Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed: Characteristics, Diet, Facts, and Names

Super-active, super-intelligent, the Jack Russell Terrier is known to be the best when kept busy. They are basically known as small dogs with big attitudes. They were created to do active work and still love working. He is full of enthusiasm and energy all the time.

This dog requires high-energy work all the time. They have a tremendous drive to dig. These breeds are also great hunters. Hiking and other canine activities may be of interest to this dog. This breed is said to be for experienced owners only as they are difficult to handle otherwise.

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed Overview

jack russell dog breed overview

Group: Terrier Group
Size: Small (13-17 pounds)
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Best Suited For: Families
Temperament: Energetic, Stubborn, Intelligent
Exercise Needs: High
Drooling Potential: Low
Grooming Needs: Moderate
Similar Breeds: Beagle, Chihuahua

1. Basic Features

a jack russell terrier with harness

A Jack Russell terrier may be difficult but he sure is charming and affectionate. He is an independent little dog who loves doing as he pleases. He is a small yet athletic dog. This dog is sturdy, tough and tenacious. His eyes are dark and almond-shaped. The ears of a Jack Russel fold forwards and should be a V-shape. They have a double coat which comes in two varieties- smooth and broken.

They come in white, white and black, white and tan, or in tricolor.

Their forelegs are long and straight while the hind-legs should be strong and muscular.

2. Jack Russell Terrier Origin

The breed is said to have originated during the mid-1800s in England. He was developed by John Russell. He became well known among sportsmen. This dog was often taken by hunting enthusiasts. He is truly a working terrier.

He was bred strictly for hunting purposes.

After the second world war, there wasn’t much need of hunting dogs and hence they declined. Now, the Jack Russell Terrier was used as a family dog.

3. The Personality of Jack Russell Terrier

This breed is happy and energetic and has strong desires to work like their ancestors used to. Their high energy makes training a must for them. They are highly intelligent, athletic and fearless.

Obedience training is a must for Jack Russell Terriers due to their high energy. They are stubborn and might need a check on their behavior since puppyhood itself.

It is important to confine him in a fenced yard as his strong hunting instincts may cause him to roam away from his home. They need exposure to different people and places since a young age to ensure a well-rounded temperament.

4. Jack Russell Terrier Behavior

This breed is the happiest when assigned some work to do.

They love companionship. Jack Russell Terriers are diggers and will dig no matter what. A Jack Russell may be stubborn and requires training. Jack Russells are vocal and great watchdogs.

A Jack Russell Terrier is not very friendly with other dogs. These dogs become easily destructive if not properly exercised. They can easily become moody at such times. A good companion for older children, the breed is not meant for younger children or toddlers. They do not have a high patience level and cannot tolerate abuse.

Due to their hunting instincts, the Jack Russell Terrier may view small pets and cats as preys and chase them.

5. Exercise Requirements

jack russell terrier running

The dog is a very active breed and requires plenty of exercises to fulfill his needs. He is a working dog and hence keeps well when assigned a task. Daily walks and exercises with the owner would keep you Jack Russell Terrier happy and fit. A 40 minutes vigorous exercise a day is necessary.

It is however recommended that the dog plays in a fenced yard as he has a hunting tendency which would cause him to move.

A few games a day with the human would keep him busy.

6. Diet Needs

As Jack Russell is an active dog, he requires a good amount of healthy food. They require a diet which is high in calories but this may vary according to the dog’s activity level.

Their diet should be high in meat-based proteins such as poultry, beef, and fish. Your dog needs a high-quality diet as some small dogs are unable to digest ingredients such as grains.

Jack Russell Terriers are also prone to suffer from skin problems. Some foods can be a cause of this skin allergy. In such a case, your vet can be the best help in determining the ingredient causing the problem.

7. Trainability

Jack Russells are highly intelligent and thus highly trainable dogs. However, they require positive training methods or else they will show stubbornness which is a part of their nature. It is important to keep the dog busy and engaged.

Harsh tones or other such methods may lead him to bite.

Training should start in early puppyhood as he should learn obedience and socialization early in life.

8. Common Health Problems

jack russell terrier playing fetch

Jack Russells are generally healthy dogs. However, some may have certain health conditions which are genetic. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Deafness, Patellar Luxation, and Glaucoma are some conditions that the dog is pone to.

Most of these conditions are, however, surgical treatable.

Lens luxation, which is an eye disorder is the most common heredity condition in these breeds. In this condition, the lens of one or both eyes becomes displaced causing the dog’s eyesight to be affected.

9. Who should Adopt a Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russells are excessive barkers and hence not meant for apartments. They are not suited for homes with toddlers as they can snap when handled roughly. They are not good with other dogs and my chase smaller animals.

A Jack Russell Terrier is basically not for everyone. As he has a demand for lots of exercises, a home with a fenced yard would be the best for him.

This breed is for experienced owners who can handle the dog well. He also needs an owner who loves physical activities and is not only a couch potato.

Leave a Comment