Know Your Breed: Jack Russell Terrier

From movies like the “The Artist” and “Legally Blonde”, to TV shows like “Frasier” and “Wishbone”, it’s quite clear that Hollywood has always had a major soft spot for Jack Russell Terriers. And we totally get it. They’re little packs of furry dynamite just bursting with loveable spirit.

Originating in 19th century England, these tenacious dogs were first bred by Reverend Jack Russell – an avid hunter – and were used to hunt and capture foxes. Almost 200 years later, the breed remains virtually unchanged and can now be found in homes all around the world.


Jack Russells are small-sized dogs and can reach a height of between 25 – 38cm when fully grown. And although they only reach a weight of between 6 – 8.5kg, they are quite muscular, sturdy and unbelievably tough.

According to breeders, they’re coat should be at least 51% white with coloured markings in either tan, brown, or black.


The Jack Russell’s hunting past means that it’s quite a fearless dog with a very lively and energetic spirit. It can also be very loving and is great with children.

Jack Russells are very intelligent and can be obedient if trained properly. They will, however, need a very firm owner, because these dogs can become quite wilful if given a little leeway. Their high energy levels also mean they require sufficient mental and physical exercise to be a happy, well-adjusted pet.

Remember, these dogs are hunters at heart and should not be trusted with smaller animals.

At Home

Jack Russell Terriers are extremely active and love to chase, explore, bark and dig. They are better suited to living in homes with a large backyard or access to grounds where they can run around

They should be taken out for a brisk walk/jog at least once a day. If the dog is confined indoors during the day, it should be exercised before the owner leaves for work and again when they return.


Jack Russells are considered quite a healthy breed and don’t suffer from too many health issues. However, they have been known to get dislocated kneecaps, develop deafness and even mast cell tumours.

They have quite a long lifespan and can be part of your family for up to 15 years or more.


Sign up for the JOCK Newsletter.

We will keep you up to date with legendary and hero stories.