Crossing a Jack Russell terrier (JRT) with a pug results in a dog known as a jug, Jack pug, or Jack Russell pug, one of the hybrid dog breeds often called "designer dogs." While some crossbred dogs strongly resemble one parent or the other in looks, jugs take physical characteristics from both parents about equally, resulting in a distinctive appearance with the intelligence and loving nature of both parents.
Jug dog physical traits
Typical jugs stand 10 to 14 inches tall from floor to withers, or the top of the shoulder blades, and can weigh between 12 and 16 pounds. Jugs often have the rounded head and adorably squished face of the pug, which can be slightly more elongated like that of the Jack Russell terrier.
The JRT's various coats, which can be rough, smooth, or broken, combined with the pug's smooth coat make predicting their puppies' coats a mere guessing game. Those with curly coats tend to also have the pug's curly tail. If one parent is a rough-coated JRT, its offspring may have longer hair. Their coloring ranges from tan, caramel, and fawn to black.
Jug dog temperament: energetic or calm dogs?
As with many hybrid dog breeds, your jug is likely to possess the temperaments of both parents, with the JRT's inquisitiveness and the pug's loving nature. Being fairly high-energy dogs combined with their intelligence means they can become bored and get into trouble if left alone too long. Toys loose their stuffing and so may your pillows if jugs aren't well trained, socialized early, and encouraged to pursue more acceptable activities. A fenced yard is a must but be aware that the jug's digging instinct and determination can turn him into a quick escape artist if he's not redirected first.
Jugs are good with children as long as the kids are taught how to properly interact with the dog, such as petting him gently instead of swooping in for a bear hug. From their pug parent, they may inherit a jealous streak toward children and other dogs. As one of those small dogs that thinks they're twice as big as they are, jugs have bold personalities and won't put up with having their fur or tail pulled, so they need to be watched around children. Early socialization with children and other dogs is a good idea. Though they are unlikely to ever become truly calm dogs, jugs love being part of a family.
Jug dog health and nutrition
Jugs have an expected life span of 12 to 15 years, but they can live up to 20 years if they are well cared for. Owners can help them live long lives by making sure they get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, whether that be running in the yard, going for a walk, or playing with toys.
Help your jug stay within a healthy weight range by feeding her dog food specially formulated for her age and carefully measuring the amount recommended by your vet. It may not look like much food to you, but remember that pugs are small dogs.
Annual checkups can uncover eye diseases, to which both pugs and JRTs are prone, and small dog ailments like dislocating kneecaps.
Jug dog training
Informal training should begin as soon as you bring your jug home. Waiting weeks or months gives puppies ample time to develop bad habits that they will have to unlearn. Due to their intelligence, training jugs is not usually difficult. They do have that JRT stubborn streak, but that is all the more reason to provide early training.
Begin training with food treats and teach the dog to follow its nose. As you move the treat up, the jug learns to sit for the treat. Move the treat down to the ground, and puppies learn to lie down.
Be firm but patient while showing your pug and Jack Russell mix how to behave and how to get along with strangers, kids, and other dogs and follow up with a reward when he responds appropriately. Rewards need not always be food treats — praise, pats, and other touches your jug loves will work well too if you introduce them early on instead of always giving food. Experiment with a few new toys to find ones the dog favors and save those just for training. As a reward, let your jug play with the toy for a few minutes.