People enjoy the appearance and temperament of rough-coated Jack Russell terriers. The breed is also popular because of its gentleness with children, skill as a watch dog and minimal grooming needs.
Of the three varieties of Jack Russells, the rough-coated version has the longest hair. Some owners find it more appealing than the bristly coats of the other terriers. They also appreciate that, despite the dog's relatively long hair, it is a below-average shedder. The breed requires only regular combing and brushing and occasional bathing.
The Jack Russell's popularity is largely due to its personality. It is friendly, energetic, intelligent and affectionate. It craves human attention and loves games. The breed is rated among the best dogs for children because of its kind nature and playfulness.
Though small, the Jack Russell serves as an effective watch dog. It is highly protective of its owners, barking loudly and incessantly when strangers approach. However, the dog is not usually aggressive and warms up to new people quickly. Jack Russells rarely bite anyone, but snap and growl if treated too roughly. Terriers, originally bred as ratters, chase away rodents and other small animals. They are trainable, though strong-willed dogs. Owners should be patient and persistent when raising the dogs.