- Also known as Parson Russell terrier.
- The Parson John Russell developed the breed that bears his name. He was a foxhunting enthusiast who wanted a good terrier to run with the hound pack and to dispatch the fox at the end of the hunt. A milkman gave him a dog named Trump, which suited his purpose and became the dog the breed was modeled after.
- Aside from Trump, nobody knows what dogs he used to create his breed. In fact, Jack Russell terrier proponents long considered the dogs a strain, rather than a breed, meaning they could mix in another dog for effect occasionally.
- The Parson devoted his life to his dogs and to foxhunting. Although he judged other breeds at dog shows, he never once exhibited his own dogs. This is one reason Jack Russell terriers were not shown in dog shows until fairly recently.
- In the early 1900s, some Jack Russell terriers began to appear with very short legs. This eventually caused a heated debate between fanciers who preferred the traditional long legged terriers and those who preferred the shorter legged ones. In England, the longer legged ones were known as Parson Jack Russell terriers.
- Shorter legged Jack Russell terriers are extremely popular among many of the horse set.
- In America, many breed fanciers fought against AKC recognition, but the AKC recognized the Jack Russell terrier in 2000. To this day, many Jack Russell terriers are registered with the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA) rather then the AKC.
- The AKC later changed the breed name to Parson Russell terrier, emphasizing that these are the longer legged dogs. Most people still know them as Jack Russell terriers, however.
- Famous media Jack Russells include Moose - the dog who played Eddie on Frasier, and Wishbone.
Jack Russell Terrier Behavior Concerns
- Makes an entertaining and adventurous companion, as well as an excellent watchdog.
- Playful and good with children.
- Needs a lot of interaction.
- Bold, watchful, busy, independent and mischievous.
- Friendly toward strangers.
- Can be scrappy with other dogs.
- May not be good with small pets, especially rodents.
- May not come when call.
- Tends to run off in search of adventure or animals. May go into underground dens in search of game.
- Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
- Learns quickly, but also bores quickly, and may come up with its own ideas.
- Some tend to bark a lot, which should be discouraged from an early age.
- Some tend to dig a lot.
- Obedience training is essential.
Jack Russell Terrier Suggested Exercises
- Makes a lively and alert housedog.
- Its exercise needs can be met with a long walk or run, along with several vigorous games. They also need a chance to sniff and explore in a safe place or on leash.
- Without sufficient mental and physical exercise, this breed can be destructive and disobedient.
- Jack Russells tend to enjoy dog parks, and most do well in them as long as they are not allowed to bully other dogs.
- Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise. Agility is a favored sport.
Jack Russell Terrier Grooming
- Coat can be either smooth or broken. The smooth coat is flat and hard. The broken coat is harsh, straight and close-lying.
- Both coat types need weekly brushing to remove dead hair.
- The broken coat may need stripping of long dead hair.
- Shedding is average.
Suggested Jack Russell Terrier Nutritional Needs
- Jack Russell terriers tend to stay in good weight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.