Irish Jack Russell vs German Shepherd - Breed Comparison

German Shepherd is originated from Germany but Irish Jack Russell is originated from United States. German Shepherd may grow 32 cm / 13 inches higher than Irish Jack Russell. German Shepherd may weigh 36 kg / 80 pounds more than Irish Jack Russell. German Shepherd may live 3 years less than Irish Jack Russell. German Shepherd may have more litter size than Irish Jack Russell. Both German Shepherd and Irish Jack Russell requires Low Maintenance.

Basic Information

Herding dogs
Working dogs
United States
Height Male:
61 - 67 cm
24 - 27 inches
18 - 35 cm
7 - 14 inches
Height Female:
55 - 61 cm
21 - 25 inches
18 - 35 cm
7 - 14 inches
Weight Male:
34 - 44 kg
74 - 98 pounds
5 - 8 kg
11 - 18 pounds
Weight Female:
34 - 44 kg
74 - 98 pounds
5 - 8 kg
11 - 18 pounds
Life Span:
9 - 13 Years
10 - 16 Years
Litter Size:
1 - 15
4 - 8
Other Names:
Alsatian, Alsatian wolf dog, Berger Allemand, Deutscher Schaferhund, Schaferhund
Irish Jack Russell, Shorty Jack Russells
Colors Available:
Black and Tan, Sable, Bicolor, Black and White
tan, brindle, White coat with orange
dense and thick, short, medium thick, thick and fluffy, long, furry around their chest, ears, tail or backs of their legs
Short or long - coarse
Constant, Seasonal
Aggressive, Alert, Gentle, Intelligent, Loyal, Outgoing, Protective, Quiet
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Low Maintenance
Low Maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:



german shepherdIn 1882 german shepherd was introduced in a show at Hanover. They were created by the cross breeding of the rural sheep dogs by a man named Max. In 1906 they were first exported to America. After that the breed became very popular in UK.

Originating in the United States of America, the Irish Jack Russell, also known as Short Jack Russells, was bred to bring about a calmer temperament and to also have a dog with shorter legs.

Always a working dog, breeders of the Irish Jack Russell wanted to create a dog with less of a hunting instinct in him and have a dog which would be more companionable.

These Irish Jack Russells look much like your regular Jack Russell but are more of a companion dog than a hunting dog. The Irish Jack Russell doesn’t adhere to any existing Jack Russell breed standard and isn't really recognized at major dog clubs and kennels. The truth of the whole matter is that there are different kinds of Jack Russells and different names given to them to differentiate between the taller Jack Russell and the short legged one. The shorter Jack Russell Terriers are known by many names such as Irish Jack Russell and Shorty Jack Russells.


german shepherd puppyThe GSD is very good for being a watchdog and hence it do not welcome guests to home. But when trained from a puppy it will suit itself for making new friends. GSD like to be always with somebody and they can be its master or his family members or else its partner. The GSD is very intelligent and active hence they should be always kept busy, exercised and playing. Nowadays many of them are trained well and made as four legged stars.

When we see all around the world many of them are involved in helping the physically challenged people. Also they are very important personnels in working with police and military for finding the criminals. Their excellent sniffing power works very good when given proper training for finding illegal smuggling. But basically the breed was set in to herd the sheep and protect them from predators.

Based on the popularity they are ranked 2nd in US and 4th in UK.

Irish Jack Russells are small dogs standing at roughly 18 to 35cm and weighing in the region of 5 to 8kg for both males and females.

He looks much like your regular Jack Russell but he has shorter legs, and where the regular Jack Russell has an essentially white coat with orange-tan patches, the Irish Jack Russell can be solid tan or other color variations such as red, brindle, black and tan.

The coat can be short or fairly long and coarse. The Irish Jack Russell is a sturdy, compact dog with a flat skull, brown eyes and ears which are semi-erect, semi-floppy. He has a bright, alert, intelligent look on his face. The tail is set fairly high and has always been docked but these days it is inclined to be left long, taking away from the dog’s nice compact look.


The Irish Jack Russell is perhaps more placid than the regular Jack Russell and that is why he can adapt to life in the city or in the country. They’re intelligent dogs and therefore easy to train and have socialized.

Even though he is a small dog, training and socialization is important as he is a feisty, stubborn, know-it-all little dog. These are dogs which can become possessive of their owner and they can become quite aggressive when protecting their family. He is a highly trainable dog but it is important to have him trained as he tends to be aggressive with other dogs.

He is busy, active, happy and inquisitive and will require regular exercise to prevent him becoming restless and destructive. He has been a working terrier and he always wants to be busy.

Health Problems

german shepherd dogThe GSD has the chances for getting orthopaedic diseases such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Other common orthopaedic problems which affects GSD are Panosteitis, Osteochondritis and cruciate ligament rupture.They also get some skin problems such as allergies and pyoderma. Digestive problems such as chronic diarrhea and colitis are also seen in GSD.

Hair fall

GSD is a continuous shedder. They are having a two layer coat. They should be brushed daily as it will remove the dead fur and thus prevents shedding.

Your Irish Jack Russell is a dog that doesn’t battle with too many health issues, but nonetheless you still need to watch out for common health problems.

Jack Russell terriers are generally a healthy breed that can live up to 14 years of age, but still every dog is prone to the more common dog problems such as hip dysplasia, bloat, ear infections and dental disease among others.

If your Irish Jack Russell is in pain, he is lethargic and sick, don’t delay – take him to the vet right away.

Caring The Pet

german shepherd puppiesThe GSD should be given an cool environment which they will enjoy a lot.

Feeding the puppy

The GSD puppy should be fed small quantities of food but several times per day as it needs to gain 2 gms weight per day. The preferred food for them is dry food along with raw liver pieces which would provide them excellent energy. The protein food given to puppy should contain 25 to 30% calories. Puppies consume more food when compared with adults.

Feeding the adult

The GSD needs a food which has a considerable amount of protein. They are carnivores in the nature. The protein can be given from cooked meat. The artificial food products will not be suitable for them. When are provided with protein food they will gain fat from itself. The recommended fat content for GSD is 5% to 8%.

Points for Good Health

The GSD should be provided with a nutritional food for their good health.

Games and Exercises

Physical exercises are very much needed for GSD since they are very energetic and power packed. It is highly recommended to make them play and run daily as they don't need to get bored. They can be made to climb in hilly areas as they want to explore their surroundings. They can be made to swim or play hide and seek and find the missing objects. Regular morning walk will be very good for them.


The Irish Jack Russell is an average shedder with his short or longish coat which is easy to groom, requiring a brush once or twice a week. His nails grow quickly too and they can get caught on something and cause him damage. Trim your pet’s nails to prevent this.


Feed your Irish Jack Russell good quality dog food each day. If you feed him commercially manufactured dog food, be certain to check the feeding instructions on the packaging.

He is a small dog, and overfeeding can be just as bad as under-feeding. It’s never a good idea to just go on and on feeding your pet dry or wet kibble day after day. Add in some cooked chicken, rice, pasta and vegetables as a treat and to also provide some variety for him.

Also a little bit of raw meat occasionally can do him the world of good and you’ll see the appreciation in his bright eyes and wagging tail.


Children friendliness

german shepherd dogsThe GSD is a very good child friendly dog, they love to play with kids.


They adopts both hot and cold climates, but they like cold weather very much and also their body is suitable for cold than hot.

Learning ability

The GSD has high ability to learn tricks and also they are interested in learning. As they have very high intelligence they learn very easily and quickly.

The Irish Jack Russell is a self-confident, energetic dog who will like nothing more than to be involved with everything you’re doing. The busier he is the better, and because he has strong hunting instincts you may find him digging in your garden for rats.

Have him trained and socialized if you want to avoid certain problems with him and remember to exercise him and provide him with the attention he craves.

He is a social dog and will pine away if you just leave him to get by on his own. Make sure that he becomes every bit as part of your family as everyone else and he promises to make you a loyal, devoted companion.

Comparison with other breeds

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