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The ears on my Jack Russell puppy stick straight up. What can I do?

This condition is called "prick ears". This is usually a permanent condition. The JRTCA considers this to be a conformational fault (i.e., the terrier is not eligible for registration). Although there are several "home remedies" that claim to fix this problem, there is really nothing that can be done to get the ears to fall to their normal position (i.e., folded over). Pay careful attention to the dam and sire of the puppy prior to purchase to see if your puppy may develop this condition.

Are Jack Russell Terriers very hyper?

Jack Russell Terriers are very energetic dogs, with a high requirement for regular exercise, and a lot of it! They are working dogs, and must have a job to do, whether it be keeping your yard free of rodents (digging is quite common, since they are bred to dig after quarry), chasing a ball, or going for a run or long walk with its owner. Sitting on the couch peacefully all day is not in a Jack Russell's agenda.

Because it is small, I'd like to keep a Jack Russell in my apartment. Will it be happy?

Probably not. Given the exercise requirements of the Jack Russell, a home with a large, fenced yard is more adequate. They do not take well to inactive, sedentary lifestyles. If you are at home during the day and able to provide regular exercise, then it may work. They need a 5-6 foot high fence, since they are known to jump, climb, and even dig under fences. Many of the Jack Russells in the Rescue are there because the owner underestimated the needs of the terrier.

Will a Jack Russell Terrier get along with my cat/small pet/young child/horse?

Cats and other small pets will not work with a Jack Russell because these dogs are first and foremost, hunting dogs. They see the cat or hamster/rat/guinea pig as prey (quarry). Many Jack Russell owners are horse people (probably because of the fox hunting relation...). Jack Russells are not herders, so the horse isn't an interest to the Jack Russell. Children under the age of six are usually a bad mix, unless the child understands how to properly handle the terrier. Having the natural assertive terrier characteristics, however, the Jack Russell will not put up with even unintended abusive behavior from a child. This should be carefully considered, particularly with children under six.

Jack Russell TerrierAre Jack Russell Terriers dog aggressive?

They can be very aggressive with other dogs (not just other terriers), and in fact more than two terriers should never be kept together unattended. There have been many incidents of terriers being hurt, and even killed, by their fellow terriers; even young pups over the age of eight weeks must be carefully monitored. It is very important that prospective Jack Russell owners understand this sometimes harsh part of the terrier's nature.

Can I train the hunting instinct out of my Jack Russell?

With firm and consistent discipline you may be able to curtail the hunting instinct a bit, but they will still want to hunt. They should be kept on leash when in rural/country areas, because if they take off after a ground squirrel or other quarry, they will not hesitate to dig and go underground. Terriers have been known to stay underground with their quarry for days, with no food or water.

Is the Jack Russell's future in question? How can I help?

The future of the Jack Russell, as we know it today, depends entirely on breeders and owners who appreciate its versatility, strengths, and working instincts, and understand its unique nature. Its future can be greatly endangered by attempts to standardize this terrier into yet another show breed, encouraging breeding for form rather than function, with little to no concern for the true nature of the dog. It is the responsibility of every Jack Russell owner to know what is going on throughout the world, and to learn and understand all aspects of the Jack Russell. Your support of the JRTCA will help to protect and preserve this terrier!

Concurrent with the increased popularity of the JR, several splinter groups have formed in this country and abroad; the objectives and activities of some of these groups could certainly affect the future of the Jack Russell. It is important that all JR owners have a thorough understanding of the organizations they support through membership, how they relate to the goals of the JRTCA, and how they could affect the breed.


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