The History of the Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier, as we know it today, was originally bred by Parson John (Jack) Russell in the late 19th century. The breed was developed in order to assist his Foxhounds by chasing foxes out of their dens. Jack Russells soon developed a reputation as good 'ratters' too - very useful for farmers and landowners with rodent problems.
Early British fox hunters used a black and tan type terrier, but the colourings weren't always ideal. The dogs bred by the Parson, however, were mainly white, with any coloured markings confined to the head of the dog and the tip of the tail. This had the advantage of keeping the working Jack Russells visible to farmers and hounds and prevented them being confused with foxes.
Modern day Jack Russell Terriers successfully perform the functions of their early predecessors, although longer legs enable them to better run with the hounds. Their engaging personalities also make them wonderful companions.
Of course Jack Russells are now a popular as non-working pets, so we have a larger variety of Jack Russell colourings. This includes the attractive 'chocolate' shades found on our very own Chocolate Jack Russell Terriers.
Types of Jack Russell Fur
There are 3 main Jack Russell coat types:
This type has very short, smooth fur, lying in one direction. Although it sometimes holds dirt it is generally very easy to care for.
Smooth Coated Jack Russells tend to feel the cold in the winter, so a warm, waterproof dog jacket is recommended during walks.
Also known as Wire Coated or Wire Haired Jack Russells, these have wiry, rough fur which grows in different directions. Their coat can range from an inch long to just over 2 inches.
Rough Coated Jack Russells are less prone to feeling the winter cold, although those with shorter fur may still be happier with some protection.
A broken coated Jack Russell has a combination of smooth coat and a rough coat.
The mixture is often 50/50, although it can vary considerably depending on the parents of the dog.
Our rare coloured Jack Russells are of the Smooth Coat type, making them lower maintenance in the grooming department.