If you’re thinking about becoming a Jack Russell owner, you need to know every detail about the breed before you make any final decisions.
Don’t let actor dogs such as Eddie from the TV sitcom “Fraiser” mislead you into believing when you adopt a Jack Russell that is the type of dog he’ll grow into. Jack Russell Dogs demand plenty of your time and energy. If you are willing to commit to them, it is essential that you know what they are all about.
Here’s what you need to know about Jack Russell dogs:
Size – Jack Russell’s stand 13 – 15 inches high to the shoulders. They weigh about 13 – 17 pounds.
Temperament – Friendly, bold and brave. Jack Russell’s are highly intelligent, have a one-track-mind and are independent. He requires plenty of your attention.
Life Span – The average life expectancy of Jack Russell dogs is 13 – 15 years or longer.
Health – The Jack Russell is a healthy breed and is not prone to any major hereditary health defects. The one health concern that tends to appear in the breed is cataracts.
Grooming – Jack’s come in three different coat textures – Smooth, Broken and Rough. The smooth and broken coat requires minimal brushing during shedding season. The rough coat dogs, on the other hand, will need to be plucked on a regular basis. You can either learn to do this yourself, or you will need to take the dog to a professional groomer.
Social Skills – Jack Russell dogs are quite sociable and are usually friendly with everyone including strangers. They don’t mind children, but are not recommended for children younger than 6 years, as Jack’s will not tolerate being teased or unintentionally abused by children who don’t know how to play with them.
Home Life – Although small, Jack Russell’s are not good apartment dogs. They need plenty of exercise. This breed does well in the country or in a house that has a nice sized back yard. Think of a Jack Russell as a big dog in a little dog body.
Exercise – A Jack Russell is full of energy that never seems to run out! He needs to be exercised frequently throughout the day or he will find other ways to vent his frustrations. 2 – 3, 20 – 30 minute walks a day, plus playtime and the freedom to run around in the backyard keeps a Jack happy.
Note: Just make sure that when you are walking your Jack that he is on a leash. If you let him off the leash you run the risk of your dog running after a squirrel or other wild rodent. Should the rodent borrow under ground, the Jack Russell will pursue it and stay under until it catches it.
Training – Jack Russell dogs are easy to train because they are fast learners. That being said, they will also attempt to use their cleverness to try and do things his way. You need to be firm in your training, and don’t let his charming demeanor fool you.
Dog Group –The Jack Russell is apart of the terrier group in the American Kennel Club. Terriers are high energy and natural born hunters. These instincts always remain with the dog, so don’t forget his roots!
Other Pets – Jack Russell’s tend to socialize well with other dogs, but they often do not get along with cats, and should never be placed in a home with rodents. Therefore, if you have a hamster, gerbil, rabbit or any other rodent, a Jack Russell is out the question, as he will consider this animal fair game.
Note: Jack Russell Terriers do not get along well with the same sex of their own breed as they are extremely competitive.
First Time Dog Owner – A Jack Russell Terrier is not the breed for you. His high energy and intelligence will overwhelm you.