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Jack Russell Terriers Health Problems, Lifespan, Temperament & Maintenance

| Published on November 10, 2017

Average Size of Female: 14.11 pound (6.40 kg) – 18.08 pound (8.20 kg)
Height: 9.84 inch (25 cm) – 14.96 inch (38 cm)
Major concerns: hereditary cataracts, ectopia lentis, congenital deafness, patellar luxation, ataxia, myasthenia gravis, Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome
Minor concerns: epilepsy, vonWillebrand’s disease, cerebellar Ataxia
Average Size of Male: 14.11 pound (6.40 kg) – 18.08 pound (8.20 kg)
Life span: 13 years – 16 years on average

Brief History on JRT Origin

The small white fox-working terriers we know today were first bred by the Reverend John Russell, a parson and hunting enthusiast born in 1795. They can trace their origin to the now extinct English White Terrier. Difficulty in differentiating the dog from the creature it was pursuing brought about the need for a dog that was mostly white in color. So in 1819 during his last year of university at Exeter College, Oxford, he purchased a small white and tan terrier female named Trump from a local milkman in the nearby small hamlet of Elsfield or Marston. Trump epitomised his ideal Fox terrier which at the time was a term used for any terrier which was used to bolt foxes out of their burrows. The Fox terrier and Jack Russell terrier type dogs of today are all descended from dogs of that period, but documented pedigrees earlier than 1862 have not been found. Although several records remain of documented breeding by John Russell between the 1860s and 1880s.

JRT Breed Appearance

The head should be of moderate width at the ears, and slightly flat between the ears. There should be a defined but not over pronounced stop at the end of the muzzle where it meets the head, and a black nose. The jaw should be powerful and well boned with a scissor bite and straight teeth. The eyes are almond shaped and dark coloured, and usually full of life and intelligence. Small V-shaped ears of moderate thickness are carried forward on the head. The Jack Russell always appears balanced and alert. Its most important physical characteristic is its chest size, which must not be so wide that it prevents the dog from entering and working in burrows.

JRT Breed Temperament

Jack Russells tend to be extremely intelligent, athletic, fearless, and a vocal breed. It is not uncommon for these dogs to become stubborn or destructive if not given a sufficient amount of exercise and mental stimulation. They have a tendency to become bored easily and will often create their own entertainment when left alone for long periods of time. Their high energy and drive make these dogs perfectly suited to a number of different dog sports such as flyball or agility. Obedience classes are also recommended to potential owners. They may seem never to tire and will still be energetic after their owner has called it a day. While socialised members of the breed are friendly towards children, they are known to not tolerate abuse or teasing even if it is unintentional.

JRT Breed Maintenance

The smooth and broken coated Jack Russell Terrier generally requires minimal grooming. The rough coated Jack Russell Terrier does require more grooming. However, he is still considered to be a low maintenance dog. All three coat varieties should be brushed a few times weekly to keep any shedding under control and remove any dirt or debris from his coat. The rough coated variety will take longer to brush, and should be brushed with a natural bristle brush. The rough coated variety may also require the use of a comb to remove any tangles. Trim his nails as needed, generally every two weeks or so to prevent them from growing uncomfortably long. His ears will need to be cleaned on a weekly basis, it should be noted that you should check for any redness or foul odor that may indicate an infection is forming. Teeth should be cleaned often by brushing them with doggy dental products. If he has excessive plaque buildup, a professional teeth cleaning may be required.


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