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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

Origin: England

AKC Group: Terrier

Height: 10 - 15 inches (25-38 cm) (Male)

Weight: 14 - 18 pounds (6-8 kg) (Male)

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Origin: 
England
Male height: 
10 - 15 inches (25-38 cm)
Male weight: 
14 - 18 pounds (6-8 kg)
Coat: 
Jack Russells have three coat types: smooth, rough and broken.
Colors: 
Mostly white, with brown, black or tan markings.
History: 

The Jack Russell Terrier originated in England in the 19th century, when Parson John (Jack) Russell bred a small terrier designed to bolt small game, particularly fox, from their lairs. His fox-hunting terriers were small, compact and flexible, enabling them to enter and maneuver in the close quarters of an underground den. Russell's terriers were distinctive for being predominantly white with tan or black and tan markings limited to the head and the base of the tail. He also insisted that his dogs be "steady from riot," meaning that they should not be overcome by bloodlust and kill their quarry. In modern times, these terriers have been divided into different strains, including the Parson Russell Terrier, which is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). While they share many traits, Jack Russell Terriers differ from Parsons in that there is a wider range of acceptable sizes, and more emphasis is put on working traits.

Personality: 
Feisty, independent, determined, clever, intense and lively, Jack Russell Terriers are the epitome of the terrier personality. They are affectionate and playful with their families but also a bundle of inexhaustible energy and very independent.
At home: 
Jack Russell Terriers are working terriers at heart and are especially suited to life in the country. This is not to say that they cannot be happy in the city, as long as their owners are dedicated to finding outlets for their mental and physical needs. They tend to be very active both indoors and out and are considered a "barky" breed. They are given to fits of wanderlust and must be supervised outdoors.
Exercise: 
Jack Russell Terriers have plenty of energy and a clever mind, so physical and mental exercise is a must. A short daily walk around the block will not be enough to meet this breed's needs. A long walk, a game of retrieve with a ball and a short training session - every day - will keep a Jack Russell Terrier from turning his excess energy into destructive tendencies.
Feeding: 
Feed a high-quality diet twice a day. Jack Russells can be natural-born beggars, but owners must be very careful about giving excess food - even a small amount of weight gain is significant on a dog this size.
Training: 
The Jack Russell Terrier's high intelligence and problem-solving ability, along with his stubbornness and tendency to dominate, can make him a challenge to train. While he can learn very quickly, it usually takes an experienced, competent trainer to manage this breed and bring out its best. His hardiness is coupled with a surprising sensitivity, so positive training is a must.
Compatibility: 
They can learn to live happily with children. However, a child's accidental action could be perceived as a threat by the Jack Russell - and he will defend himself - so interactions with small children must be supervised. Jack Russell Terriers need socialization to get along well with other dogs. They have a high prey drive that makes them quick to chase anything that moves and that can make them a hazard to other animals.
Health: 
The typical life span of the Jack Russell Terrier is 15 years. Health issues can include congenital myasthenia gravis; cryptorchidism; eye problems such as cataracts and lens luxation; Legg-Calve-Perthes disease; and patellar luxation.
Fun fact: 

Parson Russell founded his breeding program on a fox-sized terrier named Trump, whom he bought from a local milkman in 1819.

Grooming blurb: 
All three types of coats - smooth, broken and rough - are double coated. Smooth-coated Jack Russells, who tend to shed quite a bit, need regular brushing with a firm bristle brush or slicker brush. Broken- and rough-coated Jack Russells need to be stripped or clipped.
Energy level: 
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Compatibility with other pets: 
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Compatibility with children: 
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Disclaimer: 
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.