Anyone who has ever met me in person will know that I absolutely love Jack Russell terriers! Yep, I’m crazy about ’em! Energetic and cute, there is never a dull moment when a JRT is around.
Introducing the Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell terrier is a small breed of dog that is popular as a pet, but has origins in fox hunting. They are known for being lively and athletic, as well as spunky and tough. The JRT makes an excellent family pet since they love people and children, even strangers.
They are intelligent and easy to train, but they do have a stubborn streak. Because of their strong prey drive, they are not suitable for households with smaller animals.
Jack Russell Terrier History
The Jack Russell terrier (JRT) has its origins in fox hunting as a form of vermin extermination. One story tells that the breed was developed by Reverend John Russell in the early 1800s, while another credits William Cook. Some sources indicate that the JRT descends from crosses between the old hunt terrier and other stock such as fox terriers and greyhounds.
Playful and Active
Although they are a “small” dog, Jack Russell Terriers can be very energetic, so it is best to have a large, fenced-in area where they can run without restraint. For this reason, they are not good dogs for city dwellers.
The JRT is an active breed with lots of energy and stamina. They need both physical and mental stimulation, so playing games like fetch or hide-and-seek will help keep them from getting bored. However, they should not be given too much exercise in the heat of the day or at very young ages (particularly 3 to 4 months), as they are prone to orthopedic problems due to their small size and rapid growth.
Jacks love balls and squeaky toys almost as much as they love spending time with their family. They also excel at agility training and most other dog sports. Extremely people-oriented and loyal, the Jack Russell Terrier has become a favorite of celebrities looking for a small, loving, and entertaining dog.
Jack Russell Terrier Temperament
The Jack Russell Terrier is energetic, alert, inquisitive, spunky and tough. They have a natural hunting instinct that makes them good at tracking small animals as well as larger game like deer or boar. They are not afraid of water either which makes them a good choice for water-retrieving breeds.
Training and Socialisation
Jack Russell terriers love to please and are easy to train. They do not need as much socialisation as some terrier breeds, but should still be exposed early on to different people, places and situations to avoid behavioural problems down the road. Because of their high prey drive, they can be aggressive towards smaller animals, so it is best to socialize them with other dogs and pets early on.
Jack Russell Terrier Energy Level
The Jack Russell Terrier’s high energy level can be a blessing and a curse. It is great when it comes to playing, working or learning new things. However, they are very bored if they are left alone for too long. These pups have an average life-span of 12 to 14 years.
Jack Russell Terrier Health Issues
The Jack Russell Terrier is a sturdy little dog and most go through life with relatively few health problems. However, they may be prone to hypothyroidism, ear infections, skin allergies and eye disorders such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Other conditions that this breed is susceptible to include Von Willebrand’s disease, Patellar Luxation, diabetes and epilepsy.
Remember to get your dog vaccinated. Attend annual checkup and have a regular worming and free treatment schedule.
Funny and Famous
Rich in history, the JRT has been featured in a variety of films including “101 Dalmatians,” “Dante’s Inferno” and “The Mask.” I also love the Jack Russell in the comedy TV show Frasier.