Jack Russell Terriers may look small, but they make up for their size with their huge personalities. They are considered the ideal pet for experienced and highly active humans.
If you are interested in adopting a Jack Russell, you will want to know how big they get as adults and how to ensure that they reach their healthy size.
However, before we dive into the growth specifics, let’s take a quick look at the origin of Jack Russells.
- A Brief History of the Jack Russell
- The Growth Milestones
- When Does A Healthy Jack Russell Stop Growing?
- What Factors Affect the Growth of a Jack Russell?
- How to Ensure Your Jack Russell Hits the Healthy Growth Target
- The Concluding Bark
A Brief History of the Jack Russell
Did you ever wonder where the small, excitable tan and white terriers descended from?
Their origin story can be traced all the way back to the 1800s in England. During that period, a hunting enthusiast by the name of Reverend John Russell dreamt of an ideal fox-hunting terrier.
The fox-hunting terriers of the time, known as the Fox Terriers, had a striking resemblance to the target of their hunt—the wily fox. These terriers were skinner, taller, and much darker in coloring compared to their modern-day counterparts.
This striking resemblance between prey and hunter resulted in plenty of hunting mishaps. Sometimes, the owners of the terriers would mistakenly take out their fox-hunting terriers instead of the fox during heated chases.
John Russell wanted to fix this problem and breed a new kind of terrier breed with only the desirable traits. He wanted a tenacious working dog that would chase and bolt foxes out of their dens and would not get accidentally shot.
The perfect opportunity would soon strike. One day he happened upon a tiny white terrier female called Trump. He was struck by her potential, and Trump soon became the basis for the now distinct breed of Jack Russell.
After John Russell’s death, in honor of his contributions, the Fox Terrier was renamed Jack Russell Terrier.
Years after his death, the breed of Jack Russell Terrier was improved upon, and it resulted in the current compact and distinctive line of dogs.
The Growth Milestones
Watching your Jack Russell transform from a tiny puppy into an adult is one of the many joys of life.
There are variations in the sizes and growth rates of these dogs. However, you should be aware of the various growth milestones so that you have an idea of what to expect at the end of the growth spurt.
These tiny, excitable dogs have a very rapid growth spurt during the first year of their life. They rapidly put on weight and height every month during the first six months.
By the time your puppy is six months old, they are likely to have reached close to their full-grown size. At that age, they would be standing nearly 10 to 12 inches in height.
They hit their full adult size by the time they are 12 months old. This is estimated at 10 to 15 inches in height.
However, their growth rates can vary due to multiple factors such as gender, health conditions, genetics, etc.
At the wee age of three months, your tiny fur-ball might range anywhere from six pounds to eight pounds. They will continue adding on weight rapidly as they grow.
At the six-month marker, they will likely be carrying a weight of 11 to 14 pounds. Once they hit their full adult size, their average weight will be around 14 to 18 pounds.
If they are hitting their height milestones but are falling behind on their weight, it could be due to several factors such as exercise or nutrition. This is not a major cause for concern. They will continue putting on weight beyond the one-year mark.
Also Read: How Long Does a Jack Russell Live?
When Does A Healthy Jack Russell Stop Growing?
Jack Russells are considered fully grown at the six- to eight-month age marker. After that, their growth rate significantly declines.
At the 12-month marker, a Jack Russell gets done with the growth spurt. They have reached their ideal height and weight. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will see any further growth (in height) beyond this point.
However, they can and are likely to add on weight depending on their activity level and diet.
In their full-grown glory, Jack Russell terriers stand at heights of 10 to 15 inches. At that height, they weigh around 13 to 17 pounds. This is considered to be the ideal weight range.
Height difference across gender is also noticeable. The male terrier usually has an extra inch over the female. They are bigger than their female counterpart.
The average height of a Jack Russell is considered to be 12 inches.
What Factors Affect the Growth of a Jack Russell?
There are several factors that contribute to the variations in the height and weight of a Jack Russell.
The genetics of a Jack Russell plays an important role in deciding the extent of growth of your puppy.
If your puppy’s parents are on the shorter scale of size, it is very likely that your puppy will also inherit their height. To get an estimate of how big your puppy will get as an adult, take a look at their parents.
Additionally, if the parent is suffering from any genetic condition, such as one that stunts growth, it is possible that your puppy might also be affected by the same affliction.
Weight, on the other hand, depends less on genetics and more on how much exercise your Jack Russell is getting.
The sex or gender of your Jack Russell is also a determining factor in their growth. Male terriers tend to carry a few extra inches of height and a few extra pounds compared to their female counterparts.
The ideal height of a male is at 14 inches, whereas a female stands an inch shorter than him at 13 inches.
Meanwhile, with regard to weight, male Jack Russells also tend to be heftier than the females.
Nutrition plays a vital role in growth. Since Jack Russells are extremely active dogs, their nutrition requirement is higher than that of an idle dog. Their growth is highly dependent on the quantity and quality of nourishment they consume.
Similar to how growing children require proper nourishment for maximum growth and health, Jack Russell puppies also need their dietary requirements properly addressed.
Any changes or lack in their diet could alter their growth and affect their health in the long run.
Exercise has no impact on the height of a Jack Russell. However, the amount of exercise or lack thereof will impact their overall weight.
Jack Russells are a restless breed and require a lot of physical activities to burn off their massive cache of energy. While it is not likely that they will turn into couch potatoes, it is pertinent to ensure that their high energy levels are met with vigorous daily exercise.
If their exercise requirements are not met, the additional weight on their tiny bodies would be detrimental to their health, leading to problems such as heart disease or bone health issues.
Sometimes, unapparent underlying health issues might restrict your Jack Russell’s growth. If you feel that your puppy is not hitting the estimated growth markers for their age, consult a veterinarian to figure out and treat the issue.
Due to their outdoorsy nature, dogs are prone to worm infections. These parasites latch inside the bodies and drain the puppy of their vital nutrients.
Some markers to monitor for infection include sudden weight loss with loss in appetite, tiredness, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
Jack Russells are tireless dogs, even as puppies. They have an abundance of energy and curiosity. If they are exhibiting symptoms of lethargy, it is highly uncharacteristic of them.
It could be an indication of a worm infection or some other underlying illness. If left untreated, it will impact the growth of your puppy and might even stunt their size.
Make sure you consult a veterinarian at the first sign of trouble.
Also Read: Jack Russell Terrier Grooming – Everything You Need to Know
How to Ensure Your Jack Russell Hits the Healthy Growth Target
It is important to provide growing puppies with proper care and love so that they achieve their healthy growth target.
Both physical and mental activities play an important role in the development of a growing Jack Russell. They are tenacious and extremely clever creatures. They have seemingly endless amounts of energy that requires a good outlet.
This boundless energy needs an outlet in the form of long walks, games, and other physical activities. They can get aggressive if their energy has no escape route.
A healthy amount of exercise daily will calm them and make them more sociable. It will also help strengthen their growing bones and muscles.
Besides physical activities, their clever minds require mental stimulation as well. Since their mental capabilities are also part of the growth process, it is a good idea to include mentally stimulating tasks into their daily routine.
Adding a combination of physical and mental activities to the day will have a positive impact on the health and growth of your Jack Russell.
Growing dogs require nourishing meals to keep their growth spurt going. As an energetic breed, their dietary requirements are higher than other dogs.
Their food portions should be balanced. The quality and the quantity matter. For instance, if you decrease the quality but increase the portion size, it will negatively impact their health.
They should be provided with a nutritious diet of the highest quality of ingredients in the right proportions. It should also be noted that puppies require more calories than adult dogs.
If you are not sure whether you are overfeeding or underfeeding your Jack Rusell, consult a professional to get a detailed outlook on their dietary requirements.
Besides providing them with adequate exercise, nourishing meals, and all the love in the world, ensure that your Jack Russell gets regular visits to the veterinarian.
It is important to monitor their health and prevent the development of any potential diseases.
The Concluding Bark
Jack Russells are lively creatures. They pack quite a personality in their tiny bodies. Their energy can be unmatchable at any age.
Despite their compact size, they are highly athletic and quite adept at digging up holes. These clever and immensely curious dogs require a lot of mental and physical stimulation.
If provided with the right stimulation, diet, and care, Jack Russells can attain their full-grown size by the end of their first year and live a healthy life of up to 16 years.