What is the best Jack Russell breeding age? When can Jack Russells have puppies?

Jack Russell Terriers Breeding Age; When & What Age Is The Best?

You may be considering breeding your JRT soon and want to clarify whether your dog is at a suitable age. Bingo! I have some interesting things to share with you about Jack Russell Terriers breeding age.

I thought about writing about this topic because I saw a sick JRT puppy recently. After a long discussion with the dog parent about the sickness and less growth about the puppy. According to him, the JRT parents were not at a suitable age for breeding, and that ended up with sick puppies. His conclusion impressed me, and I wanted to share it with all the dog parents. 

After that, I did some thorough research on the topic and here is what I found. 

So, What age can a Jack Russell have puppies? When can a Jack Russell get pregnant? Female Jack Russells come to their maturity after 9 – 12 months. The recommended breeding age for female Jacks is in between 1 year to 6 years. Male Jacks come to their maturity in between 6 – 9 months. However, the standard breeding time for male dogs counts from 1 year to 7 years of age because it is the peak time of the reproductive ability.

Read – Jack Russell Terriers – All you need to Know

I have listed below the main topics that I discuss in this post. Feel free to jump straight to the topic you want. Let’s get started.

Why is age important for breeding dogs?

Age is a crucial fact for reproduction. Every living being has its own suitable time frame for expanding its generation. The physical and mental considerations change from time to time with age. Therefore, we can have the best results from breeding our dogs if we do it at the right age.

The primary ambition of breeding our dogs is to have beautiful and healthy puppies. Being at the right age for giving birth to healthy puppies depends on the dog mom’s age and condition.

And also, if the dog mom is not suitable for breeding, there is a risk for her life in the pregnancy or the labouring.

We know that Jack Russells give birth to around 6 – 8 puppies in one litter. As a small dog breed, they are so vulnerable at the time of pregnancy. If they are not at a suitable time for having puppies, that would be a risk for puppies and the dog mom as well.

Therefore, age is one of the essential facts that you should consider before you breed your dog.

What is the best Jack Russell breeding age? When can Jack Russells have puppies?

What is the best Jack Russell breeding age?

Reproduction is one of the natural and behavioural facts for all living beings. However, the most suitable age delivers quality results with minimum effort and risk. Therefore, we have to know about the most suitable Jack Russell Terriers breeding age.

As we discussed earlier, the age of female Jack Russells is vital for having quality puppies. Typically, female dogs come to their maturity in between 9 – 12 months.

However, this is not considered a good age for breeding because still they are at the beginning of the reproductive circle.

Read – How Big are Jack Russell Terriers?

The recommended age for female Jack Russells for pregnancy is between 1 year to 6 years of age. We know that Jack Russells have a relatively long life span of around 12 -15 years.

Female Jacks can give birth to new puppies even after 6 years of age, but it may negatively affect them. I discuss those adverse effects in this post later on.

Male Jack Russells come to their maturity sooner than females, between 6 – 9 months. However, the best male Jack Russell breeding age is in between 1 – 7 years of age.

As we discussed earlier, JRTs live for a long time, but their best reproductive age is limited to a few years.

The consequences of breeding JRTs at the wrong age

Mainly, there are several consequences of breeding Jack Russells at a not suitable age. Basically, there are not any risks involved to the male dog. However, two other parties are at risk as to the dog mom and the newborn puppies.

We know that Jack Russells are a small dog breed that has several pros and cons. And also, Jack Russells have relatively larger litters than other dogs.

Therefore, if the dog mom is not ready enough for pregnancy, there is a risk for her life. And also, there is a risk for puppies’ lives or their full functionality.

We know that Jack Russells have old age problems as all other dogs. Breeding dogs after the recommended age may cause disabled puppies or less-grown puppies.

And also, there is a risk for a dog mom’s life. Therefore, it would be best if you can do the breeding within the recommended timeframe.

How many litters can a Jack Russell have?

The answer is dogs can have litters until their reproductive ability remains. It is the same as human beings. Dogs can have two litters per year and until their reproduction system works.

Jack Russells can give birth to puppies between 1 – 6 years of age. Therefore, the decision is up to you.

However, my personal opinion is we shouldn’t consider them as puppy making machines. Most importantly, we have to respect their rights.

Jack Russells’ breeding cycle

The average pregnancy time is in between 58 – 63 days. Typically, fertilization occurs within 5 days after mating. There will not be any visible sign of pregnancy in the first half of the term. 

However, you will see some changes in the appetite, such as rejecting food and drinking more water. Sometimes, the mucus comes out of your dog’s vagina after 22 – 28 days after gestation. If you want to confirm, you can do an ultrasound test.

Read – Why Do Jack Russells Shake? Reasons and Curing Guide

Conclusion – What age can a Jack Russell have puppies?

We discussed Jack Russell’s breeding age and the consequences of not respecting the recommended breeding age in this post.

In conclusion, the best time for male dogs is between 1 – 7 years, and female dogs are between 1 – 6 years of age. I hope this post was helpful to you.

Stay with Jack Russell Owner. Cheers from Lenny and Shaggy!


  • Lisa Watson

    Lisa W. is a practicing certified veterinarian (BVetMed Hons in Veterinary Medicine) who graduated from Royal Veterinary College, UK. One of her research fields is mixed-dog breeds and their temperament, behavioral issues, and genetic health concerns. Also, she gathers data about purebred dog breeds and their origin, lifespan, and genetic conditions. Lisa is a loving dog parent who is keen to share her expertise with other fellow dog parents.

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