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Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed: The Clever and Energetic Hunting Terrier
Home Dog Breed Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed: The Clever and Energetic Hunting Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed: The Clever and Energetic Hunting Terrier

by CareTips Dog
Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed: The Clever and Energetic Hunting Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a sturdy, tenacious small hunting terrier developed to chase foxes from dens. Today they are popular family companions thanks to their alert natures and endless energy for life.

Introduction Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed

Originating from dogs bred by Reverend John Russell in the 1800s for fox hunting, the Jack Russell Terrier is a highly energetic and intelligent terrier breed. They were bred specifically for their hunting ability and courage to follow prey underground. This produced an athletic, determined small terrier perfect for life on-the-go.

While lively and devoted to family, Jack Russell Terriers can be a handful for inexperienced owners. They require extensive exercise, training, and supervision when around other small pets. Socialization is critical to prevent aggression toward other dogs. When properly handled though, JRTs make wonderful, fun-loving companions.

Adaptability: ★★★

Apartment: ★★
Novice Owners: ★★
Alone Time: ★★
Cold Weather: ★★★
Hot Weather: ★★★

Friendliness: ★★

Family: ★★★★
Kids: ★★★
Dogs: ★★

Grooming: ★★

Shedding: ★★
Bathing: ★★★
Health: ★★★
Weight Gain:

Trainability: ★★

Easy Training: ★★
Intelligence: ★★★★
Mouthiness: ★★★
Prey Drive: ★★★★
Barking: ★★
Wanderlust: ★★★

Exercise Needs: ★★★★★

Energy Level: ★★★★★
Intensity: ★★★★
Exercise: ★★★★★
Playfulness: ★★★★


Jack Russell Terriers are compact, sturdy terriers standing 10-15 inches tall and weighing 14-18 pounds. They have a smooth, dense coat that is predominantly white with black, tan, or brown markings. Their heads are proportionate to their bodies with a flat skull and almond-shaped eyes. Ears are triangular and drop forward.


Clever, devoted, and high energy, the Jack Russell needs constant activity and dedicated owners able to provide structure through training and exercise. They thrive when given a job to do alongside their owner. JRTs can become destructive or neurotic without adequate outlets for their enthusiasm and intelligence.

Though loving to their family, JRTs can be standoffish with strangers. They are strong-willed and tenacious – qualities that served them well for fox hunting but require an experienced dog owner. Extensive socialization beginning young is essential to prevent aggression toward other dogs.


According to the American Kennel Club, Jack Russell Terriers rank #83 out of 197 breeds. While less common than small companion breeds, their popularity remains steady thanks to their spunky personalities and versatility.


Lively, alert, and energetic, Jack Russells form close bonds with their family. They relish spending time with their preferred people. JRTs get along well with children if raised with them, but require supervision due to their high energy. They can be aloof, reserved, or aggressive with unfamiliar dogs when not properly socialized.


13-16 years

Coat Color

The Jack Russell Terrier comes predominantly in white with accents of black, tan, or brown. Markings may occur on the face, body, or tail. No one color or pattern is preferred over another according to breed standards.

Original Breed

Jack Russell Terriers have existed as a distinct breed since the 1800s when Parson John Russell set out to develop the ultimate hunting terrier. They are not a mix of other breeds.

Caring for a Jack Russell Terrier


Choose a high-quality commercial diet formulated for active dogs. Avoid free feeding to prevent weight gain. Provide 1⁄2 to 1 cup divided into 2 meals per day. JRTs may become picky eaters.


Jack Russells adapt well to different living situations but thrive most with space to run safely off-leash. A tall, secured fence is a must to keep this breed from roaming. When indoors, provide a variety of toys and activities to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.


This working breed needs daily vigorous exercise and mental stimulation. Activities can include swimming, agility, barn hunts, earthdog trials, or long hikes. Training using positive reinforcement starting young is key to managing their strong personality. Ongoing socialization is vital as well.


Jack Russell Terriers have a smooth, short coat that requires only weekly brushing to remove dead hairs. Bathe occasionally when dirty using a mild dog shampoo. Check and trim nails monthly. Clean ears and teeth routinely.

Preparing for a JRT

  • Puppy-proof your home by securing trash cans, wires, medications, and toxic substances.
  • Stock up on interactive toys to prevent inappropriate chewing.
  • Locate a vet, trainer, groomer, and boarding facility nearby.
  • Buy food bowls, collar, leash, dog bed, and chew toys.
  • Install a tall, in-ground fence before bringing home your JRT.
  • Essential Equipment
  • Properly fitted collar or harness
  • Sturdy 4-6 foot leash
  • Interactive toys like balls and puzzle games
  • Crate for training and safety when alone
  • Grooming supplies like nail clippers, brush, and toothbrush

Health Issues

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, lens luxation, deafness, patellar luxation, skin allergies. Responsible breeders screen for health conditions.


Core vaccines including distemper, parvo, adenovirus, and rabies are recommended. Leptospirosis vaccine may be advised based on your location. Ask your vet about other optional vaccines as well.


Choose a short name with one or two syllables for training purposes. Some examples are Skip, Dash, Piper, Ruby, Scout, Zoe.

Finding a Jack Russell Terrier

Contact the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America for breeder referrals. Expect to pay $800 to $2000 for a well-bred JRT puppy. You can also check with JRT specific rescues and shelters to adopt an adult dog.

When adopting, ask about past history and reason for surrender. Confirm health clearance by a vet. Sign an adoption contract.

Buying a Puppy

Purchase from a responsible breeder doing health testing on parent dogs. Visit facilities in-person. Meet puppies and parents. Get copies of health clearances. Secure a bill of sale. Pay $800 to $2000 for a quality bred JRT puppy.

In summary, the energetic Jack Russell Terrier needs ample exercise, constant training, and early socialization to be a happy family companion. When provided with adequate activity and attention, they make lively, fun-loving pets.

How to stop Jack russell bitting?

Consistent training and redirection. Provide chew toys instead. Use reverse timeouts and positive reinforcement for gentle play.

How to do Socialisation and Raising Friendly for Jack russell?

Start early introducing new people, dogs, places, sounds using rewards and praise. Set up regular play dates with vaccinated puppies. Attend training classes.

How to train your Jack russell?

Motivate with praise, toys, treats. Keep sessions upbeat but firm – JRTs are smart but willful. Crate training assists with housebreaking.

How long should we check for Jack russell’s health with vet?

After adoption or purchase, schedule a first vet exam. Follow your vet’s advice for boosters and annual wellness checks ups.

Are Jack russell good family pets?

Yes, when properly exercised and trained. Their high energy warrants supervision around toddlers. Devoted and affectionate overall.

Are Jack russell dogs good with children?

Do well when socialized early on with children. Always supervise play due to chance of injuries from rambunctiousness.

Are Jack russell dogs good with other animals?

Can live amicably with other dogs and pets when appropriately socialized. Caution is still required due to high prey drive.

Is a Jack russell a Smart?

Extremely. Jack Russell Terriers are highly intelligent, trainable dogs. But they are also independent thinkers requiring dedicated owners.

By following our website, you can find the perfect dog breeds for you and provide them with the best possible dog care. Remember that owning a dog is a lifelong commitment that requires time, money, and patience. But it is also a rewarding experience that will bring you joy and companionship. All information in Dog care tips.

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