The first time I met a jack russell terrier,I was very amazed by its extreme sweetness. I quickly realized that although I have always been surrounded by dogs of all kinds, I had never seen such an affectionate and playful animal. I felt the need for an active and affectionate dog and I had never had to deal with a small dog, much less with a hunting dog. Eventually I decided, I bought several books on the jack russell terrier and after some time I contacted a couple who would later give me a beautiful puppy.
A bit of history about the Jack Russell Terrier
First of all, to get an idea of what the Jack Russell Terrieris, I think it’s necessary to mention the origins by telling what is considered by many to be the official story. It is almost certain that the breed was born in Britain. In the 1800s, hunting was a widespread practice in Britain. It is said that the Reverend John Russell, nicknamed Jack, in the Devon region, felt the need to create a new breed of Terrier to help him in fox hunting.
Legend has it that the reverend, who fell in love with the milkman’s dog, managed to win it. Trump, his name was this dog, and was crossed with other hunting dogs such as the beagle. The result was an intelligent, active and confident dog. In fact, the breed was formalized in Australia and became official in 2000 and then relatively recently. The official enci standard is available on the site and there is no need to repeat it in this article. Of course, during the selection process, Trump was paired with the fox terrier, the priest’s favorite breed. Subsequent generations were then crossed with Beagle, Border Terrier, and Lakeland Terrier.
Some claim that the Jack Russell Terrier also has ancient bulldog blood, very different from today’s or pit bull’s. In fact, whatever the past pairings have been, it is more plausible that the strong character is due to the terriers. This small dog was carried inside a bag by horse hunters. Once sighted the fox was released.
The character of the Jack Russell Terrier
When discussing character in dog breeds, we are faced with different points of view but we will talk about it in another article better. As for the genetic predisposition aspect, it is undeniable that the Jack Russell Terrier is a very intelligent, vocal, lively and brave dog. Although it is one of the most loving races ever, one should never be fooled. The Jack Russell Terrier is not a dog to keep in the house constantly and is not a dog made to spend the days on the couch or inside the kennel. On the contrary, this is a really dynamic dog that suffers a lot when it is not free to run on the meadows. So if you’re a person who tends not to have time to take him out for long walks every day, or if you’re lazy people, you better avoid taking this breed.
The Jack Russell Terrier is also a dog with a very strong character, this does not mean, as many people think, that he is not afraid. First of all, there is a distinction between fearlessness and courage. The absence of fear is a condition, often pathological, that due to a malfunction, does not allow the organism to feel the stimulus of fear. Any animal with this malfunction could never evolve due to the fact that fear serves precisely to protect itself from danger. Courage, on the other hand, means overcoming our fears in order to achieve a goal. In fact, this animal is aware of its size and reacts in a very particular way to fear. Being a very shrewd dog, in the face of danger you will see him back but without fleeing. He will try to understand the situation and assess whether it is appropriate to advance or not. This particular characteristic is essential in a hunting dog because the latter must be able to protect itself without losing sight of its prey.
Although I am personally opposed to hunting, I will use an example to help you understand the needs of this behaviour. Imagine that your Jack Russell Terrier has spotted a possible prey in a runaway fox. The first and irresistible impulse she will have if she sees her run away is to chase her by vocalizing as much as possible. Later the poor fox will try to hide in a burrow but here too she will be chased by our dog. The prey can no longer escape and finding itself with its back to the wall inside its burrow will then attempt to attack the dog. At this point, at the same size, being the prey a wild animal, without a shadow of a doubt could inflict fatal wounds on our animal.
But if you were able to slip into the fox’s lair with your dog, you would notice a particular behavior in this. You’d see the Jack Russell Terrier stiffen and swell the hair, a feature common to many animals. The animal would begin to tease its prey by advancing and retreating while with lightning-fast side leaps, always facing the target, it would avoid most of the attacks. A very unpleasant scene certainly but when this breed was selected, at a time when human sensitivity had not evolved as it is today, it served to keep the prey engaged to give the hunter a chance to come. Fortunately, fox hunting has been banned in many countries and breeders have greatly mitigated the tendency to predator yore of the various breeds but it is still very present in this dog.
Another feature that hunting dogs should have is that of creative thinking. In fact, there are other types of dogs that in front of the scene that I have exhibited previously would not know exactly what to do and therefore would give themselves to escape. The dog that is used for this purpose must also be perfectly able to have a strong sociality and emotional interdependence with humans. It will be very difficult for a Jack Russell Terrier to bite a human being. The discourse changes with the other dogs. Due to the fact that this kind of dogs have to recognize their herd, it is necessary that socialize from an early age with other dogs. A properly socialized Jack Russell Terrier will have no problem playing quietly with other dogs but be careful that these last animals with which he is in contact are balanced. In fact, nothing is enough to make the Jack Russell Terrier react and if you were to come face to face with a dog of any size that snarls at him, most likely he will not back down.
A high attitude of this breed is the fact that it is not particularly intimidated by large animals, this kind of behavior is important when we consider the fact that the kind of hunting for which it was selected was done on the saddle of a Horse.
Lately this breed has spread to the cities for a matter of fashion and for the great affection and powerful vitality of this animal. However, the city is not ideal for this kind of dog that would undoubtedly have much more fun in the countryside. In this regard, being a very active dog and eager to company, if you have enough space, I always recommend taking two puppies instead of just one.
At the cost of seeming repetitive I repeat that this is a dog that needs to play and always move. If you were to find yourself always alone in a narrow and closed place inevitably will develop destructive behaviors with furniture or it could happen that it runs irrationally from one end of the house to the other for no reason as crazy. Don’t worry, these kinds of behaviors are normal and cure themselves with good outdoor passing that no doubt also does us humans good.
Jack Russell Terrier’s Intelligence
As it is also for humans, each dog has its own degree of intelligence but it is still undeniable that the result of marriage between two nobel prizes, most likely will give rise to a creature at least quite intelligent. In principle we can say that all the Jack Russell Terriers I’ve dealt with are extraordinarily intelligent. We’ll talk about dog intelligence in another article in more detail, but for now we can define two main schools of thought. The first states that a dog’s intelligence is based on functional intelligence, and the second states that intelligence is not necessarily functional.
Functional intelligence in dogs (with a definition that does not do it justice anyway) is that predisposition to understand and respond appropriately to certain stimuli.
I’ve heard some Jack Russell Terrier owner say it’s a breed of stupid dogs because they don’t understand the controls. If only they knew how wrong they were. This race, in fact, beyond the definition and laboratory tests, based on its race attitudes, is exceptionally intelligent. Since it is a dog with a dominant character will always be willing to subduedly challenge the owner when he does not want to do something. The inherent curiosity in the breed in fact pushes these dogs to get very distracted and because of the innate tenacity, they will hardly abandon an activity that they find to their liking to make the puppets of their owner. There are races in fact that are willing to do anything and at any time for the satisfaction of their master. But the Jack Russell Terrier should certainly not be treated as a lesser being.
I consider the Jack Russell Terrier a very proud dog and over time I have learned to respect it without losing sight of the fact that I am the leader of the herd.
Jack Russell Terrier’s agility and motion ability
If you are looking for an agile dog and are willing to provide the necessary care and attention to your dog, this breed will never disappoint you. As I have also written before, the Jack Russell Terrier is a dog that needs to move, you must tire otherwise you feel depressed, nervous and frustrated. Since we don’t want our quadruped friend to feel frustrated, we have to take care of him daily and more than once a day. But be very careful about the type of games you play. Since we all have to live in a civilized and modern environment, I would avoid those games that favor predatory.
It is always beautiful to see a dog running happily on the lawn playing with its own kind but watching a dog of this breed is an unforgettable experience. It seems to observe a small hovercraft with a jet engine that touches the ground. If you can meet your friend’s daily needs, be sure that you will always feel fit. For this reason, it is a dog that I do not recommend to elderly lonely and handicapped people because it suffers a lot to stay still and also has a tendency to eat and fatten.
Another aspect not to be underestimated is the time we have to devote to him, although this is an animal always ready when it comes to going out for a run or a walk, it is good to always get used to going out at a certain time. This good habit you should follow for all breeds but especially with this because being a very smart and emotional dog, if at that time expectto go out you tend to feel frustrated and if left alone, could take the bad habit to do the needs at home.
A very common stereotype states that the Jack Russell Terrier is the ideal dog for those who jog competitively or cycling. Once again I have to dispel this stereotype. Of course, in general, any dog can run faster than any human being by travelling much longer distances. In my case, if I were to run with my dog while keeping it on a leash as the law of my country dictates, after a few meters it would turn behind me wondering: When do we start? The discourse, however, changes whether the dog should follow a marathoner or even worse a cyclist. Reiterating that in some countries, it is rightly forbidden to keep the dog tied to a moving bicycle and it is illegal to leave a free dog on public soil, I would also like to mention that this is a dog that does not have very long legs and is not made to run with the same pace for many kilometers.
In the past it was carried in a hunter’s shoulder bag that was travelling on the back of a horse, it is not the kind of hunting dog that follows the equines throughout the day. Remember that any dog must be by your side when walking and that you never have to travel distances of more than 25 kilometres. Although it seems strange, dogs like humans must gradually start running. I can understand that this may seem strange, but it is not uncommon for a dog that apparently runs happily suddenly to slump to the ground due to a cardiac arrest.
However, you should not think that it is a delicate dog, in the vast majority of cases it will be perfectly able to match and exceed your performance if you are walking.
The Jack Russell Terrier’s attitude is still to shoot. In fact, it is able to travel short distances at an impressive speed when compared to its size. In fact, there are specific sports specialties that enhance this peculiarity such as the agility dog, the pursuit of a mechanical surrogate of a fox and the obstacle race to give examples.
Predisposition to the defense of the house in the Jack Russell Terrier
A great value of this dog is the fact that it is one of the best alarm systems in existence. Regardless of whether you appreciate it or not, at the slightest suspicious noise it will start barking. When a dog of this breed starts barking, the owners know it well, it will surely wake up the whole neighborhood. I wrote alarm system because this is not a dog that normally bites humans even if strangers. Another characteristic due to the purpose for which this breed was selected. A hunting dog must be able to work with all members of the hunt including people it has never seen before. It is not acceptable for a dog to catch an unknown hunter when he recovers his prey in what he considers his own territory.
The fact that it does not bite the thief anyway is a good thing because I have never seen the use of trained guard dogs even if I respect the needs of those who do. In my country also, if a dog bites a thief, although this may seem ridiculous to many readers who do not live in my country, the owner passes several troubles, many times higher than the potential theft that the thief would steal. Having a ruthless watchdog, among other things, is dangerous for the same dog because the hypothetical thief would be better equipped.
The Jack Russell Terrier and the Children
Personally, I have seen that the Jack Russell Terrier adapts to children over the age of five if they are family and supervised by adults. The Jack Russell Terrier is not an aggressive dog, it will not tend to bite humans whether they are adults or children. However, when dealing with children, you should keep in mind that it is a very affectionate and rustic dog. Then it could unintentionally injure the infant with his nails or in an attempt to play, make him fall. For this reason, because of the lively nature of this dog, I do not think it is the classic breed nanny or pet therapy.
I do not want to be misunderstood on this point, although this dog has the predisposition of mind to be kind and affectionate, the way in which he manifests this affection may be too impering.
Jack Russell Terrier training readiness
Before we talk about training, and this applies to any animal, we need to talk about behavior and education. There is a lot of confusion around from so-called animal lovers who claim that the dog educates and does not train. In fact, serious insiders know that education and training are two separate and distinct things. Education represents the set of habits that are encouraged or discouraged in the dog. This is a step that must necessarily be done when the dog is a puppy. We talk about basic habits such as eating at a certain time, doing needs out, avoiding begging for food, walking on a leash and the like.
In this can help us specialized books on the education of the dog, experienced educators or rather both. If at this stage the dog has problems, which in almost all cases are due to humans, an expert in the behavior must intervene, which in some cases may coincide with an experienced veterinarian.
Training, on the other hand, is a totally different practice, except in rare cases, it is generally started after the educational phase and must then be repeated continuously. The biggest difference between education and training is that education is necessary for all animals, training is an accessory that can be done or not. If, for example, I have to become a civil protection worker, it is right that I train by taking courses and maintaining the qualification continuously for as long as it takes to carry out my function. Similarly, police dogs are continually trained.
I understand that some of you could misinterpret the word training because with modernity, a kind of problem was born inserted in an awareness context but it is said training because precisely you train the dog as when you train a human being and there’s nothing wrong with that term.
The methods for training a dog are diverse and we will talk more about it in a future article on dog training methods. You suffice it to know at this juncture that for this breed is strongly recommended the help of a professional in education, that it is clear that no dog should ever be beaten and that you never scream against a Jack Russell Terrier to avoid getting the opposite effect to the desired and for a matter of intelligence, civilization and humanity.
This breed adapts to any type of training that does not include specific physical abilities as opposed to its morphology. For example you should not educate a Jack Russell Terrier to command “land or down” for the simple fact that it does not fit in that position and has objective physical difficulties to perform. We should not attempt to educate or train this dog for tasks that force him to stand still very long and alone. For all other purposes, with a little patience, you can achieve quite satisfactory results. Always remember that a Jack Russell Terrier when he sees you disappointed gets nervous and that the only way to calm him is not to yell at him but to approach and distract him. After twenty minutes at most always games and cuddles.
Learn not to be fooled by your dog, as I have already said the dogs of this breed are extraordinarily intelligent. They will try to make fun of you, if you comply with their claims they will assume the certain behavior that has made you give in. In a nutshell they will try to manipulate you, they will be ruffian and insistent. You will be amazed at the amount and quality of things this dog can do if he realizes that he has no hope of ignoring or manipulating you. However, always be sweet and modulate the tone of voice well. A lower tone of voice tends to positively attract his attention much more than a shrill and inarticulate scream.
Jack Russell Terrier’s hair and grooming
Referring to the varieties and neglecting the various standards of local breed we can have different types of hair and here I will list the most common. The so-called broken or broken hair, is essentially in a shale hair with the exception of the paws where the hair is smooth. In some areas there may be differences in growth, it never cuts and is still quite strong. The birth of this type of hair is due to the fact that another variety, the rough hair, was a type of hair too delicate. Then they had two specimens paired, one with rough hair and one with smooth fur to have a variety with much thicker hair.
This particular exception throws a dog with exceptionally soft and thick hair but loses hair continuously. For both broken hair and rough hair, a minimal grooming called striping is sufficient due to the fact that they have moderate regrowth contrary to smooth hair that should not be subject to wetsuit. Then there’s the teddy bear variety. I know it sounds like a joke but it really does exist. As the name says, it has a smooth, bushy and hard hair like a pelouche teddy bear. It’s a touch-like feel.
There are particular mixes that can generate a wide variety of types derived from those previously exhibited. For example, what I have at home is a smooth sleeping teddy bear, the result of mating between a broken male and a smooth female has an exceptionally thick hair, longer than the satin hair that has the smooth, much more pleasant to the touch but with a small Problem. It loses hair continuously and should be brushed at least three times a day.
Predisposition to the defense of the master in the Jack Russell Terrier
No dog should ever be trained to attack a fellow man or human. Never, for no reason in the world. There are, however, more protective breeds than others, this one in particular is not particularly suitable for the purpose even if when it sinks its teeth for fun and only for play on the appropriate sleeve does not detach anymore, even if it is lifted from the ground.
Power ingaman of the Jack Russell Terrier
Someone once advised me on the barf diet which would be a diet of raw meats specially designed for the health of their dog. I’ve done a lot of research on this diet. In practice it is based on the principle that the dog comes from the wolf and the wolf is carnivorous. This type of diet has never convinced me but I still respect the supporters. I am convinced that a dog with this diet can live long and in perfect health. And that of course raw meat is always better from a taste point of view of crisps or canned foods.
Someone else gave me examples to make me better understand his point of view on the barf diet. One of these argued that even for humans it is always better to have a fresh food and a fruit grown in a natural environment rather than a canned or particularly industrially processed food.
But now I’m going to explain to you what my personal point of view is. First of all, wolves are omnivorous carnivores. In fact, it is precisely for this reason that the canids managed to survive when the big felines of the past, purely carnivorous, became extinct. Subsequently the wolf approached the humans who shared their food and established this special bond that has now lasted for centuries if not millennia.
Currently for my dog I use specially designed foods, i privilege the dry croquettes and occasionally a can. Clearly it is obvious that it would be better if the dog ate specially prepared food at home because even at the quality of the foods prepared by fresh food and subsequently cooked may be preferable. Unfortunately if I had to cook for the dog I would have to cook twice and I would not be able to do it while maintaining the right theoretical supply of nutrients that it needs and that is still very different from mine.
It is a good idea not to get the dog used to eating while eating you otherwise it will be impossible to eat without the dog begging for food from anyone and sometimes pretends.
Jack Russell Terrier’s Most Frequent Pathologies
This dog needs a very frequent cleaning of the teeth, unlike other breeds, it is not enough the help of the classic fluoride slats as it is very predisposed to tartar accumulations.
Because of his temperament, especially if he is not fit and in his late age, he may develop heart disease and even hernias. In some cases, there has been a fairly frequent predisposition of pathologies related to the skeletal muscle apparatus such as knee dysplasia and Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease.
Sometimes there may also be a predisposition for certain pathologies that involve the visual apparatus such as glaucoma and crystalline dislocation.
With regard to the auditory apparatus, some specimens have presented and present a form of congenital deafness that some associate with a genetic predisposition related to the white color of the mantle. The particular shape of the ears serves specifically to protect it from any external elements present in the bush.
Another pathology that may arise and which has also been observed with a certain frequency in this breed is cerebral ataxia, a deadly pathology that causes the destruction of cells.