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Jack Russell Terrier

Published on 31 May 2021

Jack russel terrier resting on a rug near the burning fireplace.

Truly a big dog in a small dog’s body, the Jack Russell Terrier is a fearless and energetic companion. 

Jack Russell Terriers (JRT’s) are known for their high energy, intelligence and stamina. Bred for hunting foxes in England in the 1800’s, Jack Russel Terriers are sometimes still used today to hunt rats. 

They are a small sized dog, up to 30 cm in height, weighing around and 4 to 8kgs. They are predominantly white with black or tan markings on the face and head.

Dog Breed Facts & Characteristics



Bred for

Working dog, bred for hunting 


Small, 20 to 30cm

Weight range

4 to 8 kgs


Predominantly white with black or tan markings on the face and head

Life expectancy

10 to 15 years 


May be smooth or wire coated. Sheds   


Intelligent, energetic may be stubborn

Exercise requirements


Best suited for 

Very active households  

Apartment friendly

Not recommended. Needs a lot of entertainment and may become destructive/noisy if bored 


They may be small, but Jack Russels have big personalities and may be best suited to a household of experienced dog people. They have a high exercise requirement and often excel at agility and other sports. Keeping the Jack Russell Terrier’s body and mind busy is vital to avoid destructive behaviour including digging and escaping which can arise out of boredom. 

Life on a larger property could be a better fit for a JRT than apartment living.

They make loyal and protective family members in the right family. Early socialisation with other dogs, people and animals is important to ensure good manners later in life, but exercise caution when introducing Jack Russels to other small animals as the hunting instinct is strong. 


The coat variations may be smooth, wirehaired or broken and all coat types shed. Regular brushing two to three times a week will help to keep the coat healthy. 

Make sure your Jack Russell Terrier is on flea and tick control all year round.


When choosing a food for your Jack Russell Terrier, select a premium food appropriate to your dog’s age. Help your JRT avoid becoming overweight by ensuring that you follow the recommended feeding guides on the food appropriate to your pet's size. 

Make sure your dog always has a supply of fresh, clean water available. 

Jack Russell Terrier running and jumping with Joy.

Common health concerns 

Jack Russell terriers can be prone to cruciate ligament disease, and accidental injuries, which may be testament to their active and adventurous nature.

The five most common reasons for a Jack Russell Terrier to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data (from 2019) include:

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
1Skin conditions (allergy, infection)$169$2,437
2Gastrointestinal problems $335$3,561
4Accidental trauma$423$6,552
5Cruciate disease$452$4,808

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider


Jack Russell waiting to play with superman toy.

Most popular Jack Russell Terrier names

According to PetSure data in 2019 the most popular Jack Russell Terrier names are:

Most popular names

  1. Jack
  2. Charlie
  3. Bella
  4. Buddy
  5. Milo
  6. Luna
  7. Max
  8. Roxy
  9. Ruby
  10. Toby

Most popular female names  

  1. Bella 
  2. Luna
  3. Roxy
  4. Ruby
  5. Maggie
  6. Coco
  7. Millie
  8. Molly
  9. Willow
  10. Bonnie

Most popular male names

  1. Jack
  2. Buddy
  3. Charlie
  4. Max
  5. Milo
  6. Toby
  7. Billy
  8. Archie
  9. Arthur
  10. Rocky

Did you know?

In 2007, a Jack Russell Terrier named George bravely protected two children from an attack by two large dogs in New Zealand. Sadly, George did not survive the incident. A bronze statue was built in the town centre of Manaia in his honour. 

Where can I get a Jack Russell Terrier?

Check out your local breed specific rescue organisation. Also be sure to visit your local pet rescue shelters where you might just find your new best friend! 


    1. Wikipedia, Jack Russell Terrier, accessed on 30/10/20
    2. Dogs NSW, Breeds Jack Russell Terrier, accessed on 30/10/20
    3. American Kennel Club, About the Jack Russell Terrier, accessed on 30/10/20
    4. Kete New Plymouth: Heritage Sites and Features, “George” – The Jack Russell Terrier- Memorial, accessed on 30/10/20

Terms, conditions, waiting periods, limits and exclusions apply. is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, is arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure) and is promoted and distributed by PetSure’s Authorised Representatives (AR) Pet Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 38 607 160 930, AR 1234944 and Pet Culture Pty Ltd ABN 69 644 613 098, AR 001284860. Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing. PDS and Target Market Determination available at .

Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell


Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie Mitchell's Pets

  • MeekaMeeka
  • Bei BeiBei Bei
  • NoahNoah

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