Jack Russell Breed - Dog & Puppy Information & Characteristics

Jack Russell Terriers, or just Jack Russells, are athletic little dogs. They are also known for being extremely affectionate. Yet, the Jack Russell dog breed is not one generally recommended if you live in an apartment. This is because despite their small size, they have high energy levels, and need space.  

Table of contents

  1. Key specifications of a Jack Russel
  2. Physical appearance of Jack Russells
  3. Russell personality traits
  4. Do Jack Russells need training?
  5. How to care for a Jack Russell?
  6. A brief history of the Jack Russells

While these dogs do get along well with kids, younger children can find it a little hard to adjust to them due to their energetic nature. A Jack Russell’s temperament also makes them aggressive toward other dogs, which is why they need to be taught socialization at an early age. The dogs of this breed can handle slightly cool temperatures, but not weather that is too cold. They thrive in moderate climates.

Key specifications of a Jack Russel

Are you planning to bring home a Jack Russell? Before doing so, you may want to know some key specifications of the breed, such as a Jack Russell’s lifespan and other physical characteristics.

Weight5 to 8 kg
Height10 to 15 inches
Lifespan10 to 15 years
CoatSmooth, broken, or rough

Physical appearance of Jack Russells

Jack Russell Terriers can have three types of coats - smooth, broken, or rough. All three coat types can have the following colors:

  • White
  • White with black patches
  • White with tan patches
  • White with brown markings
  • White with cream markings
  • White, black, and tan

If you have never owned a Jack Russell before, you may want to know how to identify a purebred pup. A purebred Jack Russell Terrier can be identified by the following physical traits:

  • A small body
  • Coat markings as mentioned above
  • Triangular ears that normally hang low

Russell personality traits

Jack Russell Terriers are great little hunting dogs that will tackle anything from a fox to a mouse. They spend a large amount of time investigating their surroundings and when taken for a walk in the country, will hunt for hours. They are extremely intelligent and as a result, begin to make their presence felt in the obedience ring. Besides this, these dogs are fearless, happy, and very affectionate toward their family. They are also quite vocal and tend to bark a lot. 

Do Jack Russells need training?

In the past, Jack Russell Terriers were used for hunting foxes. As a result, these dogs still harbor their hunting instincts within and need training in socialization. Their hunting instinct makes them aggressive toward other pets, so it is recommended that they be trained to socialize at an early age. You can use reward-based training with their favourite dog treats to get the best results in obedience. 

How to care for a Jack Russell?

Here are a few details regarding the basic care and upkeep of a Jack Russell dog.

  • Health issues

Jack Russell Terriers are generally healthy dogs. However, you will need to get them tested for a few common health issues, such as patella luxation, eye ailments, and deafness.

  • Grooming

Grooming a Jack Russell Terrier is easy for all three of their coat types. They need weekly brushing and monthly nail trimming. They also do not need to be bathed too often.

  • Physical activity

Jack Russell Terriers have high energy levels and an equally energetic personality. So, they also need a lot of exercise. They will love going on outdoor running or jogging sessions and will also love playing in your backyard. However, the inquisitive nature of this breed necessitates having good fencing in order to contain them.

  • Nutritional requirements

Jack Russells do not have specific nutritional requirements and should do well with high-quality dog food served as per their feeding chart. You can ask your vet to create a Jack Russell food chart to help you understand what nutrients your dog requires. 

A brief history of the Jack Russells

This dog breed has its origins in England. The Reverend Jack Russell was very interested in fox hunting and saw the need for a small terrier that could be used to flush out foxes that had gone into the ground. In 1814 he acquired a terrier female named Trump from the local milkman which became his foundation female – and so the breed was born. The first Jack Russell Terriers were quite tall dogs (35 cm) but over the years the breed has changed, and there are now two distinct varieties that are recognized as separate breeds – the Parson Jack Russell and the Jack Russell Terrier. The breed also became popular among sportsmen and horse riders. Despite becoming quite popular in the USA in the early to mid-20th century, the breed got its official recognition from the American Kennel Club only in 2000.

Read up on all dog breeds and find the perfect pet for yourself on our breeds category page.

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