Jack Russell Terrier


A small Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known AsParson Russell Terrier
Height (at withers)10-15in (25-38cm)
Weight14-18lbs (6-8kg)
Hair Colour(s)White, tan
Lifespan14-21 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size4-8
Barking TendencyLow
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Jack Russel Terrier is tough and sturdy little dog. The compact body has a narrow chest, a strong and straight back, a slightly arched loin and strong and straight front legs. The tail is high set and short. The flat, tapering head has a fine muzzle, a black nose, dark and almond shaped eyes and triangular ears with a forward drop. The dense double coat can be rough or smooth, and the colouring tends to be mostly white with tan, black or brown markings. One famous Jack Russel Terrier is Nipper, the dog in the painting by Francis Barraud (1898) called His Master's Voice. Used by a variety of music related companies, it is currently incorporated into the logo for HMV.


Jack Russell Terriers are bold and energetic dogs with assertive and loyal natures. Although originally bred to work, they love to play and make excellent companions and family dogs and can be very entertaining. Without proper mental and physical stimulation they can become moody or destructive, as they have a tendency to bore easily and may create their own entertainment. These extremely intelligent dogs but can be stubborn, like most Terriers, but training is relatively easy as long as owner are consistent and firm. Jack Russell Terriers have surprisingly kind and gentle natures and get on well with older, more considerate children when socialised early. However, they will not tolerate any abuse and may nip. They get on well with other pets too but can be quite dominant over other dogs, especially other terriers, and so should be properly socialised early. Their reactions to strangers can vary from friendly to reserved and they aren't ideal as watchdogs.

History & Skills

Jack Russell Terriers originate from England and take their name from the Reverend John Russell, who bred one of the finest strains of Terriers in Devonshire in the 1800s. Bred to bolt foxes from their dens during hunts without harming them, they were also used on groundhogs and badgers. These days they make fine companions and family pets.

Breed Specific Ailments

Jack Russell Terriers tend to live beteen 14-21 years and are a relatively healthy breed. Some of the health problems and concerns that have been noted include luxating patella, lens luxation, cataracts, congenital deafness, ataxia, myasthenia gravis, Legg–Calve–Perthes syndrome and von Willebrand disease.


Jack Russell Terriers are low shedders and so are suitable for allergy sufferers. The rough coated variety needs to be hand stripped at least twice a year, but the smooth coated version simply needs rubbing over with a grooming mitt to remove dead hairs. Both types of coat should be brushed weekly, and they can be bathed when they take on a yellowish colour.

Exercise & Environment

Jack Russell Terriers can live indoors and out, and are not suitable for small homes as they are very active dogs. The will need access to a yard or garden area for play and a daily walk. The outside areas must be secure and the walks must be carried out on a leash, because these dogs will chase everything and anything and can turn a deaf ear when following a scent.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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Owners Gallery

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