Small, smart and lively – the young breed has won over a large number of urban fans. “Jack Russell Terrier” means an independent breed with British roots recognized by the FCI since 2000. The Jack Russell Terrier is distinguished from its close relatives, the Parson Russell Terrier by its short legs.
Physique: small and agile
A Jack Russell Terrier likes to explore the area with his nose close to the ground: the dog’s withers are 25 to 30 cm high according to the standard. Their ideal weight is between 5 and 6 kilos. The short legs make the dogs long rather than high.
The size of the chest is between 40 and 43 cm and is especially relevant for the breed as a hunter: a larger chest would hinder him if he walked through the fox castle. His v-shaped ears are folded down. When the dog runs back and forth (something he likes and does often) his tail is upright. In the resting position, the tail hangs down.
Coat and color
Characteristic of the breed is also the typical color combination with a predominantly white coat with spots in different colors such as black, brown and black and tan.
The spots can be divided like cow spots or focus on a number of spots – a spot around the eye looks very appealing – but the white must dominate. The structure of the coat can be smooth, rough or prickly.
Origin and use
The name of the breed comes from the first breeder: John (nickname “Jack”) Russel (1795-1883). In 1819 the Fox Terrier bitch “Trump” moved into his home in Oxford. She is considered the founding mother of all current Jack Russell Terriers such as Parson Russell Terrier.
The breed in its current form comes from Australia despite its British roots, as the dogs were mainly bred here. This has to do with the area where the breed was used: the Jack Russell Terrier is a typical hunting dog, whose ancestors were mainly used for fox hunting in Australia.
This became necessary because in 1850 English immigrants released two foxes on the fifth continent – the dingo present there was not an interesting booty for human hunters. The foxes multiplied rapidly without natural enemies.
Therefore, they wanted to reduce the number of foxes and there was a demand for hunting dogs, which due to their small size fit into the inhabited rabbit and wombat burrows and were still able to cover long distances.
Unlike the Parson Russell Terrier, the short-legged Jack Russell Terrier has the muzzle forward. The official history of the Jack Russell Terrier only begins in 1972 with the creation of the “Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia“.
Today, Australia is still the most influential country in breed development. The small bundles of energy have also become famous through the American comedy series “Frasier”, in which the dog which, due to their small size, fit in the inhabited rabbit and wombat burrows and were still able to cover long distances
The official history of the Jack Russell Terrier only begins in 1972 with the creation of the “Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia”. Today, Australia is still the most influential country in breed development.
Nature: charming goblins
The Jack Russell Terrier may look small and cute, but it has the heart of a diligent hunter. This combination often underestimates what it means to keep this breed. He has a great urge to move. The four-legged friend is lively, very active and absolutely no couch hanger.
The temperamental dog also stands out for his strong will. The breed is known for being child-friendly, yet caution is advised especially in small children.
What the little dog especially needs in addition to a consistent upbringing is: movement, movement, movement! Compared to other dogs, he is an open dog with appropriate socialization.Hunting instincts quickly gain the upper hand in small animals such as cats, especially outside their “own” family. A balanced Jack Russell Terrier brings joy to his owner: he is friendly,
Health: prevention is better than cure
In principle, a Jack Russell Terrier is a robust nature lover, who with good care can live up to 15 years old. However, there are a few typical diseases that occur with this breed. However, the risk of this can be reduced by going to a responsible breeder.
Like some other terrier breeds, the Jack Russel is predisposed to ataxia and myelopathy. Symptoms of these neurological disorders are movement disorders and muscle tremors. Allergic skin conditions can also occur. With patellar luxation, the kneecap shifts, the dog usually walks on three legs.
Surgery can remove the symptoms that your protector is suffering from. Care must be taken to ensure that the dog gets enough exercise and that the food is adapted to the dog’s low body weight.
Is a Jack Russell Terrier suitable for me?
Do you like to be active and outdoors? Then a Jack Russell Terrier is a suitable companion! A well-behaved specimen of the lively breed is well suited as a family dog: long walks, jogging, fooling around with the kids – the little family member likes to be present at all activities with action!
Those who prefer to take short walks on their own are better off choosing a different breed of dog, as the Jack Russell Terrier must be challenged physically enough. Do you already have pets? Jack Russels raised in the presence of a cat can befriend the mustache paw.
In general, caution is advised if the passionate hunter with potential “prey” lives under one roof. Good sources of information are breeding clubs, regional breeders and of course other Jack Russell fans with experience.
Before moving in
Because the Jack Russell Terrier has a life expectancy of 15 years, one should think carefully about the move. Determine in advance who can take care of your dog in case of illness or vacation.
If you have children, you must set clear rules for the residence. Give the children clear instructions on how to deal with the new housemate. If your children pay enough respect, nothing stands in the way of a long friendship: children and dogs can become a good team!
Can you imagine going on vacation with your four-legged friend? Nowadays there are many hotels that welcome your family including a dog!
In addition to the basic equipment – belt , basket, combs and brushes, nail clippers, blankets, transport baskets for the car, etc. – there are regular costs such as a visit to a vet.
The latter can of course also turn out higher in unexpected diseases of your favorite. You should also check in advance that there is no family member who has an allergic reaction to dogs and whether your landlord allows keeping a dog if necessary.
Of course you also have to make a realistic estimate of whether you have enough time for the dog – daily and for several years.
Care: weekly grooming required
The dog’s coat consists of top hairs and an undercoat and needs regular grooming. This is easiest with smooth and spiky varieties, where brushing is sufficient.
Four-legged friends with this coat type shed more than rough-haired peers. The more often you use the comb and curry comb, the less hair you will find in your home. In addition to weekly grooming your wirehaired Jack Russell Terrier, regular grooming- best by a professional giving you instructions – should be on the program.
In addition, old and loose top hairs are removed, so that the coat can renew. Eyes, ears and nails are best checked daily, so that you can immediately treat changes, for example through mites.
Education: loving and consistent
The upbringing should be absolutely loving and consistent, taking into account the great hunting instinct of the lively Jack Russell Terrier. “No” should really always mean “no” – the smart dog likes to take advantage of inconsistent upbringing so that he can take matters into his own hands.
It is best to get the dog used to other small animals when it is still a puppy – when the passionate hunters are it is very difficult to keep them in combination with cats. Just like dogs, puppies also need a quick response to learn what is desired behavior and what is unwanted behavior.
Consistent action is important for this: agree with all family members what the desired behavior is: If the dog can go to bed as a small puppy, he will always demand it;
A visit to a puppy or dog school is highly recommended. Here, your new family member usually gets to know dogs of other breeds, keeping him calm when interacting with other four-legged friends.
He also practices with basic commands such as “sit”, or “stay”, which makes everyday life easier. In addition, it also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.
Ideally, you should look for a competent dog school before your dog’s home where the trainer is able to answer your questions quickly and give you a good impression. Playing and learning are one of them.
Activities for energy beams
The small energy bundles love the action! If they fail, they start to behave conspicuously or become overweight. So that your dog can enjoy himself enough, besides long walks with enough time and space to dig and sniff, dog sports such as agility or dog dance are also recommended, because your four-legged friend can use his smart head.
Your Jack Russell Terrier also likes to come with you while jogging! The good detectives love sniffing games, where it is about finding stuff or sweets. It is important to give the dog rest after all effort. To give an example: ball games – yes, please! However, this is done in a controlled manner.
This means that the ball is only picked up on command, for example. Controlled play prevents your dog from becoming too busy despite the movement. It is important to put your dog’s brain to work so that it is challenged. It also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.
This can create a close team. Of course you can learn a lot of skills together with your dog – clicker training the dogs often enjoy! A Jack Russell Terrier who is sufficiently challenged and well behaved is a good companion at every stage of life.
That’s how you find your animal companion
Those looking for a Jack Russell Terrier should pay attention to serious breeding. Because the dog breed is very popular, there are also many bad apples among the breeders, who especially want to make as much profit as possible.
A high price is paid for this: not only do they not meet the breed standard – serious breeders take care of animals that are both physically and mentally in order – but also the health of the puppies and parents leaves much to be desired.
Bread breeders often keep animals under bad conditions and do not offer the animal activities tailored to the animal. Mothers are often not given the opportunity to catch their breath, but should be covered again as soon as possible.
In addition, young animals are often separated from the mother much too early. This endangers the health and can cause unwanted social behavior of the puppies. Serious breeders are members of an association or dog club and are required to follow their guidelines for the welfare of the breed.
With a breeder, who values the well-being of the dogs, you have the opportunity to get to know the puppies and the parents, brothers and sisters in the breeder’s house.
He is happy to answer your questions about the health and nutrition of his breeding animals and is not only a seller, but also a point of contact. In addition, breeders also ask you questions about the puppy’s future environment, their living situation, and leisure activities.
Finding the best shelter for the offspring is one of the tasks of a good breeder. National breeders’ associations are happy to help you find a serious breeder in your area.
If it doesn’t have to be a puppy, you can also seek out special animal protection organizations for Jack Russell Terriers. Here you can also find older animals, sometimes also crossings.
From time to time, you will also find a dog of this breed in the shelter. Such dogs may have particular character traits depending on their history but are generally happy with a new home. The animal protection will give you good advice so that you know whether the four-legged friend suits you.
We wish you many common adventures with your Jack Russell Terrier!