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 Dog for all Seasons
Member Name: aefra
Date: 29/06/02, updated on 29/06/02 (763 review reads)
Advantages: An all round companion, Responsive to training, Hardy
"Jack Russell Terriers!" you say. "Those snappy little things which bite bottoms on tv advertisements". I must admit that the dog on said advert does look pretty enthusiastic about the whole thing. But then they do have a sense of humour. In reality this is a dog for anyone with the ability to exercise them.
The Jack Russell Terrier is now recognised by the Kennel Club. Not something I believe necessarily bodes well for the breed. They have a standard requirement which is the Parson's Jack Russell with longer straighter legs.
Jody, pictured on my profile, is the traditionally thought of Jack Russell. Looking at the little white stocky dog with the deep chest, short legs and out-turned toes one would never guess that she tracks, searches for property and when younger jumped 2' 6" with ease when asked to. She also had a turn of speed which would knock the socks off anything less than a whippet. Looking carefully you will see that, in fact, many of these dogs are tri-coloured. That is black, brown and white. Jody has a little black on one ear and a tiny brown spot on a hind leg. Ben,Jody's late companion, was black and white, but again there was a tiny patch of brown. There is also the endearing characteristic of hopping occasionally as one hind leg lifts at the run.
This is a superb working dog who will spend a day tirelessly accompanying you on a ramble over hillsides, swimming strongly through deep water and retrieving anything you like to throw. Then she will happily become a cuddly lapdog snoring contentedly in your arms.
Above all things the Jack Russell Terrier is a loyal friend. Some of you will have seen the dog who has "Action Man" for his master on tv. This little dog wears a tightly fitting harness with a prominent handle on the top. He is to be seen climbing cliff faces beside his master (that's where the handle comes in handy at times) and then the two of t
hem diving off the rock face and into the sea below. The dog rides his master's surfboard and is strapped to his waist as he skydives. This must be one happy dog and owner. Yet this same make of dog will walk contentedly out with an elderly mistress and wait patiently tied to a post outside the village shop, or spend hours tolerantly playing with young children.
Jody, now in her 14th year,came as a puppy from a dogs' home on the Yorkshire moors. It seemed that she was not safe with chickens. This is the same animal who spends a good part of her day lying among hens and ducks, and obediently turning her head away from sheep. So careful to oblige in this respect is she that, while other horse owners at the stableyard can rely on their dogs to kill mice and rats, Jody just pretends she hasn't seen one run under her nose. This is a source of mirth, but I don't mind (while she has been taught not to chase I have her under control for her own safety). When we bring the horses in from pasture she follows proudly behind looking for all the world like a cattle dog.
Jody is not unique. Intelligent, bold and self-possessed, they nonetheless want to please and to be taught what you want from them. Once they have learned the basic good manners required of a companion, they will begin to think for themselves. This can be enchanting to watch as it develops.
When Missy my elderly rescue lhasa apso came to me she was bewildered and desperately unhappy. Jody wasn't that keen on the interloper and took little notice of Missy, apart from the odd tiny growl which she thought I couldn't hear, and the occasional raised lip which she hoped I couldn't see. A few weeks after Missy learned to walk out with us in the woods, she was still sadly wandering up to family groups and just silently looking up at them. She wouldn't have been aware that the people she had left and missed had treated her so badly. They were all
she had known. One day I walked ahead of her with Jody at heel. When I turned Missy was again standing dumbly before a group of people quietly and hopefully looking up. They were about 75 yards away by this time. When a young man picked her up, Jody left my side like white lightening. There was no growl or flash of teeth, just a small rocket running full tilt at him. This is the point. There could be no doubt that Jody was running *at* him. So intimidating was her resolve that he practically dropped Missy to the ground. Jody then rounded her up and brought her to me. This is what makes a superb working companion. Beyond the behaviour which has been taught for everyone's sake there is initiative when needed. Just as my German Shepherd dogs were pussy cats with all and sundry, I knew absolutely that they would give their lives to defend me. Jody, the Jack Russell, has that heart beneath the small chunky and playful exterior.
This is a terrier which needs exercise to relieve their natural energy. Other than this they are so easy to keep. If you want a dog as a pet to cuddle, as a hard working and obedient companion, or a friend to accompany you in your lorry, this is a breed for all seasons. Normally hardy, weatherproof, brave and good tempered, the Jack Russell takes some beating. Of course, there is always that sense of humour to be looked out for. They don't like being taken for granted!
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