What's special about the short legged Jack Russell? At first glance there may not seem to be a lot of difference between different kinds of Jack Russell. The short Jack Russell has become a very popular pet. Shorter legs seem to add to the cuteness factor. The distance between the muzzle and the tail is longer than the dog's height. But are there any other differences between the tall and short Jack Russells?
The differences are more to do with the politics of the dog associations rather than the actual dogs themselves. Both breeds come from the same original stock, so their behavior and temperament is more or less the same. Shorty Jacks are not "true" Jack Russells by any official breed standard. Actually, a lot of JRT owners will tell you that "There is only one kind of Jack Russell." The JRTCA has copyrighted the name "Jack Russell Terrier" to apply only to dogs within a certain range of height. Anything shorter than this is technically not a Jack Russell and is known only as a Russell Terrier in the United States. Short JRTs originate from Britain but they were developed in Australia where the breed standard for Jack Russells requires a lower minimum height (thus they are also sometimes known as the Australian Jack Russell Terrier). The short Jack Russell is also commonly known as the English Jack Russell Terrier
Genetic Faults and Dwarf Jack Russells
Sometimes, short legs are the result of an actual genetic difference. Basically, these are dwarf Jack Russells. If all you want is a pet, these short Jack Russells will serve the purpose perfectly well, but be prepared for the possibility of health problems as the dog may have other genetic faults. These dogs are also commonly referred to as Puddin Jack Russells.
Registration and Competition
Russell Terriers are recognized by the AKC and can be registered with that organization. If you want a dog that can be registered with the JRTCA to compete in dog trials, you will need to get a "real" Jack Russell conforms to the JRTCA breed standard. This is not to be confused with the Parson Russell Terrier, which is another variant.
More Jack Russell Information
The training and care requirements are the same for short-legged Jacks as they are for any other Jack Russell. It's important for a responsible owner to be educated on these things. My free special report explains how to avoid the biggest training mistakes many Jack Russell owners make.