Jack Russell Terrier Facts by Jo Williams |Updated 09-27-2023
Do you love Jack Russell's? Think Terrier's are terrific? Then this article is for you. Here are 13 amazing Jack Russell terrier facts you might not know. Jack Russell's are known for being smart, agile and spirited but they can sometimes be a handful.
They need an experienced dog owner or someone willing to put the time and effort into learning how to train them. But all the effort is worth it for one of the smartest, most loyal and affectionate best friends out there.
Here are 13 amazing facts about Jack Russells that may surprise you, entertain you, but most of all inform you especially if you are considering one of these clever little dogs for your own.
The Jack Russell was named after Reverend John Russell who first created the breed from a white-coated Fox Terrier in the early 19th century. Most Jack Russell's are descended from a bitch he owned called Trump.
Jack Russells tend to be extremely intelligent, agile, fearless, and vocal dogs (read they bark a lot!). They need a lot of exercise and attention, if not they can get moody and even destructive. JR owners need to be firmly in charge otherwise 'guess who' will think they are the top dog. This doesn't mean shouting or physical punishment but rather a calm consistent approach to training.
Give them rules they can understand and reward them when they do what you ask. Never tell a JR off for coming back, sure they might have just run off after a squirrel but when they eventually come back they should be praised for returning and put back on the lead.
Shorties are the most well known short-legged dogs with stocky legs and bowed elbows. Long-legged Jack Russell's are less common in the UK, they are usually Parson Russell Terriers. They are small, usually measuring between 25–38  cm and weigh 6–8 kg. Jack Russells can live from 13 to 16 years given proper care.
Jack Russell's can be white, white with black or tan markings, or tricolor (white, black, and tan). They can have three different types of coat; smooth, rough or broken.
They are well known for their moulting, and a pet vacuum is an essential JR owner purchase! They need weekly brushing to remove dead and loose hair. If you brush your Jack faithfully, he should rarely need a bath. Broken or rough coats need to be stripped once or twice a year
A Jack Russell's skin can sometimes show a pattern of small black spots, called "ticking" that don't show on the outer coat, usually only uncovered after a hair cut.
A Jack Russell named Bothy made history in 1982  as part of the Transglobe Expedition. Owned by explorer Ranulph Fiennes, he became the first and only dog to travel to both the North and South Poles.
Nipper, born in 1884 , was the inspiration for the painting, Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph, later renamed to His Master's Voice.
The painting was used by a variety of music related companies and today it remains in use incorporated into the logo for HMV in UK and EU.
If you watched Frasier you will know the charming Jack Russell, Eddie. Fans loved Moose, the JR actor, so much that the dog got more fan mail than anyone else on the show. Out-shined by a dog? "I'm listening".
As Jack Russell terriers were bred to bolt foxes, no amount of training can get rid of the natural instinct to hunt. Although JR's are more than happy on a lap they love to run and play and need at least two walks a day. Despite being small, these dogs have a lot of energy and need to be outdoors.
Fencing needs to be a lot higher than you think! The JRT can leap five times its own height. That means a 12-inch-tall Jack can easily jump five feet in the air! This Jack Russell superpower is mainly used or escaping the backyard or chasing squirrels up trees.
Did you know dogs can get sunburnt too? Just because dogs have fur, doesn’t mean they are safe from the sun. All dogs can get sun-burned, but Jack Russells are particularly sensitive due to their light colored coats. A bit of dog-friendly sunscreen will protect your dog from sun damage. If your dog gets a little pink, there are specific kinds of aloe you can buy just for dogs.
These are amazing dogs that need good owners willing to take the time to train, exercise, interact and love them for who they are. In exchange, you get a healthy, loyal dog that will keep you company for many years to come.
Jo Williams is a Jack Russell obsessed freelance writer from London, England. There is nothing she loves to talk about more than dogs, good food and travelling of course. Coming from a family of JR owners, Jo shares tips for looking after Jack Russell's on THE JACK RUSSELL including 'How to find out your Jack Russell's real age', and '10 essentials every Jack Russell owner needs'.