JRTs were bred by Reverend John Russell in the 1800s, when he purchased a small, white-and-tan terrier from his milkman. He named her Trump, and included her in his efforts to breed a dog that would have high stamina and be fearless enough to chase foxes out from underground. They were also bred to scare up other ground-dwelling animals, such as groundhogs and badgers.
Because of their intelligence and trainability, several JRTs have become famous animal actors. Uggie from 2011′s “The Artist” won a Golden Collar award. Moose and Enzo both played Eddie on the hit TV series, “Frasier.” They also shared the coveted title role in the feature film, “My Dog Skip.”
- Extremely intelligent, athletic and assertive
- Confident, bold and courageous
- Feisty, mischievous and high energy
- Large dog in a small dog’s body
- Because they are bred to alert hunters to quarry, JRTs are extremely vocal dogs who love to sound the alarm (with proper training, their bark can be reduced to a manageable level)
- Cheerful, loyal and fun!
- 13-18 pounds
- 12-15 inches tall (at the withers)
- Not the best companion for apartment dwellers unless you are prepared to provide the enormous amount of exercise and mental stimulation they require, without a yard to exhaust their energy
- Great with children over the age of 6, but will not tolerate any abusive behavior and may defend itself, harming a child in the process
- Don’t do very well with smaller pets such as cats, rabbits and gerbils because they’ve been bred to chase down small animals
- The yard must have a secured fence since JRTs will bolt after potential prey at the drop of a hat
- Because they are extremely intelligent and stubborn dogs with an assertive nature, who calls the shots must be established right away
- Training should begin as early as possible; untrained JRTs can become destructive
- Great at agility training
- Socialization is key since they have a tendency to be aggressive towards other animals and humans
- Since they love to dig, they should be trained to do it in a specific area so they can relieve that instinct without destroying your lawn
- Careful – the very intelligent JRT has been known to his pet parents before they even know it!
- Three types: smooth, broken and rough
- Mainly white with black or tan markings, or a combination of these (also known as tri-color)
- Should only be bathed as needed since excessive bathing can irritate their sensitive skin
- Their coats should be brushed regularly
- Prone to dislocation of the kneecaps
- Some may inherit eye diseases and deafness
- Also prone to Legg Perthes, a disease of the hip joints
- 15-17 years
- To bring home a feisty but loving Jack Russell Terrier, visit Russell Rescue, Inc.