With regards official recognition today's breed has had a somewhat mixed history, finally recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2001 under the name Parson Jack Russell, there are still many debates over breed standard amongst fanciers.
The AKC and its parent club The Parson Russell Terrier association of America (PRTAA) favour a longer legged leaner dog, whilst the Jack Russell Club of America (JRTCA) associated with the United Kennel Club (UKC) favour its stockier shorter legged brethren.
There are many "shades" of Jack Russell in between and many dogs which are unfailingly regarded as a Jack Russell would fall outside of the respective clubs's or the AKC’s fairly narrow breed restrictions. Breed standards aside most Jack Russell’s share the same characteristics and personalities.
Jack Russell Terrier Personality
Very intelligent, fun loving and active is a good way to sum up this characterful little terrier. Amusing and entertaining the Jack Russell Terrier is ever eager to play with new toys, games or people and is a very affectionate loving family dog; in fact whatever is going on at the time you will find this little chap at the heart of the action.
On the flip side the Jack Russell has certain less desirable traits that you will want to manage through training and socialisation. They can be aggressive with other dogs and have a high prey drive so are unlikely to be the most suitable guardian for your pet Guinea-Pig when you go to work.
They need to be entertained and kept busy, either through formal exercise or interesting activities, a bored Jack Russell Terrier can become restless and destructive.
The Jack Russell’s personality is such that they are easily excited and strong-willed to boot, they will do their utmost to achieve a goal. Having these traits coupled with being good climbers and diggers will amaze you at what a well motivated “Jackie” can achieve when he sets his mind to it.
The Jack Russell Terrier is not one to be ignored, named after hunting clergyman Parson Jack Russell in the 1880's, who bred from a variety of terriers looking to create a small dog that was big enough to run with the hunt, yet small and fearless enough to follow a fox to earth.
The resultant success of these feisty little terriers coupled with their outgoing personality ensured their popularity, both amongst the hunting fraternity and the wider public at large.
Animals: High prey drive means they are generally bad company for cats and other furries in the house, socialisation and growing up with other small animals may temper these aggressive tendencies.
Protection level: Will bark alot, and look ferocious, I wouldn't want to put my hand near those gnashers when he’s upset.
Grooming: The Jack Russell Terrier is very easy to groom, and will need to be combed or brushed about once per week. A firm bristle brush is all that is necessary to maintain their clean and healthy coat. Bathing and shampooing is only necessary when the dog has become extremely dirt.
Coat: There are three coat types, smooth , wire haired and broken ( which is a mix of the first two) and is close thick and short
Health Issues The Jack Russell Terrier is a hardy breed and quite healthy overall .There are though some special medical conditions to pay attention to such as
Hip Dysplasia: Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) can cause mild to severe lameness.
Collie Eye Anomaly: can cause blindness, but is not a progressive disease.
Legg Perthes disease: a disease of the hip joints of small breeds of dogs.
How many registrations per year that are made for this breed. Generally breeds are popular for a reason and high popularity breeds are often a great place to start your search.
How willing and able this breed is to protect you, your family and your home , how territorial they are and how dominant they can be. This is not necessarily a sign of how aggressive the breed is.
Not to be confused with protection/guarding this is how alert , how vocal and how trusting your dog is. Even tiny dogs can make great watchdogs.
Being able to physically manage your dog is a vital consideration, dogs are much stronger than humans pound for pound.
Breed Stats At A Glance: 1-5 Scale 5 is most or best 1 is least or worst
Nearly all dogs are trainable, some breeds however are inherently more stubborn, wilful, lazy or less intelligent than others. Stubborn and stupid is a bad combo, Clever and eager is a good combo!
A variable combination of trainability, inherent temperament, dominance or natural aggression make some breeds less suitable for the novice owner than others.
Older children are much more able to understand how to treat their dog appropriately. Parents must guage the maturity of their own children before choosing a dog.
Very young children are liable to annoy or provoke a dog and can injure smaller ones through rough play. They can themselves be knocked down or accidentally hurt by a larger or over enthusiastic dog.
A combination of how naturally active this breed is and how much daily exercise they will need. Under stimulated dogs can develop unwanted problem behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing and digging.
Some breeds happily live in apartments as long as they get enough daily exercise. Some however need big yards and lots of space. Some breeds bark a lot so think of your neighbours!
Some breeds love nothing more than snuggling up on the couch with you whilst others are much more aloof.
Playfulness represents how eager, willing and exuberant your furry pal will be when it comes to getting down and joining in the fun.
Representing yearly averages as some breeds only shed seasonally, some shed throughout the year, and some hardly shed or dont shed at all.
How much upkeep you will need to do to keep your dog looking their best and being healthy, grooming, brushing, cleaning and bathing etc.
All dogs can suffer health problems. Some breeds however, either through over breeding or inbreeding are more prone to serious congenital disorders than others.
How well does this breed naturally get on with other dogs? Proper socialization will mitigate most intolerance. Intact males generally are more problematic with other intact males
Some breeds have naturally higher prey drives than others, however nearly all dogs can live with small animals providing they are introduced young enough and are well socialized.