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Jack Russell Terrier | breed profile

Truly a big dog in a small dog’s body, the Jack Russell Terrier is a fearless and energetic companion.

Introduction

Jack Russell Terriers are known for their high energy, intelligence, and stamina. They were bred for hunting foxes in England in the 1800’s and are still used today to hunt rats. Like many working breeds, their numbers declined after World War II, and those left started to become the companions we know and love today.

The Jack Russell Terrier is often confused with the Parson Russell Terrier or Parson Jack Russell Terrier, however although they are very similar and share common ancestry the two breeds were separated in the 1980’s.

Appearance and Personality

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small and muscular Terrier, who stand up to 30 cm high at the shoulder and between 4 and 8kgs. They are predominantly white with black or tan markings on the face and head. The coat variations may be smooth, wirehaired, or broken and all coat types shed. Regular brushing two to three times a week will help to keep the coat in top condition and remove loose hairs.

They may be small, but Jack Russell’s have big personalities and may be best suited to a household of experienced dog people. They are independent and have a high exercise requirement due to their working pasts. Today they can excel at agility and other sports. Keeping the Jack Russell Terrier’s body and mind busy is vital to avoid destructive behaviour including digging and escaping which can arise out of boredom. Life on a larger property could be a better fit for a JRT than apartment living.

They make loyal and protective family members in the right family. Early socialisation with other dogs, people and animals is important to ensure good manners later in life but show caution when introducing Jack Russells to other small animals as in many cases, their hunting instinct is still strong.

Common Health Concerns

Jack Russell terriers can be prone to cruciate ligament disease, and other traumatic accidents, which may be testament to their active and adventurous nature.

The five most common reasons for a Jack Russell Terrier to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data (from 2020 calendar year) include:

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
1Skin disease (Allergic skin disease, pyoderma, pododermatitis, acral lick dermatitis)$171$1,920
2Gastrointestinal tract disease (gastritis, gastroenteritis, Canine Haemorrhagic Gastroenteritis)$377$6,932
3Neoplasia$523$7,199
4Cruciate disease$571$5,399
5Traumatic injury (bite wound, laceration, bone fracture, abscess)$370$4,896

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

For the same period (2020), the top five highest single vet treatments (or highest pet insurance claims) for Jack Russell Terriers from PetSure data were:

RankConditionHighest Cost of treatment for condition 
(average pet insurance claim amount)
1Intervertebral disc disease$14,267
2Gallbladder rupture$13,983
3Cataract$8,285
4Pancreatitis$8,244
5Hepatic neoplasia$7,504

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

Most popular Jack Russell Terrier names from PetSure 2020 data:

Most popular names

  1. Milo
  2. Jack
  3. Charlie
  4. Luna
  5. Millie
  6. Frankie
  7. Molly
  8. Archie
  9. Max
  10. Poppy

Most popular female names 

  1. Luna
  2. Millie
  3. Molly
  4. Poppy
  5. Daisy
  6. Lucy
  7. Rosie
  8. Roxy
  9. Bella
  10. Bonnie

Most popular male names:

  1. Milo
  2. Jack
  3. Charlie
  4. Archie
  5. Max
  6. Benji
  7. Eddie
  8. Buddy
  9. Teddy
  10. Toby

Did you know?

In 2007, a Jack Russell Terrier named George bravely protected two children from an attack by two large dogs in New Zealand. Sadly, George did not survive the incident. A bronze statue was built in the town centre of Manaia in his honour.

References

  1. Wikipedia, Jack Russell Terrier, accessed on 30 October 2020 and available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Russell_Terrier
  2. Dogs NSW, Breeds Jack Russell Terrier, accessed on 30 October 2020 and available from: https://www.dogsnsw.org.au/Breeds/browse-all-breeds/75/Jack-Russell-Terrier/
  3. American Kennel Club, About the Jack Russell Terrier, accessed on 30 October 2020 and available from: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/russell-terrier/
  4. Kete New Plymouth: Heritage Sites and Features, “George” – The Jack Russell Terrier- Memorial,accessed on 30/10/20, available at: http://ketenewplymouth.peoplesnetworknz.info/heritage_sites_and_features/topics/show/2683-george-the-jack-russell-terrier-memorial
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