Parson Russell Terriers – better known as Jack Russells – are one of the most popular dogs in the Terrier breed group. They’re small with short legs but that doesn’t stop them being fast on their feet. They have a tendency to dig holes in gardens or parks, a trait they share with other hunting terriers. JRTs are easily recognisable with mostly white coat and black or brown markings in their short smooth hair these dogs are a good natured and friendly breed when trained well. Let’s dig in and get to know this spirited little dog better.
Ever wondered why the Jack Russell is named after a priest? Back in the early 19th century, Reverend John Russell (Jack to his friends) bred a dog well suited to fox hunting from the English White Terrier. The Jack Russell’s legs were long enough to keep up with hunting hounds but small and strong enough to be able to dig foxes out of their den with a bright white coat to distinguish them. Fast forward to the modern day and they’ve found popularity as house pets due to their loving, playful nature.
Jack Russells are known for being healthy dogs and they can live up to 16 years. However, some can suffer from deafness, eye diseases and joint problems.
Small Dog Syndrome
As with all small dogs, beware of babying JRTs. Jack Russells love to play but need a strong leader. Be firm from the beginning to avoid developing a dog who barks and snaps excessively.
Small dog, big heart
These little dogs are very intelligent but they’re also extremely loyal and loving toward their owners. They also make great family dogs as they’re generally very good with children when trained well. If you give them plenty of fun and exercise, a good Jack Russell will become a proper member of the family as well as a great guard dog.
Digging for victory
As cute as they might look, this little Terrier was bred to catch foxes and it’s part of their nature. Be sure to give them enough exercise daily and keep a close eye on their whereabouts. They’re not always friendly to smaller animals and you might find yourself with a garden full of holes if they’re given the chance.
Consistency and a strong sense of leadership are needed when training your Jack Russell Terrier. These smart dogs can be a handful but you’ll overcome that with attentive training. It’ll pay off too, they love to learn tricks and can be exceptionally playful.
Jack Russell’s are relatively easy to housebreak and they’ll respond well to rewards and praise.
Where to find Jack Russells
Jack Russell Groups
Fancy swapping tales of Jack Russells with other fans? Find a breed group below.
Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain
The British Jack Russell Club
The Parson Russell Terrier Club
Jack Russell Club of East Anglia
Adopt a Jack Russell
Can’t wait to have a jolly Jack Russell to call your own? Find an approved JRT breeder here.
Kennel Club Assured Breeders