Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed Information

Considering a jack Russell terrier dog? here is information on the appearance, size, temperament, grooming needs, health concerns, and other relevant facts.


Jack Russell Terriers are small but courageous dogs. 

Their coats come in three varieties but most are similar in colors and markings.  Male dogs are typically 10-15 inches (25-38 cm) tall and weigh about 15-18 pounds (7-8 km).  Female dogs are typically 9-14 inches (23-36 cm) tall and weigh about 14-17 pounds (6-8 km).   Jack Russell Terriers come in three varieties.  Some coats are smooth and short, some are a bit longer and rougher, and the third type is known as broken of very short wire-haired.  Jack Russell Terriers usually have at least 50% of their bodies covered in white hair and the remainder including their markings being tan, brown, or reddish black.  Daily brushing and combing of their fur with a firm bristle brush will maintain the appearance of Jack Russell Terriers’ coats.  

Energetic, excitable, and perky are all terms that describe the temperament of these dogs.  Jack Russell Terriers are very friendly, curious, and intelligent as well.  It is important to start obedience training with these dogs at a young age since many may have a tendency to show aggression and may be a bit difficult to train.  They can be stubborn and willful but they are very smart and quick witted.  Firm but gentle training can help Jack Russell Terriers develop into devoted and loving pets that are generally good with children.  It is also important to teach children not to tease these animals to prevent aggressive traits from surfacing.  

Since Jack Russell Terriers have instinctively strong hunting traits they should not be trusted around other small animals or pets because they may try to chase them or accidentally injure them.  Owners should also walk these dogs on a leash since they may try to fight another animal that they may encounter along the way.  Jack Russell Terriers are very curious and have tendencies to bark and dig frequently.  If they are not adequately entertained, Jack Russell Terriers may become destructive so owners need to keep a tight rein over these dogs and their behavior.   

Jack Russell Terriers have few genetic health problems but some may experience dislocation of the kneecaps or inherited eye diseases.  Some dogs may also be prone to a type of dwarfism that may cause dogs to have shorter or deformed legs.  Jack Russell Terriers do not require any special dietary needs and generally get plenty of exercise from their daily running and playing.  It is good to have a place for them to romp and play freely like a fenced yard.  The average life expectancy for this breed is 15 years or longer.  

These dogs get their name from an English clergyman named Jack Russell who developed this breed in the 19th century.  These spunky little dogs were used to hunt fox and small game by digging into the animals’ dens and chasing flushing them out.  Jack Russell Terriers were bred to have speed, agility, and stamina for hunting.  Some of their other talents include tracking, learning tricks, and being good watchdogs.  They are still not recognized universally as an official breed but the American Kennel Club does recognize Jack Russell Terriers and they can be registered with several other organizations as well.