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A Jack Russell Border Collie cross is a relatively new mix of two breeds, the Border Collie and the Jack Russell Terrier. The Border Collie was originally bred to herd sheep while the Terrier was bred to hunt foxes.
For centuries the two breeds were kept apart by physical separation of farms and by social conventions that led people to believe that Crosses would be undesirable in both farm and hunting environments. This segregation ended in 1993 with a single breeding that created Quint, who showed exceptional herding abilities from an early age.
The original intent of this cross’s breeder, Debbie Lopes, was to create an all-around dog suited for life as a working animal.
What does a Jack Russell Border Collie Cross look like?
The physical requirements for the working cross are:
– Height between 24-29 inches tall at the shoulder. Dogs that are extreme in size and weight will not have the speed necessary to herd sheep and cattle, nor will they have the endurance to work all day.
Dogs that are small are less suited to working because they will not be able to move larger animals. Small dogs are usually better suited for agility events or as pets because they do not like being ordered around (as do some Border Collies).
- Larger dogs, however, may have more endurance than a Border Collie which can lead to excessive energy requirements.
- Life expectancy of twelve to fifteen years.
- Relatively easy to train. The ability to learn is one of the most important traits of this breed.
- Normal amount and type of coat in a non-shedding variety (everywhere except for around the ears, feet, and tail). This coat will be thicker in winter and finer during warmer months. It can normally be managed with a rake or pin brush and should require little more grooming than an average dog. The coat should also be able to resist the elements of weather and various climates.
- Genetic predisposition to have a bold personality without being overly aggressive.
- Ability to learn how to work with sheep and cattle from an early age in a supervised setting. The ability to work with other animals is desirable as well.
- Ability to find livestock by scent alone, which is why this breed should not be used for pet retrieval and needs less exposure to different environments before being trained.
- Moderate size, unlike some dog breeds associated with herding that are known to have a small body and large head. This is important for the Jack Russell Border Collie Cross because, if they do not have a massive bone structure or wide head, they will be unable to control larger animals.
Behaviour and Temperament
The behavioral characteristics of the Jack Russell Border Collie Cross are:
- A bold personality with high endurance. These dogs are natural hunters and herders and will be eager to learn new things. However, they will need a lot of patience and consistency in order to be trained properly.
- Great companions because they are affectionate and independent at the same time. They do not need excessive amounts of attention, but will give as much love as they receive from their master or family members.