The famous Parson Jack Russell Terrier was first bred by Victorian hunting enthusiast the Revd Jack Russell. These fearless little dogs were originally used to hunt foxes, badgers and rats – both above and below ground.
The Jack Russell’s short-haired coat is deceptive. Both smooth-coated and rough-coated variations shed hair all year round and your terrier will need a weekly brush.
He or she is likely to be confident, energetic and intelligent – but easily bored. A willingness to learn is countered by a tendency towards stubbornness.
The Parson Jack Russell has longer legs than its counterpart, standing just over a foot in height, with a wiry frame and attentive stance. Most have white coats or white with tan or black markings around the head and ears.
They generally live for around 12 years – sometimes up to 16. They can be affected by stomach problems so avoid sudden changes in diet and try to keep them away from eating bones or other foreign bodies.
If you enjoy country walks then the Jack Russell is the dog for you. They love long, lively walks and plenty of active play. They can be unsure of children and territorial around larger dogs – good training is a must.
Their courage cannot be underestimated and they think they are much bigger than they really are – an angry Jack Russell will try to attack an annoying articulated truck that has upset him, so keep your dog on the lead unless you are absolutely sure he or she cannot escape onto a busy road.
They also have a tendency to plunge down rabbit or foxholes (remember Prince Charles’ much loved, lost Jack Russell) so ensure you train with treats and encourage your dog to come back when called. Sometimes easier said than done!