Temperament

The text below is part of the application questionnaire sent in by the Packard Family in Wyoming.

‘The biggest concern we have with getting a Jack Russell is that the dog will be too hyper, chewing everything in sight, destroying the house and running off. This is why we are opting for an Irish Jack Russell with a milder temperament. We do not want an ill behaved dog, and will plan on obedience training. We live in the country, and there is a lot of room for dogs to play, but we still want them to remain on our property.’

This page of our site is to show you the difference between the common perception of this breed, and the Irish Jack Russell Terriers from our lines. The most common question that we are asked is about the temperament of the Jack Russell Terrier breed.

The first thing to understand is that there are many kinds of Jack Russell Terrier. The taller version of the Jack Russell Terrier breed, is sometimes, but not always, referred to as a ‘Parson Russell Terrier’. The type of Jack Russell Terrier that we breed (like Toby on the left on the bottom), is known as the ‘shortie’, ‘puddin’ or IrishJack Jack Russell Terrier.

The IrishJack difference!

The Irish Jack Russell differs greatly from Parson Jack Russell, especially when it comes to the temperament. Having been bred in Ireland as a working farm and family dog they have dispositions ideally suited for home life. Irish Jack Russells are not a docile breed, but are happily spirited, fully aware of what is going on around them, and we all really enjoy the interactivity in this breed. With the combination of the great temperaments of our Jack Russells and our suggested basic training they are IDEALLY (see trainability) suited to home living, to being with all pets of the same or different gender, including cats, and are great with children of all ages.

On our web site you will find many pictures and testimonials from our clients and families who have young children, other dogs and cats, who live in apartments in New York City and on the beaches of Brazil! (all of whom were highly qualified before being allowed to have one of our Jack Russells)

Below are some facts based on our many years of experience with the ‘shortie’ Jack Russells and on the constant feedback and inquiries from our client families, the vast majority of whom have several young children and other pets!(the ‘shorties’) (photos below are from our clients)

Our IrishJack Russells…


…are NOT hunting dogs.

They have been bred to be beautiful, loving and attentive house pets that will want to go everywhere with you. They are a high energy pet, but not at all hyper or high-strung. When we walk Jade (who has been training since she was a puppy) most people know her (more than know me!) and come over to say hi! and she loves the attention.

…are bred to stay above ground, and will go everywhere with you.

That’s not to say your Jack Russell won’t go after the scent of a chipmunk in the yard, and dig the odd hole or two, but you will not find them burrowing underground in a hole that resembles the ‘big dig’ in Boston! 🙂  Also, they love  to go wherever you go, so get ready for a new (small) shadow, a happy sidekick and most willing co-pilot.

…are really a big dog in a little body.

Our Jack Russells consider themselves to be as big as any large breed and will interact and play that way with them. Our Jade’s best friend is a 150lb Rotty. They love to run and race around the yard!! They have wonderful personalities and love to go walking and jogging with you. Our Jack Russells do not need anymore exercise than any other house dog would.

..are good with other dogs, if well socialized.

Our Jacks do well with other pets. Sometimes there is a few minutes of ‘getting to know you’ phase, after that they often become the best of friends. Bigger dogs most times tend to ‘take care’ of the wee one and sometimes the little one ends up becoming the boss! More pics with Jacks and other pets.

…are a shedding breed.

Jack Russells do shed. We recommend that you give your little Jack a regular bath in a good quality shampoo (and keep them off your black Levi’s if you are going out!) Most of our Jacks are short hair with smooth coats, so shedding is minimal.

…require discipline and training, like all breeds.

As our Jack Russells are extremely intelligent, we strongly recommend that you take your puppy to basic obedience class or puppy kindergarten as soon as you pick him/her/them up from us.

They thrive on training and it really makes a wonderful difference in quality of the relationship you will have with your Jack. We only recommend that highly trained Jacks be allowed off leash, as our Jade and Elvis are now, after years of diligent and on-going training! For more see trainability.

…have a tendency to get along really well with cats.

We have many owners who had a cat before they got a puppy from us and have many glowing reports and great photos of how well our Jack get along with their cats. You can never be completely sure that any dog will be best buddies with your cat(s).

As with many other breeds of dogs that have a natural hunting instinct they will bring you home the odd ‘gift’, such as a chipmunk or other furry wild creature. Many of our dogs share their home with cats. Some simply ignore each other, and others play like best buddies. It is always up to the cat how the relationship in going to go :)

…remain active for their 15-year-plus life span.

We have even had calls from owners who have had Jacks live to be 22 years old! A Jack Russell will remain active for its whole life, so plan on adapting your life to include lots of healthy walks in nature, or just down the neighborhood to accommodate your new addition(s).

…do NOT require a fenced yard, although we recommend it.

Jack Russells, as with all other breeds of dogs should not be left unattended outside. Again, this would not apply in case of highly trained Jacks (like our Jade), who is free to roam without a leash on our property and never, ever once has gone on the road or too far off our property as she is trained to recognize side- walks and the edge of our yards. We have even seen her chase a squirrel and stop and the end of driveway!! Some people think we have an electric fence, which we don’t…

…are NOT destructive if left unattended.

One of the many reasons we qualify our clients is to make sure they are aware of the responsibility of having a dog as a pet. It is fine to leave them in their crate or pen for a few hours from time to time as long they have lots of toys to keep them entertained. When they are trained they can have the run of the house even when you are not around for a few hours. All you have to do is to make sure they have access to all their favorite toys.. And make sure you leave on The Animal Planet!

… are city and country dogs.

We have Jacks in all sorts of living situations ranging from apartment living in NYC to farm living in Peru (the country!). They can adapt to both. Again, we do qualify all new owners in a city living situation. (to the left is Bilbo in Central Park, NYC)

… are recommended as apartment or condo dogs.

As long as your schedule permits plenty of time at home and plenty of outdoor activity, you and your Jack will have a great life. Again we do not allow our pups to go to homes where the owners are away for long periods of time on a regular basis.

…do well with children of all ages.

Proper upbringing is the key. Children need to be taught respect for the dog and be appropriately supervised. One of the main reasons that people love our Jacks is they do well with children of all ages. Read our testimonials if you would like more details from messages sent to us by our owners who have more than one Jack and more than one child!

…like to watch TV and cuddle on the couch!

And like their humans there is nothing like relaxing on the couch after a long day of running around and always leave on ‘Animal Planet’ when you have to go out and have to leave them home for a while ..did we mention that already!

…are good guard-dogs and are NOT yappy

Our Jacks will let you know if there is something in the yard or if you have someone at the front door. They bark for a reason — they are not yappy.

…as with all pets, require a long-term and loving commitment from you and your family.

In your search for a puppy, please be aware of these facts and ensure that your purchase is from a reputable breeder who has the knowledge to understand and deliver to you the highest quality and healthiest puppy. As you will see below, this breed is not yet recognized by the AKC nor the JRTCA, so this situation puts much more of an onus on the breeders of this type of puppy to ensure it’s quality and strength of breed, and on you, the new owner, to work only with reputable and conscientious breeders who really care for their breed.

If you have specific questions please email us at susan@irishjacks.com