jack russell terrier Dog

The Jack Russell Terrier dog breed originated in the United Kingdom, by the Reverend John Russell, and was developed in Australia. Motivated by his love of fox hunting and adoration for terrier-type dogs, the shepherd focused on breeding and crossing different dogs, resulting in the birth of the Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier . Although both dogs have very similar characteristics, we can differentiate them by height, with the first being shorter and longer than the second. Years later, the breed was further developed in Australia, where the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia was created in 1972 to lead to official recognition of the breed in 2000. If you want to know more about this breed, keep reading this AnimalWised sheet about the Jack Russell Terrier, its characteristics, care and character.

Origin of the Jack Russell Terrier

The origins of the Jack Russell Terrier date back to the 18th century United Kingdom . Between 1795 and 1883, the Reverend John “Jack” Russell, a keen fox hunter, bought a female fox terrier, which he named Trump, while he was a student at Oxford. For the reverend, Trump was an ideal working dog, so he began to breed a line of terriers with great abilities for fox hunting , which would be called “Jack’s Russells” (“Jack’s Russell”, in English). ).

In this way, he crossed various types of terriers with other hunting dogs with the aim of obtaining dogs with improved abilities for fox hunting. John Russell, who would later be considered “the father of the Jack Russell terrier breed”, was not so much concerned with achieving a homogeneous physical appearance in this new breed, but rather with obtaining a perfect line of dogs for work in the den. .

However, although the history of the Jack Russell terrier dates back to the United Kingdom, it was Australia that contributed to its international recognition. In the 1960s, various Jack Russell Terriers began to be sent from the United Kingdom to Australia. A few years later, in 1972, the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia was formed, where dogs were registered and a formal standard for the breed was drawn up. Finally, on October 25, 2000 , just 20 years ago, the International Cynological Federation (FCI) definitively and officially recognized the Jack Russell Terrier dog breed using the standard created in Australia.

Characteristics of the Jack Russell Terrier

According to the official breed standard, the Jack Russell Terrier should be longer than it is tall , with the ideal height at the withers being 25-30 cm and the weight between 5 and 6 kg. Thus, the main characteristics that will allow us to differentiate the Jack Russell from the Parson Russell will be its short legs and slightly elongated trunk. To know if our Jack Russell is at his ideal weight, we only have to take into account the following equivalence: 1 kg for every 5 cm of height. In this way, if our dog measures 25 cm at the withers, it should weigh around 5 kg. Although the Jack Russell Terrier is one of the most popular small dog breeds , its short stature should not deceive us, since its legs, chest and back are usually strong and muscular.

As for the rest of the physical features, the Jack Russell Terrier has a slightly wide muzzle, with a black nose and lips . In this way, its jaw is deep, wide and strong. Their eyes are usually dark, small, almond-shaped and with a black rim, like the nose and lips. Their long ears always appear drooping or semi-drooping, covering the ear canal.

Types of Jack Russell Terrier

There are two types of Jack Russell Terrier dogs depending on their hair:

  • Short-haired wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier : This is the most popular type of coat for this breed of dog.
  • Jack Russell Terrier with straight or brittle hair : you can also find Jack Russell Terriers with straight or brittle hair, as both types of hair are accepted for the Jack Russell Terrier.

Jack Russell Terrier Colors

The base color and, therefore, the predominant one must always be white . On it, spots usually appear that can be black or tan , regardless of the shades of the latter color. In general, the marks appear on the dog’s face in the form of a facial mask, but they can also appear on other parts of the body and even be of various shades.

What is the Jack Russell Terrier puppy like?

The Jack Russell Terrier is a very energetic breed of dog, so it will be important to introduce your dog to physical activity as a puppy. On the other hand, the socialization process of the Jack Russell puppy is very important to ensure that as an adult it is a balanced, sociable and friendly dog ​​with others. To learn more about Jack Russell Terrier puppies, we encourage you to read this other AnimalWised article on Jack Russell Terrier Puppy Care .

Character of the jack russell terrier

Like many hunting dogs, the Jack Russell is temperamental, hardworking, bold, fearless, curious, very active and always alert. Likewise, he is intelligent, very faithful and brave despite his small size. If we socialize him correctly, he can become very friendly, fun and sociable. Having so much energy and being so active, he loves to play , so if we have children or younger siblings he can become their ideal companion.

In fact, due to the temperament of the Jack Russell Terrier, its coexistence with children is highly beneficial, as long as they know how to treat and respect it properly, because it is a dog that rarely gets tired and needs to play to burn off energy. Likewise, if there are no children at home and we are not active people, it is not recommended to adopt a Jack Russell, since, as we mentioned, it requires owners who can help it get the amount of exercise it needs.

The Jack Russell Terrier is an excellent working dog, which we can teach techniques related to the land due to its tracking ability such as searching for truffles , and the best companion animal. Its training for guarding is not recommended , since although it is a very brave dog, it does not have sufficient capacity to act as a guard dog.

In general, if we are constant in its education, consistent and use positive reinforcement from puppyhood , the Jack Russell rarely adopts bad behavior. In this way, if we take the established minimum walks, he will never relieve himself outside the home, except for the first times when he is still in the learning period. He is also not a destructive dog, with a desire to bite furniture or other objects if we provide him with biting toys for when he needs to play or relieve the pain caused by the growth of his teeth. Of course, being so excitable, active, energetic and temperamental, if we have a garden and we don’t offer him enough exercise, we may find ourselves with some holes dug by him. Likewise, this same character of the Jack Russell can lead him to be a dog that needs more time than others to learn a command. Although he may not be very obedient in this regard, if we work with him daily and reward him every time he does something well, he will end up learning and internalizing the orders that we want to transmit to him.

On the other hand, it must be taken into account that the character of the Jack Russell Terrier includes that it is a dog with a tendency to bark a lot . Being always alert and curious, it is not surprising that he barks when he hears a strange noise or a stranger knocks on the door. In this way, we will have to educate him to know when to bark and when not to, as well as teach him to channel these types of emotions to prevent them from generating stress or anxiety.

Jack Russell Terrier Care

Being a small breed dog, the Jack Russell Terrier is ideal for living in both small apartments and larger apartments and houses. To be more specific, below we are going to see some of the care of the Jack Russell terrier.

  • Diet : like many other small and medium breed dogs, the Jack Russell has a tendency to suffer from obesity if its diet is not taken care of, as well as osteoarticular problems due to its rapid growth. Hence, also, the importance of exercise. In this way, we will offer the Jack Russell puppy quality feed from the junior range until he is 10 months old, which is when he reaches adulthood. Then, we will start using feed from the adult range , also of quality and adapted to the nutritional needs of this breed. To avoid obesity, we advise you to read this other article on Amount of food for a Jack Russell terrier .
  • Exercise : adapts to all spaces as long as you have a minimum amount of exercise time per day . As we saw at the beginning, the Jack Russell is of hunting origin, so the need to run and exercise is in its instinct and nature. However, until the puppy is correctly dewormed and vaccinated we will not be able to go out for a walk with him, which is why we must also encourage play and dedicate part of our time to this practice. When the dog can go outside, we will start with short walks and let him get used to both the environment and the noises, other dogs and unknown people. As the dog grows, the walks should also increase and be longer and longer. Although the time varies, both during the puppy stage and once we reach adulthood, we will have to be consistent with the exercise and establish a routine. As it is a dog with such short and delicate limbs, we cannot do low-intensity exercise one day and very high-intensity activities within two days because we would only damage its joints. The ideal is to take the Jack Russell Terrier for a walk three to four times a day, following a fixed schedule and offering the same intensity of exercise each day. What it is advisable to vary is the route to follow, avoiding taking the same route during all walks. Within the number of outings, two of them should be dedicated to walking in a calmer manner and the other two to offering you at least an hour of exercise, in which we include games that make you run and activities that help you burn off accumulated energy. .
  • Hygiene : As for the rest of the care, the Jack Russell Terrier does not require anything more specific. We will have to bathe him once a month or when we consider that he is dirty, taking the opportunity to clean his ears following the veterinarian’s instructions. On the other hand, we will have to brush it twice a week and increase brushing during the shedding season, with a soft card-type brush for short hair and moistening all of its fur first to avoid breaking the hair. Likewise, we will keep their nails in perfect condition and regularly empty their anal glands .

Jack Russell Terrier Education

After knowing the character and behavior of the Jack Russell Terrier, we see how correct education is essential to make it a balanced and healthy dog. Not training him properly can lead to the Jack Russell becoming unstable and very difficult to control. Therefore, it is not recommended for beginner owners , since it requires owners experienced in canine education and training, who know how to stand firm and guide the temperamental character of this breed of dog.

We will begin the education of the Jack Russell as a puppy , which is when he learns the fastest. So, after choosing the best name for him, the first thing we will have to teach him is to respond to our call. And when the dog can go outside, we will begin socialization and begin to train him to walk calmly, without escapes or stress from discovering everything at once. Being such a curious and active dog, it is important that we dedicate time to walking him, letting him sniff and play. Once the dog has learned to come when we call him, we can start working on the rest of the basic commands , such as sit, lie down or stay still.

A very effective way to train the Jack Russell Terrier is through rewards or treats . Although positive reinforcement encompasses multiple techniques to obtain good results, this is undoubtedly one of the most efficient with this breed of dog. Their curious snout will quickly identify the treat hidden in our hand, so using it to teach them commands will provide us with excellent and quick results. Of course, we will not carry out training sessions that exceed 15 minutes . It is always advisable to do several sessions a day with spaces of time between them, since we do not want to harass the dog or overwhelm him.

We talk to you about ” What are the best treats for dogs? ” in the following AnimalWised post.

Jack Russell Terrier Health

Although the jack russell terrier is a strong and incredibly healthy breed of dog, which can save us many visits to the veterinarian if we offer it the exercise it needs and an adequate diet, it is also true that there are a series of pathologies, especially of a hereditary nature, more common than others in it. The most common health problems in Jack Russell dogs are the following:

  • Terrier ataxia and myelopathy : Being a direct descendant of the fox terrier , the Jack Russell may suffer from hereditary ataxia or myelopathy in the nervous system. They can develop both during the first months of life and once old age is reached, with the main symptoms being lack of coordination, difficulties walking and even standing.
  • Patella dislocation : This occurs when the patella, the bone located just in front of the knee joint, moves, causing the animal pain and, therefore, difficulties in walking. It can be a hereditary disease or occur as a result of trauma.
  • Lens dislocation : This occurs when the lens is not attached to the eye through the zonular fibers and, therefore, shifts and moves from its natural position. This dislocation can be hereditary or caused by other eye problems, such as glaucoma or cataract .
  • Deafness : problems in the Jack Russell’s auditory system are usually closely related to ataxia, although they can also appear in isolation as a consequence of age.

In addition to the diseases and disorders mentioned, if we do not exercise the Jack Russell, he will end up developing stress, anxiety or depression. If you detect any physical or mental anomaly, it will be advisable to go to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Likewise, to have better control and avoid the development of the above pathologies, we will have to perform the routine examinations that the specialist determines.

Where to adopt a Jack Russell Terrier?

If you are thinking about giving a Jack Russell Terrier a second chance for adoption, but you don’t know where to find it, we encourage you to ask the animal shelters and associations in your area. On the other hand, it is also possible to find a non-profit organization in your city or country that is dedicated to the recovery and adoption of this particular breed. An example of this is “Save a Jack” , a Facebook page in which they advertise various Jack Russell Terrier dogs for adoption, as well as some mixed breed dogs.

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