Jack Russell Terrier Dog History, Temperament, Basic Health


Jack Russell Terrier Temperament:

The Jack Russell Terrier, or JRT, is a breed with almost unlimited energy.


This dog is strong-willed and determined. He is confident and fearless. He will take on a dog five times his size, without thinking twice about it. He is, surprisingly, a very gentle dog. He is cheerful but assertive, and can sometimes be a little stubborn. He is an athletic dog with a lot of endurance.

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These dogs were developed for hunting, specifically to “go to ground” for the hunter to flush out the game (usually a fox) from its den. So he loves to dig. Because digging is in his nature, he is very capable of digging his way under a fence.

A 6ft fence and a watchful eye are necessary to keep him in because he will go under or over! The Jack Russell Terrier loves being apart of a family and loves to play. The children will love to play with him too (and they’ll probably run out of energy before he does). Jack Russels are intelligent dogs and do well at obedience training with a patient and persistent trainer

Physical Features:

The Jack Russell Terrier grows to 12 to 15 inches high. He weighs between 11 and 17 pounds. Jack Russels have white coats with occasional brown, tan and black markings. Their coats come in three varieties: smooth, rough and broken. Broken is between a rough and a smooth coat.

Is He Right For You?

Jack Russell Terriers are very active and need a lot of exercises. They don’t suit laid back, couch-potato lifestyles. They can live in an apartment, so long as they get plenty of exercise outside every day.

A fenced-off backyard is ideal for these dogs – they need enough room to run, dig and play. Because hunting is in their instincts, small pets, such as mice, rabbits, hamsters, etc, won’t last very long around a Jack Russell – as soon as he spots it, he will consider it fair game. They are usually good with well behaved, small children, but will not put up with unintentional mistreatment from younger children.

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The main health concerns include Legg-Perthes, luxating patella, congenital deafness, and cerebellar ataxia. The puppies should come with a BAER certificate showing they have normal hearing. The parents should have CERF (eyes) and OFA (orthopedics) certificates.

Grooming Requirements:

A Jack Russell Terrier with a short coat simply needs a quick brush from time to time. A JRT with a rough coat requires combing and brushing once per week. And a Jack Russell with a rough or broken coat which will be competing at shows also needs to be stripped (whereby the dead hairs are plucked out) every two to three months. Most pet owners choose to have the coat clipped, instead of plucked, for convenience.

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The Jack Russell Terrier was a breed developed by Parson Jack Russell, in Devonshire England, in the 1870s, by breeding a mixture of white terriers until the Jack Russell Terrier was formed. The JRT was bred for hunting. His job was to follow the hunter’s horses and the foxhounds and when the game went underground he would follow it in and either kill it or bolt it so the hunt could continue.



Dog Group:

Jack Russell Terriers are apart of the AKC Foundation Stock Service breeds. Which means they are not eligible for AKC registration yet.


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