Jack Russell Terrier Italian Greyhound Mix

Jack Russell Terrier Italian Greyhound Mix: Terrier Hunter or Noble Companion?

A Jack Russell Terrier Italian Greyhound mix is not a designer dog, but fanciers are keen to learn its potential as the next-generation family pet.

Although the parent breeds are quite different, the blend is an appealing array of affection and loyalty.

A Jack Russell Italian Greyhound mix is a rare hybrid breed under 25 pounds. It makes a fantastic family companion for singles or couples without young kids.

This mix is affectionate and a little protective but gets along with a dog or cat living in the home. Major drawbacks to the cross are its fragile bones and independence.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix

  • High energy
  • Small bones break easily with trauma
  • High predatory drive
  • Shed a lot
  • Can be snappy with children
  • Some bark a lot
  • Training difficulties
  • Can become aggressive

Reasons Why You Should Get a Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix

  • Small
  • Affectionate
  • Smart
  • Fast
  • Protective
  • Loyal

Appearance, Personality, Coat and Colors, Lifespan, and Traits of a Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix


Depending on the registry, the Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier are the same dogs, or the former is a distinct shorter-legged breed. In either case, they began in England in the mid-1800s.

Reverend John Russell founded the terrier hunting and following foxes if they fled into underground burrows. Jack Russells may have had Beagles and Bull terriers in their backgrounds.

Despite its origins from the significantly bigger Greyhound, the IG is about 2,000 years old. It resulted from downsizing when nobles were fashionable to own miniatures of larger breeds.

Bred as companion animals in southern Europe and present-day Turkey, Italian Greyhounds could hunt and course small game. They rose to prominence in Italy as early as the 1300s.

Jack Russell Italian Greyhounds have variable physical and personality traits as a mixed breed. A small percentage will look almost entirely like one parent breed or the other. About 80% or more will have a blend of characteristics and share several prominent features in common.

  • Narrow head
  • Large eyes
  • Slender, slightly shortened legs
  • Can run 30+ miles per hour
  • Active
  • Territorial
  • Coat usually has a white base


A Jack Russell Italian Greyhound mix is 12 to 15 inches tall at the shoulders and weighs seven to sixteen pounds. It has a medium-length strong neck, losing some of the elegance of the Italian Greyhound.

The Jack Russell Italian Greyhound’s head approximates an elongated triangle. The face is wedge-shaped with large, round eyes and wide-spaced half-prick ears. What stands out in this mix is the long, narrow snout.

A JRT x IG cross’ withers are rather high, and the shoulders are long, sloping, and laidback at about a 45-degree angle to the upper foreleg. The chest is broad and not exceedingly deep.

You will notice how slender the legs are compared to a Jack Russell, but they will also most likely show a small degree of shortening.

Jack Russell Italian Greyhound mixes do not have the exaggerated abdominal uptuck of a purebred IG. The back is broad, muscular, and level, and the croup slopes more dramatically than Jack Russell’s.

This hybrid has a long, narrow tail, although some breeders may have a veterinarian dock their litter before you ever see your prospective puppy. The tail can be carried in any attitude, from slightly tucked between the legs to just above the back level.


The personality of a Jack Russell Italian Greyhound mix is the least predictable aspect of its character. Some are shy and high-strung, while others are fearless and unflappable. Several show protectiveness and possessiveness with their owners.

Many enjoy long hours of quiet companionship spent on your lap, but a few are adventurous and do not like to stay still.
Most of them reveal the following dispositions as they mature:

  • Moderately energetic
  • Prefer to have a job
  • Bond with all family members but will have a favorite person
  • Start mildly aloof with strangers but usually warm up to frequent visitors
  • Intelligent but independent
  • Show a moderate tendency to bark


Jack Russell & Italian Greyhound mixes have short, smooth coats. An individual can have a moderate, sparse, or absent undercoat. Some dogs have hard coats, while others have velvety soft fur.

In dogs with significant underfur, the coat is weather-resistant. Most dogs of this cross do not have much of an undercoat and are especially sensitive to the cold.


At first glance, you might think this is a brindle dog. Brindle is not a standard or acceptable color in the Jack Russell or the Italian Greyhound.

This is a JRT x Italian Greyhound with a white & sable coat. Sable hairs are banded; in this case, the uneven distribution of brown and sable gives the dog a mottled appearance.

Note there are no defined stripes. Many Jack Russell Italian Greyhound mixes have this mottling on their seal or dark blue (looks charcoal) markings and speckling on the white areas of their fur.

Other notable features are the half-prick, semi-button ears, the relatively long and narrow snout, the triangular face, and the narrow yet somehow shortened legs.

This mix looks like a long-legged JRT except for the coloration; the head, body, and tail are not quite right for a purebred dog.

Jack Russell Terrier Italian Greyhounds are usually white with red, tan, blue, black, or seal markings. Rarer colors are the following:

  • White & sable
  • White & cream
  • White & lemon
  • White & fawn
  • Tricolor – white with black & tan


The JRT lives 13 to 16 years on average, while Italian Greyhounds have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. You can expect your mixed breed to live about 12 to 16 years.

Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix Puppies for Sale

Although the Greyhound is becoming a common choice to cross with other breeds, an Italian Greyhound mix is still a rarity.

Fanciers are likelier to breed their Jack Russells to Poodles, Dachshunds, Beagles, or Pugs.

With persistence, luck, and the proper timing, you can find Jack Russell Italian Greyhound mix puppies through dedicated seller websites, newspaper ads, or other listings.

Often, with such a rare mix, you cannot be sure you will get your targeted breeds. Moreover, sellers will rarely perform any health screenings on their breeding dogs.

You can also check with shelters for JRT x IG crosses. While you still might be unclear about the heritage of your prospective puppy, you will receive a health certificate and the assurance that the dog has been examined by a veterinarian and received vaccinations.

Many shelter pups and humane society dogs are spayed and neutered before they go home with you.

Grooming Your Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix

Jack Russell Italian Greyhounds have low upkeep coats that shed either mildly or moderately throughout the year. Those with denser undercoats may experience a slight uptick in shedding during the spring and fall.

You should brush your dog weekly. However, she will only require a bath every two to three months. The Jack Russell Terrier Italian Greyhound mix is like other dogs in the remainder of its grooming routine.

  • Trim nails every four to eight weeks
  • Wipe the face and around the eyes with a damp cloth daily or every other day
  • Check the ears for redness, excess wax, or a foul odor every two or three days.
  • Brush your dog’s teeth every three days

Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix Health Problems

A Jack Russell Italian Greyhound can have any of its parent breeds’ common health issues.

  • Dental disease (IG) – small jaw, weak teeth, periodontal disease
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (both) – loss of tissue that supports photoreceptors; affected dogs eventually become blind
  • Fractures (IG) – legs and tail prone
  • Glaucoma (JRT) – pressure within the eyes builds
  • Epilepsy (IG) – seizure disorder
  • Legg Perthes Calves disease (JRT)- femoral head loses circulation and necroses, causing painful fractures
  • Luxating patella (both) – kneecap periodically dislocates, leading to intermittent lameness.
  • Deafness (JRT) – linked to a largely white face in many breeds

Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix Food Requirements

Jack Russell Italian Greyhounds require 30 to 35 calories per pound a day. If you feed a commercial diet, it should be one formulated for small or Toy breeds.

Many dog lovers and experts have recently advocated that raw and whole foods should make up most of a dog’s diet. Consult your veterinarian or someone well-versed in canine nutrition before putting your pet on a homemade diet.

Assess your dog’s body condition weekly as this mix can become overweight, a detriment to its small and delicate frame.

Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix Exercise Requirements

A JRT x IG cross requires 60 to 90 minutes of exercise daily, a considerable amount for its size.

Rigorous activities like chasing, Fetch, or running should account for 20% of your dog’s exercise routine. A sizeable portion should also be dedicated to mentally enriching games and tasks.

Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix Training

A Jack Russell Italian Greyhound mix can be challenging to train because of its high prey drive, sensitivity, and independence. Your goal should be to use consistency while keeping your sessions interesting.

Positive reinforcement can come from praise, affection, playtime, or treats.

Forceful actions or a harsh verbal tone will make your dog a nervous wreck that does not want to be around you.

Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix and Families

Jack Russell Italian Greyhounds are not ideal for children under nine or ten. Despite Jack Russell’s playfulness, the breed easily becomes overstimulated and reacts aggressively.

Italian Greyhounds are injury prone and can be nervous around youngsters. Your mix needs respect and careful handling.

Jack Russell and Italian Greyhound mixes are pleasant and affectionate family pets but frequently attach to a single person above others. They are ideal for singles, couples, or small families with older children.

They do not require overly active households, but they need sufficient exercise to relieve pent-up energy and boredom.

Jack Russell Italian Greyhound mixes are adaptable to different living environments.

Jack Russell Italian Greyhound Mix and Other Pets

A few Jack Russell Greyhound mixes may exhibit aggression towards other dogs, but most can live happily with one or two pets in the household. Some get along fine with cats, especially if raised around them.

Like many dogs, socialization will always help your pet coexist with other animals.

However, your mix will not be trustworthy around rodents, rabbits, or other small prey-type animals. You should also avoid allowing your dog to play with larger dogs because of trauma concerns.

Is Jack Russell Italian Greyhound mix right for you?

Only you can decide whether a Jack Russell Italian Greyhound is the right mix for you. However, the following list will guide you.

  • Can you find one?
  • Small family unit is ideal – singles or couples are best
  • No small children
  • One or no other dogs
  • Can do well with one or two cats
  • Needs a lot of attention and training

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