Breed Focus: Jack Russell Terrier


In our latest Breed Focus, we put a pup that packs a punch, the Jack Russell Terrier, in the spotlight. 

Despite being one of the most popular dogs in the UK, the Jack Russell Terrier is not actually recognised by the UK Kennel Club, which is something we didn’t actually know until now. Instead the KC recognises a very similar looking dog, the Parson Russell Terrier, as the conformed breed. Regardless, both are named after a parson and hunting enthusiast - Reverend John Russell, who bred white and tan fox terriers. The Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) has retained its distinctive white coat - in both smooth and rough varieties - with black and tan markings. 

An intelligent and lively dog, the JRT is a tenacious, lively little soul who will take all the exercise thrown at him and with their plucky personalities, they’ve amassed a reputation for being a big dog in a small dog’s body. Would-be JRT owners should consider pet pastimes such as agility, flyball and obedience classes to burn off their boundless energy and occupy their mind. The breed is known to be healthy with a long lifespan, as a result of breeders protecting the gene pool and avoiding in-line breeding. Give them proper care and they can live to a ripe old age of between 13 and 16 years old. The JRTs less pleasing traits include stubbornness and aggressiveness towards other animals and other humans if not properly socialised.


With their playful personalities, Jack Russell's regularly appear on both screen and in print – most notably Uggie, dog of the award-winning film The Artist. Diva songstress Mariah Carey is one of their most high profile owners with her original dog Jack appearing in her All I Want For Christmas video and more recent controversially gate-crashing her bath during her Valentine’s night preparations.

Without official recognition from the Kennel Club, please, please, please do your homework before your buy, as otherwise you could unintentionally support the cruel practice of puppy farming. Visit Pupaid.org for more info and advice. We also see many an adorable JRT on the listings pages of the UK’s dog homes so you can also consider this route – see our For A Good Paws list on the left hand side of this page.

Can’t get enough of Jack Russell’s? Take a look at just a few of our finds for you and the dog ...


For you, clockwise from left: Little Jack Russell Mug, £11.75, Notonthehighstreet.comDoggy Bookends £59, Grahamandgreen.co.uk and Knitted dogs Jack Russell kit, £30, Muirandosborne.co.uk


For the dog: Luxury Emily Bond Jack Russell Accessories Collection including harness, neckerchief and toy bone (various sizes available), £65.50, Chelseadogs.com.

Do you own a Jack Russell Terrier? What can you tell us about the breed? Have you found any JRT-themed products that you think our readers might like? Just click on ‘Comments’ below to share.

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