Jack-Rat Terrier

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20-26 lbs
​United States
Jack Russell Terrier
Rat Terrier
Jersey Terrier

The Jack-rat terrier, also known as the Jersey Terrier, is a hybrid mix between the Rat Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier. This feisty dog is high energy, fearless, alert, and ready for anything. Despite his small size, this dog is not afraid to act as a guard for his family and tends to bark quite often at things he doesn’t trust; including the television. Taking on the appearance of both the Jack Russell Terrier and the Rat Terrier, this a medium sized dog with tall ears, bright eyes, and a docked tail. His coat is a double coat that tends to be very short and smooth but sheds often. If you are looking for a small companion dog that has a little bit of an attitude, the Jack-Rat Terrier may be perfect for you. Just keep in mind that while this dog is good with children, he does have a high prey drive towards other animals; early socialization and training is key when it comes to this, and any kind, of terrier.

Date of Origin
​Rat Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier

Jack-Rat Terrier Health

Average Size
Height: 13-18 inches Weight: 20-26 lbs
Height: 13-18 inches Weight: 20-26 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Deafness
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Minor Concerns
  • Hemivertebrae
  • Familial Nephropathy
  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Diabetes
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cleft Palate
  • Cutaneous Asthenia
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
  • Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM)
  • Mitral Valve Dysplasia
  • Eye Conditions
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy
Occasional Tests
  • Dna Test For Vwd
  • Thyroid Tests
  • Physical Examination
  • Eye Examinations
  • Blood Work
  • Full Physical Examination regarding joint movement around the hip and kneecap
  • Heart Rate Tests

Jack-Rat Terrier Breed History

Although the Jack-Rat Terrier is a rather new hybrid breed without much backstory, thankfully his parent breeds have plenty of information about where they came from. For starters, the Jack Russell Terrier certainly defines the term “adorable”. His playful disposition and ever erect stub tail pairs well with the lively light in his large dark eyes. These dogs were first created in the 1800’s when a student from Oxford University, Jack Russell, fell in love with a Terrier. As an avid fox-hunter himself, Jack used his newly acquired Terrier to develop a Fox Terrier line that was known for its ever present skill and passion to follow foxes. From there, the rest is history. A club in America specific to the Jack Russell Terrier developed quickly and it wasn’t long after that the American Kennel Club decided to recognize the breed; this didn’t settle well with the American fans of the breed due to the fact that had trademarked the name “Jack Russell” and had some pretty strict standards as to what the breed should be like. The AKC decided to call the Jack Russell Terrier breed the Parson Russell Terrier so as not to step on any toes. To this day, the Jack Russell Terrier is used in all kind of events including shows, working class events, and of course, as companion dogs. The Rat Terrier is one of the rare few dog breeds to claim being created in the United States. Originally, this breed was created to work as a farm dog with jobs such as hunting vermin and small game around the property. His ancestors include dogs like the Fox Terrier, Beagles, Italian Greyhounds, and Whippets. All of these unique and athletic dogs combined into one made for a very impressive breed; the Rat Terrie was agile, intelligent, and had a great scenting ability that made him irreplaceable when it came to hunting down vermin. Slowly however, despite their once great popularity, the Rat Terrier began to fade out of the spotlight as more people moved to bigger towns and cities. Thankfully the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1999 and brought it back as a show, companion, and working animal once again. When these two unique parent breeds are combined we are presented with the Jack Rat Terrier, or Jersey Terrier. He is an excellent companion dog with an inner fire that also makes him passionate about guarding his family and hunting down the next pest that may come along. Because of these natural instincts, it is important to start socialization and training early, so that this hybrid knows which behaviors are okay and which are unacceptable.

Jack-Rat Terrier Breed Appearance

The Jack-Rat Terrier is a very athletic and spritely looking dog. His appearance may vary greatly, even within the same litter, due to being a hybrid; however, the typical appearance is a medium sized dog with large ears and intelligent eyes. The breed tends to be around 20 to 26 pounds and between 13 to 18 inches fully grown. They have tall ears and a docked tail that make them appear alert and ready at all times. The coat is a double coat that tends to shed quite often and comes in a number of different colors such as white, blue, tan, yellow, and a tri color variation. Although their coat is a double coat, that doesn’t mean that it is thick and well equipped for cold weather. This breed tolerates cold weather rather poorly and would do better in a warmer climate.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Jack-Rat Terrier Breed Maintenance

While the Jack-Rat Terrier does tend to shed quite often, his fur is easy to take care of and only requires brushing at least twice a week. Regular grooming will help to remove any loose hair or dirt that may be lying on the fur, as well as keep the coat shiny and healthy. Bathing only needs to happen every few months or so, as the Jack-Rat Terrier doesn’t have a bad doggy odor. Besides brushing and bathing, be sure to clip the nails of your dog’s paws every few weeks or whenever you hear them clicking on the floor. Doing so will ensure that your dog won’t severely scratch anyone if he jumps, and will also keep the paws nice and healthy.

Brushes for Jack-Rat Terrier
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Jack-Rat Terrier Temperament

The Jack-Rat Terrier is definitely a fire cracker waiting to happen. His energy is contagious and when he gets going, it may be hard to make him stop. This doesn’t mean that he is aggressive or bad with children, it simply means that he may be a bit of a handful to contain and will do best if he is in a more suburban area, as barking can be an issue when it comes down to it. Despite his over exuberance in some areas, this terrier is a sweet, loyal, intelligent, playful, and moderately easy to train dog that should be an easy enough pet for any level of experience. While the Jersey Terrier is great with children, it is important to note that he does best when raised from a young age with those children. The same thing goes for other pets in the home. If you are looking for a companion dog who will love to get out into nature and explore the world with you, but who is also small enough to live in varying sized homes, the Jack-Rat Terrier may be the perfect pet for you. While he may be a handful at times, he will love you unconditionally and be a great friend for his entire life.

Jack-Rat Terrier Activity Requirements

Because the Jack-Rat Terrier has two active parents who were designed to chase and hunt, he is going to have a lot of natural energy that needs to be used productively. The best way to accomplish this is to spend a couple of 1 to 2 hour sessions a day either playing fetch, going for a walk, going for a jog, hiking, or training. All of these activities are just a few of the many things you can do with your dog to wear him out and keep him out of trouble. While physical exercise is very important, it is critical to remember the mental side of things as well. The Jack-Rat Terrier is a very intelligent and stubborn breed who needs to have his mind worked in order to get him to listen to you. Training and puppy interaction classes are a great way to wear a dog out as well as teach him the basics of manners.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
12 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
120 minutes

Jack-Rat Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$35 - $45

Jack-Rat Terrier Owner Experiences

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