By Rock River
them on T.V., in movies, on record labels, and bill boards. They're named for a colorful 19th century English clergy
man that saved them from extinction. They are the old foxing terrier, from long, long before. They spawned the
Fox Terrier, first recognized by The Kennel Club, more than a century ago.
the 20th Century, most "All Breed" registries created variants of the Jack Russell. They are now known by a variety
of names: Parson Jack Russell Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Russell Terrier, English Jack Russell Terrier, and
many more. Regardless, they treat life as the best game in town, and they are in it to win.
come uniquely marked, sometimes a tri color, maybe black and white, or a shade of brown and white, never brindle, but always
at least 51% white. The nose is black, and their coal black eyes sparkle with a perpetual mischievous glean. With
small "V" shaped ears flipped forward, they can dig to China, climb trees and fences as if they were ladders. They leap
any hurdle in a single bound, and run all day, with just a little left over just in case. Few dogs are as agile. They
may be short or tall, ten to 15 inches, just as long as it is height to length proportionate. The coat may be
smooth or course, short or long, maybe a little of each, it should be hard, preferably a thick double coat (not
woolly), that sheds year round. At a pound/inch and in hunting trim, they can be more difficult to wrestle with or contain
than any of their 200 pound cousins.
Fiercely loyal, with a fiery temperament, they have more
fight then flight bred into them, they'll give as good as, often better, and then they get, even with the odds stacked against
them. A 12 year old behaves as youthful as a 2 year old. Forever alert, nothing escapes their attention.
Intelligent and independent thinking, they tend to be willful, single minded, stubborn, and dominate. Their personalities
are as distinct and unique as their markings. You're never sure what you have for at least a year.
Terriers (JRTs) are the old type of working terrier, bred and used to help control vermin (mice, rats, fox, badger, otter,
raccoons, opossum, ground hogs, etc.). Breeders down through the years, introduced a little of this or that blood into
this excellent working terrier hoping to get that little extra for the type of quarry they put them too. Jack Russell
Terriers simply excel at what they were bred to do, HUNT. The Fox Terrier, Rat Terrier, American Fiest,
are just a few examples of the breeds whose roots extend back to this terrier’s gene pool.
to the ground, and an eye to the sky, they can run with a pack of hounds. They can bolt the fox from its hole. They
can hold the badger and raccoon at bay in it's den. Any hole is worth an exploratory sniff and possible enlargement.
They are unbeatable as ratters and mousers, and challenge almost everything, even creatures ten times their size. They
hunt by sight, sound, and scent. They are often a common companion of horse men and horses.
Unfortunately a lot of uninformed people refuse to recognize or understand the down side of those working abilities and that
JRTs are best kept as farm and country dogs. Many irresponsible breeders would have you believe that these are cute
little lap dogs. Thousands have wrongly thought they could keep "Eddie" or "Wishbone" in an apartment, trailer park,
or close city neighborhood. These incredible little terriers are too often labeled as untrainable, destructive,
hyperactive, and overly aggressive. These terriers are tough. They dig, run, jump, bark, climb, and stand their ground.
They put 110% effort into everything they do. The Jack Russell Terrier should have, even requires a dominate
handler that will provide it a job and purpose. Failing to do so permits the JR to take control of you, your home, and
I hope you understand that this terrier is a wonderful dog in the hands of a properly educated, able handler and in a proper
environment. You should expect that if your children are rowdy or prone to tease animals, there will be instances of
them being nipped. Cage a JR for the day and it'll go spastic demanding every moment of your time after release. Chain
the JR, and it will bark and yap until you release it. Allow a JR off leash, it will bolt after, and harass, every cat, squirrel,
and rabbit it sees. Fail to adequately exercise the JR and your house becomes the Indy 500, the furniture used as agility
equipment. If you are an inactive person, this terrier will challenge you. A 15 min walk in the park, or
around the block, will never satisfy a JRs activity needs. If you are an inexperienced dog person, lack any sense
of humor, live in an apartment or other close quarters environment, I strongly suggest you select another breed.
must have a JR, then the absolute best thing you must do for yourself and this excellent working terrier, is attend a dog
obedience course, and then get involved in activities that challenge the JRs' intellect and physical abilities, the reward
will exceed your investment.
I've heard it said and seen written many times that a Jack Russell Terrier is a "work in progress" (it is life long),
I'll simply say they enrich my life, and they can be like potato chips, "having one JR is just not enough". Owning
a JR can be a wonderful experience, with your dedicated, loyal and affectionate companion at your side, you'll never sleep,
eat, or travel alone again. Being owned by a Jack Russell is either fantastic or terrible, just what you choose
or simply let happen.