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Jack Russell Pitbull Mix – All You Need To Know

As the name suggests, the Jack Russell Pitbulll mix is the result of breeding a Jack Russell and a Pitbull. The two breeds create an adorable, but high energy, pooch that is beloved by everyone that meets them. 

The Jack Russell Pitbull is often referred to as the Jack Pit, or Jackit. Since Jackit sounds like a fall clothing item, we’ll stick to Jack Pit here. 

History and Where the Jack Russell Pitbull Mix comes from

Photo of a Pitbull Jack Russell Mix
Photo of a Pitbull Jack Russell Mix

It’s not clear where the Jack Russell Pitbull mix came from, or when the first litter was produced. It’s suspected that they come from the U.S in the 1980s. Who first bred them, and when, is a mystery today. 

However, both the Jack Russell and Pitbull have clear origins and a rich history, which can help you understand the breed. 

Terrier History 

Since the Jack Russell and the Pitbull are terriers, let’s take a quick look at the history of terriers. Terriers were originally bred in the British Isles. 

They were originally bred to hunt vermin like rats, and small game, including foxes. The name terrier comes from “terra” which means ground in latin. 

Terriers have a small size, which allows them to go to ground when hunting their prey. They are fearless, and have a high prey drive. These characteristics made them perfect for controlling pests. They are also playful, energetic, and loving, which makes them great pets as well. 

Jack Russell History 

The Jack Russell terrier was created by Parson John Russell in Southern England in the 1800s. Russell had a goal. He wanted to create a breed that would work alongside hounds. 

The terrier would flush foxes from their holes. Then, the hounds would chase and catch the foxes.  Russell created three breeds. These are the Russell Terrier, the Jack Russell, and the Parson Russell.

The Russell and Parson Russell breeds are AKC recognized. The Jack Russell is not. This is because the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America asked the AKC not to register the breed. 

According to the club, registering the breed would put too much focus on physical appearance as the breed standard, which would take focus away from their working abilities. 

Pitbull History 

There are technically several breeds that are considered Pitbull terriers. This includes the  American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. Generally, the Pitbull terrier refers to the American Pitbull Terrier, so that is what we will focus on here. 

The Pitbull also originated in England. Its ancestor is the Olde English Bulldog. Unfortunately, bulldogs were used for a cruel sport known as bull baiting. This sport essentially pitted the bulldog against a bull. 

In 1835, bull baiting was outlawed. Instead of giving up blood sports completely, residents turned to ratting. Pits were created, and the dogs were placed in the pit with the rats. The dog who killed the most rats would win. 

However, ratting didn’t require the large size of the bulldog. The bulldog was bred with the terrier. This is what became what we know as the Pitbull. 

 In addition to ratting, dog fighting was a source of entertainment. The Pitbull was perfect for both ratting and dog fighting, so the breed gained popularity. 

Today, these practices are outlawed. However, dog fighting still occurs underground in the U.S., and Pitbulls are the most commonly fought breed. This has led to an undeserved aggressive reputation. 

Jack Russell Pitbull Mix Facts

Picture of a Jack Russell Pitbull Mix
Picture of a Jack Russell Pitbull Mix

The Jack Russell Pitbull is a great companion. They are very energetic, and loyal to their family. They are small to medium sized dogs, and have a long life span. 

Jack Russell Pitbull Mix Appearance

Photo of a Jack Russell Pitbull Mix
Photo of a Jack Russell Pitbull Mix

The appearance of a mixed breed dog can be difficult to predict. They will inherit some aspects of their appearance from each parent. However, one will be more prominent than the other. 

There’s a human equivalent to this. You can look at a child, and see that they have traits for both parents. However, you are also likely to say, “You look like your mom”, or “You look like your dad”. You can expect this same principle with a Jack Russell Pitbull mix. 

The Jack Pit has a well muscled, compact body. Since both parents have a short coat, the Jack Pit will as well. They typically have ears that are triangle-shaped and folded.

Some will have a strong square jaw line. Along with their muscular body, this makes them appear very aggressive.   

Jack Russells have a double coat, which is white with black or tan markings. The Pitbull, on the other hand, can be nearly any color, including black, white, fawn, and gray. 

Jack Russell Pitbulls can inherit their coat color from either parent. 

Nose Coloration  

In addition, Pitbulls can have unique nose coloration. This means the Jack Pit can also have these traits, if it is present in their Pitbull parent. 

The Red Nose Jack Pit will have a red nose. They also have red eye rims, lips, and paw pads. Their coat will be fawn, red, or chestnut. 

The Blue Nose Jack Pit will have a “blue” nose. This is actually a gray color, with a slight blue tint. Many dog breeds choose to call gray blue, so this isn’t exclusive to Pitbulls. 

The eyes, however, are true blue. These pooches are known for their striking sky blue peepers. 

The coat will typically be gray as well, but it’s possible for the coat to be a washed out brown as well. 

Jack Russell Pitbull Mix Price and Expenses

The average price for a Jackpit is $600 to $750. However, if they are a Blue Nose or Red Nose Jack Pit, they will likely be more expensive. This is because they are much rarer than other colors.

Jack Russell Pitbulls with large heads and bone structure are typically a bit more expensive than those who inherit the Jack Russell head and body type as well. 

If you choose to adopt a pooch instead of buying from a breeder, you should expect to pay between $200-$500 for an adoption fee. This fee helps the organization recoup their expenses, so they can continue caring for dogs in need.   

Dog Ownership Expenses

Purchasing a dog is only the beginning of the costs. Let’s take a look at the costs of getting a new dog. 

When you get a new dog, you’ll need to take them for an initial vet exam. This often includes vaccinations as well, particularly for puppies. The cost of an initial vet visit is $320 to $480. 

If you choose to spay or neuter your new canine companion, you can expect to pay $300-$800. Shelters typically require that you get the dog neutered, or they do the process themselves, before the dog is adopted. 

You may also want to microchip your Jackpit. This can help  you locate them if they are ever lost. This service costs $80.

Your Jackpit will need a place to sleep. A crate or a dog bed costs $30-$100. You may choose to purchase both, or only one of these. 

Other initial expenses include food bowls, a leash, toys, and food. These expenses typically cost $50 to $100. 

Once you’ve handled the initial expenses, there are also costs associated with taking care of your dog. These include dog food, routine veterinary care, and treats. The yearly cost of dog ownership ranges from $400-$3,000. 

Jack Russell Pitbull Mix Rarity

Generally, the Jack Russell Pitbull mix isn’t considered rare. They are a relatively new breed, and they aren’t well known yet. This means that finding them may take a bit of work. 

There are a few Jackpits that are rare, because of their rare coloring. 

Blue and Red Nose Jack Pit Rarity 

The Red Nose Pitbull is the second rarest, because the coloring is produced by a recessive gene. This means that the puppies will need to inherit two copies of the gene to have the same coloring. 

Breeding a Blue Nose Pit with a Jack Russell can create a Blue Nose Jack Pit. These are the rarest color. This is because the color comes from a recessive gene that dilutes their coloring. 

They carry the genes for black coloring, but the recessive gene causes it to appear blue or gray. 

Jack Russell Pitbull Mix Life Expectancy

The Jack Russell Pitbull is a long lived breed. They have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. 

This is partially due to the lifespan of their parents. In fact, the oldest Jack Russell Terrier lived to be 20 years old, and died in 2014. Jack Russels live an average of 13-16 years, while Pitbulls live 12-14 years. 

Jack Russell Pitbull Mix Size and weight

The Jack Pit will reach 14-17 inches in height. They weigh between 30-45 pounds. Keep in mind that the size of a Pitbull can vary, and larger parents will produce slightly larger puppies as well. 

They should reach their full height by 18 months old, and their full weight by 2 years old. 

Jack Russell Pitbull Mix Health

Like all dog breeds, Jack Pits are prone to a few health conditions. However, they are generally healthy dogs, and aren’t predisposed to lots of health problems. 

Some diseases that are common to Pitbulls or Jack Russell Terriers are not common in Jack Pits, because they are a mixed breed. 


Deafness is a problem that occurs in both Pitbulls and Jack Russells. Typically, dogs with this problem are born deaf. 

Degenerative Myelopathy

This occurs in middle-aged Jack Pits. It affects the spinal cord. Dogs with the disease will eventually lose control of their bladder, legs, and bowels. Once a dog is diagnosed with the disease usually live 1 to 2 years. Most are put down due to the low quality of life that the disease causes. 

Eye Problems 

Pitbulls are at an increased risk of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). The disease eventually causes blindness. It’s not painful for the dog, but unfortunately, there’s no treatment. This condition is inherited, so it’s possible for a Jack Pit to inherit the condition. 

Glaucoma is an eye problem that is common in Jack Russells. It causes the eye lens to harden, which makes it cloudy. 


Hypothyroidism is a condition that causes the thyroid to not function normally. It causes weight gain, lethargy, and coat problems. They may also become intolerant to the cold. 


Both Pitbulls and Jack Russells are prone to allergies, particularly skin allergies. This can cause hair loss, frequent licking, and ear infections. They may also have a rash or itchy skin. 


All dogs are susceptible to bloat, but some are more prone to the condition than others. Jack Pits are at risk of developing bloat. 

Bloat is a life threatening condition. It occurs when the gas in the stomach becomes trapped. As food digests, gas continues to build. This causes intense pressure in the stomach. 

If it’s not treated, the pressure can cause the stomach to twist. It is life threatening, and can be fatal in a matter of hours without treatment. 

Jack Russell Pitbull Mix Behavior/Characteristics/Temperament

Jack Russell Pitbull mixes have an energetic and playful temperament. They are good natured, and intelligent. 

Jack Pit Aggressiveness 

Pitbulls and Jack Russell Terriers have a reputation for being aggressive. Pitbulls were bred for fighting. This means aggressiveness towards other animals was encouraged when breeding in the past. 

However, aggression towards owners or other humans was discouraged. Dogs who were aggressive towards people were usually killed, and certainly not bred. Jack Russells are also a bit more prone to aggression than other breeds. 

Today, both breeds are considered well behaved and safe breeds by experts. They may be a bit more likely than other breeds to be aggressive, but the vast majority of them are very loving and nonagressive. 

Playful and Protective 

Both Jack Russells and Pitbulls are very playful and protective, so Jack Pits are as well. 

Jack Pits will get their cues from their owner. If you are calm, the pooch will be as well. However, if you are nervous or worried, the dog may also become concerned. They may be protective, or even act aggressively if they feel threatened.

Pitbulls are calm and friendly to strangers, unless they sense a threat. Jack Russells, on the other hand, are wary of strangers. How your pooch reacts will depend on how you act, and which traits they inherit from their parents. 

Unwanted Behaviors 

Jack Russells are loud barkers, and will bark with little provocation. Pitbulls do not bark often. A Jack Pit may bark excessively, or very little. Again, it depends on which traits they inherit. 

Jack Pits can be destructive if they are bored or don’t get enough exercise. Pitbulls, and Jack Pits, are heavy chewers. They can easily destroy  your favorite shoes, or even your furniture. 

How to care for a Jack Russell Pitbull Mix

Jack Pits are great companions, but they do require a significant amount of work. Their lovable personality and high energy level make them highly entertaining and a joy to be around. 

How much exercise do Jack Russell Pitbull Mixes need?

Jack Pits need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. An hour of exercise is great for them. 

Your Jack Pit will likely want to keep playing, no matter how long you play with them. As long as they get 30 minutes a day, they are getting their needs met. 

If they don’t get enough exercise, they can become anxious and bored. This can lead to unwanted behaviors, like chewing on items and excessive barking. 

Do Jack Russell Pitbull Mixes shed a lot?

Jack Russells are considered moderate shedders. This mean they do  shed, but not as much as some other breeds. Pitbulls have a short coat, and don’t shed very much. 

How much your Jack Pit sheds will depend on its coat characteristics. If it’s coat is similar to a Jack Russell, it will shed more than if it is similar to that of a Pitbull. 

Do you need to groom Jack Russell Pitbull mixes often?

Jack Pits don’t need a lot of grooming, but you will  need to be consistent. During the spring and fall, they will shed. They will need to be brushed at least twice a week, and potentially daily during this time. 

They do need baths. However, bathing them too often or too little can cause skin irritation for these sensitive breeds. You should bathe them in dog shampoo designed for sensitive skin. 

Do you need to train Jack Russell Pitbull Mixes a lot?

Jack Russell Pitbulls do require a significant amount of training. They are very energetic and intelligent. If they don’t get proper training, they will likely develop behavioral issues. 

When training your Jack Pit, you should use positive reinforcement. Do not punish them. Instead, reward them when they do what you ask them to do. 

They are strong willed, and will be domineering if allowed to be. You’ll need to establish yourself as pack leader as soon as you bring them home. 

You should start training them by housetraining them. Once this is going well, you can begin working on basic commands. Obedience school is another great option. This can help you train your Jack Pit, and socialize with other dogs.  

Jack Russell Pitbull Mix Diet

Jack Pits need a high protein diet to sustain their high energy levels. Puppies should be fed small meals, 3 to 4 times a day. Once they are 6 months old, you can transition to feeding them twice a day. 

You can feed them once a day after they are a year old, but two times a day is best for them. 

They are susceptible to bloat. Feeding them 2 or 3 times a day can help reduce the risk of your pooch developing  bloat. 

Puppies should be fed a dog food designed for puppies. Once they are a year old, you can switch them to a high quality dog food. Choose one that is high in protein, or designed for active dogs.  

Are Jack Russell Pitbull Mixes good family pets?

Yes, Jack Pits are good pets for families. However, they may not be the right fit for families with young children. Jack Russell Pitbulls are calm and protective, but they may be too energetic for young children. 

They are highly affectionate, and will enjoy interacting with all members of the family. They may take time to warm up to everyone. However, when they do, they are highly protective and loyal. 

They are very gentle with children as well, despite their high energy levels. They will perform antics to get the attention of family members as well. 

How do you buy a Jack Russell Pitbull Mix?

 There are two ways to buy a Jack Russell Pitbull mix. The first is to adopt a Jack Pit. The other option is to purchase them from a breeder. 

Adopting a Jack Rusell Pitbull

Adopting a Jack Russell Pitbull is a great way to provide a home to a pooch in need. It can be difficult to find a Jack Pit at your local shelter, but it’s certainly worth a shot. 

You should be aware that most dogs in shelters are adults. It can be hard to find puppies at the shelter. 

You can look for shelters devoted to Pitbulls or Jack Russells. You may have a greater chance of finding a Jack Pit at this type of organization. 

Purchasing a Jack Pit from a Breeder 

You can also find a breeder, and purchase a Jack Pit. The best way to find one is through a Google search. You should be cautious, however. Not all breeders are reputable. 

It’s important to speak with the breeder before making a decision. Ask them about the veterinary care the puppies have received. Have they undergone any genetic testing? Do they have a health certificate for the puppies. 

You should also ask about the breeders philosophy. Breeders should choose dogs to breed based on their health and temperament, above all. This should take precedence over aesthetic considerations. 

Lastly, you should see where the puppies and their parents live. If they are well cared for, this is a good indication that the breeder is ethical.