Jack Russell Terrier Dog Breed Profile

The Jack Russell Terrier is a canine breed originating in the United Kingdom. The Russell is an alert, tenacious and independent working terrier. Let’s take a look at some Jack Russell dog breed profile. 

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jack russell dog breed profile

Jack Russell Terrier Breed Profile 


  • Country of Origin: England
  • Group: Terrier
  • Size: Small
  • Weight: 9 to 15 pounds 
  • Height: 10 to 12 inches.
  • Exercise Requirements: 40 minutes/day.
  • Energy Level: Very energetic.
  • Lifespan: 12-13 years.
  • Tendency to Drool: Low.
  • Amount of shedding: Moderate
  • Social/Attention Needs: Low
  • Tendency to Bark: High.
  • Tendency to Dig: High.
  • Coat Characteristic: Smooth-short, and broken-medium.
  • Colors: White with tan and black markings.
  • General Grooming Needs: Low.
jack russell dog breed profile


These dogs are robust, hardy, and tenacious, measuring between 10 and 15 inches (25 and 38 cm) at the withers and weighing between 14 and 18 pounds (6 and 8 kg).

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The length of the body must be in proportion to the height, and the dog must present a compact and balanced image.

Their predominant color is white (more than 51%) with black or brown and tan markings; they exhibit a smooth, rough coat or a combination of both, known as broken fur. The skin can sometimes show a pattern of small black or brown spots, known as ticking. All coat types should be dense doubles that are neither silky nor woolly.

The head is moderately wide at the ears, tapering towards the eyes and slightly flat between the ears. Its ears are small, V-shaped, of moderate thickness, and are carried forward on the head.

The eyes are almond-shaped, dark in color, and full of life and intelligence. The jaw is powerful and has a scissor bite and straight teeth.

Its stop is defined but not too pronounced at the end of the muzzle, where it meets the head, and its nose is black.

The tail is set high.


Since its creation in the early 19th century, the Jack Russell served as a hunting dog.

The breed takes its name from the Reverend John Russell, who bred the best strains of working fox terriers in England.

The standard for Jack Russell terriers varies somewhat. In England, the longer-legged dogs are the Parson Jack Russell terriers, and the shorter-legged dogs are the Jack Russell terriers.

In the United States, long-legged dogs are the officially recognized breed as Jack Russell terriers.


Jack Russell is a lively, alert, and active terrier with a sharp and intelligent expression. He is fearless, friendly, and confident.

The Jack Russell  worked to drive foxes out of their dens.

Their high energy makes these dogs ideal for several different dog sports, such as fly ball or agility.

Obedience training is also recommended for owners because this dog can be stubborn and aggressive towards other animals and humans if not properly socialized.

They need constant, consistent, and patient training that allows them to stimulate their keen intelligence.

This breed is not suitable for sedentary people, first-time owners, or families with young children.

Despite their small size, these dogs are not recommended for apartments as this breed needs lots of exercise and stimulation. They can never seem to tire and will remain energetic long after their owner has finished for the day. While socialized members of the breed are friendly towards children, they will not tolerate abuse, even unintentionally.

You can train your dog for many activities if you use their natural tendency to jump, trail, chase prey, and do deep digging.

They are excellent hunters of rodents and vermin such as rabbits, ducks, and other small animals.


Jack Russell might benefit from a food designed for small breeds. They also need a healthy weight formula to help them with weight management.


The Russell Terrier has an easy-to-care waterproof coat. The smooth-coated Russells need only a weekly soft brush. Russells with rough or broken coats require weekly brushing and combing.


The breed has a reputation for being healthy with a long lifespan. Jack Russell can live for 12 to 13 years with proper care. 

However, it can have specific health problems due to recessive genes.

 These issues include:

  • Hereditary cataracts
  • Ectopia lentis
  • Congenital deafness
  • Patellar luxation
  • Ataxia,
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome *
  • Von Willebrand’s disease. **

Being a hunting-driven dog, the Jack Russell will generally go after most creatures it encounters, including the skunk.

The breed is prone to skunk toxic syndrome. The dog absorbs the chemical in the skunk spray, provoking the red blood cells to undergo hemolysis, which can occasionally lead to fatal anemia and kidney failure. 

 If sprayed underground, it can also cause chemical burns to the cornea. There are treatments available to remove the toxin from the dog’s system.


*What is Legg-Calve-Perthes disease? Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (also known as Perthes disease) is a rare condition in which the ball-shaped head of the thighbone (femoral head) temporarily loses its blood supply. As a result, the head of the thighbone collapses, and the area becomes inflamed and irritated.

** Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is a blood disorder in which the blood doesn’t clot properly. 

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