Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed

Country of Origin: Great Britain
Height: 10–12 inches
Weight: 11 to 13 pounds
Coat: Three types, all of which are weatherproof—smooth/rough/broken
Colors: White predominating with black and/or tan markings; also solid white
Registries (with Group): KC (Terrier)

Origin and History

In Devonshire, England, in the 1800s, the Parson John "Jack" Russell began breeding terriers for use in foxhunting. Using Fox Terriers and possibly small Beagles and bull-and-terrier-type dogs, he developed a strain of terrier that he felt was best suited to accompany his foxhounds—running along beside them until the fox went to ground, at which time the terrier could chase after and bolt the fox from its den. His terriers needed to be bold enough to go to ground, yet restrained enough not to kill the prey and ruin the hunt. By the end of the 19th century, terriers were used less for foxhunting (which had become prohibitively expensive) and were instead carried to fox and badger dens to kill or pull out quarry. During this time, all sorts of terriers were lumped together as "Jack Russell Terriers," whether or not they possessed Parson Jack's ideal of intelligence, stable temperament, and physical traits. Luckily for the breed, in 1904, a group of terrier fanciers in southern England was determined to save the Jack Russell Terrier and set the breed standard for the type favored by Russell.

Personality Profile

The Jack Russell Terrier is up for any challenge and any game. If he's busy on the hunt, he is fearless and single-minded; at home, he is an enthusiastic companion, ready to explore and engage in any family activity. He isn't shy about requesting attention, and he will practically insist on being in the center of things. Fun-loving, frisky, sporty, eager, and handsome, the Jack Russell Terrier is a great companion for someone who shares his enthusiasm for the outdoors and adventure.

Care Requirements


He must get several long walks daily, preferably to places where he can keep his hunting instincts alive—he will sniff down every hole and explore around every fallen branch. He is active and alert, and the occasional stroll will not satisfy his physical or mental needs for stimulation.


All three types of coats—smooth, wire, and broken—are easy to keep clean with occasional brushing and combing.

Life Span

12 to 14 years.


The intelligent Jack Russell Terrier is also independent minded. For training to work, it needs to be highly focused to keep him motivated. Short, frequent sessions with well-timed rewards are best. Socialization from puppyhood is important to develop his social skills and manners.

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