The German Shepherd Jack Russel Mix (Ultimate Guide)

While purebred dogs are great, people nowadays are more open to adopting or purchasing mixed breed dogs.

Mixed breed dogs take the best from each parent, making them wonderful additions to your family.

While German Shepherds and Jack Russels are lovely dogs on their own, mixing the two together makes for an interesting but lovable animal.

This article will be going over the key characteristics of the German Shepherd and Jack Russel breeds, as well as the characteristics you are likely to encounter from a mixed breed of the two.

German Shepherds

The German Shepherd is a large, noble, and agile dog. They are intelligent and loyal, known for their good working characteristics.

The German Shepherd dog is a large working dog with a long body, strong legs, and a short tail.

They have a thick neck that helps them hold their head up high while looking at something in front of them.

Their ears are medium-sized, and they have a black noses. They can weigh anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds, depending on the size of the dog.

This breed is generally very healthy and sturdy, and they have been used as police dogs and guide dogs for years.

German Shepherd History

German Shepherd

These dogs are descendants of German herding dogs. In the 1800s, they were used to herd sheep and protect livestock from any predators that would be roaming nearby.

During World War I, these dogs were very popular in Germany before spreading across the globe. They were loved because of their loyal character.

They were then used as police dogs because of their easy-to-train character. They were also used as guide dogs for the blind because of this, as well as their loyalty.

While they can be reserved when you first meet them, they soon warm up, becoming a loyal companion and protector.

Jack Russell Terriers

The Jack Russell terrier is also a versatile dog. They were originally bred for hunting rabbits and other small game. These dogs are very agile and quick.

They are known to be very friendly towards humans and other animals.

They love being around children and are good with older kids. Jack Russels are not aggressive toward other pets or strangers, and they are intelligent and highly trainable.

They are usually about 10 inches tall and weigh between 8 – 15 pounds.

Jack Russells are very active dogs who love to play. They are smart and playful, and they love to work.

Jack Russel History

Jack Russel

This dog breed was first developed in England in the mid-1800s. Parson John Russel wanted to create a breed that would be a working terrier, and would hunt along with hounds.

Jack Russels became popular with sportsmen who would hunt on horses, and by the 1930s the breed was popular in the US. They were known for their good working ethic, used for hunting.

They are energetic and loving, and despite their small body, they are extremely hard-working, and intelligent, enjoying all that life has to offer.

Why Should You Cross These Two Breeds?

If you want a dog that is both intelligent and athletic, then you should consider crossing these breeds. They make a perfect mix because they are both very energetic and loving. They are both very loyal and protective of their families.

The two breeds are often mixed due to accidental mating, and as their sizes differ greatly, they aren’t frequently bred intentionally.

When they are made to mate, a female German Shepherd is used, as their size is more able to carry puppies as they are likely to be relatively large.

Characteristics Of A German Shepherd Jack Russel Mix

Below are some key characteristics you are likely to find when crossing both these breeds.


The German Shepherd is the larger dog of the two, with the Jack Russel being the smaller component.

A German Shepherd is normally around 26 inches in height, and can weigh from 50 to 90 pounds.

In contrast, a Jack Russell is normally around 10 to 15 inches in height, and weighs around 14 to 18 pounds.

As there is a clear height and weight difference between the two breeds, this mix will be a relatively medium-sized dog, weighing around 30 to 60 pounds.

There is also the chance that the dog will take after one parent more than the other, resulting in the puppy growing to be larger, if it takes after its German Shepherd parent, or smaller if it takes after the Jack Russel.


These mixed breeds have noticeable features from both parents. Many will take after their German Shepherd parents with their wedge-shaped faces.

Their coat color will depend on which parent they take after, but can have back or white coats with a brownish-yellow body, and spots on their face.


German Shepherds have a double coat that is medium to long in length. They tend to be an array of colors, ranging from black, sable, tan, and bi-colored.

Jack Russels on the other hand, have short coats that are mainly white with black or tan spots in areas.

A mix between these breeds can have a longer coat, taking after their German Shepherd parent, or short, taking after the Jack Russel. Whichever coat they inherit, it will shed.

Their coat color will also depend on which parent it takes after the most.


Your German Shepherd Jack Russel mix will need brushing at least once every week. This is likely to increase during the shedding seasons, and they are likely to need brushing two or three times a week.

Their nails should be clipped every month, they should be bathed every two months, and teeth brushed often.


Both breeds are fast and athletic. Your German Shepherd Jack Russel will run like the wind, and jump high. They are great for agility training.

They are also excellent guard dogs, making them perfect for people living alone.

Bite Force

Due to their size, Jack Russels don’t generally have a very strong bite force.

On the other hand, German Shepherds have one of around 238 psi. You can then expect your mix to have a bite force of around 100 psi. However, this will depend on what parent the puppy takes after.


Both breeds require a lot of exercise as they are energetic, so your mixed breed will need a minimum of one hour of exercise a day. They will also benefit from quite a bit of mental stimulation.

As this is a medium-sized dog, it can live in an apartment as long as it is still being taken out for its daily activity.

It is important to keep this dog’s mind stimulated, as both parent breeds are intelligent dogs. If this mix ends up feeling bored, it can lead to some destructive behavior later on.


Both breeds are highly trainable. Due to their size, they are ideal for obedience training. They are also good for any type of agility training.

Your new mixed puppy has some very intelligent parents, with the German Shepherd being known as the 3rd smartest dog breed, and the Jack Russel being 40th.

Despite being number 40, Jack Russels are still very intelligent and want to please their owners.

As a result of its parent’s intelligence, your puppy will be a quick learner and have a natural desire to please.

It is best to start training when the puppy is young. By doing so, you will avoid having to spend time training the dog later on.


This mixed dog breed would be a great fit for a family as they are friendly, loyal, loving, and affectionate. They also love to play, so would suit a family with children.

They are good with other dogs and sometimes cats if they are socialized properly. Both breeds can be quite vocal, so you can expect your mix to bark, howl, and groan often.

Health Issues

All dogs are prone to certain issues, so you should not worry if any were to come up as they can be taken care of as long as the appropriate treatment is incorporated.

German Shepherds can have bloated stomachs due to a buildup of gas or fluid. They are also prone to developing hip and elbow dysplasia.

Jack Russels can often experience dislocation of their eye lens, as well as pancreatitis and tracheal collapse.

It is important to be aware of the health issues associated with both breeds, before purchasing or adopting a mix between the two.


There is no specific lifespan for this mixed breed, but most experts agree that they can live into their late teens. This means that your mix could live until it reaches 15 years old.

This is the average lifespan of both its parents.

AKC Recognition

Like all mixed breeds, the German Shepherd Jack Russel mix is not recognized by the AKC, so it cannot be registered with them.

However, they are still able to participate in some competitions such as rallies, obedience, and agility if you wish them to.

Is This Mixed Breed Popular?

This mixed breed is not too popular, as they are often the result of accidental mating.

As mentioned earlier, the size difference between these two breeds is quite vast, so breeders will not tend to mix them both.

Despite this, the puppies that are born as a result of this mating, are adorable and loving, making them a great addition to your home.

Are German Shepherd Jack Russel Mix Dogs Good for Families?

The German Shepherd Jack Russel mix is a great option for families. This is because they are fun, playful, and loving. They also get along very well with children and are known for being protective.

If your mix takes after its German Shepherd parent more, then it can act as a great guard dog for your home when you are away!

Final Thoughts

To conclude, mixed breeds are wonderful dogs, as they tend to inherit the best characteristics from each of their dog parents. While people valued purebreds, mixed breeds are becoming increasingly popular.

Although this mixed breed is quite rare, its two parents have a strong lineage of being loving, intelligent, and protective, which are qualities you are bound to notice in your little pup.

If you do decide to go ahead and purchase one, make sure you pick out an experienced breeder who has been breeding purebred dogs for years.

You should also make sure you choose a reputable breeder that specializes in producing healthy mixes.

The result of a German Shepherd, mixing with a Jack Russel, will leave you with a medium-sized dog that can live well in an apartment.

You should remember that it needs quite a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, and must be groomed regularly, as this is a dog that will inevitably shed.

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