Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix: A Complete Guide To The Cattlejack

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Written by: Celestine Gomez
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Blue Heeler Jack Russell mix, also known as cattlejack, is a designer dog resulting from breeding a Blue Heeler and a Jack Russell Terrier. Energetic, loyal and self-reliant, this dog will be perfect for a household with older children. Because of their extreme prey drive, they are not trustworthy around any small animal except when raised with them from an early age.

First-time owners will have a hard time keeping up with the rambunctious propensity of this mixed breed, even experienced owners need a firm and consistent effort to handle such a tough dog.

There is a lot to know about the blue heeler rat terrier mix breed to get a full understanding. Both parents have unique attributes that have won the hearts of many owners. However, just like any other dog, they also have a rough side that may not suit the taste of certain types of people. Let’s look further into this breed, so you can make a clear choice.

Where Does Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix Come From?

Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix has enjoyed a constantly increasing popularity over the last few decades, but the information about when and where they were first bred is still unknown. However, there is a lot you can learn by looking at the origins of the parent dogs. The resulting progeny will have a lot of amazing qualities to inherit from both parents.

Due to its status as a designer dog, the cattlejack has not been recognized by the American Kennel Club Association (AKC). They lack a breed standard so you can’t tell for sure how they will turn out.

Blue Heeler Origin

The Blue Heeler, also known as the Australian Cattle Dog, Queensland Heeler, or Halls Heeler, was created in 1840 by George Elliott by crossing Australia’s natural feral dog, the dingo, with a blue merle collie.

The working ability, endurance, stamina and quietness of this dog astounded Australian ranchers, and it quickly gained popularity as a cattle herder among ranchers. It also led to the growth of the Australian beef industry. At the same time as Elliott, Robert Kaleski was involved in the breeding of blue heelers. He also established a standard for identifying this dog breed.

In May 1980, the blue heeler was finally accepted for registration by the American Kennel Club (AKC) under the name, Australian Cattle Dog. The breed was approved into the AKC working dog registry in 1983.

Jack Russell Terrier Origin

The origin of the modern-day Jack Russell goes back to mid 1800, when Reverend John Russell, who apart from his church activities, showed interest in developing new lines of hunting fox terriers. His sole goal was to create a baying terrier that can bark and nip continuously at foxes to scare them out of their underground hideouts so that hounds can catch them.

The name “Jack Russell” was given to this dog in respect of John Russell. Due to the countless inbreeding and outcrossing, Jack has a broad genetic makeup giving rise to some deviations in the breed standard. This took a toll on a few of its physical characteristics that were the basis of its recognition such as its size and leg length.

Consequently, this breed was splitting off into a long-legged variation known as Parson Russell Terrier and a short-legged variation known as the Jack Russell Terrier. The Parson Russell Terrier has gained official recognition by AKC. However, this is not the case for Jack Russell Terrier as a result of concerns by the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America who feared that AKC may dilute the breed standard, robbing the breed of its working heritage.

Canine Cross Breed Dynamics

Crossbreeding gives rise to hybrids like blue heeler jack Russell mix. Over the past years, there has been a heat of controversy over the practice of crossbreeding due to the randomness of the resulting cross. It has been fuelled even further by the fact that mixed breeds are becoming more expensive than purebreds.

Some people believe that crossbreeding is a healthy practice and often results in a greater gene pool conferring an increased vigor. While others oppose crossbreeding with claims that hybrid dogs are unpredictable both physically and temperamentally.

However, neither is right nor wrong, and both practices have solid advantages and disadvantages, making them an open subject for controversy. Ultimately, It all boils down to the owners and their beliefs.

What Does Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix Look Like?

The appearance of your cattlejack will be determined by the parent, but even knowing the parent will not guarantee how they will look or feel.

The first physical feature you may discover is the difference in size. Your cattlejack mix can either take after the take after the small-sized or lean towards the medium-sized blue heeler. It can also be a mix of different traits from both parents.

As a member of the herding group, Blue Beeler has a deep-chested torso with erect ears pointing outward and a low tail.

While the Jack Russell Terrier is built with a compact body and a shallow chest giving them an athletic physique.

Another clear distinction that Jack has from blue heeler is his dropped ears and high tail.

Both parents are double-coated. Blue Heelers have a short water-resistant outer coat and fine, dense, inner coat. Jack’s coat either be smooth or rough or a mixture of both — known as a broken coat.

Colorwise, the blue heelers can either be blue, blue mottled or blue speckled with tan markings. Their blue appearance is due to the intermingling of black and white fur. On the other hand, the Jack Russell Terriers can be white, white and black, white and tan, or tricolor ( white, black and tan)

There is a chance that your cattlejack can choose to grab any of these features from both parents. But again, like any other cross, there is no way to predict for sure what the outcome of the cross will be. However, the only way you can get an idea of the appearance of the resulting offspring is to look at the appearance of the parent dogs.

How Big Will A Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix Get? (Size, Height and Weight)

Because the Blue Heeler Jack is a new mixed breed, there is no established standard for its size, height, and weight.

You can expect that your Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix will be a small-to-medium dog that measures between 14 to 18 inches from paw to shoulder, and weighs between 20 to 35 pounds. There can be variations in height and weight depending on both parents. Like with any other dog, male Cattlejacks are expected to be slightly larger and heavier than their female counterparts.

Lifespan Of Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix

Blue Heeler Jacks have an average lifespan expectancy of 13 to 16 years. Though both parents have approximately the same life span, the lifespan of the mixed breed may be extended further due to an increased gene pool resulting in hybrid vigor.

With proper care, regular exercise and checkups, your cattlejack may experience a longer lifespan but with much neglect and inadequate care, he may live less than normal.

Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix Temperament

This is where the Blue Heeler Jack Russell mixes excel. They are energetic, self-reliant, fearless, and loyal companions.

Both Blue Heeler and Jack Russell are people-oriented and can bond closely with their owners. They are attention seekers and are perfect for a household with enough time and patience so that all the wonderful qualities they possess can be properly harnessed.

As a prospective cattlejack owner, you can expect your pup to have some of these traits.

Blue heelers have a notable forte for herding cattle and they also do well as a family dog. They are highly tolerant of harsh climates and pain and can work for long hours without stopping — the main reason they won the hearts of many cattlemen back in the day.

They are very intelligent, alert and highly devoted, but at times, they show off some stubborn streaks. Whatever belongs to them, they protect aggressively making them an excellent guard dog for your household. Also, they are known to be one-person dogs, bonding more closely with one member of the family than the others.

As dogs bred to bolt foxes from their dens, Jack Heeler terriers are bold, quick, athletic and intelligent with so much love for digging, like any other terrier. They have an unforgiven prey drive making them unreliable off-lead. Jacks have territorial nature and are often wary of strangers and aggressive towards other animals coming near their domain, small or big.

However, JRTs can become a very rewarding companion if he is properly cared for and given the attention and training he deserves.

Just like both parents, Blue Heeler Jacks will be highly energetic and they should not be caged in a small enclosure. They need enough space to assert their instinctive exuberance. Preferably, a fenced-in yard that can neither be jumped over, dug under nor climbed will keep them in check as they are smart enough to figure out their escape route.

Cattlejacks are not suitable for homes with younger kids as they are most likely going to be rambunctious and can go as far as herding the little children or jumping on their bodies. They can become a quiet dogs that barely bark if they are in favor of the Blue Heelers, or become noisy barkers if they are in favor of the Jacks. Hence, it’s rather a coin toss as to whether they will be suited for apartment living.

Exercising and Training Your Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix

Blue Heeler Jack is going to be a highly active and tough dog and not a couch aficionado. As such, he will need a leader that can give him enough time, exercise, training and affection.

Constant physical and mental activities are also necessary to keep him happy and healthy or else he may decide to meet his needs by destructive means.

Considering the high energy of both parents, cattlejacks will need at least 30 minutes of intensive exercise or 40 minutes of walking every day. They will as well be a perfect jogging companion.

No matter the pup you are bringing to your household, potty training and crate training should come first in their training requirements.

As for Blue Heelers and Jack Russell terrier, they tend to become wary of strangers and aggressive towards other animals.

Hence, cattlejacks will need early socialization exposure and proper training to prune such unhealthy characteristics. They are not the best dog for a family with younger children except when raised from childhood with them.

Both parents do well with canine sports such as running, agility, flyball, fetch, herding balls, and frisbee toss.

Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix Health

Prospective Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix mix owners should be aware of recognized genetic health concerns in both the Blue Heelers and Jack Russell terrier dog breeds.

Health issues from one or both purebred parents can be passed on to Cattlejack

Blue Heelers have an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years and are susceptible to the following canine diseases:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Cataract
  • Primary Lens Luxation
  • von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Persistence of Pupillary Membrane

Jack Russell Terriers have an average lifespan of 13 to 16 years and are susceptible to the following canine diseases:

  • Dental Problems
  • Hip and Elbow dysplasias
  • Luxating Lens
  • Glaucoma
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Overweight
  • Deafness
  • Liver disease
  • Kneecap Dislocation
  • Epilepsy
  • Allergies

Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix Feeding and Grooming

As both Blue Heeler and Jack Russell are high-energy dogs bred to herd and hunt respectively, feeding them in a healthy way should be your priority. They should be provided with high-quality commercial or homemade food. Treats and snacks constitute less than 10% of their daily calorie intake.

Pups often require 4 to 5 small meal servings per day but as they transition to adulthood, they may require only fewer and larger meal servings per day.

Grooming is minimal for both blue heelers and Jack Russell terriers as they only shed periodically. Hence, you’ll need to brush your cattlejack only once a week. If you brush him regularly, he should require less bathing.

Trim their nails once or twice a month to maintain a correct nail length. If your dog’s nails are overgrown, they grow beyond the paws and you are likely to hear a clicking sound when your dog walks on hard surfaces.

A more regular grooming routine will be brushing your dog’s teeth. The minimum requirement is thrice a week to get rid of plaque and tartar buildup.

Dog Breeds Similar to Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix

Blue Heeler Australian Shepherd Mix

Jack Russell Beagle Mix

Catahoula Blue Heeler Mix

Jack Russell Chihuahua Mix

Blue Heeler Rat Terrier Mix

Border Collie Blue Heeler mix

Is Blue Heeler Jack Russell Mix A Good Family Dog?

Blue Heelers can become a perfect companion for children especially if raised from childhood with them. Whereas, Jacks are a bit too frisky and aggressive for children less than 8 years of age. Even with proper training may still have a hard time controlling their impulse when bored or frustrated and may resort to biting the children, barking at them, or jumping on their body.

However, early socialization is a must for any dog, as the process will enable him to acquire well-adjusted behavior. It will also help them to make a distinction between positive and negative emotions and feel more at ease in any new environment.

If you have enough time, patience and firmness to make the best out of a dog, you will be rewarded with a friendly, protective and loving companion.

Do you think these dogs will make a good combination? You can share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Celestine Gomez

I'm Celestine Gomez, worked for 5 years in an animal shelter in Los Angeles, California. Having noticed the inherent passion and zeal in me to care for pets, I took a step further to create a team of I and like-minded individuals to provide an informative resource in order to broaden the knowledge base of a regular pet owners.