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Is a Heeler Jack Russell Mix the Right Dog for You?

When it comes to finding a dog, a Heeler Jack Russell can be a great option. This dog is known as a “cattlejack” because it is a designer breed between a Blue Heeler and a Jack Russell Terrier.

These dogs tend to be extremely loyal assuming that you raise them properly.

To ensure that you get a dog that works well for you and your entire family, there are quite a few things to consider.

You’ll want to look at the dog’s temperament, the kind of exercise that it needs, and more. Once you look more at what this breed has to offer, you can decide if this beautiful but rambunctious dog is right for you.

Where you live and who you have living in your home will have to be a top consideration. The cattlejack offers a number of amazing qualities, despite the fact that it has yet to be recognized by the American Kennel Club Association.

The breed has been gaining popularity because of the energy that this kind of dog has to offer.

What is a Heeler Jack Russell Mix Like as a Pet?

A Heeler Jack Russell is an energetic and intelligent dog that is known to be a bit stubborn at times. Their fiercely loyal to their family, which means that they can make excellent guard dogs.

This breed tends to seek a significant amount of attention while also being known to bond more closely with one member of the family than the rest.

This kind of dog will need attention and training to ensure that they are able to be the healthiest they can be – both physically and mentally.

They like to play, and they need the space to do so – with the kind of energy they have, it’s not uncommon for them to be able to jump a fence.

Heeler Jack Russell Mixes tend to be rewarding companions, but with the amount of energy that they have, they are not ideal for younger kids who may end up herding children or jumping on them.

How the dog favors one side or the other will determine whether they are quiet (like the Blue Heeler) or frequent barkers (like the Jack Russell). As such, they may take to being kept in an apartment or they may not.

What Should You Feed a Heeler Jack Russell Mix?

It’s important that a Heeler Jack Russell mix get a high-protein diet to keep up with the high-energy lifestyle that they lead. Custom dog food can be ideal as it will ensure that it is not comprised of fillers like many that are on the shelves of pet food stores.

The weight of your HJR will need to be considered when you decide what to feed your dog (and adults will typically weigh around 20 to 35 pounds).

Puppies will often get five smaller meals throughout the day while adult dogs will get one or two larger meals.

Snacks should be limited to less than 10% of their caloric intake each day and should be given sparingly, such as to reinforce good behavior or for during training sessions.

The food that you give your HJR should also be focused on providing them optimal health based on some of the health conditions they may suffer from.

As the dog ages, it may experience such problems as hip dysplasia, dental problems, and allergies. Custom diets can be developed to ensure that you’re managing their weight and their allergies so that they can live a full and healthy life.

Is It Easy to Train a Heeler Jack Russell Mix?

The Heeler Jack Russell Mix was initially bred for hunting, so it is an extremely easy dog to train. It’s highly recommended that you find a dog training course with someone who has experience with the breed.

This way, you can be sure that you understand how to give the dog what it needs and it can learn how to get along with you in your home. Potty training and crate training should be essential components of the training as soon as you bring a puppy home.

What makes the HJR such an easy dog to work with is that both the Blue Heeler and the Jack Russell are playful breeds that are easy to train. With the right training course, you can make sure that your dog understands the various boundaries within the house.

You can also train them in terms of listening to your commands, doing tricks, and even running obstacles in the backyard.

This breed of dog has a tendency to run and catch animals and is often known as an escape artist. With proper training, you can make sure that they don’t try to run away from home.

Further, some added training will also keep them from chasing random animals and bringing them inside of the home, such as squirrels, birds, and small rodents.

Heeler Jack Russell Mix Temperament

The temperament can vary dramatically depending on whether the dog leans toward their Blue Heeler or Jack Russell genes more.

The Jack Russell tends to be extremely loyal and gentle while a Blue Heeler can be fiercely independent and, sometimes, unfriendly.

Further, the Jack Russell tends to get impatient (and loud) while a Blue Heeler is more than capable of handling time alone.

Learning about the parents of the dog is critical to help you learn more about what the dog’s temperament is going to be.

It will make it easier for you to prepare yourself for whether a dog will be laid back and independent or if it will need a significant amount of attention and literally bark until you give in.

The Heeler Jack Russell tends to be a people-oriented breed, though they’ll typically bond with only one member of the house.

They are not stranger-oriented, however, so they often don’t do well in large crowds of people – and it’s also what makes them such a great guard dog.

The temperament will vary based on the level of training that you provide, too, so that they know what they can and cannot get away with around you.

Heeler Jack Russell Mix Exercise Requirements

A Heeler Jack Russell Mix will require a significant amount of exercise because of their energetic tendencies.

This breed tends to get bored when not given enough physical and mental activities. In many instances, this dog will thrive with a large backyard as opposed to being cooped inside of a small apartment.

Since this dog is highly active, don’t expect it to be a couch potato at any given time. It will need long walks, time to run around, and activities that will keep it mentally stimulated when no one is around.

Generally, they need at least 30 minutes of high-energy play a day, and with the right level of training can be a great jogging companion. They don’t need a lot of time to sleep, so you won’t catch them napping much throughout the day.

Depending on the breed that the individual dog leans to, the Jack Russell may have excess energy that needs to be burned off.

A good trainer can recommend toys that will keep them engaged both indoors and out. Bored dogs tend to be destructive, such as looking for ways to escape or chewing things inside of the home.

Is a Heeler Jack Russell Mix a Good Family Dog?

Early socialization is critical if you plan on a Heeler Jack Russell Mix being a family dog, especially if you are going to have young children around.

The Jack Russell tends to be extremely frisky, so if your mix leans toward that side of its heritage, they can become bored, leading to biting, barking at, and jumping on the kids.

Additionally, due to being territorial, they are not always friendly with other pets inside of the house, including cats and other dogs.

With proper training and introducing the dog and children to each other at an early age, it allows you to raise the dog with the family.

It can make it easier for them to become the “perfect companion” to children as they get older. This breed is smart and will have the ability to make the distinction between positive and negative emotions.

With the right amount of time spent training (and a lot of patience), the Heeler Jack Russell can be a good family dog.

However, if you worry that a dog could be too hyper around a toddler, you may want to opt for a dog that has a lower level of energy.

The dogs will tend to mellow with age, so a puppy might not make the best family dog but one that is two or three may.


The Heeler Jack Russel Mix has a lot of great features that can make it a great dog to introduce to the family. The appearance of the dog can vary dramatically in terms of coloring and size. The best way to get the traits that are important is to learn more about the parents.

A Heeler Jack Russel Mix can be quite the handful, so you’ll want to prepare yourself for the exercise that it will need. With a bit of care, your dog can see a life expectancy of 13 to 16 years, so it’s quite the commitment to make. Ultimately, the dog’s loyalty and trustworthiness can be one of the top reasons to consider the dog – assuming you know all that you’re getting into with owning this breed.