That blur of white and brown that just sped through the living room? It must be a Jack Russell Terrier! These vivacious little dogs have won thousands of hearts over the last few centuries, with their loyal devotion and dauntless demeanor. Though not every pet-parent can handle their tenacity and energy, the Jack Russell Terrier is a lively and entertaining companion for outdoor-loving owners with active lifestyles and big hearts.
Jack Russell Facts
Here are some fun facts and reasons why we love these endearing dogs:
- Jack Russell Terrier dogs can come in “smooth,” “broken” or “rough” coat types. The broken coat is the outer layer that makes some Jack Russells look like wizened scruffy old man, while the longer rough coat is more reminiscent of shaggy terrier breeds. The absence of this longer hair layer is described as a “short coat.”
- They generally do not get along well with cats. Jack Russell Terriers are feisty little dogs with a tendency to get bossy around other animals; if they start hassling a feline, the pup might end up with a scratch on the nose!
- Jack Russell Terriers are easy-going housemates when they have been trained from an early age. This necessitates both obedience training as well as puppy handling. If they learn to respect boundaries and accept handling from strangers, the defensive behaviors are greatly lessened.
- Terriers are tough little creatures, and they do not like to be picked up when approached by a larger dog. Their aggressive determination allows them to hold their own; attempting to carry them while around larger dogs will only cause them agitation and nervousness.
- Jack Russell Terriers were originally bred as hunting companions when fox hunting was legal. Their incredible stamina, energy and fearlessness makes them the perfect companion for any type of journey, no matter how daunting the terrain.
- These pups are the best pets to play fetch with. Even if you want to “go long” the speedy legs of the Jack Russell can make it to the ball before it hits the ground. With inexhaustible energy, and fierce determination, these dogs are great catchers. (Their speed and precision of movement also makes this breed one of the best for agility competitions.)
- Jack Russell Terriers love to chew things. Their active personalities cause them to always search for amusement, and when outdoor play isn’t available, they will dig, dive and pounce on anything lying about that looks interesting. If you want to keep couch cushions and shoes free from teeth marks, these be sure to provide plenty of chew toys for this breed.
- These tiny terriers are some of the most efficient rodent hunters that exist, in spite of their smaller stature. Next to the Rat Terrier, a Jack Russell is your best alley against any rat or mouse on the premises.
- A “Shorty Jack” is a kind of Jack Russell Terrier breed whose body is actually longer than its tail. They are a shorter breed that shares many physical characteristics with a Dachshund.
- Jack Russell Terriers are long-living dogs compared to other breeds. They typically live anywhere from 12-16 years, and face with fewer health problems than most other dogs.
- Because these pups are focused hunters, they will chase nearly all animals they come in contact with –even skunks. Be sure to review how to de-skunk dogs if you live outside a city and have a Jack Russell terrier!
Jack Russell Terriers are intelligent and loyal companions, with adventurous spirits and abundant energy. They are best paired with owners who will meet their capacity for activity, and who will provide them the training they need to have a happy, well-balanced life.