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Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

This article also relates to: Parson Russell Terrier


The Jack Russell Terrier originates from...

Perhaps one of the most well-known breeds, the Jack Russell Terrier takes its name from the Reverend John Russell who began its development in the early 19th century. Primarily bred for the purpose of hunting small game and digging out den quarry, the Jack Russell Terrier established a concrete reputation for itself as an independent and able-bodied working dog. Despite enjoying wide popularity throughout its early existence, following WWII the demand for hunting dogs declined, subsequently along with Jack Russell Terriers. Increasingly the breed was observed in the domestic setting, both as a companion pet and show dog. The American Kennel Club recognised the breed in 1997 although the name was changed to the Parson Russell Terrier due to trade marking.

The Jack Russell Terrier is characterised by...

In order to keep up with the hounds when hunting badger and fox, the Jack Russell Terrier had to have relatively long legs. This trait was selectively bred into the Russell Terrier, along with its compact, athletic build that made it capable of maneuvering into tight spaces to delve out den quarry. Further characterising the breed is its tenacious disposition, pronounced muzzle, narrow chest, triangular 'drop' ears and dark eyes. The coat is typically short, smooth and close-fitting, often observed in colours of white with tan or black markings. The dense, double coat serves to insulate the dog whilst acting as protection against bracken and rough underground earth. The modern Jack Russell Terrier is seen in hunting, tracking, agility and performing tricks.

The average Jack Russell Terrier...

Highly energetic and intelligent, the breed requires both physical and mental stimulation in order to discourage destructive behaviours around the home. The Jack Russell Terrier is characteristically loud, making for a great watch dog. It is not uncommon for a Russell Terrier to display signs of stubbornness or aggression so early socialisation and firm leadership is important. Otherwise, a Jack Russell Terrier is typically cool, calm and collected, making a great addition to active family life. A healthy Jack Russell Terrier will weigh 6.5-8 kg, with a life expectancy of 12-14 years when shown the appropriate love and care.

Because no breed is without its weakness...

Eye disorders are particularly prevalent in the breed, ranging from cataracts and entropion, to glaucoma and anterior luxation. Other conditions include congenital deafness, orthopedic complaints and arthritis, and von Willebrand's Disease, a rare bleeding disorder.


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Our Jack Russell Terrier owners' thoughts

9th Jan 2014
Tina Knowles
  • VioVet Customer Since: January 2014
  • From: Derbyshire, United Kingdom

I own 6 crazy, bonkers, lazy, stubborn, smart JRT's

10th Jan 2014
Matt Le Fevre
  • VioVet Customer Since: May 2013
  • From: Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Stewie is an incredible little dog. Very active & obedient, always ready to play or run around, but also quite happy to settle down if requested to. Intelligent and loyal, loves attention, occasionally falls foul of having selective hearing! But the majority of us have that trait!

27th Jun 2014
lilian smith

i have 3 of these little darlings, never a dull moment.

10th Nov 2014
Paula Newman

I've got 2 black and tan bitches. 100% obediant, they walk to heel, stay when told and dont bark. Great little dogs, love coming out when l'm riding horse. Cant wear them out!

21st Nov 2015
Michelle Williams
  • VioVet Customer Since: September 2015
  • From: Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

merlin is such a smart independent dog,he knows me better than I know myself!! a very typical jack,loves to dig and when he goes walkies in the woods I rarely see him,but he sees me and checks in now and again.likes to talk and he is very stubburn.but love his character just shines.

12th Jan 2016
Jane Scholes
  • VioVet Customer Since: March 2010
  • From: Surrey, United Kingdom

I have just got a jack russell bitch puppy age 13 who ww have called Daisy and house training is proving very hit and miss. Sometimes she is perfect and lets me know so i let her out and she goes outside and other times she does it where she feels like. So frustrating! Also selective hearing! She will come in if she thinks she will get a reward/treat but otherwise when she decides to. But gorgeous and cute. Just very stubborn. Am hoping once the weather improves we can get the toilet training 100% anyone else have this problem?

25th Oct 2016
Carolyn Newton-Brown
  • VioVet Customer Since: July 2015
  • From: Lancashire, United Kingdom

I am on my 2nd JRT as my first broke her back jumping up. She sadly passed away at 4 years old due to complications after surgery. She was a loyal and loving dog. Our 2nd JRT is now 1 and is full of beans. She loves being with my two other dogs. She full of love, fun and enjoys giving cuddles. Her only fault is she loves shredding when she's been left. Even for an hour!!

9th Jan 2017
Heather Blackburn
  • VioVet Customer Since: December 2016
  • From: United Kingdom

Tally is my first jrt and he comes very highly commended! He's so smart, I find that if I talk to him as I would another human, in explaining why's n wherefores of what we do, he gets it straightaway, his behaviour changes accordingly, he's amazing :-) Jacks are supposed to love the water, not Tally, he doesn't go out for a wee until he really has to , if it's raining or even been raining!! He's a soft, loving, understanding bestest friend who I have fun and good, good times with every day. I am so lucky to be his mum :-)

20th Mar 2017
Cherril Wenban
  • VioVet Customer Since: March 2017
  • From: Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

I have 2 JRT'S... The older one is a mixed Breed, but the JRT shows through more than the other breed, my youngest is pure Jack. Both are great fun and have lots of energy. I laugh at them every. day...

4th Apr 2017
Barbara Neyland
  • VioVet Customer Since: August 2014
  • From: United Kingdom

Buster is the best little Jack Russell. He's loyal, incredibly clever and a really good boy. You get back tenfold whatever you put in to them. He's the best friend I've ever had.

14th Apr 2017
  • VioVet Customer Since: December 2014
  • From: West Midlands, United Kingdom

Smudge is a rescue dog and we love him dearly. He was nervous when he first arrived but is now a very friendly and loyal dog. Loves running across the field but equally as happy sitting on your lap for some fuss. Barks loudly when the doorbell goes then greets whoever it is with a lick and a tail wag!

2nd May 2017
Beryl Telford
  • VioVet Customer Since: May 2017
  • From: Essex, United Kingdom

Molly is a great little dog ,loves to run and Chase her ball.she is a very happy and friendly

14th May 2017
Anne Byrne
  • VioVet Customer Since: May 2017
  • From: Hampshire, United Kingdom

I have a Jack Russell Bilbo and a Parsons Russell Rosie they are both great dogs and very loyal and have very different personalities Bilbo is quite and loves cuddles and Rosie is full of mischief but very loving I wouldn't be without them.

20th Jun 2017
Sarah Burt
  • VioVet Customer Since: July 2014
  • From: Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Fabulous loyal little man who loves his ball & paddling pool in the hot weather! Always on holiday with us including France & Belgium - so easy now. Cheeky, loves cuddles & wouldn't be without him

12th Aug 2017
Sylvia Mallion
  • VioVet Customer Since: August 2017
  • From: Suffolk , United Kingdom

Neala is my 3rd jrt. I've been lucky, my 1st Billy lived to 23, my best friend and recently passed away Molly,she lived to 22 & I now have my newest rescue jrt. Used purely for breeding, 4litters later & just 2yrs old her growth is stunted but shes also been selectively bred to produce miniature jrt's. All that's done is create weird confirmation with short legs but a long body. They're the biggest dog you can ever share your life with but in such a small body. Neala is settling in well and will soon be joined by another rescue doggy friend. I highly recommend this breed but appeal to people to stop breeding dogs with her conformation,its not healthy. She is joy,just learning how to play and have a bit of fun instead of pups! I got her from a small rescue centre but wherever you look you will see working dogs. They need to be doing something mentally as well as physically but,jrt is also a great lap dog and love a bit of comfort. I cant imagine life without at least one,theyre such huge characters.

21st Sep 2017
Sonia Williams
  • VioVet Customer Since: March 2009
  • From: Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

JRT's make wonderful pets; I wouldn't want any other breed.

12th Nov 2017
Debbie Green
  • VioVet Customer Since: November 2017
  • From: East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Poppy was born without eyesight but that doesn't stop her. Bold ,brave and bright. Always up for a fight and loyal as a dog ever was.

28th Nov 2017
Rachel Southern
  • VioVet Customer Since: August 2016
  • From: United Kingdom

I can’t recommend them highly enough. Good research is important- as is good owner ship & training. Dill is mustard wouldn’t sell him for all the money in the world

11th Jan 2018
Susan Alexander
  • VioVet Customer Since: September 2016
  • From: Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

Fantastic loyal companion. At times bonkers, makes me laugh every single day. Be prepared to deal with stubbornness and very strong willpower but rewards are amazing. Better companion you would never find!

13th Jan 2018
Colette atkinson
  • VioVet Customer Since: May 2013
  • From: Lancashire, United Kingdom

i own 2 jack russells and one romanian terrier and they are the most loyal loving companions you could ever ask for, they love playing, sleeping been the "bigger" dog stubborn and totally bossy but at the end of the day cuddle up on your lap for the rest of the night all cosy <3 i wouldnt be without my 3 , love them

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