The Shorty Jack Russell terrier, or Russell terrier, is a breed of its own, set apart from the Parson Jack Russell terrier in the earlier part of this decade. Though their coloring, (which is predominately white with splashes of tan, brown, or black), is very similar, as are their types of coats, (smooth, rough, and broken), there are a few things that set the Russell terrier apart from the Parson Jack Russell terrier.
One major difference from the JRT is that the Russell terrier's legs are shorter. A Parson Jack Russell terrier's body is fairly proportionate and stands between twelve to fifteen inches tall, while the Russell terrier is shorter than it is long, usually standing about ten to twelve inches tall.
The next and possibly most important difference is the Shorty Jack's Jack Russells temperament and personality. Whilst the Parson Russell terrier tends to be "Napoleonic" in nature, the Shorty has a much more agreeable temperament. The Shorty gets along better with other animals in the home and with children. So when trying to choose which terrier is a better match for you and your family, please take into consideration which temperament is more suitable for your situation.
Both varieties of Jack Russell Terriers are highly energetic and independent. However, the Parson Russell retains its inborn trait to hunt fox or rodents and needs a home that exercises those traits with activities such as tunnels and tracks. The Shorty Russell, due to its quieter disposition, is happy getting exercise playing with children and getting tons of love and attention, and gives as much if not more than it receives.
As far as health issues go, both varieties can be afflicted with hip and knee problems such as slipped knee caps and Legg-Perthes disease. Also common in both types of terriers are problems with the eyes and deafness.
Shorty Jacks are wonderful alarm systems, as they will bark and alert their family to any sound that is unfamiliar to them. Their bark is ferocious and fearless for their size, however, when faced with "prey" that is larger than they are, they tend to back down quickly, therefore guard dogs they are not.
In terms of hunting, Jack Russell's have been bred since they were pups to find, but not attack prey since the 1800's. They can also jump as high as 5 feet and endurance to run longer distances.
Shorty Jack Russell Terriers are incredibly intelligent and love being presented with a challenge to figure out. They will (if taught early and continuously) be obedient dog breed to their family. With Shorty terriers, a person must start obedience training for their Shorty early on and the training should always be an ongoing process.
In a nutshell, the Shorty terrier is one of those wonderful fur babies or puppies for those that have children and may live in smaller homes, such as apartments.
You can ask the following breeders about their owner led breeding program and recent dogs that they bred: