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Jack Russell Terrier

Energetic, fearless and athletic

About the Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is always on the move. They’re constantly looking for things to do, vermin to hunt, and people to play with – and they won’t stop until they’ve had their fun for the day.

If you want a dog that’s raring to go every morning, can learn tons of tricks, and will alert you to anything – and we mean anything – that approaches your house, then the Jack Russell Terrier (or JRT) is the dog for you. Lace up your running shoes, because your Jack Russell Terrier yearns for adventure.

A Jack Russell Terrier that gets enough attention, exercise and training is also a lovely house pet, and can fill your household with laughter and excitement.

jack russell terrier sitting on a chair

Jack Russell Terrier Breed Characteristics

24 to 38 cm at the shoulder

13 to 17 pounds

Life Expectancy
10 to 15 years

Coat Colours
White with black, brown, tan, red or lemon patches, or tricolour

Here are some of the qualities you can expect from the Jack Russell Terrier, rated from one to five stars. However, all dogs are individuals, and your Jack Russell Terrier may not display exactly the same characteristics.

Family Life
Friendly with Kids
Friendly with Dogs
Ease of Grooming
Exercise Needs
Prey Drive
Tendency to Bark or Howl
Good for Novice Owners
Apartment Living

Jack Russell Terrier Breed History

The creation of the Jack Russell Terrier is all thanks to one man: Parson John Russell. Apart from his church activities, ‘Jack’, as he was known to his friends, was also passionate about fox hunting and the breeding of fox hunting dogs.

The colouring, character and intelligence of the Jack Russell Terrier were all thought of with fox hunting as the end goal. The nearly all-white coat is so that the hunters can easily differentiate their hunting dog from their prey.

Sadly, Parson Russell didn’t keep breeding records, so we may never know what dogs went into the creation of the breed. It’s likely that he employed foxhounds and white terriers in his breeding stock, though Parson Russell also had to restart his breeding programs repeatedly due to financial troubles.

Caring For a Jack Russell Terrier

How to Choose a Responsible Jack Russell Terrier Breeder

Jack Russell Terriers are a working breed, and with these types of dogs it’s best to find a responsible breeder. Because of the emphasis on their hunting ability and physical characteristics, finding an ethical Jack Russell Terrier will give your puppy the best chance of growing up to be healthy and well-behaved. A good breeder will know how to best care for their dogs and give them the right physical and mental stimulation at an early age.

When choosing a Jack Russell Terrier breeder, try to find one that is part of a breeding organisation that enforces high standards of care for the members’ animals. Also try to meet the dam and stud of the puppy you’re looking to buy so that you can get a sense of their temperament.

Jack Russell Terrier FAQ

No. Jack Russell Terriers aren’t naturally aggressive, though they may challenge bigger dogs and will not back down when challenged themselves. A Jack Russell Terrier puppy should be socialised early on so that they learn proper canine behaviours.

No. Their prey drive is very high and they tend to chase after prey animals such as squirrels, rats or cats. They may also begin to challenge bigger dogs if they aren’t kept under control. Off-leash time is best spent in an enclosed outdoor space that is secure and has high walls that your JRT can’t jump over.

Dog Breeds Similar to the Jack Russell Terrier

The information is for general use only. For any specific advice or queries, please consult with your veterinarian.

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