Miniature Jack Russells

Miniature Jack Russells: A Brief Overview

 

Although many breeders are selling miniature jack russells, there really is no difference between the miniature and standard versions of jack russells.  Jack russells come in a variety of sizes, and the puppies that breeders are calling miniature jack russells are really just smaller standard jack russells.  However, miniature jack russells are popular puppies to own and gained great popularity in the 1990’s with Eddie, the dog featured on the TV show “Frasier”.  Jack russells are certainly not for everyone, though, and by learning more about their personalities and characteristics, you can make an informed decision on whether or not a jack russell is for you.

 

History

 

Jack russells were bred as a utilitarian breed, a working terrier during the early 1800’s in England.  They were used for fox hunting, and their small size made them ideal for chasing vermin down their holes.  They are used today to hunt red and grey fox, woodchuck, rats, and raccoons.

 

Appearance

 

As stated above, miniature jack russells are simply small jack russells.  An average jack russell terrier stands approximately 13 to 14 inches high at the shoulder and weighs between 13 and 17 pounds.  Most breeders selling miniature jack russells state that they stand less than 10 inches at the shoulder and weigh less than 10 pounds.  They may have smooth hair or wire hair (long, coarse coats), and they require little in the way of grooming.  An occasional bath and brushing is all that is required to keep the jack russell’s coat gleaming.

 

Personality And Temperament

 

There is no doubt about it: jack russells are high energy animals.  Although they are short in stature, they can jump 5 feet into the air, and they can keep up with a cantering horse while running.  They are certainly not for everyone, and you should carefully consider your situation before buying a jack russell.  Most jack russells in shelters and rescues today are there because their owners were not prepared to deal with their high level of energy.  They are intelligent, curious, rambunctious animals, and they require a lot of time and patience on the part of the owner.  They need room to run, plenty of toys, and daily walks.  They need to have a very secure home as well, since they can climb, dig, and jump out of enclosures.  The owner must assert himself as the dominant member of the household and train the jack russell consistently, as the jack russell is a strong-willed type of dog.  It should also be noted that they have been bred to chase small animals, so they do best in households where there are not any other types of animals present.

 

Health

 

Jack russells can be expected to live an average of 15 years.  However, there are some genetic problems associated with the breed to watch for.  As with all pure breeds of dogs, jack russell puppies have some diseases that they are genetically more prone to.  When buying a miniature jack russell, make sure that it has not been inbred, as this can make it more likely that your puppy will have inherited a genetic problem or abnormality.  Cataracts, deafness, atopy (allergic dermatitis), and Von Willebrand Disease (a blood clotting disease similar to hemophilia) have been noted to affect jack russells often.

 

Before buying a miniature jack russell puppy, make sure that you have the time, patience, and energy to deal with this highly intelligent and playful dog.  The miniature version of the jack russell is smaller than the standard, but its temperament and needs are the same as those of the standard jack russell.