Jack Russell Racing - The High Intensity Terrier Sport

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This video gives you some idea of the intensity of the sport. It's perfect for giving your dog an outlet for some of that pent up energy that all Jack Russells carry around.

Jack Russell Terrier Racing Rules

Here are the rules of Jack Russell Terrier racing, according to the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America:

  • The racing track must be at least 150 feet (45.72m) long
  • The winner is the dog that is the first to cross the line on the other side of the hole in the hay bales at the end, NOT the first dog to enter the hole
  • The race can be either flat, or a steeplechase
  • All dogs must be muzzled in order to compete
  • If the dog is unmuzzled when it crosses the finish line, it's disqualified
  • The dog must jump over the jumps in a steeplechase - if it goes around, it's disqualified
  • If a dog catches the lure, the race will be run again
  • Only softie muzzles and basket muzzles can be legally worn for racing

Jack Russell Racing Equipment

What do you need to take part in Jack Russell Terrier racing? The only real equipment required for the dog itself are the muzzle and racing collar. All dogs must be muzzled in order to compete to avoid aggression breaking out in the races. The muzzle must be a basket muzzle or softie muzzle.

The racing collar is simply a colorful tag to keep track of each dog.

However, if you want to set up Jack Russell races yourself, there is some other Jack Russell racing equipment you will need.

First of all, you need a racing track. As mentioned above this should be at least 150 feet long (45.72m), although the JRTCA recommends 200-225 feet (61-68.5m) as being ideal.

Jack Russell racing is one of the most exciting dog sports that exists. The idea is simple: a group of Jack Russells chase a lure along a straight track, sometimes with obstacles to jump over (the steeple chase). At the end of the track, ther's a small hole for them to squeeze through. The first one out the other side is the winner.

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To set up the track, you need a starting box where the dogs will be released from at the beginning of a race, similar to horse racing. You will need side barriers for the track so that the dogs don't run off in the wrong direction (although the lure should take care of that!), and also hurdles for steeplechase races.

For the finish line, the JRTCA recommends using hay bales that are not too hard so that the dogs don't hurt themselves when they hit them (as you can see from the video, they don't slow down before impact). If you don't have hay bales then other types of padding, such as very soft punching bags, could serve well instead. You should also have some sort of cushioning on the other side of the finish line. The hole the dogs pass through is to be 8 inches wide or more, but it shouldn't be so wide that more than one dog can squeeze through side by side.

More Information

For more info on JRT racing, check out the JRTCA website: www.therealjackrussell.com.

For more information on this and other JRT sports, take a look at The Jack Russell Lover's Ultimate Guide to Training.

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