noises, like cars or sirens. If you live in the city, with its horns honking and neighbors yelling or traffic noises, this is not the dog you want to bring into your home. The sensory cues will overwhelm and alarm them, and you will likely never get a minute's peace.

If you purchase from a Breeder, Expect to pay the Price.

Jackadors are gaining popularity in the designer dog world, and the price can be high, from $600 - $1000. While this is not as much as other designer dogs like a Bernedoodle or a Cockapoo, it is still an expense that needs to be considered. Be sure you are willing to commit that kind of money to a dog that might not be a walk in the park to own (pun intended).

A Jackador needs to be Trained, and Early and Often.

Both bloodlines require training to be loyal, calm, and obedient pets. Early socialization with other pets and family members is essential. Adopting a Jackador that has already reached adulthood may mean that they are set in their ways, and training will be more difficult. Be sure you have the time and patience to work with the dog to help them learn. Be prepared to reward with lots of positive reinforcements, treats, and repetition.

About THE AUTHOR

Mark Brunson

Mark Brunson

Mark is the founder of Everything Labradors and a husband and father of 3. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his dog Molly, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. He’s a big fan of the outdoors and loves to travel to new places.

Read more about Mark Brunson