Jack Russell Terrier

A Quick Look at the Jack Russell Terrier…

The Jack Russell Terrier is a sturdy, tough little dog that is high in energy and always ready for a challenge. These dogs have become quite popular as pets, especially after starring in many television shows and film. The breed has a unique appeal that draws owners around the world to welcome them into their families.

This being said, it was not originally developed to be a companion, but was instead a working breed. The breed was first developed in both England and Australia. Because of their natural hunting abilities, their skills cross over very well to many kinds of dog competitions and sports, ranging from agility to obedience and tracking, and much more.

Here are some fast facts about the Jack Russell Terrier:

Dog Group:
Recognized By:
Dogs – 14-18 lbs. (6-8 kg)
Bitches – 14-18 lbs. (6-8 kg)
Dogs – 10-15 in. (25-38 cm)
Bitches – 10-15 in. (25-38 cm)
Average litter size:
Life expectancy:
15 or more years
Health problems:
Coat care:
Exercise needs:
Suitable for children:
Pet compatibility:
Barking frequency:

Brief History

The Jack Russell Terrier was first developed in England by a Parson named John Russell in the 19th Century. He created the breed in order to achieve an improved hunting terrier.

The terrier dog he created had a very high energy, was motivated with a strong endurance level, was very loyal, and had a hunting instinct that ran o deep that it continues to exist today, even after generations of being bred as a companion or family pet. These dogs have a strong inclination to chase small animals and will dive headfirst into a burrow if it was in pursuit of some type of small game.

This makes the Jack Russell Terrier a very playful breed that loves attention and lots of time exercising to burn their abundant energy levels. Their natural abilities also make them a preferred dog breed today for performing tricks, as well as hunting and tracking as their ancestors had done.

Jack Russell Terrier Breed Appearance and Characteristics

General Appearance – the Jack Russell Terrier is a small and compact dog which looks a bit on the scruffy and wiry side. It can have any of three types of coat: smooth, rough, or broken. The colors of the coat are primarily white, but can also have markings in black and/or tan. No matter what type of coat the Jack Russell Terrier has, they are all double coats and can neither have a wooly or silky texture. The unique head shape should be moderate in size, with a slightly flat area between the ears and a tendency to narrow in as it gets closer to the almond-shaped eyes. The teeth should be straight, with a scissor-bite to the jaw. The ears should be the shape of an arrowhead and should be carried forward. The tail of the Jack Russell Terrier may or may not be docked; either way it should be held high.

Typical Temperament – Jack Russell Terriers are always brimming with energy. They are peppy and always ready to get going. They enjoy both physical and mental exercise, making them ideal candidates for obedience and other kinds of training. This being said, because they are not only bright but also rather feisty and willful, they do require the skill of an experienced dog owner in order to best train and handle them. It is very important for the Jack Russell Terrier to undergo positive reinforcement obedience training, dominance training, and adequate socialization, starting as early as possible in the puppy’s life. If not kept busy enough or if not given enough exercise, Jack Russell Terriers have a tendency to become aggressive and destructive. They will hunt and track virtually anything because of strong hunting instincts and do not generally get along well with other pets, especially cats and rodents.

Basic Jack Russell Terrier Caring Requirements

Grooming – All three of the Jack Russell Terrier coat types are very easy to groom and maintain. A quick daily brushing using a dog brush with firm bristles will be enough to keep the coat and skin healthy and clean. Only the occasional bath once or twice per year will ever be required. If showing a Jack Russell Terrier with a broken or a rough coat, it will need to be stripped. All three coat types shed year round, though the most prolific shedder is the smooth coat variety.

Exercise – Jack Russell Terriers must obtain a good amount of exercise every single day. They need at least two hours of exercise, consisting of vigorous play and long walks in order to burn their seemingly endless energy down to manageable levels. If not adequately exercised, a Jack Russell Terrier will become bored and restless, leading to destructiveness, aggression, and other forms of mischief.

Approximate Food Cost – The average food cost of a Jack Russell Terrier depends heavily on many different factors, including the dog’s age, the brand and type of food he or she consumes, and how active the dog is on a regular basis. Typically speaking, when eating an average dry food, he or she will need around 1 ¼ to 1 2/3 cups of food. The average cost of the dog food should therefore be around $15, monthly.

General Health Information

Overall, Jack Russell Terriers are considered to be quite healthy, though there are certain genetic conditions that are known to be common within the breed, such as cataracts. They are also at high risk of obesity as they have a voracious appetite and are commonly overfed.

Common Illnesses include: Hereditary cataracts, deafness, Von Willebrand’s Disease, and various joint issues.

Are You the Right Jack Russell Terrier Owner?

Living conditions – Jack Russell Terriers can live just about anywhere, even in apartments, as long as their owners are dedicated to giving them adequate exercise levels, which means around two hours of high activity every day. They are generally best suited to families that do not have other pets that are cats or rodents. These dogs do appreciate a well-fenced yard in which to run around.

Jack Russell Training – Though very intelligent and having a high level of endurance, Jack Russell Terriers are known to be stubborn. The breed is very capable of learning many forms of training, but the owner must be consistent and persistent in order to effectively teach the dog. Positive reinforcement through effective leadership is vital for the training of this dog or he or she may become difficult to control. For the best results, it is critical to begin training this dog with obedience and socialization very early in puppyhood. Hunting, tracking, and agility are areas in which the Jack Russell Terrier predominantly excels.

Common Problems – Though Jack Russell Terriers can be very good with children, this is primarily only the case with older, considerate children who are well behaved and have experience with dogs. Jack Russell Terriers are not recommended for families with children younger than eight years of age. In order to keep aggression down, socialization and obedience training should start at a very young age. They must be regularly exercised to keep aggression and destructiveness to a minimum.

The bottom line…

Jack Russell Terriers are extraordinarily dependent on attention from their owners. For this reason, they should never be left at home alone for an extended period of time. Owners who work all day must find alternate ways of providing the dog with company and attention throughout the day.

Owners of Jack Russell Terriers must be willing to provide their dogs with adequate exercise to keep hyperactivity and destructiveness under control. This being said, all of this energy and exuberance also make for a fun pet, and an effective watchdog who is exceptionally easy to groom and who is fun to watch.

Though training can be a challenge, the lessons last and they help the dog to become truly lovable. Jack Russell Terriers are best suited to families who have experience with dogs and who know how to display gentle but firm leadership and guidance.

Filed Under: Jack Russell Terrier Training


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