Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Activity Level: high
  • Shedding Level: moderate
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  • Grooming Level: moderate
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  • Trainability: moderate
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  • Good for Novice Owners: low
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  • Adaptability: moderate
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  • Kid/Pet Friendly: sometimes
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  • Prey Drive: high
  • Watchdog: very alert
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  • Average Size: Small
  • Average Lifespan: 13-16 years
  • Registered?: aca, akc
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Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed Information





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Activity Level


Life Span

Did You Know?

The Jack Russell Terrier is a breed of British origins that was originally developed for Fox Hunting. Often confused with other small terrier breeds, the Jack Russell is in a class of its own, having one of the most robust personalities of any canine breed. The stocky and athletic Jack Russell still has a strong yearning to be a hunter in its bloodlines and will be happiest in a lifestyle that allows it to be more active. It is by no means a lazy lap-dog.

The Jack Russell is an extremely bold and intelligent breed. You might assume this would make them easy to train, but think again. They are as stubborn as they are intelligent, making them a challenge without the help of an obedience class. Once you have established the fact that you are the boss, however, the Jack Russell will prove to be one of the most trainable terrier breeds you will ever see.

The Jack Russell Terrier is a loyal and affectionate companion, but he is very strong headed. Expect a dog that needs a high level of physical fulfillment to remain balanced, and can become destructive if neglected. They are good with kids when socialized properly, but will usually not be a fan of other dogs. The Jack Russell will be wary of strangers, but this makes them a great watchdog. All in all, this terrier breed is very affectionate with their family and can make an extraordinary family pet for a family with an active lifestyle.

Have you ever seen the movie Home Alone? Well, that’s not the Jack Russell Terrier – they do not like boredom or being on their own. While they are very capable canines, Jack Russells require fulfillment as any terrier does, and will be stir crazy if they don’t get it. Given the strong hunting background, they are not overly sensitive to commotion, and will also do very well with colder temperatures. If you have a very small living space, this dog breed may not be for you.

The health of the Jack Russell is known for being generally good. They should live a long and healthy life, generally having from a 13 to 16 year life span with proper care. As with all breeds, there are some breed-specific health concerns to be aware of. Some of the issues to watch for are Cataracts and Patellar Luxation (genetic).

The Jack Russell Terrier is not for an inexperienced owner. They are very headstrong and will require continued and focused training throughout their lives. For the right owner, this dog breed can provide one of the most rewarding relationships between dog and owner of any dog breed.

The Jack Russell Terrier has either a short and smooth, or broken coat. Either coat type will have a semi-coarse texture, but will be fairly easy to maintain. They like to play hard, and are diggers, so they will like to get dirty, but nothing a good bath can’t solve. Weekly brushing of the teeth and coat will make the Jack Russell a clean and happy little terrier.

The Jack Russell is a miniature action hero. They are high energy and will make every attempt to run themselves ragged, which will not be easily achieved. They need space to run and substantial amounts of exercise to be happy. They are also a great fit for agility training and other canine sporting events.

The Jack Russell will generally stand between 10-17 inches tall at the shoulder, and weigh between 12 and 18 pounds.

Jack Russell Terriers generally live 13-16 years.

The Jack Russell Terrier is similar to the Parson Russell Terrier. While the Jack Russell Terrier breed standards range from 10-15 inches tall, the Parson Russell Terrier breed standards range from 12-14 inches. The Parson Russell Terrier originated in England in the mid-1800s as a hunting dog. When the dog breed was brought to the United States, breeders began calling it the “Jack Russell Terrier”. Because “Jack Russell” was so often misused to describe a variety of small white terriers and to avoid confusion with the U.S.-based Jack Russell Terrier, the American Kennel Club, Britain’s Kennel Club, and other parent societies of the Parson Russell Terrier have distanced themselves from the Jack Russell Terrier name.