Jack Russell Terriers were originally bred to assist with foxhunting. The Jack Russell would find the fox and get it out of the ground to be chased by the foxhounds and hunters. Jack Russells were later used to hunt badgers and rats, frequently seen in organised rat-killing competitions before they were banned. Small, agile and brave, the Jack Russell is hard working, playful, exuberant and affectionate. Jack Russells are known for their highly independent and energetic manner.
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Make sure a Jack Russell Terrier will be a good fit for you and your family. Jack Russells are highly intelligent, energetic and vocal. They can be stubborn and, if not provided an outlet for their energy, they can be destructive.
Get an adult or a puppy Jack Russell. Puppies will need to be housebroken.
Take your Jack Russell to obedience classes. Invest the time and energy to train your dog and learn how to keep his energetic mind occupied.
Ensure your Jack Russell is completely housebroken. Deal with any destructive tendencies, such as chewing.
Place traps to catch live rats. Purchase live rats if you don't want to use traps.
Take your Jack Russell and live rats to an open area or field. Carry the live rats in separate cages.
Show the Jack Russell one caged rat. Encourage him by pointing and telling him to "get the rat." Continue until he is excited.
Open the cage and release the rat. Continue encouraging your Jack Russell, saying "get the rat."
Follow your dog as he chases the rat. If he isn't able to catch it, start again with another rat. If he does catch the rat, praise him profusely. Continue encouraging him to get the rat until the rat is dead.
Allow your Jack Russell to have the run of the house, whether or not you are home. Reward your Jack Russell with lavish praise and treats when he brings you a dead rat.
If you have rats in a barn or garage, frequently allow your Jack Russell to search those areas.
Tips and warnings
- Work with an experienced dog trainer if you keep pet mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs or other rodents.
- Never put out poison if you have pets. Your pets could find and eat the poison, resulting in illness or death. If your dog kills a rat that has been poisoned, some of the poison may be ingested by the dog.
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