Newest Review: ... as great fun. The lady who ran the classes was initially dismissive of Milo because he was a Jack Russell. She actually said he would nev... more
A Friend for Life, not just for Christmas.
Member Name: Ladyboosh
Advantages: A joyful, energetic, loyal breed of dog.
My daughter Shauna has always wanted a dog. I always said no. We had various dogs during my childhood but I had never formed a close bond with any of them. Eventually, with my daughter's 16th birthday coming up, my husband and I decided to surprise her with a puppy. We reasoned that she would be old enough to do her share of the dirty work, like picking up the poop! After a lot of research we decided on a Jack Russell because they are small and, being short-haired, would not aggravate my husbands asthma too much. At the time my daughter had three rabbits living in hutches in the garden and people told us we were mad to get a terrier because it would want to eat the bunnies! When we arrived at the farm we were shown to a stable block. In it were a doberman puppy and right at the back, the smallest, cutest puppy I had ever seen. Milo was the only boy from a litter of seven pups and because he was on his own they had put him in with the doberman. As soon as I stepped over the gate he came running up and immediately undid my shoelace with his teeth, then he rolled over onto his back and showed me his little pink tummy to tickle. I was smitten. We met his mum, a sweet, gentle lady and decided this one for us. As the breeder handed him over to me he said "This one will be trouble. He gets into and out of everything"!
On the car journey home Milo sat on my lap and looked into my eyes the whole way trying to figure me out. The expression on my daughters' face when I bought him into the house was something I will never forget. We had read all the books and taken advice from the pet store and had invested in a crate for him to sleep in and scented puppy pads for toilet training. We had even bought a cushion which you warm in the microwave for him to cuddle as it was winter. Milo refused point blank to go into the crate, preferring a bed in the kitchen and the toilet training took about two week in all, he just got it straight away and to this day he has never had an accident in the house. After being introduced to the rabbits and having a sniff through the bars he took no further notice of them, although we never took any risks with them just in case his terrier instincts took over!
At 10 weeks, once he had been fully vaccinated, we enroled Milo into puppy classes. My daughter and I went together and it was really useful, as well as great fun. The lady who ran the classes was initially dismissive of Milo because he was a Jack Russell. She actually said he would never learn the tricks because he would be too willful. However, she didn't count on his love for the bits of hot dog sausage that we used as treats. He was the first to master all the tricks and commands, apart from the 'lie down', which he refused to do until the final class, when he astounded the teacher and all the other dog owners by lying down on command and looking around smugly as if to say "I could do it all along, I just chose not to".
Now, if you are looking to get a dog but you are a bit of a couch potato, get a labrador or a bulldog, not a Jack Russell. His energy levels are through the roof and he always gets at least two 45 minute sessions of exercise every day. We are lucky to live next to a park, so he can indulge in his favourite pastime of chasing after a tennis ball on a regular basis, but he will walk for hours and he is a strong swimmer with a great love of water. The first time we let him off the lead he made a beeline for the canal and launched himself off the bank into the freezing water, only to run up the bank and do it all again! He has lost hundreds of tennis balls in the canal, and if he doesn't have a ball he will happily waste time diving for rocks and bringing them to me as if they were gemstones. He is really well behaved off the lead but occasionally he will get the scent of something and he is off. He once disappeared into a clump of trees and while I stood calling him a small deer came charging out of the clearing, closely followed by Milo who was grinning from ear to ear as if to say "look what I found"! Luckily the deer was a much faster runner than Milo and sped away but it was so funny.
All the local dog walkers know Milo by name, he has been well socialised with lots of different dogs and gets on well with most of them, especially the big dogs who play rough. He loves to be chased and wrestle but if a dog tries to take his ball he comes over all Ray Winston and gets an attitude. Some people are wary when he is playing because, like all terriers, he is very vocal and makes lots of tribal noise, but he has never shown any aggression towards anything or anyone. Jack Russells do need a firm pack leader or they will bully you. They need strong leadership and a lot of love but boy, do they give it back in spades. Just one look at Milos' big brown eyes melts my heart. I can honestly say that I never thought I could love a dog as much as I love him, he is indeed a member of the family and four years on, we wouldn't be without him.
Summary: If you want a dog who will stay eternally young you can't go wrong with a Jack Russell.