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Jack Russell Golden Retriever Mix: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

jack russell retriever

Height: 17-22 inches
Weight: 30-45 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Colors: gold, white, black, brown, grey
Suitable for: Active families looking for a lively and playful companion
Temperament: Loyal, Devoted, Intelligent, Energetic, Lively, Playful

Although the Golden Jack Retriever combines two popular breeds, the Jack Russell Terrier and the Golden Retriever, it remains a relatively rare hybrid breed. The primary reason for their rarity is that the hybrid can only be bred when a female Golden Retriever is inseminated by a male Jack Russell. This may happen naturally, but mating is more likely to occur intentionally when breeders are looking to create a unique and appealing breed.

This hybrid is still relatively unknown, which means that we must look at the parent breeds to determine the likely attributes of the hybrid. Although a puppy may lean towards one parent breed or the other, they are more likely to combine attributes of both parents.

The Jack Russell is a terrier. He was bred to chase rats, vermin, and other small animals. The Golden Retriever, on the other hand, was bred as a hunting dog. Both breeds may retain some of their lively instincts, require plenty of exercise, but are likely to be loving and caring dogs. The resulting hybrid will usually be taller than a Jack Russell and may have a wiry or smooth coat.

Divider 1Jack Russell Golden Retriever Mix Puppies


Jack Russell Golden Retrievers are still relatively unheard of and are not yet in high demand. As such, it can be difficult to find a breeder with this hybrid.

When looking for this hybrid breed, ensure that you use a reputable breeder with a good reputation. Ask plenty of questions and request to see copies of health screening checks for the parents. You should also ask to meet one or both of the parent dogs. It is usually the mother that is available, which in this case will be the Golden Retriever parent breed. Meeting the parent gives you an idea of what to expect from your puppy. It also gives you a chance to assess the breeder and their premises. Ideally, the parent and the puppy should be bright and fairly energetic, although this will obviously depend on factors like the age of the puppy and how long since the mom gave birth.

Because this hybrid breed is not overly expensive, and because the parent breeds can mate naturally, you may find accidental hybrids in shelters and rescues.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Jack Russell Golden Retriever Mix

1. The Golden Retriever Is An Exceptional Search And Rescue Dog

As well as regularly featuring in the top three most popular pet dogs, the Golden Retriever is one of the most commonly used search and rescue dogs. They have an insanely good sense of smell, are equally at home in the water as they are on land, and they are easy to train and keen to impress their handlers. They are also a welcome and friendly sight for those that do need rescuing.

2. Goldens Are Sociable Dogs

The Golden Retriever has many positive attributes that make him a great pet. He is friendly and loving, attentive, and gentle. He is also handsome and has an incredible coat. They are also very sociable dogs. While this is considered a great benefit because it means that your pet will get along with all family members and will not bark unnecessarily at strangers, it also means that your Golden will not do well if he is left alone for long periods. Although experts agree that this breed should not be left alone for longer than 7 hours, most owners will find that their Retriever may start to suffer separation anxiety much sooner than that. If you work all day, consider getting a local dog walker to pop in and give your good boy some daily exercise.

3. The Jack Russell Is Extremely Agile

Not only does the Jack Russell Terrier have the kind of energy level to rival that of a Golden Retriever, but he is also one of the most agile breeds. He is a terrier, so is perfectly capable of digging under fences, and while he might be quite short, the average Russell (is there really such a thing?) is capable of clearing 5-foot fences. You will need to ensure that your yard is fully secured and you may want to consider enrolling the hybrid crossbreed in some form of agility or canine sport event to take advantage of and curb this agility.

The parent breeds of the Jack Russell Golden Retriever Mix
Image Credit: Left – engeline80, Pixabay | Right – Larina Marina, Shutterstock

Divider 5

Temperament & Intelligence of the Jack Russell Golden Retriever Mix 🧠

Both parent breeds are still used as working dogs today, although they have also gained popularity as companion pets. Both parent breeds are considered friendly, are rarely if ever aggressive, and they can usually be integrated into any family group. They will usually get along well with strangers, although they may be prone to some vocalization before they get to know a person. Although the breed is adaptable, they will do better with a home with a yard, especially if your cross exhibits more Jack Russell Terrier traits than that of the Golden Retriever.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Jack Russell Golden Retriever mix is a great choice for families. He will usually adopt the fun-loving playful nature of the Jack Russell and combine this with the doting and loving nature of the Golden Retriever. Your Golden Jack Retriever will play in the yard, enjoy long walks, and will then happily sit alongside you, or on top of you, for an evening. He will get along with the children, especially if they are willing to throw a ball or play with a toy, and there will not be any problem with visiting friends or having household visitors.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Similarly, the hybrid will usually get along with other dogs. The Retriever is especially friendly and will generally be glad to make new canine friends. The Jack Russell may be a bit boisterous for some breeds, but his heart is almost always in the right place. Although the Jack Russell can be prone to chasing very small animals, he can usually be easily introduced to cats and other furry family members without fear of any fighting.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Jack Russell Golden Retriever Mix:

While the crossbreed is considered a great family dog, he may not be suitable for everybody. Consider the following factors before welcoming one to your group.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

You should expect to feed your cross anywhere from 2.5 cups to 3.5 cups of food per day. The actual amount you feed will depend on the dominant breed, their resulting size, and whether they are a working or sedentary dog. Working dogs naturally require more food to maintain their health and energy levels.

Exercise 🐕

Both parent breeds are energy-intensive dogs, and the resulting hybrid is also very lively. He will require a lot of exercise, especially if you are hoping to tire him out. Provide an absolute minimum of 1 hour of exercise a day. Although your dog will enjoy walking, he will benefit from vigorous exercise such as agility, running, or some form of canine sport.

Training 🦮

Both breeds are also intelligent, and they like to please their owner, although the Golden Retriever is more inclined to listen intently than the sometimes stubborn Jack Russell. However, the combination of these two breeds makes the cross a good choice even for inexperienced handlers.

Grooming ✂️

The Golden Retriever is a very heavy shedder. You will find his double coat all over the furniture and the floor. However, this is offset somewhat by the Jack Russell Terrier, which has wiry hair and is not as prone to shedding. With that said, your hybrid will still shed somewhat. Brush to remove dead hair and only provide baths when absolutely necessary.

Other than this, you will need to provide assistance with general grooming habits, which means trimming nails, cutting hair around the eyes and personal areas, and brushing teeth three times a week.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Terrier is considered a hearty and healthy breed, although the Golden Retriever is prone to some hereditary conditions. Look for symptoms of the following and seek veterinarian help if they arise.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Skin problems
  • Cataracts
Serious Conditions
  • Joint dysplasia
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease

Divider 5Male vs Female

There are no discernible differences between the male and female of this breed. Dominant parent breed and upbringing will have more of an impact on the behavior of your puppy than sex.

Divider 3Final Thoughts

The Golden Jack Retriever is a hybrid breed that crosses the Jack Russell Terrier with the Golden Retriever. Both breeds are working dogs, have high energy needs, and both make good family companions.  You should expect a companion that is happy to play, and with any family member, but one that will also enjoy spending time with you when you get back from the park. You will need to ensure that your yard is well secured because the Jack Russell, in particular, is incredibly agile and your dog may be able to clear surprisingly high fences and walls.

Although the Retriever’s incredible double coat may be tempered by the Jack Russell’s wiry hair, you should still expect to have to undertake a decent amount of grooming to ensure that your dog looks his best. And so, too, will your house.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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