The Jack Russell terrier is a medium-maintenance breed. This is a dog that tests your limits. You must be able to be firm and kind to it. If you tend toward being the doting type of pet owner, the Jack is not for you.
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Understand Jack Russell Terriers are high energy dogs.
Prepare company before they reach your home. Jack Russells love visitors and will jump all over anyone who lets them.
Keep your Jack's weight down. Overweight dogs have more health problems, including heart trouble and arthritis.
Learn about what health problems are associated with this breed: cataracts, glaucoma, deafness (common in all white dogs), epilepsy, patellar luxation (poor development of the parts holding the kneecap in place), Von Willebrand's disease (a blood disorder), cardiomyopathy (a serious heart abnormality), allergies and skin problems.
Brush your terrier every other day with a rubber curry brush to help control shedding. There are three coat types: smooth, broken and rough. All three types shed year-round. The smooth coat sheds the most.
Bathe your terrier whenever it takes on a yellow cast. It doesn't require special grooming and can be washed at home.
Make sure to trim this dog's nails regularly ' once a month ' to prevent foot problems.
Remember that terriers are bred to dig. Expect this behavior, particularly if you leave your dog alone all day.
Keep your Jack Russell indoors or out. Remember that it will chase any and everything, and you absolutely must have a secure yard.
Remember that while it looks like a small dog, you essentially have a 130-pound dog in that body. These dogs are extremely intelligent, very bold and have no sense of their small stature.
Be prepared to enjoy a good 15 years with your Jack Russell, as this is the average life expectancy for a Jack Russell Terrier.
Tips and warnings
- Keep your Jack Russell in a secure yard ' this dog can dig under and jump over 5-foot fences. Don't underestimate the escape skills of this terrier. If it sees something it wants to chase, it will do everything it can to go after it.
- Make sure you or someone in your home is willing to spend at least 60 minutes a day playing with and exercising the dog.
- Keep a roll of tape handy; the Jack sheds constantly, and a vacuum will get some, but not all of the coarse hairs.
- Most Jack Russell terriers don't do well in apartments or condominiums. They need more space than that and require a lot of exercise.
- This breed usually is not good with children or other pets.
- Note that terriers require a lot of attention. This is an extremely active dog. The main reason people give up a Jack Russell is that they weren't prepared for the activity level of the breed. The second reason is that the Jack nipped at the children.