Very popular among the Hollywood set in the 90's, Jack Russell terriers have been around for a long time. They originated in England in the mid 19th century and were used for fox hunting. Their namesake, Reverend Jack Russell, developed the breed for use in digging foxes from their dens, and they have remained largely the same since their first appearance.
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They are often confused with their American cousin, the Parson Terrier, which tends to be smaller and narrower and used mainly for show.
If you've ever seen the television show 'Frasier' or the movie 'My Dog Skip', then you are already familiar with these adorable, mainly-white little dogs.
They have broad chests and wide-set, sturdy legs, which makes them great working dogs to this day. Jack Russell terriers have slightly flattened heads and triangle-shaped ears which flop forward. Their very expressive eyes are almond in shape and can melt your heart.
This is and their charming character has made them very popular in television and film.
The Jack Russell stands up to 14 inched high and weighs in at approximately 15 pounds. This makes them a very suitable size for apartment living, although they are at their happiest with a small yard to play in.
The Jack Russell terrier is an active, playful, and intelligent animal. If they are properly socialized and trained they do very well with children.
Since they are, by nature, hunting dogs, it is wise to be wary of them around smaller animals.
Due to their background and breeding, they are also very vocal and prone to digging if left to their own devices. They need plenty of stimulation and exercise, and do very well at obedience training.
Jack Russells are very energetic and intelligent and can learn tricks very quickly. This ability along with their very expressive faces and beautiful eyes have made them very good actors, both on the big screen and in one's home.
They require a lot of attention and will often still be ready to play long after their masters are ready to call it a day.
They can require a firm hand or they will tend to attempt dominance over their owners as well as other dogs. They are fearless and not easily intimidated.
There was a case in Australia where a Jack Russell terrier successfully held off 2 pit bulls in order to allow some children to escape them.
They are very loyal and lovable pets as long as they are treated properly. If neglected, these dogs tend to separation anxiety and bouts of depression.
They have no serious health issues other than a hereditary tendency toward Legg Perthes, which is a hip disease common to small dogs.
They can also have knee problems and sensitivity to their eyes and are prone to deafness as they age.
A Jack Russell terrier in good health can expect to live to about the age of 15+ years, and will tend to remain very active.