Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russel Terrier

Nicknamed Shorty Jacks by their owners, The Jack Russell Terrier dog is a charming, loving family dog.

The breed originated in England some 200 years ago. They were created to hunt foxes.

The personality of Jack Russell Terrier is lively, happy and jovial. They would love to accompany you and are happiest when they have a job to do!

These Shorty Jacks are an unlimited supply of energy, excitement and of course, affection.

Getting a Jack Russell Terrier dog home would mean that you have to be on your toes all the time.

They need an ample amount of exercise and are best suited for families with highly active lifestyles.

 Also, the are very stubborn and clever, so they are not the best match for novice owners.

Jack Russell Terrier Pictures

  • Jack Russell Terrier Pictures
  • Jack Russell Terrier Pictures

Quick Facts

Avg. Weight: 14-18 lbs.

Avg. Height: 13-15 inches.

Life Expectancy: 13-16 years.

Dog Group: Terrier

Colors: White, White & Tan, Black & White.

At A Glance

Overall, bringing this dog home is quite a job but it comes with its benefits too.

Size (2/5)

The Jack Russell Terrier size varies depending upon the purpose of breeding.

Affection Level (5/5)

They are deeply affectionate and caring for their families.

Apartment Friendly (3/5)

If given the exercise they need, Jack Russell Terriers do great in apartments.

Cold Weather Tolerability (3/5)

Usually dogs with short undercoats so not do so well in winters. You might want to buy a sweater for your JRT.

Hot Weather Tolerability (4/5)

Jack Russell Terries do well in hot weather as their undercoat regulates helps keep them cool in the heat. JRTs are one of the best dogs when it comes to living in hot weather regions.

Barking Tendencies (4/5)

Jack Russell Terriers are known to be extremely chatty. They bark mainly because of boredom and anxiety.

Cat-Friendly (1/5)

JRTs have a very high prey-drive. They are known to chase and hurt smaller animals especially cats.

Dog-Friendly (5/5)

If trained well socially, JRTs make great companion dogs and can peacefully exist with other dogs.

Exercise Needs (5/5)

If you’re thinking about bringing a JRT home, you will have to make time for its daily exercise. They need a minimum amount of 1-2 hours of play.

Grooming Needs (3/5)

Frequent brushing, bathing, cleaning of the ears and on a daily basis is a must.

Playfulness (5/5)

The JRT is one of the most playful and agile breed out there. They require a lot of mental stimulation.

Trainability (4/5)

They are highly trainable but also have a mind of their own. They respond well to obedience training.

Intelligence (5/5)

This breed is impressively intelligent and smart. Having said that, they are also as obstinate and clever.

Mouthiness (4/5)

They do not tend to slobber. However, if they are not exercised often, they will find ways to entertain themselves which may destroy furniture.

Price Group (3/5)

A Jack Russell Terrier puppy can be available for as low as $800 and go up to $2,500.

About Jack Russell Terriers

top view of cute small jack russell terrier dog sitting on a wood bridge outdoors and looking at the camera. Pets outdoors and lifestyle

You can best describe a Jack Russell Terrier as a small dog with a big attitude.

Bringing a Jack Russell Terrier home would mean having a lively household through all times.

The lifespan of Jack Russell Terriers is 13-16 years.

This breed is not for everyone given its personality and exercise needs. The Jack Russell Terrier traits are high energy, readiness to play and excellent hunting skills.

They are quick on the uptake and somewhat easy to train. They are as stubborn as smart as they are, they will not refrain from going against your will.

JRTs are known to be quite chatty, especially when bored. So, your neighbors will have an issue if you leave your dog for long hours. They are small dogs with an athletic built. They are very fast. If you are a runner and you need a dog to keep up with you, a JRT may be the right choice.

They have a knack for chasing smaller animals, so it is advised that you should keep them on a leash whilst their daily walks.

Where Did Jack Russell Terrier Dogs Come From?

Jack Russell History

The Jack Russell Terrier history is very short and simple.

Jack Russel Terrier dogs originated in the South of England in the mid 18th century. They were developed by the breeder name Parson John Russell. The breed took its name after the breeder.

Parson wanted to create a working terrier who was capable of hunting hounds and foxes and chase them.

The JRT was quick to become the favorite of hunters on horsebacks. The arrival of the breed in the USA happened by the 1930s.

Much debate went around as to the dogs working ability, appearance and if he should become a show dog or remain a working dog.


Jack Russell Terriers have their own opinions on how to go on about things. This headstrong trait can be a pain when it comes to training your JRT.

They are quick-witted and can pick up training very well. But they decide if that is going to happen or not.

If you don’t establish yourself as the dominant member in your household, your JRT will become the self-appointed leader.

Start training your JRT as soon as he comes home. You need to be consistent and if you fail to do so; it will confuse your terrier.

Exhibit controlling behavior so that your Russell does not dominate you.

Use positive reinforcement; encourage and reward when on good behavior and discourage or ignore bad behavior.

Teach your JRT bed manners – don’t allow him to sleep with you if he growls or snaps at you in bed.

Also, do not bring home two JRTs if you cannot keep them separately when you leave the house. Having two JRTs means not only doubling the energy but also the nuisance.

These mischief mongers will entertain themselves and get into fights which might lead to the destruction of furniture, creating a huge mess.


Jack Russell Terrier Grooming

The types of Jack Russell Terrier coats are: smooth and broken. They both have a double coat with a coarse texture.

The broken coat is a little longer than with eyebrows and a beard. The rough coat is longer than the broken coat. It is never curly or wavy.

The Jack Russell Terrier colors are white, white with black or tan markings and sometimes even tricolor.

The white acts as a visibility parameter due to which hunters easily spot the JRT on the field.

However, irrespective of the coat type, they only need weekly brushing, to remove the dead or loose hair.

If you religiously brush your Jack every week, he will seldom need a bath. Both coats should be stripped once or twice yearly.

Clipping nails should be done monthly. If you can hear the clicking of the nails on the floor, they are long. Nails should be short and clean keeping the feet tidy and also preventing you from getting hurt when your JRT jumps at you playfully.

Dental hygiene is a must to avoid any periodontal disease from prevailing. Brush his teeth at a minimum of twice or thrice a week.

Introduce these practices to him when your JRT is still a puppy, he will co-operate better. Dogs are very sensitive about their feet, so you should handle his paws more often.

Make sure grooming time is a happy experience for your dog, throw in a few extra treats. This will make your job much easier when your JRT becomes an adult.

Common Diseases

Common Diseases


Patellar Luxation

A very common issue health issues among small-sized breeds including Jack Russel Terriers.

When the patella is luxated, it can’t return to its normal position unless the quadricep of the dog relaxed and increases in length.

The dog is in severe pain due to this, especially while trying to move.

This could lead to arthritic crippling if left untreated


This condition affects the joints and bones, typically develops later in the life of the JRT. However, if you take steps in the early life, this condition can be handled easily.

If you see your JRT exhibiting difficulty in doing physical activity such as getting up the stairs, long walks etcetera consult a vet immediately.

The vet will prescribe some supplements, nutrients, and oils.

Legg-Calve­-Perthes Disease

This is a disease of small breeds.

It is a deformity of the hip joint. It is often confused with hip dysplasia. It causes arthritis and wearing.

This can be repaired surgically, the condition gets better with the help of rehabilitation and followed by therapy.  



This is less common in dogs and cats than humans, but occur frequently and could lead to blindness.

They are very common among small-sized breeds like the Jack Russell Terrier.

Cataract formation is the covering of the pupil with a grey almost whiteish layer, it causes opacification of the eye.

A completely opaque eye could result in blindness


This condition is very common in JRTs.

Glaucoma is a disease where pressure builds up inside the eye.

If not detected and treated early this condition could lead to blindness.

Take your JRT to the vet if you notice him squinting, tearing or rubbing his eyes.

Lens Luxation

When the lens of the eye gets displaced when the ligament holding it together, gets displaced.

It is often treated with surgery or medication, but in most cases, the eye needs to be removed.



This is a neurological condition where there is an abnormal burst of electric energies in the brain which causes the body to malfunction.

The JRT may lose consciousness during an epileptic seizure in most cases.

Epileptic attacks prevail several times a day or even monthly.

There is no triggering event or condition. When your JRT is having a seizure, there is immediate danger and you must take it to the vet as soon as possible.

If it lasts more than a period of five minutes, take your dog to the hospital.


Ear Infections

If you notice your JRT scratching or shaking its head too often, it could be a sign of ear infection.

They are easy to treat and very common.

Unilateral Deafness

In this type of deafness, only one ear is affected. The use of hand signals is enough.

Bilateral Deafness

This is complete deafness. As well as using hand signals, you can also get special training, coats and leads to raise awareness to others.



Since the Jack Russell Terrier is a highly active dog, it has a large appetite.

But if you cannot give the JRT the exercise it needs on a daily basis, your dog will become obese.

Most inactive JRTs have this problem.


Jack Russell Terrier Feeding

The daily recommended amount for feeding is 1.25 to 1.75 cups of high-quality dog food, separated into two meals.

How much food your dog will consume depends upon the age, built, size, build and activity level. Dogs do not eat as much as humans,

A highly active dog consumes more food than a lethargic and lazy dog. Choose the dog food which has better quality, it will boost the nourishing of your dog.

Suggested: Senior Dog Food

Keep your JRT active and fit by measuring his food. Serve him twice a day rather than keeping the bowl open for him at all times.

Vaccination and Care

Jack Russell Terrier Vaccination and Care

Distemper vaccine

This severely affects organs such as the spinal cord, respiratory system, brain, and intestines.

The common symptoms of having distemper are high fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, etc.


This disease spreads through the infected dog’s hair or feet. It is fatal.

Usually, if JRTs are under a year, they are prone to this virus.

Signs that your dog could have this are bloody diarrhea, depression, vomiting, fever, etc.


This is a very damaging virus; it deteriorates the brains of all mammals.

Dogs secrete large amounts of this virus in their saliva and thus, a dog is infected with rabies when it is bitten by another dog.

Signs that a dog has rabies can be seen in behavioral changes such as restlessness and aggression. They become hypersensitive to touch, light, sound, etc.


Infectious canine hepatitis is a very serious condition caused by a highly infectious virus that affects the liver.

It develops extremely quickly in puppies and dogs.

Symptoms of hepatitis are vomiting, lethargy, fever, abdominal pain and an enlarged liver.


This virus causes respiratory problems infection and targets various organs of the JRT’s body.

Symptoms include depression, vomiting, loss of appetite, cough, glaucoma.

Suggested: Guide To Dog Vaccination

Monthly Expense Estimation

The monthly Jack Russell Terrier cost averages to $60-$70.



We know how mischievous Jack Russell Terriers can be. They are fit for homes with bigger children. They get very rambunctious when mishandled.

Teach your children how to play with the JRT and always supervise playtime.


If the other dogs are on about their business and don’t mess with the JRT, it is fine.

It gets along well with the dogs it is raised with. But if another dog messes with a JRT it will be the end of that dog, even if it’s a Rottweiler.


JRTs have an insane prey-drive and are ready to chase any animal that is smaller than them.

They have a reputation of hunting down and harming cats, it is not the wisest of decisions to keep a cat and a JRT under the same roof.


JRTs are very high on energy, family dogs. They are known for their intelligence and excellent hunting skills.

They are very willful and will not fear to go against your orders. They are a handful to foster but they are as loving.

JRTs were created to chase foxes and are great runners. If trained well, they are obedient and disciplined.

They need to be brushed weekly to avoid any matting but they are not much work when it comes to maintenance and grooming.

They are small dogs suited for apartment living only if the owner can provide the adequate exercise needed.

If you are looking for a small dog, be sure to check out 33 Best Small Dog Breeds to see which one suits your preference.

Something Fun About Jack Russell Terriers!

  • They are very intelligent and very active
  • They excel at endurance and agility competitions
  • They have a very big personality
  • They love to dig!
  • They can jump up to 5 feet in the air
  • They don’t need much bathing
  • They are excellent when they bathe
  • They need regular grooming

Want to know more about Jack?

Learn it from Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, an independent organization, considers the JRT to be a pure hunting dog.

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Happy Petting To You Guys!



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