Jack Russell Terrier

Other names: Jack Russell

#9

Wamiz's Top Breed

Jack Russell Terrier
Adult Jack Russell Terrier © Shutterstock

The Jack Russell Terrier is a typical Terrier; lively, alert, active, fiery, and intelligent. They are bold and fearless, friendly, but confident. As a very playful and sociable dog, they are extremely energetic and often hyperactive, with a need for a lot of exercise. They enjoy long walks, though it is advised not to let them off the lead in a forest, unless you want to find them digging into a burrow!

Key facts about the Jack Russell Terrier

Life expectancy :

7

21

12

16

Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Intelligent Hunter

Size :

Origins and history

The Jack Russell Terrier originates from England in the 19th century, where Reverend John (Jack) Russell selected a type of dog that could run like the Foxhound and go underground to hunt foxes and other game. He thus developed two breeds: one with longer legs, the Parson Jack Russell, and the other with shorter legs, the Jack Russell. The breed was only officially recognised in 2016.

Physical characteristics of the Jack Russell Terrier

    Adult size

    Female : Between 10 and 12 in

    Male : Between 10 and 12 in

    Weight

    Female : Between 11 and 13 lb

    Male : Between 11 and 13 lb

    Coat colour

    White

    Eye colour

    Brown

    Description

    The Jack Russell Terrier is a working Terrier that is robust, active and agile, with a strong personality. Their flexible body is of medium length, and longer than it is tall. Their eyes are small and almond-shaped, with a lively expression.

    Good to know

    Although robust, this dog is not immune to hereditary diseases which are sometimes the result of inbreeding. It is also important to pay attention when choosing your pet, as some Jack Russells are predisposed to hyperactivity and can be more difficult to handle.

    Temperament

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      Affectionate

      Despite their strong hunting instincts, these working dogs remain very good companions, affectionate and tender towards members of their adoptive family.

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      Playful

      A little mischievous, Jack Russells like to entertain and spend time playing with their friends, and even more so with children.

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      Calm

      Fearless, lively and very alert, this Terrier is anything but calm. Although Jack Russells know how to juggle both their job and companionship perfectly, they remain very energetic and should never be considered solely as a dog for pleasure.

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      Intelligent

      The Jack Russell Terrier is very clever and has a lot of potential, both for hunting and other dog sports. Although they aren’t "easy" to train, when a good bond is established between the owner and dog, very good results can be achieved.The Jack Russell Terrier is a hunter, to say the least. They have an incredible sense of smell and impressive determination when it comes to the search and pursuit of prey. They can hunt both underground (fox, badger, coypu) and on land (wild boar, rabbit). In this respect, they make the perfect companion for hunters. On the other hand, the Jack Russell will not kill; they are chosen for their bark rather than their bite.

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      Hunter

      The Jack Russell Terrier is a hunter, to say the least. They have an incredible sense of smell and impressive determination when it comes to the search and pursuit of prey. They can hunt both underground (fox, badger, coypu) and on land (wild boar, rabbit). In this respect, they make the perfect companion for hunters. On the other hand, the Jack Russell will not kill; they are chosen for their bark rather than their bite.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      Naturally kind and friendly, the Jack Russell Terrier can be distant if he feels a certain animosity from someone. On the other hand, they aren’t commonly aggressive or bitey. If this is the case, it is because the dog is either the result of a bad breeding (often due to the popularity and high demand for the breed since its official recognition), or because they did not socialise enough during their early months as a puppy.

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      Independent

      Although Jack Russells love family life, their hunting instinct means they are naturally independent.

      Behaviour of the Jack Russell Terrier

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        Tolerates solitude

        Loneliness is not generally a problem for Jack Russells, as long as they were progressively exposed to the absence of their owner as a puppy, to which they responded positively.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        Like any good Terrier, this dog has a hell of a temperament. They are not easy to handle and both their docility and ability to concentrate can be very fragile. Nevertheless, as long as their trainer’s attitude is firm, clear and rules have been established early on, the Jack Russell will be obedient. The most important thing with this working dog is to acknowledge their working capacity. Being very dynamic, this small dog can have difficulties concentrating. In fact, the optimum training sessions should be short and always end positively. In addition, positive training, through play and reward, has proven to be very beneficial to this playful and greedy breed.

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        Barking

        When hunting, this dog uses barking to signal when they are close to prey. At home, they may bark when they are bored, when they are left alone for too long, when guests arrive or when they are excited.

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        Tendency to run away

        If they live in the countryside, their familiar environment must be fenced off to prevent them from following tracks without turning around. Their hunting instinct is so strong that they could spend hours tracing the smell of an animal that was previously there. Similarly, during walks in the forest, for example, it is advised not to let them off the lead if they are bad at responding to their name. On the other hand, even if they are usually good at responding, there is no such thing as zero risk with a dog, particularly a hunting one.

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