Jack Russel

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There's some great Jack Russell Terrier information (also knows as the Parson Jack Russell Terrier) in these pages to help you to decide if a Jack Russell is right for you or if you are trying to solve a problem you are having with your dog.

For my own part, I'll never own another breed of dog than the Jack Russell. They are just incredible dogs that get right next to you with an intimacy that is not matched by any other dog I've ever found.  

But to give you more of an inside look into the spirit of these little dynamos (think big dog attitude in a little body), the pages below will tell you more.  You can also use the search box on the upper left side of this page to search over 1,000! reader submitted Jack Russell FAQs (frequently asked questions) and suggestions from the tens of thousands of Jack lovers that visit this site.  Some additional resources for Jack Russell Terrier information are listed below as well.

Jack Russell Temperament

Are Jack Russells Good With Kids, Toddlers and the entire Family?

Jack Russell Terrier Behavior

Housebreaking Tips

Jack Russell Terrier Personality

Jack Russell Health Problems

The Dog Tics and Traits of the Napoleon of Dogs

Napoleon Dog

Is A Jack Russell the Right Pet For You?

But are you ready for a dog that is a little Napoleon Bonaparte?

Before you can make that decision, let us begin with just the basic facts about Jack Russells.

The table below offers those basic facts:


Jack Russell Terrier Information:
The Basic Facts

Breed: Terrier
Size: 10 - 15 inches
Weight: 9 - 18 pounds
Coat Color: White with black, tan, or black & tan markings
Coat Type: Smooth, wire or broken coat, weather resistant
Origination: England
Nicknames: Puddin', Puds, Shorties
Lifespan: 13 - 18 years


The Dog With The Napoleon Complex

The thing I've observed in my dog Jimbo, is that he's highly, highly territorial. In all the 9 years I've owned him, his first task of the day is to mark the entire yard with his scent. The rest of the day is spent guarding that territory...and he takes that job very seriously!

When other dogs encroach upon that territory, no matter the size or breed, he is immediate in his response...with bristled hair, tail straight up, head held down, eyes glaringly pointed and focused on the intruder...marching forward.

Big dogs respond with a very bewildered expression, as if to say..."Do you realize I could crush you with one bite, you little jerk?"

jack russell terrier personality But this fearlessness, a trademark trait of the Jack Russell, can be referred to as the 'Napoleon Complex'.

And it can be so convincing in its vicious stance that I have, on several occasions, witnessed dogs three times his size flee for their lives!

...And as they ran away, that same look of bewilderment still on their faces!

But this apparent unawareness of their small size can get them into some dangerous situations...because not all of the dogs turned tails to run. There have been several times that Napoleon met with Waterloo...and I had to pull Jimbo from the jaws of Admiral Nelson!


Jack Russell Information Basics

The Jack Russell has been historically bred as a hunting dog that can work well below the ground. Standards for the breed are set by the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, which works to protect the integrity of the breed.  The club was started in 1976.  The goal of the club is to register and maintain characteristic traits such as work ethic and character.

The breed is bred to be active and alert, as well as fearless and happy. This is not to say that the Jack Russell is an aggressive dog, as it is not.  Think of it as confidence. As a hunting dog, they are also bred to have the stamina for the hund, to react quickly and to be alert.

They are not bred to be aggressive around humans or children, only animals that are being hunted. They are smart and intelligent, as they need to be able to take commands from a handler or family members, yet be protective against any danger. This is what makes that Jack Russell such as wonderful dog.  They have a cheerful disposition that is ready to obey, yet quick to act when instructed.  

Jack Russells are not bred to kill or harm any hunted prey, only to "bolt it" or get the prey to move from it's' hiding place so that a hunter can then do the rest.  For many hunters, there is no interest in killing the chased foxes, but more interest in the sport of locating and chasing the fox.  This is one reason why Jack Russell's are bred to be so intelligent and to have stamina. This way they can keep up with the fox, and then understand that they should just locate  and cause prey to bolt. They know to bring chase without harming the fox or other animal such as rodents.

Jack Russell Appearance

A Jack Russel is between 10 inches and 15 inches tall up to the whiskers. The length of the body is measured in proportion to its height. The body appears compact, hard and balanced. The top of the Jack Russell skull is flat and narrows to the eyes.  These Jack Russell Terrier information standards are set by the Jack Russell Terrier Club.

Jack Russell Training

Because they are confident, do not humiliate the dog as they are sensitive and do not forgive easily. Never never hit a Jack Russell (a bad idea in general anyway).  This includes children who should not innocently strike the dog, even if innocent as the Jack will instinctively protect itself.

Jack Russell's should not be taught or encouraged to be overly aggressive as well.  This is why training or awareness of how you interact with your young Jack is so critical.  It's also why we strongly suggest either a local training program or the on line course from Dove Cresswell, which in our opinion is an excellent choice and is a great source of Jack Russell Terrier information on training (click the link for a free video preview).

History Jack Russell Terrier Information

The breed is named after the Reverend John Russell (1795 - 1883), who lived in Devonshire, England. The Revered bred fox terriers as working dogs, starting with a breed called White Terriers.  Unfortunately, the white terrier breed is now extinct.  Reverend Russell became well known for hunting terriers, with the breed ultimately named after him.

reverend jack russell
Reverend Jack Russell, the namesake for Jack Russell Terriers
Source: BBC


In England, hunters would use hounds to locate a fox, and then send out a terrier to get the fox to move out of hiding.  The rough or broken coat was also ideal for protecting the dog as it working in tight spaces or underground areas.

As fox terriers became more popular and entered dog shows, the breed developed its classic look including the upright shoulder blades.  Since smooth coats were favored in dog shows, the breeders focused on smooth coats instead of the broken or rough coat seen in many Jack Russells.

The first Jack Russell Terrier is tied to the year 1829 and was named Trump. Today's Jack Russell Terrier's cannot be tied back to this orignal dog.  Trump was white with brown ears and a brown patch over each eye. There was also a small brown patch at the tail.

Pet Jack Russell Terrier Decisions

As a high energy dog, Jack Russell's are not for everyone, which is why a careful review of available Jack Russell Terrier information is important..  They are very comfortable around larger animals such as horses and some other dog breeds, although If you have more than one dog, they prefer to be around other Jacks or the opposite sex.  Same sex Jack Russell's might get aggressive with each other.

This is a dog better suited for suburban or country areas vs. urban areas which can be too confining. jack Russell's are curious and like to explore surroundings, an instinct that cannot be followed if trapped in a small apartment.

Pet Jack Russell Terriers are good dogs for children, however, as with any dog, interactions should be supervised.  Children need to be taught when to play with a dog, when to leave them alone (such as when eating or sleeping). Jacks also sometimes protect one person in a family.  Training can address this problem so that the Jack Russell sees all members as a member of his or her "pack".

Training Jack Russell Terrier Information is no different then what you should do with any new dog.  

Diligently Weigh all the Jack Russell Terrier Information

As you make a decision after weighing all of the Jack Russell Terrier information, the History information above and the pages referenced at the top of this page, can be helpful as well as instructive as it sheds some insight into why this breed behaves the way it does.

jack russellTour the Pics Gallery and see the diverse character that shines through these beautiful dogs.

Note the passion of Jack Russell owners and how committed they are to this breed.  It is said that once you have a Jack Russell, you can't be happy with any other.

...And if, after taking all this Jack Russell Terrier information under consideration and you know this is just the dog for you...then your little Napoleon is waiting to make you a very, very proud owner...

Even after you read all of the available Jack Russell Terrier information, remember...make sure you let him know, and that at an early age...that while he may fancy himself Napoleon...YOU...are Admiral Nelson.


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