Breed Talk - The Jack Russell Terrier
As I contemplate which breed to talk about today; my girl Jessie sits watching me take each and every bite of my cereal. So I figured I'd cover the Jack Russell this morning; there is so much to say about these little balls of fire. The Jack Russells today have been divded into two groups, basically the working dogs and the dogs in the show ring. I have a Jack Russells, the others are Parson Russells in the ring.
But they started out as one tenacious terrier; bred to get the critters out of the barns. And that they do very well, Jessie loves nothing more than hunting, catching and killing critters. The Jack Russell is not a dog for anyone although they did receive a surge of interest with the popularity of Wishbone and Eddie on Frasier. They suffered the same results as the Dalmation after the 101 Dalmation movie came out; they ended up in the shelters. The money sucking breeders who do it for the cash pump them out without any regard to who is getting one or the health or temperament of the dogs they are breeding. This is the result of popularity in the dog world. Haven gotten in the puppy millers hands there are more than a few out there that are fairly loopy.
The Jack Russell is a very dominant, confident type dog that can have an overabundance of energy. The Jack Russell has a reputation of being crazy; as I am often asked that about Jessie. They have a hair trigger for movement and she is often caught chasing a bag or anything else that moves and catches her eye before she realizes what it is. Jessie has battled a groundhog back in Canada that was much larger than her, caught and ate a bird out of the air and downed a few tiny rodents in one bite. They are not for the faint hearted.
The Jack Russell comes in three coats, smooth like my girl, broken coated which is a more wirey coat with a small bit of facial hair and the rough coat which is a longer wirey coat all over. The JRT is between 10-15" at the withers and a very sturdy built dog able to do anytype of athletic sport. The color of the JRT is typically a tri-color of white (being over 51% of the body) with black and tan markings.
I recently had the chance to do a JRT shoot; both with puppies and adults and I was completely enamoured with the bunch. They kept me smiling the entire shoot; photographing moving Jack Russells is a huge challenge. They are amazingly intelligent and learn quickly; you just need to stay one step ahead of them. They can become quite dominant and strive for the leadership position if you don't keep rules and regulations in check.
The Jack Russell needs alot of exercise but strict care should be used to only let them off leash in a safely fenced area. The #1 way that Jack Russells die is being run over and I sadly know quite a few that have met this fate. There are many different sports that the JRT are born to do and anything you can think up there pretty good at giving it a whirl. Visit the JRTCA site for everything you want to know about JRTs.
A bored Jack Russell is a bad Jack Russell; so before you bring one home make sure you are up for the job.