One of the most widely recognized terriers, the Jack Russell has a long ancestry, dating back over a century. It is named after the Revd Jack Russell, who was popularly described as the ‘Hunting Parson’ because of his keen interest in fox hunting. Russell lived in Devon, England, and here, during the latter part of the last century, he began to create a strain of versatile hunting terriers. He wanted dogs that would be able to hunt alongside hounds and were also capable of going to earth and driving out a fox.
Origins: Devon, England
Coat Type/Colour: Short; White, Black and Tan
Height: 10 – 15 Inch (25 – 38 cm)
Weight: 10 lb (4.5 kg)
Nature: Lively, Excitable
An influential member of the Kennel Club during its formative years, the Revd Russell nevertheless vehemently opposed the creation of an official standard for this breed. He feared that this would actually weaken its character As a result, the Jack Russell has remained a breed in everything but name. Moves are now afoot to change this situation in various countries, however, and widespread formal recognition is likely to take place before long.
In terms of temperament, the Jack Russell is lively and rather an excitable dog. It can sometimes prove snappy, but this is the exception rather than the rule. In addition to its original hunting skills, the Jack Russell has proved to be a dedicated matter, although it does not appear that its creator used these dogs for this task. As a result, they can be particularly vulnerable to leptospirosis as this infection is often spread by rats.As with all dogs, Jack Russells should be routinely vaccinated against this serious bacterial disease.