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Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd Mix: Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd Mix: Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

Both the German Shepherd and the Jack Russell Terrier make awesome pets. So, breeders set out to mix the two and create the adorable Jack Russell German Shepherd dog.

Breed Overview


15–22 inches


25–65 pounds


12-15 years


Black, black and tan, liver, blue, sable, bi-colored

Suitable for:

Singles and families, homes with yards, active owners


Smart, loyal, active, playful, protective

Understanding this playful mixed breed means learning about both the German Shepherd and the Jack Russell Terrier, as their offspring will likely take on traits from both breeds. We break down everything that you need to know about both parent breeds and ultimately, this interesting mixed breed dog.

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd Puppies

Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd close up_OlesyaNickolaeva_Shutterstock
Image Credit: OlesyaNickolaeva, Shutterstock

These designer dogs are cute and friendly, yet they can be stubborn and strong-willed. They grow quickly due to their German Shepherd genes, but they typically do not get nearly as big as a purebred German Shepherd does. Some are thin and wiry, and others are thick and smooth-coated. It all depends on the traits that a Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd mix inherits from their parents.

When you bring a Jack Russel Terrier German Shepherd into your home, you can expect to have a loyal and protective dog by your side. They’re quite energetic so be ready to commit enough time to give them enough mental and physical stimulation to avoid boredom and to keep them happy.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd Mix

The Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd mix is highly intelligent and eager to please. They love to learn, which makes them relatively easy to train, but training should start during puppyhood. These dogs are playful like their Jack Russell parents yet protective like their German Shepherd parents. They are loyal to their human companions, both children and adults, and will stand guard over them whenever a threat is perceived.

These designer dogs are sociable and enjoy playing with kids in the yard whenever the opportunity arises. They can also settle down and cuddle when spending time indoors with family members. When it comes to interacting with others, these dogs are typically welcoming both at home and in outdoor social situations.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

The Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd mix is a fun-loving dog that gets along great with most children, given that they are well trained and understand how to remain calm around the little ones. They should always be supervised when around kids who do not understand how to maintain “pack leader” control.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

This mixed breed can get along with other dogs that do not live within their household if they start socializing with them from a young age. A Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd mix should start meeting other dogs from the time that they are just a few weeks old, to ensure that they do not become skittish or aggressive while around other pooches later in life.

These dogs may or may not get along with cats and other animals that live inside their household. Due to the Jack Russell Terrier’s hunting instincts, this mixed breed may want to chase smaller animals. Early introductions, training, and supervision can all increase the chance that your mixed pooch will get along with other smaller pets.

Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd playing_Best dog photo_shutterstock
Image By: Best dog Photo, Shutterstock

divider-pawThings to Know When Owning a Jack Russell German Shepherd Mix

There are many things to learn about before adopting a Jack Russell German Shepherd mix, such as what kind of food they should eat and how much exercise they should get each day. You should also know what to expect when it comes to training and grooming. There are also health conditions that these dogs are susceptible to.

Food & Diet Requirements

These dogs require a high-protein diet made up mostly of real animal meat, whether from chickens, cows, turkeys, or fish. Commercial dog food that contains animal protein as the first ingredient and does not include any fillers, like corn and soy, or artificial ingredients is the best option. Fresh vegetables, such as grated carrots and chunks of boiled sweet potato, can be offered as supplemental snacks occasionally.

Your Jack Russel Terrier German Shepherd mix will likely eat between 1.5 and 3 cups of food each day, depending on things such as their activity levels, age, and overall health. Fresh water should always be available. When in doubt about what to feed your pooch, consult with your veterinarian to get a customized diet plan to follow.


These are active dogs that require at least an hour of vigorous exercise each day to stay healthy and happy. They should go on walks daily and have an opportunity to play in a fenced yard or run around in a public dog park. Time playing hide-and-seek or training indoors when the weather is bad will get these dogs through the day without becoming too bored or destructive.


Every Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd mix should be obedience trained during puppyhood. Since they are smart and eager to please, these dogs typically take well to training and can learn to come, sit, and stay quickly. They also take well to obedience and guard training, although professional training may be required to get them started.

Grooming ✂️

Brushing once a week will help keep shedding manageable throughout the year. These dogs do not typically get knots or mats, but bathing might be necessary after a day outside. They should get enough outdoor exercise to keep their nails naturally trimmed, but if the nails become long and sharp, trimming should take place. Dental chews can help keep the teeth and gums healthy as time goes on.

Health and Conditions

These dogs can grow up to be happy and healthy with little medical intervention, but there are a few health conditions that they are susceptible to that owners should be aware of.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Bloat
Serious Conditions
  • Eye lens dislocation
  • Hip/elbow dysplasia
  • Hypertrophic osteodystrophy

Male vs. Female

The differences between male and female Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd mixes are not clear. Some say that boys take to training better, while others say that females are more independent. It all depends on the traits that these dogs inherit from their parents and the personality that they develop as they age.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd Mix

1. Their Looks Are Unpredictable

Due to the many aesthetic differences between the Jack Russell Terrier and the German Shepherd, it is impossible to predict what a Jack Russell German Shepherd mix will look like when they grow up. They may be larger or smaller in size and darker or lighter in color, and their ears, eyes, heads, and paws could take after either parent or be a mixture of the two.

2. They Tend to Be Nosy

Both German Shepherds and Jack Russell Terriers like to use their noses while exploring, and the same goes for the Jack Russell German Shepherd mix. Most owners feel that their mixed dogs are even nosier than either of their parents.

3. They Are Usually Protective

This mixed breed dog is not typically nearly as large as their German Shepherd parent, but they tend to be as protective. They may look sweet and act friendly most of the time as their Jack Russell Terrier parent does, but if they feel threatened in any way, the protective side comes out, which can be intimidating to those who do not know the dog.


Final Thoughts

The Jack Russell Terrier German Shepherd mix is a grand dog that offers companionship and protection that any family can appreciate. These dogs are lively and fun yet serious and focused when necessary. They love spending time with humans, so if you have the time to share with a pooch, this might be the right designer breed for you.

We have more Russell Terrier Mixes and German Shepherd Mixes for you to explore!

Featured Image Credit: Thka, Shutterstock

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