Jack Russell Terrier

This lively breed was developed for active work and would suit an energetic owner who enjoys exercising. If you want a canine companion for when you go out jogging or you fancy joining an Agility or Flyball class, then this is the right dog for you.

The Parson Jack Russell is always on the look out for prey, including vermin, squirrels, birds, rabbits, moles and even hares.


Parson Jack Russell was a cleric, who was rather unjustly more famed for his hunting exploits than for his pastoral work. Born in Devon in 1795, he took a good degree at Oxford and was ordained in 1819. As a student, he annoyed the college authorities by keeping an illicit small pack of hounds, and it was whilst he was up at Oxford that he acquired the bitch terrier that was to become the foundation of the breed that was named after him.

Strolling in Magdalen Meadow one day, Jack Russell met the local milkman and saw, for the first time, the terrier named Trump. He did not move until he had persuaded the milkman to part with her. He died at 84 years old. still in the saddle, and with his breed of dogs a fitting memorial.

The long-legged Parson Jack likes nothing better than to be outside hunting or free running.


Highly intelligent, the busy Parson Jack Russell is always doing things and is very affectionate as well as being a good guard dog -alert and watchful. Their wonderful friendly nature blossoms within a happy family and they are extremely patient with children. This is an easily-trained, fun dog which is into everything. However, it does need to be busy and active and can easily become bored.

must know

This is a generally healthy breed but do make sure that you always buy from eye-tested parents.


This is a working terrier, which is reflected in the Breed Standard. The Jack Russell must have the conformation to go to earth and run with hounds. Its job is to either mark the fox underground or bolt it.

so it needs courage without recklessness coupled with stamina. It is also one of the great ratters with razor-sharp reactions.

Small-legged Jack Russells are now becoming more popular as family pets, but they are not recognized by the Kennel Club.


The Parson Jack Russell is a small athletic dog which is full of vitality. It is slightly longer than its height at the shoulders – 35cm (14in) for dogs; 33cm (13in) for bitches. The wiry or smooth coat is mostly white with black and/or tan patches. Note that the long-legged Parson Jack Russell Terrier should not be confused with the smaller-legged Jack Russell Terrier, which is now much more common but is not recognized by The Kennel Club.

Strangers 4/5

A very watchful dog; intruders beware

Temperament 5/5

Happy-go-lucky fun dog, intelligent and trainable

Exercise 5/5

Running and playing as much as possible

Grooming 4/5

Smooth-haired needs minimal grooming; rough-haired needs


Other dogs 2/5

Not aggressive but will stand their ground


Ideal for the dynamic country family

General care

There are two types of coat: the smooth variety requires only a weekly brush whereas the rough coat needs hand stripping or trimming every four to five months as well as weekly brushing. This is a country dog needing plenty of exercise, free running and mental stimulation. Unless you have the space and are prepared to spend a lot of time exercising it. this is not a suitable dog for you.

Teaching your dog games and tricks will help to exercise it physically and mentally, making it less likely to develop any behaviour problems. It enjoys playing games but will get very excited and will shake and "kill" toys that squeak. Beware if you are a keen gardener with carefully planted flowerbeds as this dog loves digging!

The smooth-coated Parson Jack needs minimal grooming - just a quick brush with a rubber slicker.

Gallery of Jack Russell Terrier