Very intelligent, obedient, active, agile, highly energetic, and watchful dogs.Russell Terriers enjoy tennis ball retrieving, agility, flyball, Frisbee, and have the keen sense of smell necessary to participate in earthdog trials.They have a reputation as a good family dog, but with careful training needed to avoid development of "small dog syndrome". May be difficult to disengage from an activity or behavior, bark, or chase wildlife or other dogs.
The Russell Terrier is also commonly referred to as the Jack Russell Terrier, referring to Reverend John Russell who, in the early 19th century, used his fox working terriers to breed predominantly white working terriers which possessed an innate ability to hunt and to flush out foxes from underground, but that would not harm or kill them. John Russell’s first terrier, Trump, is said to be the foundation of his strain of working terriers. It is claimed that following Russell’s death some of his bloodlines were crossed with the Welsh Corgi and other terrier breeds, creating a different type dog, the "Jack Russell Terrier." Jack Russell Terriers are a type of working terrier, which have a broad genetic make-up. The term Jack Russell has widely been used to describe a multitude of small white terriers. John Russell maintained his strain of fox terriers bred strictly for working, and the terrier we know today is much the same as the pre-1900 fox terrier. In the USA, a Terrier conforming to the Australian/FCI standard is simply called a Russell Terrier by the American Kennel Club.