Wagging Tales

A ‘Jack Russell’ Terrier named NIPPY is our star of this month’s profile.

There are two  coat types. 1) Smooth. This should be smooth all over (no guard hair) 2)  Rough,, which has longer hair all over a short undercoat. Long guard hairs. 

10″ to 15″ at the withers.

WEIGHT: Males average 12 to 17 lbs. Females average 10 to 15 lbs.

LIFESPAN: 12 − 15 yrears.

Jack Russells love to please! They need to be busy and will do almost anything for their owner if properly trained. Puppy training or obedience classes are ideal and your JRT will love the fun and excitement of being with you. The training will also help to socialise them as early as possible.They are easy to house train, and as with any breed, this is up to the owner. Aggression towards other dogs, cats and other small animals can be the result of not socialising them. JRTs have a rambunctious nature which can overwhelm small children and can cause them to snap if roughly handled. They have tons of energy and at least 30 to 45mins of vigorous exercise is necessary once or twice daily. if there is a loop-hole in any command given, the JRT will find it. Fearless, this little terrier can jump higher than 5 ft and is an escape artist! Your fences need to reflect this  as well as the JRT’s ability to dig under. Even underground electronic fences have been inadequate with the JRT’s strong prey drive which also makes them untrustworthy off leash. Jack Russell’s need to live indoors with the family and do not like to be left alone as they can become destructive if left for long periods. A well trained, happy, JRT is friendly, loving, devoted, and endlessly amusing. However, if you can’t deal with a dog who will chew, dig, bark, rocket through the house several times a day, chase cats and any small animals with murderous intent, think carefully about taking on the Jack Russell. Most JRTs in Rescue are unwanted simply for being a Jack Russell by nature. 

The Jack Russell Terrier still has not been accepted as a BREED by the UK Kennel Club and is referred to as a TYPE ( of terrier )

Generally healthy, but like all breeds, prone to some health conditions. Deafness is associated with the all white colour coat JRT’s. Glaucoma, a painful disease in the eye. Patell Luxation, caused when the thigh bone, knee cap and calf are not properly lined up. It causes lameness in the leg or an abnormal gait such as a skip or hop. Present from birth, it doesn’t necessarily show  until much later.

The Pastor John Russell was born in 1765 in Devon and acquired his first Fox Hunting Terrier in 1815 from a milkman. Hunting was a favourite pastime among men of property, including men of the church.. Known as “Jack” to his friends, he wanted an efficient hunting dog and intended to breed and ‘design’ exactly what he had in mind. The result was a bold, athletically quick, intelligent, determined dog with a very intense desire to hunt. Yes, a designer dog in the 1800’s!

Viewpoint of dogs owner, Linzi.

Jack Russells are not a breed for the faint hearted. They are full of energy, and can be very hard work, but they are also great fun and extremely loyal.

We brought Nippy home at around 12 weeks old. She needed to be rehomed as we were told by her owner at the time that the family cat did not take kindly to having a puppy around and was attacking her. She is a very nervous dog, possibly due to her difficult first home. Because of her nerves, we have had problems – some which we have overcome and some we are still working on. She was quiet when we first brought her home but soon settled in and enjoyed playing with her toys and our other dog, a teacup Yorkie. Nippy used to cower a lot when we approached her, and instead of barking used to let out the most horrendous screech. This has now reduced drastically as she has slowly learned to trust us.

Nippy gets on extremely well with the other dogs in our wider family and looks forward to going to “Nan’s” house to play with her dogs. She gets excited in the car when she realises where she is going. Nippy is also generally ok with dogs she doesn’t know, but hates any other animals. She will chase and hunt down cats, squirrels, birds – basically anything that moves and makes a noise.

Nippy is very good on walks and can be let off the lead in parks and fields away from roads. She will come back when called. Her favourite toy is a squeaky ball and she carries this for miles when out walking. As soon as she is off the lead she knows it is time to play and will drop the ball at your feet for you to throw. She will retrieve the ball forever, we get tired long before she ever does! This is something we have never had to teach her, she just loves the game so much that she took to it naturally. She also likes to investigate woods, darting in and out of trees and bushes – no doubt looking for wildlife to chase!

Nippy is a very loving and loyal to us, she loves nothing more than cuddling up on the sofa, particularly with my daughter – they are truly best friends. We all get greeted with a frantically wagging tail and she would lick us all to death if allowed.

Jack Russells are very hardy dogs and good eaters. Her favourite foods are chicken and the occasional nibble of bacon. The only thing I have found that she doesn’t like is spinach. Nippy requires little grooming but will queue up with the rest of the dogs to be brushed as she loves it. Jack Russells do moult a lot though and leave their little white hairs everywhere so this is something to bear in mind if you wear a lot of black!

We are still working on Nippy’s behaviour at home as she doesn’t like visitors unless she knows them well, in particular men. She will also rip the post if she beats us to the front door. Despite her faults we love her and will not give up on her. She has improved vastly in 4 years and we hope she will continue to do so.

Overall, I would recommend this breed to people who have the time to walk them and give them the stimulation they need. They are intelligent dogs and they can easily become problematic due to boredom and lack of exercise. Be prepared to put the work in and you will have a loving, loyal dog that is full of personality and will keep you entertained for hours![/private]

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