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.


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

Added on 10/01/2014
Joined 23/05/2013
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!

Added on 27/06/2014

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

Added on 10/11/2014

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!

Added on 12/01/2016
Joined 12/03/2010
From Surrey, United Kingdom

I have just got a jack russell bitch puppy age 13 weeks.now 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?

Added on 25/10/2016
Joined 06/07/2015
From Lincolnshire, 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!!

Added on 09/01/2017
Joined 18/12/2016
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 :-)

Added on 20/03/2017
Joined 20/03/2017
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...

Added on 04/04/2017
Joined 19/08/2014
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.

Added on 14/04/2017
Joined 01/12/2014
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!

Added on 02/05/2017
Joined 02/05/2017
From Essex, United Kingdom

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

Added on 14/05/2017
Joined 09/05/2017
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.

Added on 20/06/2017
Joined 31/07/2014
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

Added on 12/08/2017
Joined 12/08/2017
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.

Added on 21/09/2017
Joined 06/03/2009
From Devon, United Kingdom

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

Added on 12/11/2017
Joined 12/11/2017
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.

Added on 28/11/2017
Joined 01/08/2016
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

Added on 11/01/2018
Joined 09/09/2016
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!

Added on 13/01/2018
Joined 31/05/2013
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

Added on 02/02/2018
Joined 12/08/2017
From Suffolk , United Kingdom

Update on my little jrt Neala. She is the only jrt ive had that has energy on tap. Shes a real little couch potato yet,get her in the fields or woods and shes full of energy and enthusiasm. Jack russels are great little dogs,easy to take out and about,all of mine have been great travellers. Molly was the best and travelled far and wide by various means of transport. Highly intelligent,ive never had a destructive one. Re a comment on house training a puppy, when I got Neala she had lived outside,that was obvious as she wasn't moulting,that happens after a month or so of living in a centrally heated home. I had to learn her signals,different to the other two who knew to go on request,she didn't but was clean,to a point. Several times she sat in front of me and wee'd on my carpet,my fault,I didn't then realise all her licking was a request to go to the loo. Its not just your puppy who has to learn your cue,its you who has to recognise the signs your dog is giving you. Its worth a few wet patches, theyre an adorable pup and a long Lived dog.

Added on 07/02/2018

My Jack Russell Terrier is called Beau, she is 9 years old and we also had her sister Mia, but sadly Mia was put to sleep because she was very aggressive towards Beau and they were always fighting, I couldn’t rehome Mia as she couldn’t be trusted around children and I would hate to of put any child or other dog at risk.it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do and we tried everything we could for 5 years.

Added on 20/02/2018
Joined 28/02/2016
From Midlothian, United Kingdom

My jack russell is called Florence Full of character Her hobbies are digging,burying her ball and playing with her doggy pals Love her to bits

Added on 29/03/2018
Joined 27/12/2012
From Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

My Jack Russell cross is extremely intelligent- the cleverest animal I have ever known. In her younger years she loved to walk and play and learn tricks, although she now spends most of her time sleeping as she is 13 years old, but still plays and races around when she wants to! She loves the sun and radiators, and won't walk in the cold, the wet, in mud or early in the morning.
She had glaucoma and her eye was removed last year but she's adapted well.
Her biggest downside is her pathological hatred of most other dogs! She really hates dogs, cats and other animals, and is getting grumpier as she's aging too! It's a real shame but just how she is- I've been trying to change her for nine years with no success.

Added on 13/06/2018
Joined 16/03/2017
From Essex, United Kingdom

Pepper is now 11 years old. She is my first small dog and wouldn't trade her for the world. She is a Pets as Therapy dog and loves every minute of it. She still likes her mad 5 minutes even though it used to be longer when she was younger. They are a very loyal dog.

Added on 29/08/2018
Joined 12/04/2016
From Rhondda Cynon Taff, United Kingdom

You are never alone with a Jack. Wherever you are, wherever you go, they want to be by your side. Mine can start a fifgt in an empty box, will insist on tummy tickles from everyone she meets and can bark for Wales. We love her to bits!

Added on 01/12/2018
Joined 01/12/2018
From Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Trigger is a 9 year old rescue dog we have had for two years. He has a cataract and breathing problems but he is a loyal, loveable hooligan. It would be hard to choose any other breed

Added on 11/12/2018
Joined 25/04/2017
From North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Loyal as can be. Minnie is such a little mischief even though she is now 10. Love her to bits!

Added on 29/12/2018
Joined 25/10/2018
From Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Definitely one of there own,can’t stand the postman ,or any delivery through the door ,little man syndrome,bulks up to all bigger dogs especially staffies and black labs ,very affectionate to me ,my baby ,13 now ,achy legs ,heart murmur and on water tablets ,so a little incontenent ,love him to bits ,very happy though ❤️

Added on 17/03/2019
Joined 07/09/2015
From North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Eddie is a jackapoo so mum is a JRT and dad a black miniature poodle, sorry if I am on this page on false pretences but JRT was the nearest I could register him on the site. He is very lovable but also very shouty and a proper little terrier.

Added on 21/07/2019
Joined 13/09/2017
From Essex, United Kingdom

Mischief barked continuously when I walked past his kennel at the RSPCA. He'd been there 3 months. Took him for a walk out of pity. The minute I spoke to him, he looked me square in the eye and tilted his head. In a split-second I knew I had to have him. He weaved brilliantly at dog training and is very loyal. Aggressive on a leaded walk, but loose in a field obeys my every command. Still won't come into the house until I tell him too - he's remembered his training.

Added on 27/10/2019
Joined 27/10/2019
From United Kingdom

Odie is an 11 year old jrt but still full of life, enthusiasm and character! He is a loving and affectionate dog but loves people more than other dogs as he's a bit timid with certain bigger dogs! He does bark at everyone walking past the house or at the door so very protective! He loves playing with balls and balloons and a snuggle on the sofa! He is my little shadow and spoilt very much and hope we have many more years with our little baby!

Added on 04/11/2019
Joined 04/11/2019
From East sussex, United Kingdom

My darling jack Russell. Lola is 5 yrs old and what a sweet dog . She’s so loyal and follows me everywhere. She’s a bit greedy with her food so have to watch she does not get fat . They are very intelligent dogs and alert to everything . She love pet t v programs and country life . Adores her walks and plays for ages playing with her toys . The love she has is so big .And she loves children . I could never be with out her .

Added on 10/04/2020
Joined 10/04/2020
From United Kingdom

Monty is such a social and playful boy. He adores other dogs and can read them very well, if old or young he will match their pace. Loves a good shoulder bump with the big boys. Very gentle and caring around children. He is a joy to have and play with.

Added on 29/06/2020
Joined 29/06/2020
From United Kingdom

The best way I have heard them defined is "little characters". They are feisty little dogs and very loving. But will rule the roost if you let them - as my outlaws are well aware. Need lots of exercise.

Added on 10/03/2021
Joined 04/02/2021
From Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

Loyal, Intelligent , protective and giving. Also Stubborn, Contrary and very vocal at times.

I love her deeply and she has been by my side as much as possible for all her life. She has helped me through my cancer treatment by being very loving, she seemed to know when I was feeling low and still does. I just love JRT's.

Added on 01/07/2021
Joined 27/06/2021
From West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

I have a 9 Year old Jack Russell terrier. Trio colour dark eyes infact he is just beautiful to look at. He's my Boy and always has been. Since he arrived at 12 weeks old.
He's full of character, stubborn also extremely territorial.
He's active and I walk him upto 5 mils a day and he still jus wants to keep going.
He keeps me company and is always by my side.
He barks at Cats and people who pass our home.
He's alert and extremely loyal.
I really do love Jack's.
Never a dull day in our home and lifestyle.
He goes everywhere with us and he plays ages in his sand Pitt. I find it stops him getting bored.
He would Dig all the way to China if he could.

Added on 21/12/2021
Joined 19/12/2021
From United Kingdom

Definitely the best breed of dog if you want a proper companion, able to read your mood and they offer so much support. Need proper training or they can get a bit too big for their boots but they really want to please. Mine have both been bred as pets and are amazing around other dogs and love children but this isn't a given. Need lots of socialisation and introduction to new situations but then they can go everywhere with you. Very bright dogs that find everything interesting so easy to stimulate but you do need to train them how to switch off and settle down unless you want them to think they run your life.

Added on 16/02/2022
Joined 16/02/2022
From Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Ive had Dave for 7 years, hes stubborn as a mule, super intelligent, sassy and I love the bones of him! He has terrible small man syndrome, is noisy and over protective of me and the house.
He hates men, high vis jackets and work boots- I work in the ambulance service!
He is loving and cuddly and needs constant reassurance, scared of loud bangs, fireworks storms, hoover, food mixer, waste disposal unit... most things!
He adores his grandad and goes to daycare every day to keep him entertained, likes routine and gets very tetchy if things change. He tolerates our cat- who beats him up regularly and has best friends- Molly who comes to stay with her mum Katie, and Jella and Poppy who are the only dogs he will allow into the house!