The Jack Russell Terrier, commonly called JRT, belongs to the AKC Terrier Group and was entered into the registry in the fall of 1996. JRTs are a true hunting dog and require lots of exercise. A home with a fenced yard is most appropriate for these energized little dogs. Digging is a very common trait as they were bred for hunting. Sitting on a couch is not part of a Jack Russell's agenda. They love to play and chase. Crates do well in keeping your little JRT out of trouble if not home to supervise during the day. Because of their strong hunting instincts, JRTs do not do well with cats and other household pets if not socialized and brought up with them. Carefully consider adding a JRT to your family if children are not older and respectful. JRTs will not put up with teasing and abuse.
Grooming: The shedding coats of JRTs need minimal care. Weekly brushings and combing. Rough coat-types should be stripped for show quality.
Social Skills: This little dog gets along fine with other dogs and household pets. Can be dog aggressive if not well-trained. Needs early socialization to help these traits.
Personality: Very devoted, playful, and affectionate. Very loveable and playful. Can be a "big dog in a little dog's body". Strong hunting instincts and should not be trusted with other small animals unless socialized with them early. Tends to bark and dig.
Children: Very good with respectful, non-teasing children.
Housing: Very active, loves to roam. Not ideal for apartment and condo living, unless given sufficient exercise. They love to chase and explore. Will need to be kept occupied. Best suited for fenced in yards where they get plenty of exercise themselves. Care should be taken with fenced yards as they are noted for climbing fences. Keep on leash when not in confined areas.
Exercise: High. Tends to be destructive if not given lots of activity and exercise.
Training: Intelligent. Training can be difficult - begin early training. Needs persistance and a good strong-willed owner/trainer.
Health: Prone to dislocated kneecaps, inherited eye diseases, hip dysplasia, epilepsy and deafness. More information on Jack Russell Terrier inherited health disorders.
History: Jack Russell Terriers have an origin from England and were originally bred by a man named Jack Russell in the 19th century to hunt small game, specifically foxes. They were used to dig the foxes out of their dens.