Breed overview the Jack Russell terrier

by Amy Cooper
Jack Russell Terrier

Are you considering getting a Jack Russell terrier? Or are you just interested in the breed? Well this is the perfect place to start! This post is a short summary of the Jack Russell terrier breed characteristics from their size to how much exercise they need.

Breed overview

JRT holding a stick

Jack Russell terriers were originally bred to keep down vermin in homes so are classed as a working breed. Since they were bred to deter/get rid of vermin they are a small breed standing at 10”-12” to the withers, weighing between 4 and 7 Kg with a lifespan of 10+ years. They have a short coat meaning that they need minimal grooming but will shed lots! The main breed standard colours are white with black markings, white with black/tan markings and white with tan markings. However, there are many more colour combinations.

Grooming

As I mentioned above Jack Russell terriers need very little grooming. So, will need the occasional brush (about once a week) and bath. But they do shed a LOT so it will be beneficial to brush them more during shedding season. Obviously, Jack Russell terriers will also need their nails trimmed and teeth cleaned regularly exactly the same as all other dogs. 

Exercise

Dog stood on tree roots
Photo taken by – Amy Cooper

As Jack Russell terriers are a working breed they need a reasonable amount of exercise, ideally 1 hour a day. Not only do they need physical exercise like walking or running but also mental stimulation. This can be done by training, which your Jack Russell terrier will love (even if they are a bit stubborn sometimes) or using puzzle toys. 

Health

Generally, Jack Russell terriers are quite a robust breed. However, unfortunately like most purebred dogs they are prone to some health conditions. These include problems with knees, eyes and balance/coordination. However, all good breeders have both parents genetically tested/screened for these problems. This means that when you buy a puppy you know it’s got a much smaller chance of developing these problems when its older. 

Temperament

Dog playing in stream
Photo taken by – Amy Cooper

Despite their bad reputation Jack Russell terriers are actually a very good all-round family pet. As they are energetic, spirited and packed full of personality. They are very intelligent, but their independent nature can make training a bit more challenging. So, keep training sessions short, fun and engaging! Jack Russell terriers also generally have a natural prey drive so will need good and consistent recall training. 

So, overall Jack Russell terriers are a small dog with a giant personality! They are hunting/working dogs so need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. But they are well worth the effort. As long as you exercise them sufficiently you will have a goofy, loving and loyal friend. 

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