Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Jack Highland Terrier (Jack Russell & Westie Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Jack Highland Terrier mixed breed

Height: 10-13 inches
Weight: 13-21 pounds
Lifespan: 11-13 years
Colors: Black, white, tan, tricolor
Suitable for: Singles, couples, families with kids, the elderly, apartments, houses
Temperament: Loyal, loving, playful, energetic, alert, attentive, social, inquisitive

The Jack Highland Terrier is a fun-loving mixed breed that always seems to be cheerful, affectionate, and alert. This dog came about as the result of breeding a Jack Russell Terrier and a West Highland White Terrier together. This is a fairly new hybrid dog, so much isn’t known about their history. Learning about the parent breeds can provide insight into things like historical lineage and temperament factors.

These dogs are full of energy, thanks to the high energy levels that both of their parents tend to have. Therefore, they tend to be active from morning until it’s time for bed at night. Both parent breeds have been historically used as small animal hunters, so the Jack Highland Terrier may not get along well with cats and other small pets like hamsters and ferrets.

All in all, Jack Highland Terriers are great family dogs that are loyal to their pack of family members. They’re intelligent and can easily be trained, but they need attention, activities, and exercise to maintain a happy and healthy life. Are you interested in adopting one of these adorable dogs? Continue reading to learn more about what it’s like to own a Jack Highland Terrier.
Divider 1

Jack Highland Terrier Puppies — Before You Get One


Before adopting a Jack Highland Terrier, it’s a good idea to learn about things like their energy level, trainability, and their sociability capabilities. Here’s a snapshot of what you need to know:

3 Little-Known Facts About Jack Highland Terriers

1. They May Be Hypoallergenic

The West Highland White Terrier is considered hypoallergenic, so their Jack Highland Terrier offspring may also be hypoallergenic. It all depends on what parent coat characteristics the puppy most takes after. Some breeders may be able to tell you whether a puppy will be hypoallergenic based on past puppy litters they’ve bred with the same parents.

2. They Have Tons of Energy

These dogs may be small in size, but they’re huge on energy. In fact, a small Jack Highland Terriers tend to need more exercise than many large breed dogs! You can expect your Terrier to need anywhere from 1 to 2 hours of exercise and activity every single day.

3. They’re Natural Hunters

Both parents of the Jack Highland Terrier were bred to hunt small animals, so they typically inherit hunting instincts. While they won’t go around trying to hunt down small children or other dogs, they may think of cats and all other small animals as prey. Therefore, they should always be walked on a leash to avoid the risk of chasing wild or stray animals.

Parent Breeds of the Jack Highland Terrier
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Divider 5

Temperament & Intelligence of the Jack Highland Terrier 🧠

Jack Highland Terriers are intelligent, frisky, and fun-loving. They can be troublemakers when left to their own devices simply because they’re so curious. They can also become destructive if they’re bored or under-exercised. These dogs are loyal to their family members and will try defending them when they feel it’s necessary. They’re sociable, so they take well to strangers who aren’t threats, and they love visiting with humans and other dogs that they know.

These dogs are also independent, so they don’t mind staying alone at home as long as they have safe toys or another dog to keep them company. Unless socialized at an early age, Jack Highland Terriers may be too rough and excited for small dogs and children. Therefore, they should start meeting new kids and dogs as soon as they are adopted and brought home.

Because both parent breeds are born hunters, the Jack Highland Terrier typically takes on the hunting trait. They can be trained to hunt by farmers and hunters, but they can also be trained not to hunt through obedience training courses and social experiences.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Generally, the Jack Highland Terrier makes for a great family pet. They’re attentive and loving but also playful and engaging. They may nip and roughhouse a little too much for young children until they’ve been obedience trained and socialized. Jack Highland Terriers love running and playing, so they will keep the kids busy in the yard for hours on end if they have it their way.

But these dogs are also happy living with single adults, couples, and the elderly. They don’t need many people or animals around to enjoy life, but they do need regular engagement, attention, training, and playtime.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Jack Highland Terriers do get along with other dogs and can thrive in a multi-dog household. However, they don’t naturally take to strange dogs, so they should be socialized from an early age. Consider scheduling “play dates” with other dog owners and visiting the dog park as soon as you bring your Jack Highland Terrier puppy home for the first time.

But due to their hunting nature, Jack Highland Terriers may try to chase cats and other small pets both inside and outside of the house. They should be taught right away that small pets are not prey and how to interact with the animals if you expect them to live together under the same roof.

Divider 3

Things to Know When Owning a Jack Highland Terrier

There is always something new to learn about the Jack Highland Terrier. You can’t expect to know everything before bringing one of these cute little pups home, but there is plenty that you can learn, like how much to feed your pet, what kind of exercise they like, and the kind of training they should participate in.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Though small, Jack Highland Terriers will eat about a cup of dry commercial dog food each day. They can eat even more after long days of hiking or hours spent at the dog park. These dogs do well on a homemade diet, but your veterinarian should run blood tests and help you determine exactly what to include in their homemade diet.

They can also thrive on wet or dry food that’s been commercially prepared and packaged. But not all commercial dog foods are created equally. Stay away from the stuff that includes beef and chicken meal, as well as ingredients like high fructose corn syrup. Avoid foods that feature soy, corn, other fillers, and artificial ingredients.

Your Jack Highland Terrier should be fed high-quality food that includes real beef, chicken, or fish. The food can also include whole grains, fruits, veggies, and supplements such as flaxseed. Look for a food that is made specifically for small dog breeds so your pooch can easily chew and digest it.

Exercise 🐕

It’s hard to believe, but these little balls of fire are always active. Jack Highland Terriers should get 60 to 80 minutes of exercise each day, minimum. Exercise can come in the form of various ways such as brisk walking, games of fetch, time at the dog park, and even game time indoors.

They don’t need a fenced yard to play in at their will, but they do need access to leashed time outdoors and unleashed experiences like hiking and camping. Agility training is another great form of exercise that Jack Highland Terriers typically love participating in.

Training 🦮

Every dog needs training, but maybe not as much as Jack Highland Terriers do. These spunky little dogs are affectionate and fun, but they can become terrors if they aren’t trained properly. Your Jack Highland Terrier should start obedience training as soon as they arrive home for the first time, and it should be a regular part of their routine for a lifetime.

Agility training is also something that the Jack Highland Terrier enjoys. They’re agile, brisk, and intelligent, which makes them awesome contenders on the agility course. Agility training also helps stimulate the intelligent and curious mind of this fine mixed breed. You can start teaching your dog agility at home and then decide whether to get involved with the professional circuit.

Grooming ✂️

The Jack Highland Terrier may or may not be hypoallergic, depending on which parent it most takes after. If your puppy takes after their West Highland White Terrier, they may not shed much and won’t require much grooming other than the occasional brushing and bath. On the other hand, if your pup takes after their Jack Russell Terrier parent, they will likely shed frequently and require brushing multiple times a week.

No matter their coat, Jack Highland Terriers tend to need baths once every couple of months to get rid of dirt and soil buildup. They’re active enough to keep their own nails trimmed, and thanks to their cleanly personality, they seem to keep their ears and other important areas of the body clean enough to avoid infection.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Unfortunately, the Jack Highland Terrier is prone to a long list of health problems. But many of the problems are minor, so they can be managed with the help of a veterinarian. Here is the breakdown of health conditions Jack Highland Terrier owners should be on the lookout for.

Minor Conditions
  • Pulmonic stenosis
  • Cataracts
  • Deafness
  • Globoid cell leukodystrophy
  • Urolithiasis
  • Ichthyosis
  • Shaker dog syndrome
  • Mellitus
  • Persistent pupillary membranes
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Lens luxation
Serious Conditions
  • Keratoconjunctivitis
  • Osteopathy
  • Sicca
  • Craniomandibular
  • Seborrhea
Divider 5

Male vs. Female

There isn’t much difference between female and male Jack Highland Terriers, except for gender. Some people think that their females are more affectionate, while others think that their male Jack Highland Terriers are the most attached to them. Unless you plan on adopting both a male and female, you probably will never know the real difference between the genders of this mixed dog breed. Even if you do adopt both, you still might not notice a difference.

Divider 3

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that the Jack Highland Terrier is a highly energetic dog with a lot of love to give. They love spending time in big family environments, but they also enjoy their one-on-one relationships with singles and older folks who are looking for company. But they do need opportunities to run, play, hide, and seek throughout the day. These smart pups are always looking for something to do, so owners should keep tons of toys around the house.

All in all, active families, and those with time to spare for exercise should certainly investigate adopting a Jack Highland Terrier. How do you feel about this cute Jack Russell mixed breed? We’d love to hear what your thoughts are and whether you already own or plan to adopt a Jack Highland Terrier yourself. Let us know your thoughts, experiences, and tips in the comments section below!

Featured Image Credit: Pxfuel

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database