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What is a Jack-A-Poo?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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A jack-a-poo is a crossbreed dog gaining popularity in the US. It is a specific mix between smaller poodles and Jack Russell terriers, but the breed is still so new that it’s difficult to find much information regarding them, their behavior, and their characteristics. It’s not difficult to understand the intent behind the cross breeding of these two types of dogs.

Both dogs have desirable and undesirable characteristics. Jack Russell Terriers are known for their exceptional intelligence, which can quickly lead them into trouble without skilled training from an early age. Poodles are also considered some of the most intelligent dogs, but again, if improperly trained, they may be nippy. In general, poodles have a more sedate intelligence than do Jack Russell Terriers. Calming down the Jack Russell energy by breeding it to a poodle can be a smart choice.

Further, Jack Russells shed significantly, while poodles are considered low-shed, and almost hypoallergenic. The crossbred jack-a-poo or jackdoodle, may have the characteristics of a non-shedding dog and be better for people who have slight allergies to dogs, or who simply don’t want to deal with a shedding dog. Whether or not a jack-a-poo will shed or be a calm dog is a good question that is not always easy to determine when you obtain a puppy. If you want to be assured of calmer characteristics or low shedding, rescuing a year old jack-a-poo may be a better choice, since animal rescuers can give you a more full account of the dog’s behavior.

Temperament and coat can vary, as can appearance. Some types of jack-a-poo look very much like Jack Russell Terriers, and weigh in at about 15-25 pounds (6.8-11.34 kg). Others may be smaller, may have smooth instead of rough curly coats, and all exhibit a range of colors. When the jack-a-poo is first generation, this means it has a Jack Russell and poodle parent. Second or later generations means the dog is the result of breeding two jack-a-poos together. You’re likely to have more predictable characteristics in dogs of later generations, since the dogs with the most desirable characteristics are selected to breed and produce puppies.

The first generation jack-a-poo tends to be the most variable in appearance, coat quality and temperament. It may look like a Jack Russell or a poodle, shed or not shed, and is high energy or not. If you like to be surprised by a dog’s personality and looks, first generation puppies may be the best choice. Clearly, though, any jack-a-poo you acquire will benefit significantly from lots of loving attention, careful training and behavior classes and overall thoughtful care as to coat. Dogs that prosper best, regardless of breed, do so in loving homes.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a All Things Nature contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon994749 — On Mar 03, 2016

My first breed jackadoodle is now almost 9 years old. Gorgeous, affectionate, cute, so loving and very smart. Doesn't shed but loses what looks like small clumps of pulled wool. Easy to see and clean. Had another doggy visitor recently. Oh, and my son started sneezing and had watery eyes so our dog at least they're not allergic to. Just as well, they'd have had to go.

By anon317653 — On Feb 03, 2013

Why are these people dissing the Jackapoo? I would say there are non dog lovers making derogatory comments. I hope some are not this rude about mixed raced people.

By anon283311 — On Aug 03, 2012

We have a year old Jackapoo and she is the most loving pup you could want. She is high energy, so she requires lots of walks, so she keeps us in shape!

She is loyal beyond belief. She was a shelter pup returned by her owners for behavioral issues - duh, she was a puppy! Anyway, they make awesome pets and we love her to death! She makes us laugh. She has ears that stand out straight and with the curly hair on her head, she looks like a lamb!

By anon169611 — On Apr 22, 2011

I have a one year old first generation Jackapoo I bought when he was eight weeks old. I decided that since I had never had a puppy before, I would employ a registered trainer.

My little boy is the most obedient and lovable little dog now. I have no trouble with him, he does not nip and because I was told to put him on a low protein diet, he no longer runs round the house like a whirling dervish. He does need a lot of exercise and brain stimulation to keep him out of trouble but he has toys where he has to use him brain to find treat and outdoors he has homemade obstacles and also a tunnel to run through, which he loves.

To stop him digging up the garden I bought a children's sandpit which works really well. Jackapoos are the most lovable and easily trainable dog if you have the right advice. He also goes with a dog walker once a week to be able to socialise with other dogs.

By anon162482 — On Mar 23, 2011

My jack-a-poo is loving and cuddly but he does bite and can be nippy, but he's still cute and can hug you forever!

By anon156983 — On Mar 01, 2011

I have a first generation 10 month old cockapoo. He is a very affectionate dog although very excitable. I have had a trainer since he was 3 month old and she used what we call negative training, worked for a while but now he ignores all commands and even ignores his name.

I have now found another trainer and dog behaviourist who are going to start training next week with positive training. They told me that he needed to be on a low protein diet as he was hyperactive and feeding high protein food was only making the problem worse.

He does not sleep during the day and is wearing me out. Has cost me a lot of money so far, but I think he is worth it.

To anyone who buys a Cockapoo I would say research trainers, speak to them, ask them for a visit so they can assess his needs. It does not seem possible to train a hybrid dog by yourself. But they do make very lovable pets.

By anon156408 — On Feb 27, 2011

How come some people here are calling a cross a 'designer dog' when presumably they don't think that of dog breeds which have been selected for a 150 years or so with the deliberate aim of limiting the gene pool?

By anon133321 — On Dec 10, 2010

I have a Jack-a-Poo I got from the local shelter. He's the most awesome dog I've ever had: smart, loyal and oh so lovable.

By anon129622 — On Nov 24, 2010

I have a Jackapoo and he is wonderful! He is very smart and loving. He follows me everywhere. The only problem we have had is he got the Jack Russell barking! He is the love of my life!

By anon113365 — On Sep 24, 2010

Designer dogs! What a rip-off. Charging in the region of £350 for a mongrel which is what these are. Outrageous - crazy. go to a rescue shelter if you want a cross breed and donate the £350 if you have more money than sense.

By anon75051 — On Apr 05, 2010

I recently adopted a stray that was called a jackapoo. He's great and is similar to my Bichon with more energy to go for walks. Very smart and self cleaning and entertaining. Terrific dog.

By anon64351 — On Feb 06, 2010

no they don't all have their tales docked. i just got a little female cockapoo and she doesn't have a docked tale, and I'm not going to dock it.

By anon48049 — On Oct 09, 2009

What a superb cross!

By anon33127 — On Jun 01, 2009

i love that these mixes are called a 'breed' -- isn't the big selling point that they are a so-called 'hybrid'? i guess just calling them an "oops, mutt" litter isn't good enough anymore...

(there's a sucker born every minute, and two to take their money, LOL!)

By anon10208 — On Mar 22, 2008

Do all jack a poos have their tails docked? At what age?

By anon7629 — On Jan 30, 2008

Great information about jackapoos. I have come across lots of sites, but I can't find much information about them. THANKS!

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a All Things Nature contributor, Tricia...
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