Pug x Jack Russell Mix: An Introduction To The Jug Dog

Are you in the process of picking out a new dog to own? Perhaps you’re after an affectionate companion like the pug, but you live an active lifestyle where an energetic breed like the Jack Russell terrier would be more suitable. Well, look no further than the jug dog.

The jug dog is a pug x Jack Russell mix that’s been crossbred. Jugs are intelligent, gentle, and sociable dogs. They’re more active than pugs and will require daily exercise as a result. While their short coats are fairly easy to maintain, they do shed, so regular brushing is advised.

Jugs are often referred to as “designer dogs”, since they are a new mix of breeds. They take traits from both sides of their heritage, but each dog will be unique in its own right. It’s not a simple 50/50 split, so there will be variances when it comes to their physical appearance, personalities, and health concerns.

History Of The Jug

While it is not exactly known when breeders started crossing the two breeds, it is thought that the jug dog originated over the past several decades. Being a more recent pedigree hybrid, they have gained mass popularity over the last 10 or so years. That being said, their ancestral line and parents have a much deeper origin story.

Pugs were bred over two thousand years ago as companion dogs for the Chinese imperial family and known aristocrats. By the 16th century, they were brought over to Europe by Dutch traders where they quickly made their mark. They eventually made their way to America, Asia, and the rest of the world, before being officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1880s.

Jack Russell terriers originated in England as hunting dogs about 200 years ago. Their tenacity and courage made them great at tracking down and eradicating pests such as foxes and rabbits. The breed was named after Reverend John Russell, who developed the breed by crossing fox terriers and English white terriers.

Physical Appearance

Jugs are more similar in appearance to pugs than they are to Jack Russell terriers. If it wasn’t for the jug’s longer snout, it can be deceptively confusing for those that are less familiar with the breed. This is a breed that is small in size with short yet stocky legs. They inherit the pug’s round head, curly tail, floppy ears, wrinkles, and large protruding eyes.

Below is a helpful table breaking down the jug’s physical attributes:

Jug DogPug x Jack Russell Terrier
Weight12lb – 18lb
Height10 – 14 inches
Breed TypeCrossbreed / Toy
ColorsFawn, black, caramel, silver, tan, white, silver, brown
CoatShort with either smooth or broken texture
FaceFacial folds, black short muzzle with a longer snout (compared to pugs)
EarsThin floppy ears
EyesLarge bulgy eyes – brown in color
SkinSkin folds may be present


The Jug is a crossbreed that gets its companionship traits from their pug set of genes. As a result, they are very affectionate dogs and do well with all age groups. In addition, the breed is particularly intellectual, so training a jug will not be the biggest challenge that an owner will have to face.

However, their cleverness and stubborn personality can develop into small dog syndrome. Because of this, it’s essential to train a jug while they’re young puppies. It will prevent them from misbehaving or showing aggressive tendencies to guests. They’re bad habits that owners need to address, rather than letting them manifest into manipulative behaviors.

Jugs have a tenacious personality that can be displayed by their alertness, which is likely to have been inherited from their Jack Russell predecessors. Their hunting instincts can be triggered by small critters when going for a walk, so it’s essential to keep this breed on a leash at all times. Additionally, they can have a tendency to dig or bark excessively at the sight of smaller animals. For similar reasons, it may not be the best idea to own smaller pets like a hamster alongside jugs. If their hunting instincts kick in, it may turn your house upside down.

As you can imagine, this hunting instinct that can carry over to jugs also make them quite energetic and active. They’re a social breed that loves interacting with people, other dogs, and going for walks. However, they can be territorial at the sight of unknown strangers, and will often bark at the slightest hint of danger to alert their owner.

This ability to detect a threat makes them good watch dogs. While they don’t make excellent guard dogs, they will stand up for their family as jugs are very protective. Their territorial nature can make them incredibly jealous of other pets and kids in the household. In saying that, this breed does better with older kids that can handle them without upsetting it.

With smaller infants and other pets, there is a risk of them being overpowered and dominated by a jug dog. It’s advisable to keep a close eye on them and supervise all interactions. The best way to avoid potential issues from arising is to ensure that your jug is well socialized from an early age. This will make them more accepting to kids and smaller pets if frequently exposed as puppies.

In summary, jugs are incredibly loyal breeds. They will stick by their owners every step of the way, and if taught right, they can be very obedient. They are caring towards their family, but when triggered, these dogs can have a feisty side to them.

Exercise Requirements

Jugs are considered to be a medium energy dog breed. They are much more energetic than pugs, and this stems from the Jack Russell side of the mix. As mentioned, this is largely because Jack Russells were bred to hunt pests like foxes and rabbits. They were avid diggers and could outperform their prey in each chase.

A minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise is required for the jug dog. This helps keep their active and mentally stimulated. Owners can achieve this by going on walks, or by playing fetch, tug-of-war, and hide-and-seek. A lack of exercise can cause the breed to become destructive, bored, and depressed.

However, it should be noted that the level of exercise should not be too strenuous. That’s because they inherit some of the pug’s brachycephalic (flat faced) traits as well. While their snouts are longer, making it easier for them to breathe, it is not as optimal as it could be. When overstrained, it can lead to breathing issues and the risk of overheating.

Grooming & Maintenance

Jugs are shedders like the pug despite having a short coat of hair. The coat is still thicker, and shedding will take place more often, so owners will need to brush this breed at least twice a week to remove excess fur. Bathing is also essential to prevent bacterial buildup in their skin folds and to remove any loose hairs effectively. Try to keep bathing on schedule and to make it a routine at least once every 3-4 weeks.

Dental hygiene is also essential and part of their overall care. A dog’s oral health is often neglected since it isn’t the easiest task to perform. Dogs use their teeth similarly to how humans use their hands, so it can get exposed to bacteria if it’s not regularly cleaned. Owners should aim to brush their jug’s teeth every 2-3 days to remove any plaque build up, as this can lead to infections and diseases.

Nail trimming can be another task that your jug may be reluctant to complying with. However, if left too long, they can cause skeletal damage when walking. You will notice bleeding and your dog in a lot of pain. Starting early while your dog is still a puppy will help them feel more comfortable with the process. If you take your jug on regular walks on hard surfaces, they should file down naturally, but you will still need to clip the inner claw (dewclaw) that’s situated higher up on their front limbs.

If your jug has deep facial folds like the pug, they will need to be wiped daily. Their wrinkles trap foreign objects, and bacteria will thrive in moist environments, which can lead to skin infections. The jugs protruding eyes will also need to be wiped daily, especially if there is gunk present. Usually, this is the result of excessive tearing when their eyes are exposed to dust and other debris.

Finally, ensure that their ears are cleaned at the same time and just as frequently. Their forward folding ears also trap foreign matter, and is another sensitive area that needs to be regularly maintained. Always wipe them dry, otherwise the moisture will lead to ear infections. A saline solution can also be used to clear out any excess gunk in their ear canals every so often.

Adaptability To Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperatures are not ideal for a jug dog. While their snouts are slightly longer and less restrictive for breathing when compared to pugs, it can still be hard for them to regulate their body temperature on really hot days. They won’t be able to inhale enough cool air through their nose, so panting is also common with this breed.

To avoid overheating, owners should avoid exercising their dog too strenuously. On hot days, it is best to keep the jug indoors with the air conditioning or fan on. While outside, ensure the dog has access to plenty of water and shade to rest under. The Ideal temperature for outdoor exercise is between 68-74 degrees fahrenheit.

Extreme cold can also hamper their ability to breathe, as the cool air can impact their lungs when inhaled. As a result, they may struggle to breathe, and start to pant. Icy cold temperatures can also cause a dog’s nose and paws to dry out and crack. This is very painful, but nose and paw balm can be applied to help with the healing process.

Since outdoor temperatures can be too extreme for the jug, they are regarded as indoor dogs. However, their snoring can be quite disturbing, so you may not want your dog sleeping with you. Provide them with a nice comfortable bed and crate to sleep in. Ensure that it’s spacious enough, and line it up with a blanket and plenty of toys to make it their safe haven.


Jugs are affectionate and loving dogs, but it also means they don’t respond well to harsh forms of punishments. While the breed is considered intelligent, they can be sensitive and shy away from training sessions when receiving too much heat from their owner. Therefore, trainers should always focus on positive reinforcements to encourage jugs to learn new behaviors.

They are bright and don’t take too much time to learn a new command. But like all dogs, it still requires a lot of patience from owners. Being more tolerant of their sometimes strong willed personality is key in overcoming any stubbornness that a jug may present.

Make sure to start training as early as possible, and while they’re still a puppy, so they can easily adapt and understand things quickly. The more you delay, the more stubborn a jug becomes. This can make training troublesome for owners down the line, so invest in your jug dog early!

As a trainer, learn to be accepting of their energetic personality. Like pugs, it’s helpful to keep the sessions short and fun, while taking many breaks in between. Use treats to your advantage, and always reward them when a command is followed. It won’t be easy, but the experience will be rewarding nonetheless.

Diet & Nutrition

A healthy jug should weigh between 12 and 18 pounds as a fully grown adult. It is essential to place your dog on an optimal diet that includes the proper ratios of proteins, fats, and carbs. They should be dense in micronutrients, so that essential vitamins and minerals are received on a daily basis. Each dog is different, so you may want to speak to your veterinarian for a recommended diet plan.

Hydration is another factor that’s often overlooked. Drinking enough water will help prevent prevent bladder and kidney issues. Not all dogs don’t drink enough water, and the best way to overcome this is to provide more than one water station to make it convenient for them. This makes it more accessible to them and increase the likelihood of them drinking enough water.

Since jugs are quite energetic, their metabolism can be quite fast. If you and your jug plan to live a more active lifestyle, then a diet that’s higher in carbohydrates may be ideal. Moderate proteins will help maintain their muscle composition, while healthy fats should be incorporated to improve their overall wellbeing. Focus on premium dog mixes that include high quality ingredients.

As a puppy that’s less than six months old, jugs can be fed a third of a cup daily about three times a day. Once they reach the six-month age mark, you can increase the quantity to ¾ of a cup three times a day. As for jugs above the period of a year, you should provide them with a cup of their mix twice every day to keep them healthy and happy. Puppy food tends to be higher in calories and nutrients, as this is necessary for them during their growth phase.

All of this is a general guide, and it’s advised that you read the recommended serving sizes on the food packaging. You can adjust based on your jug’s weight range if necessary. If unsure, speak to your vet for more accurate results. It’s vital that your jug is neither overfed or underfed to avoid health complications.

Health Problems

There are a few hereditary conditions that are specific to the jug dog, and owners or potential owners must be aware of them. Here is a list of some common health concerns that you should keep in mind and actively prevent:

  • Deafness – Wax buildup in the ear canal can be deafening for a jug and cause ear infections. Deafness is something that comes with age as well.
  • Obesity – If the jug dog is not taken out, they either become destructive or overweight. Owners may need to limit the dog’s caloric intake if they live a more docile lifestyle, since this will generally result in a slower metabolism.
  • Skin infections – There can be excessive bacterial buildup in skin folds if it isn’t cared for properly. In addition, there can be an allergic reaction to a shampoo or food item, so be cautious.
  • Eye conditions – Just like the pug, jugs can have big round protruding eyes. Excessive pressure or trauma can lead to proptosis, i.e. the eye ball popping out. Other conditions are cherry eyes and cataracts that can cause blindness if not treated on time.
  • Respiratory Issues – Breathing complications can be common due to the jug’s short muzzle and pinched in nostrils. As mentioned, they may not fair too well in extreme weather conditions and with excessively strenuous forms of exercise. Panting is common in order to regulate their body temperature.

With all of that being said, jug dogs have a fairly long life span of 15 years. These health conditions are very manageable as long as the dog is properly cared for and maintained. Any early signs of a problem is key to preventing serious complications. Always seek the help of your vet when symptoms are noticed.

Related Questions

What is a Frug dog? A Frug is a hybrid dog that has been crossed between a French bulldog and a pug. They take traits from both sets of parents and are known for being active, small in size, and physically charming.

What are Jack Russell-Chihuahuas like? Also referred to as the “Jack Chi” – this is a cross between a Chihuahua and the Jack Russell terrier. They are known to be friendly, playful, and energetic dogs.


Simon, L., n.d. Jug.

Recent Posts