A Pictorial Guide to the Jack Russell Terrier
is NOT a Jack Russell Terrier but rather a poor Boston Terrier who was accidentally
included with a group of Jack Russell Terriers (like the happy little guy
directly below him). Who
could know the terror of something like that? "Lemme out of here
yet prone to Mischief
Jack Russell Terriers are a "happy" breed, they are NOT as they are
portrayed in the movies, on TV, or other forms of media. Those dogs are
professionally trained and handled, and are very obedient only for VERY
short periods of time. Celebrity dogs have their needs met by the
trainer, and perform their jobs accordingly.
Dirt and more Dirt
Russell Terriers are bred to go underground, following scent to locate
and bark at quarry until they are dug down to or the quarry bolts. If
they do not have an outlet for their natural instincts, they will
invent new and fun jobs for themselves, which frequently include
guardian of the world and/or their possessions and family, chasing
cars, hunting birds, bugs or leaves, or endlessly digging in the soil.
getting dirty, Jack Russell Terriers are not overly fond of taking a
bath (use a gentle shampoo). You do not want to bathe them too often as
it can lead to dry skin. Please note that the Jack Russell Terrier is
NOT a non-shedding breed! All coat types shed! Smooth coats shed the
most, dropping hair continuously year round. Rough coats maintain the
guard and dead coat, requiring manual shedding a few times a year.
Russell Terrier should always be crate-trained. They can be very
destructive if left unattended! Most behavioral problems are due to a
lack of companionship, discipline, activity and exercise. If you've
only seen perfect, well-behaved JR's, they are ones that were lucky
enough to be exercised, well socialized, and trained.
Russell Terriers love to dig. You might want to say goodbye to your
flower bed. They can also dig under, climb or jump over fences; some
can climb trees and any height chain link fencing. The traits and
skills that make them excellent hunting dogs (i.e., digging, barking,
aggressive nature) are often interpreted as bad habits that cause
people to give them up.
Toward Other Dogs
Russell Terriers are often aggressive with other dogs. Same-sex
aggression and aggression towards other breeds of dogs is well
documented with this terrier. It is strongly recommended that no more
than two Jack Russells (of opposite sex only) ever be permitted to stay
... Little Body
Russell Terriers are are a big dog in a little body. They have the same
need (or more!) for exercise as a much larger dog... and the mentality
to match -- they think they are at least 150 pounds, and are fearless,
often challenging other dogs three times their size.
those Small Animals ...
Russell Terriers are commonly known to harass, injure or kill other
small pets, such as cats, birds, rabbits, mice, rats, etc., simply due
to their strong natural hunting instinct. Raising a puppy with a cat
does not guarantee the cat's life-long safety!
Russell Terriers will not tolerate even unintended mistreatment from a
child. They will not put up with typical child handling such as pulling
of ears, tails, etc., or taking or "sharing" of the dog's bones, food,
toys, etc. Jack Russells are not recommended for households with
children under the age of six unless you are previously experienced
Russell Terriers make wonderful parents. However, breeding is risky
business and should not be undertaken lightly. Breeders should follow
the Breeders Code of Ethics, have their breeding stock BAER and CERF
tested, and breed only to JRTCA-registered terriers
Russell Terriers can become very possessive of their owner or a
favorite member of the family or of what they consider to be their
personal property if allowed to do so to the point of showing
aggressive protective behavior that must be controlled from an early
Russell Terriers absolutely need a securely fenced yard! Jack Russells
will roam due to their hunting instincts.... even if left in an
unsecured for a few minutes! You can let them out every day for three
years with no trouble.... but one day they will disappear and may never
come back. Many JR's have been killed by cars by darting into the road
in pursuit of a squirrel, cat, etc.
Russell Terriers are fearless and require firm, consistent discipline.
They are extremely intelligent, continue to test their limits
throughout their life. More often than not, train their owners before
the owner knows what has happened! This ability to train their owners
can include displays of aggressive behavior. Their assertive nature
must be understood and handled properly!
Around the World
Russell Terriers can be found throughout the world. There are large
concentrations of the breed in the United States, Great Britain,
Canada, Australia, Sweden, South Africa and many other countries.
Russell Terriers require a long-term commitment to obedience, activity,
exercise and entertainment... their unique character, intelligence and
high energy level can frustrate you, will undoubtedly entertain you,
and can bring you great joy or great grief. If this type of
relationship does not appeal to you, then consider another breed.
Would YOU like
to be my new Buddy?