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Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a recognizable and popular breed of dog. This is a pet with whom you will not have to be bored for a minute.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Jack Russell Terrier
  • Country of Origin: UK
  • The time of the breed's origin: the first half of the XIX century
  • Weight: 5-7 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): 25-30 cm
  • Life expectancy: 13-16 years old


  • The Jack Russell Terrier is suitable only for people who lead an active lifestyle and can provide a pet with regular physical activity.
  • Dogs are firmly attached to the owner and other family members, yearn alone.
  • Contrary to the image replicated in the movies, the Jack Russell Terrier is not always nice and accommodating, he needs an experienced owner who is ready to devote a lot of time to education.
  • Ringing and loud barking, which was necessary for hunting, can lead to conflicts with neighbors in a city apartment.
  • Representatives of this breed do not require complex care, standard hygiene procedures and regular visits to the veterinarian are enough.

Jack Russell Terrier was previously famous for its working qualities of a burrowing dog, but few modern breeders systematically develop the hunting instincts inherent in the genes of these frisky kids. In the twentieth century, they turned into devoted and funny companions, real favorites of families who are used to spending their leisure time actively.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
High ( Rating 5/5)
Activity ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Training ?
Easy ( Rating 4/5)
Molt ?
Moderate ( Rating 3/5)
Need for care ?
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Friendliness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Health ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Attitude to loneliness ?
Moderate time ( Rating 3/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
Noise ?
High ( Rating 5/5)
Security qualities ?
Excellent ( Rating 5/5)
*Characteristics of the Jack Russell Terrier breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of dog owners.

History of the Jack Russell Terrier breed

Smooth-haired Jack Russell Terrier

There are breeds that have been living side by side with humans for so long that it is possible to reliably find out about their roots only with the help of geneticists. Such, for example, is the situation with the ancestors of the Jack Russells – fox terriers . Their first descriptions are found in the Roman chronicles of the time of Caesar's campaigns on Albion.

But the closer to modernity, the more documentary evidence, so today no one doubts that the Jack Russell Terrier owes its origin to a very specific enthusiast - John "Jack" Russell. Following the family tradition, he became a priest and headed a small parish in the south of Britain, but the true passion of this man was not the service of the church, but parfors hunting and breeding dogs for her.

Back in the last year of John's studies at Exeter College, Oxford University, a landmark meeting took place. During one of his walks, he saw a dog that embodied the ideal qualities of a real fox hunter: compact size, excitement, vigilance and fearlessness. The treasure belonged to a local milkman, who was hardly able to fully appreciate the mentioned advantages, so the first owner immediately conceded Trump to a persistent student. With this Trump Card – this is how the English word Trump is translated – many years of breeding work began.

Of course, outwardly the progenitor of the breed does not resemble the current "Jacks" so much. The similarity is noticeable only in color: on the dominant white background, darker spots stood out in the area of the eyes, ears and at the base of the hook-shaped tail. Judging by the surviving drawings, Trump was a poor-boned dog with a small skull. Most likely, there were now extinct English white terriers in her family.

I must say that in the process of breeding a new breed, the pastor used representatives of various burrowing dogs. There is no exact data on experiments with the gene pool, since breeder did not keep any logs with records, or they simply did not survive. Researchers believe that they left their mark in the formation of the breed fox terriers old format, borders, lakelands, Irish terriers, Scottish kerns. Russell set himself the task of improving the working qualities of the offspring, and he did not consider it necessary to cull puppies because of the shape of the skull or the setting of the tail. As a result, the unsightly and crudely cut short-legged pets of the Devonshire priest won the ardent love of all the surrounding hunters.

Although the vicar himself was engaged in boxing (which in the XIX century was a very tough sport, because protective gloves were not used), he was not inclined to cruelty and publicly condemned those fellow breeders who mixed the blood of fighting dogs with terriers. Parforce hunting for John was incompatible with killing or inflicting severe injury to prey, he considered the main goal to be a competition between foxes and their animals in speed and endurance. Russell's terriers didn't need ferocity and powerful bulldog jaws.

Wirehair Jack Russell Terrier Puppy

The pastor's achievements in breeding and popularizing terriers did not go unnoticed. In 1873, he, along with Sewallis Shirley and a dozen like–minded people, took part in the creation of an organization today known as the oldest kennel club - the English Kennel Club. In subsequent years, John Russell was invited as a judge to exhibitions, but he did not exhibit his own pets, calling them wild rose hips against the background of greenhouse roses. And this comparison was not in favor of the latter.

John Russell, who devoted a significant part of his life to dog breeding, died at the age of 87 and was buried in the village of Swimbridge – in the cemetery next to the medieval church of St. James, where he served. Since he actively sold puppies and adult dogs, at the time of his death, breeder had only 4 dogs.

The development of the breed was continued by a young colleague, Arthur Heinemann. He is the author of the first draft of the breed standard. In 1914, the Parson Jack Russell Terrier Club was founded (parson means "priest"), which existed until the 40s. In the middle of the century, Russell terriers, to improve their character and working qualities, began to be crossed with dachshunds and welsh corgi . As a result, not only "classic", but also short-legged animals began to appear. The latter were considered undesirable for a long time and in the eyes of the jury invariably lost to their tall brethren.

It is unknown how the fate of the "side branch" would have turned out if in the 1960s several dogs with short paws had not ended up on the Green Continent. The Australians, of course, were not going to hunt with them, but they appreciated the energy and intelligence of their new pets, so they took up the development of the breed with great enthusiasm.

The official recognition of the Kennel Club and the FCI came only in 1990. Then both types of dogs under the common name Parson-Jack Russell-terrier were included in the standard of the International Cynological Organization. However, activists from the UK and Australia did not give up trying to achieve differentiation, and in 2001 two standards were adopted: for the Parson Russell Terrier (animals with long legs with a square body) and the Jack Russell Terrier (short-legged with an elongated body).

Video: Jack Russell Terrier

Hunting qualities

Like many other representatives of the terrier group, Jack Russell Terriers were bred to participate in the hunt for small game living in burrows. Of course, terriers do not have enough speed and power to track and chase, but English foxhounds or other hounds coped with this task perfectly, but there are no equals to persistent and compact sturdy men in getting into an underground shelter and forcing a "fugitive" to leave it in a fight.

Jack Russell explores a hole

It was already mentioned above that Jack Russell Terriers won their fame as excellent burrowing dogs not for their ferocity, but for their sonorous voice and high intelligence. They not only understood the strategy of hunters in a given situation, focusing on various horn signals, but also made their own decisions that helped to save energy without compromising efficiency.

Since its inception, "jackies" have been an integral part of rural life in the UK. However, since 2002, fox hunting has been officially banned in Scotland, and since 2005 in England and Wales, although for many it was part of the country's cultural heritage. Badgers are also protected by environmental organizations today. In the south of Spain, there is still a hunting area where it is possible to chase game on horseback, but in most European countries the tradition goes down in history due to the lack of uninhabited territories with a suitable landscape.

But innate instincts cannot be canceled as easily as centuries-old rituals, so four-legged "townspeople" do not miss the opportunity to chase a cat that turns up during a walk or dig an impressive hole in the roots of trees from the nearest park.

Appearance of Jack Russell Terriers

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small but powerfully built dog. The height at the withers is 25-30 cm . Strict weight standards are not fixed, however, experts note that the Jack Russell terrier looks harmoniously, which has 1 kg of weight for every 5 cm of height, that is, the desired weight of an adult representative of this breed is 5-6 kg.


Who is here?

The silhouette of the Jack Russell Terrier is strictly rectangular, elongated (the length from the withers to the base of the tail is greater than the height at the withers).


The skull is flat and moderately broad. The muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull. The transition from forehead to muzzle is well defined, but not too pronounced.


Neat. The lobe is black. The nostrils are developed and well open.


Almond-shaped, dark. They are not bulging, the eyelids are adjacent to the eyeball and darkened along the edge.

Teeth and Jaws

The jaws of a Jack Russell terrier should be strong, powerful, and the teeth strong. The bite is scissor-shaped. The lips are black, tightly closed.

Jack Russell Terrier admires the sunset


"Buttons" or hanging. Small, bent in front. Extremely mobile, can be rotated 180°. The tips are V-shaped.


Strong, with a clean clear line.


The croup is smooth. The loin is short, strong and muscular. The back is strong and narrow enough.


Deep, not wide. The ribs stand out strongly at the base and are noticeably flattened on the sides. The circumference of the ribs behind the elbows is 40-43 cm .


At rest, the tail of the Jack Russell Terrier can be lowered, but it must rise when moving.


Look the same both from the front and from the side. Straight, well placed under the body. The shoulder blades have a good slope back, the muscles are not overloaded.

Hind limbs

Strong and muscular. The knee joints are strongly bent, the hocks are low. The metatarsals are parallel when viewed from behind.


Small, round shape, with hard pads. Set straight. The fingers are moderately rounded.


The coat of Jack Russell terriers can be of three types: stiff, smooth or with a break. It should be well protected from the weather.


Predominant white background with dark spots. The color of the spots can vary from black and dark chestnut to red.

Photo of an adult Jack Russell terrier

Character of the Jack Russell Terrier

Shall we play?

The Jack Russell Terrier is a real perpetual motion machine. He is simply physically unable to sit in one place for a long time and get bored waiting for the game. This dog will attract the attention of the owner in all available ways. She knows the rules of behavior in the house perfectly well and can deliberately break them in order to cause at least some reaction from the owner, who is too carried away by his favorite TV series or a new book.

It is important to remember about the high intelligence of the pet. Physical activity must necessarily be accompanied by mental, otherwise any activity will quickly get bored. Alternate teams and toys, come up with new types of activity.

In general, representatives of the breed are characterized by a cheerful and friendly disposition. Jack Russell Terriers are great for families where children are old enough not to treat a pet like a teddy bear. Aggression without a reason can only be shown by dogs in whose upbringing serious mistakes have been made since early childhood.

Representatives of this breed get along poorly with other animals in the house because of the hunter's genes. Especially undesirable is the neighborhood with rodents, because Jack Russells are well-known rat catchers, but they can also cause trouble to cats. In relations with dogs of their own or another breed (regardless of the size of the opponent), due to their brave and wayward nature, they will always try to dominate, constantly entering into skirmishes.

Education and training

Jack Russell Terriers are best suited to experienced owners, as they are naturally cunning, independent and strive for leadership. If you feel that you are not fully coping with the character of a new family member, seek advice and help from a specialist dog handler as soon as possible.

Early socialization of a puppy is important so that in the future it can peacefully coexist with household members (including children and the elderly), other pets, and does not show aggression towards guests and bystanders during walks.

The main problems in the behavior of Jack Russell terriers are stubbornness, loud barking, damage to household property, anxiety from loneliness, digging and chasing small animals. All of them are amenable to correction with due attention from the owner. The dog shows the worst sides of his character only if he does not meet opposition or sees this as the only way to attract the attention of the owner.

The breed is perfectly amenable to training, the main thing in the process is to be patient, not to forget about the reward and not to raise your voice. Establishing the authority of the owner is extremely important, but it can and should be achieved with calm firmness. The pet should respect and listen to you, not be afraid.

Care and maintenance

Despite the compact size of jack Russells, keeping them in a city apartment is fraught with certain difficulties. Dogs are too active to walk for a quarter of an hour in the morning and evening to satisfy their need for physical activity. With a lack of training, they will spend excess energy on destructive pranks. As a result, furniture, appliances, floors, shoes and clothing of the owners may suffer. It should be understood that for the Jack Russell Terrier, this is not an act of revenge or deliberate sabotage, but simply an attempt to occupy himself with something in the absence of the owner, so before leaving for a few hours you need to find time for a long and meaningful walk.

From a young age, your pet should know that he has his own territory in the house. Choose a place protected from drafts and not too close to heat sources. It is necessary to purchase a natural mattress that is strong enough to withstand the attacks of powerful teeth. Toys should be kept nearby, which the Jack Russell Terrier will be able to gnaw with impunity after waking up.

Grooming will not cause excessive trouble, although this breed sheds during the whole year when completely at home. Only wire-haired terriers need trimming with the help of special tools, regular combing is enough for the rest. Frequent bathing is contraindicated because it damages the natural protective layer on the pet's fur and skin. After walking, it is enough to wipe your paws with a wet towel or animal wipes.

Teeth should be cleaned once or twice a week with a specialized paste. Twice a month, inspect and clean the auricles.

Standard requirements are put forward for the nutrition of the Jack Russell Terrier. Either premium and super premium food, or balanced natural food. In the latter case, the ratio of meat (beef, veal, boiled poultry and offal) and vegetable components should be 2:1.

Health and diseases of the Jack Russell Terrier

Frisbee game with Jack Russell

In general, Jack Russell Terriers can be called hardy dogs with good health. But they are not immune from a number of congenital and acquired diseases:

  • osteochondropathy of the femoral head (Perthes' disease) manifests itself in puppies 4-10 months in the form of permanent or periodic lameness;
  • dislocation of the kneecap;
  • hip dysplasia, although large breeds are more often considered to be at risk, does not bypass terriers;
  • deafness;
  • heart disease;
  • epilepsy;
  • hereditary defects in the development of the sclera, choroid, retina, optic nerve and retinal vessels – the so-called anomaly of the collie eye.

In order to ensure your pet's normal well-being and improve the quality of his life up to old age, regularly visit a veterinarian for preventive examinations and follow his recommendations. Do not self-medicate in case of symptoms of various diseases.

How to choose a puppy

The appearance of Jack Russell Terriers on the movie screen and in the photo reports of glossy magazines from the lives of celebrities affected the breed not in the best way. There are a lot of unscrupulous breeders who seek to make a profit on the sale of popular animals and do not care at all about the gene pool and the upbringing of babies.

It is very important to buy puppies only from breeders with an impeccable reputation and in the best kennels. Of course, such jack Russells will cost more, but in the future you will not have to deal with uncontrolled dog behavior or spend all your free time in clinics due to hereditary health problems.

When you first meet a Jack Russell terrier, it is important to pay attention to the behavior of the selected puppy. He should be playful, energetic and sociable. Lethargy, apathy and lack of appetite indicate poor health, and aggression or fear of the outside world indicates mental instability. Do not ignore the conditions of detention of mothers and babies. Cleanliness, sufficient space and the presence of toys testify to the responsible attitude of the breeder no less than the presence of official documents and scheduled vaccinations.

Photos of Jack Russell Terrier puppies

The price of a Jack Russell Terrier

As is the case with any purebred dog, the price of a Jack Russell Terrier directly depends on the pedigree and compliance with the breed standard. "Domestic" puppies that will not be able to participate in exhibitions, but will become wonderful companions for active owners, will cost about $150. Further, the cost increases based on the prospects, and can reach up to $500 - $600.

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