Jack Russells are a small breed dog originally used to accompany bigger dogs on a hunt. Its mission was to scare the fox or rabbit out of its burrow so the bigger dogs could catch it. To do this they needed to be quick on their feet and ferocious towards game.
In keeping with its hunting background, Jack Russells are bold, energetic and curious about their surroundings. They have great stamina and in spite of their size, will outrun their owner any day. If given opportunity, they love to roam and a secure garden is a must. Jack Russells tend to be dominant and it is essential to establish who is the boss in the relationship; to define who is the pack-leader. These little dogs are fearless and will often tackle a dog several times their size.
Do they make Good Pets?
Jack Russells are loyal, intelligent companions and tend to be one-man dogs. They are tolerant to a degree but will not accept abuse or rough treatment from small children. As a pet, they require more attention than some breeds as they have loads of energy and need regular exercise and play times.
Do they get on with Other Animals?
As they were bred to work with other dogs, Jack Russells generally enjoy canine company. They are not so friendly towards cats but if raised with them, they normally don’t cause any trouble. It is not a good idea to keep rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs or similar as the dog’s hunting instincts will kick in.
Do they respond well to Training?
Jack Russells are bright and learn quickly. Use repetition and treats to teach him to follow basic commands or take him to puppy school. The most important lesson he needs to learn is that he is not in charge.
Along with their active natures and love of walking and running, Jack Russells can display some negative qualities. These traits often raise their heads when the dog is bored. Bad behaviors include digging, yapping and aggression towards strangers.
A typical Jack Russell will reach 10 to 12 inches at the shoulders. The body is normally compact and balanced, being solid and hard in appearance. The eyes are dark and ears small and V-shaped. White should be the main colour of a Jack Russell with tan, brown or black markings across the head and body. Their fur can be smooth or wiry.
Jack Russells are a very popular breed and if handled correctly can give years of enjoyment to their owners. Just remember that in spite of their small size, they are not lap dogs and hate to be treated as such.