Traits and Characteristics
The Jack Russell Terrier is a fearless, not to mention tenacious, working terrier, bred to go to ground for work and loves to dig. He’s confident, alert and always ready for work. His weatherproof coat may be broken or smooth; his small, flexible chest helps him pursue underground quarry; and his long legs help him trail fast-running game. The Jack Russell Terrier is well-balanced with substantial boning, signifying the endurance and strength needed as a hunting terrier.
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Friendliness to Dogs
Friendliness to Other Pets
Friendliness to Strangers
Ease of Training
Disclaimer: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.
Highly energetic, the Jack Russell Terrier is a clever, bold and friendly little dog. He is a fearless, not to mention tenacious, hunting terrier, bred to go to ground for work and loves to dig. Intelligent, outgoing and active, the Jack Russell Terrier thrives on having a job to do to channel his energy and is best suited for a home environment with a fenced yard where plenty of engaging activity and affection can be given. The breed isn’t highly recommended for a home with toddlers, or other dogs or pets for that matter, due to his independence and lack of patience, but does well with older children.
All that energy has to be burned somehow! Because of his high energy, strong hunting drive and overall zest for life, the No. 1 concern in caring for a Jack Russell Terrier is ensuring he gets ample exercise. His activity should take place on a leash or in a fenced yard to help resist his urge to run off on a prey chase. His short coat, which can be either smooth or broken (rough), requires minimal grooming — regular brushing and the occasional bath is typically all it takes.
- Major Concerns: Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (hip joint disease)
- Minor Concerns: Knee cap dislocation
- Occasionally Seen: N/A
- Suggested Tests: Eyes, ears and knees
- Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
If you think the Jack Russell Terrier looks familiar, you’re right — the breed has been made famous through the years as Eddie from the hit TV show “Frazier” and as the title character on the PBS program “Wishbone.” Prior to his TV fame, the Jack Russell Terrier was developed in the 19th century as a fox hunting terrier by the Reverend John Russell. There were two strains of the Russell Terrier: the Jack and the Parson. The Jack Russell Terrier was smaller with a longer body and shorter legs as opposed to the Parson Russell Terrier and was used to hunt vermin and bolt rabbits. Today, the Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier are essentially the same breed, with the former being recognized by the United Kennel Club since 2001 and the latter recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1997.