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Jack Russell Terrier breed Information

Jack Russell: The Ultimate Breed Guide 2020

A friendly face that is more than joyous to greet you! 

If you are seeking to add this pretty face and bundle of wits to your family, pups4sale.com.au has got you covered. We will provide you with every facet of information on how to cater to your furry friend’s needs and lifestyle as well as hook you up with highly-esteemed breeding and rescue groups in Australia. 

With that said, let’s get into the details of the Jack Russell.


Characteristics of the Jack Russell

The Jack Russell is one of the most eminent dog breeds in the globe. If you have watched 'Frasier' and 'Wishbone' TV shows, then you definitely know what we mean by this TV star personality. Jack Russell is so cute and adorable; it makes you want to eat its face!

Let's have a more in-depth look into this tenacious breed's characteristics.






Jack Russell's vitality and energetic nature make it adapt to whichever kind of working environment and sports activities you offer them. However, this breed is not for everyone- you need to be just as much agile and nimble to keep up with them. For this reason, Jack Russell gets 3 out of 5 stars for adaptability.

  • Jack Russell is averagely suited to apartment living; however, because of their vibrant nature and love for outdoor exploration, you'll need to provide daily exercise and outside activities for this breed. They, therefore, get 3 stars for apartment-space suitability. Also remember if you have to go out and leave your Jack Russell in the house, you may want to consider crate training whereby the crate can be a haven for your pooch.


  • If you are new to dog parenting and wondering whether Jack Russell is a suitable breed for you, the answer is yes and no. Here's why- Jack Russell can be a handful to train; even professional dog trainers confess they cannot tame the hunting instinct out of this breed. They thus get 2 stars for suitability to new dog owners. However, if you can keep up with Jack's quirky nature and its naughty, mischievous attitude, then you two belong together.


  • The Jack Russell is averagely sensitive- 3-star rating. When given the right kind of affection, they reciprocate with unconditional love and respect. But remember to treat the dog gently. Don’t use harsh tones when reprimanding your Jack Russell. Firm yet kind is the way to go.


  • This breed has an average level of solitude tolerance; for this reason, they get a 3-star rating. Similar to a human toddler, if Jack Russell are left on their own, they can be quite destructive as they invent new creative ways to entertain themselves.


  • Jack Russell has a super immune system, and they have a 4-star rating for adaptation to cold weather. However, this does not mean that it can go frolicking about in the snow for hours. It is best to get your Jack a sweater or jacket when going out on a wind chill.


  • When it comes to hot weather adaptability, Jack Russell get 3 stars. Too high temperatures leave them susceptible to heatstroke, therefore maintain moderate temperature levels in your home on hot days.  




All-Round Friendliness


The Jack Russell is a big pile of love, which gives them 5 out of 5 star rating.


  • They flourish with family attention and devotion. Don't think of building a kennel and leaving the Jack Russell at the mercy of the outside. Remember they get a 5-star rating for being family companions.


  • Jack Russell get 4 stars for child-friendliness. If you have kids then get to play outdoors with this pup, preferably with a Frisbee or a ball. Jack Russell loves to fetch!


  • The Jack Russell is tolerant and often friendly with stranger dogs, which gives them 5 stars in this department. A well trained Jack Russell learns to adopt the philosophy “live and let live” with other dogs. However, some feel like mighty Hercules and may want to take on dogs twice their size just for cross-eyeing them. Therefore, take your socialization training seriously to end up with a well-rounded pooch.


  • A majority of Jack Russell is friendly towards strangers, which gives them a 4-star rating. However, it comes down again to proper socialization if you want to raise a communal pooch.




Health and Grooming Needs



Jack Russell get 3 out of 5 stars in this sector, meaning they are neither high nor low maintenance dogs. However, this does not mean you neglect their hygiene, examinations and vet visits. 


  • Jack Russell shed averagely, which means they get 3 stars for this. Ideally, the shorter the fur, the more the shedding. Also, the level of shedding may increase during season transition. The more frequently you bath your pup, the more it will shed as well. Therefore, a warm water rinse and a good brush is enough and give it a detergent bath when it starts to smell. 


  • The Jack Russell is an ideal example of a breed with low drooling potential- only 1 star in this department. This is a plus for you if you are put off by slobber spots on your clothes. 


  • This breed gets 3 stars for grooming simplicity. You don't need to use the services of a professional groomer as Jack Russell are not high maintenance dogs. Remember, occasional flea treatment is required.


  • The Jack Russell is an overall healthy breed. However, the common health issues you should check with your veterinarian are lens luxation, deafness, patellar luxation, Legg-Carves-Perthes Disease and glaucoma. They, therefore, get 4 stars for general health.  


  • This pooch has a high potential for weight gain- 4 stars. If you are not attentive to its diet; it can quickly gain weight. Try to find a midpoint between exercise and feeding and decrease unhealthy snacks and foods.


  • The Jack Russell is a small dog breed- 2-star rating. Its average height is 29cm, and the average weight is 6.5 kg





Jack Russell is relatively easy to coach, which gives them 4 out of 5 stars. Training will, however, not be your cup of tea, especially if you are a new dog parent, but if you're persistent in instilling new commands, the pooch will obey for sure.


  • Rationality and discipline are essential to training a Jack Russell. This breed, therefore, gets a 4-star rating for training ease. Ensure you offer the right environment your Jack Russell needs.


  • The Jack Russell get a 5-star rating for intelligence. It is a rare breed for teaching as many tricks and commands as you can think of. The only limit is your imagination. They understand and cram new commands in 5-15 repetitions. They also obey the first order 85% of the time or more.


  • This breed gets 4 stars for mouthiness capability, which means they chew, nip and play-bite more often than not primarily in the puppy stage.  


  • They have a high compulsion to chase and catch which rates them at 5 stars. Therefore, if you have cats or other smaller pets in your home beware. This does not mean Jack Russell are aggressive-prey drive just comes naturally to them. Thus when you take dog walks, it’s better to keep your Jack Russell on a leash.


  •  The Jack Russell is extremely vocal and not the best to keep if you prefer a quiet, serene environment. They, therefore, get 4 stars for the tendency to bark or howl. Jack Russell loves to bark and howl loudly, and their tone changes according to their mood and the message they are conveying. 


  • Jack Russell is notorious for escaping- which allocates them 4 stars. They are always compelled to wander off to hunt and explore, which often gets them in trouble such as being trapped in underground dens. Jack Russell are also cheerful diggers. To minimize its notorious acts, keep your Jack indoors and take brisk supervised walks every day with your pup on a leash.



Physical Needs


Jack Russell gets a 5-star rating for physical needs. Which means that to keep this breed happy you need to offer it plenty of free time. This pup is tremendously hyper and requires constant exercise not only for its sanity but also yours.



  • Jack Russell has electric energy coursing through their veins, which gives them 5 stars. If you have a home with a spacious backyard, this is an added advantage. Keeping this dog indoors with little or no activity is sheer torture.


  • The Jack Russell has a 5-star rating for exercise needs. Your daily timetable should consist of long walks and runs preferably for an hour. If you prefer a couch potato, then you are barking the wrong dog!


  • Lastly, Jack Russell has a high potential for playfulness- 5 star-rating. It will often bark in excitement or nip to alert you it is time to play. This breed is particularly obsessive about ball chasing. 



Vital Stats About the Jack Russell



Dog Breed Group

Terrier Dogs


20-38 cm


5-8 kg

Life Span 

10-15 years

Litter size

4-8 puppies

Average daily food consumption 

1/4 cup- 1 cup high-quality dry food twice a day

Coat texture



Tan, white, black

Breed type


Other names 

Russell Terriers, Jack, JRT (Jack Russell Terrier)











Fun Facts About the Jack Russell


  • The Jack Russell was bred by wealthy English men to hunt fox in the south of England approximately two centuries ago.


  • The Jack Russell also named after its creator Parson Russell is a personal favourite of horse riders, animal trainers and dog sports fans. The Jack is especially loved by film and television executives because of its bouncy personality, daring nature, unlimited energy and compact size. 


  • Because of its heritage as a hunting canine, the Jack Russell is an ideal jogging buddy once it matures. 



  • The Jack Russell is quite a digging artist and can excavate quite a deep hole within minutes. It's better to train it to dig on a specific spot than trying to get rid of the digging behaviour.


  • Underground electric fencing around the yard won’t contain this breed. Jacks are escape artists, so its best if their free time is supervised.


  • Jacks are resilient and love to jump on people and things. They can prance over 5 feet.


A jack can fill your life with chuckles and affection, but only if you can offer it with the attentiveness, training, control and organization it deserves. 


History of the Jack Russell

The Jack Russell was bred initially in Southern England in the mid-1800s by Parson John Russell- from whom the breed derived its name. The Jack's primary role was to serve as a hunting companion of the hounds-they would scavenge prey such as foxes from their hiding holes so the hounds would stalk them.


This breed became a favourite of numerous sportsmen, particularly those who scavenged while riding horses. Jack Russell was introduced in the United States in the 1930s. After that, quite a several breed associations cropped up with varying perspectives about Jack's physique, working potential and ability to participate in dog shows or remain an employed dog.

The Jack Russell Terrier Association of America (JTRCA) opinionates Jack as a hunting canine. The American Kennel Club recognized the Jack Russell in 1997 and 2003; it renamed the breed the Parson Russell Terrier to differentiate its Jack registry from JRTCA.


It is not definite when the pioneer Jack Russell came to Australia; however, the breed was formerly acknowledged in 1991. 


What is the Average Size of a Jack Russell 




20-38 cm


5-8 kg





The Personality of a Jack Russell


The frisky and high-spirited Jack heaps a lot of persona in its tiny body. Loving, loyal and quite charming, the Jack Russell lives life to the fullest. Given half the opportunity, it’ll run to its heart content through the streets and over fences.



The Jack is unbelievably intelligent but strong-willed, which makes it quite a handful to tame. 


The Jack Russell is a people-person but can be hostile toward other canines and animals that look like prey, not forgetting felines. Its courageous temperament puts it at risk when it decides to challenge bigger dogs. 


Though Jack flourishes on systems and routine, long-training sessions can be tedious and boring, which makes it lose interest. Thus, keep it short and sweet and avoid too many repetitions.


Like all other dog breeds, Jack Russell requires early socialization so they can grow to be well-rounded pups. Start exposing your Jack to various people, experiences, sights and sounds from their puppy stage.


Major Health Concerns of a Jack Russell Dog Breed



Jack Russell Terriers are healthy breeds; however, similar to humans; they're vulnerable to certain health constraints. Watch out for any of these diseases and their symptoms and consult your veterinarian immediately if you notice any unusual health status with your Jack pup.


If you are getting a puppy from a breeder, ensure they provide you with health clearances for both parents from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation to certify the eyes and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals to certify the elbows and hips. Because some health issues are non-detectable until the dog is fully grown, health clearances aren’t provided to pups younger than two years old. 


Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease 


When your Jack Russell suffers from this condition, the blood supply to the upper part of the femur is limited, and the head of the femur begins to fragment. The initial signs of Legg-Calve-Perthes are limping and deteriorating of the leg muscle and occur to 4-6-month-old pups.  


The condition is rectified with surgery to remove the broken femur. The scar tissue heals by creating a false joint, so the puppy doesn’t experience pain. Rehabilitation therapy helps gets the pup’s life back on track after undergoing femur surgery. 


Patellar Luxation 

Also named the “slipped stifles”, this condition is quite common in small dog breeds. It means dislocation of the kneecap often the hind leg. Though it is crippling, many pups still usually live.

The friction of the limb caused by patellar luxation can cause arthritis. There are four ranges of the condition based on their severity: grade 1 causes temporary lameness of the joint. In contrast, grade 4 is very severe, with the complete turning of the tibia, and the patella cannot be repositioned manually. The dog gets a bow-legged physique with extreme patellar luxation and may need surgical rectification. 






It is a common phenomenon with white-coloured Jack Russell.  


Lens Luxation


In this condition, the eye lens gets displaced when the tissue that holds it in place deteriorates. It is treated through medication or corrective surgery, but in severe cases, the eye may need to be extracted.




It is a painful condition whereby the eye is under extreme pressure. The eyes usually produce and excrete a fluid known as aqueous humour; however, if this fluid doesn't drain adequately, the pressure inside the eye builds up. That increase in eye pressure damages the optic nerve causing blindness.


Glaucoma is divided into primary and secondary glaucoma. Primary glaucoma, often hereditary occurs when there is a fault in the eye region where aqueous humour drains. Secondary glaucoma occurs due to a pre-existing issue in the eye like an injury, inflammation or a tumor.


Glaucoma usually affects one eye at first. The affected eye(s) will appear red, teary and asquint. A dilated pupil will be non-responsive to light, and the eye front will appear whitish-blue cloudy.


Extreme cases of glaucoma lead to vision loss despite treatment. Therefore, depending on the severity, treatment can be medication or surgery. 


How to Take Care of a Jack Russell


Jack Russell needs sufficient outdoor space to run and burn off some of its tremendous energy. Remember since Jacks are scoundrels for escaping, your backyard fence should be impossible for it to jump over or dig under. Don't rely on an electric fence to prevent it from getting away- Jack's hunger and thirst for sweet freedom and adventure is nothing compared to a small shock.


  • Always walk your little Jack on a harness to protect it from itself. This canine is capable of running in front of vehicles. Offer it the chance to exercise vigorously for 30-45 minutes coupled with supervised off-leash play. The Jack Russell makes an ideal playmate for children (not young toddlers) who can play fetch or toss the ball or just chase each other around the yard.


  • You need to be firm and consistent with your training as Jacks are strong-minded. Don't go overboard with harsh corrections because the pooch will become stubborn but rather use positive reinforcement in the form of treats, play and praise.


Jack Russell respond well to regulations, boundaries and routines; therefore if you apply these, together with the right level of patience, you will be truly rewarded.


Paired with the right owner, there is nothing the Jack Russell can't learn. If you like to stretch your creativity, the Jack Russell will make a compatible companion.



  • If you decide to buy or adopt a Jack puppy, early socialization is the best tactic to prevent hostility toward other dogs. 

Ideal Diet for the Jack Russell


Not only can a well-balanced meal make their lives more bountiful, but it can protect this breed from many health conditions and help to stay in good shape.


The choice between dry food and wet food lays with your preference and circumstance. If you're on the road or when the weather is significantly warm, it makes more sense to feed your pup dry food, which is less messy and has a longer shelf life than wet food.


Wet food is, however, much simpler for your canine to consume and digest especially if it is a young puppy or very old or has teeth issues. Wet food also has more protein than dry food.


When purchasing dog food, avoid those with preservatives and artificial flavours or colours but select those made from natural components. The following are superb dog food you might want to consider: 



How Regularly Should You Feed Your Jack Russell

Jack Russell Age

Calorie Intake 

No. of Meals



4-6 meals



2-3 meals






Due to their growing bodies, young pups (less than one year) need to be fed more frequently than mature dogs. Puppies require 22% protein and 8% fat while full-grown Jacks need 18% protein and 5% fat.


People often forget that dogs are omnivores, therefore don’t stuff its daily food content with pure meat. Incorporate other carbohydrates and vegetables such as legumes, oats, potatoes and quinoa into their diet. If you are unsure of what to feed your pooch, you can seek assistance from your vet who may help you formulate an effective diet plan.  


Coat Color and Grooming Needs



The Jack Russell coat is divided into two types, namely smooth and broken. Both models are double coats with a rough texture. The doggie with a fractured layer has longer hair and a thicker beard and eyebrows. The Jack coat is never wavy or curly.


The Jack Russell coat colour mainly comes in white, black or tan or a combination of white with black, white with tan or a trilogy of white, black and tan. Both smooth and broken coat types need weekly brushing to eliminate dead or hanging fur. If you brush its coat frequently, your pup won’t need regular baths unless it makes a mess of itself. In case you’re wondering the type of brush to use, here are some that work best for the Jack Russell coat:


  • Rubber/ curry brush- the rubber part attracts loose hair (much like a magnet) while its soft part massages the dog’s skin.
  • Slicker brush- it has thin, rounded wires that stick together on a level surface. Its purpose is to detangle hair and remove loose ones.
  • Shedding rake- don’t be misguided by its name. This brush is harmless and won’t wreck your dog’s skin but merely remove tangling hair.
  • Grooming mitt- much like the kitchen mitten, this one is a glove with rubber nubs that aids to reach those trying to get to spots. It is used to remove dust, and dead fur and very suitable for the Jack Russell.  




Another crucial grooming department not to overlook is dental hygiene. Brush your Jack’s teeth twice or thrice every week to eliminate bacteria and buildup of tartar; daily is best for more desired results. 


Trim its nails either twice or once a month to prevent tearing of the carpet or furniture and to spare you of scratches when the pup jumps on you in excitement. When you hear clicking on the floor when the dog trots, it is an indication of nails desperately in need of trimming.     


Once you adopt your Jack pup, make it accustomed to regular grooming. Make the exercise fun for both you and your furry friend by offering praises and rewards. Weekly inspections also simplify your veterinarian's medical and other handling exercises when the dog is mature.


How Does Jack Russell Relate with Children and Other Pets?


Jack Russell thrive in a home with kids old enough to play catch with them. They're not most suited to homes with babies and young toddlers as they can quickly lose it when roughly handled.


It is essential to train your children how to touch and play with Jack and always supervise their interactions to protect against biting, ear and tail pulling. Children should not taunt the dog while its eating or napping or try to snatch their food away.


Jack Russell is a dominant breed and often aggressive toward other dog breeds. Moreover, two Jack Russell dogs should not be left to interact without supervision-one may literally skin the other over a small dispute such as ownership of a toy. 


Many Jack Russell has a high tendency to stalk and capture smaller animals such as cats especially if they flee. If you have a cat, it may feel threatened by this exuberant dog breed. 


Australian Based Breed Organizations for the Jack Russell


Below is a list of the most reputable Jack Russell Breed Organizations in Australia you can look into to purchase a purebred canine of this breed.  



Rescue Groups for the Jack Russell in Australia



Several owners purchase a Jack Russell Terrier puppy without proper knowledge of how to raise and care for one. Often such pups are abandoned and end up in the care of dog shelter homes in need of a loving family. Other Jacks wind up in rescue homes after their owners die or get divorced.


If you are considering adopting a fully grown Jack Russell who’s already been trained but sadly went through a traumatic puppy stage, clicking on the rescue group links below is a great way to start! 




Now that you have gathered every facet of information about this buoyant dog breed make the decision today!

If you are creative, energetic and seeking a four-legged companion to lavish your lifestyle, then the Jack Russell is the most exceptional breed for you and you need not wait a minute longer to adopt an adorable Jack pup.

Jack Russell Terrier Photo Gallery

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