Those Crazy Jack Russell Terriers....You've Got To Love Them

One interesting thing about Jack Russell Terriers is that no two look exactly alike... but you can spot one a mile away.

This breed, nowadays is called by any number of names:

  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • JRT
  • Parson Russell Terrier
  • Shorty Jack
  • Parson Jack Russell Terrier
  • Russell Terrier

Even though it’s all basically the same dog, there is quite a debate over the name. One thing is for sure, Jack Russell Terriers (as I will refer to them) are the epitome of Terriers.

These Terriers were developed by a fox hunting parson, Jack Russell, in England in the 1820’s. The dog’s purpose was to chase foxes out of the ground so the hunt could continue. They are also excellent at killing rats and other vermin. I can attest to Jack Russell Terriers being excellent ratters.

My little girl, Molly, has kept our place free of mice, bugs and snakes since we brought her home at eight weeks old and she killed her first mouse.

Before considering bringing a Jack Russell Terrier into your life you should do as much research as possible on this breed. They are definitely not for everyone.

Here are a few pros and cons to consider before getting a Jack Russell Terrier:


  • Highly intelligent
  • Highly trainable
  • Will keep your home free of rodents
  • Love people/very social
  • Extremely playful
  • Personality plus (will keep you entertained with their hyjinx)
  • Love to please
  • Great sense of humor
  • Extremely curious
  • Fearless
  • Thrive on agility
  • Loving, loyal companions
  • Very affectionate
  • Think they are people (or you are a dog)
  • Likes structure and rules
  • Give them a job (any job) and they are very happy
  • Respond to positive reinforcement
  • Once you understand the dog and have one, you get hooked for life


  • Cannot be trusted all the time with their training (i.e. won’t come when called if they suddenly decide to hunt a squirrel, dashing out into traffic), must be on a leash or in a safe environment
  • Their high intelligence means many times you will be outsmarted
  • Can sometimes be defiant if they don’t get there way or if nothing is in it for them
  • Cannot be kept alone all day. They get bored very easily and will come up with their own diversions (i.e. tearing down furniture or walls)
  • Need lots of exercise
  • Must have a fenced and secure yard (they are great escape artist)
  • Have an obsessive nature (can do a single activity for hours on end)
  • They are a big dog trapped inside a small body

A lot of Jack Russell Terriers end up in a rescue shelter because people think they are so cut without understanding the breed. Please don’t let this happen. They are wonderful dogs who are misunderstood.

My little Jack Russell Terrier, Molly, is awesome. She has been extremely tolerant of my young son since he was born. She is friendly and social with other dogs and especially loves all people. We joke that if someone broke into my house, she would probably kiss them to death.

When I take her to the dog park, she visits with the humans more than with the other dogs or she befriends the biggest dogs there.

I have a million adorable Molly stories. She is the sweetest and funniest little dog I’ve ever known, but I understand she is a terrier and I have adjusted my lifestyle accordingly.

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