What happens when you cross a Jack Russell Terrier with a Pug – answer a Jug dog. I have to admit I wouldn’t choose to call a dog by that name; it’s certainly not very flattering and, in fairness, doesn’t do this lovable crossbreed any favors.
At first look, it’s rather a strange combination, a high-energy, feisty, ever curious (some might say nosey) and very intelligent Jack Russell with a calm, laid back (almost falling over, they’re so laid back) and immensely amusing Pug. However, the Jug is growing in popularity, and it’s easy to see why because this designer breed does produce some gorgeous-looking mixes.
Jug Dog At A Glance
- Intelligent, pleasant and friendly, affectionate, gentle and energetic
- 12 to 15 years
Size & Weight:
- Weight: 13 to 18 pounds
- Height: 11 to 14 inches
- Coat: Short, Sleek, smooth, rough, thick
- Coat Colors: Fawn, caramel, black and tan, white, silver, and brown
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Shedding: Moderate
The Retro Pug
You may have heard the term Retro Pug and wonder what’s the difference between this term and the Jug dog; there’s no difference; they are both a Pug Jack Russell mix. Initially, the idea of the Retro Pug was an attempt to help the Pug overcome some of his health issues associated with him being brachycephalic. Combining the Jack Russell with a Pug produces a dog with a longer muzzle. However, as with all designer breeds, it’s unclear, until the puppies are born, exactly what features they’ll have and if they take after one parent more than the other.
Some Retro Pugs, or Jug dogs, depending on which name you prefer, will be healthier than others in the same litter. The whole idea behind the Retro Pug is to elongate the face, so the breathing difficulties of the Pug are reduced, and in many examples of the Retro, this has been accomplished. But not every puppy is quite so lucky.
Jug Dog History
The Retro Pug/Jug dog is a crossbreed of the Pug and Jack Russell purebred dogs. These designer dog breeds have been with us for over twenty years now, but unlike purebred dogs have not been standardized. Because of this, it is virtually impossible to know the dog’s exact origins.
The Pug origins began in China over two thousand years ago. Along with two other flat-faced dogs, the Pekingese and the Lion Dog, the Pug was bred to be a companion dog to the Emperors of China. No one else was allowed to own a Pug unless they were gifted to them by the emperor.
This all began to change when Europeans came to China to open up the trade routes in the 16th century. Dutch traders were allowed to take the dogs back to Holland with them, becoming a huge hit. The House of Orange owned Pugs, and when William of Orange became King of England, he took his Pugs with him.
The Pug became popular in nearly every other European country during this period. During the 19th century, Queen Victoria was very fond of her Pugs, and through her patronage, the Kennel Club was created in 1873. The Pug was brought to America and was just as popular as elsewhere in the world. The AKC recognized the Pug in 1885.
Jack Russell Terrier History
Jack Russells are genuine working terriers and take their name from Reverend John Russell, who bred these dogs to work on fox hunts. Jacks are trained to find the fox and flush him out by barking but must not kill the fox. Jack Russells have been flushing and hunting foxes since the early 1800s. There are two distinct versions of the Jack Russell in England, the Parson Jack Russell, and the Jack Russell. The difference is solely in the dog’s leg length. The longer-legged variety is Parson Jack Russells.
Several breeds helped standardize the Jack Russell Terrier, including the Fox Terrier, Dachshunds, Corgis, and the Black and Tan Terrier. The Americans prefer the longer-legged version, and they are simply known as Jack Russells.
What Do Jugs Look Like
Jug dogs have a unique look, probably because the Pug and Jack Russell are such different dogs. Crossbreeding two completely different dogs is going to produce a unique-looking dog. There does appear to be a healthy, even distribution of both the parent dog’s traits. For example, they are small, not as stocky as the Pug but with the physical attributes of the Jack Russell.
Crossing any breed with a Pug doesn’t always mean that each dog will inherit half the Pug’s features and half the other breed’s features. In this case, some of the puppies will resemble the Jack Russell, while others will lean more towards the look of the Pug. Over time it’s become apparent, certain features seem to crop up more often than not.
And these features include:
- Short coats – either sleek, thick, or long
- Larger than average eyes, similar to a Pug
- Folded ears, possibly slightly larger than the Pug
- Curly or longer tail than a Pug
- Black mask similar to a Pug
Females typically are smaller than males. Jack Russells come in three distinct coats smooth, rough, or broken, and depending on the Jack Russell involved in the cross, this can significantly affect the coat type the Jug inherits. Mixing a rough-coated Jack Russell with the Pug typically results in the puppies inheriting longer hair. But if you mix a Pug with a short-haired Jack, then you’ll get short and smooth-haired Jugs.
The Jug Dog Temperament
As you would probably expect, the Jug has the intelligence of both his parents, so this will be a smart dog, not difficult to train, and happy to learn tricks with the right motivation. However, they can be a little stubborn at times. An owner will need to be firm, patient, and mostly consistent, don’t sow seeds of confusion in the dog, or he will become even more stubborn.
Jack Russells are high-energy, curious little dogs, and surprisingly Pugs also enjoy a good run around, so expect your Jug puppy to have plenty of energy and be up for plenty of play and game time. You will need to give them the exercise they need every day, or they will become bored, leading to destructive behavior.
Jugs are very loyal and affectionate towards their owners. Still, if they take on a little more of the Jack Russell personality, they can be a little feisty, especially when they don’t get the exercise needed and are bored. You will need to socialize your Jug puppy from an early age to ensure they don’t pick up any bad habits, remember they are intelligent dogs, and pick up some unwanted behaviors it’s tough to change them.
Jug Dog Grooming
You wouldn’t consider a Jug high maintenance, but they do require some care. They will shed moderately, with higher levels twice a year, so if you want to keep the hairs off your clothes and furniture, you’ll need to give them a good brush a couple of times each week.
One area of concern will be the ears because folded ears are more prone to infections. Moisture can build up in the ear and cause fungal infections. You should inspect their ears once a week and clean them with a doggy ear cleaner. The cleaner will also break up any wax build-up.
Are Jugs Good With Children?
Jugs are fantastic family dogs, but that doesn’t mean they get on well with children of all ages. Younger kids sometimes don’t handle small dogs well, leading to fear or anxiety aggression from the dog. Also, if the Jack Russell personality asserts itself, then a Jug may attempt to dominate young children, and once again, that can cause aggressive responses.
Is The Jug Dog Good With Other Pets?
If you have other pets at home, when you bring home a Jug puppy, they can socialize together, and as the Jug grows up, he will accept other pets. But if you have a mature Jug at home and want to introduce a new pet to the house, things won’t go quite so well. A Jug is very likely to become jealous of the new addition.
A Jug may also inherit the Jack Russell’s prey instinct and chase any small creature, and cats included, that dare to stray into your garden. Training and socializing are the best ways to help your Jug adapt.
The Jug Dog Health
Designer breeds can inherit any of the health issues that afflict the parent breeds. By crossing the Jack Russell with a Pug, breeders hope they produce a healthier dog, but this doesn’t always work out how they want.
There are no guarantees when you crossbreed dogs which features they’ll inherit and which they won’t. So a Jug dog can undoubtedly inherit the flat face and be brachycephalic precisely the same as their Pug parent, and simply put, they’ll suffer all the same health issues. If you decide to get one of these designer breeds, you need to be prepared for these eventualities and prepare yourself to accept the health problems and deal with them.
Final Thoughts – The Jug Dog
The Jug dog improves the Pug’s health, but nothing is guaranteed when you crossbreed dogs. As long as you prepare yourself for possible health conditions, you will bring a loving and affectionate family dog into your home. A Jug dog will bring a lot of joy and laughter into your home for you and your family.