We have owned and been breeding Jack Russell’s for a number of years. They are part of our family and get to enjoy the many benefits of being “spoilt” like taking over the couch. They have a large yard to run around in and although they are fenced in for their own protection (from dingoes) they do enjoy a ride on the bike or other farming fun times (chasing rats) as much as possible.
Many clients come back and tell us how wonderful their puppy is. The pups go all over Australia but some do go “local” and we are lucky to be able to watch them grow up and see them on many occasions.
The Jack Russell is an energetic breed, but most of all they love to do things with their family. From running round the back yard playing ball to sitting down watching TV, they are just happy to be with you. Our team are very good at helping in the garden, they jump in the wheelbarrow to go for a ride or just check out what you put in there. They chase your hand when you are weeding to see if it may be something for them rather than just weeds. Jack Russell’s do need some regular exercise but this can be throwing a ball in the yard, chasing round with the kids or going for a walk each day. They need very little grooming a good brush through their coat once a week is usually sufficient for the smooth hair and a bit more often for the rougher types. Trimming their nails on a regular basis is a good practice to continue.
They were originally bred for fox hunting and as ratters. They get their name from the Reverend John (Jack) Russell a founding member of England’s Kennel Club in 1873. Bred for following the horse all day and flushing out game for the hunter these instincts are still with the breed today, anything that moves is fair game, from insects to rats and they usually get their prey. Snakes are another creature high on their agenda to chase. We did lose 2 sisters to a snake a couple of years ago and it was just devastating but we cannot stop the snakes getting in the yard or our dogs going after them. A lot of times we do not see the snake just the aftermath of the dogs getting to them first. Also they will chase cane toads (oh what a game) so you need to supervise and know what they are chasing as cane toads can be very toxic. They are still used as hunting dogs in some places to keep vermin down and to sniff out snakes in cargo areas. Some are used as “pigging” dogs complete with their own armour and all and others are being taught like cattle dogs to work livestock.
The Jack Russell will let you know when something is happening but they are not yappy dogs barking at nothing all the time. Ours even howl to let us know the phone is ringing if we are not in the house and we have been alerted when there is threatening wildlife around including foxes, dingoes, goannas and snakes. They are very clever dogs and with patience can be trained well, although they can get easily distracted, persistence and repetition may work. They can do agility, sports, love the water and are usually good travellers. As you will have seen they are commonly used in commercials, movies and other shows, so there is no limit to what they can do, only your imagination in training them, most of all they are very entertaining and a great friend to have, we also have it on good authority they can reduce your blood pressure.