How To Tell If A Jack Russell Is Purebred Or Not?

How To Tell If A Jack Russell Is Purebred Or Not?

Dog owners can be different. While some are not concerned about whether their dog is purebred or not, some are highly concerned about it. When you buy a puppy from a breeder, it might be hard to trace whether the dog is a purebred one at the initial stages.

However, there are ways to identify this. And this article will provide some helpful information for Jack Russell Terrier owners to determine if their dog is purebred or not. 

So, how to tell if a Jack Russell is purebred or not? If I give a brief answer to this question, Both physical and personality traits are considered when finding out if a Jack Russell Terrier is a purebred one. To elaborate, physical characteristics such as the coat, shape of the head, posture, build, and personality traits such as being energetic, active, and alert help you find answers for your question. 

If you plan to adopt a Jack Russell Terrier, getting a purebred one in significant ways could be more advantageous. But with all the ups, there could be downs too. Therefore, it is good to understand the facts before coming to conclusions.

So here are some essential details that you should be familiar with to identify a purebred Jack Russell Terrier.

How can you tell if a Jack Russell is purebred?

As already mentioned at the beginning, the physical appearance and the personality of your Jack Russell are the common factors that will aid in comprehending whether it is a purebred dog.

Physical traits are comparatively easy to notice when buying a Jack Russell puppy instead of personality traits.

Because at a very young age, they might not showcase all their breed’s personality traits. Hence physical characteristics are easier to spot; let’s look at them. 

Generally, Jack Russell Terrier is a small dog breed with an average weight of 13-17 lbs and a height of 10-12 inches. You can specifically focus on below physical traits to identify whether your dog is purebred.

  • Posture 

Posture, or in other words, the way they hold their body, is a determinant to spot a purebred dog.

When it comes to the posture of a Jack Russell Terrier, even though they tend to be relatively small from their body size, they have a strong posture, especially hindquarters.

If you are unfamiliar with that term, the joints of the back of their legs. Purebred Jack Russells have pretty firm and muscular hindquarters.

Jack Russells usually have a chest that is longer than its wide. Their feet generally point straight forward with slightly arched loin.  

  • Coat

Jack Russells are not very furry dogs; still, they have a thick and smooth coat that could be either short or medium-lengthed.

However, a purebred Jack Russell Terrier coat would not grow quite long, and it isn’t wooly either.

Another noticeable factor in the coat of a purebred Jack Russell is the coat color. Jack Russells often is an amalgamation of two or three colors.

Yet, a purebred one would have a coat that is a primarily white color with brownish, tan, or black markings.

  • Head and Face 

Purebred Jack Russells have their own head shape and other facial features. A purebred dog would hold a well-balanced head that is a proportion of its body.

Furthermore, the standard breed has a flat skull. They have V-shaped floppy ears, dark brownish almond-shaped eyes, and a black nose.

They also have a strong jawline, and the top jaw, in most cases, slightly overlaps the bottom one. Their teeth are small yet seem to be pretty strong.

What does a true Jack Russell look like?

In order to answer this question, let’s be familiar with who are purebred dogs. Purebred dogs, sometimes also known as single breed dogs, descend from the same bloodline.

This means the parents, grandparents all come from the same breed; they are not bred with other breeds of dogs. A purebred Jack Russell Terrier is what we interpret as a true Jack Russell Terrier.

And if you wonder what a true Jack Russell looks like, it mainly scales down to before mentioned characteristics.

If they have the above-mentioned physical appearances and overall an active, friendly, and loyal personality, you could say it’s a real Jack Russell Terrier.  

How much is a purebred Jack Russell worth?

You may have heard that a purebred Jack Russell Terrier could be relatively costly, and that is correct. Jack Russell Terriers that descend from pureblood lines are more expensive than a mixed breed one.

There isn’t a fixed price for purebred Jack Russells. Breeders could sell them in different price ranges depending on various reasons. Usually, the average price range of this dog breed is 600-1500 US dollars.

It is worth spending around 1000-1500 bucks to get a purebred Jack Russell. Anyways, as I mentioned, breeders estimate the price based on different reasons.

Sometimes, reputed breeders could sell purebred Jack Russell Terriers for over 1500 US Dollars. 

Is a Black and Tan Jack Russell a purebred?

As discussed in the article, the color of a Jack Russell’s coat can be taken as a criterion to identify whether it’s a purebred dog.

Most of the time, purebred Jack Russell Terriers have a white-colored coat with brown, tan, or black markings. The majority of the coat (above 50%) comes in white color.

A Jack Russell Terrier with a coat that mostly comes in black might not be a purebred one. Because single breed Jack Russells never come in full black color.

If the Jack Russell is entirely black and tan, it could’ve been bred with another dog breed. But there can be particular scenarios as well.

Even purebred dogs could undergo genetic differences which might change their standard coat color, but this is not very common.

Final thoughts about identifying a purebred Jack Russell Terrier

Today we talked about identifying a purebred Jack Russell Terrier. Sometimes purebred dogs can be healthier and more physically attractive than mixed breed ones.

When recognizing a purebred Jack Russell, their personality traits and, more evidently, physical traits can be considered.

Nevertheless, in my opinion, if you just need to have a four-legged companion, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a purebred or mixed breed one. Because both own their unique characteristics, however, some prefer having purebred dogs, which is entirely their decision.

So if you are looking forward to getting a purebred Jack Russell or already a Jack Russell owner who wanted to confirm whether your dog is a purebred one, I hope this article gave you good guidance.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts. Greetings from Shaggy and Lenny!


  • George Brown

    George B. is the founder of the JRO Organization. He believes in creating a better world for domestic animals. He believes domestic animals are more vulnerable than other animals, especially dogs, since they have been used to depending on their owners for generations. So, he started JRO to share his ideas and insights while helping vulnerable dogs worldwide. George runs multiple projects on street dogs in developing countries, especially Sri Lanka.

    [email protected]

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