Jack Russell Terrier Information

A sturdy, tough terrier, very much on its toes all the time. The body length must be in proportion to the height, and it should present a compact, balanced image, always being in solid, hard condition. The head should be well balanced and in proportion to the body. The skull should be flat, of moderate width at the ears, narrowing to the eyes. There should be a defined stop, which is the transition area from backskull to muzzle, but not overpronounced. The length of the muzzle from the nose to the stop should be slightly shorter than the distance from the stop to the occiput. The nose should be black. The jaw should be powerful and well boned with strongly muscled cheeks. Eyes Should be almond shaped, dark in color and full of life and intelligence. The ears are small “V” shaped drop ears carried forward close to the head and of moderate thickness. Mouth Strong teeth with the top slightly overlapping the lower. Two bites are acceptable; level and scissor – scissor being preferred. The neck is clean and muscular, of good length, gradually widening at the shoulders. The shoulders should be sloping and well laid back, fine at points and clearly cut at the withers. Forelegs should be strong and straight boned with joints in correct alignment. Elbows hanging perpendicular to the body and working free of the sides. The chest should be shallow, narrow and the front legs not too widely apart, giving an athletic, rather than heavily chested appearance. As a guide only, the chest should be small enough to be easily spanned behind the shoulders, by average sized hands, when the terrier is in a fit, working condition. The back should be strong, straight and, in comparison to the height of the terrier, give a balanced image. The loin should be slightly arched. The hindquarters should be strong and muscular, well put together with good angulation and bend of stifle, giving plenty of drive and propulsion. Looking from behind, the hocks must be straight. The feet are round, hard padded, wide, of cat-like appearance, neither turning in nor out. The tail should be set rather high, carried gaily and in proportion to body length, usually about four inches long, providing a good hand-hold. The coat is smooth, without being so sparse as not to provide a certain amount of protection from the elements and undergrowth. Rough or broken coated, without being woolly. Colors, white should predominate (i.e., must be more than 51% white) with tan, black, or brown markings. Brindle markings are unacceptable. Gait movement should be free, lively, well coordinated with straight action in front and behind. Old scars or injuries, the result of work or accident, should not be allowed to prejudice a terrier’s chance in the show ring unless they interfere with its movement or with its utility for work or stud. An Irish-type called Jack Russell Shortys have shorter legs than the English-type.

The Jack Russell Terrier is a cheerful, merry, devoted, and loving dog.  Spirited and obedient, yet absolutely fearless.  Careful and amusing, he enjoys games and playing with toys.  Stable Jack’s are friendly and generally kind to children. Children should be taught not to tease or hit the dog.  They are intelligent, and if you let them take an inch, they can become willful and determined to take a mile. It is paramount that you are this dogs pack leader. He needs to be given rules to follow, and limitations as to what he is and is not allowed to do. Do not let this little dog fall into Small Dog Syndrome, where he believes he is pack leader to all humans. This is where varying degrees of behavior problems will arise, including, but not limited to guarding, snapping, separation anxiety, and obsessive barking. They are highly trainable, able to perform impressive tricks. They have been used on TV and in the movies. However, if you do not show authority towards the dog , they can be difficult to train. They need a firm, experienced trainer.  Jacks who have been allowed to take over can be aggressive with other dogs. Some have killed or been killed in dog fights.  Be sure to socialize the Jack. They have strong hunting instincts (stronger than your average terrier) and should not be trusted with other small animals. This hunting dog likes to chase, explore, bark and dig. Only let them off lead if they are well trained or in a safe area. Will get restless and destructive if they do not receive enough exercise and activities to occupy their keen minds. Jack Russells climb, which means they can climb over a fence, they also jump. A Jack that stands 12 inches high can easily jump five feet. JRTs are not the breed for a inexperienced dog owner. The owner needs to be as strong-willed as they are, or this little guy will take over.  With the right owner the Jack can really excel, but is not recommended for those who do not understand what it means to be a dogs true pack leader. Jacks who are mentally stable, with all of their canine instincts met, will not display these negative behaviors. They are not traits of the Jack Russell, but rather human brought on behaviors, which are a result of inefficient leadership, along with a lack of mental and physical stimulation. They will thrive with a job to do. The Jack Russell Terrier must present a lively, active and alert appearance. It should impress with its fearless and happy disposition. It should be remembered that the Jack Russell is a working terrier and should retain these instincts. Nervousness, cowardice or over-aggressiveness should be discouraged and it should always appear confident.

Height, Weight
Height: 10-15 inches (25-38 cm)
Weight: 14-18 pounds (6-8 kg)

Health Problems
Some are prone to dislocation of the kneecaps, inherited eye diseases, deafness, Legg Perthes-a disease of the hip joints of small breeds of dogs.

Living Conditions
The Jack Russell Terrierwill do okay in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. They are very active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.

The Jack Russell Terrier is a pleasant companion when it is sufficiently exercised; however if they do not get enough, they may become a nuisance. They need to be taken on a long, daily, brisk walk. In addition, he will be in his glory with space to run, hunt and play.

If the Jack is left alone during the day be it in an appartment or a house, they should be well exercised before the human leaves for work by taking them on a long pack walk or jog, and then taken out again when they return home.
Life Expectancy
About 15 or more years.

All coat types are easy to groom. Comb and brush regularly with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. To show, owners must strip the coat. Like the rough coat, the broken coated Jack needs to be stripped out also.

The breed was named after a clergyman named Rev. John Russell. They were used as a small game hunting dog particularly for red fox, digging the quarry out of its den in the mid-1800s. On English hunts, the dogs needed to be long-legged enough to keep up with the hounds.  Breeders had emphasized its working ability, so the standard was very broad, allowing a wide range of accepted body types. Not happy with this wide variety of working type Jacks, as of April 1st 2003 the Jack Russell Terrier Association of America, was changed to the Parson Russell Terrier Association of America. The working types remained Jack Russels while the American show types became known as the Parson Russell Terrier. Some of the Jack Russell’s talents include: hunting, tracking, agility, and performing tricks.

FCI, ANKC, IKC, recognize the shorts as Jack Russell Terriers and the UKC recognized the shorts as Russell Terriers. The Parsons are the long legged Jack Russell Terriers named officially Parsons Russell Terriers. The Jack Russell Terrier and the Russell Terrier are the same breed but are entirely a separate breed from the Parsons Russell Terrier.

The Irish Kennel Club has recognized the Jack Russell Terrier in Ireland adopting the FCI standard for the breed. At one time the AKC recognized the Jack Russel Terrier, however as of April 1st 2003 they changed the name to Parson Russel Terrier. The breed split into two breeds and now the Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell Terriers are considered two different breeds. The Parson’s name change is in great part to a lawsuit from the JRTCA to the AKC, when the breed was first allowed registration.

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