The Jack Russell Terrier: A Complete Guide

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The Jack Russell Terrier is a favorite among horse owners, dog sports enthusiasts, animal trainers for film and television, and people who simply appreciate his fearless personality, boundless energy, entertaining antics, and portable size.

It’s a bold and athletic dog who wins hearts with his quickness, intelligence, determination, and intense desire to hunt.

This dog is very affectionate and charming, but he can also be quite a handful! Nothing that some good training and discipline cannot manage, of course.

Jack Russell Terrier Puppies – Before You Buy…

Jack Russell Terrier looking curious
The Jack Russell Terrier is a relatively healthy breed.

What Price are Jack Russell Terrier Puppies?

The typical price for a Jack Russell Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder is between $350 to $600.

How to Find Reputable Pit Jack Russell Terrier?

Finding a good breeder is a great way to find the right puppy. A good breeder will help you go home with the right puppy and have complete health certifications and clearances.

He or she is more interested in placing puppies in the right homes than making big bucks.

Be careful of breeders who only tell you all the positive things about the Jack Russell Terrier, or who only promote it as “great with kids” without explaining further what it means and why it is so.

Good breeders will welcome your questions about temperament, health clearances, and what the dogs are like to live with and come right back with their own questions about what you’re looking for in a dog and what kind of life you can provide for him.

A good breeder can tell you about the history of the breed, explain why one puppy is considered pet quality while another is not, discuss what health problems affect the breed, and tell you the steps that must be taken to avoid those problems.

A breeder should want to be a resource for you throughout your dog’s life.

Look for more information about the Jack Russell Terrier and start your search for a good breeder at the official websites of official Jack Russell Terrier clubs.

Choose a breeder who has agreed to abide by the organization’s code of ethics which prohibits the sale of puppies to or through pet stores. It also calls for the breeder to obtain recommended health clearances on dogs before breeding them.

Don’t go for breeders who are only interested in getting rid of the puppy and receiving the proceeds.

Put effort into researching your puppy as you would into choosing a new car or expensive appliance. It will save you money in the long run.

Lots of reputable breeders have websites. Beware of those breeders that always have Jack Russell Terrier puppies available or have multiple litters in their premises.

It’s also a red flag when you can have a choice of any puppy and even pay online with a credit card.

They may be convenient, but they’re usually a sign that they’re not recognized breeders.

Whether you’re planning to get your new best friend from a breeder, a pet store, or another source, don’t forget to do your own research.

3 Little-Known Facts About Jack Russell Terrier

  1. The Jack Russell Terriers thrive when they’re with family and should not live outdoors or in a kennel. When you leave the house, try turning on a radio to help prevent separation anxiety.
  2. Jacks Russell Terriers are bouncy and will jump up on people and things. They can jump higher than five feet.
  3. They have strong prey instincts and will run after smaller animals. They should never be trusted off-leash unless they’re in a fenced area.

Physical Traits of the Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier in the yard
The Jack Russell Terrier loves to run around, jump, and play fetch.

The Jack Russell Terrier comes in two coat types: smooth and broken. Both exhibit a double coat that has a rough texture.

The broken coat is a little longer with just a little bit of eyebrows and a beard.

Some Jacks have a rough coat, which is longer than a broken coat. But its coat is never wavy or curly.

Jacks can be white, white with black or tan markings, or tricolor (white, black, and tan). The white on the body helps the hunter see the dog in the field.

The Jack Russell Terrier’s coat needs weekly brushing to get rid of loose or dead hair. If you brush your Jack Russell Terrier’s hair faithfully, he will not need a bath all the time.

Trim nails once or twice a month. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Short nails keep their feet healthy and also protect you from getting scratched whenever your Jack Russell Terrier jumps on you.

The only other grooming care he needs is dental hygiene. Brush his teeth at least two or three times a week to prevent tartar buildup and periodontal disease.

Make your dog’s grooming experience a positive one filled with rewards and praise. This will lay the groundwork for easier veterinary checkups when he grows older.

How Big is a Full-Grown Jack Russell Terrier?

Jack Russell Terriers vary widely in size because different types were used for different purposes and terrain.

They range in height from 10 to 15 inches at the shoulder and weigh 13 to 17 pounds.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Jack Russell Terrier?

The lifespan of a Jack Russell Terrier is generally 13 to 16 years. Compared to other breeds, the Jack Russell doesn’t have a lot of inherent health problems.

With its small, tank-like build, it’s also resistant to injuries. Although they can get hurt anyway due to their rambunctiousness.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier gazing in woods
The Jack Russell Terrier can jump higher than five feet.

The Jack Russell Terrier is highly trainable, but he has a mind of his own and won’t stand for boredom.

If you don’t keep him entertained, he’ll find his own amusements, and you probably won’t be happy with the results.

If you want a dog who can easily learn tricks, play fetch, and who will make an adorable companion, the Jack Russell Terrier may be the dog for you.

If you can’t deal with a dog who chews, digs, barks, and runs through the house whenever he wants, then this dog is not for you.

You will need to devote time and have a lot of patience to make the Jack Russell Terrier an ideal family dog.

He’s devoted to his people and loves being with them. His heritage as a hunting dog makes him an excellent jogging companion once he’s full grown.

Energetic older children will find this dog to be a fun and affectionate playmate, but its rambunctious nature can overwhelm smaller and younger kids.

The energetic and spirited Jack packs a lot of personality into his small body. Loving, devoted, and endlessly amusing, he enjoys life and all it has to offer.

This dog will go after his delights even if it means jumping over fences and tearing through streets. It’s incredibly smart and willful.

Friendly toward people, he can be aggressive toward other dogs and any animal that resembles prey, including cats.

His fearless and bold nature puts him in harm’s way when he takes on a bigger dog.

He thrives on structure and routine, but training sessions should be short and sweet to hold his interest. Repetition bores him.

A proper Jack is friendly and affectionate, never shy. Like every other dog, Jack Russell Terriers need to socialize as early as possible.

This ensures that your Jack Russell Terrier puppy will grow up to be a healthy and well-rounded dog.

The Jack Russell Terrier’s Diet

The recommended daily amount for Jack Russell Terriers is 1.25 to 1.75 cups of high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.

How much your Jack Russell eats depends on his age, build, size, metabolism, and level of activity.

The quality of the dog food you buy also makes a difference. The better the dog food, the more effectively it will nourish your dog.

Keep your Jack Russell Terrier healthy by monitoring his food intake and feeding him twice a day instead of just leaving food out for him all the time.

How Much Exercise Does a Jack Russell Terrier Need?

Jack Russell Terriers have tons of energy and won’t be satisfied by a sedate life or a walk around the block.

They love to run around, jump, and fetch. Make sure to give him about 30 to 45 minutes of daily vigorous exercise.

Jack Russell Terrier Health and Conditions

Jack Russell Terriers are a generally healthy breed, but they’re still prone to certain health conditions.

Not all Jack Russell Terriers will get any or all these conditions, but it’s important to know about them if you are considering getting this breed.

If you’re buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show health clearances for both your puppy’s parents. Health clearances prove that a dog’s been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.

In Jack Russell Terriers, you should expect to see health clearances for patellas (knees) and the eyes.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, deafness, Patellar Luxation, glaucoma, and lens luxation are just some of the conditions that can affect Jack Russel Terriers.

My Final Thoughts on the Jack Russell TerrierJack Russell Terrier guide

A Jack Russell Terrier can fill your life with laughter and love, but only if you give him the attention, supervision, and training that he needs.

First-time or inexperienced dog owners can start with a less challenging dog.

Do yourself and the dog a favor by considering carefully whether this is the right breed for you. If it is, you’re in for a wild but wonderful ride.

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