For this month’s breed post we feature one of the country’s most beloved little dogs, the Jack Russell terrier. A small dog with a big attitude, the Jack Russell is feisty and fearless, with a craving for new challenges and adventures.
The Jack Russell terrier was first bred in southern England in the mid-1800s by Reverend John Russell. A hunting enthusiast, John Russell wanted to create a working terrier who could hunt alongside hounds, prompting foxes to bolt from their dens so that the hounds could lay chase. Although they love people, you will need to keep alert around other animals that may resemble prey and provoke chase, such as cats, foxes or squirrels. Occasionally the Jack’s fearless nature will get them into trouble and danger, especially if they decide to take on a bigger dog.
Due to their working nature and love of the chase, Jack Russells require quite a vast amount of exercise for a small dog. Although they’d be happy to live in a small apartment, you’d certainly need to be willing to go the extra mile to make sure that they burned off all their excess energy. Although they’re small dogs, they have a surprising amount of stamina and will be happy to keep going long after your legs are tired and you’re ready to head home. Jack Russells are highly intelligent and are always keen to learn a new trick, or put that energy to good use by taking part in an agility course or a game of flyball.
Jack Russells, like many terriers, enjoy a good dig, so a trip to the beach for them to dig in the sand to their heart’s content would be a real treat. If you don’t live close to a beach, you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled on your back garden to ensure that they don’t create a collection of little pot holes.
If you’re considering choosing this breed for your next pet, it’s important to remember that they suffer from “Small Dog Syndrome”. If you give an inch, a Jack Russell will take a mile and before you know it he will happily assume the role of the boss in the family, trying to call all the shots. To avoid falling into this trap you need to establish your position as the alpha in the pack from the very beginning and continue to maintain training and routine practice.
With correct training and structure, a well adjusted Jack Russell will make a happy, friendly and affectionate family member who absolutely adores his owners and craves your love and attention.
Two of the most famous Jack Russells are Nipper, who is featured on the HMV logo, and Eddie, the cheeky lovable scruff from the TV show Frasier. Who is your favourite Jack Russell?