Jack Russell Terrier Standard

The Jack Russell Terrier

General Description

The Jack Russell Terrier is primarily a hunting dog. He is always lively, intelligent, active and alert. He is bold, kind and friendly. He has an overflowing affection for his master. He is above all a hunting dog but who loves family life and the cozy comfort of an interior.

Origin and History

Of English origin, the promoter of this breed, John (Jack) Russell was born in 1795 in Dartsmouth in Devon. Emeritus rider and great hunter, he devoted himself passionately to the breeding and selection of terriers. In 1873, he was one of the founding members of the Kennel Club. Since the end of the last World War, this breed has enjoyed growing popularity on the European continent, especially among hunters and riders. Russell Terriers are dogs that can go underground to dislodge foxes from their burrows or other game animals from their dens. The Jack Russell Terrier, or Parson Russell Terrier, was bred in 19th century Devon, by Reverend John Russell. Born into a family of fox hunters in 1795, John Russell wanted a dog that could keep pace with horses, track hounds, and flush out foxes from their burrows. While studying at Oxford, he spotted the milkman’s dog and bought it. This dog would have been the first “Russell Terrier”. As a clergyman, John Russell devoted his life to the Church and to the breeding of terriers suitable for fox hunting

The Russell Terrier was recognized by the English Kennel Club on January 22, 1990; this published an official standard under the name “Parson Jack Russell Terrier”. The F.C.I., in turn, accepted this breed on a provisional basis on July 2, 1990. The current name of the Parson Russell Terrier was given by the British Kennel Club in 1999. The breed was definitively recognized by the F.C.I. June 4, 2001.

Differentiate the Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier

Two varieties have evolved with basically similar standards apart from differences mainly in size and proportions.

The Jack Russell is shorter in legs, slightly longer in proportion than the Parson Russell Terrier.


It is slightly longer than it is tall. The neck is strong and the chest, narrow and muscular, can be surrounded by two medium-sized hands. The fore and hind limbs are well angulated. The tail, always moving, is carried straight. The whole gives an impression of harmonious strength.

The Jack Russell is a small dog, in adulthood the male and the female measure between 25 to 30cm, with a weight between 5 to 8 kg.


The Jack Russell Terrier is a white dog, completely white or with black, brown or tan markings. It is generally necessary to remove dead hair, it will also have to be brushed once regularly.

The coat is smooth, brocken or harsh and has a dense undercoat.

Personality and behaviour

The Jack Russell is a friendly, dedicated and affectionate dog with a strong personality. It makes a good companion for active families. Puppies must be socialised from an early age and above all be used to cats and other dogs, he has a strong character. He is proud, bold, kind and energetic, very loyal and intelligent. He adapts quickly to his environment, he is a wonderful companion dog, however he needs a firm hand, energetic and constant education.


The Jack Russell Terrier is above all a very rustic hunting dog. Its selection was made for two centuries on this rustic hunting atavism. He poses few health problems, generally enjoys robust health. However, like many dogs, he may have inherited eye disorders.


Activity and exercise are essential for this breed. He loves long walks, it is a godsend for those who wish to involve their dog in dog sports, such as cani-cross, obedience, agility, oberhythm, flyball, freestyle and on the hunt,


He must receive a well-balanced and quality food. It is important to regularly check that his body condition is ideal. Give him two meals a day following the recommendations given by the food manufacturer. Small breed dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn a lot of energy, while their small stomach forces them to eat often, in small amounts. Food for small dogs should contain all the essential nutrients in appropriate amounts and be offered in kibbles adapted to the size of their jaws. Kibbles that encourage chewing also improve digestion.

Industrial food companies have developed kibbles adapted to age, size and physical activity which allow the Jack Russell to keep his weight in shape. I invite you to take a look at our “food” section.

He must always have fresh water available.

fci Classification

Group 3 : Terriers.

Section 2 : Small Terriers

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