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Jack Russell Yorkie Mix (Jorkie): Info & Issues

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The Jorkie is the result of breeding Jack Russells with Yorkshire Terriers. Yorkie Russell mixes are loyal companions who like to show their affection. They are energetic and playful. Their intelligence is above average, making them easy to train.

If you’re considering buying a dog, you have probably compared purebred and mixed dogs.

A popular mix is the Yorkie Jack Russell Terrier mix. They’re loving, intelligent, and active, making them playful and easy to train.

This article explores all the following aspects of Yorkie Russells:

  • Origin
  • Appearance
  • Temperament
  • Health issues
  • Care

And more.

Jorkie Characteristics Overview

Jorkies are small, adaptable, and fun to be around. They have a long lifespan but have a predisposition for several health issues. They can be either single or double-coated and are easy to groom. They are not suited for sedentary owners because of their active temperament.

The main characteristics of Jorkies are listed in the table below.

Appearance

Height

7 – 15 inches

Weight

2 – 17 pounds

Lifespan

12 – 16 years

Dog Breed Group

Mixed breed

Coat Type

Double or single

Coat length

Short, medium, rarely long

Coat color

Back and tan, tricolored, multicolored, red and white, tan and white

Eyes

Dark

Nose

Black

Ears

Stiff-floppy

Hypoallergenic

No

Shedding

3 stars

Grooming Difficulty

3 stars

Adaptability

Apartment living

4 stars

Good for beginners

3 stars

Can be alone

4 stars

Cold weather tolerance

3 stars

Hot weather tolerance

3 stars

Friendliness & Temper

Temperament

5 stars

Affectionate

5 stars

Kid-Friendly

3 stars

Dog-Friendly

3 stars

Friendly to Strangers

3 stars

Playfulness

5 stars

Trainability & Needs

Easy to train

4 stars

Intelligence

4 stars

Hunting Instinct

4 stars

Barking

5 stars

Energy Level

4 stars

3 Reasons To Get a Jack Russell Yorkie Mix

Jack Russell Yorkie mixes are intelligent and easy to train. They have a well-developed protective instinct, which makes them great watchdogs.

1. Jack Russell Yorkie Terrier Mix Dogs Are Intelligent

Jack Russell Yorkie Terrier Mix Dogs Are Intelligent
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Jorkies inherit their intelligence from both Jack Russells and Yorkshire Terriers. While they are not among the top 10 most intelligent dogs, they are smarter than the average. 

The fact that Jorkies are smart, but not among the top 10 smartest dogs, is an advantage. The most intelligent dogs, such as Border Collies, are sometimes independent. They know how to get away with what they want and are hard to control.

Jorkies display high instinctive intelligence. They love to please their owners and easily understand what humans want from them. 

Not only are they smart, but they are also able to distinguish between various human emotions.

Related: Are Jack Russells Smart?

2. Jorkies Make Great Watchdogs

Jack Russell Yorkie mixes have a well-developed protective instinct. They are protective of their family members and their territory. Both parent breeds have been used for vermin control. 

This makes them highly alert and reactive to noises and movement. 

Even though they are friendly to strangers, they don’t like it when strangers trespass on their territory. They are not imposing in size, but compensate with barking.

3. Jorkies are Easy To Train

Training Jorkies is fun and rewarding. As both parent breeds have been used for vermin control, Jorkies inherit two valuable traits: 

  1. Obedience.
  2. Eagerness to please.

They respond well to positive reinforcement and structured training.

In a large study[1] on dogs’ intelligence, Stanley Corren analyzed the obedience and working intelligence of 130 breeds. Jack Russell Terriers ranked 46th, while Yorkies ranked 27th. 

Jack Russells responded well to the first command 50% of the time. Yorkshire Terriers responded well to the first command 70% of the time.

3 Reasons Not To Get a Yorkie Jack Russell Mix

Yorkie Jack Russell mix dogs bark a lot and are not well-behaved around children. They need a lot of mental stimulation in order to be happy.

1. Jorkies Are Not Great Around Children

Jorkies Are Not Great Around Children
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Yorkie Jack Russells are not great for families who have young children. Even though Yorkshire Terriers are great with children, Jack Russells are not. They are impatient and reactive.

Early socialization with children diminishes Jorkies’ reactiveness around children. Training started during puppyhood is also effective. 

Still, supervising your Jorkie when they are around children is highly recommended.

2. Jorkies Bark a Lot 

Jorkies bark a lot and are loud. Jack Russells learned to bark loudly to signal they found prey. This happened because, in many cases, they had to follow their prey in underground tunnels. Jackies often got stuck and could die if owners did not find them.

Excessive barking is controlled through training and stress reduction techniques.

3. Jorkies Need a Lot of Mental Stimulation

Jorkies are smart and are bored easily. They like to be engaged in various activities that require them to focus and make decisions. 

Dogs’ brains evolve differently, according to what they were bred for[2]. Jack Russells and Yorkies are used to having a job and get bored and frustrated if they are not feeling useful. 

If you are busy and don’t have time for your dog, the Jack Russell Yorkie mix is not for you.

Yorkie and Jack Russell Mix Origin

The Yorkie and Jack Russell mix is a relatively new crossbreed. There is no exact evidence of the time and place Jorkies were initially bred. The breed is believed to originate from the United States. 

Jack Russell Terrier Origin

Jack Russells were initially bred in England in the 1800s. Their purpose was to hunt foxes. In the present, they are used for companionship and vermin control. 

Jack Russell Terriers were initially dark in color. Hunters needed to differentiate them from their prey, so they started breeding Jackies with white patches. 

Now, the standard Jackies are at least 51% white.

Yorkie and Jack Russell Mix Origin

Yorkshire Terrier Origin

The Yorkshire Terrier originates from Yorkshire, England. They were initially bred in the 1800s as ratters. Ratter dogs are trained to hunt rats and other vermin. 

Yorkies first entered the United States in 1872. They were recognized as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

Jack Russell and Yorkie Mix Appearance

Jack Russell and Yorkie mix dogs are small dogs whose size varies in a wide range. They have a lean athletic appearance. Some Jorkies have short hair that lays close to their bodies. They also have medium-length hair and a messy appearance.

The physical traits of Jorkies, as well as their parent breeds’, are listed in the table below.

TraitJack Russell Yorkshire TerrierJorkie
Height 10 – 15 inches7 – 8 inches7 – 15 inches
Weight13 – 17 pounds2 – 7 pounds2 – 17 pounds
Coat TypeDouble SingleDouble or single
Coat TextureSmooth or wirySilky, wavy, or woollySmooth, wiry, silky, wavy, or woolly
Coat ColorWhite, black, brown, tan, red, yellow Black and tan, blue and gold, blue and tan, black and gold Back and tan, tricolored, multicolored, red and white, tan and white
MarkingsYesYesYes
MaskYesYesYes
TickingYesNo Yes 
Coat Length Short or mediumLong Short or medium, rarely long

Jorkie Size

Jorkies measure between 7 and 15 inches in height. They weigh around 2 and 17 pounds.

The size of Jorkies is hard to predict. 

Both parent breeds are small, but Jack Russells are considerably larger than Yorkshire Terriers. Yorkies are some of the smallest Terriers. This explains the large range of the expected height and weight of Jorkies.

Designer breeders usually use Jack Russell females and Yorkshire Terrier males for breeding. This reduces the health risks mothers are exposed to. 

If the mother is a Yorkshire Terrier, the puppies are too large for the female to bear. In this case, giving birth can lead to the death of the mother.

Jorkie Size
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Jorkie Coat Length & Texture

Jorkies hair is either short or medium. It can be both smooth, silky, woolly, wavy, or wiry.

Many people believe Jack Russell Yorkie mix dogs have long hair. This is a misconception due to a lack of information about how genes work. 

Long hair in dogs is the result of a recessive gene[3]. Recessive genes require both parents to pass on the gene for it to manifest.

Even though wire-haired Jack Russells are also called long-haired Jack Russells, their hair is not actually long. The hair length of wire-coated Jack Russells measures between 1 and 2 inches. Long hair is categorized as two inches or longer. 

Jack Russells don’t have long hair but can carry the gene for it. In rare cases, they can pass it on to Jorkies. 

As a result, a Jorkie will have long hair, but it is extremely rare.

Jorkie Coat Type

Jorkies are single or double-coated, depending on which parent they inherit their coat genes from.

Jack Russells are double-coated. They have dense undercoats that protect them from the cold during the winter. Their outer coats protect them from UV rays and bugs. It is also waterproof due to specific oils produced by their skin.

Yorkshire Terriers are single-coated. Their hair is similar to human hair. It does not protect them from water but provides protection against UV rays and insect bites.

Related: Jack Russell Coat Types

Color

Jorkies get their color from both parent breeds, but it is impossible to predict what puppies will look like. 

In rare cases, Yorkie Jack Russell mixes have dark masks around their muzzles, called melanistic masks[4]. They can have markings and tickings on various parts of their bodies.

Here are the colors that Yorkie Jack Russell mixes can have:

  • Tricolored
  • Multicolored
  • Back and tan
  • Red and white 
  • Tan and white

Related: Jack Russell Colors

Jorkie Color
Image Source

Yorkie Russell Temperament

Yorkie Russells are energetic and playful. They are fun to be around and make great pets for active families. These dogs are affectionate and loyal to their owners but wary of strangers and other dogs. 

Jorkies are adventurous and sometimes independent. They are not afraid to engage in unknown activities. 

This does not apply to all Jorkies, as every dog is unique.

This table illustrates some of the traits that Jorkies can inherit.

TraitsJack Russell TerriersYorkshire Terriers
AggressionYesYes
EnergeticYesYes
PlayfulnessYesYes
Protective InstinctYesYes
Excessive BarkingYesYes 
Hunting InstinctYesYes
Biting InstinctNoYes
Digging InstinctYesYes

Both Jack Russells and Yorkshire Terriers were used for vermin control. This is a form of hunting that leads them to develop certain specific traits. 

Jorkies are:

  • Obedient and collaborative
  • Intelligent
  • Eager to please
  • Great runners
  • Great swimmers
  • Loud barkers
  • Experienced sniffers
  • Diggers
  • Easily distracted by small animals
  • Well space-oriented
Yorkie Russell Temperament
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Jack Russell Terrier Yorkie Mix Health Issues

Jack Russell terrier Yorkie mix dogs are generally healthy and have a long lifespan. Their average lifespan is between 12 and 16 years. Still, they are predisposed to several health issues that can cut their lives short.

Jorkies are predisposed to several health issues, including the following:

  1. Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  2. Lens Luxation
  3. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

1. Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This health condition is characterized by the deterioration of Jorkies’ retinas. 

The retina is a layer in the back of the eye where nerve cells get the information from the environment and send it to the brain. This is how images are formed. 

When these cells deteriorate, Jorkies experience permanent vision loss. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy[5] can be detected by genetic testing.[6] 

2. Lens Luxation

Yorkie Russell Lens Luxation
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Lens luxation[7] affects Jorkies’ eyes and impairs vision. Surgery is a cure for this health condition but many owners fail to identify it. Ophthalmologic exams are recommended for all Jorkies.

3. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

Jorkies who are affected by this health condition have a deteriorated femur head[8]. With time, this leads to arthritis and a lot of pain. 

Surgery can solve this health condition after it appears. If a Jorkie has the gene for this disease, they are most likely to experience it.

Jorkies are also predisposed to other issues:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Dental Issues
  • Atopy
  • Breathing issues
  • Ear infections

Related: How long Do Jack Russells Live?

Taking Care of a Yorkie Russell

Even if Yorkie Russells have few needs, they take up a lot of their owners’ time. These dogs are not suited for owners who are always busy and don’t have time for them. They require a lot of physical activity to keep healthy and happy.

Jorkies don’t need intensive grooming if they have short or medium hair. If they are long-haired, which is rare, they need daily brushing and frequent baths. 

This table illustrates the needs of Yorkie Russells.

NeedsDescription 
Grooming requirementsWeekly or daily brushing, occasional bathing, weekly ear cleaning, regular teeth cleaning
Exercise requirements60 – 90 minutes per day
Food requirementsHigh-quality micro and macronutrients, Omega-3 for skin and coat health
Living conditionsThey can adapt well to apartments but are happier when they spend time outdoors

Conclusion

Jorkies are loyal and have a protective instinct towards their family members. They are great for active owners who like doing activities with their dogs. This mixed breed loves to have something to do. If not, they get bored easily. 

Jorkies are prone to various health issues, but are generally healthy dogs, with long lifespans.

Other Jack Russell Mix Breeds

FAQs

Do Yorkie Jack Russell Mix Dogs Shed?

Yes, Jack Russell Mix Dogs shed. They can shed a lot, like Jack Russell Terriers, or minimal, like Yorkshire Terriers.

Related: Do Jack Russells Shed?

Are Jack Russell Yorkie Mix Dogs Hypoallergenic?

No, Jack Russell Yorkie mix dogs are not hypoallergenic. If they have long hair, they have minimal shedding. Their extra hair is removed while brushing, which reduces the amount of dander in the environment.

Related: Are Jack Russells Hypoallergenic?

How much do Jorkie puppies cost?

Jorkie puppies cost between $200 and $800. If the breeder uses exclusive pure breeds for mating, the price can be higher.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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