The Jack Russell Terrier is a short dog that is mainly white and derived its name from a clergyman known as John Russell what was an independent church leader and hunting fanatic. The dog was used in foxhunting, as it was able to flush out foxes from their hole without causing any harm to the fox, unlike its fellow killer dogs that would harm the fox and end the sport at that point. John Russell discovered the dog in the early 19th century and bred it to adapt to fox hunting. This short-legged dog was aggressive enough to provide sufficient drive for foxhunting. After World War 2 the demand for hunting dogs decreased and hence the Jack Russell Terriers decreased too. They later gained popularity but mainly kept as family dogs to provide companionship.
These work-dogs will tirelessly play and run all day. They are short with a height of about 10 -15 inches and weigh 6 – 9 kgs. They have a brawny body with a stately appearance. Has a well-balanced head that is proportional to the body and its ears flap forward almost touching the edge of its eyes. He has a short muzzle with a powerful jaw with a tough bone structure and black tipped nose. The front legs are not too widely spaced apart and have a well-built chest giving it an athletic look.
The Jack Russel Terrier is a quick learner, agile and lively dog. It is very playful, charming and always merry. They are intelligent, fearless and athletic hence were widely used in hunting various ground animals such as quarry, foxes, and groundhog. They will require sufficient space to express their energetic nature, as they are known to jump, climb and even dig holes. They are highly trainable and have been widely used in various shows to perform tricks. They can display aggressive behavior towards strangers hence proper training is important.
Will require sufficient exercise otherwise will become uneasy and restless. They should run, walk and, if possible, play ball with them as often as possible. Due to their hyperactive nature, it is important to take measures to ensure they do not cause harm to themselves. They are known to jump very high. Hence, a well-built fence will be important. They can also dig deep in a short span of time and climb trees so their time outside should be closely monitored. Ensure they encounter other small animals, as they will take off after them.
They are generally healthy and well-built animals. Like any other breed, they are prone to certain diseases such as leg perthes, lens luxation, deafness, and glaucoma.
It is important to feed them high-quality food in sufficient portions that is dependent on their weight, age, metabolic rate and size. The food needs a good balance of all nutrients to provide the dog with all the food requirements.
Coat, Color and Grooming
There are two types of coats: broken and smooth. Both have a coarse texture on the double coat covering it. The coat is majorly white with black or brownish overlay on the head and back. It needs weekly grooming of brushing the coat and trimming of their nails.
With family and other pets
The dog is very friendly and a good family pet. They may get rough and will not be suitable for families with young children. They have a strong sense of prey and may attack other smaller animals.