Ready for adventure! Curious to a fault! Lover of Digging Holes! The Russell Terrier is smart as a whip and always on its toes. Owners of Russell Terriers are constantly surprised by the quickness of mind and physicality this little dog can manage. Read more about this spirited companion as BestBullySticks.com shares the story of the Russell Terrier in the BBS Breed Spotlight.

History & Background: Named after Reverend John Russell, the “Jack Russell Terrier” originated in England, but was developed into the modern breed in Australia. As a derivative of the Parson Russell Terrier, the Russell Terrier is an all-purpose dog. This breed was used as a small game hunter, especially for foxes, and ratter. Russell Terriers were also developed to be small enough to be carried on horseback in a saddlebag. As the breed type began to grow, many fanciers and terrier clubs wanted to draw a line between the wide range of working type terriers. It was then the Parsons Terrier and Russell Terrier were defined as two separate breeds with different body types. In other parts of the world, the Russell Terrier is known as a Jack Russell, but by American standards the Russell Terrier has shorter legs.

The Russell Terrier will be competing at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for the first time in this breed’s history. See the Russell Terrier compete at Westminster on February 12, 2013 at 8pm-11pm ET, Live on USA Network.

Height: 10 to 12 inches

Weight: 14 to 18 pounds

Coat: Russell Terriers can have smooth, broken or rough coats. All coats are paired with an undercoat, are waterproof and the dog’s body is well covered.  A smooth-coated Russell will sport dense, hard yet short and low-lying hair. Russell’s with broken coats have medium-length hair that falls somewhere between smooth and rough and have facial furnishings. Rough coated dog’s hair is dense, hard and medium-length. Russell’s hair is never thin, wooly, curly or silky.

Color: This terrier is mostly white with black or tan markings. Breed standards state that white should be at least 51% of the total coat color.  Ticking is acceptable as well. The nose is black and eyes are dark.

Appearance: Russell Terriers are slightly longer than tall and is a sturdy and strong little dog. Compact, balanced and light on its feet, this dog exudes alertness and energy. The head of the Russell has a flat skull or moderate width which begins tapering at the eyes into a wide muzzle. This dog has powerful and pronounced jaws and almond shaped eyes, which show intelligence. Small, V-shaped ears drop the tops of the eyes. With a very square body, the Russell Terrier has a deeper than wide chest and straight back. The legs are sturdy but rather short, but still proportional to the body. The gait of this terrier shows off it’s personality; a springy, energetic step. The tail rests down when the Russell is at ease but very erect when moving. Some Russells have docked tails.

Temperament: Full of life and spirit, the Russell Terrier is fearless and friendly. This dog tends to be hyperactive, so the calmer the home setting, the better. This dog is highly intelligent and loves working and being exercised. This dog has a naturally cheerful disposition, is obedient and good with children. It’s important to socialize and train the Russell Terrier. This dog has a penchant for digging, climbing and jumping.

Health & Grooming: This dog is susceptible to eye diseases, deafness, hip joint problems and dislocation of kneecaps. Russell Terrier usually live upward of 15 years.

Russell Terriers are easily groomed. Any coat type can be maintained with regular combing and brushing. Bathe only when necessary.

Product Suggestions: Need a treat to wear out your Russell Terrier? Check out a long lasting Himalayan Dog Chew! These tasty, all-natural, gluten-free dog chews will not only have your Russell Terrier busy with this hard cheese treat, but these treats serve as great dental treat as well!

Any Russell Terrier needs a sturdy flying disc and don’t let the time of day determine when you play! Nite Ize Flahlight Dog Discuit flying disc features a LED light that makes for exciting nighttime play sessions!

Do you know or own a Russell Terrier? Tell us your story in the comments section below!