Jack Russell Terrier Information

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The Jack Russell Terrier is a small, compact dog with a flexible body, and a small chest - necessary because as a working dog it must be able to get into burrows after its quarry - which comes in three varieties distinguished by its type of coat: smooth, broken or wire-haired. (The broken coat is a combination of both long and smooth hair.) Usually this terrier's coat is all white, with reddish black, tan or brown markings on the head and tail. The v-shaped ears of the terrier fold forward over a triangular head, tapering to the black nose. The eyes are almond-shaped and are dark brown or black. The tail is long and  is held high, but is usually docked at about five inches. The legs should be straight. Many Jack Russell terriers have bent legs because of Achondroplasia (a type of dwarfism), but this is considered a fault.

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The three types of coats are known as smooth, broken and rough. If the dog's coat is less than 51% white, it is considered a fault in the conformation show ring.

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The Jack Russell Terrier has a lively, cheerful temperament, with a strong will. It is obedient - if properly trained. It is also fearless - so much so that care must be taken around larger dogs, for the much smaller Jack Russell will not back down. This breed also has strong hunting instincts and should not be let loose around smaller animals. The Jack Russell is good with children - it enjoy games and playing with toys - but will not tolerate ill-treatment from anyone. They like to bark and they like to dig, and they can get bored and destructive if they are not kept well exercised. The Jack Russell is also a climber and a jumper - so five foot fencers present no obstacle to them.

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10-15 inches
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14‑18 pounds
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General Health

Jack Russells must be tested for congenital deafness. They are also prone to eye cataracts and displacement of the lens of the eye (called primary lens luxation), Legg‑Calvé‑Perthes syndrome (degeneration of the hip joint) and Von Willebrand disease (frequent bleeding), as well as Myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness). With good care, a Jack Russell can live up to 15 years.

Jack Russells are one of the few breeds that aren't prone to hip dysplasia.

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The Jack Russell Terrier got its name in the 19th century, a hundred years after a clergyman named Jack Russell bred terriers so that they might hunt small game, such as foxes, by following them into their burrows. The  standard is very broad, and many different body types are accepted in the breed. They are divided into working terriers and pet and show breeds.

The clergyman’s name was Parson John Russell, known to friends as Jack. He was a founder member of the UK Kennel Club in 1873 but he never showed his strain of dogs at Kennel Club shows. Most Jack Russells are descended from a bitch called Trump who was given to Parson John Russell by his milk man. She was a Fox Terrier. There are three types of Jack Russells including the Jack Russell Terrier or Parson Russell (there is no difference between the two other than politics) this is the type that gives the Jack Russell the high strung reputation as they are very prey oriented and were bred to bolt Fox. The English Jack Russell AKA Jack Russell Shorty or Puddin' Jack was the first type of Jack Russell bred by John Parson. They were used to stay on the farm and keep the vermin population to a minimum. They are also great with farm animals and children and are very family friendly dogs. These great little dogs were noticed by a terrier fancier in Ireland. Once there many breeders in Ireland did not stick to the standard and bred them with other breeds such as Chihuahuas and other small dogs which are now known as the Irish Jack Russell. Some people call them Pocket Jacks due to their smaller size.

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The Jack Russell Terrier is easy to groom – simply comb and brush regularly with a firm bristle brush. Bathe only when necessary. For show dogs, the coat must be stripped - regardless of the type of coat is is. Their teeth must be brushed frequently.

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Ideal Environment

The ideal environment is a house with an average-sized yard, so that the Jack can get a lot of exercise. If they are to be left in an apartment, they should not be left alone for any length of time, unless they are trained to stay in a crate. They will be extremely excited and ready for exercise when they are released.

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Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of DogProblems.com. Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

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Jack Russell Terrier Q&A

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My Jack is about 5. We rescued her about 4 months ago. They said at the spca that she could not go home with a family that had other dogs or children. Aparently her previous owner got her to keep thier other dog company, but she did not get along with the other dog so they too her to the pound. I have her around my parent's 90 pound American Staffordshire Terrier and she has bit him when he comes to close. She is like this all the time with him. I took her to a dog park this weekend and she did pretty good. She played fetch most of the time, away from the other dogs and if they came near, she would growl and they would leave her alone. I am hoping that eventually she will get better.

Not really advice, but some reassurance. My family owns, and have owned for many years, Jack Russell's and have found them to be mildy agressive towards other dogs - growling, etc. We have introduced other breeds of dogs to our Russell's and found them to mix quite well after a short amount of time. Our current Russell can be quite territorial towards her chews and toys if our Irish Setter goes near them. All in all, it's normal for your Russell to be narky towards other dogs. If it does get bad then maybe you could go to a dog trainer?


Hi, I've purchased a Jack and will be picking up in two weeks. Anyone have some advice? I have two small children ( ages 7&5). My Jack is 8 weeks old.

I have an irish jack russell (short legged) called Kylie, she's a pleasure! When i first got her i made sure i introduced her to the back yard first and then let her in the house but onlyy at my command to get inside , so she knows straight away who's the boss. She loves learnin tricks, you know sit, jump, etc... As she loves hunts squirrells and foxes we go to the fields so she can practice her hunting skills (mind you she never catches anything!). Oh, she loves pleying with balloons and fotballs as well. Give your jack russell a good power walk on the leash (20 mins at leaast) before taking them to dog park or to the fields (luckily we've got plenty of green fields in England). Believe me, plenty of exercise and mental stimulation will make your jack russell a happier dog and a calmer on too!!


Do they get along with with boxer dogs?

Hi. Yes, I can confirm that they get along with Boxers extremely well! My Boxer was already an adult when I got my short legged Jack Russell and I found that she was extremely mothering towards him; more so than our previous Dog who happened to be a Jack Russell as well. It was quite the reverse back then: We got our Boxer when he (a longer legged Jack Russell) was an adult, he was quite aggressive towards her. I can only speak for female boxers, as I have never had a male.


I recently bought a four-month old Shih Tzu; our Jack Russell is five years old and shows hostility. I've read in different forums that JRs have a tendency to be dominant towards animals and other dogs of a smaller size. Both dogs are female and neither is spayed, but our JR continuously tries to bite or shove our Shih Tzu and refuses to stop barking. We've tried using a muzzle but she still shoves the younger puppy. I'm afraid that our JR will seriously harm the puppy- will this behaviour stop?


At what age do female jack russell terriers start their period?

Varies with the dog. Usually around the 8-9 month mark but can be closer to a year.


Do they get on well with cats?

They love cats! There actaully scared of them a little!


I have two female Jack Russells, ages 12 and 11. We got the second one before we knew it wasn't a good idea to have the same sex. They seem to have a major dog fight once a year, which has been going on for the past 6 years. I am wondering if the D.A.P. system would help to control aggression.


My 1 yr old Jack Russell cross West Highland White Terrier is afraid of everything. The dryer goes off he barkes at it and backs away. If you're sweeping the floor he attacks the broom. He hates sticks. Recently, he's been showing fear agression towards people. It's a little scary when you're not sure if the next person who walks through the door is going to get attacked or puppy kisses. We got him from a rescue group about 3 months ago and have been working with him on getting over his fears, but nothing seems to be working. People just keep telling me I should put my dog down cause they're all afraid of him. Has anyone else ever had a Jack Russell with fear agression? If so what did you do about it?

It is an nice time having a Jack Russell because they are active and i love to play with them


I own a male Jack Russel Terrier cross. We have had him since he was about 8 weeks old. He is now about four years old and is not very socially matured. I've recently got a female miniture Coker Spaniel who is the same age. She is a very socialised dog and very gentle and friendly. My jack has being trying to KILL my cocker for the past 3 days. My cocker is starting to get sick of the bitting, barking and chasing. Can you please give me some advice on what to do?

It sounds like your JRT might be more territorial than friendly. Usually you have to introduce dogs to other animals and types of people while they are young, just so they can socialize. I don't think that you will be able to have both dogs at the same time, but who knows, it might just take a bit of time.


We have a 5 yr old JRT and he really is our best friend. Not your usual JRT! He has always been very laid back and snugglie, but when you put your coat on he is at the door first just dancing and barking. Lately he has not been himself. He sleeps a lot very quiet, doesn't really bark any more, when he does it is like he is loosing his voice. He seems to be very nervous as he shivers a lot when he is a sleep & when he is just sitting on your lap. His snoring is so loud he drowns out my husband. Like he is having a hard time breathing. The Vet says his lungs are clear & his heart is strong. Has anyone come across this or have any suggestions. We love him like one of our kids.

Maybe he's getting old.

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