HOW TO CHOOSE A JRT FOR A PET
You have decided you want a puppy, the kids have been begging for one for ages. Having taken all of the breeds into consideration, you are leaning towards a JRT. But, is the choice of a JRT for a life long family companion a good one?
Lets take a look at the breed and the pros and cons of owning a JRT.
Jack Russell Terriers (JRT's) are commonly known as the small dog, with a big bite. They are are not currently a recognized breed by the AKC, but their counterparts the Parson and Russell terriers are.
When choosing a JRT, you will look for a sturdy, solid build. Keep in mind that the puppies physical features should appear well balanced.
Also, a JRT should as a rule be longer than they are tall, in relation to one another. A standard JRT will grow to be 10-12 inches tall, and weigh between 12-15 pounds. If there are other breeding influences in the puppies lineage, these figures will vary depending on the influencing breed.
Also the fur should be at least 70% white, with acceptable black, tan or brown markings. The eyes should be almond shaped, not round like most other canines.
They may or may not have a docked tail, but if it is not docked, it should be a minimum of 4 inches, and carried erect, but may droop at rest.
JRT's are very well muscled, and their chest will tend to be much larger than their midsection or the hindquarters. Their legs can be either long or short, but well muscled as well .
Also, the ears of the JRT will be folded over, and low to the head. The JRT will use the ears, and the tail, to express itself to let you know when it is happy, sad, not feeling well, or even upset. When curious, the ears may even stand up at times, as they listen and tilt their heads from side to side.
Most JRT's think that they are bigger and badder than they actually are.
There is a lot of personality in their little frames. and they are not afraid to let it come out. They are naturally mischievous and must we occupied and monitored at all times, in order to keep them out of trouble.
They are in need of balance, routine and structure. If something interferes with their normal way of life or surroundings, they tend to act out, and in some cases, have to be retrained in certain areas.
If you are going to leave the house, putting them into a crate is a good idea. They will become accustomed to it rather quickly, and will even, upon learning you are leaving, head there on their own.
They are very smart animals, but are a little more willful than most canines. It is not that they can't learn, or won't, it just has to be at their pace, on their terms. But once trained they retain their training superbly.
JRT's make great companions, and are good with children, as long as the children are patient and gentle. JRT's do not take lightly to mishandling or abuse. They are also very good with other animals, as long as a socializing pattern is started with them from an early age. If not, you may have trouble getting them to be polite and interactive with others such as themselves.
As in the choosing of any household addition, make sure that the source of the breeding is both reliable and reputable. There could be unwanted bloodlines in your puppy, that you may not know or become aware of till years later, when they could pose a problem.
Also, start your visits to the vet at the earliest age possible, so that your puppy will become accustomed to being handled by a stranger.
Owning a JRT is both a joy and a commitment. They can be the most affectionate, loving, and empathic breed known. I would highly suggest that if you are looking for these characteristics in a canine, then the JRT is definitely for you.