jack russell in field looking at camera

The Jack Russell: thinking of getting a Jack Russell? reading-time-icon 2 min read

Alert, intelligent, full of energy and even fuller of character, the Jack Russell is a popular breed among owners in the UK.

Let’s take a closer look at the Jack Russell.

Place of origin: Southern England in the 1800s, bred by Parson John Russell (hence the name!)

How big do Jack Russells get? 25 – 38cm

How heavy are Jack Russells? 6 – 8kg

Life Expectancy: 13 – 16 years

Types of Jack Russell: Smooth, Broken and Rough-Coated

Colour: White, Black & White, White & Tan


Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does a Jack Russell need?

Originally bred to assist with foxhunting, Jack Russells need plenty of exercise – and may act out if they don’t get it.

They’ll need two walks a day and plenty of playtime in the interim. They’re easily distracted by anything they might see as prey, so it’s a good idea to keep your Jack Russell on the lead while walking through populated/urban areas.

Jack Russells are keen diggers so make sure your fences are secure if you often let yours out into the garden!

Read more: Why does my dog dig? Vet Vs The Net.

Training: how to train a Jack Russell

Jack Russells need training, even if they’re not aware of it themselves!

They’re intelligent dogs and can get bored easily without adequate stimulation. Their independent nature and occasional stubbornness means they’re not the easiest dogs to train but you can get around this by keeping training sessions short, reward-based and different each time.

Training will be easier if you start when your Jack Russell is young.

Grooming: do Jack Russells shed?

Brush your Jack Russell once a week to get rid of dead and loose hair. You’ll only need to bathe them when they’re very dirty. If your Jack Russell has a broken or rough coat, take them to a professional groomer to strip their coat once or twice a year.

Complete your Jack Russell’s grooming routine with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks.

Jack Russell temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Jack Russell Terriers are energetic and loving little dogs with big personalities. They’re friendly with people, but not always the biggest fans of other animals and smaller children.

If you’re looking for a strong-minded companion with an enthusiasm for life and an enthusiasm for spending time with their owner, a Jack Russell may be just the breed for you!

Cost of owning a Jack Russell

When you’re considering the lifetime cost of owning a Jack Russell, remember to take into account:

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.

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