Jack Russell

Also known as: Jack Russell Terrier, Jack, JRT
  • Jack Russell
  • Jack russell

General description

Jack Russell Terriers will easily adjust to apartment living but they require outdoor spaces where they can interact. A breed that doesn't enjoy being alone and displays great affection towards its family and all children. The Jack Russell Terrier is capable of behaving adequately around strangers and other dogs, and it is generally healthy throughout its entire life. The breed is not particularly inclined to gain weight but it requires daily exercise. Maintenance cost are standard for a dog this size.

Jack Russell in short

  • Group 3: Terriers
  • Height from 25 to 38 cm
  • Weight from 6 to 8 kg
  • Longevity from 13 to 16 years

Aspect and attributes

Characteristics accepts by FCI:

  • Colors: fawn, white, black
  • Hair: smooth, rough
  • Coats: broken

It is easy to describe a Jack Russell as a small dog but it may be more appropriate to highlight how well proportioned it is. A Jack Russell's head is perfectly harmonious with the rest of the body which displays rather compact features. The chest in this type of dog is not very wide yet quite deep and defined by the straight horizontal line of the spine. The lower back area is very typical of the breed and, unlike the front of the body, it features a well shaped muscular structure.

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Costs and maintenance

Maintenance cost for a Jack Russell is pretty much within the ideal average of any breed this size. Although this type of dog doesn't require special coat care, it is essential to monitor its daily activities and inspect the cleanliness of areas such as the paws and tail. A usually healthy breed that doesn't eat large amounts of food. All in all, the Jack Russell Terrier doesn't require high expenditures but simple and regular checkups that are essential with any pet.

Average maintenance cost

Characteristics Summary


Suitability to apartment life

The size and great adaptability to various environments, both domestic and outdoors, make the Jack Russell Terrier fairly suitable to live in apartment. However, this disposition will only display when the owner can provide the Jack Russell with some daily outdoor activity. Given the high energy levels, this breed can become quite destructive and develop unwanted behaviors if left alone too long.

Moderately suitable for apartment life

Tolerance for solitude

Jack Russell Terrier have very little tolerance for solitude. This breed loves taking advantage of the environment to interact with all family members and does not have a tendency to remain inactive for too long. This inclination is a risk to its wellbeing and the house. Nevertheless, a well behaved Jack Russell can withstand being alone in the house for a certain amount of time. To avoid causing further discomfort and prevent separation anxiety from arising, owners should remember to leave the radio on when leave so that their Jack Russell has something to interact with while the master is away.

Low tolerance for solitude

Suitable as first pet

Raising a Jack Russell is a big responsibility. And this duty makes this breed quite unsuitable for inexperienced owners. This is a demanding type of dog that is capable of communicating on different levels and requires multiple techniques in order to be responsibly raised. Inexperienced owners may find it challenging to develop adequate behaviors for such a breed in various contexts, especially in public settings where other dogs may be present.

Jack Russell Terriers are not quite suitable as first dogs


Despite appearing shy and helpless, the temperament of a Jack Russell is that of a soldier. Some behaviors displayed by this breed may appear "extreme" such as the tendency to bark. A reason why dealing with a Jack Russell requires a firm training method. Obviously, there is no need to go too far. In this respect, Jack Russell Terriers are capable of handling a rather strong reprimand.

The Jack Russell Terrier has quite a tolerant temperament

Tolerance for cold temperatures

The Jack Russell breed developed in different phases. In the past, the breed has almost always been used to hunt as it was perfectly trained to chase and retrieve objects and animals. Nowadays, the Jack Russell is better as a companion pet and, despite a fairly short fur and tiny build this breed can perfectly sustain really cold temperatures. Jack Russell Terriers have a high tolerance to cold weather.

High tolerance for low temperatures

Tolerance for high temperatures

Jack Russell Terriers are also pretty tolerant in overly warm climates. The agility of a Jack Russell is quite helpful even when it has to interact in rather hot environments. A short coat is another reason that makes it possible. Nevertheless, it is essential to understand that a Jack Russell cannot engage in extreme efforts when the weather is overly muggy. Ensuring your Jack Russell has easy access to water and food is a way of overcoming this problem.

Moderately tolerant to hot weather

Friendliness and sociability

Affection towards family

Jack Russell Terriers are great companion dogs. They easily become integrating part of the family environment. This particular disposition is facilitated by the Jack Russell's ability to use time spent with the family to initiate interaction and games. Moreover, the same inclination is quite obvious throughout the day when a Jack Russell Terrier will prefer to spend time with the family, both at home or outside. Such a relationship will only grow stronger if your Jack Russell pet is enabled to interact in various and engaging ways.

Absolute affection towards the family

Friendly towards children

A beautiful loving relationship that sometimes may be even too obvious. Jack Russell Terriers are also ideal playmates for children, provided that are not too young and of certain physical build. Despite being small in size, the Jack Russell can be quite boisterous during playtime and some behaviors may be unsuitable for very young kids. Needless to say that adult supervision as a form of control is essential during this kind of interaction.

Very friendly towards children

Relationship with strangers

People that aren't properly fond of dogs may be quite uncomfortable around this breed. Jack Russell Terriers are highly reactive dogs that can misunderstand a certain behavior in a stranger. This high energy level must be closely monitored by Jack Russell owners, especially in public places amongst other reactive animals or people that may be fearful even of dogs apparently harmless such as the Jack Russell.

Very tolerant towards strangers

Friendliness towards other dogs

It is important to keep a few aspects in mind when referring to a dog's ability to make friends or simply socialize with other dogs. Amongst these factors we find the opportunity given to a Jack Russell puppy of being exposed to proper socialization starting at a young age. Generally, if Jack Russell Terriers are allowed to socialize early on will maintain adequate interaction with any other dog.

Jack Russell Terriers are highly sociable towards other dogs

Care and health

Coat care and shedding

One of the unique advantages of the breed. Featuring a fairly short fur and little shedding. In this respect, this is one of the traits that make the Jack Russell Terrier perfect around people that may not be so fond of dogs due to allergies, or for those especially demanding owners who prefer living in apartments that should always be clean in areas such as the bedroom.

Minimum shedding for the Jack Russell Terrier

Salivation and drooling restraint level

The Jack Russell Terrier is perfectly within average as it regards limiting the amount of saliva. This small pet is actually a champion displaying high levels of reactivity. These are exactly the times when Jack Russell Terriers can efficiently restrain the amount of drooling. As the owner may soon notice, there are no intense event in this regard. This reaction will mainly limit to typical circumstances such as when your Jack Russell is very excited or when mealtime is approaching. Even in these situations, drooling will be very minimum.

Dribbling restraint within average

Easiness to clean

When talking about the Jack Russell Terrier we must always consider this breed's passion for outdoor activities. The Jack Russell Terrier loves digging and a direct consequence of this daily activity is to unwillingly bring dirt into the house, which may also ruin its fairly light-toned coat. This is when daily and consistent inspections are essential. There is no other advice, other than checking the mouth area and tail following meals and daily walks.

Ease of cleanliness within average

Health and diseases

Jack Russell Terriers are fairly "compact" in size and despite not being physically dashing they have a very strong health. The ability to adjust to any kind of climate enables the Jack Russell to enjoy a good level of health throughout its entire life. In particular, deafness may affect Jack Russell Terriers depending on the color of their fur (case studies show that white coated individuals seem to be more subject) and certain eye issues may also display in the breed, although with less impact.

Jack Russell Terriers are generally in good health throughout their entire life

Tendency to gain weight

As it regards a Jack Russell's inclination to gain weight there are no real concerns. This type of dog is a small athlete that loves spending its time training in different activities. This disposition goes a long way in maintaining good health throughout its life and it's connected to a Jack Russell's tendency to consume a standard amount of food without exceeding. Nevertheless, a little extra care should be given to ensure your Jack doesn't have easy access to alternative sources of food.

High inclination to remain fit

Learning skills

Intelligence and training

Jack Russell Terriers are first of all clever and greatly intelligent dogs. These features are displayed in the variety of activities the breed can develop while interacting with the owner. This type of dog enjoys playing with objects and working with the master. Such a disposition should be exploited during training which may seem a little complex in certain aspects but helps increase the unspoken talent that makes the Jack Russell Terrier one of the most appreciated breeds.

Great intelligence displayed during training

Loyalty and inclination to escape

As far as a Jack Russell's tendency to escape, the following advice should be taken as impartial considering this breed's skills: a fence or medium-height enclosure won't be a sufficient restraint. The Jack Russell Terrier is capable of digging or escaping any type of "prison". This is one of its numerous talents. This is why Jack Russell owners must facilitate their pet's adjustment to the home environment in order to avoid chasing it around the block. Adequate training can help soften the inclination to run away.

Strong tendency to escape

Inclination to bite

There are no particular concerns in this regard. Most of a dog's abilities to control its own bite are connected to the owner teaching the pet to only resort to this action in the appropriate context and in the right way. Jack Russell Terriers are passionate about playing in different ways and amongst these there is also nipping, although they are perfectly aware of the boundaries in this kind of interaction. This is not a natural skill in a Jack Russell and therefore interaction should always happen under the vigilant eye of the owner, especially around children.

Great self-control of nipping

Hunt drive

Jack Russell owners should always remember that their dog was originally bred to hunt. This ancient disposition is still present in the nature of the breed but it is less obvious and only connected to the training technique chosen in certain contexts. As many other breeds, Jack Russell Terriers are intrigued by small animals roaming around. Using a leash will be enough of a restraint for your Jack's inclination to engage in certain types of activities.

Strong hunting drive

Inclination to bark or howl

A true pain in the neck for any Jack Russell owner. In case you own such a breed and live in an apartment block, get ready to move. We may be exaggerating a little but it is safe to say that this type of dog loves to have a "conversation" in different situations, although this trait is connected to the level of interaction created with your Jack. It's important to note that this behavior can be adequately adjusted through training during your pet's first few months.

High tendency to bark or howl

Exercise requirements

Energy level

A Jack Russell Terrier would do anything to show off the great responsiveness that defines the breed. This type of dog is almost impossible to stop in certain times of the day. The physical build of a Jack Russell Terrier provides it with great agility and it features high levels of energy that remain stable throughout the whole interaction. A Jack Russell needs to apply to some sort of physical exercise that focuses on releasing stress build-up.

Extremely high energy levels


The muscular structure in a Jack Russell Terrier is adequate to this breed's great strength. This type of dog is the exemplification of the saying "where there is will, there is a way". A Jack Russell can display responsiveness and strength in a number of occasions. Some of these will be a pleasant surprises as there is nothing better than seeing a dog responding perfectly during daily interaction however others may be slightly undesirable. A reason why it's important to always monitor the kind of interaction in which your Jack Russell is engaged. Under all aspects.

High degree of strength

Exercise requirements

Jack Russell Terriers need to exercise on a daily basis, at least twice per day. Owners must be able to spend around 30-45 minutes per day exercising their pet. The reasons underlying this requirement are many and related to the Jack Russell's physical and mental health both to overcome stress built up during time spent at home and to ensure it burns off any excess fat accumulate through its diet.

Strong need for exercise

Tendency to play

As the greatly intelligent breed it is, the Jack Russell Terrier displays an inclination to develop a variety of activities during playtime. This breed is fond of playing with different kind of objects and will always be up for discovering new activities during its daily walks with the owner. Playing is an absolute necessity for a Jack Russell and it should always happen under the owner's careful observation, especially to create new games that the Jack won't find boring or repetitive.

Maximum drive to play

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