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Jack Russell Terrier

JackRussellTerrier

An Intelligent Dog

Energetic, Independent, Intelligent

Jack Russell Terriers are extraordinary dogs. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Jack Russell Terriers, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Jack Russell Terrier and some can be quite irritating! Understanding her unique needs will help you keep her healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where she came, which health conditions are a risk to her and how to keep her feeling her best.

Breed Details

Height:10-15" Weight:14-18 lb Lifespan:about 15 years

Size
2

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
4

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Grooming: Brush her coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Jack Russell Terriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

Routine Care: She's a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active, or she'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. A tall fence in a must, JRTs have been known to jump great heights. She also can't resist chasing cats, so keep her on a leash outdoors. She is an athletic dog that excels at dog sports like flyball and agility.

Her "Go" switch is stuck in the "On" position. With adequate exercise and socialization, she makes an affectionate and spirited family companion.

Positive Traits:

  • Highly intelligent, playful, and energetic

  • Alert, curious, and busy

  • Protective of family: good watch dog

  • Bold, steady, and fearless

  • Bouncy, cheerful, loyal, and enthusiastic

  • Quirky, entertaining personality

Negative Traits:

  • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

  • Needs early socialization to accept other pets and strangers

  • Aggressive toward other animals

  • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

  • Willful and stubborn if you don’t show strong leadership

Whether you are considering adding a new Jack Russell Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Jack Russell Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the Jack Russell Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

Some health concerns a Jack Russell Terrier could encounter:

Eye Problems

Displaced Lens

Glaucoma

Cataracts

Liver Problems

Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's)

The Jack Russell Terrier was developed in England in the 1800’s and was bred for fox hunting and vermin control. The Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier are separate breeds that are closely related; the JRT is shorter and boxier with more of the working characteristics of the original breed. The JRT is a small, feisty terrier that is fiercely loyal and can become possessive of her human owner. Jack Russell Terriers are excellent escape artists that can climb, jump, or dig under fences. She has a high prey drive and will chase any small animal that runs away from her. The Jack Russell Terrier is amusing and friendly: a great companion for an active family.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Jack Russell Terrier shows signs of the following:

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Painful eye, excessive tearing, eyes may appear asymmetric or cloudy

  • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

  • Drinks and urinates more, eats more, potbelly, poor haircoat

  • Gums that are a color other than bright pink

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

  • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

  • Greasy, hairless patches on skin and redness in ears

  • Shortness of breath, cough, or fainting

  • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

  • Repetitive, compulsive whirling

  • Care

    Grooming: Brush her coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Jack Russell Terriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

    Routine Care: She's a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active, or she'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. A tall fence in a must, JRTs have been known to jump great heights. She also can't resist chasing cats, so keep her on a leash outdoors. She is an athletic dog that excels at dog sports like flyball and agility.

  • Characteristics

    Her "Go" switch is stuck in the "On" position. With adequate exercise and socialization, she makes an affectionate and spirited family companion.

    Positive Traits:

    • Highly intelligent, playful, and energetic

    • Alert, curious, and busy

    • Protective of family: good watch dog

    • Bold, steady, and fearless

    • Bouncy, cheerful, loyal, and enthusiastic

    • Quirky, entertaining personality

    Negative Traits:

    • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Needs early socialization to accept other pets and strangers

    • Aggressive toward other animals

    • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

    • Willful and stubborn if you don’t show strong leadership

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Jack Russell Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Jack Russell Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the Jack Russell Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

    Some health concerns a Jack Russell Terrier could encounter:

    Eye Problems

    Displaced Lens

    Glaucoma

    Cataracts

    Liver Problems

    Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's)

  • History

    The Jack Russell Terrier was developed in England in the 1800’s and was bred for fox hunting and vermin control. The Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier are separate breeds that are closely related; the JRT is shorter and boxier with more of the working characteristics of the original breed. The JRT is a small, feisty terrier that is fiercely loyal and can become possessive of her human owner. Jack Russell Terriers are excellent escape artists that can climb, jump, or dig under fences. She has a high prey drive and will chase any small animal that runs away from her. The Jack Russell Terrier is amusing and friendly: a great companion for an active family.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Jack Russell Terrier shows signs of the following:

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Painful eye, excessive tearing, eyes may appear asymmetric or cloudy

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

    • Drinks and urinates more, eats more, potbelly, poor haircoat

    • Gums that are a color other than bright pink

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

    • Greasy, hairless patches on skin and redness in ears

    • Shortness of breath, cough, or fainting

    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

    • Repetitive, compulsive whirling

Jack Russell Terrier Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Jack Russell Terrier breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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