For the first-time owner of a Jack Russell, care for the dog can be overwhelming, to say the least. Its hyperactive nature requiring high levels of mental stimulation and physical exercise, which can often be translated into aggressive behaviour when not sufficiently attended to, is balanced by its lively, loyal and affectionate characteristics. Indeed, owners should learn to balance between loving care for man’s best friend and an authoritative hand for a dominant dog breed.
Fortunately, the Jack Russell terrier is one of the dog breeds with lesser number of complaints about serious health problems. When coupled with its innate intelligence, the Jack Russell is an ideal breed for many types of people.
We must emphasize, however, that a Jack Russell demands a more authoritative human disposition, a household without small children and other animals especially dogs and cats around, and a yard with plenty of room to play. Keep in mind that Jack Russells have the tendency to become aggressive toward humans and animals, thus, the precautions against ownership for certain households.
The first thing to remember about Jack Russell care is to familiarize yourself with the dog. We are talking about your pet’s daily habits, behaviours in certain situations, temperament, likes and dislikes. In short, you are trying to determine the personality of your dog.
In this way, two things can be accomplished. First, proper actions can be made during training for aggressive or improper behaviour like excessive barking, biting and jumping. Second, health problems can easily be spotted since the normal habits, behaviours and temperament of the dog has been established.
The Jack Russell’s coat is easy to care for because of its short length. Just brush it every other day with a soft comb and brush to remove the tangles and, thus, maintain the coat’s shine.
Bathes must also be provided every 1-3 months but never more than once a month since it can dry out the dog’s skin – unless, of course, it has been recommended by the veterinarian for health purposes. The first sign that the dog needs a thorough bath is when the coat takes on a yellowish hue.
One of the important things involved with Jack Russell care are the nails, which should also be trimmed to avoid accidents. This can be done once a month with a dog nail clipper at home or when professional grooming services are hired.
After grooming, Jack Russells require plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Take note that Jack Russells are working dogs, thus, their innate need for physical movement and mental stimuli to be at their happiest. In fact, most Jack Russells will require plenty of space for their exercise instead of the small space provided by apartments and condominium units.
The exercise can range from simple runs in the park to agility exercises in an obstacle course. The important thing is to provide sufficient exercise and play time to let the Jack Russell burn off energy.
Like other dog breeds, Jack Russell care also involves providing opportunities for socialization with other dogs and humans. In fact, aggressive behaviour like barking and biting are most commonly the result of insufficient or absent socialization opportunities so much so that Jack Russells are often mistaken to be extremely destructive despite their small size.
As for small children, well-trained Jack Russells are friendly toward them. However, experts recommend that children must be taught not to make any aggressive actions, be it intentional or unintentional, toward a Jack Russell. Many dog experts even suggest not having a Jack Russell for a pet when there are small children in the house although it can be on a case to case basis.
Yet another important aspect of Jack Russell care is the medical check-up. Regular vaccinations and medical check-ups are necessary to keep your pet healthy. It also pays to perform home examinations on the dog and watch out for changes in behaviour, which will help to spot health problems as early as possible.
Of course, training is part of proper Jack Russell care, which is true for other dig breeds as well but more so with this energetic breed. Good training can be achieved either through home instruction or through obedience classes or both.
Indeed, caring for a Jack Russell terrier can be rewarding if and when you know the proper tips, tricks and techniques. Start today and soon, the rewards of having a Jack Russell can be yours to enjoy.