Jack Russell Terrier Barking

Jack Russell Terrier barkingIn many ways, a Jack Russell terrier barking is natural behaviour for the breed.  For one thing, barking is a dog’s primary way of communicating with both man and animals, be it in aggression or in boredom.  For another thing, barking is one of the most effective methods whereby a Jack Russell flushes out its prey – foxes, that is (traditionally).  And so, owners must never strive to stop their Jack Russells from barking as it is an essential part of their nature without which a Jack Russell might as well be called a sub-species of the Basenji.

However, excessive barking can be destructive at most and annoying at best. Certain measures must be made so as to stop the Jack Russell from barking well into the early morning hours for no reason at all.  In short, it is bad behaviour that must be stopped or else everybody suffers.

Reasons Why Jack Russell Terriers Bark

We must emphasize that Jack Russell terrier barking done in an excessive manner has many underlying reasons. It is up to the owner to determine the primary and secondary reasons behind the perplexing behavior and then take the necessary actions to remedy it.  Keep in mind that a barking Jack Russell may not exactly be being bad lest your first instinct is to punish by hitting the dog or withholding food.

  • Boredom – Jack Russells being highly intelligent animals, the lack of mental stimulation causes them to relieve their boredom by incessant barking.  Mobile and immobile things are the subject of the barking so much so that even changing shadows can be a source of endless hours of amusement.  Or think of the barking as way of self-entertainment for the Jack Russell.
  • Fear – In the fox hunt, Jack Russell terrier barking is a sign of their fearlessness toward foxes, which are potentially bigger than they are in size.  Still, there are instances when barking can be a sign of fear for the Jack Russell especially in a puppy.  It may be fear for anything that moves, even its own shadow.
  • Aggression – Take note that Jack Russells are bred to be aggressive since these dogs are working terriers working equally aggressive prey.  Plus, these dogs are highly dominant animals with the innate need to become the leader of the pack, thus, getting two Jack Russells together in one household is almost impossible.

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Right Training to Stop Jack Russells Barking

Fortunately, there are ways to change the bad behaviour of excessive Jack Russell terrier barking.  The steps undertaken will depend on the reason for the misbehaviour although you will take note that one reason is often connected to the other reasons.  For example, a Jack Russell may start out with bored barking because of lack of physical exercise but will progress to aggressive barking when it is punished through physical means.

Here are the most effective tips on training a Jack Russell to stop barking incessantly and unnecessarily:

  • Use positive reinforcement by praising good behaviour, that is, when the Jack Russell stops barking on command.  Be modest about the praises, however, confining them to a pat on the head or “Good boy”.
  • Use simple, clear and firm commands such as “Stop” or “Quiet” said in an authoritative tone of voice.  Using too many words to command a Jack Russell to stop barking will only confuse its canine mind.
  • Provide for plenty of opportunities for socialization, physical exercise and mental stimulation.  Jack Russell terrier barking in an extreme manner often results from the inability to hone the mind and to burn off excess energy, which outdoor exercises in the field, park or dog trial centers should remedy.  Also, these exercise sessions provide for socialization opportunities for the Jack Russell where man and other animals are concerned.  Aggression or fear toward other creatures can then be lessened and so will the excessive barking.
  • Spend time with your pet.  Attention-seeking barking can only be remedied by providing more time for playing with a Jack Russell although we must emphasize that excessive barking should not be rewarded with attention.  Instead, the attention is provided when the dog is not barking anymore.

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Indeed, with patience, perseverance and love, it is possible to stop the annoying habit of Jack Russell terrier barking for apparently no reason at all.  Soon, the house and the neighbourhood will have the peace that it once enjoyed before the dog started on its opera of barking.

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Jack Russell Biting

Jack Russell BitingFirst off, we have to emphasize that Jack Russell biting is a natural instinct of the breed.  This is because these dogs are working terriers bred specifically to chase, flush out and bite the prey, which just so happens to be foxes in the case of the Jack Russell.  Thus, biting for a Jack Russell is not so much an expression of its aggression for the victim but a manifestation of its innate nature as a Jack Russell in particular and a dog in general.

Also, before punishing the Jack Russell for biting into anything, be it a human leg or a table leg, remember that physical force only reinforces the aggressive behaviour.  Instead of stopping the Jack Russell from biting, the aggression will only increase to the detriment of the human or the dog or both.  Many canine experts, in fact, recommend not having a Jack Russell for a household pet when school children are around because of its inherent aggression and propensity to attack when abused, even when the abuse was unintentional.

What Are the Reasons?

The reasons for Jack Russell biting vary from one dog to the next, which is also true for other breeds.  Nonetheless, these reasons can be classified into five basic categories:

  • Chasing Instinct – Jack Russells, as previously mentioned, were specifically bred to chase and bite on foxes.  But with urban living, the chasing instincts are transferred from foxes to just about anything that moves from squirrels to postmen. Since the biting cannot often be indulged in, the Jack Russell becomes frustrated and, thus, become nippy at other times with the humans and objects in the house.
  • Bites – Puppies play by biting each other as a sign of affection as well as preparation for the leadership tussles that come with adulthood.  Add in the excitable quality of the breed and we have Jack Russells biting and often biting hard on the skin of the humans playing with them.  This is the reason why small children should never be allowed to play with a Jack Russell no matter its canine age.
  • Boredom – Too little physical exercise and mental stimulation makes for a Jack Russell biting out of boredom.  Think of it as self-entertainment where biting can probably get the person’s attention and then play will begin.
  • Fear – Jack Russells, as fearless as the breed might appear, do feel fear, too.  Biting is its defense mechanism especially when a larger dog or human is heaping even the slightest and most unintentional abuse on it, say, a too-hard tug on the ears.
  • Aggression – This is the most bothersome reason for misbehaviour in a Jack Russell. Although aggression is good on the field, it is not so in the home.

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It is the responsibility of the owner to determine the cause behind the destructive biting behaviour of the Jack Russell.  Often, it is not just one reason but an interconnection between two or more causes.  For example, a Jack Russell fearful for its life may bite, thus, transforming the fear-biting into aggression-biting.

What Can Be Done?

Fortunately, there are many ways with which the destructive behaviour of Jack Russell biting can be prevented or stopped.  Keep in mind the following tips in this regard:

  • Install an opaque fence in the yard so that passerby will not present the temptation to give in to the chasing instinct. The emphasis is on opaque fencing because if the Jack Russell can still see movement through the yard, the chasing instinct will still be predominant. The fenced yard is also a good place for physical exercise without too close supervision on your part. In this way, boredom can also be averted and so the unnecessary barking can stop.
  • Avoid playing rough games with a Jack Russell because it stimulates the aggression instincts. These include games like wrestling and tug of war where biting and nipping are involved just to let the dog win over the human. Instead, go for games like fetch using a tennis ball or a Frisbee to develop agility.
  • Provide more attention but only when the Jack Russell biting behavior is absent. If it is present, command the dog “No”, turn your back and then ignore it. Soon, the message should be understood considering that the breed is highly intelligent.

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When all else fails, we suggest seeing a professional trainer to stop the Jack Russell biting behavior before it goes out of hand.

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Jack Russell Allergies

Jack Russell AlergiesAs any experienced Jack Russell owner knows, Jack Russell allergies can be common in Jack Russells of all ages.  Almost everything can trigger the allergic symptoms, which can be difficult to deal with on both the parts of the owner and the pet.  Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that allergic episodes can be kept to a minimum.

Know the Causes

It is imperative to know of the underlying causes behind the allergy.  For allergies in Jack Russells, the causes can be classified into four categories.

  • Contact allergies are the least common but the most treatable of the four types of Jack Russell allergies.  Usually, it occurs when the dog’s skin comes into contact with the allergen, which can be a plant, an insect or a synthetic substance.

Symptoms in contact allergies include irritated, itchy and discoloured skin with a strong odour emanating from the area.  In many dogs, loss of hair can be the result of constant scratching and biting.  Relief can often be provided with the removal of the allergen in the skin.

  • Food allergies result from the build-up of allergens in the dog’s system until such time that the immune system cannot keep up with the demands placed upon it.  In most cases, the animal proteins in the dog food cause the allergic reactions with other ingested substances like leftovers, vitamins and even plants also contributing to Jack Russell allergies.

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When the diet is the suspect in the allergies, we recommend providing for a hypoallergenic diet for 8 to 12 weeks to your dog.  In this way, the allergen in the system can be flushed out. Also, it is necessary to try out different diets, closely observe the reactions to each diet and then choose the diet with the least allergic reactions.

Symptoms in food allergies include skin itching, respiratory distress and digestive disorders.  We suggest consulting with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying causes and, thus, avoid complications.

  • Inhalant allergy in dogs is similar to hay fever in humans.  Pollens, moulds, mildew, dust mites and other airborne materials are the culprits in these types of allergies, which often happen during the spring and fall seasons.

The symptoms range from severe itching on the feet, groin and ears to hairless spots on the coat from the constant biting of the skin.  The symptoms of inhalant Jack Russell allergies can be avoided by limiting the time spent outdoors during the allergy season and in using an air filter indoors.

  • Flea allergies are very common in dogs.  Take note that your pet is not allergic to the fleas per se but to the proteins in the saliva secreted when the fleas bite on the skin.  Also, keep in mind that it only takes one flea for a Jack Russell to suffer from flea allergies for days on end.

Prevention of flea allergies comes in the form of frequent baths, applications of prescription anti-flea products, and provision of pills to attack fleas from the inside, so to speak.  A veterinarian’s prescription is often necessary to secure the right kind of formulation in anti-flea products.

You will observe that in almost all cases of Jack Russell allergies, the expert medical opinion of a veterinarian is preferred.  This way, the best possible treatment or combination of treatments can be applied.

Know the Diagnostic Tests

Aside from the obvious symptoms on the Jack Russell’s coat and skin, allergies can also be diagnosed via laboratory tests and tools.  First, blood tests are used in the analysis of the quantities of certain chemicals in the bloodstream.  Second, intradermal tests are also administered to determine the specific allergen.

Know the Treatments

Once the causes have been determined, treatment can proceed.  The vet will recommend one or two of the following available treatments for Jack Russell allergies:

  • Steroids suppress the immune system, thus, leading to less severe symptoms.  Side effects like weight gain, increased aggression and frequent urination can be observed.
  • Immunotherapy involves the weekly injections of vaccines containing small amounts of the allergen. The rationale is gradual desensitization to the source of the allergic episodes.
  • Antihistamines block the chemicals secreted by the immune system during an allergic episode, the chemical known as histamines.  Itching and inflammation are significantly reduced but side effects like sedation can affect quality of life.

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Indeed, Jack Russell allergies can be treated. Just work with the vet to find ways for prevention and it is possible for your dog to live allergy-free most of the time.

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Jack Russell Characteristics

Jack Russell CharacteristicsMany individuals will purchase or adopt a pet dog without delving into the characteristics of the breed.  In doing so, these individuals are ill-prepared to cope with the various responsibilities and requirements that come with pet ownership.  Well, don’t let it happen when making the decision to own a Jack Russell.

The importance of knowing, understanding and then accepting the Jack Russell characteristics before actual pet ownership cannot be overemphasized.  The Jack Russell is one of the most energetic, most determined and most intense breeds in the dog world.  Keep in mind that it was breed to be a working terrier and, thus, must possess the qualities of tenacity, fortitude and controlled aggression particularly during the fox hunt.

As such, it takes a special breed of individuals to become capable owners of Jack Russells.  If you deem yourself up to par with these unique characteristics of Jack Russells, then by all means ask your local kennel or local animal shelter for information on purchase or adoption, respectively.

Physical Characteristics

The Jack Russell is a small terrier with a predominantly white body, which can possess either a smooth or rough or combination coat.  The markings can range from black to tan while the skin can show patterns of small brown or black spots known as ticking, which should not carry into the white outer coat.  All coats are of the dense double types that must neither be silky nor woolly.

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The most distinguishable of the Jack Russell characteristics is the appearance of balance, alertness and intelligence in the dog.  Its stand is always proud with the chest out but it seems always ready to pounce on the prey, which is usually a red fox during hunts but can be anything that moves, flutters and squeaks in the home.

For most apartment owners, the size of the Jack Russell may appear ideal for small spaces.  Although the Jack Russell is sized to enter fox dens, its behaviour is anything but suited to small apartments and houses.  Large open spaces are required for physical exercise and mental stimulation but that’s getting ahead of the story.

Behavioural Characteristics

The Jack Russell characteristics in terms of behaviour belie its small size.  As previously mentioned, Jack Russells are one of the most energetic, most alert and most determined of all breeds.  Owners are well advised to exercise great control over their Jack Russells lest one finds himself at their mercy.  Being the alpha dog at all times is essential in keeping a healthy master-dog relationship with a Jack Russell.

When the relationship is healthy, owners find that Jack Russells are one of the most intelligent breeds in the dog world. Training in obedience and agility can be undertaken with very little to no difficulty because of its innate intelligence although we must emphasize that a strong will is necessary to triumph over the Jack Russell’s instinctive desire to dominate other dogs and humans.  Rewards after training can include charming dog tricks, impressive agility and good companionship.

However, there are also serious issues related to Jack Russell characteristics that prospective owners will want to consider before actual ownership.  These behavioural issues include its dynamic temperament; need for physical exercise and mental stimulation at almost all times; extremely strong chasing instincts; aggression toward other Jack Russells and other breeds of dogs; destructive actions like digging, barking and jumping on people; and constant need to chew and carry anything in its mouth and hands.

Keep in mind that Jack Russells are remarkably similar despite age and environment differences.  You will find these dogs to be bossy, feisty and impulsive on one hand but lively, clever and independent on the other hand, all of which can either work for you or work against your favour.

Taking account of all these Jack Russell characteristics, the main issues that must be addressed before pet ownership of this breed must include:

  • Strong human will to be the alpha dog to the Jack Russell
  • Sufficient time to provide physical exercise and mental stimulation to keep destructive and aggressive behaviour at bay as well as to safeguard the dog’s health.
  • Adequate space in which to spend their excess energy, to chase prey and to do something with their mouths and paws.
  • Obedience training to prevent bad behaviour such as barking, biting and digging, to name a few behavioural problems.
  • Satisfactory level of veterinary care to keep the dog healthy.

With this primer on Jack Russell characteristics, you should then be able to see clearly if you have what it takes. Well, do you?

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Jack Russell Health Problems

Jack Russell Health ProblemsAdmittedly, we often choose a dog breed based on the level of care required on a daily basis as well as in veterinary care.  Thus, asking about possible Jack Russell health problems is considered perfectly normal for prospective owners of these energetic, intelligent and tenacious canines.  The following possible health issues in Jack Russells are neither an all-inclusive list nor an all-definitive guide for diagnosis and, thus, expert veterinary attention is still required when certain physical problems do crop up in the dog.

Jack Russell Ear Infections

The ear infections in dogs can be the result of foreign bodies, tumours and parasites in the ear canal; allergies to foods, drugs and chemicals; yeast, fungi and bacteria in the ears; thyroid, metabolic and immune disorders; and excessive hair growth or hair removal in and around the ears.  Symptoms will include vigorous shaking of the ears, yeasty smell coming from the area, inflamed ear canal, and sensitivity to the touch of the ears.  Immediate veterinary care is necessary to prevent health complications arising from a relatively simple issue.

Jack Russell Eye Issues

Many of the Jack Russell health problems can be seen in the eye area, of which the causes can be genetic or acquired.  Keep in mind that even with the best efforts of breeders to exclude the so-called bad genes, problems will still crop up in the dog.  For the Jack Russells, the following are the most common eye problems:

  • Lens luxation is an inherited disease where one or both lenses become partially or completely dislocated.  When left untreated, it can result to blindness.  Symptoms include painful, red and opaque eyes.
  • Cataracts refer to the opaqueness of the lens, which can either be inherited or acquired as well as juvenile or late-onset types.

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Other eye problems include entropion, cherry eyes, ectopic cilia, dermoid, follicular conjunctivitis, and puppy strangles.  Only a veterinarian will be able to diagnose these health issues with the use of tests, techniques and tools.

Jack Russell Allergic Reactions

Probably the most common of Jack Russell health problems are allergies, which can be caused by foods, drugs, plants, insects, pollens, moulds, mildew and fleas.  The symptoms often depend on the allergen but will almost always include severe itching, swollen skin, digestive problems, diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty in breathing.  Fortunately, these symptoms can be cured by steroids, antihistamines and immunotherapy depending on the identified allergen.

Jack Russell Heart Diseases

A Jack Russell may not suffer from a human-like heart attack but it is still subject to many other coronary diseases.  The causes can range from sudden obstruction of the brain’s blood flow to the poor heart blood supply.  Depending on the causes, the Jack Russell can either collapse in an unconscious heap or become stiff but remain conscious although we must emphasize that both cases require veterinary attention to prevent serious health complications.  This is especially true for cases of cardiomyopathy as sudden death has been known to happen.

Heat Stroke

One of the more overlooked Jack Russell health problems is heat stroke, which can be diagnosed when the dog is extremely salivating, panting and slowly losing consciousness along with dry gums and wide eyes.  Heat stroke is aggravated by water deprivation, enclosed spaces, excessive humidity and obesity, all of which can be avoided with the proper care and attention by the owner.  Of course, if heat stroke does happen, immediate veterinary care is critical in saving the life of the Jack Russell.

Jack Russell Obesity

Just like in humans, obesity presents many health complications in Jack Russells.  These complications include compromised immune function, musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular diseases and abnormal sugar intolerance, to name a few.  The sad thing is that obesity can be avoided and, thus, the above mentioned Jack Russell health problems can also be prevented.  Pet owners are advised to provide for measured amounts of dog food, for sufficient time for physical exercise and for regular feeding to increase the metabolic rate.

Jack Russell Skin Diseases

Jack Russells may also suffer from various skin diseases like abscesses, sores and dandruff.  Treatments are available for these types of skin diseases including special dog shampoos, antibacterial medications, and simple hygiene.  Again, veterinary care is important in full recovery.

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There are other Jack Russell health problems like cerebellar ataxia, hydrocephaly, cryptochidism and hernias. However, these diseases be also present in other dog breeds, thus, there is no sense in being afraid to own a Jack Russell because of these.  Just give it the good care of a good father of the family and everybody should be fine for a long time.

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Jack Russell Aggression

Jack Russell AggressionJack Russell aggression can either be a positive or a negative trait depending on the situation in which the aggressive behaviour is manifested.  On one hand, if the aggression is directed at against an unwanted intruder in the house or against a red fox during fox hunts, then it is a positive behaviour.  Keep in mind that Jack Russells are breed for fox hunts and, thus, aggression is a key to their success.

On the other hand, if the aggression is directed at other dog or humans, especially any member of the household, then the behaviour is considered negative.  This aggression can be destructive on things, on dog interactions and, most disturbingly, on human health, as is the case with digging, barking and biting.  This is the kind of aggression that demands immediate action of the pet owner lest more damage is done.

Identifying the Problem

In many instances, the actions associated with negative Jack Russell aggression will not manifest themselves until the dog is about one year of age.  Before this age, the Jack Russell puppy will only show signs of developing aggressive behaviour, which can include fear, anxiety and nervousness around dogs and humans and even in the presence of unfamiliar objects.  The cowering Jack Russell puppy can turn into an aggressive jumping, barking and biting adult dog a few months down the road without proper intervention.

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It may also be that the seeds of aggression manifest themselves in actual hostility toward the object or subject of the behaviour.  Thus, puppies can tackle, wrestle, chase, nip and paw the dog, the object or the human under attack, often to the puppies’ detriment.  Take note that attacked dogs or humans will respond negatively to the aggressive behaviour through biting or hitting, respectively.

Of course, Jack Russell aggression in adult dogs is also possible.  Again, it is imperative to determine if the aggression is of the negative or the positive kind so as to take the proper action, be it obedience training or taking the necessary measure for the protection of the household, respectively.

Identifying the Cause

There are many causes for negative aggression in Jack Russells.  It is of vital importance to identify the exact causes of the aggressive behaviour in each Jack Russell for the simple reason that the type of treatment chosen fits the cause of behaviour.  For example, if the cause of the aggressive behaviour is assertion of dominance, then the right type of treatment will be obedience training to establish the human as the alpha dog in the pack, not increased amounts of physical exercise.

It is often up to the owner to closely observe the circumstances, times and incidents when the signs of Jack Russell aggression manifest themselves.  Keeping a log will help in the determination of the causes by the owner in cooperation with the veterinarian or the trainer.

  • Lack of exercise. Take note that Jack Russells are one of the most energetic dog breeds in an almost constant level of movement.
  • Lack of confidence.  Jack Russells can be sociable animals so much so that when socialization opportunities are taken away, aggressive behaviour to compensate for the loss becomes common.
  • Lack of discipline.  Jack Russells are naturally dominant dogs requiring the stronger leadership of their human owners to control their innate aggressive quality.  Jack Russell aggression is often a sign of the absence of a strong pack leader.
  • Lack of space in both the physical and psychological sense.  Thus, experts will advise against owning a Jack Russell if there are other Jack Russells or small children in the house as well as when one lives in a small apartment with very little to no yard space.
  • Lack of resources.  Dogs can fight amongst themselves for food, water and space.
  • Lack of positive experiences.  Many dogs have been exposed to traumatic experiences that aggravate the aggressive tendencies present in puppies.
  • Lack of veterinary care.  The Jack Russell may be suffering from a thyroid malfunction and other diseases with symptoms like pain, which can lead to aggression.

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Identifying the Treatment

When you have identified the causes, you can then proceed to the proper treatment.  The treatment may be in the form of obedience training; increased time for physical exercises, mental stimulation and socialization opportunities; improved environment; and veterinary care for the treatment of underlying medical causes.

Indeed, negative Jack Russell aggression can be properly treated in time.  The trick is in taking the right action at the right time so that the symptoms can be prevented from worsening.

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Jack Russell Obedience

Jack Russell ObedienceBecause of the breed’s innately intelligent nature, Jack Russell obedience efforts can be well-rewarded with a well-behaved dog with equally well-adjusted socialization skills.  Still, we must emphasize that it can also be difficult to teach Jack Russells their proper manners around canines and humans because of their feisty, bossy and scrappy qualities, all of which have been known to land the small terrier into fights with bigger dogs, even pit bulls if necessary.

Potential Causes for Misbehaviour

Just like humans, Jack Russells have individual personalities of their own.  It will be to the owner’s detriment to assume that one Jack Russell is similar in all aspects to the next Jack Russell regardless of age, environment and other lifestyle factors.  There are, however, certain qualities for which Jack Russells are famous for – or infamous, depending on one’s point of view – which have significant effects on obedience training.

  • Aggression against other dogs, whether it is a Jack Russell or a different breed, is common especially when these canines are unfamiliar.  Jack Russells appear to have no sense of their own small size and, hence, will take on even larger breeds to express their aggression.  In fact, Jack Russell obedience training often arises out of the need to control such aggressive tendencies.
  • Behaviours related to fox hunts specifically chasing, digging and barking are hardwired, so to speak, into the breed as part of their roles during fox hunts.  These actions are valuable in the field but are destructive to the health of humans, canines and things in the daily setting.
  • High levels of energy, relatively short attention span and easy-to-distract nature can frequently get in the way of obedience and agility training, which demand control over movements, attention to the commands and focus on the master.

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These are just a few of the causes for misbehaviour in Jack Russells, of course.  It is up to the owner to determine the exact nature of the dog’s failure to obey commands at will regardless if the command means to stay put or to run to a designated place.

Potential Actions to Address Misbehaviour

The best way to successfully address the misbehaviour is through Jack Russell obedience training.  This can be performed either by a professional dog trainer in a special facility or by the owner himself in the comforts of home or both.  We recommend going for the two routes as a professional dog trainer is better-equipped to handle a Jack Russell while the owner must be able to establish dominance over the dog.  When properly combined, the Jack Russell should be able to follow commands even when off the leash.

Early training is essential in the matter of Jack Russell obedience although we must also emphasize that no puppy less than 8 weeks old should be trained.  Or for that matter, no puppy less than 8 weeks old must be taken home from the breeder’s kennel since physical and psychological contact with the mother dog is critical in proper development at this stage.

We also suggest providing for formal obedience training classes as well as agility courses early on.  In this way, the natural energetic nature of the Jack Russell puppy can be harnessed for its own good.  Plus, formal training will also provide the human owner with the valuable opportunity of knowing how to deal with future problems especially where aggression is concerned.

During Jack Russell obedience training, the owner and the Jack Russell will be able to establish the dominant nature of the former over the latter.  Yes, we may want to spoil rotten our pets but, ultimately, it will be to our detriment since we can be the subject of destructive, aggressive and just plain annoying behaviour like barking, biting and chewing. So, be the dominant alpha dog in the Jack Russell’s pack and both human and canine will benefit from such a relationship.

Furthermore, formal training classes must be reinforced by home training.  We recommend positive reinforcement techniques that involve providing for moderate praises and treats for good behaviour on one hand as well as isolation and ignoring the dog for bad behaviour on the other hand.  We cannot overemphasize the importance of not hitting, shouting and punishing a Jack Russell lest your own actions reinforce the bad behaviour.

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Indeed, the matter of Jack Russell obedience is an important consideration in ensuring a healthy dog companion for the next 15 years of its natural life.  Be sure that you are up to it since Jack Russells are not exactly the most docile dog breed around.

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Jack Russell Behaviour

Jack Russell BehaviourWhen it comes to Jack Russell behaviour, the breed is famous for being highly energetic, innately intelligent and naturally feisty even as puppies.  Thus, many owners of Jack Russells assert that having their hands full when it concerns their small but scrappy pet dogs is par for the course.

It is most frequently up to the owner of the Jack Russell to determine if the canine is behaving in a characteristic or uncharacteristic manner.  Close observations and hours of companionship are essential in achieving this purpose.

With that being said, here are a few things to look out for in Jack Russell behaviour that may or may not be normal depending on the unique circumstances surrounding the action and individual temperament of the dog.  It will be observed that normal behaviour in Jack Russells can be defined as those actions that the situation warrants.

Jack Russell Barking

We must emphasize that barking is an essential part of the Jack Russell’s constitution – or for all dogs except the Basenji, for that matter.  Barking is used for communication between dogs and humans, be it in terms of showing happiness, expressing pain and showing aggression.  With the Jack Russell breed, owners should expect an increased frequency and intensity in barking noises for the simple reason that these terriers are bred to bark as a way to flush out its prey – the red fox, that is.

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In the home, it can be very annoying especially when the Jack Russell barks at anything that moves, squeaks and squeals like other animals, passersby and small children.  This is a Jack Russell behaviour that must be controlled if only for the peace of mind – and ears – of the household and the neighbourhood.  But trying to suppress it completely is neither possible nor beneficial especially when an unwanted intruder is around.

Jack Russell Biting

Even when the biting is done in affection, the sharp teeth of the Jack Russell are painful, to say the least.  And since biting can be a sign of aggression, it is also a behaviour that must be controlled lest humans especially small children and frail individuals be at its receiving end.  Of course, biting can lead to chewing, which no pet owner wants either as the furniture and fixtures around the house can be the next victims.

Again, Jack Russell obedience training either in a formal or informal setting will be of significant help in curbing the behaviour.  Human skin must be protected at all times, no matter how loved the dog may be.

Jack Russells Jumping Up

Yet another Jack Russell behaviour that requires careful treatment is jumping up on things and humans.  In dogs, it can be caused by overexcitement in seeing a familiar object and face or it can be the result of aggressive tendencies manifesting themselves.  Either way, owners are well advised to control the behaviour as it is destructive to both the dog and the human or object being jumped on.

Preventive measures include providing for adequate amounts of exercise outdoors, sufficient socialization opportunities and, of course, obedience training.  Clicker training coupled with positive reinforcement techniques has been proven successful.

Jack Russell Hyperactivity

You have heard it said – one of the main features of Jack Russell behaviour is the breed’s hyperactivity.  In fact, dog breeders agree that Jack Russells may be on the small side but its energy levels are definitely on the large side.  Thus, Jack Russells are suitable for owners who have time to provide for plenty of physical exercises and mental stimulation along with plenty of space.

But when the Jack Russell’s natural hyperactive translates to destructive or aggressive behaviour, then it is time to take appropriate action.  These actions should include increased time for exercises in the outdoors even it just means throwing a tennis ball at the park for about an hour every day or a walk around the neighbourhood

Running Away

Another hallmark Jack Russell behaviour is the tendency to run away.  This can easily be remedied by placing a high fence around the house, putting on a canine harness on the dog whenever outdoors and undergoing obedience training.

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Running away may also be a symptom of dissatisfaction with the living conditions.  Improvements must then be made if the dog is to be enticed to stay inside the house and in the pack.

Indeed, a Jack Russell in the house is akin to having a small child of your own.  You have to love and discipline as well as observe the dog for its unique behavioural traits so that any changes can be detected and properly acted upon.

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Jack Russell Terrier Health

Jack Russell Terrier HealthWhen it comes to Jack Russell terrier health, pet owners are well advised to take the preventive approach in the maintenance of good health.  We are talking of both physical and psychological health, of course, since any dog must possess these two aspects of health to be considered truly healthy.

The preventive approach comes highly recommended because of the adage about the simplest prevention always being better than the best treatment. However, sickness in mind and body can and will happen even under the best of circumstances.  In this case, we strongly suggest always asking for the advice of a competent veterinarian for the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care of the ill Jack Russell puppy or adult.

Psychological Health

Let’s start the discussion on Jack Russell terrier health with the psychological aspect as it is often overlooked by pet owners.  The reasons for it can range from simple ignorance of the individual personality of the Jack Russell to the deliberate indifference to good mental health in favour of developing the aggressive side of the dog for whatever purpose.  Naturally, we must caution pet owners against such ignorance and indifference since it is the responsibility of the human handler to ensure that the dog is fit mentally, socially and physically.

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Serious Jack Russell Illnesses

Otherwise, behavioural problems can result.  These problems can include destructive and aggressive actions leading to harm upon the dog itself, on other dogs and on humans, these actions include the following:

  • Excessive barking, chewing and jumping up on people and on things
  • Unprovoked biting of other dogs, animals and humans
  • Extreme desire to dig up the yard often with the intent to dig its way out of the fence and into the great outdoors
  • Show of aggressive actions like attacks on dogs 5 times their size or demonstration of submissive behaviour like cowering in fear in the presence of unfamiliar objects

Fortunately, there are many ways to restore Jack Russell terrier health in the psychological aspect. The important thing is to determine the causes behind the actions first before applying the right treatment, so to speak.

For example, excessive barking, biting and jumping on people may be a sign of the lack of mental stimulation and physical exercise.  As such, the best option is to provide for more exercise, stimulation and socialization opportunities to allow the Jack Russell to spend its high levels of physical energy, hone its intelligence and mingle with its canine kind.

Physical Health

And then there is the matter of physical health.  Keep in mind that the average life expectancy of the Jack Russell is 13 to 16 years.  Indeed, it is one of the few dog breeds with little health problems dogging its life, pun not intended, if and when the owner takes the necessary measures to ensure its good health from its puppy to old age state.

It is possible to determine the state of Jack Russell terrier health even when one does not possess the knowledge of an experienced veterinarian.  A healthy Jack Russell will have a compact, balanced and athletic build characterized by its large chest; the jaws are well-boned and powerful-looking with straight teeth and a scissor bite; almond-shaped eyes with an alert expression; shiny, sleek and groomed coat that can either be rough (broken coat) or smooth in texture; skin with the ticking markings that should not carry over into the coat; and an erect stance that appear to pounce at any time on prey.

Of course, actual examination of the various parts of the body is necessary to determine that there are no parasites, fleas, sores and tumours on the Jack Russell.  Thus, owners must bring their Jack Russells for regular consultations to the doctors even when the dogs appear healthy and especially when the dogs behave in an uncharacteristic manner.

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Protect Your Jack Russells Future Health

For example, the dog may be whining, howling or biting for no apparent reason, it may be that a physical pain is being experienced.  In fact, when a previously well-behaved Jack Russell is showing aggressive, destructive or uncharacteristic actions, underlying medical causes must be ruled out before behavioural causes are considered.  Take note that Jack Russell terrier health in the physical and psychological senses are often related, just as it is in humans.

To ensure good physical health, we recommend regular vaccinations, grooming and exercise as well as a healthy diet, environment and obedience training.  Soon enough, the matter of maintaining good Jack Russell terrier health is a done deal. It will just be a matter of maintaining good habits in health and hygiene.

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Jack Russell Puppy Care

Jack Russell Puppy CareBefore we discuss the subject of Jack Russell puppy care, we must caution against bringing a puppy less than 8 weeks of age into your home. On one hand, the puppy must have as much interaction with its mother as possible for its normal development.  The loving care of a mother dog for its puppy cannot be equalled even by the best human hands.

On the other hand, a puppy less than 8 weeks old can be very hard to house train, be it through crate or clicker training.  It is best to wait until the Jack Russell puppy has acquired the ability to follow directions, make associations and generally be more sociable toward humans before bringing it home.  Experts even agree that Jack Russell puppies are not appropriate in households with little children because of the latent aggression in this breed.

Things to Purchase before Bringing Home

The first thing to ensure proper Jack Russell puppy care in the home is to purchase the necessary accessories to make the puppy’s introduction into the household as positive as possible.   Ask the dog breeder about the essential things that a Jack Russell puppy may need, which can include the following:

  • Collar – preferably the flat buckle type.  The slip and choke collars can lead to injuries when used improperly.
  • Retractable leash to provide a sense of freedom for the puppy but a great deal of control for its human handler, which is essential in outings to the park as well as for training sessions.
  • Food and water bowls preferably the steel ones since plastic bowls tend to get warped in time and to harbor more bacteria. Of course, food and treats must be added to the pantry albeit in a separate corner of the area.  Be sure to purchase the dog food appropriate for the age and breed of the puppy.  As your pet grows older, the diet will have to be changed to keep up with its nutritional requirements.  A hot water bottle may even come in handy as substitute for the warmth of a mother dog’s body.
  • Dog bed, pillow and blanket to provide the new pet with a comfortable space of his own.
  • Crate is an essential part in Jack Russell puppy care.  Keep in mind that dogs are den animals and, thus, will love the feel of a cozy place that they can call home.  Plus, a crate is also a good tool in house training the puppy.
  • Toys like chew and plush toys are good investments. In this way, the puppy can have an outlet for its natural playfulness and athleticism.

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Jack Russell Puppy Training Techniques

Well, of course, you should provide a name for the puppy.  Even in the kennel, talking to the puppy by its name will go a long way toward establishing the bond of friendship.

Time to Spend on Exercise and Stimulation

Also, Jack Russell puppy care demands that the owner must have plenty of time to spend with the puppy.  Separation anxiety is an ever-present behavioural problem with a puppy, first, with its mother and, second, with its owner.  If the owner can spend sufficient amounts of time in playing and training with puppy, it will help in the prevention of future behavioural problems especially aggressive actions like excessive barking and growling, unprovoked bites and attacks and even just jumping up on people.

In fact, experts recommend that before taking a Jack Russell puppy home, the calendar must be cleared on the day that the puppy is to be introduced to its new home.  It will take time before the puppy can adjust to its surroundings but your presence can significantly alleviate its anxiety, fear and nervousness.  We even recommend taking the puppy home during the weekend when the members of the household are in the house for proper introductions although we must caution against crowding the puppy.

Veterinary Care

Of course, one of the most important aspects of proper Jack Russell puppy care is the quality of veterinary care provided to it.  We suggest contacting and contracting a veterinarian a few days before actually taking home the puppy.  This way, vaccinations, veterinary check-ups and other health issues can be promptly addressed.

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Naturally, proper Jack Russell puppy care requires a good diet, a good exercise program and a good environment for total development.  Asking about these important matters of the local breeder or the veterinarian will be of significant assistance on ensuring that you puppy grows up to be a healthy adult living up to be 15 in dog years.

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