Dog Breeds: Jack Russell Terrier temperament and personality

Jack Russell Terrier dog

The Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier. A very active and fun-to-have dog.  The Jack Russell Terrier dog is an affectionate handful.  But beware, this dog is not for the faint-hearted, so if you are not experienced dog owner, you might just want to choose another dog.


Parson John Russel created this breed in Southern England in the mid-1800s.  He was looking for a terrier that would help him hunt foxes with hounds. His job would be to run over foxes to take them out of their dens in order for hounds to chase them.

The breed became a favorite of huntsmen.  It came to America in the 1930s.  Many different opinions arose regarding what should the Jack Russel Terrier look like.

Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics of the Jack Russell Terrier have not changed much over the last 200 years.  They are tough and sturdy.  The length of their body is proportional to their height.  This is important to note since the breed varies in size depending on its purpose.

Their height ranges from 10 to 15 inches and their weight is usually somewhere between 13 and 17 pounds. Shorty Jacks are Jack Russel Terrier dogs that stand at 10 to 12 inches.

Temperament and Personality

This is a highly energetic dog.  He is loving, amusing, and very devoted.  He is highly intelligent and will usually try to get his way.  This makes him unusually hard to train.

He is friendly with people but will act aggressively towards other dogs and smaller animals that he might see as prey, including cats.

Caring for the Jack Russell Terrier dog

We never suggest you getting a Jack Russell Terrier dog as a first dog.  This dog is difficult to handle, even for experienced dog owners.  He is very active and needs to be entertained at all times.  If he gets bored he will find a way to amuse himself.  This includes digging in your yard or making his famous escapist acts.

This dog loves to be indoors with his family.  He must be given some backyard time.  However, the fence must be tall, sturdy, and well dug in the ground.  When it comes to walking time, a 30-minute brisk walk will not satisfy this pooch.

Always walk him on a leash.  He will always chase small animals or run into cars.


You require a lot of time and patience to train a Jack Russell Terrier dog. Due to his high intelligence, he will always want to get his way. Training, therefore, must be firm and consistent.

Fun facts

  • Jack Russels are barkers, so they are not suited for apartment life.
  • Their terrier nature makes them great diggers.  They can dig a large hole in short time.
  • Russels are jumpers and bouncers.  They love to jump at people and they can jump up to 5 feet.

Follow us in Dogalize to learn more about this and other breeds.  We have great information on how to better care for your best friend.