The Jack Russell Terrier is a small terrier that has its origins in fox hunting; it is principally white-bodied and smooth, rough or broken-coated.
The Jack Russell is an energetic breed that relies on a high level of exercise and stimulation and is relatively free from serious health complaints. Originating from dogs bred and used by Reverend John Russell in the early 19th century, it has similar origins to the modern Fox terrier.
Due to their working nature, Jack Russell terriers remain much as they were some 200 years ago. They are sturdy, tough, and tenacious, measuring between 10–15 inches (25–38 cm) at the withers, and weigh 14–18 pounds (6.4–8.2 kg). The body length must be in proportion to the height, and the dog should present a compact, balanced image.
The Jack Russell Terrier is a cheerful, merry, devoted and loving dog. It is spirited and obedient, yet absolutely fearless. Careful and amusing, he enjoys games and playing with toys. Stable Jacks are friendly and generally kind to children. Children should be taught not to tease or hit the dog. They are intelligent, and if you let them take an inch, they can become willful and determined to take a mile.
The Jack Russell Terrier will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is very active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.
Their high energy and drive make these dogs ideally suited to a number of different dog sports such as flyball or agility.
A Jack Russell can fill your days with laughter and love, but only if you can provide him with the attention, training, supervision, and structure he needs. First-time or timid dog owners would do well to start with a less challenging pooch. Do yourself and the dog a favor by considering carefully whether this is the right breed for you. If it is, you’re in for a wild but wonderful ride.