How can you not know about the Jack Russell Terrier (JRT), one of the most known and loved dog breeds by people, they are so loved that they reach the same level of popularity as the Golden Retriever, the Chihuahua, Labrador and many more. They have a history of being hunting dogs, for being very active and playful, without a doubt the perfect dog for a person with an active lifestyle. They are also known for being in movies or television series, further increasing their popularity.
The Jack Russell terrier has its origin in the United Kingdom in the XIX century when the Reverend John “Jack” Russell was dedicated to the breeding of dogs and began to make crosses in Terrier Breed dogs and was determined to select the best dogs descendants of the fox terrier, until achieving the best breed that was dedicated to fox hunting, as he was a lover of this practice, and he made it until getting the breed he considered perfect, dedicating his name in honor of what he achieved. The Jack Russell is a dog dedicated to hunting and is a howler terrier, meaning that this dog barks enough to get the foxes out of their hiding places, but not kill them. Due to the crosses that were made, there are some genetic varieties in the Russell Terrier that created certain conflicts in designating the specific standards in this breed, mainly in their legs because there are dogs of this breed with longer legs than others with a difference between about 2 to 4 inches, so he separated that type of breed, designating the long-legged as the Parson Russell Terrier and the short-legged as the Jack Russell Terrier in Uk. In the late 20th century this breed was brought to Australia by the Dukes of England as a gift and there emerged the first Official Club of the Jack Russell Terrier to achieve its development and international recognition of Standard. Later in 1976, the United States established the first Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, dedicated to the breeding of this dog and establish the American standard breed, which in this case the Americans established the long legs as the Jack Russell Terrier.
As its history says, the physical features of the Jack Russell Terrier breed are specific to what they were created for and are known to be a working terrier, dedicated to fox hunting. Its body is compact and small, which allows them to enter easily into burrows, with short legs, measure both genders between 10 to 15 inches in height, and come to weigh normally between 13 and 17 Lbs. They have an approximate life expectancy of about 13 to 15 years. The colors of their coat are mostly white with brown or black spots and their fur is water-resistant. Their body, despite being small, is strong and muscular, their legs are shorter and their body is longer than high which allows them to be flexible, their tail is strong and straight. They have a medium-sized head, wide muzzle, deep jaw, and V-shaped floppy ears, their eyes are small almond-shaped and are dark in color. Its type of coat varies, are short but can be a smooth coat, semi-hard and hard (Rough coat), if it is smooth this is easy to maintain and just a weekly brushing would do but if it is the semi-hard or hard requires more care especially during the change of seasons, brush it several times a week to remove their old coat and we recommend the technique of stripping to help their coat.
Normally in dog breeding, there are crosses with other breeds and it is known especially in this one, there are countless varieties of Jack Russell mix and all having different characteristics but always keeping a part of this dog. One of the most well known is the cross with the miniature pinscher, being this mix known as the Minnie Jack.
When you decide to bring a Jack Russell Terrier puppy into your home you have to do it through a reputable breeder, who will show you that he is certified, meeting all the breed standard aspects, and will tell you the genetic history of diseases of the parents, ensuring you’ll get a healthy puppy. Jack Russells are naturally healthy and strong dogs but due to their history they are prone to developing diseases such as luxating patella or patellar luxation, a problem that is common in small dogs, and this occurs when the kneecap is not well aligned, producing pain and at the same time limping or difficulty walking, and this can later develop arthritis, the moment you see your Terrier dog showing some pain when moving or is limping you have to go directly to the vet. They also tend to develop eye diseases such as luxation of the crystalline lens, which occurs when the lens is displaced due to the deterioration of the ligament that supports it. You must be very careful if you see something different in your dog’s eye, as sometimes it can be treated with medication or surgery, and if it becomes very serious, the eye may be lost. This breed tends to form cataracts in their eyes and they could also develop glaucoma, it is a disease in which the pressure of the eye is abnormally high and it is very painful, they could have a loss of sight or complete blindness, this can happen by inheritance or by inflammation, tumor or injury.
Another health complication known in this breed is that they can suffer from congenital deafness and this occurs more in white-haired dogs, it can affect one or both ears, you can test their adduction by applause or loud noises when it is not alert. The Jack Russell also tends to be overweight, so it’s very important to keep up your dog’s exercise routine and feed him the right quality food and controlled rations.
Like all dogs, the Jack Russell Terrier has the same basic care but with the addition of some that are typical of the breed. The main thing as mentioned earlier, the exercise is something fundamental for this dog, if you live in an apartment you have to assume the responsibility to take them out for a walk every day for about 35 to 40 minutes, they are dogs that need both physical and mental exercise to maintain good health. The Jack Russell Terrier puppies are lovers of open places like parks, where they can run freely and play as much as possible and you can play with him puzzling games, smell games, it is a dog that will not bore you, in case you live in a house with a yard let him have access to the yard but make sure it is a safe space and fenced high enough for this dog because he has a muscular body and has the strength and ability to jump up to 5 times his size, and also be aware of the holes he likes to dig.
Another fact is that I recommend you to allow your terrier pup to familiarize with all the members of the family and, animals from the start, to relate to them and you will prevent him from taking an aggressive attitude towards other pets, when visitors come to the house or when you take him for a walk in a dog park. You must keep in mind that they are vocal dogs, they like to bark a lot and if you live in an apartment it can make your neighbors uncomfortable. They also like to bite a lot so be careful with the furniture in the house.
Something important in a Jack Russell Terrier is the training from puppies, you have to be firm and patient, they are stubborn so you must positively motivate them and with a lot of patience, establish the rules and routines educating it and put the limits that it has to respect inside and outside your household. Besides being very intellectual, they are also very independent, usually, they don’t fear anything so the discipline is something important so teach him to get used to wearing the dog leashes to go for a walk and prevent any problem in the future. Following all this your pet will have a completely happy and fun life, learn many things, but that taking into account that the owner must have experience in dogs and have leadership skills.
You should take care of his coat according to its type and more when he is changing, brush him once or several times according to his coat and thus remove his old hair. You can bathe him every 6 or 8 weeks if necessary to keep him clean, in case he has a lot of access to the outside and tends to get dirtier you can bathe him when you consider it. His nails tend to grow quickly so you can cut them 1 or 2 times a month with a special dog nail clipper or by going to the vet. Their oral hygiene is essential and you should brush them at least 2 or 3 times a week to avoid scabs or any oral disease and you can use special dog teethers that help him scratch his gums and at the same time keep him entertained. Always check their ears, paws, and mouths well to avoid any kind of disease.
Make sure to visit the veterinarian approximately every 6 months and have them do all their check-ups to rule out any diseases. Have him take all his vaccinations from puppy to adult dog and keep the order of all the ones he needs from time to time. Perform deworming every few months as prescribed by the vet.
These little ones are gluttons so you must take great care of the Jack Russell Terrier’s diet, like any pet, their food should be high quality and should contain all the necessary nutrients in dog food and more in these dogs who are to have a great vitality. What should be their food can be divided into 3 parts:
- Junior stage: the Jack Russell pup likes to eat a lot, so they should be given a good quality junior range food that helps them to have a high nutritional value and provides them with strong and healthy growth. You can start feeding them once they have been weaned until the Terrier puppies are 10 or 14 months old.
- Adult stage: Once the time of the junior stage has passed, you can gradually change it to an adult range food for small dogs if you want to go specific and adapted to their qualities. It should have all the nutritional inputs necessary to maintain their health and also depend on how active he is because if it spends a lot of energy will seek to replenish it with food but must be well controlled as they tend to develop overweight. The Jack Russell needs to take 2 portions of food per day. I strongly recommend you ask your vet which pet food is the best for your breed.
- Senior Stage: after the age of 7 you should start focusing on what type of nutrition is most suitable for your dog. Unlike other ages, the amount of protein can be reduced in case they are in delicate health, your vet will recommend which diet is most beneficial for them.
If you are an energetic, active and patient person, without a doubt the Jack Russell puppy is your best option, it’s a magnificent dog breed, intelligent, active, playful, and familiar, you can’t get bored with it. Even so, it is a great responsibility to have him as a pet, so make sure you are suitable to assume this responsibility and if you do, let me tell you that it was the best decision that you have made. If you have any questions or if you think I’ve missed anything please let me know on the comment section down below.