JACK RUSSEL TERRIER Species Canine Colour White colour


JACK RUSSEL TERRIER Species Canine Colour White colour
White colour should dominate, more than 51%, with black and brown markings. Brindle
colour is not allowed.
Breed group
Terrier” group, FCI group 3
The Jack Russell Terrier is said to be
created by Reverent John Russell in
the mid to late 19th century in
Devonshire, England. He had a
passion for fox hunting and he was
breeding fox hunting dogs. On his last
year of university at Oxford he bought
a small white and tan bitch named
Trump. It is said that Trump is the
basis for the breeding programme of
the breed. Russell wanted to develop
a terrier that would have courage and stamina to chase out foxes that went underground,
but without hurting them.
During the nineteenth century various terriers were crossed with bulldogs to produce
tough and hard terriers. Russell disapproved of this and he preferred the rough-coated
terriers as most of the smooth fox terriers at that time had bulldog ancestors. However he
was breeding the smooth coated terriers as well.
John Russell was a founder member of the Kennel Club of Great Britain but he refused to
register his dogs with the club. The reason behind that is the difference between the
show-quality and working-quality dogs. He believed that with the registration, breeders
would breed more beautiful dogs for show according to the breed standard and with time
the hunting instincts of the breed subside. It is believed that this is the source of the split
between the Parson Russell terriers and the Jack Russell Terriers. Parsons can be
registered with the club while Jack Russells are working dogs and cannot be registered.
After his death, hunt enthusiasts continued developing the breed.
During the second World War, the need for hunting dogs declined and the breed numbers
were drastically reduced. The working Russell’s became family dogs and were crossed with
other popular breeds like the Corgis, Chihuahuas and other fox terriers that led to a new
short-legged terrier.
The original longer-legged terriers were preserved in England and were called Parson-Jack
Russell Terriers. They were registered under this name with the UK Kennel Club in 1990
and gained international recognition with the FCI the same year.
In the United States a group of enthusiasts opposed to the registration and regulation of
the working breed registered as Parson Russell Terrier. This led to the long-legged breed
being recognised by the AKC as a Jack Russell Terrier. In 2003 the name was changed to
Parson Russell Terrier.
To understand the character of the Jack Russell Terrier, we have to bear in mind that they
were bred to hunt foxes. They have high stamina and it can be a challenging task to wear
them out. They are very intelligent, brave and bold. They like to dig and hunt. JRT is not a
lap dog. Most first time owners may find their energy overwhelming.
While hunting they rely more on instinct
than on the hunter’s commands. That is
where they got the independent nature.
They are trainable, but you have to
establish yourself as a pack leader.
Otherwise, the Jack Russell will take over
the leadership role. Most Jack Russell
owners do not own their dog, the dogs
owns them.
JRTs need a firm, constant training
combined with lot of play and exercise.
Without that they can occasionally become
aggressive, bark, chase everything and everybody and disobey commands.
They need to be closely supervised when they are walked, especially without a leash. If
they start chasing a squirrel they will not pay attention to the traffic that is passing by
which can prove to be fatal. Letting them run in the open countryside as well requires a lot
of attention. Being bred as a hunting dog after all and because they are not afraid of
anything, they will go to ground at every given opportunity. They have been known to
stray for days, even weeks without food or water because of the strong instinct to stay
with their quarry.
This dog loves to play games and they keep their puppy behaviour throughout their life.
Their mischief will keep you constantly entertained. JRT will do just about anything to get
your attention. They are very loyal and need a healthy dose of affection from their owners.
They are very protective of their families and are good watch dogs.
Jack Russells do not know that they are a small dog. They might get into a fight with other
dogs, no matter how big these are. They do well with
other dogs and even cats if properly introduced, but
there will be a vigorous sniffing. Pets like hamsters,
gerbils, rats or rabbits will not be tolerated from the
Jack Russell unless your dog is very well trained.
They do well with children older than 6 years of age
that know how to handle them. They will not tolerate
the mistreatment from children like pulling the ears,
taking their toy or food. The Jack Russell is very
territorial and will defend vigorously what he thinks is
his own.
In short, they are happy, bold, full of mischief and
intelligent bundles of energy. If their exercise needs are
met, they are a wonderful family pet that can adapt well in the suburbs as well as
apartment living.
Physical characteristics
The general appearance of the JRT should be sturdy, tough and very much on his toes at
all times. The length of the body must be in a proportion to the height.
The head should be well balanced and in proportion with the body. The scull should be
flat, wider at the ears, narrowing down to the eyes. The
stop should be well defined but not overly pronounced. The
nose should be black. The jaw should be powerful, well
boned with strong muscled cheeks. The bite should be
scissor bite, with the upper jaw slightly overlapping the
lower jaw. The eyes are almond shape, dark in colour with a
lively and intelligent expression. The ears are small and “V”
shaped, carried forward to the head.
The neck is muscular with a good length, gradually widening
at the shoulders.
The shoulders should be sloped and well laid back with a
clear cut at the withers. The front legs should be strong and
The chest should be shallow, narrow and not too wide apart at the front legs, giving the
dog an athletic appearance. The back should be straight, with slightly arched loins.
The hind legs should be strong and muscular. Looking from behind, the hocks must be
The feet are round, hard padded and wide. They should not be turning in or out.
The tail is set high, in proportion with the body, usually around 10 cm (4 inches) to
provide good hand-hold.
The coat can be in three varieties. Smooth, rough or broken coated without being woolly.
With this breed, old scars and injuries will not affect in the show ring, unless the injuries
are so severe, that they interfere with the movement.
Height in males is 36 cm (14 inches), females 33 cm (13 inches)
JRT weight is about 6 - 8 kg (13 - 18 lbs).
Life expectancy is 15 years of age.
Regular grooming is essential part of the care for your Jack Russell. They do shed all year
round. The smooth coat variety sheds the most. They will need regular brushing with a
bristle brush or special mitt. The rough or broken coated JRTs will need more care. The
dead hair should be plucked with a stripping comb 2-3 times yearly.
Dirt is not retained on the coat of the Jack Russell, so bathing is usually required once
every few months. When bathing, make sure you use specially formulated dog shampoo
and make the baths as short as possible.
Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly with special dog toothpaste will help in prevention of
tartar build up and keep the teeth healthy.
This breed has a high energy level and requires a good quality dog food to meet the dog’s
needs. However they do have tendency to become overweight, so monitor the weight to
prevent diseases caused from obesity.
Training, playing and socializing the Jack Russell is also an important part of the care.
When out for a walk, have a ball or a Frisbee. You would be amazed how quick your dog
will learn to fetch. This is a very good bonding experience for both you and your dog.
The training should be firm and consistent. They will assume the pack leader role if you do
not take it.
Health problems
This breed is prone to eye problems such as
cataracts, glaucomas and lens luxation.
They may also be prone to epilepsy, patellar
luxation, Von Willebrand’s disease,
cardiomyopathy, skin problems and