The Jack Russell terrier is a vivacious and entertaining companion for outdoor-loving owners with active lifestyles and big hearts.

If you are thinking of adopting a dog but don’t know which breed to go with you should take a good long look at the Jack Russell terrier.

These dogs are fun, cute, and full of energy.

If you’re still on the fence about which breed of dog you are going to adopt here are a few things you should know about the Jack Russell terrier.

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Jack Russell Terriers Puppy: Breed Information

Hypoallergenic: No
Life span: 13 – 16 years
Mass: 6.4 – 8.2 kg (Adult)
Origin: England
Common nicknames: Jack Russell; JRT; Jack
Temperament: Intelligent, Stubborn, Energetic, Bold, Lively, Fearless, Keen, Alert, Athletic, Active, Vocal

Jack Russell Terriers


  • Tolerates Cold Weather
  • Affectionate with family
  • Kid-friendly
  • Dog friendly
  • Good Health
  • Easy to train
  • Intelligent


  • Potential for mouthiness
  • High prey drive
  • Tendency to bark
  • Potential for weight gain
  • Shedding


This dog was named after Reverend John Jackrussell an avid fox hunter who bred hunting dogs in England during the mid-1800s.

The breed has since been renamed. Sort of three times. Confused?

We were too. Here’s the lowdown.

The Jack Russell terrier was the first hunting dog that reverend Russell bred. After his death, the breed evolved into the parson terrier. Parson as in reverend.

Parson Terrier breed had longer legs12 to 15 inches versus the Jack Russell terriers 10 to 12. It was an intentional development. So the dogs could better navigate the hillier areas where they hunted.

The Russell terrier is the newest offshoot of the reverend’s original terrier breed also known as a shorty JRT. The breed has the shortest legs of all three types of lineage 8 to 12 inches tall.

Among the three breeds, two look-alike with a few differences such as their body height and shape. The parson terrier has a square body while the JRT and the shorty JRT have rectangular bodies.

These lively little dogs have won thousands of hearts over the last few centuries with their loyal devotion and dauntless demeanor.

Jack Russell Terrier: Temperament

jack russell terrier breed guide

The Jack Russell terrier is a typical terrier; lively, alert, active, fury, and intelligent.

  • They are bold and fearless, friendly. But confident as a very playful and sociable dog.
  • They are extremely energetic and hyperactive with the need for a lot of exercise.
  • They enjoy long walks.
  • Although it is advised not to let them off the lead in a forest unless you want to find them digging into a borrow. 

Amazing Jumpers

One of the most amazing things about the Jack Russell terrier is his ability to jump.

The average Jack Russell terrier is capable of jumping five times its height. This means that if a Jack Russell terrier is 12 inches tall that he can jump an amazing five feet in the air.

The more you get these dogs excited the higher they will jump.

Jack Russell Terrier Training

Jack Russell terrier is an excellent dog breed. You can teach them many tricks and commands. The limit is your creativity.

They understand and memorize new commands in 5 to 15 repetitions. This breed obeys the first command 85% of the time or better.

Jack Russell terriers need training when they are all still pups. They are very intelligent and they can often outsmart their owners. They have the instinct to hunt and run.

Jack Russells Have Extreme Energy

If you’re going to adopt a Jack Russell terrier you need to make sure that you have the room for him to run around.

Even though he is a small breed dog he needs a lot of room. Because of this, the Jack Russell terrier is not the best dog if you live in a small home or apartment.

They are strong enough to escape from home and have a strong desire for exploring the world. Safer to walk them on a leash unless you teach them how to get back to you on command. 


This dog does not require too much grooming. Brushing him occasionally and giving him a bath when necessary is all he needs.

Since he is a shedder be prepared to vacuum often. The more you brush your dog the less he will shed.

The Jack Russell terrier comes in three types of coats each of which is waterproof.

  • Dogs with a smooth coat have short hair that clings to their body.
  • Dogs with rough coats have long hair.
  • Finally, there are dogs with broken coats who have a mixture of the two.

 Are Great With Kids

If you’re looking for an extremely kid-friendly dog the Jack Russell terrier is the best choice. Because this breed of dog is so hyper and active. And they love to run and play.

They will make an excellent addition to any family that has children.

If you have the space to let your kids and Jack Russell terrier run around and play. The whole family will be happy.

The Jack Russell terrier can be a great addition to any family. They are full of personality, life, and energy.

He Needs Sunscreen

Even though the Jack Russell terrier has fur it does not mean that he is safe from the sun’s rays.

Because his light-colored fur can get a sunburn, it is a good idea to put some protection on his skin if he is going to be out in the sun for a while.

If he does get a burn you can buy aloe to soothe the burn that is made specifically for dogs.

You may feel silly slopping a handful of sunscreen on your Jack Russell terrier. However, it is in his best interest. The last thing you want is your little buddy getting a sunburn while playing outside. 

Sensitivity level

They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally.

Jack Russell terriers don’t tolerate irregular daily routines, noisy households, and frequent guest visits.

Well, they are receptive to their owner’s emotions and make wonderful family companions.

Are Dog Friendly

Jack Russell terriers are dog-friendly.

If you want more dogs in your family the Jack Russell terrier can be a great choice.


How often you walk your dog is entirely down to your routine.

Many dog owners choose to walk their dogs twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening. But you might be able to walk them even more regularly.

Whatever you choose routine is important to keep your dog happy. And ensuring they get enough exercise each day.

If your Jack Russell gets walked by multiple people it can be much easier to keep track when you have a pit-pat dog activity monitor. You’ll be able to see whether they’ve had enough exercise that day and take them out for an extra evening walk.

Very Active Dog

Anyone who has experience with this breed will tell you that they love to move, run, play, and generally be alive. This is a good trait because it means that they’ll keep you busy.

But if you are someone who has never had a dog before or even kids you may find his constant energy a little hard to get used to at first.

The thing to remember is that he won’t just grow out of it. He’ll want to play and rough house every day. And you need to make sure you commit the time to do that.

Very Agile

As far as skills go a Jack Russell is very agile. They love to move quickly. And you will be impressed with how they jump and hop from spot to spot.

This will be fun for you and him while training and playing. Especially for agility where they are rock stars.

These dogs tend to be similar to cats in terms of their structure and physical skills.

They are great dogs for people who love to be outside and exploring. Your dog will easily keep up with you.

Jack Russell’s Affection Level

Jack Russell terriers are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.

They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity. And are considered a great therapy dog for those in need.

This breed responds strongly to their handler’s emotions because they bond closely. 

Expressive Face

These dogs have an expressive face that makes them perfect for tv. There are several famous Jack Russell terriers on television.

One of the most common was a dog named Soccer who landed the role of the wishbone. He went on to play in 50 episodes and even starred in the film wishbone’s dog days of the west. This is just one of the several famous Jack Russell terriers. 


The Jack Russell terrier is a very vocal breed, not the best choice if you prefer a quiet breed. They often enjoy barking and howling loudly.

They can change their barks depending on their emotional level. And what they’re trying to say. Different barks could mean the same and the same barks could have a different meaning.

The top reasons for barking are protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, or compulsive barking.

They are very good watchdogs

Their main job is to observe. And they’re consistent in their effort.

Usually, they are territorial and protective about their property. So the jack Russell terriers will alert you if they sense something different