The Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) is a small, muscled, durable dog, that was originally used in England for fox hunting and later badger digging.
The Jack Russell Terrier History
Russell Terriers were first bred by parson John "Jack" Russell, a hunting enthusiast born in 1795. He started his breeding program before finishing his university at Oxford, as he bought a small white and tan terrier bitch called Trump. His goal was to develop a terrier with high stamina, as well as the courage and formation to chase out foxes that had gone to ground, but with tempered aggressiveness to avoid harming the fox and thereby ending the chase.
Two types were used: one used for sporting with foxes only and was more leggier and was thereby more suited for work above ground and was as long as it was high, the other was also used for badger digging and had more Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terrier influence creating a stronger and harder dog with shorter legs. Both these types of terriers became popular, so when John Russell died in 1883, his dogs were quickly taken on by other hunt enthusiasts.
The Second World War had a great impact on the breed, as money and time became ever more lacking to hold this sporting events with these dogs during these years. Many original working Russells became family dogs and were crossed with other popular family dogs including Welsh Corgis, Chihuahuas and terriers such as the Fox Terrier. The result was dogs with variable conformation known as "Russell Terriers", "Shortie Jacks", or "Puddin' Dogs".
Two strains remained, the registered longlegged Parson Russell Terrier and the unregistered shortlegged working Jack Russell Terrier. Breeders of the unregistered, working strain continued to use the Jack Russell name for their dogs. Working Jack Russell Terriers are smaller than Parson Russell Terriers and less square build, having a longer body than high. For a long time working Jack Russell Terriers were unregistered to avoid it becoming a show breed, but it was finally registered in 1999 through Australia (ANKC) where both types were registered seperately.
The longer-legged more show form was recognised as Parson Jack Russell Terriers by the Kennel Club (UK) in 1990 and FCI, in the same year. The name was changed to Parson Russell Terrier in 1999 by the Kennel Club (UK) and was followed by the FCI in 2001. In America a simular process happened with this variant changing from Parson Jack Russell to simply Jack Russell Terrier and later also Parson Russell Terrier in 2003.
Jack Russell Terrier Appearance
Body: the Jack Russell Terrier is a shortlegged dog with a muscular, dry body. The back is straight. The short, high set tail is carried gaily. The legs are straight and dry and they are well angled. Jack Russell Terriers have cat feet.
Head: the small ears are V-shaped and are carried hanging close to their head. The eyes are almond shaped. Jack Russells have a scissors bite.
Height at Withers: the height at the withers for males is 26 centimeters (10 inches) to about 30 centimeters (12 inches). Bitches are around 25 centimeters (10 inches) high to about 28 centimeters (11 inches).
Weight: the weight of males is around 6.5 and 8 kg and for bitches, this is around 6 to 7.5 kg depending on their size.
Coat: Jack Russell Terriers have a double coat, meaning that they have a top and undercoat. They come in both smooth and rough haired variants. Both types of coats are harsh, close and dense. Rough haired Jack Russell Terriers should not have a woolly or curly coat.
Colors: by preference these are white dogs or dogs with markings on head and tail. These markings may be black, brown, lemon or black and tan. Brindle markings are undesirable.
Jack Russell Terrier Temperament
Character: Jack Russell Terriers are very spontaneous and lively dogs. They are very brave, hardy, active and venturous, very playful and confident. They are all confidence. Some specimens, especially the males, may be dominant. Their keen intelligence must never be underestimated and they are pretty stubborn. Jack Russell Terriers are very alert to what is happening around them and also pretty watchful. As a result, some individuals may bark more than what is desirable, but a good education can largely correct this. They can reasonably occupy themselves, but they do appreciate being in the company of their owner.
Social Build: if the dog is well socialized and raised, the interaction with peers should not encounter any problems, though some dogs can be particularly reckless socially against other males. Jack Russell Terrier can live harmoniously together with a cat with which he grew up from childhood, but it will often be difficult for them to ignore fleeing cats outdoors. These dogs usually go well with children, they can take a beating and they do not easily feel threatened by them. Although the breed alertly responds when strangers come to visit you, they usually leave it at that.
Jack Russell Terrier Socially
Care: these austere dogs are fairly easy to care for. During the shedding period the coat of the smooth-haired Jack Russell Terrier can be brushed daily with a rubber brush. All the dead and loose hairs will be simply picked out of the coat this way. Outside the shedding period brushing once a week is sufficient. The wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier should be picked 3 to 4 times a year. This way the dead hairs are hand plucked from the coat, so the new hair has space to come through. Keep nails short.
Education: to a consistent owner who does not let himself be pushed around these smart dogs are not so difficult to raise. If its owner is lenient or gets fooled by its extensive bag of tricks it a whole different story. In that case, the its boss will meet an adventurer who goes its own way and that lets nothing and no one stop it. Always stay consistent. Start with discouragement regarding any excessive barking behavior and at a very young age teach the dog to come to you if you call him.
Activity: dogs of this breed have tremendous energy and when busy are very happy. Therefore they take no pleasure in only a spin around the block three times a day. They really like to run and play and dig. Ball games are also among their favorite activities. Fence the garden well, because these terriers sometimes have a tendency to go for a walk independently. Leash during walks in the countryside, few Jack Russell Terriers can ignore small game that crosses their path! So teach your dog to come right back to you when you call him at a young age.
Usability: these little pirate like dogs are common in stables and on farms, where they are particularly useful as vermin exterminators. As a family dog in a sportive family they also adapt very well. If you want your dog to participate in dog sports, then agility and flyball are particularly well suited. The challenge and action of these sports will certainly charm dogs of this breed.
Jack Russell Terrier Quotes / Trivia