Cute puppy Jack Russell terrier, eight month old male - studio shot and gray background

Jack Russell Terrier

Breed Characteristics

Demand a lot of attention from their owners. Jack Russell Terriers make excellent watchdogs. Some individuals are shy. Not reliable off leash. Most dig and bark. JRTs are excellent climbers. Need an owner experienced with both terrier and hunting dogs.

Is the Jack Russell Terrier approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



England, late 1800s. The Jack Russell Terrier originated in England in the 1800’s due to the efforts of the Reverend John Russell. He developed a strain of Fox Terriers to suit his needs for a dog to run with his foxhounds and go to ground to bolt the fox and other quarry from their dens. Two varieties evolved with basically similar breed standards except for differences, mainly in height and proportions. The shorter, slightly longer proportioned dog is known as the Jack Russell Terrier. The taller, more squarely built dog is now known as the Parson Russell Terrier.

Original Purpose

Jack Russell Terriers are bred to follow red foxes, both over- and underground.

Behaviour and Temperament

Cheeky, outgoing, playful, independent, spunky, fearless.

What are some Physical Features of the Jack Russell Terrier?

25 to 30cm; 5 to 6 kg. All colours permitted; most are predominant white with black, tan, or brown markings.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Two types: smooth and broken or rough. Minimal grooming for the smooth, more for the broken coat. Professional grooming not necessary for smooth but is optional for the broken coat. Show coats must be stripped.

Life Expectancy of the Jack Russell Terrier

The life expectancy of the Jack Russell Terrier is between 14 and 16 years.

Have a Jack Russell Terrier?

Health Concerns

The Jack Russell Terrier is a very healthy breed and has no unusual health problems. Some individuals may be prone to kneecap dislocation, Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease.

Exercise Needs

Very high. JRTs easily get fat if not given sufficient exercise, and they need a tremendous amount of it. They will hunt, play, chase, and run around all day long.


Jack Russell Terriers will do okay in apartments provided sufficiently exercised. Can become restless and destructive if not sufficiently exercised. If a Jack Russell Terrier is to be left alone at home during the day, he should be well exercised before and after his alone stint at home.


Likes to play with kids but is not especially tolerant and will not stand teasing; if irritated, they will nip. Children should be taught not to tease the dog. Reserved with strangers. May show same-sex aggression; prefers other Russell Terriers. JRTs have strong hunting instincts, not to be trusted with other small animals.


Average; can learn quickly but tends to be independent-minded. Needs a firm and experienced trainer.

Recommended Activities

Hunting, earthdog trials, agility.