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Jack Russell Terrier | Breed Info, Pics, Puppies, Facts & Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Jack Russell Terrier

Height: 12 – 15 inches
Weight: 13 – 17 pounds
Lifespan: 13 – 15 years
Colors: White, black and white, white and tan
Suitable for: Experienced dog owners, large homes with children and cold climates
Temperament: Friendly, intelligent, energetic, stubborn, and loyal

The Jack Russell Terrier has a strong rectangular frame. It has a well-proportioned medium-length body with short hair. The coat can be smooth or rough and is mostly white with brown or black markings.

The Jack Russell Terrier started as a foxhound in the mid-1800s. It’s fast enough to run with larger hounds, and it’s also tough enough to get down on the ground and bolt prey. They originated in England but developed into the breed they are today in Australia. Many consider them the perfect earth terrier.Divider 1

Jack Russell Puppies

jack russell terrier puppy
Photo Credit: Smit, Shutterstock

Jack Russell Terriers are friendly and intelligent, but they are also stubborn. They would be better suited to more experienced dog owners.

Better breeders will produce a higher quality dog.  These breeders often run tests that can check for common hereditary diseases known to affect your pet, so you know you are getting a healthy pet. They might also register your dog with a reputed kennel club.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Jack Russell Terrier

1. A Jack Russell Terrier dog descends from the kennels of Reverend John Russell, “The Sporting Parson.”

2. The Jack Russell Terrier does important work on many horse ranches worldwide.

3. Underground electric fencing will not hold a Jack Russell Terrier.

Jack Russell Terrier lying down
Photo credit: Ella_87, Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Jack Russell Terrier 🧠

The Jack Russell Terrier is a stubborn dog that will often demand you do things their way. If they are trained early in life, you can curb this behavior somewhat, but you can expect a lot of backtalk from your pet throughout its life. They are intelligent and will try many tactics to get you to do things their way. They like to dig, and you will likely need to supply them with a place to do so, or they will find a one themselves.

The Jack Russell Terrier is fearless and can easily get into trouble chasing a squirrel or a cat into the road, or with a much larger animal. They also tend to bark for fun, so it might not be the best pet for an apartment building

Are Jack Russell Terriers Good for Families? 🏡

The Jack Russell Terrier is a good dog for families, and this breed gets along well with children. They are smart and like to clown around, so they provide endless entertainment for every member of the family.

Do Jack Russell Terriers Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Jack Russell Terrier can get along with other pets if they are socialized early in life. However, they are naturally aggressive toward other animals and will often chase squirrels, rabbits, and other small animals that may enter your yard.

Jack Russell Terrier looking up

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Jack Russell Terrier

Here is a short list of things to consider before purchasing a Jack Russell Terrier.

Food and Diet Requirements 🦴

The Jack Russell Terriers are high-energy dogs, so they will need slightly more calories than many other breeds the same size. Most of their calories should come from crunchy dry dog food, which will help keep your pet’s teeth clean. We recommend diets high in protein with high-quality meats like lamb and beef. Avoid foods that contain meat by-products and chemical preservatives.

Daily Exercise Requirements 🐕

The Jack Russell Terrier is an extremely active dog that will require one to two hours of vigorous exercise per day to stay healthy and fit. They like to hunt and explore, so it can be helpful to incorporate these behaviors into the exercise to help stimulate the mind as well as the body.

Jack Russell Terrier holiday cheer

Training 🦮

The Jack Russell Terrier can be quite challenging to train as they quickly become bored and can wander off. Starting to train your pet at an early age will help them get used to the training routine, and positive reinforcement using treats is a great way to get and keep their attention.

It’s important to impress that you are the head of the household, or you Jack Russell will assume the position. Always be consistent with your training methods, so you do not confuse your dog and reward good behavior while ignoring the bad. Obedience classes can help you, and your pet gets a working system that you can rely on throughout life.

Grooming ✂️

The Jack Russell Terrier has three different types of coats, and they all shed. All three coats are very dense and weatherproof. The smooth coat sheds the most but only requires regular brushing. They will need more brushing in the spring as they begin to shed their winter coat.

The long coat sheds the least but will require frequent brushing and trimming to keep it tangle-free and the desired length. If you don’t know how to groom your dog, you may need to visit a professional groomer for help or tips.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Selective breeding has helped improve the health of the Jack Russell Terrier, but there are still several problems associated with them, and we are going to list some of them for you in this section.

Minor Conditions
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is a condition that causes the ball of the femur that fits into the hip begins to degenerate. Limping usually starts slowly, but in some cases, it can advance quickly, causing quite a lot of pain. You need an x-ray to diagnose the condition. In some cases, surgery may help, but many times you will need a complete hip replacement.

  • Luxating Patella

A luxating patella is a condition where the tendons allow the kneecap to slip out of place. As your pet ages with this condition, the kneecap will move out of place more often. Most dogs act like they aren’t experiencing any pain when this happens, but it does affect the amount of weight your dog can place on the leg. This condition also puts your dog at risk for other knee problems like torn ligaments and early onset arthritis. Surgery can help in some cases.

Serious Conditions
  • Deafness

Unfortunately, deafness is very common in the Jack Russell Terrier breed. It is one of more than 30 susceptible dog breeds, and many times, they are born deaf. Symptoms of deafness include being unresponsive to loud noises, or squeaky toys. It may also become unresponsive to its name.

Proper breeding practice can help minimize the chance that your puppy will be born deaf through testing and selective breeding.

  • Lens Luxation

Lens Luxation is another inherited disease that can attack the Jack Russell Terrier. This disease affects the muscles that hold the lens on the eye. This condition can impair your pet’s ability to focus, and if left unattended too long, it can cause the lens to become dislocated. Lens Luxation is treatable if caught early enough.

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Male vs. Female

Males are usually more active and tend to be more sociable, and they are slightly larger and more aggressive as well. Females tend to be more affectionate.

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Summary: Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a great companion for an experienced owner. You will need to know how to assert your dominance and maintain it throughout the life of your pet. You will also need to be vigilant about supplying enough exercise so your dog can stay happy and healthy. However, once you ave earned their trust, they are fiercely loyal and fearless and will remain by your side no matter what the danger. They are also great to have around children and make fantastic watchdogs.

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Featured image credit: PetraSolajova, Pixabay

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