Jack Russell Terriers have a long history that runs 200 years back. John Jack Russell had bred this amazing dog breed in the early 1800’s in England. His primary ambition for developing this breed was to create a hunting dog.
Moreover, he wanted to create an independent dog with extreme energy, loyalty, and intelligence. As a result of that, this small-sized but energetic Jack Russell Terrier breed was designed. They are also known as the Parson Russell Terriers.
As a proud owner of two Jack Russells named Shaggy and Lenny, I would like to say that this dog breed is an excellent choice for new pet parents and apartment dwellers. They are so adorable and affectionate. Contrary to their body size, they have endless energy and intensity that will make your day bright and awake.
Some people say that Jack Russell Terriers are stubborn and aggressive due to their breed’s hunting attitude. However, my opinion is they could have some bad behaviors like any dog breed. But, you can train them well to avoid their destructive attitudes and unwanted behaviors.
If you can handle them well, Jack Russell will be a loving and loyal companion for your life.
I have listed below the main topics that I discuss about this breed in this post. Feel free to jump straight to the topic you want.
Fast Facts about Jack Russell Terriers
|Average height||10 to 15 inches|
|Average weight||13 to 17 pounds|
|Lifespan||11 to 15 years|
|Suitable for||Singles or Couples, Families with grown Kids, |
Active Seniors, Apartments
|Temperament||Intelligent, Energetic, Loyal, Alert, Playful, Inquisitive|
|Good for families?||Yes, Need to Train well|
|Dog breed group||Terriers|
- Jack Russell Terriers have a high energy level. Therefore, they expect much physical exercise. As a result of high energy, they are playful and maybe vigorous or intense if they weren’t trained well.
- Jack’s intelligence level is comparatively higher. Therefore, it is easy to train them. They are good at adapting to the situation.
- Typically, Jacks don’t make many noises. Their tendency to howl or bark is lesser than other mouthy dogs.
- Jack Russells are loyal to the owners and affectionate to the family members. However, they could be aggressive towards strangers. Overall, Jacks are gentle with kids after having proper training.
- Their adaptability to weather conditions is excellent. Jacks can tolerate hot or cold weather well.
- Jacks quickly adapt to the apartment living conditions. Their potential for howling or barking is lesser. So, there will not be complaints from neighbors.
- Jack Russell Terriers have a good lifespan and health due to their strong body structure, contrary to their size.
- They have a short and thick coat. Typically, you don’t need to wash them frequently. And also, there could be less shedding.
Origin of Jack Russell Terriers (History)
Parson John Russell developed this wonderful breed in the early 1800s in southern England. He wanted to create a working dog with high energy that can support his hunting purposes. Jack Russell Terriers could hunt small foxes, hounds, and rabbits because of their speed, small size, and high sense of smell.
They were popular among the hunting sportsmen who hunted as a sport or hunted on horseback. Eventually, Jack Russell became a necessary companion for hunters.
Jacks became family dogs later on with the recognition of the famous kennel clubs, namely the American Kennel Club (AKC), Dog Registry of America, Jack Russell Terrier Association of America (JRTCA), etc.
However, history shows that Jack’s first appearance in the USA had happened in the early 1900s. American Kennel Club identifies this bread as ‘Parson Russell Terrier”. According to the AKC popularity rankings, they are at 82 out of 197 breeds.
- The Jack Russells love the company with family members. They are not suitable for living outside or in a Kennel. Therefore, try to keep them close to you. If you have to leave them for a long time alone, play some music for them to prevent separation anxiety.
- There is a myth that they are not suitable for first-time dog owners. I completely challenge that idea as a proud owner of two Jack Russell Terriers. I didn’t face any issues, though they are my first dogs for this six years.
- Jack Russell Terrier enjoys digging like all terriers. They are experts at making holes in a short time in every corner of the garden. That digging habit comes in their genes because they used to be hunting dogs a long time ago. However, my advice is, train them to dig in a particular place. That would be easier than prohibiting that habit.
- They need regular exercises to release their energy. You can give them a walk of 30-40 minutes daily. Also, it is good for your health. Your Jack will be a perfect jogging companion for you.
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- Parson Russells have endless energy, as I mentioned earlier. Therefore, you have to keep an eye on them, especially when they have enough room to play. They are good at climbing trees and chain-link fences. And also, they love to escape from the short fences. So, properly supervise their outdoor time.
- Jacks need a firm and consistent training as any dog. It is better to start the training within 4 – 6 months and continue until you are satisfied.
- People say Jack Russells are aggressive towards other dogs and pets. It depends on the training and the socialization you provide for them.
- They are capable of high jumps as a result of strong muscles and body structure. Jack Russells can easily jump around 4-5 feet without much effort.
Jack Russell Terrier’s Size
The average height of Jack Russell Terriers is between 10 to 15 inches. Typically, male Jacks are a little bit taller than females. According to the American Kennel Club, female Jack’s average height is around 11-13 inches. Male Jack’s average height is around 13-15 inches. Their size could vary due to their health, training, nutrition, and the effect of their parent’s genes.
The average weight of Jack Russells is between 13 to 17 pounds. It also depends on their diet and exercise routine. Typically, a healthy and active Jack could be around 14-15 pounds of weight.
Shorty Jack Russell
And also, there is a smaller version of Jack Russell Terriers named ‘Shorty Jacks.’ They are a little bit shorter than regular Jacks. Shorty Jack’s height is around 10-11 inches. But, they have the same width as regular Jacks. Therefore, they look like Corgis or Dachshunds.
Jack’s Coat Color
Typically Jack Russell Terriers have a double coat with a coarse texture. That coat can be either smooth or broken. The smooth coat is short and has a thick touching feel. The broken coat is slightly longer, and it comes with a beard and thick eyebrows. However, both types of coats are never wavy or curly.
Jack’s coat can be One color (White), two colors (mix of white with Black or Tan), and a mix of three colors (White, Black, and Tan).
Jack Russell Terrier Personality
Contrary to the body size, Jack Russell Terriers have a great personality. Jacks are fearless and courageous. They know how to enjoy life. These dogs are one of the most intelligent dogs among others. Therefore, they learn things so quickly. It is not a complex task to train them. Once you have a Jack Russell, you will easily teach him many tricks, and he will be enjoying those.
Typically, Jacks are friendly towards people who they love. They know how to read the body language of strangers. If Jacks see a friendly person with a big heart for the first time in their life, they will react in a friendly way. But, if it is a guy that doesn’t care about dogs, Jack’s reaction could be aggressive.
Typically, they are friendly with other dogs or pets. However, their fearless nature gives them a bossy attitude. That could be an issue when Jacks are with a bigger dog because bigger dogs will not tolerate this little man’s threats.
Jacks need to be socialized at their early age like every dog. Try to expose them to many different sights, sounds, people, pets, and experiences. That will help him be an all-rounder and a mature dog that has the capacity to be a life companion.
Are Jack Russell Terriers Good with Pets and Kids?
Yes, of course. Jack Russell Terriers know how to interact with kids. Typically they are gentle with kids. However, it is not recommended to keep them with toddlers outside the eyesight. Their extreme energy could be hard or messy for small children. Therefore, you don’t need to worry if you raise a Jack Russell with grown kids.
Most importantly, teach children about the correct way of approaching dogs and make them aware of interacting with dogs. That will help you to prevent unnecessary conflicts between kids and dogs. Especially, teach the kids not to touch them or poke them while dogs are eating or sleeping.
Well-trained and socialized Jack Russells know how to interact with other pets or animals. If not, they will be aggressive towards other pets and make the situation a quarrel. Therefore, as I mentioned earlier, their actions and reactions depend on the way you raise them.
More about Jack Russells
As we discussed earlier, Parson John Russell wanted an efficient hunting dog. As a result of that, he developed a small but bold and athletic dog with exceptional intelligence, determination, quickness, and an enthusiastic attitude for hunting. T
hey were able to win the affection of dog lovers worldwide with their adorable appearance and unique qualities. Jack Russell Terriers are also famous for their endless energy, portable size, fearless personality, boundless loyalty, and entertaining behaviors.
However, raising a Jack Russell terrier in a way that you want is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time and effort. You need to train them to be civilized. Training a Jack as you wanted is not a challenging task, but you need to have a high level of patience and a strong sense of humor. If you don’t keep him entertained, Jacks will find his own amusements. Ultimately, you won’t be happy with the final result.
Many people expect to raise a dog who can learn lots of tricks, fetch until you drop, run the flyball, and who can be an affectionate companion. You can achieve all the things from a Jack Russell Terrier.
“Well behaved dogs reflect their owners Personality” – Jack Russell Owner
But, if you don’t have the patience for a dog who will chew your feet, dig the garden, run every corner of the house, chase small animals or cats with an aggressive attitude and react stubbornly to your commands, I’m sorry to say that Jack Russell Terrier is not the dog for you.
If you can tolerate Jack Russell well, you will enjoy many qualities of him. Jacks have unconditional love for their owners. His hunting heritage has given him all the qualities for being a good companion.
On the other hand, he will find ways to harm himself due to his fearless nature. Therefore, you have to keep an eye on him, especially outside. They love to run and jump every corner to release their endless energy. I recommend having a solid wire to keep him tied with you.
It is recommended to brush them weekly to remove dead and lost hair. If you constantly brush them well, you don’t need to wash them frequently. And also, you can trim their nails once a month. If you hear them clicking on the floor, it is a perfect time to trim their nails. Neat and short nails help to keep their feet healthy. Most importantly, you can maintain your couches, floors, and yourself from getting scratched by your Jack.
And also, dental hygiene is another essential fact for Jack Russell Terriers. Try to brush his teeth at least three times a week to prevent periodontal disease and tartar buildup. It is better if you start to brush their teeth when he’s a puppy.
Keep your attention about their paws, inside his mouth and ears frequently. Let them have a positive experience with praise and rewards when you groom. Then it would be an exciting moment for both of you.
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