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Information About Jack Russell Terriers

Updated on June 18, 2012

Photo of a Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier

Information About The Jack Russell Terrier

Odds are you have heard of at least one famous JRT (Jack Russell Terrier). Examples of famous JRT's include; the TV show Frasier, the movie My Dog Skip, or the TV show Wishbone. Being an intelligent breed their success in Hollywood isn't too surprising.

Description of a Jack Russell Terrier

  • Standing between 10-15 inches at the withers
  • Weighing between 14-18 lbs
  • Mostly white in colour (51% white or more)
  • Brown eyes
  • Smooth or rough coat
  • Short, medium or long legged
  • Usually the tails are docked (I saw no reason to have my dogs tails docked)
  • 15 year life expectancy

The Personality of a Jack Russell Terrier

  • Highly energetic (I play out before my female JRT is done playing fetch)
  • Agile
  • Intelligent ( two attempts at the command "sit" and my JRT had it all figured out)
  • Tough (I quite often stare in awe when my male JRT does something that looks quite painful and he doesn't make a peep)
  • Fearless (rottweilers mean nothing to them)
  • Determined (my mother's JRT once out waited a squirrel on a post for four hours)
  • Hardworking
  • Can be aggressive without proper training
  • Strong Hunting Instincts
  • Athletic (extremely good jumpers)
  • Can be excessive barkers
  • Digging

Grooming the Jack Russell Terrier

These dogs actually shed quite a bit. Especially when nervous. What helps with the shedding is regular brushing. Brushing your Jack Russell Should be quick and easy. Only bathe these dogs when needed as they can have sensitive skin. Therefore, and oatmeal shampoo is usually recommended.

Health Problems in Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russells are generally very healthy and do not have a whole lot of inherited health problems. However, there still are a few common health problems in the Jack Russell breed.

  • Legg-Perthes is the degeneration of the head and neck of the femur. This causes the hip to collapse which then leads to osetoarthritis.
  • Dislocated knee caps.
  • Eye problems such as cataracts. Cataracts which is a clouding of the eye leading to blindness. And primary lens luxation. Which is the dislocation or displacement of the lens of the eye.
  • Deafness

My Experience With Jack Russell Terriers

I cannot express enough that even though these are a small adorable breed of dog. They are not meant to be lap dogs. Don't get me wrong at the end of a long day my two have no problems hopping into bed with me. But they spend most of their time out hunting, running, playing with each other and sometimes a little mischief if they run out of things to do.

This breed is a generally happy breed. My dog's are always happy to see me greet me at the door. And will often come running out of nowhere for attention if I happen to mention one of their names. But I don't really recommend this breed of dog for someone with small children. Yes, I do have a young son myself. And yes, he loves to bug the dogs. And after some time laying down the law to both the dogs and my child. My JRT's generally try to avoid him but have no problems letting him know (usually by growling) if he's gone to far. Currently both child and dogs are living in harmony. So it's possible just a little more work. As for older kids, if they can repeatedly throw a ball or run around the yard or park with the dog, then they will be best friends.

From my experience, having both a male and female JRT, and from years of observation. The sex of dog does seem to make a difference in personality. The female JRT's I have come in contact with, including my own, have more of an "grumbly" personality. And appear to be less social than the male dogs. The male JRT, once again including my own, have more of a laid back personality. So if you have no problems , which you shouldn't , showing authority with your female dog. You personally should have no problems. But a word of advice, carefully monitor how she behaves around strangers and young children until you know how she usually acts in these type of situations. If you are looking for more of a laid back, slightly lazier, JRT then go with the male. Of course, every dog is different and may have different personality traits then stated above due to environment, upbringing, and parents.

If you are wondering whether you too should have two JRT's instead of just one. Well that is totally up to you. If you have the time and energy to wear out your JRT by the end of the day and look forward to that special bond the two of you will share. Then you are probably good with just one. However from my experience having to JRT's has been great. They play together to help burn off that energy and keep each other company. If you do plan on getting two JRT's the best mix you can do is get one male and one female. By getting two dogs of the same sex increases the risk of the dogs often fighting. Especially with two females.

These dogs truly are mans, or in my case, women's best friend. Fearless, fast, smart, hard working, tough, energetic, and most importantly loving. But please do more research on these little guys before adopting or buying.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier | Source

Female Jack Russell Terrier

My girl, Penny
My girl, Penny

Male Jack Russell Terrier

My boy, Diego
My boy, Diego

Funny Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier Puppy

Jack Russell Puppy
Jack Russell Puppy | Source


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    • profile image

      Jabed 2 years ago

      Find out what breed fits your personality. Bernese Mountain dogs and other Mastiff brdees do fine in apartments because they have about as much drive as a typical cat . Just make sure that your medium sized dog doesn't bark much as a breed (so you can rule out the terriers that most people have suggested). A lot of pure bred dogs can have health issues (we breed Icelandic Sheepdogs, but they generally don't have issues). Once you pick a breed, find a good breeder, or, if you're feeling lucky, go to a pound. Just remember that the reason most dogs are in pounds is because someone couldn't handle them (ie. The dog was far to smart for the human to deal with or as humans put it, to much trouble). Pound puppies make great agility dogs and obedience dogs because of that reason it takes a dedicated person to adopt a pound pup. Find more information from the Kennel Club in your country and go from there. You'll have to research each breed breeders like people who ask and can answer all the right questions and know something about the breed.

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      Kassie 2 years ago

      Thanks for stanitrg the ball rolling with this insight.

    • blairtracy profile image

      blairtracy 5 years ago from Canada

      Aww, I am sorry to hear that your little guy isn't doing so well. :(

    • profile image

      lbg 5 years ago

      My 12 y.o JRT is having serious health problems with his site and hine legs. I am very sad at the possibility of loosing him. He has slowed down significantly over the years, but this summer has taken a toll on him. He is an avid swimer and succer player. I am very worried about Jack. lbg

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      Natalia 5 years ago

      I haven't got a jack russell yet but I want 1 I keep begging my mum to get it for my bday but she keeps saying maybe maybe how longer because my bday is october 2nd and its only April 29th

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      My sister has a Jack Russell named Teak whom I adore, and she sits on my lap when I visit. She is just as smart as a small child and when I call my sister on the phone I always talk to her. I would love to have a dog but my daughter is allergic.

    • blairtracy profile image

      blairtracy 6 years ago from Canada

      I totally agree! I love my my jacks!

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

      Jack Russells can be real bundles of energy, but they are such sturdy and loyal little fellows.