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Owning A Jack Russell Terrier

Updated on September 21, 2011

Owning A Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell is the embodiment of energy, intelligence, athleticism, loyalty and yes, perhaps above-and-beyond all else, the dogification of fearlessness. Behind the dark glistening eyes of this beloved breed lies the soul of a hunting dog, and those who might be considering a Jack Russell as a lapdog or as a quiet companion might wish to consider due to their energetic and loud nature.

This hub is a tribute to this remarkable breed, and a chance for myself to acquaint myself further with my own "Jack" Luna, who is currently busying herself with her toys, and has conceded me a moment of unexpected peace.

A Brief History (I assure you!)

Jack Russell's are named after Reverend John Russell (1795-1885), whose passion with hunting led him to buy a small white and brown terrier named Trump in the last year of his university studies.

John began a breeding program aimed at amplifying specific traits that would aid humans in the hunt, without leading to a dog which was overly aggressive with its prey, thereby ending the hunt. The result is a working dog who nature is to find prey and alarm their owners once it has been found. 

Jack Russells were trained to burrow underground and find prey. They will work their way through underground passages with glee, and their unique ability to get dirty will be a bane upon your home's existence.
Jack Russells were trained to burrow underground and find prey. They will work their way through underground passages with glee, and their unique ability to get dirty will be a bane upon your home's existence.


Jack Russells thrive on attention. Lack of attention may lead to inanimate casualties in your home. The ever-inventive and creative Jack will invent its own games if it isn't receiving the attention it deserves. Couches will be taken apart, curtains ripped, objects relocated and profaned, blankets will line the corridors. 

Due to their hunting training you can expect them to be very vocal (to alarm humans about prey), they will dig and explore relentlessly, crawl, jump and run. This can go on all day and throughout the entirety of their lives. I am beginning to believe that a sedentary jack does not exist, and age does little to dampen their energy.

In my experience Jack Russells have very strong instincts and will not take well to training, although if they are trained at an early stage, success may be an option. They will constantly test their owners. If you leave the sofa a second they will test you by taking your seat and seeing if you will find somewhere else to sit. It is a crafty way of know their hierarchical status -- and before you realize it you may have a dog who walks you (at least in their eyes).

Unfortunately Jack Russells can also be quite aggressive, especially with other dogs and animals (and I've heard with children too from time to time, but I'm not sold), so if you have a household with other pets a Jack Russell might not be the wisest choice. 

Jack Russells Will Stop At Nothing To Get Their Prey

What Is A Jack Exactly?

The Jack Russell terrier is described by TheRealJackRussel as

The Real Jack Russell Terrier may be any height between 10" and 15" (at the shoulder), it may vary in coats, markings, type, and for sure personality… they are ALL real Jack Russell Terriers. There is no "ideal" …. the "ideal" is what suits their owner for what they want/need to do with their terrier. That is the uniqueness of this diverse terrier. The diversity within the JRTCA breed standard is what makes the Jack Russell Terrier suitable for a variety of working and performance abilities - in contrast with the narrow, cosmetic breed standards of many show breeds.: 

Most owners will not be overly concerned about the purity of their breed, but in the main, the predominantly white body with large black or brown spots will mark them for what they are. 

Jack Russell Issues

Jack Russells can be prone to a number of health issues such as eye diseases, Legg Perthes disease (a disease of the leg joint) and deafness. Assuming a healthy life, a Jack Russell can easily exceed a 15 year lifespan, providing a long and happy companionship.

Jack Russells DO shed and will require a steady brush relatively frequently. Bathing should be kept to a minimum. 

The main issue with Jack Russells will derive from lack of exercise. A Jack needs to be out-and about, exploring and "hunting". An apartment does not provide the necessary tools for a Jack's happiness and they will become vocal about their unease, leading to a stressfull environment for all involved. 

Jack Russells will be happiest outside, especially if you play with them yourself.
Jack Russells will be happiest outside, especially if you play with them yourself.

Do you own or plan on owning a Jack?

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Despite the fact that Jack Russells are not for everyone, and it is an important one, Jacks make amazing companions. Not a day will slip into the greyness of routine with one by your side. Despite their innate individuality and charisma, they are intensely loyal and will guard you fiercely.

I personally vouch for this wondeful breed, and I hope you enjoyed reading thiis tribute. I will be more than pleased to answer any comments that may arise.

Thanks for reading, Thooghun.


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    • profile image

      jane maynard 3 years ago

      We have a eight week old pup and a staff cross jack russell pup who who is six months old and we love them both .

    • profile image

      Vilas 4 years ago

      Nana and Grandpa Haz - Aloha to our new Baby Jack.. we are so happy you are here to be with your family. We love you all and miss you. Can't wait to see you and big stiesr Lily and all the fun, adventure, mischief, enrichment, joy, love and drama you will bring to life.. xoxoxoxJuly 5, 2009 10:37 am

    • profile image

      Rohima 4 years ago

      sorry, cant help you. i prefer to read miatrael from auhors i respect. even though i live 15 miles from him and my cousin works for him, i have not heard one good thing about him. when he is in the news he comes across as disrespectful and proud (not in the good way) and that gets him in trouble rather than helping his cause. i would rather read my cousin (Ed McGaa) books on spirituality, even though i do not agree with them, then read mean's book.TLM

    • Dahlia Flower profile image

      Dahlia Flower 5 years ago from Canada

      A friend of mine had her Jack Russell in the back seat of her vehicle and was driving down the road at 40 mph. Suddenly the dog saw something he wanted on the sidewalk and he leaped out of the car's open window! Gotta have energy to have this kind of dog. They sure are cute. Great hub.

    • Mrs Cookie profile image

      Mrs Cookie 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent hub! I used to own two Jack Russells and they were certainly full of life and prone to mischief when the urge took them!

      Jack Russells make brilliant pets but I wouldn't recommend them for anyone wanting a quiet and peaceful life!