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Jack Russell Terrier

Small in size but big in personality, this bread is certainly a bundle of energy and a favourite of the UK.

Jack Russell Terrier Profile

Introduction

The Jack Russell Terrier is the UK’s third most popular dog bread, full of character and charisma. This dog was first bred in southern England during the 19th Century, developed from a now extinct white coated fox terrier breed to hunt foxes, using their small frame to navigate the fox holes underground and their speed to catch them above ground. This dog breed gets their name from the hunting enthusiast Reverend John Russell, who carefully selected characteristics that make the Jack Russell instantly recognisable today, great for hunting vermin with exceptional endurance and mobility for such a small dog.  

 

There are two official variations of the breed, the Parson Russell terrier, which boasts longer legs and larger overall frame, and the beloved Jack Russell Terrier with shorter legs. This is the only difference between the breeds as they both share the same coat, health and personality.

 

Jack Russell Terrier Size Comparison

Image source: dimensions.com

Behaviour & Personality

  • Jack Russells are well known for their seemingly limitless energy, who love to run and chase prey, a deep rooted trait from their hunting ancestry 
  • These dogs are high on confidence and can be quite stubborn, they’ll be training you if you aren’t consistent with training from the get go
  • The breed is fiercely loyal to their owners, making them popular in the UK. The have a tendency to follow owners around, so be prepared to have a new companion where ever you go

Grooming

  • Jack Russells Terriers come in two varieties, one has a thick, wiry coat, the other a thin and softer one
  • A weekly brush is ideal for this dog to keep their coat shining healthily, but for the thick coat variety this should be increased to biweekly and even professionally stripped in the warmer months
  • As with most dogs, Jack Russells tend to shed in the Spring and Autumn so additional grooming parlour visits may be needed around these times
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Exercise and Training

  • Jack Russell Terriers are always on the go and are extremely high energy and high agility dogs, as a minimum they should be getting 1-1.5 hours a day
  • As these dogs were bred for hunting, they’re exceptionally good a frisbee, ball catching and love to be entertained both mentally and physically
  • This breed can be challenging to train if there isn’t a strict and consistent process in place. Be patient with Jack Russell Terriers as they can be easily distracted due to their intelligence
  • They love humans, but it’s also important that they socialise with other dogs early on, their confidence can sometimes see them get defensive around breeds 3 to 4 times their size!

Health

  • As with other purebreds, the Jack Russell Terrier is prone to some common health conditions, but they can live long lives with the right care, benefitting from a large gene pool and is relatively healthy in comparison to other popular breeds
  • Late Onset Antaxia is often found in Jack Russell Terriers, a condition that affects their balance with no cure, however it can be screened for with dog DNA testing
  • These active dogs are prone to patellar luxation (loose kneecaps) as well as congenital deafness, all of which can be screened for by responsible breeders