Jack Russell Terrier illustration
Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

Modern descendent of the hardy terriers developed by the Rev John Russell

Breed characteristics

Size
Small
Exercise
Up to 1 hour per day
Size of home
Flat/ Apartment
Grooming
Once a week
Coat length
Short
Sheds
Yes
Lifespan
Over 10 years
Vulnerable native breed
No
Town or country
Country
Size of garden
No garden

About this breed

The Jack Russell Terrier was given official recognition by The Kennel Club in 2016. Although the country of development is seen as Australia, the breed has its roots in the working Terriers of the British Isles, many of which were early exports with ex-pats who emigrated to Australia and which proved their worth keeping down vermin in the new homesteads. Many small working Terriers, some of them genuine Jack Russell Terriers and others loosely carrying the title, were exported to Australia in the 1960s and 1970s and in 1972 the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia was founded.

It was in Australia that the breed was first seen as a dog for the show ring. Developed there, with some differences from the foundation stock, the ‘Australian’ Jack Russell has become popular world-wide at dog shows and was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1991. It must be said that the type developed in Australia has some differences from the type maintained by the Jack Russell breeders in the UK, who have retained the original type: a dog similar to the Parson Russell in proportion, but in a smaller frame. However, the British standard has been drawn up as a compilation based on the British breed club standard with the Australian and FCI standards. Owners of Jack Russell terriers registered with non-Kennel Club breed clubs have been invited to register their dogs with The Kennel Club, in the hope that they will add to the gene pool and compete at The Kennel Club's shows.

Despite its development in Australia, the nomenclature pays respect to the origins of the breed as a working Terrier in England, and it is hoped that the Jack Russell of the show ring will remain essentially a working Terrier both in type and temperament. (see also Parson Russell Terrier).

Read the breed standard

Images for this breed

The Terrier breed group

Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.

Breed standard colours

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Breed standard colours in this breed include:

  • White With Black Markings
  • White With Black/Tan Markings
  • White With Tan Markings

Other colour/s

'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.

Non-breed-standard colours

Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.

Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.

Health

Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

More about health

Important health schemes and tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following schemes, tests and advice.

*CombiBreed - simple to use and easy to organise all-in-one DNA tests for breeders

The DNA tests listed above marked with an * are included in our CombiBreed health test package. This includes:

  • Late Onset Ataxia (LOA)
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
  • Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)

As part of this package, all three of these tests are carried out from a single swab for a total of £135 (incl. VAT). Assured breeders receive a 10% discount (£121.50 incl. VAT).

Find out more about our CombiBreed health packages.

Find out about a particular dog's results

Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.

You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have any questions about health in your breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.

Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

Contact the breed health co-ordinator for the Jack Russell Terrier.

Breed watch

Category 1        

Currently no points of concern specific to this breed have been identified for special attention by judges, other than those covered routinely by The Kennel Club's breed standard.

Read more about Breed Watch

Breeding restrictions

There are a number of The Kennel Club's rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.

More about breeding

There are not currently any additional breed specific restrictions in place for this breed.

More information

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