Jack Russel puppy(40 Posts)
I've never had a puppy before so please, bear with me.
I have two children. The eldest is 9 the youngest 6. We have a medium sized house with a big garden. We have two cats one spends her life sleeping in the bedroom and the other is never seen he far prefers the outdoor life!.
We are seriously considering getting a jack Russel bitch.
Can anyone give me any experience on the breed?.
I work part time so the puppy would be in the house for 4 hours or so at a time. We have lots of time and space for walks so this won't be a problem.. But just how much energy will she have? .
Are there any health issues we should considere?
Thanks in advance for your advice
I have an 8yo PRT bitch and last year we got an 8mo border terrier cross from rescue.
I'd agree with absolutely everything everyone has said about PRT/JRTs!
Very independent, very willful and determined, astonishingly affectionate with people, dodgy with (some) other dogs. She's got more grumpy as she gets older (much like me, in fact).
Easy to train, but you have to put in the hours, and when she was younger she had more energy than any other dog I have ever met (and we used to have a working border collie!!). She can still outrun every single dog we know.
She was never a chewer, and has no prey drive, she's also not overly barky.
She's fine to be left for a few hours, it's one of the reasons we chose the breed.
The border terrier cross, who is now about 16mo, is an absolute dream of a dog and tbh if I was looking for another dog I'd be very keen to get another bt - she is unbelievable affectionate with everyone (dogs, adults, children), cheery, clever, easy to train, happy to go out and about but will also flop about dozing if we're having a quiet day. Really really wonderful dog. She does chew a lot, though, which I'm hoping she will grow out of, but is happy to chew on her toys and antlers etc rather than our shoes/furniture.
I would totally recommend border terriers!
Oh, and this is her favourite place. Not because it's comfy, oh no. It's because it's actually her job to control the whole world, to bark at every passer by, to be ready to eat that threatening stuff called post, and to generally show potential criminals that we own the largest and most vicious dog that ever lived.
I would agree with fanoftheinvisibleman, terriers are wonderful. But you have to be very aware of what you are getting into. There are lots in rescues, sadly.
We have a jack Russell who is now 11.
She's a lovely dog, as others say she is very wilful and cannot be let off the lead as she runs and runs and keeps running! She can also be yappy, as are most little dogs. You have to be very firm with her, even now.
However she is a fantastic pet, loves cuddling up with us on the sofa but also running about in the garden
chasing ducks. She loves walking, loves "helping" dh when he's doing outside jobs- gardening, chopping wood etc. and jumps in the car for a trip out. She's a real companion.
We had a cat when we got her and the cat was always the boss. (She sadly died a few years ago)
I would recommend them but be prepared to treat them like a wilful toddler and be firm from day one.
We have a JRTx and she lays like that!
I adore her probably more than any dog I've ever had. She's a real dog dog if that makes sense, with an enthusiasm for life which is just wonderful.
However, she is the most difficult dog we've ever had. She's extremely feisty, has a horrible terrier yap which she overuses, and is utterly determined to get her own way. She thinks out everything and as a result she can open cupboards, food packets, doors and even her dog crate (which requires a push and lift at the same time). We've done extensive dog training classes with her and she is always the absolute star of the show, the dog they pick to demonstrate how it should be. Then she goes home and completely ignores everything she has learnt! She has a very high prey drive and eats rats and mice whole, fur and all. She needs more excercise than my parents' dalmation.
She's a really big dog in a 9kg body
Don't be fooled by the cute picture. In all honesty, I'd go for something different. I might have a JRT again if I had the energy as I love her to bits but never again would I get a JRT puppy. In fact, come to think of it, she thinks she's still a puppy at 4 years old. I've been told they calm down by 8 or 10, if you're lucky.
I have a JRT. She is very moody and bolshy but we love her. Hates kids though. And cats. And other dogs. I wouldn't have another JRT, she chewed my whole house for 2 years. Wallpaper, the lot. Little minx! Sorry, I've been mean about her in this post. She's a sweetie really and we love her to bits! Such a character!
He has not managed that yet but does comando crawl for metres at a time in the above position...we call it slug walking! A terrier will give you a good laugh op even if it shaves a few years off your life with its escapades.
Oh my word, the dog in the link provided is gorgeous.
The person with the tollier wow what a lovely looking dog!
Honestly I can't thank you all enough for your help.
Thank you so much for all of your advice it's invaluable.
We looked into a jrt as friends of ours recently got one. It's very cute with a lovely personality. Maybe naively I thought it would be an ideal dog for our family.
YY to them being big dogs in a small dogs body! We've certainly seen that with my friends pup!
Previously we had an akita cross German shepard, many years before children though.
I've looked into greyhounds and whippets but dh isn't keen.
A lab would be my dream dog. I just worry because although our house isn't too small it's a maze of little rooms and I have visions of constantly stepping over a huge sleeping dog!.
Thank you again for all of your advice. Currently going to see a litter of jrt puppies at the weekend so I'll chat to the guy who's selling them. He's a friend of a friend so I'm hoping his knowledge will be truthful if you see what I mean.
Thank you all again.
Hi OP , I have a Jack Russell bitch. She is 7 now and we got her at 8 weeks old. She is a brilliant little thing. She is not yappy or aggressive or any of the negative things mentioned up thread. The worst she has ever done is eat cat poo and stole chocolate which made her very ill. She loves other dogs, people, cats ( tries to snog mine) behaves beautifully when out and about and has perfect recall. However, I have had lots of experience with terriers and other breeds. I do not consider any terrier a good first dog.
Labs are a completely different kettle of fish. They are like sponges when it comes to training. They want to learn and want to please. A good first dog but I think an even better first dog for you would be a Whippet.
I foster for Many Tears Animal Rescue and a few weeks ago I fostered three 5 week old JR puppies (siblings - 2 boys and a girl). I can honestly say that although all three were gorgeous they had 3 completely different personalities. One boy was an observant, quiet, happy, easygoing little chap. One boy was much more boisterous, inquisitive, playful and a bit cheeky. The girl was a super climber, agile, nimble and extremely confident. I have previously fostered loads of other JR pups and again they are all so different. I do keep in touch with a lot of their adoptive families and nearly all the pups have the same character as they get older so generally a quiet, calm pup turns into a quiet calm dog. A boisterous puppy, unless trained, will turn into a boisterous dog.
It might be worth keeping an eye on the website to see if there any JR pups that you like the look of (if not check again in a few days because every day pups get abandoned/rescued so the list changes daily) then if you apply for the pup you will get to have a long chat with the fosterer who will tell you all about the character of the pup so you can decide if that pup will suit you :-)
I have attached a link to one of the JR puppies I fostered earlier this year
Good luck, x
I'm another one with a Lab and a JRT.
I couldnt agree more with PP saying if you really want a Lab then thats what you should get. I'm in a toy town new build tiny 3 bed house and the Lab takes up hardly and space because he's a calm, lazy lounger around the house kind of dog.
Our JRT is scatty, over excitable, bloody minded, wilful and destructive, he is no longer let off his lead because his drive to chase remains far too high and he isnt keen on most other dogs atm even though he's had weeks of socialisation classes. He is also fiercely loyal, adores 5 yr old Ds, and was easy to train in some respects because he's so smart, unfortunately he chooses to ignore me unless it suits him and his needs at any given moment. As for barking, i've got the only dog that goes into a barking frenzy if he farts let alone the door knocking. We have spent a lot of time trying to train that out of him and we have seen a slight improvement recently so we are persevering.
I absolutely love both the dogs because they are so different but life with our Lab was so much easier before we got the JRT but far less entertaining!
I have a jrt and a lab. We live in a small house, but the lab takes up less space, as she's calmer and quieter.
The jrt has been amazing with our dc (she was 1 when dc1 was born, 10 when dc4 was born), good with our cats, fine with other dogs.
However, she's a very nervy little dog and will bark constantly if left for any time at all, and has generally been very hard work over the years.
We love her to bits, but would never have another jrt.
The lab in comparison rarely barks, was easy to train, can be let off her lead on walks (we'd never see the jrt again if we let her off, and training has always been an uphill struggle),will settle down quietly when we're doing other stuff, and is a much easier dog to have around. The jrt has loads of character, but is very high maintenance.
That sounds like I hate the jrt! I love her, but as a comparison between the two, I would say the lab is a much better family dog.
If your ideal dog is a lab but you think they're too big have a look at Tollers - they're the smallest member of the retriever family so are a perfect size if you don't have much space. Mine's nearly fully grown and is knee-height and weighs about 17kg
He is the sweetest-natured dog I've ever had, very easy to train, loves going for walks but happy to chill in between, is fantastic with the children - and looks gorgeous too!
Can I be honest and say though that if a lab is genuinely your dream dog and you have been attracted to terriers for their size...don't do it. I am a terrier lover through and through but they are a different animal entirely to the obedient labs and ball focused spaniels i see out and about. If that is reallu your dream dog then terriers are perhaps not for you. Be honest about what you want.
Terriers are great fun (I couldn't have anything else now) but they are bred to be independent feisty workers and even scrappers so bare than in mind. My border is sweet natured but the desire to seek out adventure (and jump in with gusto) is definitely in his DNA. I know I see I good 10 or 12 borders regularly on our walks. Half are great with other dogs and love to play, a quarter indifferent and the rest snarly scrappers! It is by means all of them. Mine just hides behind me if anyone goes for him!
Yes, you don't need a huge house for a labrador - or even a big garden. Many people labour under the misconception that a big dog needs more space and exercise, or having a big garden means you can offer less space and exercise. A JRT will run all day, a lab will need plenty of exercise but will happily have an hour in the morning, and hour at night - even half an hour if you get a lazy one or can let them have a good run off lead.
Jack russells are brilliant dogs, i used to hate them but when i worked as a vet nurse i met so many lovely ones (among the bitey fuckers) that I was converted. Then i was looking for a border terrier but ended up with a border/jack cross. He is about 6 now and have since got a JRTx that is definately more JRT like. I have had dogs all my life, from rotties to chihuahuas and xbreeds, guess what ones are the most trouble?? Yep, you got it - JRTs!!! little bastards they are - but i love them.
I would worry about cats - their prey drive is strong, mine chased a cat the other week i was convinced if the cat stood its ground the dog would back off - he didn't, i managed to get there before any harm done but he meant business. A lot of it will depend on your cats, if they are likely to run, don't do it. I have to say that every border terrier i have met has been arsey with other dogs. One of mine is a bastard and cannot be let off the lead - thats the border/jack cross. The other one is fine but will join in if the other one kicks off, they sound like demented dogs of satan
Some great advice here, OP. I would definitely agree with the above poster that you don't have to have a massive house to have a medium or ever large sized dog. My garden is small and my living room and kitchen aren't that big either! As long as they get walked they will be happy. Labs are easy to train too if you put the work in
One more thought - how is your garden fenced? They can jump surprisingly high even without a run-up... and they can climb too if they can hook their front legs over the top so a low fence may not cut it.
JRTs dig too - and not just holes in the lawn, if they're determined then they will tunnel under stuff.
JRT's are characters for sure, but I'd echo the comment about Border Terriers - they can also be 'variable' but can be very calm and lovely, another possible small breed, although not one I know much about, but a chum has one which is delightful is a Norfolk Terrier.
Have you considered a Border Terrier if you like terriers? All the terrier fun but often considered fairly even tempered compared to other terrier.
Our has been the perfect family dpg but definitely a big dog in a small package.
I do agree with others that 4 hours is too long to regularly leave a puppy.
Also if you have a medium sized house and a big garden, I think you could have any sized dog really, don't limit yourself to small breeds, have a look at all sorts, and all sorts of mixtures, and then see what personalities seem to work for your family, and your temperments. I am devoted to terriers, I really can't imagine ever having a different breed, but one of my friends feels the same about labs, and another about sight hounds. By the way I agree with others that 4 hours is ok to leave an adult dog but much too long for a puppy. You would be better off getting an older dog, or taking some time off to be with your pup at first.
JRTs are hard going if you've never had a terrier before tbh. And ime the bitches are madder and more stroppy (with other dogs) than the dogs. It depends what sort of JRT you get, the Parson's JRT is different from your bog standard one, but I would really think long and hard about a terrier for a first dog. Why did you decide on this breed? Have you a life long love of terriers, or is it because they seem small and fun and good family dogs? (They are small but full on, fun but can get obsessive, and they are not always great with children). I've had terriers and cats, so not so worried about that- if the cats are there first there is usually less of an issue. The big things to think about are that JRTs can obsess over toys like balls, they are very often difficult with other dogs, they can get very food focused and so run to fat, and they can be snappy with very small children. The really nice natured ones I have known have usually been mainly JRT but with a little bit of something else in the mix. If you do decide that you really want a terrier get a dog not a bitch would be my opinion. The dogs are less moody and more predictable, and they seem less prone to weight problems.
i was a first time dog owner but had a jack russel bitch 3years ago. she is lovely natured. very loving, cuddly, clever & affectionate. we dont have kids yet but shes fantastic with my little neice! shes not jelous at all. she is left for 4hours per day and apart from the first 2 weeks or so never bats an eye lid at being left alone, we crated her when left for the first year. now she just curls up on her bean bag. downsides- she does chase cats!! (but she hasnt been bought up with them) & also not brill with other dogs tbh but we are lucky shes never been a chewer but she will shred the post! shes a joy to have although i know all dogs have different personalities.
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