As you can see from the pictures above, Jack Russell Terrier puppies sure are cute! Are you thinking of bringing a Jack Russell Terrier puppy into your home or family?
Before you scoop up a Wishbone lookalike pup, you should make sure you and everyone in your household are ready for the commitment and care they’ll need.
These smart, highly athletic pups are quite adorable, but there are some things you should know about Jack Russell Terrier puppies before you head over to your local shelter or rescue to adopt one.
Training Needs To Start From Day One
Jack Russell Terriers are so intelligent that they sometimes even outwit their humans. They were bred to outsmart foxes, so it makes sense.
Combined with their high energy and natural hunting instinct, this could make for a very destructive puppy if not properly trained.
Training your Jack Russell Terrier works best with consistency and positive reinforcement. Jack Russell Terrier enthusiasts also point out that you must convey dominance, and there will be times your Jack Russell Terrier tests it.
Training your Jack Russell Terrier will be easier if they’re younger, but you can absolutely still train an older Jack Russell Terrier if you adopt one who’s not a puppy.
They Can Catch Some Serious Air
Jack Russell Terriers have a massive amount of energy and athletic ability. Despite their tiny size, the Jack Russell Terrier can jump up to five feet vertically.
Your Jack Russell Terrier puppy won’t be able to reach such heights at an early age, but as they grow, so will their hops.
While impressive, this ability can grow annoying if your Jack Russell Terrier likes to jump on people to greet them; it can prove dangerous if they learn to hop over your backyard fence.
Once again, this is why training your Jack Russell Terrier is so important; not only will you have a well-behaved dog, but you will have a safe one, as well.
They Have A Bit Of A Napoleon Complex
Typically, Jack Russell Terriers can be up to 15 pounds, but they often act like they weigh 150. This small terrier breed tends to have big personalities.
Your Jack Russell Terrier puppy might also be prone to making a lot of noise, be it barking, whimpering, or growling. Sometimes, a Jack Russell Terrier will even bark at their owner if they feel they aren’t getting enough attention.
Fortunately, there are ways to train your puppy not to bark, so you can avoid an overly yippy dog.
Jack Russell Terrier Puppies Like Their Space
Jack Russell Terriers, like any breed, can be incredibly cuddly and affectionate to their humans.
However, unlike traditional family dogs like the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever, Jack Russell Terriers might not take kindly to children rough-housing with them. This terrier is also somewhat aggression-prone.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a Jack Russell Terrier puppy and children in the same house. What it does mean, however, is that it is important to teach children–and adults–in the home how to properly play with a dog.
Obedience training can also help curb any unwanted aggression.
They Love To Dig
Jack Russell Terriers were bred to help hunt foxes. The instinct to dig up fox holes is in their DNA, so even if they aren’t helping you hunt, they will likely have the urge to dig up something.
If you don’t have a yard, this doesn’t mean you are safe from the digging gene. Jack Russell Terrier puppies will just as happily dig through your dirty laundry, the couch cushions, or the trash.
If you do have a yard, it may be a good idea into looking at fencing that extends underground a foot or so. This can help keep your Jack Russell Terrier puppy safe and in your yard.
Another way to curb the digging compulsion is to keep your Jack Russell Terrier puppy happy and entertained. Playing mentally and physically stimulating games with your puppy can give your pup a safer way to play, and they get to bond with you.
They Aren’t The Same As A Russell Terrier
Many people may assume that the Jack Russell Terrier is the same breed of dog as the Russell Terrier. While they look incredibly similar and come from an overlapping gene pool, there are actually slight differences between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Russell Terrier.
Parson Russell Terriers are also often mistakenly called Jack Russell Terriers. They too share an ancestry with the JRT and the Russell Terrier, but again, there are subtle differences.
So how do you tell the three apart? They all come from the same 19th century English breeder, Reverend John “Jack”” Russell.
While they all generally are the same color and size, Russell Terriers tend to be longer than they are tall. The Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier were the same until two separate enthusiast groups started breeding them in slightly different manners in the late 20th century.
In a nutshell, the Parson Russell Terrier is bred more for aesthetic, while the JRT is bred for its original intent–athleticism.
If you adopt any of these breeds, you are in for an energetic, intelligent, and athletic pup!
Their Coats Need Special Care
Since Jack Russell Terriers were bred for digging into fox holes and doing earth work, their coats are very coarse and dense to protect the skin. Unfortunately, this thick, short coat can make for a very sheddy situation.
If you want a Jack Russell Terrier puppy, be sure you are ready to deal with fur on clothes, furniture, and gathered in small balls in corners.
The good news is caring for a Jack Russell Terrier’s coat isn’t too strenuous. Broken-coated and rough-coated JRTs should have their coats stripped twice a year. This process helps removed dead hair and reduces the amount of shedding. It’s best done by a professional.
Smooth-coated Jack Russell Terriers should be brushed on a weekly basis. Regular bathing is also required, especially if your Jack Russell Terrier sticks to their roots and decides to do a little digging in the yard–or their own digging pit.
If you decide that a JRT puppy is right for you, remember you can find just about any breed from your local shelter or rescue. You can also check out DogTime’s adoption page that lets you search for adoptable dogs by zip code!
Do you have a Jack Russell Terrier puppy? Do you have any training or grooming tips you have for future JRT enthusiasts? Let us know in the comments below!