What Is a Shorty Jack Russell Terrier?

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Like other dog breeds, Jack Russell Terriers have breed variations, and one of them is the Shorty Jack Russell Terrier. They are distinct dogs in terms of physical appearance, size, and personality traits. So, what is a Shorty Jack Russell Terrier?

What Is a Shorty Jack Russell Terrier?

Shorty Jack Russell Terriers are a sub-breed of the standard Jack Russell Terriers. Their legs are shorter than those of standard Jack Russell Terriers and are commonly known as Short-legged Jack Russells. Usually, Shorty Jack Russell Terriers have a standing height of 8 to 12 inches and weigh 13 to 17 pounds.

White brown Jack Russell terrier

With a higher body weight to height ratio, Shorty Jack Russell Terriers are energetic like the normal Jack Russell Terriers. The following are some of the appearance attributes and personality traits that distinguish Shorty Jack Russell Terriers.

Size and Weight

Adult Shorty Jack Russell Terriers have a standing height of 8 to 12 inches and weigh around 13 to 17 pounds. Compared to standard Russells standing height of 10 to 15 inches and weight of 13 to 17 pounds, Shorty Jack Russell Terrier’s standing height is slightly smaller.

However, with the same body weight as a normal Jack Russell Terrier, Shorty Jack Russell Terriers may look overweight or more energetic than normal Jack Russell Terriers due to their higher body weight to height ratio. Typically, this gives them a lower center of gravity and makes them seem sturdier.

Hunting Instincts

Since Shorty Jack Russell Terriers are a sub-breed of a hunting dog, they have a strong prey drive just like the normal Jack Russell Terriers. They demonstrate high instinctive intelligence in the way they chase prey and interact with toys. Keep in mind that the strong hunting instincts can make them aggressive against other pets.

Physical Appearance

The physical appearance of Shorty Jack Russell Terriers resembles that of the standard Jack Russell Terriers. The tail stands erect although it can limp when it’s relaxing. The ears are moderately thick, v-shaped, and dropped.

Since this dog is a hunter like the standard Jack Russell Terriers, the jaws are incredibly strong, with a slight overlap of the lower teeth and upper teeth. They are distinguished from the normal Jack Russell Terriers by their keen expression and darker eyes.

Jack russell terrier playing in the woods

Health Conditions

Since Short-legged Jack Russell Terriers are a breed variation of Jack Russell Terriers, they are prone to health issues affecting the Jack Russell Terriers. Also, the higher body weight to height ratio makes them more prone to the following health conditions.

  • Glaucoma 
  • Wobbler syndrome
  • Hernias 
  • Cardiomyopathy 
  • Diabetes 
  • Arthritis 
  • Bilateral and unilateral deafness
  • Ear infections 
  • Oral hygiene issues

Training

Shorty Jack Russell Terriers are intelligent dogs, and you should have no problem training them. However, their protective and territorial nature makes them stubborn and naughty, especially if you punish them during training.

For the best results, it is advisable to divide the training duration into short, frequent sessions and use positive reinforcement methods during training. That means you need to praise the dog and give it treats and toys when it accomplishes a task.

Grooming

Short-legged Jack Russell Terriers can have smooth coats,  broken coats, or rough coats. The hair of a smooth coat is short and lies in one direction. The hair of a broken coat is longer and doesn’t lie in a single direction.

On the other hand, the hair of a rough coat is longer than that of smooth and broken coats. It grows in different directions, making it look wiry. Usually, smooth coats are easier to groom but require regular grooming.

On the other hand, wiry coats are more challenging to groom and don’t require frequent grooming. Regardless of the coat type, it’s advisable to bathe your Shorty Jack Russell Terrier at least once every month.

Patiently sitting jack russell terrier

Nutritional Requirements

Since Short-legged Jack Russell Terriers are hyper-energetic dogs, you need to feed them with the right amount of nutritious foods. You need to ensure their food contains minerals, vitamins, carbs, and protein.

Although the amount of food you should feed your Shorty Jack Russell Terrier depends on its weight and health condition, an adult Short-legged Jack Russell Terrier requires around 1.25 to 1.75 cups of food per day. Usually, this translates to around 450 to 650 calories per day.

Temperament

Shorty Jack Russell Terriers are friendly, affectionate, and loyal dogs willing to please their owners. Although they get along well with children, it is not advisable to leave them unsupervised with children under six years due to their fragile bone structure.

Related Questions

Does a Short-Legged Jack Russell Terrier Shed?

Short-legged Jack Russell Terriers shed, especially during the shedding seasons. In most cases, this will be during autumn to give room for a thicker coat that will keep it warm during winter, and during spring to give room for a thinner coat that will help it regulate heat during summer.

How Much Should I Exercise a Short-Legged Jack Russell Terrier?

You should exercise a Short-legged Jack Russell Terrier for at least 30 minutes per day. Unlike the longer-legged standard JRTs that need at least one hour of exercise per day, the short legs of the Shorty JRT mean it needs to be fast-paced during hikes and walks. 

Final Thoughts

Shorty Jack Russell Terriers are a breed variation of the Jack Russells. They have shorter legs and weigh the same as standard JRTs. The higher body weight to size ratio makes these dogs energetic, requiring regular exercise to prevent obesity issues.