The Border Jack is a cross between the pure breeds Border Collie and Jack Russell Terrier. Both parent breeds are known as highly active dogs, intelligent and trainable for a variety of tasks. The owner that decides on a Border Jack should be one that is ready and committed to take on the needs of a dog that can quickly become bored and unhappy with routine or little activity.
The Border Collie is one of the most intelligent breeds and was originally a herding breed in the regions of the Anglo-Scottish border. It is an instinctively skilful herder of several kinds of livestock and farm animals, and has proven to be athletic and adept at other activities as well, such as dog sports, obedience trials, and tracking.
The Jack Russell Terrier, often confused with the Parson Russell Terrier and the Russell Terrier, is a small, predominantly white dog originally bred by the English for fox-hunting. Possessed of speed, agility, and large amounts of stamina, the Jack Russell Terrier is used to bolt foxes from their dens for the hunter. A narrow body and chest are necessary for this task, to allow the Jack Russell Terrier to squeeze through confined underground holes and dens.
The Border Jack is commonly found in black and white, although other colors and markings are possible. There is the classic black tricolor, brown and white, brown tricolor, blue, brown, and brindle. Merle as a coat pattern is also frequently found in the Border Collie, and may well show in the Border Jack.
The Border Jack has a dense double coat that can either be smooth and short, coarse and a bit longer, or broken, meaning, a combination of the first two types. It is never silky or soft tot he touch, and there may be feathering on the chest, haunches and legs.
The Border Jack has a serious, working dog temperament that means it is happiest when being exercised, stimulated, or allowed to do the work it is trained for. Highly intelligent, active, and fearless, the Border Jack is not a lounging pet or a a lazy family dog willing to stay in and play with the children as its only form of distraction. In fact, an under exercised and under stimulated Border Jack can be a noisy dog and a menace to house fixtures. It is a faithful and loyal animal, but it needs to be outside in its natural element, or else given a lot of time and attention by its owner, for it to feel that it has a purpose and is serving it.
The Border Jack is a low to average shedder, and will only have heavy seasonal shedding once or twice a year, if ever. Coat care is a weekly brushing, to help brush out the dead hair, while bathing is recommended on an as-needed basis.
The Border Jack responds very well to training, and can learn a number of skills in addition to instinctive ones. Training should not be repetitious, though, as this intelligent dog can get bored fairly fast.
A dog with high levels of energy, the Border Jack will require an experienced owner with a commitment to ensuring that it is well-exercised and stimulated daily. This means at least an hour everyday spent on walking or running, tricks, agility courses, or dog sports. It is only when this requirement is met that the Border Jack can be considered for urban living, such as in a condo or an apartment.