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

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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 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 relatively new hybrid dog, so much isn’t known about their history. Learning about the parent breeds can provide insight into their historical lineage and temperament.

These dogs are full of energy, thanks to the high energy levels of their parents. Therefore, they tend to be active from morning until it’s time for bed at night. Both parents 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.

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.
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Jack Highland Terrier Puppies


Jack Highland Terriers aren’t widely bred or as common as other purebred and mixed-breed dogs. While the Jack Highland Terrier isn’t common, both parent breeds are. If you’re lucky enough to find one of these cute pups at the Humane Society, you may be able to adopt them for a low adoption fee.

When you bring a Jack Highland Terrier home, be ready to have a loyal and loving dog by your side. They’re very energetic and need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid boredom.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Jack Highland Terrier

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 the coat characteristics the puppy inherits. Some breeders may be able to tell you whether a puppy will be hypoallergenic based on past litters they’ve bred with the same parents.

2. They Have Tons of Energy

These dogs may be small in size, but they’re brimming with energy. In fact, Jack Highland Terriers 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 daily.

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

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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. They are loyal to their family members and will try to defend them when they feel it’s necessary. They’re sociable, so they take well to strangers who aren’t threats and love visiting with humans and other dogs they know.

These dogs are also independent, so they don’t mind staying alone at home if they have toys or another dog to keep them company. If they’re not socialized early, Jack Highland Terriers may be too rough and exciting for small dogs and children. Therefore, they should start meeting new kids and dogs when they are adopted and brought home.

Because both parents 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 is 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.

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

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

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

Due to their hunting nature, Jack Highland Terriers may try to chase cats and other small pets inside and outside 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.

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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 daily. They can eat even more after long days of hiking or hours spent at the dog park. They 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. However, not all commercial dog foods are created equally. Stay away from the brands that use fillers and ingredients like high fructose corn syrup.

Your Jack Highland Terrier should be fed high-quality food that includes beef, chicken, or fish. The recipe can also include whole grains, fruits, veggies, and supplements such as flaxseed. Look for a formula made specifically for small dog breeds so your pup 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 at least 60 to 120 minutes of exercise each day. Their daily exercise can include brisk walking, games of fetch, time at the dog park, and indoor play sessions.

They don’t need a fenced yard but require access to leashed time outdoors and unleashed experiences like hiking and camping. Agility training is another excellent 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 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 fantastic contenders on the agility course. Agility training also helps stimulate this fine mixed breed’s clever and curious mind. You can start teaching your dog agility at home and decide whether to get involved in the professional circuit.

Grooming ✂️

The Jack Highland Terrier may or may not be hypoallergic, depending on which parent they take after. If your puppy takes after the 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.

Regardless of the type of coat, Jack Highland Terriers need baths once every couple of months to get rid of dirt and soil buildup. They’re active enough to keep their nails trimmed, and thanks to their hygienic nature, they seem to keep their ears and other vital 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. However, many of the problems are minor, and 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
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Male vs. Female

There isn’t much difference between female and male Jack Highland Terriers. Some people think their females are more affectionate, while others believe 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 difference between the sexes. Even if you adopt both, you might not notice a difference.

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Final Thoughts

The Jack Highland Terrier is an energetic dog with a lot of love to give. They love spending time in big family environments but enjoy their one-on-one relationships with singles looking for company. However, they need opportunities to run, play, and hide throughout the day. These intelligent pups are always looking for something to do, and owners should keep several toys around the house.

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 your comments and whether you own or plan to adopt a Jack Highland Terrier. Let us know your thoughts, experiences, and tips in the comments section below!

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Featured Image Credit: Pxfuel

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