Scrappy and resourceful, it’s no wonder that the Jack Russell terrier has graced our TV screens and captured our hearts as a highly agreeable companion. In true terrier fashion, they are curious about their environment and doubly curious about you. Having a Jack Russell terrier puppy in your home means having a little affectionate fox hunter in training.
In the 1800s, the Jack Russell terrier was bred by none other than Jack Russell himself. An avid fox hunter and Oxford divinity student, Russell was introduced to a terrier named Trump (no relation) and fell in love with the terrier’s quick and cunning capabilities. Soon enough, Russell developed a strain of fox terriers with distinctive white and brown markings, along with a narrow body ideal for fearlessly going into fox dens.
It didn’t take long for the world to take notice. Though there was controversy with the American Kennel Club not officially recognizing the Jack Russell terrier breed, The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America created strict rules and regulations regarding this breed. Later, the AKC acknowledged the Parson Russell Terrier, which is a very close cousin of the Jack Russell.
Jack Russell terrier puppy facts
Amidst the controversy stands a super-cute puppy. Here’s some information to consider before bringing a Jack Russell terrier puppy home:
|Size||Small. Between 10-15 inches at the shoulder and 13-17 pounds.|
|Breed Characteristics||The Jack Russell terrier is a sturdy little dog with a very consistent appearance. One glance and you’ll know immediately that it’s a JRT. They have dark brown eyes, ears that fold over in a “V” shape, and a narrow, athletic body.
Their coats are smooth but can come in rough or broken varieties as well. The colors are mostly white with tan, brown or black markings, with brown mostly around the ears. Jack Russell terriers have a distinctive short, wagging tail, usually about 4 inches long.
|Temperament||Forever present and alert, the Jack Russell terrier is right there next to you, watching and learning. They have a happy disposition, and due to their terrier temperament, they can be quite fearless.
Sometimes JRT’s tend to be a little nervous. Giving them the confidence to shine like the little bright terrier they are is always encouraged.
|Grooming and Health Needs||A Jack Russell’s coat is dense. Every couple of months, getting their coats plucked or stripped to help promote new growth could be beneficial for a shiny and healthy coat.
For most breeds, trimming nails and checking teeth regularly is important so your dog feels comfortable.
Jack Russell terriers are a sturdy breed, but it is recommended to have them tested for vision, brain and heart-related ailments.
|Training||The Jack Russell terrier is highly athletic and would benefit from a wide variety of activities and classes such as agility, racing, search and rescue and more. They are “working dogs” and haven’t lost a bit of their instinct when it comes to hunting. Due to this, being trained on a leash is essential as they have been known to get distracted.|
|Energy Level||There is an old saying that says, “where ever a fox goes, a terrier should go too.” With a surprisingly narrow body, sometimes your Jack Russell terrier can get into some tight spaces. The brain of a terrier is forever alert and ready to go. They are very affectionate and enjoy interacting with people regularly.|
|Life Span||12 to 14 years|
Who is the best human for a Jack Russell terrier?
Though small, Jack Russell terriers have a big-dog territorial instinct that’s not a great fit for all dogs and humans. They do not get along with all breeds of dogs and may have issues with animals that are smaller than them due to their long history of hunting rodents. According to the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, this breed is not recommended for children under 8.
Getting a Jack Russell terrier puppy
Choosing to adopt or go through a breeder for your new Jack Russell terrier puppy is a personal choice that requires research. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help you find a rescue or breeder that offers healthy, ethically sourced Jack Russell terrier puppies.
Knowing what you’re in for when you get a Jack Russell terrier puppy is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Whether you find a responsible breeder or are planning on adopting, it’s up to you to be prepared for an energetic and friendly addition to your household.
Adopting Jack Russell terrier puppies
It may be surprising to know, but adopting a Jack Russell terrier puppy is possible. According to the AKC, most breed rescues report that a majority of their rescue dogs come from individual owner surrender, with the most common reasons being a change in lifestyle or the breed not being right for them. This means that there may be many dogs and puppies out that that are looking for a new forever home.
The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young puppies to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out dogs that have been microchipped and spayed/neutered. This means you may end up with a dog that’s already been housebroken, and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a Jack Russell terrier mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.
Finding a Jack Russell terrier rescue can be as simple as searching the internet. The AKC also has an excellent list of Jack Russell terrier rescues on their site.
Finding a Jack Russell terrier breeder
The first step is to do your research. Sadly, there are many puppy mills posing as reputable breeders along with many online scams. Be aware, and reach out to different online forums for conversations about getting your future furry family member.
Be sure to ask questions, make arrangements to meet the parent dogs or mother, and follow your gut. If something seems wrong at a breeder you visit, or the Jack Russell terrier puppy seems to good to be true, there’s likely something going on. The AKC also offers resources for finding a breeder, with fairly strict guidelines on who they let participate.
Jack Russell terrier puppy resources
After you find the right Jack Russell terrier puppy, it’s time to prepare your home! More than just showering love on your new family member, creating a healthy environment for your pup means storing away a few things and purchasing the right kind of food. Here are a few resources to get you started:
How to Survive the First 24 Hours with Your New Puppy
How Long Can You Leave a Puppy Alone?
How Often Should I Walk my Puppy?
The Essential New Puppy Checklist