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What is a Shortie Jack

In Ireland, Jack Russells are a very well loved breed of dog. The type of Jack I raise are often referred to as miniature due to their shorter stature. They are not part of the Kennel Club in Britain but some are registered with the IKC, most are not. Since they were not being dictated to on 'type' by the kennel club various types of jacks emerged depending on their use and their owners preference. The interest in hunting dogs lessened after WW 2, many people just wanted to enjoy a house dog, over many years this very charming, smaller, milder mannered little jack evolved, not intentionally, it just happened over time. 

This is the type of jack I know and love and continue to raise now in America at Madrabeag. 

This type of jack is very popular among families looking for a dog more agreeable to a quieter life than their working cousins.

Parsons,  Show type Russells and Jacks all have uniquely different uses and overall appearance. Which is best depends on who you talk to, it is after all just an opinion.









                                                  My daughter with Blossom in the garden (above)





                                                           My son with Whinny and her pups

My key interest is in Jacks of Irish origin since that is what I know and love. I raise Jacks, mine are mostly Irish or Irish American, all are bred with the same type in mind. Irish and English jacks are the same thing. 

I like the Jacks I grew up with, the ones I see most often when I am home in Ireland. They are non- conforming(like many an Irishman), in so much as they do not all need to look exactly alike. Of course, there is good and bad but I still believe there is something very special and unique about a good Irish Jack.















Rufus(Ollie's Dad) and Muppet modeling for 'In the Company of Dogs Magazine'


Some kennel club breeders scoff at this idea but lack of conformity does not equate to poor conformation, or certainly should not. The Jacks requirements are simply different. Soundness, balanced conformation, good movement and a mild mannered temperament should be seen in any good Jack. 

I like an athletic build, with straight legs always being the ideal.

An intelligent, alert expression, is the classic 'look' of a jack. 

That said, to the critiques who imply that a less than straight leg is a serious problem with the breed, I beg to differ. I have known many a jack with 'Queen Anne' legs to live without a bother well into their late teens, fit as a fiddle until the end. This look is normally seen with a broad chest, which clearly would be unsuitable for a working dog, that needed to go to ground, but other than that I have yet to see a jack be ill effected by it. 

But to me the best conformation is for nothing if the dog is not sweet natured, kind hearted and pleasant to live with. 

As you can see when you look at my dogs, variety appeals to me. I don't own a dog that I do not enjoy looking at and living with, they all have their own charm, which is what I love about this breed.

They are what you see, and we like them that way. 












Please note my dogs are non working terriers (they are not required to work for a living), instead I work and provide for them. Of course they are terriers and they will keep mice, rats & other vermin at bay but I do not promote them as working dogs. 

If you really want a working terrier there are many other types of terriers and types of JRT's that are more suitable. I do not curb their natural instinct to hunt but I don't breed dogs with a very high prey drive, or intensity. My Jacks in Ireland liked to hunt but so did our other dogs, like our springer and other spaniels and retreivers it is a natural thing in many dogs. Some Jacks are very intense about it and I don't care for that in my lines.

Finding the right type of dog for your lifestyle is key.


Temperament is critical because so many terriers have acquired a name for themselves due to poor temperament, it is important to breed dogs that are pleasant to live with. I feel that too many 'hunting' type terriers have ended up being sold as pets and they are just not a good fit. Unfortunately, many people do not realize the variety in type with the Jack Russell and so they can unintentionally acquire the wrong type for their lifestyle


These are my opinions, shared on my website about my dogs.

I may not agree with everyone's opinion, but I can respect that everyone is entitled to one.

I have owned Jacks for over 40 years and I have developed a line of Jacks that is what I value in the breed, MBF Jacks are unique and have the perfect balance to make a great family pet, loyal companion, superb travel buddy, compact size, healthy, happy and loving dog. For those who know the difference, You don't know Jack until you have owned an MBF Jack 😊

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