The Jack Highland Terrier is a hybrid breed that combines the Jack Russell Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier. Both parent breeds are known for being affectionate as well as alert and happy dogs, so you can expect similar characteristics from the resulting hybrid breed. Both breeds were bred for hunting with the Jack Russell proving especially adept at flushing foxes out of their holes. It was bred in the UK, while the West Highland White Terrier was bred in Scotland and was also used for hunting foxes as well as badgers, otters, and other animals.
The crossing of two Terriers means that you can expect Terrier traits from the Jack Highland Terrier, which means they are affectionate with family but indifferent to strangers, have a tenacious attitude, and tend to enjoy doing their own thing and interpreting rules in their own way.
White, black, brown, tan
Active families that want an independent, lively dog
Affectionate, alert, tenacious, courageous, lively, independent
The Jack Highland Terrier is a lively, energetic, and tenacious breed, which means that it will need a lot of exercise and it will need plenty of mental stimulation to ensure that it doesn’t get bored. A bored Jack Highland Terrier will look for ways to entertain itself which can spell the end of furniture and household items. The breed is known for chewing and digging and can escape from yards and gardens unless they are very well secured. This terrier breed can adapt to life in an apartment but will need plenty of daily exercise, ideally including some time off the leash in a safe, secure environment.
Jack Highland Terrier Characteristics
Jack Highland Terrier Puppies
The Jack Highland Terrier is a mixed breed and has not become as popular as some of the Poodle hybrids. This means that while it can be difficult to find breeders, the puppies shouldn’t cost as much as purebred dogs. However, before you can consider the price, you first need to find a breeder. Mating may occur naturally, or unintentionally, although some breeders may choose to cross these two terrier breeds on purpose.
Some Jack Russell and West Highland White Terrier breeds may have Jack Highland Terrier puppies available. If you do find a breeder, you can expect to pay around $500 for a pet-quality puppy, although prices may be slightly lower or higher than this in some instances.
Alternatively, the hybrid Jack Highland Terrier may be found in rescues or shelters. The breed is energetic and lively, and some owners may not be able to handle the breed’s exercise requirements. Adoption fees range from $250 to $500, but it can be difficult to find puppies for adoption. Most dogs that are surrendered to rescues are adult and senior dogs, and when puppies are put up for adoption, they find homes quickly.
Like any breed, Jack Highland Terrier puppies are lively and playful. You will need to start with socialization and training efforts as soon as possible. Socialization helps ensure that your dog is comfortable in new situations, while training can be used to encourage good behavior and prevent bad habits.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Jack Highland Terrier
Terriers are intelligent dogs. They can learn commands and good behavior quickly. But they also tend to be independent, and they may think they know better than you. The Jack Highland Terrier is a relatively new hybrid breed, which means that we don’t know too much about this specific breed.
But the parent breeds, the Jack Russell Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier are well known, and you can expect your hybrid to bear some of the traits of both parent dogs.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
The Jack Russell Terrier is a loyal and affectionate dog with family, but it can take or leave strangers. Also, the breed is not always tolerant of young children. Generally, this means that the Jack Russell will ignore children and walk away from them, but without proper socialization and training, it may lead to some nipping. It’s fair to say that the Jack Russell is also known for being a vocal dog that will bark when excited, anxious, or just to let you know that it is around. This can be a problem with very young children.
The West Highland White Terrier is also affectionate with family but also tends to be aloof with strangers. However, the Westie can get along very well with children and is quite sympathetic to their needs. But this is another breed that barks as an alert. Socialization will help reduce barking because it teaches the dog that new situations do not necessarily mean danger or a possible threat.
A Jack Highland Terrier will likely be affectionate with family and with friends, once they get to know them. However, it is also likely that they will ignore strangers, and whether yours gets along well with children will ultimately depend on whether it tends towards the Jack Russell or the West Highland Terrier parent breed.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
While the Jack Highland Terrier is unlikely to be affectionate and super friendly with strangers, it will tend to get along with other dogs in the park, and these pack animals can do very well with other dogs in the house. With gradual and careful introductions, the breed should also get along with family cats. However, this Terrier hybrid should not be left alone with small animals because it may try to hunt them down. And, if you have a nervous or anxious cat, the barking that the breed is likely to exhibit may prove challenging for your kitty.
Things to Know When Owning a Jack Highland Terrier:
The Jack Highland Terrier is a hybrid that combines two tenacious and dogged terrier breeds. It will usually be affectionate and tolerant of its human family and will get along with other dogs. As long as you can provide plentiful exercise and mental stimulation, the dog should do well in an apartment setting but would certainly benefit from a property that has plenty of outdoor space, too. The breed is suitable for owners of most ages, but it does require a lot of exercise and its intelligence and digging ability mean that it can prove a challenge for some senior owners.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
The small Jack Highland Terrier has a reasonable appetite for its size, but it is a small breed, and this means that you will need to feed approximately one cup of food per day. This is usually best split into two meals and fed in the morning and evening. If the breed does not get enough exercise, it can be prone to putting on excess weight, so measure food portions carefully, stick to the recommended amounts, and ensure that you provide ample exercise every day.
When it comes to exercise, you will need to offer at least 60–90 minutes of good-quality exercise every day. This can include walks but like most terriers, the Jack Highland Terrier also benefits from having time off the leash so that it can roam, smell, and socialize. This exercise should be provided in a secure, fenced-off area, however, as the Jack Russell, in particular, is a highly skilled digger that can dig under fences, and despite being a small breed it is very capable of jumping over short fences.
The breed will do well in agility classes and will find the mental and physical stimulation beneficial. This can be a good way to help burn off energy, keep your pup entertained, and socialize with other dogs and people as part of your dog’s development. Try and use your dog’s amazing scenting abilities as part of your regular exercise routines. The Jack Highland Terrier will enjoy showing off its olfactory senses and it will keep them entertained playing hide and seek.
Training is important for all dogs, but it is especially important for independent and tenacious breeds like the Jack Highland Terrier. It teaches good habits, prevents bad habits, and it also teaches some commands that will make both your lives easier. Enroll in puppy classes as soon as you get your new dog. Not only will this help teach some of the basic commands you need but it will also provide good socialization.
Socialization introduces a dog to new situations. It ensures that the dog is comfortable meeting strangers and that they are calm and experienced around other dogs.
You will have to find ways to work with your dog’s independent nature. Make training sessions fun and be consistent with your training efforts. Puppy and training classes are a great idea because they do help with the early stages of training, providing you with the knowledge of how to train your dog and teaching some of the basic skills that your dog will require, while also offering socialization opportunities in a sympathetic and understanding setting.
The Jack Russell Terrier is a relatively low-maintenance breed. Although it will dig and roll, which may necessitate occasional cleaning, the breed’s coat is typically short, although some long-haired Jack Russells do exist, and it doesn’t require much maintenance.
The West Highland White Terrier has a longer, double coat, but it is easy to brush. The Westie does like to swim, and swimming in muddy water obviously means your grooming efforts will need to be doubled.
The Jack Highland Terrier combines the coats of these two dogs, generally adopting a longer wiry coat with the markings and coloring of the Jack Russell. Brushing should be relatively easy, however.
In terms of other care requirements, keep an eye out for tears and tear staining around the eyes because this is common in the Westie. Brush your dog’s teeth three times a week and trim nails when they get long. If your dog gets a lot of its daily exercise on concrete or other abrasive surfaces, it won’t need its claws trimmed as often, but you should expect to trim every 2–3 months.
Health and Conditions 🏥
The Jack Highland Terrier is a hybrid breed, which means that it is less likely to develop some of the hereditary conditions of the parent breeds, although they are still possible. Both parent breeds are susceptible to patellar luxation, which is common in most small breeds. This means that the knee joint slides in and out of place and it can be painful, so keep an eye out for this. Eye problems are also more common in both parent breeds, including cataracts, lens luxation, and glaucoma.
Male vs Female
As is typical in most dog breeds, the male Jack Highland Terrier can grow a little larger and heavier than the female. Although differences in characteristics are more likely to be governed by the individual dog, and by the upbringing it has had, males are said to be more likely to wander off but are more affectionate than their female counterparts, while females can be prone to mood swings.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Jack Highland Terrier
1. They Are Incredibly Agile
Terriers, in general, are very active and incredibly agile dogs. They have been bred to hunt vermin and small game, which means they need to be fleet of foot and capable of following their quarry into confined and difficult spaces. The Jack Highland Terrier was born of Jack Russells and West Highland White Terriers, and you can expect your hybrid dog to be fast, have an excellent turn of acceleration, and you may also be surprised by their ability to jump, swim, and dig.
These all-rounders will keep you on your toes, but this variety of high-intensity skills means that there are plenty of ways that you can provide daily exercise beyond basic walks. It also means that your yard or garden will need to be very secure to help prevent your pup from making a bid for freedom.
2. Both Breeds Were Bred to Hunt Foxes
Terriers were bred to hunt. They were primarily used to hunt foxes but were also used to hunt other small animals. The Jack Russell Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier were both bred to hunt foxes. The Jack Russell was especially useful at going “to ground” during the hunt, which essentially meant that the dog would follow the foxes into holes in the ground.
This is why they are capable diggers and why yours is likely to dig up the garden if it catches a particularly appealing scent.
3. The True Jack Russell Terrier Is Not Recognized by the AKC
The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Jack Russell Terrier breed, but it does recognize two variants of the true Jack Russell. The Parson Russell Terrier measures between 12 and 15 inches tall, has a small chest, and can come in a wide variety of colors and markings. The Russell Terrier measures 10 to 12 inches tall. The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America argues that neither standard aims to maintain or preserve the real purpose of the original breed.
The Jack Highland Terrier is a hybrid that combines the Jack Russell Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier. The two parent breeds are terriers, which means you can expect a lively, energetic, tenacious dog breed that will need plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation. The breed is also known to be affectionate with family but can be aloof with strangers. Its independent nature means that first-time dog owners might struggle to train the breed, although it is certainly possible with guidance and a measure of tenacity of your own.
The Jack Highland Terrier makes a good pet for active owners and especially those that are willing to take part in regular exercise and canine sports classes designed to exercise and stimulate dogs.
Featured Image Credit: (L) Gemma Regalado, Unsplash | (R) Bogdanovich Alexander, Shutterstock