About Jack Russells
Originally bred for fox hunting by priest and fox hunter John “Jack” Russell, these energetic pups are sure to keep you on your toes! Jack Russell Terriers need plenty of daily exercise, and benefit from consistent training to avoid any destructive behaviours. Whilst they can be a handful, Jack Russells are a loyal and affectionate breed that will show you lots of love. With their boundless energy, we wouldn’t recommend this breed to first time dog owners or anyone who wants a calmer lifestyle, but would instead recommend breeds such as Golden Retrievers or Oodles.
- Jack Russells are a very energetic dog breed that require lots of exercise! To help you meet the activity requirements of your pup, we recommend establishing a routine with them to help spread their exercise sessions throughout the day.
- Training your Jack Russell can be a challenge due to their energetic and dominant nature. However, with consistency and patience, your Jack Russell can excel in obedience and agility skills.
- Despite their short coat, Jack Russells require some grooming and maintenance. For a Jack Russell that doesn’t shed too much, look for a coat that is rougher and more wiry in texture, as they shed the least out of all Jack Russell coat types.
Appearance: Jack Russells are a small dog breed, standing around 25 to 38 centimetres tall and weighing 6 to 8 kilograms when fully grown. This breed also has a distinguishable appearance through its white body, and either black or brown markings.
Temperament: This breed has a lot of energy and has an eagerness to explore the world around them, so it is essential that you give them plenty of exercise. Jack Russells are generally friendly towards other people, but can become aggressive towards other animals such as cats and other dogs due to their hunting history.
Activity Level: Due to their history of being a hunting dog and adventurous spirit, Jack Russells require substantial daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy. We recommend giving your Jack Russell at least one hour of exercise a day, along with frequent play sessions.
Health: Jack Russells often enjoy a healthy life, but like most dog breeds, they can be susceptible to health issues. Some health conditions that affect Jack Russells in particular include patellar luxation in the knees and lens luxation and glaucoma in the eyes, the risk of which can be detected through genetic testing of your Jack Russell’s parents. Other conditions such as Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease and deafness may be a bit more difficult to detect. However, each of these conditions can be treated with a trusted veterinarian through rehabilitation, medication or surgery.
Lifespan: Jack Russells are a lifelong friend for you and your family, enjoying a lifespan of 13 to 16 years!
Grooming Jack Russells
Jack Russells are a relatively low maintenance breed when it comes to grooming, as their shorter coats means they typically don’t require professional grooming. However, don’t be deceived by their short coat - they still shed! Therefore, a Jack Russell needs regular brushing in addition to nail and dental maintenance to keep them happy and healthy.
Shedding patterns: Whilst their short coat may look hypoallergenic, Jack Russells are known to shed. Therefore, we don’t recommend a Jack Russell for those struggling with sensitivity to dog hair, as their shedding can not only leave you to clean up pet hair regularly, but will also upset your allergies.
The shedding patterns and volume of your pup will depend on their coat type. A rougher and wiry coat will shed the least, broken and smooth coats will shed a moderate amount, and smooth double coats will shed a moderate amount with heavy shedding seasons in spring and autumn.
To keep shedding at bay, and keep your Jack Russell’s coat looking healthy, we recommend brushing them weekly with a soft-bristle brush. This will help maintain the health of your pup’s coat, and help minimise the amount of Jack Russell hair you find around your home.
Bathing tips: Your Jack Russell will generally only need a bath once a month (unless they like to get themselves dirty), so they are relatively low maintenance. When bathing your pup, either in the shower, bathtub or outside, we recommend bathing them with a deshedding shampoo to help keep the shedding at bay and remove any dead hair.
To help make the bathing experience positive for you both, we recommend introducing bath time to your Jack Russell at an early age so they can familiarise themselves with the process.
Nails: Maintaining your Jack Russell’s nail care is essential to the comfort of your pup. If nails are left untrimmed or overgrown, this can cause discomfort to your Jack Russell along with heightening chances of breakage.
We recommend trimming your dog’s nails every four to six weeks unless they are naturally worn down through regular exercise (i.e. daily walks). We also suggest introducing the nail trimming process to your Jack Russell pup as early in their life as possible, to make it an easier task as they get older.
Dental hygiene: Keeping your Jack Russell’s teeth squeaky clean is very important for a happy and healthy pup. Jack Russells can be prone to a number of dental issues such as tooth decay as a result of their small jaws. Therefore, it is important to practise good dental hygiene with your dog from an early age.
One of the most effective ways to prevent dental decay is brushing your Jack Russell’s teeth regularly. This will take patience and persistence, but will greatly help your pup in the long run. We recommend brushing your Jack Russell’s teeth once or twice a week with a dog toothbrush and a dog-safe toothpaste.
If your Jack Russell doesn’t take to regular tooth-brushing, we recommend high quality dental chews to help keep your dog’s teeth clean. This is not a replacement for teeth cleaning, as we recommend taking your Jack Russell to your veterinarian every six to twelve months for a professional clean.
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Gripsoft Nail Clippers Small
Gripsoft Nail Clippers and Deluxe Nail Clippers aid in cutting short nails on small to medium dogs to maintain comfortable nail length. Both types include a cutting guard.
Petosan Dental Care Kit for Small Dogs
Petosan dental products for pets have been developed by a team of Scandinavian dentists, veterinarians and a leading edge toothbrush manufacturer.
Gripsoft Slicker Brush Regular
Gripsoft products are easy to use and designed to give a professional finish. The soft, rubber-sheathed, non-slip ergonomic handle provides maximum comfort, grip and control.
Bristle Brush: Use to bring out the shine in your pet’s coat.
Pin Brush: Use for daily brushing of your pet. Sturdy wire pins help untangle mats and snarls while removing dead or shedding hair.
Rubber Curry Brush: Suitable for shampooing or gentle brushing of your pet, removing dead or shedding hair from the coat.
Rubber Massage Curry Brush: An excellent tool for removing loose hair while gently massaging the skin of your pet. Maintains a healthy and shiny coat and promotes oil production for healthy skin.
Shedding Blade: Use to remove dead and shedding hair on medium and long-haired breeds. Regular use will prevent matting.
Slicker Brush: Use to remove dead and shedding hair from your pets and help untangle mats and snarls. The version with soft pins is specially designed for pets with sensitive skin and fine, silky coats.
Undercoat and Dematting Rakes: Ideal for tending to your pet’s undercoat by removing dead, shedding, matted or knotted hair from the innermost layer.
Jack Russell Health Conditions
This breed often leads a healthy life, but can be predisposed to certain health conditions. However many of these conditions can be identified early through genetic screening of either your Jack Russell’s pedigree (if you’re adopting a puppy) or your Jack Russell themselves if you’re adopting an older dog.
Hereditary Deafness: Commonly associated with their white coat colour, many Jack Russells are susceptible to deafness. Often a hereditary condition, deafness can be identified in Jack Russels through genetic testing. As this is a congenital disease, hereditary deafness is often present at birth for Jack Russells. Whilst this is not a treatable condition, your Jack Russell can still lead a happy life with you!
Eye Issues: Jack Russells are also predisposed to eye conditions such as glaucoma and lens luxation. These two eye conditions lead to vision impairment and sometimes ongoing issues.
Glaucoma in Jack Russells is when there is increased pressure in the eye, causing pain throughout the eye. This increased pressure can lead to vision loss or blindness in some cases. Glaucoma can often be managed and treated, and we recommend speaking with your trusted veterinarian about medication and surgical options for your dog.
Lens luxation is an eye condition where the lens of the eye becomes displaced due to the deterioration of the ligament holding it in place. A common sign of lens luxation in dogs is extreme eye redness and closing of the eye - often misdiagnosed as conjunctivitis. If this condition is diagnosed early enough, your veterinarian can treat the condition through surgery. They will also perform preventative surgery on the other eye, as this condition will often affect both in their lifetime.
Joint Problems: Small breeds, such as Jack Russell Terriers, are susceptible to joint issues such as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and patellar luxation in the knees. Both of these conditions can be treated and managed, with treatment varying on severity and how early on they are picked up on. However, with these conditions being hereditary, Jack Russells will have these issues at birth if passed down from their parents, with symptoms often starting after they turn two.
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is a condition caused by a deformity in the dog’s hip joint ball, leading to the wearing down of bone and arthritis. You can detect this condition in your dog through limping, holding up their leg and loss of muscle mass. If your Jack Russell is showing these signs, be sure to visit your trusted veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment.
Training a Jack Russell
Jack Russells are a dog breed that enjoys training (including obedience and agility training), but it can be a challenge to keep their attention. They become easily bored due to their energetic personality, so be sure to engage with them in different varieties, and reward them consistently for proper participation.
Intelligence: With a high level of intelligence, Jack Russells tend to pick up behaviours and commands quickly, but it can be a challenge for them to perform these actions when told under all circumstances. To help with this issue, be sure to remain consistent and firm with your training.
Leadership: To successfully train a Jack Russell, we recommend that you take full leadership. Jack Russells have the tendency to assert themselves as the leader of the household, which can become extremely difficult to manage when wanting to train out unwanted behaviours such as digging and barking.
"Be sure to establish that the “trainer” in your household is you, as your Jack Russell is more likely to listen, and less likely to take over once you assert dominance."
- Dr Jack Ayerbe
Socialisation: Like all dog breeds, it is essential that they are socialised at a young age. By socialising your Jack Russell through introducing them to other dogs, animals, people and environments, you are more likely to have a well-rounded and well-behaved pup, as they are familiar with the unfamiliar.
Whilst we highly recommend socialising your Jack Russell when they are a puppy, be sure to socialise any Jack Russell in your home if they were adopted as an adult.
Benefits of puppy school: A great way to not only socialise your Jack Russell, but also introduce them to basic commands is puppy school. We recommend enrolling your Jack Russell pup into puppy school as soon as possible to introduce them to new environments safely at a young age. You can find puppy school classes at a local veterinary practice, allowing you to socialise and train your puppy safely.
If you adopt a Jack Russell as an adult or from a shelter (which we always promote), they will still benefit from training and obedience classes, where they can socialise with other dogs and learn new commands.
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Sporn Mesh Non-Pull Harness Small
The Sporn Non-Pull Mesh Dog Harness fits like a glove and is designed to curb moderate to heavy leash pullers. Made for style, comfort and control, this harness features an elasticized mesh chest piece that moves with your dog. It’s designed to humanely control any size dog without choking, and the one-piece harness is easy to put on and take off. The padded restraint sleeves offer extra comfort under the front legs.
- Patented system "gives" with your dog's natural movements
- Designed to stop the hardest pullers humanely without choking
- Padded restraint sleeves allow for a comfy fit under front legs
- One-piece ergonomic structure
- Made with the highest quality nylon
Toy: 8-10 inch neck, or dogs approximately 2-8 lbs
Small: 9-12 inch neck, or dogs approximately 8-25 lbs
Medium: 12-17 inch neck, or dogs approximately 25-60 lbs
Large/X-Large: 16-24 inch neck, or dogs approximately 60-100 lbs
Precautions: Recommended for walking purposes only. Do not leave on dog unattended. Not designed for use as a car harness or tie-out.
Savourlife Australian Milky Training Treats 150g
SavourLife’s new Australian Training Treat Range are delicious, bite-size, meaty chunks; perfect for training and rewarding (and great as toy stuffers too!). Based on our popular Strips Range recipes we make them right here in Australia, from ingredients including real Australian meat, and they contain no artificial colour or flavours. Great to have on hand when you are walking, playing or having fun! We have done the hard work for you!
These tasty morsels are perfectly sized in little cubes to easily train and reward. No more cutting up meat or trying to break treats with your hands! Our Training Treats are high-value; that’s training speak for ‘your dog will do anything for the taste!’ Not only do dogs love them, they are healthy too! They are enriched with vitamins and minerals, plus we have added fish oil, packed with Omega 3&6, for a shiny and healthy coat. As an added bonus they are low in fat and salt.
Clicker training is easy, fun and effective! This popular training method uses positive reinforcement to pinpoint and reward specific good behaviour.
The Coachi Multi-Clicker has a patented volume control with 3 settings, allowing you to adjust for nervous and sound sensitive dogs and to cater for those more boisterous canines!
Easy to Hold
It has a raised thumb-piece for easy use and an adjustable wrist strap for the perfect fit, so great for children and adults, its even reflective too!
The Coachi Whizzclick clicker, has a very clear sound, it's easy and comfortable to press and use. The whistle produces a single tone that travels well in open spaces.
Fun to Train
Great for teaching fun tricks as well as basic commands, like sit, down and stay.
Exercise Needs For a Jack Russells
Jack Russells are an extremely lively and energetic dog breed, meaning that they thrive through exercise. This breed needs consistent and frequent exercise, including at least one hour of daily exercise, along with at least 30 minutes of playtime each day. Whilst the exercise needs of each Jack Russell will vary depending on their temperament, this is a good baseline to follow to ensure your pup stays happy and healthy.
Regular walks: A great way to keep your Jack Russell active is through daily walks. This not only contributes to their daily exercise regime, but also allows them to familiarise themselves with environments outside the home.
As they are a small breed, we recommend splitting their hour daily walk time into two 30 minute walks a day. This allows your Jack Russell to rest in between exercise, and spreads out their daily activity to avoid overexhaustion.
If you’re planning to take your Jack Russell to a dog park to play off leash, you need to ensure they are properly trained in recall, and appropriately socialised. With their hunting instincts, Jack Russells may stray from you, so be sure they know to come back when called. It is also vital that you don’t leave your Jack Russell unsupervised in public areas - always keep a watchful eye!
Play sessions: As an intelligent and energetic breed, Jack Russells greatly benefit from frequent play sessions. Playing with your pup throughout the day will keep them from becoming bored and retreating to destructive behaviours (e.g. digging and barking), so it is essential that you make time in your daily routine to focus on them.
Creating a routine: To ensure that your Jack Russell receives their required amount of daily exercise, we recommend establishing a routine with them. This will ensure that every day, they are exerting their energy and keeping healthy through walks, playtime and various activities. An exercise routine for a Jack Russell could include a 30 minute walk in the morning, 30 minutes of playtime in the afternoon and a 30 minute walk in the evening.
Be sure to find what fits best with your schedule, as this will make it easier to keep a routine with your Jack Russell.
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KONG AirDog Squeaker Balls Small 3 Pack
KONG SqueakAir Ball
The KONG story begins back in the 1970s at the hands of Joe Markham, who recognised that his ex-police dog Fritz was attempting to entertain himself by chewing rocks. Knowing the hazards this presented, Joe one day tossed Fritz a piece of Volkswagen Bus rubber suspension part that Joe was working on - and Fritz loved it! Joe then worked to make a dog toy with the same durability and feel, until he created the KONG toy that people (and their dogs) all around the world love. KONG dog toys encourage play, satisfying instinctual needs and strengthening the bond between dog and pet parent. Built for durability, KONG dog toys also offer mental and physical stimulation, all whilst meeting a dogs need to play.
The KONG SqueakAir Ball combines two classic dog toys - the tennis ball and the squeaker - to create the perfect fetch toy. The non-abrasive, high-quality material will not wear down your dogs teeth, and is ideal for an intense game of fetch!
- Tough and bouncy
- Made from dual materials for added strength
- Enticing squeaker
- Non-abrasive - wont damage your dogs teeth
Gentle Leader Collar Medium
The Gentle Leader Head Collar offers a fast, gentle and effective way to control unwanted behaviour - without harsh methods or devices. The Gentle Leader® Headcollar features two soft nylon straps - the collar portion fits high at the top of the neck, and the nose loop fits loosely and comfortably across the base of the muzzle. It is scientifically designed to work with your dog's natural instincts, so behaviour changes occur in MINUTES - not weeks! The Gentle Leader Headcollar should be worn whenever you want to prevent leash pulling, lunging, jumping, barking and other unwanted behaviors. It is NOT a muzzle. An instuctional DVD is included.
- Small: 5-10kg - Fits dogs and puppies that will have an adult weight of 5-10Kgs. Includes toy breeds and small dogs with a narrow, small muzzle. Examples: Toy Poodle, Dachshund, Bichon, Small Sheltie, Pomeranian, Shih-Tzu, Basenji, Fox Terriers, Jack Russells, Beagles.
- Medium: 10-27kg - Fits dogs and puppies that will have an adult weight of 10-27 Kgs. Also includes small dogs with a broad muzzle. Examples: Cocker, Spinger, Brittany, Collie, Beagle, Airedale, Australian Shepherd, Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound, Kelpies, Pointers, Blue Heelers. Max. neck measurement - 40cm
- Large: 30-55kg - Fits larger dogs that will have an adult weight of more than 30Kgs, and some dogs under 30 Kgs with larger heads. Examples: Basset, Golden, Lab, German Shepherd, Doberman, Sharpei, Rottweiler, Mastiffa, Old English Sheepdog, Malamute, Akita, Great Dane. Max neck measurement - 45cm.
- For Puppies - Puppies of medium and large breeds can start at 8 to 10 weeks with a Medium which they can wear until they reach 30 Kgs. Puppies of large breeds that are already over 20 Kgs should start with a Large.
Jack Russell Behaviour Issues
Whilst loveable companions, you may run into a few behavioural issues with your Jack Russell. However, these behaviours, such as barking, digging and aggressiveness, can be addressed through proper training and companionship.
Barking: Having a vocal pup is nothing new to dog parents, but Jack Russells tend to be a little louder than most breeds. Your Jack Russell may begin to bark for a variety of reasons, such as boredom or anxiety, so it is important to determine the cause before trying to train this unwanted behaviour.
If your dog is barking out of boredom, we recommend providing them with chew toys and mentally stimulating toys to keep their mind busy. You can also look at dog treat toys that you can fill with high value treats such as peanut butter to keep them occupied.
If after trying these treat-based toys your pup is still excessively barking, your Jack Russell may be barking sure to anxiety. Your dog may be intimidated by their environment, such as dogs passing by on the street. In this case, block these environmental factors through drawing the curtains or a fence. However, if your Jack Russell is experiencing separation anxiety, we recommend slowly getting them used to your absence by leaving for short periods of time. Be sure to reward them with high value treats when you return to help them adapt to this routine.
Digging: Since this breed was bred to be a hunting dog, it is in their genes to dig holes in the ground. However, this instinct is not very desirable unless you’re about to create a veggie garden in your backyard!
To help deter your Jack Russell from digging holes in your yard, we recommend providing them with a dirt or sand box that is designated for digging. Your Jack Russell won’t instantly redirect to the new designated digging area, so be sure to consistently reward them when they dig in the designated area.
Aggression: An aggressive Jack Russell can become a problem in your household, whether they are aggressive toward people and other animals or protectively aggressive over their food and toys.
This type of aggression is commonly seen in Jack Russell rescues as it is a sign of lack of socialisation. In this case, try to introduce your dog to new environments slowly, rewarding them when they do not act aggressively.
If you notice sudden aggression in your Jack Russell, it can be a sign of injury or illness. In this case, be sure to take your dog to your trusted veterinarian as soon as possible to diagnose the issue.
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Adaptil DAP Dog Collar
Adaptil DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) products release synthetic pheromones into the local environment, helping to calm and comfort your dog. Adaptil can help comfort dogs during car travel, help promote learning during training classes, help adult dogs and puppies settle in new homes, or help reduce stress-related behaviours in response to challenging situations such as fireworks, Christmas or a new baby.
Adaptil DAP Collar is an easy to use product which is ideal for puppy socialisation, travel, kennels and training. The dog’s body temperature warms the collar and encourages the diffusion of pheromones into the local environment. It is vital the Adaptil Collar is in close contact with the dog’s skin at all times. Each collar lasts 4 weeks and can be replaced as required.
The Adaptil Collar comes in two sizes:
- puppy/small dogs (fits neck up to 37.5xm)
- medium/large dogs (fits neck up to 62.5cm)
How to fit an Adaptil Collar
- Pass the loop through the end
- Pass the loop over the head
- Adjust to fit snugly and trim excess if necessary
- Check the collar at regular intervals. It must remain snug against the dog's neck.
PAW Complete Calm Chews for Small Dogs 75g
Soft and tasty chews specifically designed for small dogs to provide daily support to the nervous system and may also help to alleviate signs of anxiety such as aggression.
PAW Complete Calm soft and tasty chews contains high levels of tryptophan to aid in relieving anxiety related behaviours, B group vitamins to help maintain nervous system function and key vitamins and minerals for general wellness and vitality.
Tryptophan has been demonstrated to benefit dogs displaying signs of:
- Stress related behaviours such as vocalisation, marking and changes in appetite
- Anxiety induced aggression
- General anxiety driving changes in serotonin levels (e.g. separation anxiety, travel anxiety)
Zylkene Plus for Cats and Small Dogs 75mg (30 Capsules)
Zylkene® Plus is a calming complementary feed product which combines two natural origin ingredients to offer a gentle, yet reliably effective way to help pets manage prolonged or recurring emotionally challenging situations. Zylkene® Plus combines the natural origin active ingredients alpha-casozepine and white fish muscle hydrolysate. The effect of alpha-casozepine is based on the principle of satiety and sleepiness in new-borns after feeding on milk/colostrum. Hydrolysing white fish muscle yields bioactive peptides and amino acids that are considered to have calming properties.
The formulation makes it easy to support the long-term emotional wellbeing of every pet:
- Suitable for use in dogs and cats of all breeds and sizes, and is effective both inside and outside the home
- Capsule formulation that can be sprinkled on food, for easy administration
- Of natural origins
- Well tollarated by pets
- Easy to use
- Proven effectiveness
- First-line non-medicine options
- Most recommended calming supplement by vets
Jack Russell Nutritional Guidance
Providing your Jack Russell with a balanced diet is very important, especially when you have an extremely active dog. We recommend giving your pup two meals a day that have been evenly weighted to ensure they are receiving the right amount of food. We likewise recommend that these meals consist of high quality Jack Russell dog food that includes a source of protein to keep your Jack Russell healthy.
Feeding amount: The amount you feed your Jack Russell will depend on their activity level and age. More active dogs will need extra calories in their diet, whilst lazier dogs will need less.
For Jack Russell puppies, we recommend feeding them around 285g of food per day split into two meals. For adult Jack Russells aged one to nine years, we recommend feeding them around 340g of food per day in two meal portions.
Hydration: As an active dog breed, it is essential that your pup has appropriate access to clean water. By providing them with fresh water every day in a dog bowl, your Jack Russell will stay hydrated and healthy throughout their active days.
Obesity Prevention: Many Jack Russells can be prone to excessive weight gain if their food intake and exercise regime is not closely monitored. An overweight or obese Jack Russell can lead to the enhancement of other health conditions such as arthritis and mobility conditions such as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and patellar luxation.
To prevent obesity in your Jack Russell, be sure to follow daily exercise requirements through daily walks, along with feeding your pup the appropriate amount for their age and size. If you have a hungry Jack Russell, you can use a slow feeder bowl to help regulate their eating and slow them down at meal time.
Browse our range of food and nutritional products
Dry Dog Food - Vet Approved Diets
Wet Dog Food - Vet Approved
Dog Treats - Premium Vet Recommended Treats
Check out our large range of Dog treats to help keep your energetic Dog busy and happy. We stock a large range of Greenies Dog Chews, and Veggiedent Fr3sh Dog Treats, which are perfect for keeping your dogs teeth clean and healthy. We also stock delicious treats perfect for training your dog, including Vet Best Rewards Treats, Prime100 Treats, and Savourlife Training Treats. We have a wide range of chews your Dog is guaranteed to love, shop online today.
Whether you already have a Jack Russell or you're thinking about getting one, we hope you learnt something by reading our article. Whilst this guide is great start to learning about Jack Russell ownership, never stop seeking out new information from reputable sources. Share your experiences with other Jack Russell owners, and always continue to learn more about your dogs breed, temperament and how best to care for and love them.