What do you get when you mix a Jack Russell Terrier with a Beagle? If you answered ‘a Jackabee,’ give yourself a pat on the back. This cute as a button hybrid might not be as well known as its parent breeds, but that doesn’t make it any less delightful. Fun, good-natured, and wonderfully affectionate, the Jackabee makes an excellent companion and superb addition to the family. To find out more, keep reading for ten things you didn’t know about the Jackabee.
1. They’re a mystery
No one quite knows where, or even when, the Jackabee made its first appearance. In all likelihood, there were several unplanned litters of little Jackabees before breeders began to make a point of pairing the Jack Russell Terrier with the Beagle, but there’s no real evidence either way. But while we might never know very much about the Jackabee’s origins, we already know plenty about those of its parent breeds. The Jack Russell is a feisty, lively little dog with a big personality. Originally bred in the UK as a ratter, it’s since gained popularity as a loyal and loving companion pet. As Dog Zone writes, the Beagle is another dog that was developed in the UK. The earliest Beagles were seen in the 1400s, but it wasn’t until several hundred years later that the breed became standardized. Thanks to their superior sense of smell, they quickly developed a reputation as excellent scent hounds. After coming close to extinction after the First World War, they made a resurgence. Today, they rank alongside the Jack Russell in terms of popularity.
2. They need lots of exercise
The Jackabee may be small, but its exercise needs are anything but. In addition to needing lots of walks every day (preferably 3 walks of 20 minutes each), they also benefit from plenty of games and activities that stretch their minds as much as their bodies. Due to their high energy, they fare best in a home with a fenced yard where they can run around to their heart’s content.
3. They’re escape artists
Jackabees may do best in homes with fenced yards, but unless you want to spend your life searching the neighborhood for your runaway pooch, make sure that fence is up to the challenge. The Jack Russell is a notorious digger. This was a breed that was raised to dig out rats, rabbits, and hares from their burrows. Today’s Jack Russells might never have seen a hare in their life, but those instincts run deep… as, indeed, they do in their offspring. The Jackabee loves to dig – show them a pile of earth, and they’ll be at the bottom of it before you can count to three. If the fence keeping them from escaping isn’t fit for purpose, their habit of ‘going to ground’ is likely to leave you in a heap of bother.
4. They’re adaptable
Although the Jackabee is better suited to family homes with yards than small, high-rise apartments, they’re otherwise remarkably adaptable. As Wag Walking notes, they can tolerate most climates providing they’re given plenty of shade and water in hot weather and a warm jacket during the colder months.
5. They make great family pets
Like both the Beagle and the Jack Russell, the Jackabee is a great family pet. Easy going and good-natured, they adjust well to other animals and can be a great companion to children. Like all dogs, they need to be socialized properly from a young age to bring out their best qualities. Providing they are, you’ll find them a sweet, affectionate chum. Just be aware that the ease with which they bond with their human family doesn’t come without its downsides. This is a dog that likes to be around people all day, every day. Separation can be hard for them, and unless steps are taken to manage the problem, it can easily develop into full-blown separation anxiety.
6. They’re hypoallergenic
If you have allergies, rejoice – the Jackabee is hypoallergenic. That doesn’t, however, mean they don’t shed. They do, constantly. Asides from picking up their hairy deposits from your fixtures and fittings, you won’t have to spend too much time worrying about their maintenance. Their short coat requires little more than a weekly brush and an occasional bath to keep in tip-top shape. Other than that, they need to have their teeth brushed 2 or 3 times a week to prevent periodontal disease from developing. As they’re predisposed to eye conditions by virtue of their parentage, regular eye checkups should be arranged with a vet.
7. They’re a small breed
Neither the Beagle nor the Jack Russell is exactly what you’d describe as large, and neither is their offspring. Although sizes vary depending on which side of the family they most take after, most Jackabee’s average 10 to 16 inches in height and weigh between 15 to 35 pounds. Physically, they’re a cross between the Beagle and the Jack Russell, with a body like the Jack Russell and a face like the Beagle. Their eyes are big and brown, their ears are floppy, and their nose is always sniffing around for a scent. Their medium-built body is distinguished by muscular hindquarters and a long tail. Coats are thin, smooth, and coarse. Typical colors include cream with tan markings, white with light beige patches, and tricolor.
8. They’re still waiting to be recognized
Like every other designer dog, the Jackabee has yet to be awarded official recognition by the Amerian Kennel Club. Given the organization’s stance on hybrids, there’s a good chance hell will freeze over before they get it. Its parents have been a little luckier. The Beagle was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885 and the Parson Jack Russell Terrier (one of the two types of Jack Russell) was recognized in 1997. Both have also been recognized by the American Russell Terrier Club, Irish Kennel Club, American Rare Breed Association, Australian National Kennel Council, and American Rare Breed Association.
9. They’re quick learners
As doglime.com notes, training the Jackabee is an easy task thanks to how keen they are to please. They’re also incredibly quick to learn, with a keen intelligence that helps them master new commands and tricks with ease. They can, however, lose focus easily, especially if they get a whiff of something exciting happening in the kitchen. To keep them on track, short, sweet sessions are best.
10. Epilepsy can be a problem
Like other hybrids, the Jackabee has escaped most of the genetic conditions to which its pedigree parents are prone. However, it still pays to watch out for any health problems they may have inherited. This includes the orthopedic disorders Patellar Luxation and Legg Calve-Perthes Disease, along with epilepsy and eye complaints.