Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terriers originated in England in the 1800's and started life as a cross breed from the now extinct White Terrier. The dogs were bred for use in fox hunting, able to locate, dig out and hold a fox until the hunter arrived, but soon became relied upon as excellent rat catchers. They are generally small dogs, with a tenacious attitude and a formidable chase instinct. There are two distinct types; smooth and rough coated.
Jack Russells are fun. They are feisty, energetic and full of character. You can't ignore a Jack Russell Terrier. Bred as a working dog, they like to keep active. You can take them on a two hour walk, they'll have a nap and be ready to go again, but are still very devoted to their owner and will settle, happy to cuddle up to you. Seen as mischief makers they are always going down holes or escaping under fences to the desperate cries of their owner. Training needs to be very firm, they are intelligent, but will use that against you if you aren't firm. They look like they are always plotting something. Their natural instinct is to hunt, so unless you are 100% sure your dog will come back (they will, when it suits them) it is best to walk them in a secure area or on a lead. They have a very active mind and will always be sniffing something out, usually with their tails wagging. Training will never be finished, it needs to be consistent and is best done every day, just a short session to remind them that you are the boss. They like games, so fetch, hide and seek, agility classes and frisbee all work well. They also like to dig.
They make good pets and are fine with respectful children and other dogs in the house, but can be snappy with strange dogs. Early socialisation is important to get them used to other dogs as soon as possible. They will chase pet rodents, cats and rats/mice in the garden, but some do cope with cats if brought up with them. Jack Russell Terriers are hardy little dogs with few health problems, that live a long time. The rough coat needs brushing a few times a week, the smooth less so. The only trouble with Jack Russell Terriers is their fondness for fox/badger and deer poo, they will find it, and roll in it.
Jack Russell Terriers have a mischievious and playful temperament. Driven by a high prey drive they have been bred for years to go to ground after all types of pest. This makes them unsuitable to keep with small pets and cats as they will be more than likely to see them as prey.
Fearless dogs that have huge pride they won't back down from a fight so much care is needed on walks and early socialisation is very important if you don't wan't a scrappy little thug. That said they make great companions and thrive on your attention. Always up for a game or an adventure the Jack Russell is certainly not a dog for a sofa slob.
Health problems that may affect Jack Russell Terriers include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, luxating patellar (dislocation of the knee cap), lens luxation (lens detatchment in eye ball), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina that can lead to blindness).
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 13 - 16 years
- Weight: 6.4 - 8.2 kg
- Height: 10 - 15"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Short
- Grooming Requirements: Once a week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
- Breed Type: Pest Control Dog
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour
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