We can thank one of those hard-hunting English parsons for the Jack Russell Terrier, developed to hunt fox in the south of England some years ago.
We can thank one of those hard-hunting English parsons for the Jack Russell Terrier, developed to hunt fox in the south of England some years ago. Parson John Russell, "Jack" to his friends, wanted an efficient hunting dog and decided to design exactly the dog he had in mind. The result was a bold, athletic dog who won hearts with his quickness, intelligence, determination, and intense desire to hunt.
The Jack Russell Terrier, also called the Parson Russell Terrier, is a favorite among horse owners, dog sports enthusiasts, animal trainers for film and television, and people who simply appreciate his fearless personality, boundless energy, entertaining antics, and portable size. The trained Jack Russell that you see on TV or in movies doesn't come that way.
Teaching a Jack Russell to become a civilized companion is no easy task. It requires lots of time and patience as well as a strong sense of humor. The JRT is highly trainable, but he has a mind of his own and won't stand for boredom. If you don't keep him entertained, he'll find his own amusements, and you probably won't be happy with the results. If you want a dog who can learn tricks, run an agility or flyball course in seconds flat, play fetch until you drop, and who will make a charming companion when he's not getting into mischief, the Jack Russell may be the dog for you.
If you can't deal with a dog who will chew, dig , and bark , rocket through the house multiple times daily, chase cats and other small animals with glee and murderous intent, and will always find the loophole in any command you give, he's definitely not the dog for you, no matter how cute and small he is.
If you have the time and patience to devote to him, the Jack Russell has many qualities that make him an ideal family dog. He's devoted to his people and loves being with them. His heritage as a hunting dog makes him an excellent jogging companion once he's full grown.
Active older children will find him to be a happy and affectionate playmate, but his rambunctious nature can overwhelm younger kids. On the downside, his fearless nature frequently puts him in harm's way. He has tons of energy and won't be satisfied by a sedate walk around the block. This is a dog who loves to run and jump and fetch. Plan on giving him 30 to 45 minutes daily of vigorous exercise. He's an escape artist who's best suited to a home with a yard and a secure fence that can't be climbed, dug under, or jumped over.
An underground electronic fence won't contain a JRT. The Jack's strong prey drive makes him entirely untrustworthy off leash, so you'll need snap on the leash when you're outside of fenced areas. And his instinct to "go to ground" — to dig for prey — means your garden isn't safe from excavation.
A Jack Russell can fill your days with laughter and love, but only if you can provide him with the attention, training , supervision, and structure he needs. First-time or timid dog owners would do well to start with a less challenging pooch. Do yourself and the dog a favor by considering carefully whether this is the right breed for you. If it is, you're in for a wild but wonderful ride. Highlights The Jack Russell Terrier, like many terriers , enjoys digging and can make quite a large hole in a short time.
It' easier to train a dog to dig in a specific area than it is to break him of a digging habit. Jack Russell Terriers must have a securely fenced yard to give them room to play and burn off their abundant energy. Underground electronic fencing won't hold them.
Jacks have been known to climb trees and even chain link fencing to escape their yards, so it's best if their time outdoors is supervised. First-time or timid dog owners would do well to choose another kind of dog. The Jack can be a challenge even for an experienced dog owner.
He's strong willed and requires firm and consistent training. Jacks can be recreational barkers , so they're not suited to apartment life. Aggression toward other dogs can be a serious problem with the Jack Russell Terrier if he's not taught to get along with other canines from an early age.
The Jack Russell thrives when he's with his family and should not live outdoors or in a kennel. When you leave the house, try turning on a radio to help prevent separation anxiety. Jacks are bouncy and will jump up on people and things. They're capable of jumping higher than 5 feet. Jack Russells have a strong prey drive and will take off after smaller animals.
They should never be trusted off leash unless they're in a fenced area. Jack Russell Terriers have a high energy level and are active indoors and out. They need several walks per day, or several good games in the yard. They make excellent jogging companions. To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from a puppy mill, a pet store, or a breeder who doesn't provide health clearances or guarantees.
Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies and breeds for sound temperaments.
Russell aimed to create a working terrier who would hunt with hounds, bolting foxes from their dens so the hounds could chase them. The Jack Russell became a favorite of many sportsmen, especially those who hunted on horseback.
The breed was known in the U. Size Jack Russells vary widely in size, because different types were used for different purposes and terrain. They range in height from 10 to 15 inches at the shoulder and weigh 13 to 17 pounds. Jack Russells who stand 10 to 12 inches and are longer than they are tall are known as Shorty Jacks.
Personality The energetic and spirited Jack packs a lot of personality into his small body. Loving, devoted, and endlessly amusing, he enjoys life and all it has to offer. Given half a chance, he'll pursue his delights over fences and through the streets. He's incredibly intelligent, but his wilful nature can make him difficult to train.
Friendly toward people, he can be aggressive toward other dogs and any animal that resembles prey, including cats. His fearless nature puts him at risk when he decides to take on a bigger dog. He thrives on structure and routine, but training sessions should be short and sweet to hold his interest. A proper Jack is friendly and affectionate, never shy. Like every dog, Jack Russells need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young.
Socialization helps ensure that your Jack Russell puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Health Jack Russell Terriers are generally healthy, but like all breeds , they're prone to certain health conditions.
Not all Jacks will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed. If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog's been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
Because some health problems don't appear until a dog reaches full maturity, health clearances aren't issued to dogs younger than 2 years old.
Look for a breeder who doesn't breed her dogs until they're two or three years old. The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America doesn't register any dogs with hereditary defects; dogs must pass a specific veterinary exam before being registered.
The following conditions may affect Jack Russell Terriers: Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease is generally a disease of small breeds. This condition — a deformity of the ball of the hip joint — can be confused with hip dysplasia. It causes wearing and arthritis. It can be repaired surgically, and the prognosis is good with the help of rehabilitation therapy afterward. Deafness is associated with white coat color and is sometimes seen in this breed. Patellar Luxation, also known as "slipped stifles," is a common problem in small dogs.
It is caused when the patella, which has three parts-the femur thigh bone , patella knee cap , and tibia calf -is not properly lined up. This causes lameness in the leg or an abnormal gait, sort of like a skip or a hop. It is a condition that is present at birth although the actual misalignment or luxation does not always occur until much later. The rubbing caused by patellar luxation can lead to arthritis, a degenerative joint disease.
There are four grades of patellar luxation, ranging from grade I, an occasional luxation causing temporary lameness in the joint, to grade IV, in which the turning of the tibia is severe and the patella cannot be realigned manually. This gives the dog a bowlegged appearance. Severe grades of patellar luxation may require surgical repair. Glaucoma is a painful disease in which pressure is abnormally high in the eye. Eyes are constantly producing and draining a fluid called aqueous humor.
If the fluid doesn't drain correctly, the pressure inside the eye increases. That high pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss and blindness. There are two types. Primary glaucoma, which is hereditary, occurs when there is a problem in the area of the eye where fluid goes out.
Secondary glaucoma is a result of some other problem in the eye, such as inflammation, a tumor, or injury. Glaucoma generally only affects one eye first. Affected eyes will be red, teary, squinty, and appear painful. A dilated pupil won't react to light, and the front of the eye will have a whitish, almost blue cloudiness. Vision loss and eventually blindness will result, sometimes even with treatment.
Treatment can be surgery or it can be treated with medicine, depending on the case. Lens Luxation causes the lens of the eye to become displaced when the ligament holding it in place deteriorates. It's sometimes treatable with medication or surgery, but in severe cases the eye may need to be removed.
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