A Guide To The Rare But Stunning Black Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a fun little dog owned by many dog owners in the world. It is known to have a white coat with black and tan markings. Yet, not many people know that a Black Jack Russell Terrier exists.

This version of the Jack Russell is very rare and is made only through specific breeding practices. But there are reasons why people choose to own this beautiful black dog.

Key Takeaways

  • The only official color for Jack Russell Terriers is white.
  • One gene responsible for the black coat of dogs is in the K locus.
  • Black Jack Russell Terriers can be created by mixing a Jack Russell with another breed.
  • The AKC does not accept black Jack Russells as purebred dogs.
  • These dogs have all the positive and negative traits of standard Jack Russells.
  • Jack Russell Terriers tend to shed a lot throughout the year.
  • Black Jack Russells will cost more with a price ranging from $800-$1500.
  • There are some breeders that will accept breeding black Jack Russells.

Can Jack Russells Be Black?

The officially accepted Jack Russells by the AKC can only be white, with black, tan, brown, cream, or tri-color markings. However, black Jack Russells do exist. Making this dog is not simple, and will require some breeding techniques.

To breed this type of Jack Russell, you will need to mix a purebred Jack Russel with another purebred that has a full-black coat. A lot of people recommend mixing it with a Dachshund. This means that the dog will not be a crossbreed. Because of that, no kennel clubs recognize the existence of black Jack Russells.

Genetics Of The Black Jack Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier was first bred by Reverent John Russell. His aim was to make a white-bodied fox hunting dog whose color would help the hunter distinguish it from the prey. Thus, the gene responsible for keeping a full black coat on the Jack Russell was bred out of the breed.

It is known that the dominant black gene is in the K locus. It is also responsible for giving dogs black noses. Dogs with a K/K allele pairing have a full black coat. But this thing is not possible in the Jack Russell breed. Therefore, only a mixed Jack Russell can be fully black.

What Does A Black Jack Russell Terrier Look Like?

The most apparent characteristic of this dog is its full black coat color. The dog will either be completely black or have a patch of white on its chest. The Jack Russell can have a wiry coat or a smooth coat, both being of a short length.

Besides its coat color, this dog will look like a typical Jack Russell Terrier. It has an athletic and muscular build. Its tail is long or docked and its ears can be raised or floppy.

The standard size of the Jack Russell averages around 10-12 inches in height and 9-15 pounds in weight. This makes it a small to medium-sized breed. Some Jack Russells are shorter-legged and therefore smaller than usual.

What Is The Personality Of A Black Jack Russell Terrier?

Black Jack Russells have an affectionate and friendly temperament, just like their white-colored siblings. These dogs were bred to hunt and have a high prey drive which needs to be controlled with socialization. There is one thing that Jack Russell owners don’t like.

And that is the fact that these dogs are loud. Because they are hunting dogs, these dogs have an ingrained need to bark. But this does make them great watchdogs. These dogs are also very energetic and need to be exercised properly, otherwise, they become destructive.

They are intelligent and highly adaptable dogs that are great for any family. However, they do have their stubborn streaks.

How To Care For A Black Jack Russell

Caring for this dog will be no different from caring for a standard Jack Russell. It includes maintaining its health and providing proper nutrition, exercise, training, and grooming.

Lifespan And Health

The average lifespan of a Jack Russell Terrier is around 12-14 years. Because black Jack Russells are usually mixed dogs, they might have the advantage of having hybrid vigor. That said, these dogs can suffer from a few common health problems. 

  • Glaucoma – This is a disease where the pressure in the eye is increased, thus causing problems. The dog can experience eye pain and discharge, lethargy, bulging of the eye, and even blindness. This dog is also prone to other eye diseases. 
  • Patellar Luxation – This is a condition where the kneecap moves out of its place. A dog with this disease will skip on its leg for a while and then get back to normal walking. In time, it can lead to arthritis.
  • Deafness – The all black Jack Russell Terrier can develop deafness from birth and it won’t be able to respond to sounds from an early age. You may notice some symptoms like excessive barking, an unusual voice, hyperactivity, and a lack of ear movement.


On average, Jack Russell Terriers need around 1.5 cups of food every day. This also goes for the black version of the breed. This amount of food should be split into two meals, one in the morning, and one in the evening.

The dog food you buy should be of high quality and from a reliable company. Popular companies like Pedigree or Purina offer great dog food for every dog breed. All dog food should be high in protein, as well as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fatty acids. It should also be low in carbs and artificial ingredients.

Some supplements could also benefit Jack Russells. Fish oil supplements, as well as chondroitin and glucosamine, are great to include in the daily diet.

Exercise And Training

The black Jack Russell Terrier mix is a high-energy dog and will only fit active families. On average, a Jack Russell will need at least 1 hour of exercise every day. This can be split into more sessions during the day. Walking, running, hiking, and swimming are all possible activities for this dog. Playing some games and mental stimulation is also beneficial.

Training a Jack Russell will depend on the experience of the owner. These dogs are intelligent and can learn a lot of commands. That said, they are also known to have stubborn streaks so a lot of persistence is needed. Owners should make the training sessions shorter and more fun. Obedience training and socialization should start from an early age.


Jack Russells are shedding dogs and will shed all throughout the year. This shedding increases during the season of fall and spring. The black and brown Jack Russell will have a more noticeable shedding due to the color of its hair. These dogs should be brushed at least once a week to manage the shedding. This should be increased during the increased shedding season.

Jack Russells should be bathed once every month or so. This is to prevent overbathing and damaging their coat and skin. If you are bathing your dog, make sure you use a special shampoo made for dogs. Jack Russells need their ears checked and cleaned from time to time. These dogs should also get their nails clipped regularly, and their teeth brushed daily.

Getting A Black Jack Russell Puppy

Obtaining one of these puppies for yourself might not be easy. These dogs are rare and will cost much more compared to breed standard. To start, you can try contacting some Russell Terrier breeders and animal rescue organizations.

Buying From A Breeder

If you want to get your puppy from a breeder, you should be ready to pay a higher price. On average, these dogs will cost around $800-$1500. These prices will vary depending on the dog. If the puppy comes from parents that won dog contests, you can expect its price to be much higher. 

You should research reliable breeders before buying your future dog. They should give you all the needed information and documentation about the pup. You can also ask to visit and see its parents and siblings so you can ensure that there are no genetic diseases present.

The Black Jack Farm is a place specializing in black Jack Russells. Some other Jack Russell breeders include the Black Brush Jack Russells and the Legendary Terriers.

Adopting From A Shelter

You may find a full grown black Jack Russell Terrier in some rescue shelters specializing in the Jack Russell breed. Usually, shelters have a lot of mixed dogs bred by accident. There might not always be the specific puppies you want, but there will always be dogs that desperately need a home.

Adopting an older dog from a shelter will cost you much less than buying it from a breeder. Usually, these dogs are also vaccinated, so you won’t have to pay extra money for that. It is a great thing to do for a dog while getting yourself a new best friend.

Some shelters that may have a black Jack Russell include Russell Rescue Inc. and Jack Russell Rescue.

Is The Black Jack Russell Terrier The Right Dog For You?

Black Jack Russells are a variant of the standard Jack Russell Terrier, but they have a black coat. Officially, only the white Jack Russells are accepted by the AKC. These dogs were purposely bred with that color to distinguish themselves from the prey when hunting.

Jack Russells don’t have the gene to make a full black coat. But they can be mixed with other dog breeds to achieve this. Therefore, these dogs can only appear as mixes, and not purebreds.

Regarding their traits, these dogs are completely the same as their white counterparts. If you want one of these dogs for yourself, you can try contacting a breeder or a rescue shelter. Just know that due to their rarity, these dogs will be a bit expensive.


What are the different colors of Jack Russells?

The only official color for Jack Russell Terriers accepted by the AKC is white. These white dogs can only have black, brown, tan, cream, and tri-color markings. That said, other unofficial colors like black also exist.

What are the two types of Jack Russell Terriers?

The two types of Jack Russell Terriers are the Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier. The two are very similar dogs and once were considered the same breed.

What is the rarest Jack Russell Terrier color?

The black Jack Russell Terrier is rare, but there is an even rarer type of Jack Russell. And this is the lilac and tan Jack Russell. The gene for this color is recessive, thus making it so rare.

How many terriers are there in the world?

According to the AKC, there are more than 30 terriers in the world. These include the Jack Russell Terrier, but also the Rat Terrier, Fox Terrier, Japanese Terrier, and Brazilian Terrier among others.

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