Jack Russell Terrier


The Jack Russell Terrier has its origins in fox hunting.   They are categorized in the Terrier group.  The most famous Jacks are Wishbone from the PBS show and the RCA advertisement for Victrolas.

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Breed History

These dogs were first bred by the Reverend John Russell in 1795.  Their roots can be traced to a now extinct English White Terrier.  Reverend Russell felt there was a need to differentiate between the hunting dog and its prey.  He developed a mostly white dog with patches of color.  By 1850, these dogs were recognized as a distinct breed.  After World War II, the need for hunting dogs drastically declined.  These dogs were used as family and companion dogs.  The American Kennel Club recognized this breed at one time, but as of April 1, 2003, they changed the name to Parson Russel Terrier.  There are two distinct breeds, but legal issues have confused the matter.

Breed Description

Jack Russell Terrier coloring is mostly white with tan, black, and sable for patches around the face and back.  The terrier’s coat can be smooth, rough or a combination of both, which is known as a broken coat.  A dog with a broken coat can have longer hair on the face or tail than one whose coat is smooth.  At times, a Jack Russell may have a pattern of black or brown spots which do not carry through to the outer coat.  Jack Russells have almond shaped eyes which are dark colored.  They have v-shaped ears which are small and carry usually forward on their head.  This canine can be 10- to 15 inches tall and weigh between 14 and 18 pounds.  These terriers can live 15 years or more with few health issues.

Jack Russell Breed Personality

Jacks are loving, devoted and cheerful dogs.  They can be spirited and obedient and are usually totally fearless.  Jacks are friendly and generally kind to children. These canines usually make good family dogs; however parents should always monitor their kids around them.  Although Jacks can thrive when living in an apartment, a fenced yard is ideal.  They are extremely active dogs and need to run, dig, and explore.  This canine is fearless and can get into trouble with its knack to be confrontational.

The Jack Russell is one of the few breeds that is named after the man who bred them.  They require constant attention, as they can get themselves into trouble when bored. This breed, at times, does not get along well with other Jacks and/or other pets, so make sure you know your dog’s personality before acclimating them into a multi-pet household.  Jacks have a tendency to be territorial, and therefore make excellent watchdogs.

These dogs may be small, but they pack a large dose of energy and love.

Image:  iStock

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