Jack Russell Terrier


The Jack Russell Terrier is known as the Parson Russell Terrier in the U.S. Jack Russells were bred for character and not conformation and as a result they came in a lot of different coat types and leg lengths and were difficult to classify by the various country kennel clubs. The Parson (Jack) Russell is a small, compact and very athletic dog that comes in smooth-haired and wire-haired (or rough) coat varieties. The Parson’s coat should be predominantly white with brown and/or black markings, which are usually on the head and tail. Parson (Jack) Russell’s have a square shape with fairly long legs for their size. Parson (Jack) Russells stand 13 to 14 inches tall at shoulder height and weigh from 10 to 18 pounds. The Parson Russell Terrier is a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Terrier Group.


The Jack Russell Terrier was developed by the Reverend Jack Russell in Devon, England to hunt foxes. The Reverend wanted an aggressive breed with lots of fighting spirit to challenge the fox in its den. The appearance of the Jack Russell varies quite widely and as a result the English Kennel Club did not officially recognize it until l989. In the U.S., the Jack Russell name was changed to the Parson Russell Terrier by the AKC in April 2003. The Parson Russell was ranked 72nd out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.


The Parson Russell is the most energetic, fearless and athletic of all the terrier dog breeds. The Parson Russell demands full participation in the family activities with lots of physical and mental challenges. If the Jack Russell gets too little exercise and companionship, then this cheerful little dog will get bored and become destructive. The Parson Russell can be very aggressive towards strange dogs and even other family dogs. The Parson (Jack) Russell needs a lot of early socialization while a puppy and adolescent to curb aggressive behavior. These strong-willed Terriers need lots of early and on-going obedience training to ensure the owner and not the dog is in charge. The Parson Russell gets along well with older children – especially those that will play ball or Frisbee with him. Do not leave two Jack Russells together or they will fight over anything. Parson Russells make good watchdogs. This small dog breed needs an
experienced owner who has previously owned terriers.


The Parson Russell is so full of energy that it needs a lot more exercise than two long walks per day. The Jack Russell should be kept on-leash while walking as it will chase anything that runs. Parsons need lots of game playing and free running in an enclosed yard. This breed is a good climber and jumper so it needs a high fence to keep it inside the yard.


The Parson Russell requires a weekly brushing and a daily brushing with a rubber brush when shedding. The wire-haired (rough) Terrier should be hand plucked once or twice per year.

Health Considerations:

The Parson Russell should live from 13 to 15 years and has no common health problems. Be careful when buying a Parson (Jack) Russell that you do not buy one of the short-legged and long backed lines that some breeders are producing.

Article type: xdogbreed