Ten things you didn't know about Jack Russells

Danielle Petch
Jack Russell Terrier

Feisty yet faithful, the Jack Russell is a very popular dog breed, and for good reason! These happy, energetic dogs are loved the world over, and are filled to the brim with energy, devotion, and a strong desire to dig...

Instantly recognisable, the Jack Russell is known for its sprightly and lively nature, but there are probably a few things about this loveable dog breed that may take you by surprise. So, here you have it — here are ten things you (probably) didn’t know about Jack Russells... 

They have bucket loads of energy 

As a natural hunting dog, the Jack Russell is extremely energetic, and their curious nature means these dogs are always on the lookout for their next adventure. Because of this, they’ll often need some level of training early on in life, and are best kept in homes with lots of free space for them to run around in. 

They can jump for joy — literally!

Don’t be fooled by their small stature, as these agile little pups can jump up to five feet in the air — that’s around five times their own height! This, plus their strong, natural hunting ability means high fences are a must for any Jack Russell dog owner...

They love people

But other dogs? Not so much. Jack Russells are incredibly loyal to their owners, and in general, are very warm and friendly towards other humans. But fellow canines, cats, and other small animals — beware, as the Jack Russell’s assertive nature means it can be difficult for them to live with other pets. 

They’re big dogs — in a small dog’s body

These little pups sure don’t let their size get in the way of things, with many Jack Russell owners noting that they really do have a big dog, wrapped up in a small 'Jack Russell sized' package! Watch out though, as it’s this fearless nature that can get them into a spot of bother with other, often much larger dogs... 

They make great watchdogs

Being a baying terrier, the Jack Russell can be a vocal dog. Combine this with their courageous, assertive personality (and reluctance to back down), and you have the makings of one very alert watchdog in your pack!

Jack Russell Terrier

They’re soaring in popularity

This year, the Kennel Club revealed that Jack Russells have soared in popularity — up 30% from 2018 to 2019. And — bonus fact — they are pretty popular in numbers on TrustedHousesitters, too, taking the second top spot for the most popular Trusted canine members after the Labrador Retriever

They’re top of the class

Jack Russells are known for their high canine intelligence and excel with the right training and positive reinforcement. In fact, their desire to please their owners, plus their ability to quickly adapt to new commands, mean they are probably one of the most intelligent small dog breeds in the world!

But, they’re no lapdogs

While they are small in size, you shouldn’t expect a Jack Russell to be your typical lapdog. What’s more, is their athletic and active demeanour means they can become bored very easily — even depressed or destructive — if they do not get the right amount of both physical and mental stimulation. 

They famously descended from one dog

A British White Terrier named Trump is believed to be the very first foundation for the Jack Russell. She was owned by vicar (and keen dog breeder), Reverend John Russell, who bred her in the 19th century, essentially creating the dog breed we know (and love) today. Trump has since been immortalised at a pub in the North Devon village where she and the Reverend lived.

They come in three different coats

Jack Russells typically have a white coat with black or tan markings, but did you know your Jack Russell could have one of three different coat types? These are smooth (short-haired), rough (long-haired), and broken (which are a mix of the two). And, as any Jack Russell owner will tell you, all three are prone to shedding. Lint rollers, at the ready!

Divider line

Find out how joining TrustedHousesitters can help your pet stay happy at home whenever you’re away by visiting our 'how it works' page.

Ready for more? 

From tips and tricks to more fun facts about all your favourite breeds, head back to our blog homepage.

Ready to get started?

Create your listing or apply for sits with an annual membership.

Become a member