Jack Russell Terrier

Remember the lovable mutt Milo from 'The Mask'? That's usually the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words Jack Russell Terrier. The mental image of an energetic ball of fur with a healthy love of fun isn't all that inaccurate.

Jack Russell Terriers are dynamic little creatures who love being busy. They're voracious diggers, and the hunting instinct is in their very genes. With a title like 'baying terrier' JRTs are not afraid of making themselves heard.

If you're a canine enthusiast who wants a JRT as a best friend, then pay attention to our list. We've collected and compiled 7 interesting facts about Jack Russell Terriers. Have a read before you make up your mind about getting one.

Jack Russells are British

Reverend John Russell bred one of the finest strains of terriers in the 1800s, and unsurprisingly, the breed borrows its name from his. JRTs were put to work as baying terriers - meaning they flushed out wily foxes from their hidey holes just from the strength of their barks. In fact, Jack Russell Terriers were so good at this that they were strictly bred for hunting throughout the 1800s.jack russell terrier
However, because of the variance of strains in their genetic makeup, in England, the longer-legged dogs are called Parson Jack Russell Terriers, whereas the shorter-legged dogs are referred to as JRTs.

Natural Athletes

Jack Russell puppies can weigh around 2.8 to 4 kg at the three-month mark. As adults, their weight tends to stay between 6.5 to 8.3 kg. JRTs are classified as small-breed dogs, but don't let their size fool you because they're more than capable of jumping six feet in the air.
As far as their build is concerned, JRTs aren't heavily muscled like Boxers or Bulldogs. Instead, you can refer to their frame as athletic and compact. Their bodies are sometimes described as rectangular in shape.

Coat Types

Some dog breeds have the advantage of several coat colours. But, Jack Russell colours range from white, white, and tan, and white and black only.
Although, JRTs come in three different coat types: smooth, broken, and rough (long and coarse straight hair). But, we have it on good authority that once you look at a Jack Russell puppy up close, nothing else will seem to matter.

Little Genius

We recommend that prospective pet-parents do their homework about their pet's temperament to ensure smooth sailing in the future. When it comes to Jack Russells, you should know that these cute little dogs are super clever. That means they can pick up commands quickly but on the flip side, they tend to get bored easily.
JRTs are highly energetic and require their daily dose of exercise to keep their energy levels from spiking to dangerous levels. They're also friendly, outgoing, and fearless. However, JRTs aren't great with other pets because they're super independent and somewhat impatient. Jack Russells are good family pets, but they tend to get on great with older children.

Patience Is a Virtue

As sad as it is, many JRTs end up in doggy shelters for doing what comes to them naturally - digging and barking. Remember, the key to understanding your dog's nature is looking to its past. JRTs were bred to be hunting dogs, and that's why your JRT may try and take on any small rodent in its path. That's also why Jack Russells can be aggressive with other canines. jack russell terrier - t forrest

JRTs are workaholics by nature, believe it or not. And, their energy can be used in several questionable activities if not channeled properly. Adopting, rescuing, or buying a JRT is a full-time commitment that you shouldn't take lightly.

Apart from regular exercise, training a Jack Russell Terrier needs to start in puppyhood. You need to teach your pet all the basics, like house training, but, you also need to teach it how to get along with other people and pets. That's where socializing your JRT pup will help big time. It's also a good idea to take your pet to obedience school to teach it basic obedience.


Jack Russells are a healthy breed, but as it is with all animals, they're prone to developing certain health issues.

According to the Nationwide pet insurance claims, JRTs can suffer from:

  • Arthritis
  • Ear Infections
  • Benign Tumors
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Skin Sensitivities

Keen sense of smell

We know we've mentioned this about a hundred times already, but because of their hunting background, JRTs have an extremely sensitive nose. For instance, did you know that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses Jack Russells to detect brown tree snakes in cargo being loaded in Guam? Yup, JRTs can smell the snakes.

Now we know some of you are thinking if the modern-day Jack Russells ancestors could smell foxes, then why not snakes. Well, allow us to tell you that many JRT pet-parents have confessed that their pooch can smell certain illnesses, like diabetes.

The upshot

I'm sure we've convinced you that there are only a few dog breeds as unique as Jack Russell Terriers. But, we'd caution you to spend time with one before you think about getting one.

As we said earlier, most people think highly energetic is code for very playful. But, any dog expert will tell you that Jack Russells can be a handful. Yes, they're very loving animals, but you need to be sure you can handle the JRT's exuberance before you bring one to your home.

However, if you've done all your research are still 100% committed to becoming the proud parent of a Jack Russell Terrier, then all we can do is congratulate you on your excellent taste. Just make sure to give your JRT all the love, attention, and yummy smoked sausage treats it deserves, and we promise, it won't let you down.