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Jack Russell Terrier


Life span: 12-16 Years

Height: 10 – 15 inches

Weight: 14 – 18 lbs.

Originally developed for Fox hunting, the Jack Russell Terrier is a small breed of Terrier that grows to 12” tall at the shoulders. Even though it is short in stature, the Jack Russell is a hard working dog that is capable of significant feats of strength. Its smooth coat is weatherproof, and this helps to protect it from harsh weather elements. Russell Terriers typically come in colors, such as black, and white and tan.

This energetic dog is extremely playful with its family, and is perfect for an active owner. However, they do not get along well with small children, and react poorly to being harmed, even if it is accidentally.

Physical Characteristics

Their ears are medium sized and fold down, and their tail is short and curls over their backs. Its eyes are brown with a black nose. The coat can be one of three types: smooth, rough or broken. Rough coats are harsher to touch and dense. Broken coats have a length in between the rough and smooth coats, and may have a ridge going down its back. Coat color should be mostly white with black or brown markings.


Reverend John Russell, who lived in Devonshire, gave this breed its name. He bred them to hunt foxes, as it was his passion. His first terrier, named Trump, was said to be the ancestor to the rest of his terriers. At the time, they were also called Parson Russell Terriers, or Parson Terriers. They are not considered purebred, given that their standards vary greatly and that their genetic makeup is quite broad. Initially, many breeders did not want the breed to be recognized by the American Kennel Club, seeing as there already was a Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, but a small group did want the recognition. This small group formed the Parson Russell Terrier Association of the United States, becoming the parent club for the breed in the AKC. In 1997, they were recognized by the AKC, and in 2003 their name was changed to Parson Russell Terrier.


This friendly breed is extremely affectionate with its family. Its energetic nature makes it a very playful companion, perfect for an active family. If bored, it will resort to destructive behavior and become extremely loud. They get along well with older children, but might be too rough for smaller kids, especially given that it might react aggressively to being harmed, even if accidentally. They get along well with other dogs but see smaller pets as prey.


This breed is relatively healthy, but may suffer from:

  • Deafness, complete loss of hearing since birth.
  • Legg-Perthes is a disease caused by the lack of blood reaching the femur bone, causing the cartilage around it to crack and for the bone to eventually collapse, affecting the hip joint, and noticeable through the dog limping.
  • Luxating Patella, in which the kneecaps may dislocate or move from its proper place.
  • Glaucoma, which causes pressure to build up in the eye and may lead to blindness or cause severe harm in just a few hours. Symptoms can include squinting, red eyes, tearing, eye rubbing, etc. It must be treated as soon as possible.
  • Lens Luxation, in which the ligament that holds the lens eye in place deteriorates, causing it to fall out of place. It can be treated through surgery, but in severe cases the eye might need to be removed.


They should be brushed once a week, their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are highly energetic and therefore need plenty of daily exercise. Training can be relatively easy given that they are extremely intelligent. However, this also causes them to bore easily, so training sessions should be short and entertaining.


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