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So you’re interested in getting a Jack Russell-Whippet Cross? Be prepared for a fast, cheeky and lovely pooch! The good news is that a Jack Russell Whippet cross can make an excellent family pet if well brought up and well trained. So what is a Jack Russell Whippet cross really like?
My First Dog was a Jack Russell Whippet Cross
Our first family dog was a Jack Russell Whippet cross called Patch. He was a gorgeous dog – looked very much like a Jack Russell but with much longer legs. We had him from a pup and he was well trained and could go off lead. He was the first of many Jack Russell type dogs that I fell in love with.
What does a Jack Russell Whippet Cross look like?
A Jack Russell crossed with a whippet will probably look like an extremely tall and slender Jack Russell with a slightly longer nose. They often retain the cute Jack Russell markings including patches on the face and a side spot as well as the slim body and long legs of a whippet. They will probably by taller than your average Jack Russell and reach up to around 55cm in height (max heigh of a male Whippet). Their fur is more likely to be on the smooth side as most Whippets have smooth short hair, although it could be scruffier fur if the mother was a long haired Jack Russell! Male dogs are often taller than the females (bitches).
Personality and Temperament
A Jack Russell crossed with a whippet is likely to be a very friendly and loyal family pet. Jack Russells are known to be very loyal and somewhat protective of their owners. Some of them get very attached to their owners and can develop separation anxiety, so it’s important to get them used to it slowly and leave things for them to do when they are left alone, such as chews and dog puzzles. They are very intelligent dogs and will need mental stimulation as well as physical – play Jack Russell games with them that encourage them to use their nose.
Feeding your Jackawhip
Jack Russell Whippet cross dogs can eat a diet of dried food (Kibble) or wet meat dog food. Discuss with the vet and breeder the type of food that will be suitable for your dog. I usually would feed my JRT Whippet twice a day.
Jack Russells and Whippets both have a tendency to ‘guzzle’ their food down at full speed. This isn’t always great for their digestion, so you could consider getting a slow feeder dog bowl or a proper whippet dog bowl.
Exercising your Jack Russell Whippet Cross
As Jack Russells and whippets are both very high energy dogs, they will need a lot of exercise – about 1-2 hours a day including off lead running where safe and possible to do so. In fact, the top speed of an adult whippet running at full speed is actually 56 km/hour – can you believe that?! Needless to say that if they don’t get this exercise they can demonstrate destructive behaviour such as chewing and destroying things around the house.
Training your Jack Russell Whippet Cross
They will also require a great deal of training and socialisation, as with any dog. Positive reinforcement training (clicker training with rewards to mark positive behaviour) works well for encouraging good behaviour and minimising bad habits in these dogs.
You should definitely start out with some Jack Russell Obedience with your dog including sit, down, stand and stay. Once they have mastered that you will be able to move on to teaching your dogs a few tricks. Our Jack Russell Cross Patch used to balance a biscuit on his nose and then only toss it up and catch it when we said that he could! He could also play dead and walk on his hind legs! They are really very clever and training your dog will improve your bond with each other.
Remember that because they are prey driven dogs then they could get snappy around fast moving objects such as bikes or running children, and so it’s important to supervise them, especially around kids.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Jack Russell Mix Breeds