The Blue Heeler Jack Russell mix, as you can probably tell, is a mix of the Blue Heeler breed and the Jack Russell. It’s a designer dog that is called the Cattle Jack.
It is known for its high levels of energy and for being independent. These dogs make for good pets in busy homes since they can distract themselves easily with a lot of games, jumping and running.
Here’s what else you should know.
- Height: 14 to 20 inches
- Weight: 35 to 50 pounds
- Lifespan: 12 to 13 years
- Group: Working Dogs
- Temperament: Highly energetic, intelligent, loyal
- Most Suitable For: Busy households with people who have had dogs before
This dog is a mix of two breeds. But like the other crossbreeds, it will have traits from both parents, but that won’t necessarily be 50-50. But here’s what we know about the parents.
The Jack Russell makes for a good family dog from the terrier category. It looks adorable with floppy ears that are short and hard to resist.
They have a white body with a short but mostly white coat as well. Some dogs have noticeable brown spots on their faces as well as bodies.
The Blue Heeler, also called the Australian Cattle dog, is a small to medium-sized dog with a fierce look. These dogs have two coats with short fur.
This is because these dogs were bred to help their humans drive cattle when the terrain is challenging. And the double coat is meant to protect them from difficult weather.
Typically, this dog looks like a mix of both its parents, but in terms of looks, they take after the Jack Russell more. But they work and have energy levels that are more like the Blue Heeler parent.
It’s important to note here that this designer dog is not recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club). But the ACHA (American Canine Hybrid Association) and the UKC (United Kennel Club) do recognize it.
It’s also important to remember that since this is a mixed breed, the size and appearance can vary greatly from one dog to another. It could look more like one of its parents or be a 50-50 of both.
This depends entirely on the breeder, and you should check the paperwork about its parents to prevent the possibility of disappointment.
Cattle Jack Characteristics
This dog comes from two parent breeds that are also categorized as working dogs. That’s why it responds well to commands and is generally considered easy to train.
It has a strong ability to learn new behaviors and tricks, but it can be a bit stubborn, which it gets from its Jack Russell parent. That is why the Blue Heeler Jack Russell is more suited to an experienced human who can be consistent and patient with the training.
The Blue Heeler is a loyal and conscientious dog when you give it a task. It is intelligent, agile and does a job very well.
The Jack Russell is also similar in nature but also has a great potential to learn and has a lot of energy. So, it’s an excellent combination.
As a result, their hybrid is also a hardworking dog. It is also loyal, sociable, witty and is a great hiking and running companion. This dog is also a great hunting and guarding dog, which makes it a multipurpose pick for those who are task oriented.
The terrier parent of this dog is small, but it has a few feeding needs. Since it’s a highly energetic parent, you should give it adequate nutrition.
But you should keep a lid on excesses since it is prone to illnesses like obesity. But the Blue Heeler requires food that is rich in protein because it has a muscular body that needs to be maintained.
Deciding the right type and quantity of the hybrid will need you to understand the type of body your dog has and feed it accordingly. You should keep note of its nap times so that you don’t give it more food than it can work off.
You should feed it with its body weight in mind. If your hybrid dog tends to have a lot of energy, you can give it an extra treat or two.
Essentially, you need to see how much workout the dog gets and adjust its food accordingly. It’s also a good idea to check with the vet to see if you are feeding it less, enough or more than needed.
And as always, homemade food works best for these dogs as well. You should make sure that their diet has enough carbohydrates through fruits and veggies so that they are happy and healthy.
You should keep them off grapes and raisins because they can cause kidney failure.
It can be tricky to train this dog because it does a little bit of a stubborn streak. That’s why it is not easy for first timers to get this dog.
But obedience training is something many believe helps their pet understand its limits of personal freedom. That also has a role to play in forming their personality.
There are other breeds that will be okay without obedience training. The Cattle Jack is not one of those breeds.
These dogs like to be taught about boundaries, discipline and routine. So, you want to put in a few good hours in training to teach them these qualities that will make them social and well behaved.
This training should occur when the dog is still a pup, and it should be consistent and regular. And if you make sure that the basic needs of this dog are taken care of, these dogs will be happy and calm.
One of the things you should remember is that these dogs have a keen pack instinct that they inherit because both parents’ breeds have it. So, they are excited to find a leader and follow them.
And you should be that person in their lives. Otherwise, they will make their own rules and that can be very challenging when you have an independent dog that has a lot of energy at its disposal.
This hybrid is also a defensive dog which could create problems with strangers and visitors if you don’t train them to behave properly. But that doesn’t make it a difficult dog.
The Cattle Jack is a wonderful pet because it is intelligent. And thanks to its smartness, you will find it easy to train them if you have some experience with a dog.
This is also a bonding experience for you and your new pet while you learn their strengths and quirks.
It can be said that Cattle Jacks have thick, fluffy and hard hair. But the undercoat—yes, they have one—is soft and help them control warmth depending on the outside weather.
Having two coats helps them stay warm when the mercury drops. It also adjusts itself in phases when the dog is highly active.
The color of the coat depends on the lineage, but usually, the coat has white and blue-gray hair. But it’s not uncommon to find Cattle Jacks that also have a little mix of red hair, which gives them an interesting look.
Now, how much a Cattle Jack will shed is a bit hard to predict. There is a difference in how the parents function, which makes it hard to pin down an answer.
Jack Russells themselves don’t have a consistent map when it comes to shedding, so it is hard to tell what will happen with a hybrid.
The Blue Heeler, on the other hand, doesn’t actually shed. But it does have two coats, and you will find the undercoat shedding in clumps a couple of times a year.
This is a process that lasts for about two weeks during spring and one other time of the year. But, at some point, it will also blow its hair instead of shedding.
This coat blowing is something Jack Russells with wired hair do. So, depending on the mix of your Cattle Jack, you should expect to have to go to the groomers a couple of times a year to handle the situation.
But if the Jack Russell parent didn’t have wiry hair, you can expect one blowout a year. However, if your Cattle Jack doesn’t have a blowout, it will shed a little bit of hair in the summer.
There has been some controversy about the general idea of crossbreeding since the result can be a bit unpredictable. And since these crossbreeds are a bit more expensive than purebreds, this controversy has found itself some fuel.
As far as the health of the pup is considered, many agree that crossbreeding is good since the gene pool acquires new vigor. But those who have an issue with crossbreeding say that it results in designer dogs that are unpredictable in terms of looks and behavior.
There are advantages and disadvantages to the practice, and the truth is, it all really comes down to the breeder and their standards. And the ethics of it are often a matter of the personal preference of the humans who want to get these dogs.
Jack Russells have a longer life expectancy and live for 13 to 16 years compared to the Blue Heeler, which lives for 10 to 13 years. So, you can expect the Cattle Jack to have a life expectancy of 12 to 13 years.
Of course, this depends on how they are cared for and also on what kind of health problems they may have inherited from their parents.
The Cattle Jack grows to be about 14-20 inches tall and weigh about 35 to 50 pounds once they are adults. As mentioned before, it’s a bit hard to pin down the figures for a mixed breed like this one.
What we can do is look at the height and weight of the parents and get an idea as to what to expect.
For instance, the Jack Russell is stocky and short, but the Blue Heeler is narrow and has long legs. So, the average Cattle Jack could have medium-length legs, broad shoulders and a lean body.
Since Cattle Jacks have a lot of energy, you should take them out for a hike or a run. And when you do, you will notice that they don’t get tired so easily.
This is a trait that both its parents have since Jack Russells were bred for hunting and the Blue Heeler is a herding dog. The latter also has a connection to Border Collies, which are meant to do the same job.
These dogs can focus and keep their energy levels high from morning to evening. So, you need to find exercises that stimulate their minds as well.
Cattle Jacks love hanging out with people who are active and can give the dog time and space. They are also excellent guard dogs since they are intelligent and curious to investigate.
This is an important aspect which is why you should look at the paperwork for both parents. It’s hard to tell what a Cattle Jack will be like without looking at the history of the parents.
And it worries many that since this breed is not recognized by AKC, there might be problems. Here’s what the gene pools of both parents offer in terms of health problems that could be passed on to the hybrid offspring.
Blue Heelers are likely to have:
- Elbow dysplasia
- Hip dysplasia
- Persistence of pupillary membrane
- Primary lens luxation
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Meanwhile, Jack Russells are vulnerable to:
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Dental problems
- Hip and elbow dysplasias
- Kneecap dislocation
- Liver disease
- Luxating lens
These are wonderful dogs that have a lot of energy and intelligence. They get that from both their parents.
It’s hard to tell what they look like, but it’s safe to say they have a unique look.