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Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Jug
Average Cost to keep/care for a Jug
Breed Specific Buying Advice
Jugs are a crossbreed which in short means they are of mixed blood having been created by crossing two pure breeds namely the Jack Russell Terrier and the Pug. They are relative newcomers to the dog scene having first been bred in the sixties. With this said, Jugs have fast become one of the most popular hybrid dogs around and have found their way into the hearts and homes for good reason. These charming little dogs generally inherit many of their parent breeds best physical characteristics and traits. Jugs are the perfect size for people who live in town and who would like to share a home with a loyal, devoted and intelligent canine companion.
They are not high maintenance on the grooming front although they are quite high-energy which means they need to be kept busy both physically and mentally for them to be truly happy, relaxed and well-behaved dogs. Jugs are a great choice for first time dog owners providing they have the time to dedicated to a fun-loving and active character that thrives on human companionship. Jugs are not recognised by The Kennel Club, but many breed clubs have been established throughout the world with an end goal being to breed healthy dogs. Jugs make wonderful companions and family pets in households where the children are older and who therefore know how to behave around dogs and become valued members of a family.
Jugs are sometimes called by other names which includes Jack Pugs or Pug Russells after their parent breeds, the Jack Russell Terrier and the Pug. They are relatively new to the dog scene being one of the latest additions to the ever-growing list of "hybrid dogs" although in reality, they should be thought of as a "cross breed" because both parent dogs are pedigrees. Pugs are among the most ancient of breeds having been around in Asia as far back as 400 BC and Jack Russell Terriers have always been highly prized for their hunting abilities from the mid-19th century. Jugs inherit many of their parent breed's traits both in looks and characteristics although how a puppy turns out is still luck of the draw with puppies in the same litter being quite different most of the time.
It's thought that Jugs were first bred in America in the 1960's and over the years, the cross proved extremely popular both in the States and in other parts of the world, including here in the UK. Jugs have not only inherited many of their parent breeds physical traits, but they have also inherited their charming natures and personalities too. Today, Jugs remain one of the most popular crossbreed companion dogs around although they are not the best choice for families with very young children.
They are a Kennel Club recognised breed, but breed clubs have been established in many countries with an end goal being to produce consistency in the breed and to reduce the chances of Jugs inheriting the hereditary and congenital health issues that sometimes plague the Pug and the Jack Russell Terrier.
Height at the withers: Males 25 - 36 cm, Females 25 - 36 cm
Average weight: Males 5 - 7 kg, Females 5 - 7 kg
Because Jugs are a crossbreed, they can be quite different when it comes to looks with some of them throwing more to the Jack Russell and having longer faces whereas others inherit more of a flat face like that of a Pug. It is worth noting that the Jack Russell can have quite different types of coat, namely the broken, smooth or rough. As such if a parent Jack Russell has a rough coat, the chances are some of the puppies will have slightly longer, rougher coats too. If a parent Jack Russell is smooth coated, puppies are more likely to have smooth coats like that of a Pug.
The one consistent is that Jugs are small dogs that can inherit many or some of their parent breeds physical traits. However, as previously mentioned puppies in a same litter can be quite different looking because it depends on whether they throw towards a Pug or a Jack Russell Terrier.
They tend to have small body frames being slightly lighter than a Pug, but sturdier than a Jack Russell Terrier. Most Jugs inherit the Pug face and the curly tail although some dogs have slightly longer muzzles and their tails are not as curled. Their eyes are large and expressive being brown in colour. Ears are thin and they drop down much like both parent breeds being set well apart on a dog's head. Some Jugs have quite wrinkly faces whereas others have less folds than others, but when alert or interested in something, they have a nice furrow or frown which adds to a dog's endearing looks.
They tend to have shortish legs that are well muscled and they are longer in the body than they are tall, but they have muscular bodies with dogs generally having nice level backs and slightly tucked up bellies. Front legs are straight, muscular and their back legs are powerful and nicely angulated. Feet are small and compact with tight toes and strong nails.
When it comes to their coat, Jugs come in a variety of colours and coat textures with some dogs having smooth coats whereas others can have rough/broken coats depending on their parent breeds. If both parent breeds are smooth-coated, puppies tend to inherit the same type of coat, although there is never any guarantee. The most common coat colours seen in Jugs are as follows:
A reputable breeder would never deliberately breed any sort of exaggerations into their stock because it could seriously and negatively impact the welfare and health of a Jug. As such, any dog with a very flat face or any other serious exaggeration should never be used for breeding purposes. It is only through careful and selective breeding that healthy Jug puppies can be bred.
For the moment, Jugs are not a registered Kennel Club breed and as such there are no recorded "faults" for the breed, but male Jugs should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums.
Pugs and Jack Russell Terriers are very social dogs by nature and they are both very active. As such the Jug has inherited the alert, attentive and loyal nature of the Pug while at the same time having the fun-loving approach to life of both the Jack Russell and the Pug which are just some of the reasons why they have become so popular as companion dogs both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world.
With this said, Jugs can be quite feisty when the mood takes them and it's important to make the difference of when a dog is being playful and when they are showing a more dominant side to their natures. Jugs are smart and learn things quickly with the downside being they are just as quick to pick up bad habits as they are the good. Puppies need to be taught the ground rules right from the word go so they understand what their owners expect of them. They form strong bonds with their owners and will protect them if the occasion ever arises. Jugs might be small in stature, but they are courageous, brave and will take on anything they find threatening no matter how big the threat happens to be.
Jugs like to be kept busy and being so intelligent this means giving them lots of regular daily exercise combined with as much mental stimulation as possible for them to be truly happy, well-behaved dogs. As previously mentioned, they have inherited their social natures from both parent breeds and providing they are well socialised from a young enough age, they are easy going around most people other dogs and animals.
They are not the best choice for families with very young children because Jugs can be quite boisterous at times and could easily knock a smaller child over. They make great pets in households where the kids are slightly older and who therefore know how to behave around dogs and when to leave them alone which is typically when a dog is sleeping and eating.
Jugs are the ideal apartment dog providing they are given enough regular, daily exercise which should be combined with a ton of mental stimulation. Because they love their food a little too much, Jugs are prone to putting on weight which is something to bear in mind when sharing a home with one of these smart little dogs and why it's important to keep an eye on a dog's waistline making sure they are given the right amount of exercise to burn off any excess calories.
It's important for Jugs to be well socialised from a young enough age which must include introducing them to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and dogs once they have been fully vaccinated. This helps ensure they grow up to be well-balanced mature dogs no matter situation they find themselves in.
Some breeders advise that male Jugs tend to be a little less scatty than their female counterparts, but on the downside males can be more aggressive and dominant than a female Jug especially if they are not neutered.
Jugs are a good choice for first time owners because they are so intelligent and this paired to the fact they love to please, makes them easy to train. In the right hands and environment these smart little dogs pick things up very quickly with the downside being they are just as fast to learn bad behaviours too. As such their training must start early and it should be consistent so that dogs understand what is expected of them. Jugs are high energy little dogs which in short means their owners must have the time to dedicate to a lively canine companion.
Having Jack Russell Terrier in their blood, Jugs can be quite territorial and they can have a high prey drive too although not as high as the Jack Russell, thanks to the Pug in them. With this said, it would be a mistake to leave a Jug alone with any smaller animals and pets which includes cats unless they have grown up together that is. Care should always be taken when walking a Jug off the lead anywhere near wildlife and farm animals, just in case they decide to give chase.
Jugs are very playful and thoroughly enjoy any attention they are given when playing interactive games and being so full of beans, it can be hard to tire them out. Jugs remain full of life and very playful well into their senior years, which are traits inherited from both parent breeds, something prospective owners should always bear in mind when choosing to share a home with a jug.
Thanks to their small size, Jugs are very adaptable being just as happy living in an apartment in town as they are living in the country, providing they are given enough daily physical exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in, bearing in mind that Jugs are highly intelligent little dogs and the smarter a dog is, the quicker and easier they get bored.
Because Jugs form such strong ties with their families, they hate it when they are left alone for any length of time and all too often suffer from separation anxiety. When dogs feel stressed out when they are alone, they can develop all sorts of behavioural issues. This includes excessive barking and being destructive around the home which is their way of relieving their anxiety.
Some Jugs are known to like the sound of their own voices a little too much which is something that needs to be gently curbed when dogs are still young. However, care should be taken not to scare a dog into not barking at all and which could end up making them shy and timid. But in general, they are not a breed that is prone to excessive barking.
Some Jugs like swimming whereas others don't even like getting their feet wet and it would be a mistake to force a dog into the water if they don't want to go in because it would just end up frightening them even more. Another thing to bear in mind is that some Jugs have flatter faces and can find it harder to breath when they are in the water so care should always be taken when they go swimming. Anyone who shares a home with Jug that loves swimming should take extra care when walking a dog off the lead near more dangerous watercourses.
As previously touched upon, some Jugs like barking and as such they are very good watchdogs being quick to let their owners know when something they don't like is going on around them and when they are strangers about or when something they don’t like is going on around them.
Jugs are intelligent little dogs and as such they are moderately easy to train, but they must be taught the limits and boundaries right from the word go and consistency is key to successfully training them. A Jug needs to know the "house rules" and basics so they understand what is expected of them, bearing in mind that a Jug would always tests any limits and boundaries just for the fun of it or when they are trying to show a more dominant side to their natures.
Their training must start in earnest once they have been fully vaccinated and enrolling them into puppy classes pays dividends in the long run. It's a great way of socialising a dog while at the same time teaching them how to behave while is a safe and controlled environment. All dogs like a routine in their lives and this includes Jugs so by including a little education and training into a young Jugs daily routine goes a long way in setting them up to being nicely behaved and relaxed dogs that are a pleasure to have around no matter where they are taken.
Jugs are quite sensitive by nature and as such they do not respond well to any sort of harsh correction or heavier handed training methods. They do answer well to positive reinforcement which always brings the best out of these clever little dogs. However, it's important to offer fewer high value treats when training a Jug rather than giving them too many lower value ones because of their tendency to put on too much weight far too easily.
The first commands a Jug puppy should be taught as early as possible are as follows:
Jugs are feisty, fun-loving and endearing little dogs and they can be wonderful family pets providing they are socialised from a young enough age which includes when they are still with their mothers and littermates. A well socialised Jug gets on with everyone and everything including children of all ages although they are better suited to families where the kids are slightly older rather than toddlers. With this said, any interaction between younger children and a dog should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure things stay nice and calm.
As previously mentioned, when well socialised from a young enough age, Jugs generally get on well with other dogs they meet and if they have grown up with a family cat in the home, they usually get on well together. However, a Jug would not think twice about chasing any other cats they come across because of the Jack Russell Terrier in them. Care should be taken when they are around smaller animals and pets just to be on the safe side.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Jug is between 12 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like many other breeds, the Jug is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these attractive and alert dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following although not all Jugs would develop a disorder during the course of their lifetimes:
Because one of a Jugs parent breeds is a brachycephalic breed, namely the Pug, some Jugs inherit a short muzzle and a wide skull with some of them having an almost non-existent muzzle which is something responsible breeders are doing their best to breed out of these charming little dogs by including healthy longer nosed Jack Russell Terriers into their breeding programmes. With this said, many Jugs have shorter muzzles which sees them suffering from a condition known as Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.
A Jug suffering from the condition can have real trouble breathing and more especially when the weather is very hot or quite cold which is why it is important to keep them in and when they do go outside, to limit the amount of time they are out. Jugs that suffer from breathing issues should always have free access to fresh clean water too. It is worth noting that when a dog pants excessively which is their way of keeping cool, it can lead to them suffering from breathing issues.
When the condition is deemed very severe, some vets might recommend surgery to correct the problem and although a serious concern for Pug owners, with Jugs this seems to be less of an issue.
Some Jugs inherit the bulbous eyes of the Pug which sees them suffering from eye issues. This includes foreign objects injuring their eyes as well as environmental triggers. Dogs known to suffer from eye issues should be checked regularly to see if there is any redness or swelling around their eyes because the earlier a problem is treated the better.
Hydrocephaly can affect any breed and this includes Jugs. It is a condition where water accumulates in the brain cavity and signs of there being something include dogs losing their balance and their co-ordination is often out too.
Male Jugs can suffer from a condition known as cryptochidism which is when one of their testicles does not descend as it should into the scrotum. Dogs should be neutered if they are diagnosed as having cryptochidism.
Some Jugs are prone to suffering from heart murmurs or as the condition is sometimes referred to patent ductus arterioles. Fortunately, it is a rare heart condition that affects dogs before they are 2 months old and prospective Jug owners should ask breeders about it when thinking of buying a puppy from them.
Jugs can suffer from a bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand's disease which is a blood clotting problem that can lead to excessive bleeding should a dog be injured or when they undergo any sort of surgery.
It is illegal to dock a Jug's tail in the UK which is a law that came into effect in England on the 6th April 2007, in Wales on 28th March 2007 although certain breeds are exempted for working dogs and others may have their tails docked for medical reasons. In Scotland, there is a total ban which came into effect on 30th April 2007.
Jug puppies would have been given their first vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they are given their follow-up shots in a timely fashion with the vaccination schedule being as follows:
10 -12 weeks old, bearing in mind that a puppy would not have full protection straight away, but would be fully protected 2 weeks after they have had their second vaccination
There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it's best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.
A lot of vets these days, prefer to wait until dogs are a little more mature before they undergo being spayed or neutered. In short, they recommend waiting until a dog is between 6 to 9 months old before they have the surgery. With this said, some vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old, but never earlier unless for medical reasons.
Obesity can be a real problem for Jugs because they like their food a little too much having inherited their love of it from the Pug. Being so food driven has its advantages when it comes to training a Jug, but it's essential to keep an eye on a dog's daily calorie intake to prevent them putting on too much weight which could end up seriously affecting their overall health and wellbeing. Obesity can reduce a dog's lifespan for several years because of the extra strain it puts on a dog's heart and other vital internal organs.
Some Jugs can suffer from allergies and finding the cause can often prove challenging because there are so many different things that could be the triggers. The sooner a dog is seen by a vet, the quicker they can be made to feel more comfortable, but finding the cause of the problem takes time. The typical triggers for allergies in dogs include the following:
Pugs should also be given hemivertebrae test which is available through the Breed Council and is recognised by the Kennel Club. Jack Russells should be tested for Late Onset Ataxia (LOA), Primary Lens Luxation (PLL), Canine Spinocerebella Ataxia before being used in a Jug breeding programme.
Because the Jug is not a Kennel Club recognised breed, there are no breeding restrictions in place, but responsible breeders would do their utmost to breed healthy puppies without any exaggerations in their conformation and looks.
There are no Assured Breeder requirements because the Jug is not a Kennel Club recognised breed.
As with any other breed, Jugs need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
It's best to take a few days off when introducing a Jug puppy to their new homes because they will need a lot of attention, comfort and support for the first week or so after their arrival. This is because like all puppies, not matter how confident or outgoing they happen to be, would be feeling a little vulnerable having left their mothers and littermates for the first time.
It's also important to puppy-proof the home and garden so that a puppy is in a safe environment. This means making sure there are no toxic plants growing in the garden and that all tools and other implements are stored away to prevent a boisterous puppy from injuring themselves. Electric wires and cables need to be put out of a puppy's reach just in case they decide to chew on them. Breakable ornaments and other valuables also need to be put out of harm’s way to prevent breakages.
Limiting where a puppy can roam around in is also a sensible thing to do when introducing a puppy to their new homes. Not only does it keep them safe, but it makes their housetraining that much easier and more controllable too. Using puppy pads is great, but it's important to recognise when a puppy needs to "go" and to get them to the right place whether it's in the garden or on a puppy pad as quickly, calmly and gently as possible. Puppies that make a puddle on the floor should never be told off because this would just have a negative impact on their housetraining rather than doing any good.
Puppies nap a lot during the day because they need the rest so they grow and develop as they should. Setting up a quiet area for a puppy to retreat to when they want to sleep is important, but the area should not be too out of the way. The reason being that puppies need to know someone is around and owners need to keep an eye and ear on their pets just in case they get into trouble and need rescuing.
It's also a good idea to set up a grooming routine as early as possible so that a young Jug gets used to having their paws and ears touched which can prove difficult if left until dogs are older. The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
Needless to say, there are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows a Jug puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The items needed are therefore, as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including Jug puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out.
As previously mentioned, a puppy would have had their first vaccination, but it's important they have their follow up shots once they are in their new homes. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
When it comes to boosters, it's best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However, if a dog ever needed to go into kennels, their vaccinations would need to be
Older Jugs need lots of special care because as they reach their golden years, they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically, a Jug will start to have a greying muzzle, but there will be other noticeable changes too which includes the following:
Older dogs change mentally too which means their response time tends to be slower as such they develop the following:
Living with a Jug in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities, but these are easily managed and should include taking a look at their diet, the amount of exercise they are given, how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older Jugs need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older Jugs is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older Jugs don't need to be given the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
Both smooth coated and rough coated Jugs are low maintenance on the grooming front and only need a weekly or twice weekly brush to keep things tidy and their coats in good condition. They do shed quite a lot throughout the year, only more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent grooming is usually necessary in order to remove all loose and dead hair from a dog's coat. Because they often develop weepy eyes, it’s important to wipe them with a damp, soft cloth when necessary to prevent the area getting around a dog’s eyes becoming sore.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
The Jug is a high energy, intelligent dog although not as frantic as a Jack Russell Terrier thanks to the Pug in them, but they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded and obedient dogs. They need anything from 30 to 40 minutes exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible, bearing in mind that dogs with shorter muzzles often have trouble breathing more especially in hotter and colder weather. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Jug would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these active and inquisitive little dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble. Jugs with shorter noses can often have trouble breathing in hotter weather so care has to be taken when they are taken out for a walk and ideally this needs to be earlier in the morning and then later in the afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky and therefore the temperature is cooler.
With this said, puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get a Jug puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be fed a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go bearing in mind that Jugs are prone to putting on weight far too easily.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, a Jug puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
Once a puppy is 11 months old they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature, an adult Jug must be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult Jug can be fed the following amounts every day:
If you are looking to buy a Jug, you would need to pay anything from £300 to over £500 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Jug in northern England would be £20.87 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.55 a month (quote as of September 2017). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £20 - £30 a month. On top of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Jug and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £800 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Jug would be between £50 to £80 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.
When visiting and buying any puppy or dog, there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. You can read our generic puppy/dog advice here which includes making sure you see the puppy with its mother and to verify that the dog has been wormed and microchipped.
Jugs are an extremely popular breed both in the UK and elsewhere in the world which means that well-bred puppies command a lot of money. As such, with Jugs there is specific advice, questions and protocols to follow when buying a puppy which are as follows:
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