Jack Russell Terrier Breed Traits & Facts

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

A Jack Russell is a super-active and feisty dog that is a fan of digging and chasing prey animals like rabbits, squirrels, and even your cat’s neighbor!

They are extremely intelligent and opinionated terriers thrive in an environment where they can be engaged, whether it’s hunting rats in your barn, going around with your family, or participating in earth-dog tests or race terriers.

Before we take a look at whether you think a Jack Russell would be the ideal pet for you, we must examine the dog’s complicated history and current status.

Jack Russell Terrier


It is believed that the Jack Russell is often confused with two other breeds that are recognized that are known as the Parson as well as Russell terriers. Russell Terriers. While the three breeds appear similar and are closely related however, they are distinct.

The three breeds were named in honor of their names. reverend John “Jack” Russell who was a resident of England in the 1800s. Russell was a fervent hunter of foxes and was so enthralled by the fox hunting dogs that he crossed the breeds.

Reverend Russell was popularly referred to locally by the name of “The Sporting Parson.” He sought to develop an animal that could work strong, feisty, and strong enough to chase the prey to the ground, and then flush or dig away the food source from its home.

A small short-legged dog was ideal for the needs of the Reverend and the flat terrain of the area he lived in. The dog was able to run alongside mounted huntsmen as well as hounds. If the hounds dragged the fox underground, dogs were used to flush the fox from the hole.

Following the death of the Reverend his small terrier that the dog he created morphed into the slightly larger Parson terrier. The dog with longer legs was better at working in the more rough terrain and hills in other areas of the hunting countryside. Smaller Jack Russell terrier was still employed as a working dog, however his job included keeping farms free of vermin, and also acting as an observer.

Certain hunts prefer using small versions of the terrier because the smaller dogs were more at navigating smaller, more narrow holes. The small dogs were typically transported in bags for terriers which were carried across the hunters’ saddle.

In 2012 in 2012, the Russell dog was shown in the AKC National Dog Show for the first time as a brand new breed, and was a part of with the Parson terrier. But, it is the Jack Russell is only recognized as an official breed by the Kennel Club in the U.K. The Kennel Club was established in the year 2016.

Jack Russells are used by those who love to hunt for vermin on their property However, most are kept as companion animals.


The Jack Russells have been famous for their diggers and barkers as well as adept escape artist. This isn’t naughty or unusual behaviour; it’s just Jack Russell being a Jack Russell!

The Jack Russell puppy needs lots of fair, firm, regular training from the time of birth to ensure that your boundaries are clear. If you can ensure that you provide the Jack Russell with plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation to keep his mind sharp and body, any disturbance to your home’s peace and order needs to be minimized to the minimal level.

Due to his origins, due to his origins, the Jack Russell will readily chase any animal that he believes to be fair game. This includes rats, mice as well as squirrels and even the cat of your neighbor. Additionally, you should know that any animal who is unfortunate enough to get taken by the Jack Russell Terrier is likely to never live to tell the story.

Therefore, even though an extremely socialized Jack Russell will get well with other dogs, owning a cat is not an option. If your children have guinea pigs, rabbits or any other furry pets make sure you keep them out of the reach from the Jack Russell.

Size & Appearance

The Jack Russell is a tiny but powerful dogs that are small but strong that measure at between 13 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder, and weigh between 13 and 17 pounds. It is normal for females to tend to be less sized than males.

These adorable little guys are strong in comparison to their weight. The frames of their bodies have a rectangular in form which means they’re longer than they are wide. Since they were bred to be work dogs, they possess more muscle than you would think of in a smaller dog.

They have tiny heads with V-shaped ears that slide over. The rims of black and colored rims define the almond-shaped eyes. They also are black with a pigmented or black nose.

Coat & Colors

Jack Russells can be soft or break-coated. Both coat kinds shed very little and are not silky nor woolly. The thick undercoat blows twice per year, prior to the start of spring and winter. It is normal that Jack Russells have hair that is longer around the tail and face.

Jack Russells are mostly white, with marks of black or tan on the head, body, and legs. They may even be brindle in the head region. The breed was bred using a majority of white fur to allow hunters to observe them in the fields.

Exercise & Living Conditions

Jack Russells are lively and active dogs who require a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. It is essential to go with the Jack Russell for at minimum two long walks per day and also taking time to play.

Beware; A Jack Russell that doesn’t get enough mental and physical stimulation could become destructive and disruptive!

The Jack Russell is a loving, loving dogs who don’t like to being cut off from their family. While theoretically the Jack Russell could live outside in a kennel that is well-insulated, this arrangement may cause trouble.

If you restrict the dog in an outdoor running area and set up a kennel it is likely that your dog will bark constantly. Additionally the Jack Russell will do his very best to dig for freedom, destroying your yard along the way!


The feisty dogs love to conduct themselves in according to their own preferences and it’s crucial to keep this in mind when you’re teaching the Jack Russell. They are most at ease with praise and rewards instead of an aggressive, discipline-based approach to training.

Make sure your training sessions are diverse, short and enjoyable to ensure that your dog isn’t bored. If a dog is bored, Jack Russell can become stubborn.

The puppy’s education should start the very day that you take your puppy to stay to you. Even at eight weeks old Your Jack Russell is like a sponge, easily absorbing everything he can from the world around him.

It’s crucial to not delay the training of your Jack Russell until he’s six months old age or more. Even at this young age the Jack Russell can be difficult to handle and can be a bit headstrong. with. If you are able take your puppy to puppy classes after he has completed his course of vaccinations. The puppy classes are great to teach the Jack Russell the social skills that he will need to carry into adulthood.


The Jack Russell is a pretty robust and healthy breed with an average life expectancy of 18 years or more. But, there are certain health issues that Jack Russells are prone to that you must be aware of, such as:

  • Glaucoma
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Congenital deafness
  • Patellar luxation


Glaucoma is an eye condition in which pressure is put on the eye of a dog, preventing adequate drainage of fluid out of the eye. Glaucoma is an extremely serious condition that can quickly develop into chronic if not addressed, eventually damaging the optic nerve, result in loss of vision in the eye affected.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is an eye condition that affects eyes of dogs. The retina is an area of light-sensitive cells in the rear of the eyes. The retina is home to photoreceptors, or sensitive cells to light. The lens directs light onto the retina that then converts the sunlight into electric signals which are processed and then interpreted in the brain of the pet.


The eyes of your dog should be clean. If you see any opacity in the lens of your eye it could be due to a cataract the cause. Cataracts are often tiny and cause a minimal negative impact on a dog’s vision. However, larger cataracts may result in blurred eyes. In the end, the entire lens could be affected and the dog may lose all vision. Cataracts are treated surgically however, it can be expensive , and there is no guarantee that cataracts will not recur.

Patella Luxation

Patella luxation is a genetic condition in which dogs’ kneecap is often dislocated and causes discomfort, lameness and eventually, osteoarthritis. The condition can be addressed by costly surgical procedures.

Health Certifications

The breeder of your puppy is required to provide you with a veterinary certificate through the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) as well as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) which will rid the puppy’s parents of any knee, ear, or eye issues.

If the breeder is not able or unwilling to provide the certification of your puppy’s parents, walk away.


Jack Russells are extremely active small dogs that require 350 to 650 calories a day to stay healthy and content. The dogs older than seven years old require a bit less food, based on their level of activity.

Jack Russell puppies should receive approximately 800-900 calories in order to meet their energy requirements and growth. When the time when your Jack Russell puppy reaches one year old it is possible to reduce the amount of calories your dog consumes.

The dog you love is your Jack Russell should be fed an aliment that’s 75 % dry food. When your dog chews the kibble, the bits of the biscuit will eliminate plaque-causing bacteria from his mouth and help prevent the formation of periodontal disease in dogs..

Follow the directions of the manufacturer on what amount to give the Jack Russell. Divide the daily food amount into at minimum two meals and ideally three. The division of the food into three portions helps your dog digest the food in a healthy way without getting over full.

Make sure you choose a premium food to feed the Jack Russell that has fish or meat as the primary ingredient. On the packaging of food, the proportion of ingredients is listed in order of decreasing. Thus the first ingredient is the biggest portion in the product.

Ingredients that are difficult to digest, like grains and chemical preservatives must be avoided because they can cause stomach upsets in small dogs like Jack Russells.


All you have be doing is to give the dog Jack Russell a quick once over using a brush few times per week. This will help maintain the shedding in check.

The ears of dogs with floppy ears are more susceptible to getting an ear infection. Examine your dog’s ears two to three times per week for the presence of a foul smell or redness that could be indications that there is an infection. Make use of a damp sponge or cotton pad wipe the ear of your dog to prevent bacteria. Do not put a cotton swab in the ear canal of your dog!

Smaller dogs can develop periodontal diseases. Make use of a toothbrush to clean your dog’s teeth at least every week. There are also other methods to ensure that your dog’s teeth and mouth fresh and clean! Sticks, chewing toys, water additives, and even wipes are only a few examples.

Long nails can lead to issues for our pets, including arthritis, as well as other ailments. Cutting your dog’s nails at minimum once per month can prevent injuries, and also scratches on hardwood flooring!

Begin grooming your little pet at a young age! This will help them become accustomed to grooming, and also ease the burden on you.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

The best place to begin to look for the perfect Jack Russell puppy is at the nearby breeder club. Veterinarians within your region may be able to suggest an area breeder with an excellent reputation.

Visit visit the Jack Russell Terrier Club’s site to find a list of breeders who are good. You can also visit the Parson Russell Terrier Association of America’s website which provides more information on the breed as well as breeder suggestions.

Always seek out breeders who have agreed to abide by the JRTCA’s code of ethics which prohibits the selling of puppies in pet stores, online or through auction. The code of ethics requires that breeders get the required health certificates for their dogs prior to using the dogs for breeding.

The cost of the cost of a Jack Russell puppy can differ greatly. In general, puppies born from champions are sold at more than puppies that are designed to be used as work animals or as pets for the family.

The price of the cost of a Jack Russell puppy will, in a certain degree, depend on the location you reside in the United States and on the gender that the dog is born with. On the market today it is possible to pay between $600-$1,200 for an obedient Jack Russell puppy.

Before you pay money, make sure you check any health certificate the breeder holds on the parents of your puppy. If there’s no proof of health screening available, leave the premises.

If you’re offered an Jack Russell puppy for a low cost, it’s likely that the puppy is from an animal puppy mill. They also have pet stores that are small and pet stores, so be cautious about purchasing the Jack Russell from one of these stores.

Farms, or puppy mills as they’re sometimes referred to, are run by untrustworthy breeders in order to create the most puppies they can within the most time-efficient manner. The majority of breeding dogs don’t have health screening certificates, which means that there’s a high chance the puppies could have genetic health issues or temperamental problems.

Additionally, the conditions under the puppy mills where they are kept can be just a bit deplorable. They aren’t sterilized and vaccined, which could lead to ill pets being offered to uninformed buyers. Don’t buy an untested Jack Russell puppy from a puppy mill or small pet store on the backstreets. Period.

Rescues & Shelters

If you’re willing to adopt the adult Jack Russell, and you would like to feel that warmth and comfort associated with doing good You might want to think about adopting a puppy from an animal shelter or rescue center.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of adult Jack Russells that are unloved and looking for a permanent home. Take a look at websites like Adopt-a-Pet.com and Petfinder.com, which often offer Jack Russells for adoption. Also, look up AnimalShelter.org for details of rescue facilities within your area.

The JRT is one of the most well-known dog breed that mixes with purebred dogs creating small ” designer dog breeds” that comprise the two temperaments of purebreds. The result is usually less health problems and, hopefully, the best temperament characteristics of the breeds. Here are some of the most popular JRT breeds you can discover:

As Family Pets

After you have learned more regarding Jack Russell, Jack Russell, would one of these dogs be the perfect pet for you and your family?

Let’s look at a brief resume to see what’s in it!

  • Jack Russells are tiny and compact dogs, therefore should you live in an area that is small the breed is an ideal choice. However that the Jack Russell who is left in a quiet area for long periods of time will be prone to barking, which can be a problem for those who reside in an apartment or are close neighbors.ho
  • Jack Russells require little cleaning, and this is great news for those seeking a dog that is low maintenance. However that the Jack Russell does shed moderately and could pose an issue for allergies in your family.
  • The well-socialized Jack Russell are able to get along alongside other dog breeds. However the Jack Russell has a powerful prey driveand aren’t a great fit with cats or other small furries.
  • Jack Russells aren’t usually subject to the attention of tiny children, but they can be prone to snap when they are beaten. Don’t let the house with your Jack Russell unattended with children.
  • It is true that the Jack Russell breed is a energetic, active dog that requires ample physical exercise to keep him and mentally content. Do not make the mistake of thinking that because it’s a small dog the Jack Russell will be happy by a short stroll through the neighborhood!
  • Jack Russells are generally strong and healthy, which means it’s not a bad idea to plan for fewer vet visits.

Therefore it’s likely that it’s likely that a Jack Russell would make the perfect pet If you lead an active lifestyle and love walking all year round. If you live in a home that has cats and small children then the Jack Russell probably wouldn’t be the ideal dog breed to choose.

Final Thoughts

If you lead an active life, have no cats or young children within your home and like the idea of having an energetic, bright and lively pet, a Jack Russell could be the ideal dog for your needs.

The Jack Russell will happily fit in a tiny space, as long as you provide him with ample exercise. Be conscious of the fact that this Jack Russell breed is prone to barking and can become destructive when left for long durations. You shouldn’t put the Jack Russell outside in a dog kennel or let him run around for the entire day when you’re working. There’s a good chance that your dog will be a constant barker and yapping. This will make your neighbors mad. It is also possible that your dog’s spirited companion is likely to try digging into the ground to get free!

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