Just the Facts, Jack

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We all know the Jack Russell is a breed apart. Here are seven amazing facts that explain why.

The JRT is an Air Dog

The Jack Russell Terrier can jump as high as five times its height. That means that a twelve-inch Jack can leap five feet into the air! Maybe someone should start a Jack Russell Terrier basketball league!

Check out these amazing Jumping Jacks.


Fast, Fast, Fast

The Jack Russell Terrier is faster than a speeding bullet…or at least as fast as a car in a residential area. In full burst, a Jack can reach speeds of 25 miles per hour — and turn on a dime!

But they’re not just sprinters. They also have great endurance, as well. In fact, Vetstreet names the Jack Russell Terrier as one of their best breeds for a running companion.    

Escape Artists

The Jack Russell Terrier was bred to chase prey to ground. That means not just running after it, but digging into an animal’s burrow to get at it. It’s not unheard of for a Jack to dig in after its prey and have to wait for the hunter to dig them both out. Many a hunting Jack will even stay underground, tenaciously hanging onto its prey, despite exhaustion, hunger, and thirst.


As a result, modern Jack Russells have a digging instinct like no other. Many sources advise JRT owners to sink their fences down quite a bit underground, lest their enterprising pup dig their way out of the yard. Of course one also has to think about the jumping….

Celebrities Love the Jack Russell Terrier

Who, in specific?

Past and present celebrity JRT lovers include:

  • Serena Williams
  • Explorers Ranulph and Ginny Fiennes
  • Prince Charles
  • Mariah Carey
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Paul McCartney

Jack Genetics

For over 100 years, breeders have bred the Jack Russell Terrier to have certain characteristics. But sometimes selective breeding has…unexpected results.

Parson Jack Russell specifically chose his first dog, Trump, because she was white. Russell wanted a white dog, which hunters could easily distinguish from the reddish-brown foxes they were chasing. Unfortunately, the gene that gives the Jack Russell Terrier its white coat also causes deafness in many individuals.

Another mutation results in a smaller-sized Jack Russell. The so-called “Shorty Jacks,” which stand less than ten inches, are longer than they are tall. This variation, many believe, is due to achondroplastic dwarfism.

Nonetheless, we love them all!

Fearless Watchdogs

Some have described the JRT as “a 150-pound dog in a 15-pound dog’s body.” And it’s true. There are numerous stories of heroic Jack Russells who have saved their owners from home invaders and attackers…as well as bicycles, plastic bags, and delivery personnel.

But while their barky reputation may give some people…paws…the JRT’s alertness, intelligence, fearlessness, and readiness to sound the alarm really does make them a top-notch watchdog.

Designer Doggos

The Jack Russell breed mixes well with other breeds to create interesting, adorable, and clever crosses. Some of them, like the Jack Tzu (a cross between the Jack Russell and the Shih Tzu) are taking off as the next designer “It” dog. Others, like the Jack-a-Doodle (a cross between the Poodle and the Jack Russell) can even be hypoallergenic.

What Do You Think?

What do you think is the most incredible thing about the Jack Russell Terrier? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Featured Image: CC SA 3.0 by Steve 65, via Wikimedia Commons

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