A Guide to The Jackapoo Temperament

If you’re wanting to know if the Jackapoo is going to suit you as a pet owner and want to know what their temperament is, then look no further.

The Jackapoo is an intelligent, fun-loving, friendly, and hyperactive dog breed that can be slightly stubborn and has a high prey drive. They’re great for active families with older children and thrive when there is something constructive to do.

Jackapoo with his toy
Jackapoo | Credit: Denise and Bruno

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The Jackapoo Temperament

The Jackapoo was initially bred to capture the intelligent, playful, and hypoallergenic features of the Poodle as well as the energetic, smart, and hard-working characteristics of the Jack Russell Terrier.

So, when combined, these two breeds made a successful mix of temperaments that created the Jackapoo that we know and love today. Let’s look at the main characteristics of the Jackapoo’s temperament.

Jackapoos are Hyperactive

Jackapoo at the Beach
Jackapoo at the Beach | Credit: Denise and Bruno

Brace yourself! The Jackapoo is known for its hyperactive nature. It inherited its high-energy levels from the Jack Russell Terrier and playful, attention-seeking nature from the Poodle, so you can expect a lot of playtime and exercise.

As much energy as this breed may have, they are still incredibly adaptable and live well in either urban or rural areas. You just need to make sure that they are getting an adequate amount of exercise to get rid of the excess energy, or this could quickly turn into a lot of barking for attention and digging out of boredom.

It is essential to help them release this energy by exercising at least 45 minutes to an hour each day (depending on their age).

Something my dog and I love to do for exercise is agility training. You can set up an agility course around your yard or at the park using various objects, or the  Outward Hound agility kit is a brilliant and affordable way to get into agility training.

Jackapoos are Fun-Loving

Another characteristic of the Jackapoo’s temperament that comes hand in hand with its hyperactivity is how playful and friendly they are. This is because of the combination of energy from Jack Russell and the attention-seeking and playful temperament of the Poodle.

As part of the Jackapoo’s fun-loving nature, this makes them always eager to please people and they love to head to the park to exercise and socialize as much as possible.

This fun-loving nature makes it easy to make sure that your Jackapoo is getting a good amount of exercise because most of the time it will involve playing around with them. Whether you’re playing fetch or tug-o-war, you’ll not only get the benefit of exercising your dog but also some bonding time with them too. Believe me, when I say, it’s difficult not to play with your Jackapoo.

Jackapoos Have a Gentle Nature

Jackapoo Dog - Looks like a silver Poodle
Jackapoo – Photo Credit: Serena S

As hyperactive as the Jackapoo is, it is still such a gentle dog, if they are well trained and socialized from a young age.

Due to the intuitive nature inherited from the Poodle, Jackapoos are very conscious when playing with their owners. They do, however, have a high prey drive so you’ll need to keep an eye on them with younger children that they might chase.

Jackapoos are Intelligent

A mix between the Jack Russell Terrier and the Poodle results in a highly intelligent Jackapoo. This breed is so inquisitive, determined, and intuitive that it’s very entertaining to see how quickly they can solve doggy puzzles and other intelligence-based activities.

It’s really important to keep that intelligent little Jackapoo mind engaged as much as possible, because with a high intelligence always comes a high probability of boredom, especially if it is not well trained.

I find that a few great ways to keep your Jackapoo’s mind preoccupied are by getting some dog toys like the Outward Hound Dog Brick Interactive Treat Puzzle.

Jackapoos Can Be Slightly Stubborn

The Terrier genes are what cause the Jackapoo to feel a sense of authority within their households. And if it is not trained or well-disciplined then the Jackapoo usually develops an unhealthy habit of doing its own thing and not listening to its owners.

A headstrong Jackapoo is prone to incessant barking and pushing the boundaries whenever it can. If your Jackapoo happens to be more on the stubborn side, it’s important to stay calm in all situations and use positive reinforcement to encourage good habits. Shouting and reacting, or just giving up and trying to ignore the defiant behavior will only encourage your Jackapoo to continue with their bad habits.

Jackapoo Destroying Toy
Jackapoo | Credit: Denise and Bruno

Jackapoos Have a High Prey Drive

With the mix of the Jack Russell Terrier genes in the Jackapoo breed, comes a whole bunch of hunting instincts like a strong determination and a hard-working attitude. Jack Russell Terriers were bred for hunting, so naturally, you will see that the Jackapoo has a natural urge to hunt, dig and chase.

Jackapoos thrive when they have something to do, but if this urge is not satisfied it can easily turn into episodes of chasing cats, and sometimes even small children outside of their family, as well as digging to protect the garden from rodents and other small animals.

The Jackapoo will naturally have a high prey drive, but it’s extremely important to nip the hunting habit as soon as possible to stop them from becoming problematic. Even with a lot of training, this is one characteristic that really stays with the Jackapoo.

Are Jackapoos Aggressive?

In general, Jackapoos are very happy dogs. They love their owners and are naturally quite protective, but never to the point where you as the owner have to worry about them in public settings. You’ll be happy to know that a well-trained Jackapoo is very pleasant to take to the park and you won’t have to worry about unpredictable aggressive behavior.

All dogs when mistreated will act out aggressively, so if the Jackapoo is in a loving household, fed well, and has its needs met then they are one of the happiest pooches you can get.

Are Jackapoos Protective?

Jackapoos can be great security dogs in the household because they’re protective enough to guard your family and the house when they can sense something is not right. But not overly protective to the point that they are territorial.

The Jackapoo’s protective nature is not likely to make them become a nuisance. For instance, they won’t growl and bark when everyone and anyone passes the house or when you have guests come over.

Do Jackapoos Get Along with Cats?

Jackapoos don’t always get along well with cats because of their high prey drive. They tend to chase cats and other smaller animals.

I advise anyone considering getting a Jackapoo if they have a cat to reconsider if you want to avoid constantly having to discipline them and make sure the cat is okay. Even with training, it will be difficult to stop this behavior because the instinct is so strong.

If you have already gotten a Jackapoo my first recommendation is to always take them for training when they are young and socialize them with the cat to try and get them as used to each other as much as possible.

Jackapoo with a Cat
This Jackapoo is friends with the Cat. Photo Credit: Louise Hamilton

If you’ve noticed your Jackapoo has started to antagonize the cat, immediately tell them no and put them in another room. If they are eyeing the cat you will need to redirect their attention as fast as possible. Get them to come to you, and when they’re obedient, always make sure to reward them for good behavior.

Do Jackapoos Make Good Family Pets?

Jackapoos are amazing family pets. They love intensely, protect the household as much as they can and have a gentle disposition that’s great for older kids.

If you see a Jackapoo out in public areas they will never be too far from their owners because they have such a strong tendency to develop separation anxiety, so they don’t like to be away for too long.

You will however have to watch out when it comes to having smaller children around, because of their high prey drive they might chase them around. So, it would be better to get a Jackapoo if you have slightly older children or wait until your children are at least 4 years old before getting a Jackapoo.

F1 Black Jackapoo Puppy
Jackapoo | Credit: Buddy from Glasgow

Are Jackapoos Good with Children?

Jackapoos are amazing with older children, and they really are a dog breed that loves their family with all their being.

Because of their size, the Jackapoo’s boisterous amount of energy does not overwhelm children. Their gentle nature makes them conscious of how a child feels around them, and they usually adapt pretty quickly to those needs.

With the Jackapoos tendency to be a bit stubborn, it is worth noting that even though this breed is friendly and usually very gentle, your Jackapoo needs to be trained at a young age to make sure their high prey drive is under control. Because of this instinct, it places a risk of making Jackapoos less tolerant of smaller children.

It’s important to keep an eye on them with small children and babies due to their high prey drive. No, they’re not going to hurt the kids, but they will tend to nip and chase little ones.

Are Jackapoos Good with Other Dogs?

Yes, Jackapoos are great most of the time with other dogs, but it will always depend on how they have been socialized. If you’ve kept them exercised and well-trained, and brought them to the park to interact with other dogs, they can easily become doggy socialites in the public parks.

If you can see that your Jackapoo is struggling with interacting with other dogs, then it would be a good idea to look into further training, because Jackapoos are not usually aggressive with other dogs unless they are not socialized, or their exercise needs are not being met.

Are Jackapoos Good with Strangers?

Jackapoos make great little watch dogs, they are naturally friendly to most people who walk by, but their temperament always makes them feel like they need to be a bit on guard with people that they don’t know.

Your Jackapoo shouldn’t easily show aggression towards strangers, only a slight caution if they are with you. If your Jackapoo regularly shows aggression towards strangers then it would be best to consult a dog trainer to correctly socialize your pup, see what could potentially be aggravating them and help to break any bad habits.

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