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The Jack Russell Terrier was developed in the 1800s and is believed to have descended from the Fox Terrier and the English White Terrier. It is known as an active, agile and high-endurance dog so it needs physically and mentally stimulating activities. It can be a handful pet so it is not for first-time dog owners and families with toddlers. Grooming-wise, the breed only needs weekly brushing and occasional baths.
Are you interested in getting a Jack Russell Terrier? Here is a brief background of this energetic dog often seen in television shows and movies.
The Jack Russell Terrier was developed in England by Reverend John “Jack” Russell in the 1800s. It is believed that it originated from Fox Terriers and the now extinct English White Terrier. Russell aimed to develop dogs with a tempered aggressiveness, which allowed them to bolt the foxes without hurting them.
There is a lot of confusion regarding the breed as it is sometimes called the Parson Russell Terrier or the Russell Terrier. All predominantly white earth working terriers used to be named Jack Russell Terriers because they shared the same ancestry.
In the USA, various breed associations recognised the Jack Russell in the 1930s. However, they had varying opinions with regard to appearance and working ability or if they should join conformation shows. The American Kennel Club recognised it as the Parson Russell Terrier in 2000. The Kennel Club recognised it as the Parson Jack Russell Terrier in 1990. The KC eventually recognised it as the Jack Russell Terrier in 2016.
The Jack Russell Terrier is an active, agile and high-endurance dog. It weighs 13 to 17 pounds and stands 25 to 38 centimetres at the withers. It has a wedge-shaped head, a flat skull, a defined stop at the muzzle, and v-shaped ears.
Jack Russells come in various coat types and markings. It is commonly white or predominantly white with black, tan or lemon markings, or a combination of these colours. Its weather-resistant coat is either smooth, rough or a combination of both (broken coat). All coat types, which are easy to maintain, are dense, harsh, flat, straight, and close-lying. The Jack Russell only requires weekly brushing and baths can be done a few times a year or as needed.
Aside from taking care of your dog’s coat, also pay attention to its oral hygiene to avoid tooth decay and gum disease. Start brushing the teeth while young so it can get used to the process. Ensure to regularly trim nails, clean ears and inspect skin for ticks and fleas.
As a working Terrier, the Jack Russell is known for its intelligence, quickness and grit. Don’t be fooled by the well-trained Jack Russells you often see on tv or films. This energetic breed can be a handful, which is why it is not recommended for busy or first-time owners. It is a loving and loyal companion but it is definitely not a laidback dog. It is important to establish the alpha role in the household because it can be stubborn. It has a lot of tricks up its sleeve that can be overwhelming for most people. Time, patience, consistency, and dedication are needed to handle this strong-willed pooch.
This breed is friendly, affectionate and personable. However, it is better for families with mature and active children who know how to handle dogs. Its rowdy nature can be too much for very young kids. On the other hand, because of its high prey drive, it tends to be aggressive towards other dogs. Trainings should focus on basic canine manners, agility drills and socialisation. Routine and structure, along with positive reinforcements will make training sessions easier.
When not given attention or its activity needs are not met, it busies itself by barking, chewing, and escaping. You should never leave this dog for long periods of time since it is a high jumper, climber and digger.
Breeds have predisposed characteristics when it comes to temperament and intelligence. However, dogs grow up unique because of environmental factors.
A typical serving for an adult Jack Russell is 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. The amount of food depends on its age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism. While knowing the basic nutritional needs of breeds can serve as a guide, consider the unique needs of your dog.
Typical calorie needs of adult Jack Russell per day:
As an active dog, the Jack Russell thrives on diets rich in protein (poultry, beef or fish) and less carbohydrates. This breed has a big appetite but with a small stomach so free-feeding should not be done. Its meals should be divided into two or three and portions controlled. Experts suggest a diet composed of at least 75% dry kibbles. The crunch helps in fighting plaque, tartar and other dental problems small breeds are prone to. Since this breed is also predisposed to skin allergies, gluten in wheat or corn must be avoided.
Jack Russells are generally healthy but can be predisposed to certain medical conditions like Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Patellar Luxation and deafness. It can also have eye problems such as Glaucoma and Lens Luxation. As a small breed, it is also prone to dental problems and skin allergies. Free consultations with a Vet.
These high spirited dogs need several bouts of physical activities daily, a total of about 1.5 hours a day. Aside from long runs, it will be happy to play Frisbee, tag of war and fetch with you. It also enjoys performing agility drills and even running up and down the stairs. It is important to always keep it on a leash during runs to avoid running after other dogs and small animals. Also make sure it is closely supervised in a fenced yard so it won’t try to escape.
If you are considering purchasing a Jack Russell Terrier, you may need to spend £250-£500 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. Other than the initial purchase, you also need to consider getting a pet insurance, which can cost anywhere from £18 a month for a basic cover up to £40 a month for a lifetime cover.
Food cost is another matter since you need to ensure that your dog stays healthy and well-fed at whatever age. To buy high-quality dog food, you will have to spend around £20–£30 a month. You also need to factor in the initial cost for dog accessories and equipment such as bowls, leads, collars, and beds, which will likely be about £200 depending on the brand.
Other outgoings to consider are veterinary expenses that may not be included in a pet insurance coverage such as vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters, which can have a combined cost of £700-£800 annually. On average, caring for a Jack Russell Terrier will cost about £50–£70 a month, depending on the type of insurance. This is exclusive of walking or grooming services that you might want to use at times.
Are you sure the Jack Russell is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Still unsure if the Jack Russell Terrier is for you? Try the Pet Finder on our site to know which breed is best for you.
15th Jan 2020
Reading Time: 4 minutes
A Jack Russell is a bundle of energy. If you are planning to welcome this furry companion into your family, there are special requirements to make him well adjusted in his new home.