Does anyone own a Jack Russell?!

(59 Posts)
TropicPlunder Fri 19-Oct-18 20:34:57

Inspired by the bichon thread from earlier wink.
I'm in the early contemplating stages of a second dog, and have always liked JRTs. I've met some awesome little dogs, but not known any well enough to know what goes on in the background grin.
So....do they need a farm or regular ratting trips to be content? Or can they be great family dogs in an active home with decent garden and doggy company?

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Ticcinalong Fri 19-Oct-18 20:48:24

I have a rescue one and she is ace!
She’s getting on now but has never ratted or so much as ventured down a rabbit hole - her choice as we live very rurally. She has never killed anything but likes to chase.

They thrive on an active life with mental and physical stimulation, mine did agility, dog tricks, obedience classes etc. But a normal house and garden is fine with walks and keeping them busy in between. Mine is actually the laziest of all my dogs and will stay in bed till 10 am now on a cold morning!

Mine is reactive with some dogs after being attacked, she also has a very strong drive to chase - bikes, squirrels, hoovers etc. She also barks a lot which we don’t mind and don’t have close neighbours but some people might. She is very people friendly not a nipper at all; and likes her creature comforts, but is not cuddly as such in like our other dogs.
I know people with males which are more tenacious and less friendly but that may be individual personality over sex.

They aren’t a beginners dog and do have a bad reputation from other people - I get lots of ankle biter comments hmm but I wouldn’t swap her for the world!

Pandasarecute Fri 19-Oct-18 20:55:19

Love them! They need lots of exercise and training but our 3 year old is friendly, well behaved and great around children. They can shed a LOT of hair though, I constantly hoover

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Fri 19-Oct-18 22:40:55

Mine is JRT... Mostly. I have to say that mine isn't for the faint hearted, and nor would he be anyone's idea of a model first dog. I've gone on a crash course in dog training and behaviour due to him!

He's lovely if he gets at least two hours exercise off lead every day. He's very not lovely if he doesn't get enough exercise. This is especially fun in the winter when the days are short (limited time) or there's snow on the ground - he can't cope well with cold weather. He's also not a morning dog and considers rising before 8am an act of cruelty.

He has a tendency towards reactivity - first it was motorbikes, then I managed to make great progress on that and so he seems to be replacing it with bikes. There was a stage when it was impossible to walk down the street without an incident. He's great with dogs so long as
a) he can get to them (otherwise he has historically become frustrated and barky)
b) they're not one of his two disliked breeds
c) he's not got something valuable with him (resource guarding; sticks are now banned!)
He likes few things more than a good game of chase / play fighting with an amenable playmate. He's also totally obsessed with balls.

He only looks genuinely happy when two people appear - funnily enough the two people who walk him. He takes his guard dog duties seriously. One flatmate of 7 months found himself treated like a burglar every day. My DGM has been feeding him under the table for almost a year, and is treated like a vending machine rather than with any genuine affection. Strangers are a complete irrelevance to him, and he invariably blanks anyone who tries to say hello to him. He's coped with a weekend with sensible and pre-briefed 5-8 year olds, but he was watched like a hawk.

However, indoors he's nearly perfect - sterling house training, no separation anxiety, never ever chews anything that isn't his, doesn't steal food, minimal barking etc. He's intelligent and learns things quickly.

If I could picture his perfect home it would be a rural home with no traffic, no livestock to chase, lots of squirrels, lots of dogs on walks but none in the house and lots of exercise. Ideally in a hot country... In reality he has an inner city home with me, but we get on alright! grin

It would be almost impossible to fully work out what's due to his breeding, what was due to his early lack of training and socialisation, and what's just him. I think a substantial amount of it is his breeding, but I have no doubt that he would cope better with life if he had been socialised properly as a youngster. I love him dearly, and wouldn't swap him for the world, but if I'm completely honest I probably won't get another JRT in future.

TropicPlunder Sat 20-Oct-18 06:25:53

Thanks all, some interesting things here. If I think about it, the charming JRTs I've met have been a bit free range, on a farm or similar, or living in a pack of other dogs. My existing dog also used to be free range but has settled pretty well in to a home environment. She's quite lurcher-like though: can run/swim/play relentlessly....but can also just mooch about or sleep all day (Pictured). I may have to up the exercise for a JRT to be a balanced individual grin.
To be fair I've never met an 'ankle biter' type, but I know they do have that reputation.
We have frolicked with some in the local park, so guess I could try go chat to the owners next time.

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Phillipa12 Sat 20-Oct-18 06:40:56

My sister has a young JRT, hes a twat! Slightly unfair i know. Hes lovely and much prefers my 3 year old than older children probably because they are on the same wave length. Hes well socialised, will do pretty much anything for a sausage apart from recall, thats still a work in progress, half the time i think he would rather stick his fingers up at you.....if he had fingers. He does have a thing for digging and shoes though!

Ameliarose16 Sat 20-Oct-18 06:57:25

I had one when I was a kid and he was horrible. So loud and hyper and yes he got walked enough. Really don't like them as a breed they're so yapppy

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boomboo Sat 20-Oct-18 06:57:31

We have JRT and he full on but a loyal, loving, hairy ball of energy. We have two DC; three and five months and live in a town.

He is wonderful and very kind with DC but is always supervised and we never let his kind nature be taken advantage of e.g pulling his ears etc.

Loves to chase everything but dosent know what to do when he does catch it. Our cat is not fussed or bothered by him .

Hates the postman with a passion and guards his little kingdom and family but soon settles down when I show him we are okay smile

No separation anxiety I am home most of the time though. He needs daily walks or he can become destructive with chewing.

Babyflower88 Sat 20-Oct-18 07:23:47

Hi ya I own a mini jack Russell and have had her from 6 weeks old not knowing this at the time she is now 5 years old and she had never been around a baby until 2 years ago as my other 2 children were 4 and 5 at the time I took her in but she was amazing with my little girl she would lay beside her swing chair and if she woke she would come look at me and run back and forth till I went and checked on her. My little girl has just turned 2 and they are unseperable my little girl kisses and hugs her accidentally sat on her lays her head on her and goes to sleep and my mini jack Russell has never growl or anything at any of my children she’s an amazing dog I wouldn’t change her people say they are not good round children but I would trust my dog around anyone’s kids it’s not the breed it’s how u raise them that makes them what they are I will 100% have another only u can decide hope this helps

NiceUnusualDifferent Sat 20-Oct-18 07:31:23

I have a 3 year old JRT, love him to bits but would never ever have another. Barks constantly and escapes & runs away at any opportunity.
Never ever sleeps all night and gets me up at anytime from 4am onwards 😩

TropicPlunder Sat 20-Oct-18 07:35:33

Cool. I'm particularly interested in how they are around kids, though of course other factors count (upbringing, individual traits etc).... but of course they have a bad rap for being snappy in general.
My current dog loves to dig, and is still chewing occasionally, so at least we're prepared for that!

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TropicPlunder Sat 20-Oct-18 07:37:12

Oh dear! Less cool, the barking and running away ..... Does he dig under fences etc? Or squeeze out?

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Babyflower88 Sat 20-Oct-18 07:44:08

Oh also my dog picked up commands very early she does not bark a lot and is fine off lead it’s how u bring them up they are sort of like kids so to speak my dog also is very cuddly it’s how u teach them ie; if u get a puppy and shut it out in garden u can expect it to mess every where if u let it in u need to train them and give them plenty exercise and chew toys u can raise a decent dog like it makes me so angry when people get animals and abuse them and expect them to be perfect well they like us if someone was hitting u or abusing u 24/7 eventually u will think I’m not having this and stick up for ur self and my dog is also amazing around other dogs and animals it’s not the animal that decides how it will be it’s the owner plus I rescue dogs myself and they just take a bit of teaching hope this helps u hun

Lucisky Sat 20-Oct-18 07:49:06

I loved our jrt. He was a real character.
The biggest thing I learnt about Jacks? They moult like mad (speaking about short haired ones). Ours died nearly two years ago and I still find the occasional hair. This may say more about my cleaning though.
He loved visitors and would sit next to them (if they were dog lovers) and cover them in hair. You would find it on every surface. The vacuum bag was always full of it. I would take him outside and brush him with a special brush - the hair never stopped coming out. Clumps of it would float around the garden.
I got the chopping board out the other day, and a jrt hair was on it. Where did that come from? I sometimes think he is visiting me from beyond the grave.
I now have a poodle. The fact she doesn't moult was a big part of my choice.

TropicPlunder Sat 20-Oct-18 07:49:31

I think the dogs temperament counts too. I took in a feral African village dog at about 5 minths of age....so she was street-socialised and also abused. Had to work through some issues with her and she's still a teenager. But you could not find a nicer natured dog. I've been careful to do things right, but I think I also hit the jackpot with her and consider myself lucky I came across a dog with her temperament smile

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househunthappening Sat 20-Oct-18 07:50:56

I LOVE Jack Russells! However I would say they can be a completely mixed bag, we've had 3 and they have all been quite different.

First was very sweet and docile, but liked her own space and wasn't really a people dog, didn't need loads of exercise but enjoyed a good run. Second, fun but a right handful, bigger than either of the others, needed loads of exercise and could be a bit snappy, escaped from everywhere. Third, we used to say she was part dog, part cat, part human. Would happily sleep on your lap all day if you let her, otherwise curled up by the Aga, again didn't need lots of exercise but enjoyed a run, sweet natured.

The first and third were bitches, the second was a dog so that probably had a good deal to do with it. He was also much bigger (his sisters were too, so not just because he was a boy) so I expect that contributed to the difference as well.

Word or warning, they malt like hell and the more you brush the more hair that seems to come out. For that reason we're going to go for a border terrier next time because I am just fed up of my carpets/sofas/clothes being covering in hairs. I hoover religiously but they just get everywhere and they 'hook' into stuff so even the pet Dyson won't lift them out. I've resorted to a stiff scrubbing brush and water to lift them but it takes forever. Borders don't malt and just need stripping once or twice a year, they are meant to be sweet tempered too, although I do feel like I'm betraying my beloved JRTs even considering it!

TropicPlunder Sat 20-Oct-18 07:53:23

Oh my goodness Lucisky!! I didn't realise. Sounds like my mum's Labrador.....I was living on another continent and would find Labrador fluff in my house hmm maybe I'll think about a wire haired!

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LittleBLUEsmurfHouse Sat 20-Oct-18 07:55:57

They definitely seem to be prone to reactivity, so need a careful upbringing (or if a rescue be prepared for reactivity to something).

My bro's is a 3legged rescue - she was severely dog reactive, but is now ok with calm dogs that just want a quick sniff and quite likes spaniels (I've got spaniels so used them in a lot of her reconditioning work).

She is very protective of him and barks like crazy anytime anyone visits. She is otherwise a very calm dog who likes nothing more than sleeping on someone's lap or in her humans bed.

She is very frightened of young children but we think that's down to something in her past (we think she must have been hurt by them and possibly beaten by an adult when a child cried - she hides and shakes the second a child cries within hearing distance)sad

NiceUnusualDifferent Sat 20-Oct-18 07:57:30

@tropic both! He digs, squeezes through any gap he can find or just makes a dash out of the doors when anyone comes in or out. He is, however brilliant off lead when out walking and has a great recall then.
He is brilliant with the kids though and I have 3 aged 7 and under

LittleBLUEsmurfHouse Sat 20-Oct-18 08:01:01

Oh and she can jump shockingly high (despite having only 3 legs).

She also doesn't cope well left alone for anything more than 30mins - 1 hour. That may be because bro is disabled and thus she doesn't get left often or again because of her rescue past.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sat 20-Oct-18 08:03:04

We have frolicked with some in the local park, so guess I could try go chat to the owners next time.

I frequently get comments in the park about what a nice / sweet / natured dog mine is - and he usually is in the park, and will often show some lovely enticing play behaviours. I nod and smile, usually because he's playing very nicely with the other owner's dog and if I rattled off all his issues they'd probably call their dog away in horror for fear that he'd rip their throat out at any moment.

If they told me they were thinking of getting a JRT I'd be rather more honest!

Re the ankle biting, we only get it if he feels overdue for a walk. Nothing that's going to hurt but it does wake you up when you're walking along the hallway and can feel terrier teeth on the back of your ankles! All behaviour is communication...

TropicPlunder Sat 20-Oct-18 08:03:45

A border terrier is second on my list!
We're just over the worst (I think) of some frustrated greeting on the lead from Tropic dog, so I guess we can work with reactivity if needs be.
Oh dear Nice! Mine could dig out of our place very easily, but she doesn't. She favours the centre of the lawn for digging. How did you keep him in?

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Soubriquet Sat 20-Oct-18 08:04:04

I had a rescue years ago and he was....special.

As in special needs bless him.

JRT’s are supposed to clever quick little dogs and he was the complete opposite. He didn’t house train. Never seemed to click. He had something wrong with his paws which meant if he walked on concrete too long, it caused sores and abrasions..so he used to ride around in a pushchair until we got to grass. He loved his buggy. Struggled to get him out of it grin

He was allergic to everything! Rice, chicken, beef...luckily, fish4dogs had been created and he was fine on that.!

He was a complete arse, but I loved him so much. He was pts in 2013 with dementia. Poor thing couldn’t find his water bowl. Would walk into walls and couldn’t understand why they were there. And once even sat in a corner with his head in the corner howling as he completely confused.

This was my Nero

Soubriquet Sat 20-Oct-18 08:05:32

Couple more photos

And yes he was an escape artist. But he was so dumb he couldn’t work out how to get back. And would sit there barking until I went to fetch him hmm

adaline Sat 20-Oct-18 08:07:08

There's a Jack Russel who lives next door to us.

He's very reactive - barks at everyone who walks past, barks at cars that pull up and barks at everything. It's really annoying.

But he also is quite aggressive unfortunately. He's gone for my beagle more than once but I think a lot of that is his owner rather than his temperament. He's rarely on a lead and just jumped at him and bit him - I wasn't impressed! But I realise that's his owners fault as he wasn't under control.

Unfortunately it's made ours very wary of small yappy terriers 

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