We all love our Jack Russell Terriers. And we show that love in part by giving them names that reflect their personalities, or our hopes for who they'll turn out to be.\n\n\n\nBut did you ever wonder where the name of the breed itself came from?\n\n\n\nWhat is a Terrier, Anyway?\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/youtu.be\/yC8rZq3oKuI\n\n\n\n\n"God Loves a Terrier." You might remember this sweet song from the movie Best in Show. \n\n\n\n"God loves a terrier That's because Brown sturdy bright and true They give their hearts to you..."\n\n\n\nWhere does the word "Terrier" come from, anyway? And what does it mean?\n\n\n\n"Terrier" literally means "Earth Dog." \n\n\n\nWhat?\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nIt comes from the Latin word terrarius, which means "of the Earth." \n\n\n\nIn the 15th century, this Latin word traveled to English via early French, in the form of chien terrier, which means "Earth Dog."\n\n\n\nWhat's the connection?\n\n\n\nThe Job of the Terrier\n\n\n\nTerriers are working dogs. The different working breeds originated to do specific jobs. In the case of the terrier, that job was as a hunting dog.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nTerriers are intelligent, compact, muscular dogs. Unlike retrievers, whose traditional job is to fetch prey that a hunter has downed and bring it back, the job of the terrier is to chase prey to ground and hold it there.\n\n\n\nThe Jack Russell Terrier, like many terrier breeds, has powerful digging legs. Traditionally, the job of the JRT has been to dig out animals, such as foxes, who have "gone to ground" in burrows. Sometimes the intrepid Jack Russell would even follow the prey so far into its burrow that it would need to be dug out along with it.\n\n\n\nAnd Jack Russell?\n\n\n\nJohn "Jack" Russell was a parson in England in the 19th century, but he was better known for his work with dogs.\n\n\n\nRussell was one of the founding members of the Kennel Club. He also wrote the breed standard for the Fox Terrier, and was a respected dog show judge.\n\n\n\nParson John "Jack" Russell (1975-1883). Image is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.\n\n\n\nRussell was responsible for bringing three dog breeds into the world: the Russell Terrier, the Parson Russell Terrier, and, of course, the Jack Russell Terrier.\n\n\n\nTough. Persistent. Prey-focused. Athletic. These are some of the qualities many people associate with terriers. Depending on the situation, these are qualities you may want...or qualities that may make you think twice.\n\n\n\nTerrible Terriers? Or Terrific?\n\n\n\nSince terriers have been bred to chase, catch and kill small animals, people often recommend against trying to house a cat and a terrier under the same roof. Although there are exceptions, the Jack Russell Terrier has a very strong hunting instinct, and many experts recommend keeping them away from cats, rabbits, rodents, and other small furry animals.\n\n\n\nOn the other hand, as anyone who loves a JRT can attest that, in the right home, its terrier qualities can make a Jack a wonderful family pet.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nTerrier intelligence makes a JRT a lively, engaging companion. They'll love to learn new tricks.\n\n\n\nTerrier athleticism will mean lots of walks and romps at the dog park. With a terrier, the grass won't grow under your feet!\n\n\n\nIts alertness also makes the Jack Russell Terrier a top-notch watchdog.\n\n\n\nThe history of the terrier has endowed it with a very specific set of characteristics. Whether these characteristics make it a good fit with your home depends on you.\n\n\n\nTell Us About Your Terrier!\n\n\n\nDo you have a great story about your JRT? Or maybe you have an unforgettable photo? Lay it on us in the comments!