Pet Jackals Are Legal & Illegal | Learn Why Now!

Jackals aren’t native to America but they are closely related to the coyote in the United States.

The majority of jackals are native to Africa, so keeping a pet jackal in the states might not be that easy.

Aside from being able to find one for sale, another hurdle you may face when attempting to get a jackal as a pet is the legal aspect.

Jackals aren’t legal everywhere, but they are also not illegal everywhere, so it just depends.

Let’s discuss this further!

Can You Have a Jackal as a Pet?

There is no simple answer as to whether or not you can have a jackal as a pet. Most areas will consider jackals as wild or exotic animals. If exotic animals are legal in your area, you may be able to have a jackal as a pet.

If exotic pets are not legal in your area, it would be unlikely that pet jackals are legal.

Can You Own a Pet Jackal?

Jackals are considered wild animals and are not ideal pets for most of us. Sure, some of them may be able to be domesticated if taken at an early age, but we will get into why that isn’t as simple as it seems later on in the article.

For now, let’s discuss where jackals as pets are legal and illegal.

Can You Have a Jackal as a Pet in The United States (U.S.)?

Jackals aren’t legal to own as pets in every state. Jackals will fall under the exotic pet, dangerous animal, and wild animal laws for your state, county, or city. If your area allows exotic pets (specifically dangerous exotic pets), then you may be able to own a jackal as a pet.

Four American states have no laws against keeping a dangerous exotic animal as a pet. These four states include Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

Other states will allow an exotic pet with the correct licenses and permits. However, this can also be overruled by your local government’s laws.

It is best to check your local exotic animal laws to determine if owning a pet jackal is legal for you.

Can You Have a Pet Jackal in Canada?

Having a pet jackal in Canada is a possibility depending on where you live. There is no definitive information specific to owning a jackal as a pet, so they will likely fall under the umbrella of exotic pets or wild animals.

You can check out wild animal regulations here, but it is likely illegal to own a jackal as a pet if exotic animals are banned in your area.

Canada also has laws against importing and exporting animals which may also be of interest to people inquiring about owning a jackal as a pet.

Can You Have a Pet Jackal in Australia?

Since jackals are not native to Australia, you won’t be able to keep a jackal as a pet in Australia. Australia has very strict regulations when it comes to importing exotic animals into Australia.

Without a valid reason and without gaining the proper licenses and permits, you can’t import any wild (non-native) animal into Australia.

Getting a license or permit to import an exotic animal into Australia will not be easy, especially for keeping a jackal as a pet.

Can You Have a Jackal as a Pet in The United Kingdom (UK)?

Although officials discourage ownership of dangerous exotic animals, jackals can be kept as pets in the UK with licensing and inspection.

That said, you will need to check specific laws in your region in the United Kingdom to ensure they are legal because laws vary from region to region.

Some areas will allow you to keep a pet jackal while others will list them as illegal to keep as pets.

Are Jackal Hybrids Allowed as Pets?

Jackal hybrids (jackal + dog) will fall under the exotic animal laws in your area. Although they are only half jackal, they are still considered exotic and will require the same type of licenses and permits as an exotic pet would.

If exotic pets are illegal in your area, you won’t be able to keep a jackal hybrid as a pet.

Are Jackals Good Pets?

Jackals are not good pets for the majority of us. If you can get past the legal hurdles of owning a jackal as a pet, you still have to think about whether it is a good idea or not.

Jackals can be tame. If taken at an early age, it is possible to domesticate a jackal, and the similarities of domestication can be compared to that of dogs.

Although they may be legal in your area and can be tame, it doesn’t mean they are still a good fit as a pet for you.

Jackals are wild animals and will not act the same as domesticated dogs. Sure, there are stories of tame jackals living in captivity, but these stories are the minority, not the majority.

This means that it is possible but not likely that you will have a similar experience.

Let’s discuss some of the jackal’s behavior and temperament to give you a better idea of how jackals behave and why they are not a good option as a pet.

Pet Jackal Behavior & Temperament

Are Jackals Aggressive?

Jackals can become very aggressive within their territories. While they may not explicitly seek out animals or humans to attack for no reason, attacks have been reported on humans that get too close to a jackal’s territory.

Jackals are like most other wild animal species and will avoid humans when possible – but if you get too close – you may get bitten or attacked.

Owning a pet jackal could present the same issues in a domestic setting, just something to keep in mind when thinking about getting a jackal as a pet.

Are Jackals Dangerous?

Jackals can be dangerous animals. As stated earlier, they are territorial and do not care for intruders. They will become highly aggressive and dangerous when protecting their territory.

Jackals can grow to a length between 2 to 3 feet (61 to 91 centimeters) and can weigh between 15 to 30 pounds (6.8 to 13.6 kilos).

While this may not be a sizeable animal, they are still very dangerous.

Can a jackal kill an adult human? Probably not! But attacks have happened and are usually on children because they are small and jackals aren’t feared as much by them.

Aside from children, small domesticated pets may fall victim to jackals if left unattended.

Are Jackals Domesticated?

Jackals can be domesticated if taken at an early age and trained properly. However, this does not mean that every jackal can be a domestic pet and can be tame.

Aside from them being illegal as pets in most areas, it would require a lot of effort, patience, and money to keep a jackal as a pet.

Jackals like to roam freely and need to be outdoors a lot. This could pose problems depending on where you live and what accommodations you have available for a pet jackal.

Are Jackals Friendly?

Jackals are not friendly animals in the wild. They tend to avoid humans and even fear us to a certain extent. However, domesticated jackals may not be as distant as wild jackals.

Tame jackals will not be as aggressive or dangerous as wild ones, but that doesn’t mean they will be friendly with you.

Pet jackals can be loyal and affectionate with their keepers. However, even domestic jackals do not care for strangers. They do not like to be confronted by strangers and do not allow strangers to pet them.

Are Jackals Intelligent?

Jackals are highly intelligent animals. They know how to scavenge by following larger predators around and picking up the scraps.

They know how to communicate efficiently and effectively with members of their pack.

They can also decipher the cries of different jackals and only respond to the jackals that are part of their own pack while ignoring the others. Training a jackal as a pet would be similar to how you would train a dog.

Are Jackals Solitary?

Jackals are not solitary and are actually very social animals. Some may only live in pairs while others will live in small packs consisting of about 5 to 6 family members.

Juvenile jackals tend to stay with their parents until they are mature enough to take on their own territory.

When considering a jackal as a pet, you need to understand that since these animals are very social, it may be detrimental to the animal if it doesn’t have a companion jackal.

Animals that are social tend to not do very well in a domestic environment without other members of the same species around.

Are Jackals Territorial?

Jackals are territorial and can become aggressive when their territory is invaded. In the wild, they will defend their territory by attacking other animals (including non-familiar jackals) that venture into their territory.

Jackals mark their territories with urine, which could cause a significant problem if you are keeping a jackal as a pet.

Furniture and carpets may end up being ruined if you can’t get your pet housebroken and trained properly.

Pet Jackals for Sales - Costs to Own

How Much Do Jackals Cost?

Jackals are not cheap animals to own as pets. There aren’t many jackals available for sale. If you do find one for sale, it will come with a significant price tag.

I’ve seen pet jackals for sale that range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 (usually for a pair), but I have also seen listings where they are attempting to be sold for ridiculous amounts of money between $30,000 to $50,000.

Not sure if anyone is willing to pay that hefty price tag to own a pet jackal, but if you want a jackal as a pet bad enough and you have the money, then why not I guess?

Where Can I Buy a Jackal?

Owning a jackal as a pet won’t be easy because they are not in high demand and are not found on the open exotic pet market for sale very often.

Jackals for Sale

Jackals are hard to find for sale on the exotic pet market. If you do find one, it will cost you a pretty penny.

No sites I could find that sell exotic pets have jackals readily available. Jackals are rarely owned as pets so it could prove difficult to find one for sale.

The reasons for this include the availability, the demand, and the legal aspects of owning a pet jackal. Since there isn’t a high demand and they are illegal to own as pets in most places, you will need to locate a specific breeder in order to find a jackal for sale.

Adopt a Jackal

There are no active adoption agencies that deal with adopting a jackal as a pet. I couldn’t even find an adoption agency that allows for the symbolic adoption of a jackal.

However, you can symbolically adopt an animal with WWF here if you are interested in that sort of thing.


Now that you know everything about owning a jackal as a pet, are you going to get one?

As much as I could see myself with one of these as a replacement for a domestic dog, I understand that it isn’t a viable option for me.

Maybe your situation is different and a pet jackal is in your future. If jackals are legal to own in your area and you can find one at a reasonable price, then by all means own a jackal as a pet if you can afford it.

However, for the majority of us, owning a pet jackal isn’t the best option as a domestic pet.

There are many dog breeds that do not come with all the complications of pet ownership, so thankfully, there are many options for us when wanting a canine as a pet.

That’s all I have for this article. I hope you enjoyed it and plan to read more. If you are into exotic pets, please check out our other articles on exotic pets here.

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This site acts as a provider of general information about animals that may be useful to members of the general public. Please consult with a certified expert or licensed veterinarian for any form of animal safety or medical advice.