Jug Dog – Breed Guide (Personality, Health, Grooming etc.)

jug dog

You may be wondering what is a Jug dog? Well, the Jug dog breed is a cross between Jack Russell Terriers and Pugs. They have become increasingly popular in the last 10 years for many reasons.

These dogs are bred to retain the basic features of a pug whilst attempting to reduce the breathing problems that pugs are notorious for with the Jug having a slightly longer nose.

Crossbreeding minimizes genetic diseases that are present in purebred dogs. First-cross Jugs have the maximum genetic benefits, as oppose to second and third cross Jugs, since these dogs are bred from pedigree breeds that date back hundreds of years.

They were originally bred in America during the 1960s and are also known as Pug Russell and Jack Pug.

The result is quite a stocky dog, very similar to a pug with a longer nose, a rounded skull, and a curly tail. Their appearance can vary from dog to dog seeing as they are a crossbreed after all. Most have leaner bodies compared to Pugs, taking after their Jack Russell Terrier parent.

Jug Dog Highlights

  • The average lifespan of a Jug dog is 14 years, but there are Jugs that have been known to live as long as 20 years.
  • They have recently been registered by the American Canine Hybrid Club.
  • The average Jug has a height of 10-15 inches and weighs around 12-20 pounds.
  • Playing fetch, tug-of-war, or hiding are some of their favorites.
  • Their short coats are quite easy to maintain, but they do shed a lot.
  • Depending on the parents, a Jug dog may have rough, smooth, or broken fur.
  • Their fur tends to be solid black, fawn, apricot, or silver fawn.
  • Jugs are known for being friendly, affectionate, fearless, and energetic.
  • They form strong bonds with their owners and are loyal.
  • They also tend to be vocal and prone to separation anxiety.
  • Jug dogs get along well with kids and other pets as long as they have been trained and socialized properly from a young age, but they can get jealous at times.
  • Despite having a longer muzzle than their Pug parent, they can still suffer from breathing problems, especially in summer.
  • Other health issues they are prone to are eye infections.
  • Around an hour of exercise per day is necessary with this breed of dog.

Jug Dog Size

jug dog in field

As with every crossbreed, appearance and size can vary from dog to dog.

Height & Weight: Generally, these small dogs can reach a height of 10-15 inches and weigh around 12-20 pounds. There does not seem to be any sexual dimorphism, as both females and males can reach the same sizes. A Jug dog won’t be bigger than its parents, so if you have met both of them then you can get a good idea.

Conformation: Jug dogs have small body frames, that of which are slightly lighter than Pugs whilst being sturdier than Jack Russell Terriers. They inherit the Pug face, the only difference being a rounder skull with a longer muzzle. Their tails are not as curled as a Pugs and their eyes are brown, large, and expressive but they are not as bulging as a Pug’s and can take after their Jack Russell Terrier parent as their eyes usually appear normal.

They tend to have short coats which are easy to maintain, and the color varies depending on the breeding. Jack Russell Terries can actually produce three different coat types: rough, smooth, or broken. Combined with the short and smooth coat of a Pug, this causes a variety in textures as well.

Jug dogs that are bred from Jack Russell Terriers that have rough coats will typically have longer hair, especially on the face. If both parents’ smooth coats then the result should be a short and smooth coat as well, possibly with slightly longer fur like the Jack Russell. The color of their fur is usually black, fawn, apricot, or silver fawn.

Jug Dog Temperament and Personality

This Jack Russell cross Pug dog is known for being friendly, affectionate, and fearless. Some develop a hunting instinct from their Russell Terrier parent, causing them to develop an obsession for digging as well as barking aggressively at squirrels and chipmunks.

Pugs are known for being one of the naughtiest dog breeds, so this is something they can inherit as well. They are also known for being loving and gentle too though.

Jugs tend to be quite vocal and are very prone to separation anxiety, so socialization and training are an absolute must from an early age. They are so alert and keen to be involved with everything going on around them that they do make good additions to a family.

Even Jug puppy’s personality is very outgoing and energetic, and they can be stubborn at times. If left alone for too long they do become destructive, so these dogs aren’t ideal for busy households.

Relationship with Owners

Jug dogs are very loyal to their owners and form strong bonds with them and the rest of the family, which is why they hate being alone so much and tend to suffer from separation anxiety.

When left alone they can become stressed out (and destroy things) which also causes them to develop behavioral issues.

Relationship with Children

Jugs make great family pets, and they get along well with children. Some do tend to inherit being sensitive and jealous from their Pug parent, which can cause some issues if you have very young children. They are best with older children so that they don’t get wound up over not receiving all the attention.

Relationship with Other Pets

Just like how they can get jealous and sensitive about young children, the same can happen with other pets. Generally, they get along well with other pets provided that they have been introduced properly and were socialized as puppies.

It is important to keep in mind that they are territorial by nature and their strong prey drive might have them chasing smaller animals. Happy and positive relationships are easily formed if raised with other pets.

Jug Dog Health

jug dog standing

Smaller dogs tend to live long, and the average lifespan of a Jug dog is around 12-15 years, provided the dog has a balanced and healthy diet and exercises plenty. The lifespan of a dog can sometimes be improved by neutering or spaying. There is a Jug dog that is known to have lived for as long as 20 years, so it goes without saying that a healthy life goes a long way.

Despite having a longer muzzle, Jug dogs can still be prone to breathing problems, especially in hot weather. Some do take after their Pug parent with protruding eyes, causing various eye problems.

Some of the health issues Jug dogs can suffer from include:

  • Eye infections
  • Lens luxation
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Obesity
  • Hernia
  • Heart murmurs
  • Von Willebrand’s disease

Eye Infections

Jug dogs tend to suffer from eye infections, especially if they inherit protruding eyes from their Pug parent.

Discharge coming from the eyes is the first sign and it can mean anything from infection to allergies to glaucoma.

Pigmentary keratitis is one such eye problem, which is when pigment grows across the cornea. This is extremely common in Pugs, in fact, 50% are affected by this condition to varying degrees. It can cause blindness in severe cases but can usually be reduced with topical medications.

Lens Luxation

Lens luxation occurs when the lens becomes detached from its usual location and this can cause serious problems such as blindness.

This issue is commonly seen in Terrier dog breeds.

You can notice that this is occurring as the eye may turn white, the abnormal lens position should be apparent, as well as inflammation.

Always contact your vet as soon as you have any suspicions. Treatment depends on the location of the dislocated lens.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Jack Russell Terriers are susceptible to this condition, so Jugs can be susceptible to it as well. The disease is related to the heart muscles degenerating and wearing thin, which makes it more difficult for blood to pump to the body.

Symptoms include slowing down and a reluctance to exercise, coughing, decreased appetite, labored breathing, and cold feet.

Most dogs with cardiomyopathy do improve with treatment, some of which consist of diuretics to help remove excess fluid, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors to lower blood pressure, and more.


Hydrocephalus is an excess of fluid that has leaked into the dog’s skull, causing the brain to swell and cause pressure. It is often referred to as water on the brain.

Symptoms include a domed skull, wide eyes, a lack of coordination and bumping into things, compulsive circling, weak back legs, difficulty drinking or eating, and more.

When caught in the early stages, treatment reduces the inflammation and fluid being produced. Surgery is required.


Cryptorchidism is quite common with Pugs. This condition is where a male dog’s testicles have not descended into the scrotum. The descension should occur within two months of age, and if it has not happened by the time the dog is six months old then he is considered to be cryptorchid.

Treatment for this condition is to neuter and remove the retained testicle(s) as soon as possible.


Pugs are known for being prone to becoming obese. This is because they have a hearty appetite and aren’t usually picky about food either. Jugs are quite likely to inherit this attitude towards food. Always keep an eye on how your dog eats, and if you notice that your dog is gaining too much weight there are a few things that you need to do.

Never free feed. Free feeding is when you leave dry food out at all times. Most dogs cannot handle this, it’s best to feed them multiple times throughout the day with small meals. Make sure that your dog has a healthy, balanced diet and gets enough exercise. The latter shouldn’t be too difficult, considering how active Jugs are.

Jug Dog Care

jug dog adult

The Jug breed has a fairly high energy level and so at least 45 minutes to an hour of vigorous exercise every day is recommended to keep your dog fit and healthy. It’s perfectly fine to split that up into shorter exercise sessions, as this will actually be more beneficial.

A crate is recommended to use when training these dogs, any that is large enough for the dog to lie down and move around comfortably in. All you need is a plush bed or blanket inside the crate.

Crates are very useful when housetraining because dogs don’t soil their dens, and it is particularly useful overnight. It also helps with limiting access to certain areas of the house until they learn not to chew furniture.

When playing with your Jug dog to keep them busy and entertained, be sure to provide a variety of different toys so that you can learn which ones your dog likes.

Jugs are prone to developing ‘small dog syndrome’ which causes them to be quite stubborn and to be fearless when it comes to picking fights, which is the main reason training and proper socializing are extremely important from a young age. Positive reinforcement is always the way to go when training any dog.

Training your Jug dog should not be difficult because Jack Russell Terriers and Pugs are quite intelligent breeds.

Jug Dog Feeding

Wet food can cause digestive issues with Jug puppies, and it is unlikely that it has the right nutritional balance for a growing dog. They are also difficult to measure and are not good for oral hygiene.

Your Jug Pug Russell dog’s diet should consist of dry food which has plenty of vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals.

Adult Jugs should be given about half a cup of high-quality kibble per day, divided into two equal meals. Puppies should be fed a third of the cup of kibble three times a day until they reach six months old. From six months to a year, you should feed them three-fourths of a cup which is divided into three meals a day.

Whole proteins such as turkey, chicken, beef, and lamb and digestible carbs like oats, barley, and rice should be included in their diet.

The ratio you are looking for should be 50% carbs max, and a minimum of 18% protein and 5% healthy fat. Vitamins A, E, K, and B12 and minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper should also be included in your dog’s diet.

Free feeding is not an option with Jugs since they can easily overeat and become obese like their Pug parents.

Jug Dog Grooming

Juggle dogs have a short coat which is relatively easy to maintain. Although, they are heavy shedders, and you will find little white hairs everywhere. Brushing them once a week and regularly bathing them helps a lot, especially if your Jug has a rough coat.

If you don’t want everywhere to be covered with their fur, then you’re going to have to set boundaries from the very start.

Their ears should be checked for build-up and cleaned every now and then, and brushing their teeth goes a long way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Jug dogs’ good pets?

Jug dogs make great companions as they are friendly, outgoing, affectionate, and active. They often inherit the Jack Russell Terrier’s hunting instinct, and they can be prone to separation anxiety so early socialization and training are very important.

How long does a Jug dog live?

Provided a Jug dog has a healthy and balanced diet and exercises plenty, they can live for as long as around 14 years. There is a Jug dog that has been known to have lived for twenty years.

Do Jug dogs have health problems?

Even though Jug dogs have mainly been bred to have a longer muzzle and aid the breathing problem that Pugs are known for, they can still suffer from breathing problems regardless especially when it’s hot. Their eyes can also protrude like their Pug parent, resulting in the possibility of various eye problems.

Can Jug dogs be left alone?

Not for long. Like Pugs, they tend to be sensitive and develop separation anxiety when they are without their beloved owners. Like most dogs, they often become destructive when they become lonely.

Do Jug dogs smell?

Pugs tend to emit bad smells due to the fact that sweat, and dirt get trapped under their skin folds, and yeast infections can occur between their paws.

Jug dogs however do not seem to suffer the same fate as their Pug parent. They just have a regular dog smell, especially when wet.

How much exercise do Jugs need?

Jug dogs need around 45 minutes to an hour of exercise a day. It is recommended to split that into at least two exercise sessions so that your dog can gradually burn their energy throughout the day rather than all at once.

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