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Did you know?

On the sitcom “Frasier”, the character ‘Eddie’ was a Jack Russell Terrier whose real name was ‘Moose’.

Russell Terrier (Jack Russell Terrier)

Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog. – Charles F. Doran

Jack Russell Terrier pupy CanaDogs


In the 19th century, the Rev. John Russell of Devonshire, England, an avid fox hunter, developed a small dog to help him hunt fox. The Reverend’s first dog and the basis of his breeding program was a white and tan terrier female named Trump that he purchased from a local milkman. He believed Trump was the ideal Fox Terrier. She had the stamina for hunting and the courage to take on a fox in its den. In the 1800s, Fox Terrier was a name applied to any terrier used to bolt foxes out of their burrows.

This small but brave dog excelled at hunting fox. He was also used to hunt other small animals such as raccoons. By the 1850s, the Rev. Russell’s dogs were recognized as a distinct breed.

The Russell Terrier is still used today as a working terrier. It should be noted that there are two different breeds of dog that descend from similar backgrounds. The Russell Terrier is short and rectangular in shape, while the Parson Russell Terrier is tall and square.

Once known as the Jack Russell Terrier, this breed has been officially accepted by the Canadian Kennel Club as the “Russell Terrier” and joins the Terrier Group effective July 1, 2016.

Photos displayed courtesy of Angie and Farrah Nadon, AnFarra Kennels, Ontario

The Jack Russell Terrier stands between 10 and 12 inches (25-30 cm) tall at the shoulder. He may have a smooth, broken, or rough weatherproof double coat.

The Smooth Coat is a dense short, coarse smooth hair with an undercoat. A Broken Coat has medium length hair, between smooth and rough, and a Rough Coat is harsh and dense hair with an undercoat. No matter the coat type, the dog is predominately white (at least 51%) with black and/or tan markings.

His tail may or may not be docked.

This is a working terrier whose job it is to locate the game in the earth and either force it from its den or hold it until the hunters can dig it out. The Russell Terrier is used on ground-dwelling game such as groundhog, and badger, as well as his original quarry, the red and grey fox. This is an intensely focussed dog, on and off the job!

As a true terrier, the Russell Terrier is bold, agile, alert, and lively. Possessing a ‘big dog personality in the body of a small dog’, the Jack Russell is not the dog to back down, even when faced by other larger breeds.

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AnFarra Russell Terrier trio

Jack Russell Terrier CanaDogs


Playful, curious, loyal and affectionate, the Russell Terrier makes a good companion with early obedience training and socialization. Russells do have a stubborn streak and a whole lot of personality and energy packed into a little space! They can be aggressive towards other dogs and animals (they have a high prey drive), and even people if not properly socialized from an early age. Socialized Russells are friendly and fine with children, however, they will not tolerate abuse even if unintended.

It should be emphasized that the Russell Terrier is used to working. On the hunt, he is able to keep up with the horses, and therefore has a high energy level. He is alert and aware and makes a great watchdog. He requires daily outdoor exercise. Let me repeat that: he requires daily outdoor exercise. Without an outlet for his energy, he can become bored, moody, and destructive. He is very intelligent and will invent his own entertainment if left alone for long periods. It is unlikely that you will find the results entertaining!

On the plus side, they have the drive and energy that is ideal for competition in a number of dog sports. Flyball, rally, agility: all these activities are made for the seemingly tireless Russell. This dog is full on and full in. He participates! Life is not a spectator sport for him. However, he is also a digger and a barker. He can be obsessive, especially over balls. Chasing a ball or stick is one of his favourite things.

Despite his small size, this dog is not recommended for the apartment dweller. The Russell does best with some space to run around in. He is also a fairly vocal dog so barking could be an issue for the neighbours.

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