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Dogs 101 - RUSSELL TERRIER - Top Dog Facts About the RUSSELL TERRIER
The Jack Russell Terrier, or the JRT, is a small terrier, bred originally for fox hunting. Despite the dog’s popularity, the American Kennel Club does not recognize it as a breed as it is a strain of working terrier, with a broad standard. The Parson Russell Terrier and the Russell Terrier, which are very similar to the JRT and share their history with it, do get recognized as separate breeds. The JRT is named after Rev. John Russell (1795 – 1883), an avid foxhunter from Devonshire, England, who first bred these dogs. A white and tan female Fox Terrier called Trump formed the foundation for Russell’s working dogs. Russell was interested in developing a high-stamina, courageous dog, physically suited to run along with horses. These dogs also needed to be even-tempered enough to chase the quarry, but never harm it. The JRT was bred strictly for working, which prompted the strain’s parent societies to oppose recognition by kennel clubs. This led to the recognition of the Parson Russell Terrier, which has more specific size stipulations than the JRT. After Russell’s death, a shorter legged variety better suited for badger hunting was also developed, which has evolved into the modern Russell Terrier. It is worth noting that these names do not hold in all kennel club jurisdictions, and bodies like the FCI, which is an international federation of kennel clubs, have different specifications for the JRT.
Time for some Ruff Trivia:
- In the 1994 blockbuster The Mask, a Jack Russell Terrier is one of the few friends that Jim Carrey’s character, Stanley Ipkiss, has. What is the dog’s name in the film?
o A: Fido
o B: Milo
o C: Juno
What do you think, give it your best guess in the comments below before we get to the answer! Hang on tight and we’ll get back to this Ruff Trivia Question toward the end of the video.
A key aspect of the JRT is that, unlike many breeds, its pure working nature has ensured that it has remained almost as it was about 200 years ago, unmarred by the whims of the show ring. The height range of the adult JRT is around 10 to 15 inches, with weight between 14 and 18 pounds. The difference of the JRT with the Parson Russell Terrier and the Russell Terrier is mainly in the size specifications. Being a working terrier, the chest size is an important feature of the JRT; it shouldn’t be too large to prevent the dog from entering burrows. The head is of moderate width at the ears, narrowing towards the eyes. The jaw is powerful, with a scissor bite. Eyes are almond-shaped; ears are small and V-shaped. The coat can be smooth or rough, but always dense and double-layered. Color is predominantly white, with black and/or tan markings.
Grooming:Coat care is minimal for a JRT, requiring a brush with a hound glove once or twice weekly, along with an occasional bath. The rough-coated JRT might require occasional hand stripping. Other than this, brushing of teeth, trimming of nails and cleaning of ears are regular parts of the grooming routine.
Temperament:The JRT’s temperament is focused towards being an effective hunter of ground-dwelling animals. It is intelligent, fearless and vocal, with a very high energy level. Because of its high energy, it is generally not recommended for apartment living. It is very friendly and playful with humans, and gets along very well with children. It is likely to get aggressive with other pets, including dogs of any size, unless properly socialized from a very young age. The JRT does very well with horses, though.
Training:The JRT is a very intelligent, if slightly stubborn and aggressive, animal and can be trained easily for not just hunting but even a variety of dog sports. Ample exercise and mental stimulation is needed for these dogs in the form of a long walk, a good jog or a strenuous game. Access to a fenced yard where the dog can explore will go a long way in keeping your JRT happy.
Health:The JRT is a typically long-living dog, with life expectancy between 13 to 16 years. How healthy your dog is can depend on the bloodline it comes from. Some issues that are seen in these dogs include cataracts, congenital deafness, patellar luxation, myasthenia gravis, Legg-Calve-Perthes Syndrome and von Willebrand’s Disease. Lens luxation is a very common hereditary disorder in the JRT.
A playful and affectionate companion, the Jack Russell Terrier’s strong hunting instincts mean that its ideal day is spent sniffing around in the woods. Despite its small size, it asks for special commitment if you plan to keep it in an apartment.
Find out if the Jack Russell Terrierwould be a good addition to your home. Now you can visit Brooklyn’s Corner.com to take our quiz and find out which dog would be the best match for you.
Music by Kevin McLeod - Royalty Free