The Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier is a small-sized terrier developed in southern England during the mid-1800s for hunting purposes. The breed was developed by reverend named Parson John Russell. At the beginning the Jack Russell Terrier was used only for hunting purposes, and then, after World War II, as the need for hunting dogs decline drastically, these dogs were kept as family and companion dogs.
Jack Russell Terriers are sturdy dogs, about 14 inches (for males) and 13 inches (for females) in height and they weigh 13-17 pounds. Their body is slightly longer than its height. Their coat is generally white, or white with tan, brown or black markings. It can be smooth and broken. The main difference is the length of the topcoat. Both shed moderately all year long but require minimum of grooming. All they need is a quick brushing few times a week.
Although small, these challenging dogs aren’t for everybody. Jack Russells are extremely energetic dogs and they demand a high level of exercise. They are one of the most intense breeds there is. Therefore, they are not recommended for apartments or for people who work a lot and thus don’t have enough time to spend exercising their dog. They are hard to tire out and when they aren’t properly exercised and stimulated, they can become very destructive. If left alone, without something fun to do, they will destroy your house looking for entertainment. They love to dig and have legendary hunting instincts, as they were originally bred to bolt foxes from their dents during hunts. Their history combined with their stubborn temperament make them inexhaustible; they will go after anything that moves and are able to wait by the hole where the scent something for hours. Running, hiking, fetching… you name it – Jack Russells are up for anything. Always! They are intelligent, bright, athletic and energetic breed. They learn very quickly. But, because they tend to be stubborn and even aggressive at times, training them is not so simple. You must have a lot of patience and be firm.
When training a Jack Russell keep in mind that these dogs are independent thinkers and if you want training to be successful you must make it fun and without a lot of bring repetition. Repetition bores him. Make sure to start training your Jack Russell as soon as you bring him home. You should also start with intense socialization from beginning. Jack Russells are fearless and that this feature can put this dog at risk because they will go after a lot bigger dog without thinking it through. Many of them are dominant and aggressive towards other dogs. Also, two Jack Russells should never be left alone because they might hurt each other heavily over possession of a toy. They are also not suitable for young children because they can snap when grabbed roughly. During walks, a Jack Russell Terrier should always on a leash to prevent him from chasing other animals and picking fights with other dogs.
FUN FACT: Jack Russell Terriers can jump higher than 5 feet.
Keep in mind that Jack Russells are vocal dogs. They will start barking on every new sound or new sight, but also can be recreational barkers. Jack Russell’s life span is 13-15 years.
The Jack Russell Terrier is often confused with the Parson Russell Terrier and the Russell Terrier. They look alike and share a common origin but are actually three different breeds of dogs. The Jack Russell, the Parson Russell and the Russell Terrier were all named after the same man – the Reverend John “Jack” Russell. Jack Russells and Parson Russells are similar, but have several differences, for example height – the Parson Russell terrier is slightly taller, bigger dog than the Jack Russell. But, oddly enough, Jack Russells are heavier ones. Jack Russells are more muscular and stockier and thus are heavier. Parsons are also square shaped, with equal measurements for both height and length.
Although Jack Russells have a reputation of healthy dogs that can live up to 16 years, when given a proper care, there are some health issues that affect this breed. Common health issues that Jack Russell’s owner must deal with are inherited eye disorder and deafness (associated with white color). Most common eye disorder is lens luxation, which occurs mostly between the age 3 and 8 years old, when lens in eyes become displaced. They are also prone to Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome, a disease that affects hip joints and to mast cell tumors.
FUN FACT: Queen Elizabeth II maybe has a thing for Corgis, but The Duchess of Cornwall is a big fan of Jack Russells. She owns two of them - Beth and Bluebell, both rescue dogs from Battersea.
FUN FACT: It is a common thing to see a Jack Russell Terrier in a movie - Baby from Clean Slate, Arthur from Beginners, Milo from The Mask or Skip from My Dog Skip… Jack Russells are just adorable and easy to handle on movie sets.
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