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Fox Terrier vs. Jack Russell: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 4, 2024
The Fox Terrier is a British breed known for its wiry coat and keen hunting skills, while the Jack Russell is a smaller, highly energetic terrier also from England, known for its strong personality.

Key Differences

The Fox Terrier, originating in England, was bred for fox hunting, while the Jack Russell Terrier, also from England, was developed primarily for hunting foxes and vermin.
Fox Terriers are distinguished by their wiry, dense coat and come in two types: Smooth and Wire. Jack Russells are smaller, with a predominantly white coat that can be smooth, rough, or broken.
The Fox Terrier is known for its energetic, playful, and friendly nature. In contrast, the Jack Russell is highly energetic, intelligent, and sometimes can be more assertive and stubborn.
Fox Terriers are slightly larger and have a more robust build compared to the smaller, more compact Jack Russell Terrier.
Both breeds are popular as pets and show dogs, but the Fox Terrier has a history in formal fox hunting, while the Jack Russell has been more of a versatile working dog, used in various types of hunting.

Comparison Chart


England, bred for fox hunting
England, developed for hunting foxes and vermin

Coat Type

Wiry, dense, smooth or wire varieties
Predominantly white, smooth, rough, or broken coat


Energetic, playful, friendly
Highly energetic, intelligent, assertive


Slightly larger, more robust build
Smaller, more compact build

Historical Use

Used in formal fox hunting
Versatile working dog in various hunting roles

Fox Terrier and Jack Russell Definitions

Fox Terrier

A dog breed characterized by either a smooth or wire-haired coat.
We groomed our Fox Terrier, ensuring its wire-haired coat was neatly trimmed.

Jack Russell

A small, energetic terrier breed with a strong personality.
The Jack Russell terrier was tirelessly running and playing all day long.

Fox Terrier

A British breed of terrier known for hunting skills and wiry coat.
The Fox Terrier excelled in the dog show with its impressive posture and alertness.

Jack Russell

A terrier breed developed for hunting but popular as a family pet.
Although originally bred for hunting, our Jack Russell is a loving family companion.

Fox Terrier

A terrier breed known for its energy and friendly nature.
Our Fox Terrier always enjoys long walks and playing fetch in the park.

Jack Russell

A dog breed often white-coated, known for its intelligence and agility.
Our Jack Russell solved the puzzle toy faster than any other dog we've had.

Fox Terrier

A breed often participating in dog shows and agility competitions.
The Fox Terrier we saw at the agility competition was incredibly agile and fast.

Jack Russell

A small-sized breed, ideal for various canine sports and activities.
The Jack Russell participated in the canine sports event with remarkable enthusiasm.

Fox Terrier

A historically popular breed in England for fox hunting.
The Fox Terrier's heritage in fox hunting is evident in its keen sense of smell.

Jack Russell

A breed characterized by its fearless nature and boundless energy.
Our Jack Russell fearlessly chased after the frisbee, showcasing its boundless energy.


What is a Fox Terrier?

A British dog breed known for its hunting skills and either a smooth or wire-haired coat.

What is a Jack Russell?

A small, energetic terrier breed from England, known for its agility and strong personality.

How big do Fox Terriers get?

Fox Terriers typically weigh between 15-18 pounds and stand about 15.5 inches at the shoulder.

Are Jack Russells good with children?

Jack Russells can be good with children, but their high energy and assertiveness require supervision.

Do Jack Russells require a lot of exercise?

Yes, Jack Russells are highly energetic and require ample exercise and mental stimulation.

What is the lifespan of a Fox Terrier?

Fox Terriers typically live between 12-15 years.

Are Fox Terriers good family pets?

Yes, Fox Terriers are known to be playful and friendly, making them good family pets.

Do Fox Terriers shed a lot?

Fox Terriers shed moderately; regular grooming can manage their shedding.

How big do Jack Russells get?

Jack Russells are usually 10-15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 13-17 pounds.

Are Jack Russells good for first-time dog owners?

Due to their high energy and assertiveness, Jack Russells may be challenging for first-time owners.

How much grooming do Jack Russells require?

Jack Russells require moderate grooming, depending on their coat type.

Are Jack Russells good with other dogs?

Jack Russells can be good with other dogs, but their strong personality might lead to dominance issues.

What is the lifespan of a Jack Russell?

Jack Russells usually have a lifespan of 13-16 years.

Do Fox Terriers bark a lot?

Fox Terriers can be vocal, especially if they're bored or seeking attention.

Are Fox Terriers easy to train?

Fox Terriers are intelligent but can be stubborn, so consistent training is necessary.

What kind of diet is best for a Jack Russell?

A balanced diet suited to their high energy levels is recommended for Jack Russells.

How are Jack Russells in terms of training?

Jack Russells are intelligent and trainable but need consistent and patient training due to their independent nature.

Can Fox Terriers live in apartments?

Fox Terriers can adapt to apartment living if they get enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Are Fox Terriers prone to any health issues?

Fox Terriers can be prone to certain health issues like patellar luxation and eye disorders.

What kind of activities are suitable for Fox Terriers?

Activities like agility, fetch, and long walks are great for keeping a Fox Terrier engaged.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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