Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier (or JRT) is a working terrier developed by Reverend John Russell of Devonshire, England, in the mid- to late 1800s. The Reverend Russell enjoyed fox hunting and wanted a breed of dog who could find, chase, and go-to-ground after the fox. He began with the Fox Terriers of the 1800s (who were quite different from today’s Fox Terriers) and bred a small, sturdy, energetic, feisty little hunting dog.

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA) is the parent club in the U.S. (with the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain) and is devoted to guiding the breed into the future as a healthy working terrier true to its heritage. The club opposed AKC and UKC recognition, although both registries went ahead and accepted the breed. It is now known as the Parson Russell Terrier in the AKC, but remains the Jack Russell Terrier with the UKC. (For more on this, see the Parson Russell Terrier profile)

First and foremost, the Jack Russell Terrier is a tough little terrier that stands between 10 and 15 inches tall. The eyes are dark, the ears dropped and V-shaped. The coat is either smooth, rough, or broken but not wooly. White is the predominant color, with tan, black, or brown markings. There are variations in body form and type, but in all cases, the dog should present a compact, balanced appearance and be strong and fit. The tail is docked.

Jack Russell Terriers are a type, or strain, of working terrier; they are not a pure breed in the sense they have a broad genetic makeup, a broad standard, and do not breed true to type. Grooming the Jack Russell Terrier is not difficult. The smooth-coated Jack Russell Terrier dogs can be brushed with a soft bristle brush or curry comb twice weekly, while the rough or broken-coated Jack Russell Terrier dogs may need brushing with a pin or slicker brush a little more often. None of the coat types mats.

Vigorous daily exercise is needed to keep the Jack Russell Terrier dog breed happy. Although a long morning and evening walk will be enjoyed, that isn’t enough. This little dog will also need a couple of long, vigorous games of fetch, a game of flying disc, or a training session on the agility course. The more exercise the better, because without it, these little dogs will amuse themselves, and that’s rarely good.

Socialization and training are also important. Jack Russell Terriers are feisty and think for themselves; they need to be guided in the direction you wish them to go, and you need to make the training challenging and fun enough to keep them interested. Jack Russell Terriers have excelled in many canine sports, including agility and flyball. Although this breed can be good with people of all ages, the Jack Russell Terrier can sometimes be too pushy for small children or the elderly.

The Jack Russell Terrier is a tough dog breed for a first-time dog owner; a Jack Russell Terrier will do better with someone who understands the terrier temperament. The Jack Russell Terrier can be feisty with other dogs, and all interactions with small pets should be supervised. Remember, this is a hunting breed. The Jack Russell Terrier gets along great with horses and is often used as a stable dog, keeping horses company and hunting mice and rats. Health concerns include eye and knee problems and obsessivecompulsive behavior problems.


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  1. Jack Russell terrier characteristics says:

    If any dog can top the high energy level of a Fox Terrier, it is a Jack Russell. If any dog can top the hard-as-nails working ability of a Border Terrier, it is a Jack Russell. And if any dog can top the strong prey drive, bold tenacity, determination, and intensity of a Jack Russell Terrier – well, that could only be another Jack Russell.
    This bright, clever, athletic breed is on top of everything that’s going on in his environment. Nothing gets by him.
    A solitary or sedate lifestyle is not suited to a Jack Russell Terrier. He requires full participation in the family and vigorous daily play sessions, especially ball chasing, which he tends to be passionate about – even obsessive. Too little exercise, too little companionship, and too little mental stimulation will quickly lead to boredom, which will in turn lead to destructive behaviors. JRTs are not apartment dogs!
    Most Jack Russell Terriers are happy-go-lucky and friendly with strangers, but in the presence of strange dogs, keep them close and under control. If the other dog minds its own manners, the Jack Russell will usually adhere to a “live and let live” philosphy, but some Jack Russells are so brash and fearless they will take on a Rottweiler if it looks cross-eyed at them.
    Two Jack Russell Terriers (regardless of sex or age) should never be left alone together. All may appear to go well for a while – even a long while – but with this breed, a seemingly amiable relationship can suddenly flare into deadly combat over something as innocuous as possession of a chew toy. If you keep two Jack Russells, it is safest to separate them when you leave the house.
    As you’ve probably guessed by now, small pets that run, squeak, or flutter probably won’t last an hour.
    The exploratory and hunting instincts of Jack Russell Terriers are legendary. These dogs will “go to ground” after anything that moves and they will stay in or by the hole for hours, even days. Obviously, JRTs are enthusiastic diggers and barkers.
    The Jack Russell Terrier is highly intelligent and responds exceptionally well to obedience training (and especially “trick” training) that utilizes food. This breed can learn almost anything – very, very quickly. The hardest part of training a Jack Russell is convincing this cheerful but assertive guy that he actually has to DO what he has learned, when you say so, even when he’s not in the mood. Fortunately, if you are offering the correct mix of exercise, mental stimulation, companionship, and confident leadership, the Jack Russell is usually willing to oblige.

  2. Matthew Broderick with Jack Russell Terrier says:

    We’re guessing Sarah Jessica Parker can’t walk that far in her six-inch Manolos – it’s hubby Matthew Broderick’s job to keep their teeny Jack Russell exercised.

  3. Sharron says:

    I am the owner and master of this dog.

    Story: We went to America and saw bart simpson. When I was coming home I said im going to get another dog and call it Bart and I did! My Jack Russell Terrier’s name is Bart.

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Jack Russell Terrier