Buying a Jack Russell Terrier Puppy

We encourage you to learn as much as possible about the Jack Russell, and be sure that it will suit your lifestyle before you make the commitment to purchase a puppy.

Buying a Jack Russell Terrier Puppy

Jack Talk and Interactive Profiler

Please read the JackTalk before you purchase a Jack Russell puppy. You should also run the Jack Russell Terrier Online Profiler to see if a Jack Russell puppy would be compatible with your environment and lifestyle.

The JRTCA urges prospective buyers to educate themselves and to make an informed decision accordingly. In all matters, the buyer must be aware of the many variations in the breed, and make a selection based on knowledge gained through this web site and other sources, and of course, personal preferences.

We recommend that you only purchase a puppy bred from JRTCA registered parents.

JRTCA Breeders Directory - web site of JRTCA breeders

It should be remembered that the Jack Russell is first and foremost a hunting dog, and is not for everyone. We encourage you to learn as much as possible about the Jack Russell, and be sure that it will suit your lifestyle before you make the commitment to purchase. Please take a look at Russell Rescue, Inc. or Russell Refuge, Inc. before you decide to purchase a puppy. To get a list of JRTCA registered breeders, please call the JRTCA Club Office at 410-561-3655 or review our Directory of Breeders.

Questions to Ask Yourself

What sort of residence do you have? Jack Russells prefer larger houses (more room to run about)
What type of area do you live in? Jack Russells are country dogs. When made to live in a city or suburban-type environment, their needs and instincts do not change.
What size is your yard? The larger your yard, the better.
Are you able to keep a dog secure? Jack Russells will roam due to their hunting instincts.... even if left in an unsecured for a few minutes!
How much daily exercise would you give a dog? They need a great deal of exercise and outdoor activity, and are usually too loud for such high-density living. They need room to run; leash walking does not satisfy their boundless energy. Unless your schedule permits many hours at home and a lot of outdoor activity, with a safe place the terrier can run, this is not the dog for you.
For how long would your dog be alone each week? Jack Russells can be very destructive if left unattended and unemployed! Most behavioral problems are due to a lack of companionship, discipline, activity and exercise.
What is the age of the youngest child living in or regularly visiting the house? Jack Russells will NOT TOLERATE even unintended mistreatment from a child. They will not put up with typical child handling such as pulling of ears, tails, etc., or taking or "sharing" of the dog's bones, food, toys, etc. They are very assertive and demanding, and never still... jumping all over whoever will allow it. Jack Russells are not recommended for households with children under the age of six unless you are previously experienced with this feisty little bundle of energy.
What sort of dog would you prefer? Jack Russells are first and foremost hunting dogs. The traits and skills that make them excellent hunting dogs (i.e., digging, barking, aggressive nature, ability to follow scent) are often interpreted as bad habits that cause people to give them up.
What length of coat would you prefer? How much grooming would your dog receive each week? Jack Russells are NOT a non-shedding breed! All coat types shed! Smooth coats shed the most, dropping hair continuously year round. Rough coats maintain the guard and dead coat, requiring manual shedding a few times a year. The broken coat is an intermediary coat, between the two types.

When buying a puppy be sure both parents of the puppy are registered with the JRTCA and that the breeder is a member of the JRTCA; ask if they have signed the JRTCA Breeders Code of Ethics. It is your best assurance of a healthy, quality pup! Be sure you are given a complete, signed 4-generation pedigree and a stud certificate.

Ask The Breeder

  • Is your kennel registered with the JRTCA? (see Breeders Code of Ethics)
  • Are the sire and dam on the premises - may I see them?
  • How many puppies were in the litter?
  • Are the sire and dam JRTCA registered? If not, why not?
  • Do you offer a guarantee? (ask to see the written guarantee) Is the pup guaranteed to be registerable? (an ethical breeder can not guarantee that a puppy will be registerable by the JRTCA. They can only guarantee that they will do something for you - refund, take back terrier, rebate, etc - if the dog is not registerable.)
  • How many years have you bred dogs?
  • How many litters do you breed a year?
  • May I see the Pedigree? Are there any known genetic problems in the dog's pedigree?
  • May I see the medical history of the pups? Is a vet health certificate included with the pup?
  • Does this puppy come with a complete pedigree and Breeders Certificate so I can register him/her in the future? Is it signed? Does the pedigree include 3 to 4 generations?
  • Do you test your dogs for PLL (Primary Lens Luxation) and SCA (Spinocerebeller Ataxia)?

Ask Yourself

  • Do the parents have the kind of temperment and personality that I desire in a pup?
  • Are the premises clean?
  • Are the dogs clean?
  • Are the dogs happy?
  • Do they appear to be healthy?
  • Does this dog appear to meet the JRTCA's registry requirements?
  • Is the breeder breeding to the JRTCA breed standard?
  • Is the breeder putting any restrictions on the sale, and if so, what are they?
  • Is a Jack Russell the right dog for me? Can I cope with their level of activity?
  • Have the dam and sire been tested for genetic diseases?

List of Breeders

To get a list of breeders of Jack Russell Terriers, we recommend that you visit the JRTCA Breeders Directory web site.