The Jack Russell terrier is a small breed of dog from England, originally bred for foxhunting in the early 19th century. The small white or white and brown terriers we know today were first bred by Reverend John Russell, a parson and also a hunting enthusiast who was born in 1795.

An important attribute the Jack Russell possessed was its tempered aggressiveness, which provided the necessary drive to pursue and bot the fox, without harming it, which was considered unsporting. by the start of the 20th century, the Fox terrier had evolved more towards the modern breed, but in some parts of the country, the old style of John Russell’s terriers remained, and it is from these dogs that the modern Jack Russell descended.

Following World War II, the demand for hunting dogs declined, and with it the number of Jack Russell terriers, until they started being used as family pets and companion dogs. Further, crossbreeding occurred with Welsh corgi’s, chihuahuas and other small terrier breeds, the results of this were known as Puddin dogs, Shortie Jacks or Russell terriers.

In 1976 Alisa Crawford formed the Jack Russell terrier Club of America, size ranges for dogs were kept broad, with the ability of working dogs awarded higher than those in conformation shows, An open registry was maintained with restricted line breeding, registration for the club was given when the dog reached adulthood, rather than at birth, this was to ensure the breeds qualities remained, given the open registry.

During the 1970s several clubs appeared in Great Britain to promote the breed, these include the Jack Russell club of Great Britain ( JRCGB) and the South East Jack Russell terrier club (SEJRTC). While the JRCGB sought to ensure the breeds working abilities remained through non-recognition with other breed registries, the SEJRTC actively sought club recognition for the breed. The breed was recognised by the Kennel club in 1990 as the Parson Jack Russell terrier, the Jack was dropped from the name in 1999, and the recognised name became the Parson Russell terrier.

Due to their working nature the Jack Russell hasn’t changed much over the last 200 years, they are sturdy and tenacious, measuring between 10 and 15 inches at the withers, and weighing between 14 and 18 lbs. The body length should be in proportion to the height, and the dog should present a compact balanced image, all coat types should be dense double coats which are neither silky (in the case of smooth coat) or woolly (in the case of the rough). The head should be flat between the ears and of a moderate width, with narrowing eyes and a black nose, the jaw should be powerful and well boned with a scissor bite and straight teeth. ,

The Jack Russell should always be balanced and alert, as it is primarily a working dog, the Jack Russell and the Parson terrier are very similar, sharing a common origin, although the Parson can have a longer head and a larger overall body size. For its size the Jack Russell as a tremendous amount of energy, so need regular exercise, they never seem to tire even after the owner as called it a day, they are good with children but won’t tolerate abuse, even if it is unintentional.

A loyal dog which can be stubborn at times, the Jack Russell terrier as a reputation for being healthy with a long lifespan, on average ranging from 13 to 16 years.

Famous Jack Russell terriers include Nipper, born in 1884 he was the inspiration for the painting His Masters Voice, which later became the logo for HMV, others have appeared on film and TV in a variety of roles.


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michael simpson


  1. As Tina Turner would say: They’re Simply the best!!! Can’t go wrong with a Jack Russell!!! I love them. Once you go Jack, you never go back!!! ♥️💙♥️ XxX

    • I know a few people who have Jack Russells and they all seem to think the same, like with most dogs if you care for them properly and show them affection, they will do the same in return.

      • That’s the main thing, love them and they’ll love you back. People who don’t understand dogs think they are being vicious, when they are only being protective.

    • You hit the nail on the head. My daughter and I had a Jack Russell from a puppy. She slept with my daughter from age 3 up. She swam, ran, played ball, chased bubbles, loved boat riding and even went tubing with us. The most intelligent, loving, well-behaved, easy to train dog I have ever had. We lost her to a blood clot at the base of her spine. Results of a previous snake bite while camping. I can’t express the sadness we had over losing our family member. We had her 6 years and she brought so much joy to our family. I won’t have any other breed of dog again.

      • I’m 52 now and i’ve grown up with a dog around the house and i wouldn’t be without one, i have been through the pain of losing them a few times, it never gets any easier but will always love them and never forget the good times we had.

  2. I have a Jack Russel he s protective of me but is completely deaf doesn’t bark but crya funny sound he s hard to train any suggestions he will be one in March this year

    • Try to get him to react to hand signals if possible, use treats as a reward. There is a good book available called, Living with a deaf dog, its by Susan Cope Becker.

      • I just loss my Jack Russell to bone cancer, the best dog ever. I cant Express the sadness that we have had over losing Sammy.He was the most perfect dog. He played frisbee, played at the pool went for walks we did everything together. I took him to nursing homes to visit patients. I loved this dog so much..Iwont have any other dog, They leave and imprint on your heart.. miss you every day Sammy..

  3. This is my 1st Jack Russell. She’s 7 and a half months old. I’m in deep love. She doesn’t like many people or other dogs. Is this normal?

    • Jack Russells can be over protective, they don’t like people or other dogs getting in their space, especially if they haven’t been socialised properly from a young age.

    • We have been taking our Jack Russell to the dog park since he was a pup. They socialize well, but you may want to take it in small steps since your dog is a bit older.

  4. I have a 9 month old black and beige Russell terrior his face looks like an Alaskan husky he loves to be loved and exercised… looking forward to enjoying our life together.

  5. Odie a little female puddin Jack lived 18 yrs hope to see her at the rainbow bridge,10 feet tall and bulletproof.

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