Jack-A-Ranian (Pomeranian & Jack Russell Terrier Mix)

Height: 6-10 inches
Weight: 6-14 pounds
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Colors: White, off-white, black, brindle, gray
Suitable for: High-energy owners, active and attentive families, apartment dwellers or homeowners
Temperament: Energetic, Friendly, Protective, Loving, Intelligent, Stubborn

The Jack-A-Ranian is a mix between a Jack Russell Terrier, known for its high energy and protective nature, and a Pomeranian, known for its perkiness and large personality. This hybrid breed is a great mix of these personality traits.

This breed is fairly independent and won’t require much affection. They are loving and friendly, but they’d rather be running and playing than snuggled up on the couch or relaxing in bed. These pups often inherit a desire to work from their Jack Russell ancestry, so being outside protecting your home and ridding your yard of rodents will be their ideal afternoon.

Jack-A-Ranians might be small dogs, but they have big personalities. If you’re looking for a pooch who will really be a part of your family, but you don’t have much space or are just looking for a small breed, this might be the dog for you! Read on to learn everything you need to know about these spunky pups.Divider 1

Jack-A-Ranian Puppies – Before You Buy…

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

Jack-A-Ranian puppies are small and adorable, and because of their size, they are somewhat fragile. Make sure you’re bringing your pup home to a safe and friendly house. If you have small children, be very careful that if they are allowed to play with your Jack-A-Ranian, that they aren’t too rough. These dogs can get hurt easily given their small stature.

If you’re considering this breed you should know that these dogs aren’t the easiest to train. Jack Russell Terriers are known to be stubborn, and this trait often shows up in Jack-A-Ranians as well. If you don’t have experience with dog training, get some! You’ll need to know proper training techniques and be prepared to start implementing them at an early age.

You also need to know that these dogs tend to be big barkers from an early age through adulthood. They inherit this tendency from both parent breeds, so you’re unlikely to avoid this even if your pup takes after one parent more than the other. Jack-A-Ranians’ size may make them good for apartment life, but if you live in a space where noise can be an issue, you’ll probably want to reconsider this breed.

What’s the Price of Jack-A-Ranian Puppies?

This breed tends to be very cheap, even when compared to other hybrids. You can expect to pay between $200 and $500 for your Jack-A-Ranian puppy alongside other normal costs like those for initial vet visits and supplies.

Because this breed is very cheap, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a puppy cheaper than $200, but this means that even breeders who cut corners and costs when it comes to breeding and caring for their puppies will have these pups available around this same price point. It’s always important to make sure you’re getting a dog from a reputable and responsible breeder, but it’s especially true for this breed given their normal cost. You should only deal with breeders who can offer health clearances and genetic testing for all of their puppies.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Jack-A-Ranians

1. Jack-A-Ranians Make Good Watchdogs

Your Jack-A-Ranian may be small and might seem unassuming, but these pups are great as watchdogs. Both parent breeds are very alert and conscious of their surroundings, and Jack-A-Ranians inherit the behaviors of their watchful parents.

This breed will also be very protective of you, your family, and your home, which means anything and everything that makes noise or passes by outside will alert your pup and likely lead to some barking. Your small pooch won’t have a very deep bark, but anyone around your home will know they’re watching.

2. Their History is a Bit Unknown

Designer or hybrid breeds are usually common even before people start breeding them purposefully, and this is likely true with the Jack-A-Ranian. While they may have existed earlier, this breed started gaining popularity in the United States in the early 1990s around the same time that many other designer breeds began popping up.

Although their exact origin as a hybrid breed is largely unknown, their parent breeds can be easily traced back for many years. Pomeranians are mentioned as far back as the early 1800s when they were bred as companion dogs (perhaps most famously for Queen Victoria), and Jack Russell Terriers were bred since around the same time as hunting dogs. Given what a wonderful family dog Jack-A-Ranians can be, it’s surprising that it took almost 200 years for them to become popular as a stand-alone and recognized breed.

3. They Fare Better in Cooler Climates

Many people see small dogs and picture them shivering and needing a puppy jacket when the temperature drops below 60 degrees. However, Jack-A-Ranians have very dense fur and a double coat, which means they adapt very well to cold temperatures and aren’t nearly as comfortable in warmer climates.

If you fall in love with this breed but live in a warm or humid area, make sure not to overwork your pup on walks or during outdoor play. If you leave them home for an extended period of time, leave the AC on for them so they don’t overheat.

 

The parents of the Jack-A-Ranian. Left: Pomeranian, Right: Jack Russell Terrier
The parents of the Jack-A-Ranian. Left: Pomeranian, Right: Jack Russell Terrier

Temperament & Intelligence of the Jack-A-Ranian

The Jack-A-Ranian is a great companion pup for people who are active and playful. They love human interaction in the form of playing and exploring, and they tend not to be very affectionate. This isn’t due to a lack of love, though, and it’s more a result of them preferring to be outside playing.

They’re intelligent dogs that will know how to get what they want, and they’re not afraid to let you know when something bothers them. These are vocal and boisterous pups that will always be very present and engaged.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Jack-A-Ranians are excellent family dogs, and they’ll love and seek to protect you and all of your family members. They love human interaction, and they won’t care if they’re playing with you, older relatives, or children. These dogs are highly active, which means that they do well in large families where there’s always someone to play with.

Like we mentioned earlier, these dogs come from alert and watchful parents, so they will be protective of your home and everyone who lives there. This can mean that they’re distrustful of strangers, as they may be perceived as a threat.

Jack-A-Ranians will be good with your children, but if your kids have friends over, you may want to separate your pup from the playdate or at the very least pay close attention to how they interact with a stranger in the house. They could become aggressive toward a child’s friend if they see them as a threat.

This breed tends to be independent and can value their alone time occasionally, but they do best when there are people around to interact with. These dogs may not be the cuddliest pups out there, but they love their owners and will always want to be around them.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

While you may get lucky bringing a Jack-A-Ranian into your home that co-exists comfortably with your cat, you shouldn’t count on it. Jack Russells were trained to hunt and retrieve small rodents and other animals, so an innocent introduction may very well turn into an unwelcome hunt. It’s strongly recommended that you don’t commit to this breed if you have cats or other small animals like hamsters, rabbits, or rats.

Other dogs likely won’t bother your Jack-A-Ranian, especially if they’re larger. Your pup will usually be fine going to dog parks and meeting other dogs on walks if they’re similarly sized or larger, but if playtime with a larger dog gets too rough, your Jack-A-Ranian won’t enjoy it so much. These dogs often act like they’re bigger than they really are, so you may see some aggression to let the other dog know enough is enough, even if the other pooch is significantly larger. Your pup will typically be okay with other dogs, but be prepared to step in if playing gets out of hand.

Things to Know When Owning a Jack-A-Ranian:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

These dogs have a small stature, and their diet is reflective of their size. Expect to feed your Jack-A-Ranian about one to one and a half cups of dry dog food every day.

Dogs are predominantly meat eaters, which means you should choose a dog food that is high in protein and doesn’t have a lot of “filler foods” like corn or wheat included. Given your Jack-A-Ranian’s exercise needs, you should ensure they’re eating a high-quality dog food formulated specifically for small dogs with high energy.

Small dog breeds are prone to obesity and a slew of related issues, so although your pup will be getting plenty of exercise, make sure not to overfeed them. If you notice uncharacteristic weight gain, bring down the serving sizes or speak to your vet for detailed guidance.

Exercise 🐕

Jack-A-Ranians have a very high energy level which means extensive and strenuous daily exercise is an absolute must. You should expect to set aside at least an hour of time to get exercise with your pup every single day. This can include walks in your neighborhood, visits to the dog park, playing fetch, or a mix of these.

This breed is also rather intelligent, which means you’ll want to stimulate your pup mentally as well. Playing games or offering toys that require thought and decision will help use up some of that energy, but remember that nothing will replace physical exercise for these dogs.

The recommended daily exercise for this dog will help keep them healthy and in good shape, limit destructive behavior, and mitigate the possibility of weight gain and related issues.

jack-a-ranian in grass
Image Credit: Jontmh, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

Jack-A-Ranians are intelligent, which means they will learn new commands quickly and efficiently. However, this breed is also notoriously stubborn like their Jack Russell relatives, and they will happily engage in a battle of will with anyone thickheaded enough to try to outlast them.

For this reason, these dogs are very difficult to train and are not recommended for beginner dog owners. Not only do they need to begin training at an early age, but they also need consistency, a persistent trainer who is unwilling to bend, and one who uses positive reinforcement to drill in good behavior.

Although they’re difficult to train, Jack-A-Ranians’ intelligence will mean that they’re easily housebroken, so you’ll find that you have fewer accidents to clean up inside than you might with other breeds.

It’s also important to note that, while you can train these dogs commands and obedience, many of their inherited traits, like their tendency to bark and be distrustful of strangers, won’t be trained away.

Grooming ✂️

Like we mentioned earlier, this breed has very dense fur in a double coat, so weekly brushing will help keep your pup’s fur from becoming matted and will also cut down on shedding and the consequential vacuuming.

You should plan to bathe your Jack-A-Ranian about once a month, but given this dog’s love of the outdoors, you may find that they get dirty and need bathing more like once every other week. This breed usually loves the water, so you probably won’t find bath time challenging.

You can opt to bring your Jack-A-Ranian to a groomer, but given the frequency of bathing you may need, this can become very expensive. Additionally, your pup may not be comfortable around a groomer, so being willing to bathe your pooch yourself is important with this breed.

Aside from regular bathing and brushing, plan to clean your dog’s ears about once a week and trim their nails regularly. Given their activity level, keeping their nails properly trimmed will help cut down on broken or cracked nails.

Lastly, small dogs are particularly prone to tooth and gum problems, so prepare to get your doggie toothbrush out every other week or so and get to scrubbing!

Health and Conditions🏥

Jack-A-Ranians have some health problems, but most of the common ones are pretty minor. This is generally a healthy and hearty breed, but their medical issues can be inherited from their ancestors. Always be aware of your pup’s lineage and keep an eye out for these possible medical ailments.

Minor Conditions
  • Eyelid issues like entropion and ectropion
  • Obesity
  • Patellar luxation
  • Tooth and gum issues
Serious Conditions
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • Deafness
  • Eye problems including lens luxation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Collapsed trachea

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Male vs Female

Males of this breed will tend to be more energetic and might be more playful. They’ll have more of a drive to hunt small animals, but females will still have a hefty prey drive. Dogs of both sexes will be alert and protective, but you may find that Male Jack-A-Ranians exhibit more distrust toward strangers and aggression toward perceived threats to themselves, your family, or your home.

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Final Thoughts

The Jack-A-Ranian is an excellent dog breed to bring into your home and your family if you’re looking for a high energy pup that doesn’t take up much space. They’re small, but their personalities and hearts are big, so expect this breed to become a big and interactive part of your family.

Although they’re adaptable to apartment life, they tend to bark a lot, and they do best with a spacious yard where they can exert some of their energy running, playing, and fetching. They don’t do well if left alone for long periods of time. Although they may not be the most physically affectionate dogs, they do love the company of their human counterparts.

If you have a high-energy lifestyle and want a dog that will enjoy running, hiking, and swimming with you, and you don’t mind committing extra time and energy to proper training, this breed may be perfect for you! Dogs are man’s best friend, and this loving and protective pooch will embody that label perfectly.


Featured image credit: Jontmh, Shutterstock