What is a Jackador? (Jack Russell Labrador Mix)

With so many mixed designer breeds popping up, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Many have become increasingly popular in the last few years, and the resulting mixed breeds offer the best of both worlds from their parent breeds.

what is a jackador
What is a Jackador? Are they good dogs?

When it comes to the Jackador, you get the best of both worlds. A Jackador is a mix between a Jack Russel and a Labrador. It may seem like an unlikely pairing, but the resulting breed has a lot to offer and can easily make its way into your heart.

These dogs are sweet, loyal, active, intelligent, and cute all in one package. They represent the best traits from both sides of their family tree.

Are you interested in what makes a Jackador so unique? Here’s everything you need to know about this special designer breed.

Origins of the Jackador

At first glance, on paper, the Jackador might seem a little imbalanced. For starters, its parent breeds are significantly different in size and also have different temperaments. However, the more you look into the details of each breed, the more it becomes apparent just how much they have in common.

Best dog beds for labs
A Labrador lounges on his dog bed

Jack Russells, also called Parson Russells, are terrier dogs, standing as high as twelve inches. Initially bred for fox hunting in Britain, these small dogs are now popular as feisty and loyal pets worldwide. They’re known for their protectiveness, intelligence, and active lifestyles.

Labrador Retrievers are also well-loved pets but are better known for their preeminence as calm, friendly, family dogs. They are the most popular family dog in America. 

Although they can vary in size, they can get up to one hundred pounds and twenty-five inches tall. Like the Jack Russell, they were also originally bred as working dogs for hunting waterfowl.

So, how did these two breeds end up mixing to form the Jackador? Not much is known about their origins, but it’s thought that they came to be sometime in the 1970s. As a relatively new designer dog, the Jackador is not recognized by the AKC, but its growth in popularity may add to the push to do so in the near future.

Jackador Appearance

Jack Russell X Labrador

The Jackador designer breed is a balance between the sizes of its parent breeds. The Jackador tops out at twenty inches tall and around fifty pounds. However, on most of these dogs, you can recognize the distinctive, perky tail, a tell-tale trait of both Labs and Jack Russells.

The dog’s coloring can vary greatly, as with most designer breeds. Black, brown, and cream are the most popular among the possible body colors. In addition, white markings around the face and chest, which are predominant in Jack Russells, are also typical.

A good predictor of the body color of a Jackador will be the body color of its Labrador parent, who is usually the mother. For this reason, chocolate, yellow, or white is also possible coat colors.

Typically, these dogs also have short coats, and thanks to their working-breed parents, the coats are water-resistant. However, don’t expect any hypoallergenic or anti-shedding qualities. 

Between each of the designer breed’s parents, you’ll notice a structural dissimilarity beyond more than just their size. Labradors have rounder heads, while Jack Russels tend to have longer snouts and overall pointier features.

Jackadors can vary from one dog to the other when it comes to these visual characteristics. You’ll see some with the floppy ears of the Labrador and some with the more upright ears of a Jack Russell. 

However, you can expect a strong, muscular body with a deep, rounded chest, which are common traits in both parent breeds.

Jackador Temperament

Although the Jackador’s parents may seem like an unlikely mix, their similar personality traits are highlighted in the Jackador’s temperament. Initially, both breeds were bred as working dogs, which lends this mix a decidedly hard-working personality with high energy.

Because of its working-dog origins, the Jackador needs lots of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and prevent destructive behaviors. Even though this necessitates extra involvement on the part of owners, Jackadors are also easy to train and highly intelligent.

The breed abounds in loyalty from both sides and makes a fantastic family dog for children, as this breed is not aggressive. However, Jackadors, like all other breeds, should be adequately trained and socialized early on. They tend to be protective, and if not trained, can become overprotective.

goldendoodle vs labradoodle
Comparing a Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle (which breed is better?)

Health Conditions

While these are generally healthy dogs that can live on average around fourteen years, they can inherit any of the issues that commonly plague their parent breeds.

On the Jack Russell side, this means watching out for eye disorders like glaucoma or cataracts. Small dogs can also suffer from luxating patella, a kneecap disease commonly seen in older dogs, as well as hip diseases like hip dysplasia and Legg-Calve-Perthe disease.

From the Labrador side, a Jackador could inherit a tendency for recurrent ear infections, heart disease, or progressive retinal atrophy, which leads to eventual blindness.

As with many breeds, regular checkups at the vet and a proper diet helps ensure these issues are kept at bay. For many of the diseases affecting joints, keeping excess weight off can help protect against overt wear and tear, which can exacerbate issues.

Is a Jackador the Right Fit for You?

Many of this designer breed’s qualities make it a great, adaptive dog that can fit a variety of lifestyles. Because it’s a midsized breed, it is well-suited to apartment living or other areas that don’t have a lot of space.

However, since Jackadors are active dogs that need exercise and mental stimulation, it’s important to have a place where they can play, such as a close-by dog park, if there is no yard space available.

The most important consideration in whether a Jackador is right for you is the amount of time you spend with it. Whether you adopt a puppy or a full-grown dog, Jackadors need a certain amount of time and attention to behave well but also to stay happy and healthy.

Without the right amount of time and attention, Jackadors can act out around the house and become destructive. They can also display unwanted behaviors, like aggression, overprotectiveness, and antisocial qualities, if they are not trained or socialized well.

Therefore, if you’re a very busy person and cannot spend a few hours every day devoted to the dog, then a calmer and slower breed may be better suited to you.

But for those with an active lifestyle who can devote a few hours daily to help exercise their Jackador and keep its mind sharp, then the breed can provide years of loyal companionship.

some pomeranians are very small
Some Pomeranians are very small (and like Jack Russells can end up in adoption shelters)

Where to Find a Jackador

As with many designer breeds, these dogs are available as puppies from many breeders, both reputable and disreputable alike. However, if your heart is set on a Jackador, there is a good chance that you can also find one at a nearby rescue or humane society.

Check in your local area to see if any nearby rescues are dedicated to the breed. Many organizations center around small and mid-sized dogs, and it’s not uncommon to see purebred as well as designer breeds come through their doors often.

Final Thoughts

In the world of designer dogs, the Jackador might seem like an odd underdog. However, while the size of its parents are strangely mismatched, its personality is evidence of this great breed pairing.

These highly intelligent, loyal, and active dogs make wonderful family companions and can sport a wide variety of colors and characteristics common to either side of its family tree. 

Many shelters and rescue organizations likely have Jackadors for adoption, so check with these organizations for a chance to meet your new best friend.