The Jack Russell Terrier’s close cousin, the Parson Russell Terrier, is recognized by the American Kennel Club, but you won’t see the Jack Russell strutting his stuff at Westminster. Jack Russell Terrier breeders actually petitioned against AKC recognition because they did not want the Jack to lose its sporting nature.
And sporting it is! The Jack Russell Terrier originated as a fox hunter in the 1900s when the Reverend John Russell found the need for a dog that was a different color than its prey. The result is the highly energetic, compact white and tan dog we know (and love) today as the Jack Russell. Following World War II, the need for hunting dogs declined, and the Jack Russell became incorporated into families as a companion dog.
The tenacity and energy of this working terrier make it more than ideal for agility and flyball competition. Its short hair coat requires little grooming.
Although an agile, active breed, Jack Russell Terriers are nonetheless prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Jack Russells are prone to include eye issues such as cataracts and lens luxation; skin conditions such as icthyosis; neuromuscular disorders such as myasthenia gravis; and hearing problems such as deafness.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Jack Russell has the misfortune of inheriting his father’s bad eyes or his mother’s poor hearing, you’re covered.