Choosing Jack Russell Puppies

If you decide to buy a Jack Russell puppy, it helps to know the breed standard to confirm whether or not the puppy you are interested in is healthy and happy. The following are features you should look for when purchasing Jack Russell Puppies.

Head – The head of a Jack Russell should be broad and flat, well balanced and proportioned to suit the body. The skull should narrow towards the eyes and be a reasonable width at the ears.

Ears – The ears are small and should be positioned forward close to the head. They resemble a V shape and are relatively thick. The skin inside the ears should be light pink and clean. The dog shouldn’t scratch his ears or shake his head frequently. This is a sign of infection.

Eyes – The eyes of Jack Russell puppies are almond shaped, dark, and have a look of intelligence and alertness. The eyes should be bright and clear and shouldn’t have any signs of mucus or appear watery. The eyelashes should not rub the eyeball, nor should the whites of the dog’s eyes be yellow.

Nose – Jack Russell’s have black noses. A good indication of a healthy dog is a cool, moist noise. There should be no thick, yellowish discharge coming from the nose.

Mouth – Jacks have strong muscular jaws and cheeks. They have strong, white teeth that form into a perfect scissor bite, with the top teeth slightly extending over the bottom. Keep in mind that Jack Russell puppies have fewer teeth then adults. Puppies have 23 teeth which they will gradually lose as their 42 permanent adult teeth come in.

Check to make sure that the puppy’s gums are healthy and that his breath is not foul smelling.

Body – Jack’s have shallow and narrow bodies. They have straight, strong backs, providing the Jack Russell with a balanced image. The loin is arched slightly.

Tail – Jack Russell’s carry their tails high and proud, and tails are usually about 4 inches in length.

Legs – The forelegs should be strong and straight in perfect alignment. The hind legs are muscular and strong and have good angulations and slightly bent stifles. When looking at them from behind, their hocks should be straight.

Feet – Jack Russell puppies have round, padded wide paws that do not turn outwards or inwards.

Gait – Jack Russell’s should easily move and appear lively when they walk. The legs should be well coordinated and the walk should be straight. Make sure when you select your puppy that you see his gait. This will help you see if he is favoring a leg, foot or any other problems associated with his overall balance.

Coat – The Jack Russell comes in three coat varieties: Smooth, Broken or Rough. Each provides the dog with a different look and requires different grooming. For the most part the coat provides Jack’s with protection from the elements. However, if you are interested in a rough or broken coated Jack, his coat shouldn’t appear wooly.

Color – White should be the dominant color of Jack Russell puppies, but the coat will likely also have black, brown or tan markings, particularly in the head region. Any other colorings are unacceptable in the breed if you intend on showing the dog.

Skin – The skin of a healthy Jack Russell should be smooth and have no growths, scabs, flakes or redness. If the puppy has spotted skin do not be alarmed, this is common in many dogs and is nothing to worry about.

Any reputable breeder will ensure that the Jack Russell puppies they are selling meet all of the above standards. You shouldn’t settle for anything less then the best. A puppy that isn’t healthy means plenty of vet bills, and heartache if he needs to be put down due to his illness.

Jack Russell Training – Are You Up For the Challenge?

Becoming a Jack Russell owner means you are prepared to enroll both him and yourself into a proper training program. While every dog should be enrolled in obedience classes, this goes double for Jack Russell Terriers.

Jack Russell Obedience Training

Of all the different Jack Russell training techniques you could teach your dog, obedience training is the most important. You’re in for plenty of trouble if you don’t take command and allow your Jack Russell to walk all over you.

Your Jack needs to know his place in your “pack”. He must see you as the pack leader or he will be impossible to control.

The following are some great obedience Jack Russell training tips:

Teach him young – You need to show your Jack Russell who is boss from the very moment you get him. The longer you wait to train your dog, the more difficult he will be to control. For instance, it isn’t fair to let a puppy get away with things like tugging on the leash, and then reprimand him for it when he gets older. He won’t understand what he’s doing wrong.

Be the master – Jack Russell training is about showing your dog where he stands in your family “pack”. You can help teach him you are the master by:

  • Walking through doors before him
  • Eating first before giving him his food
  • Being firm and consistent with your training and discipline

Respect their Intelligence – Jack Russell’s are an intelligent breed, and their cleverness should be respected. Provide them with challenges they’ll enjoy, and won’t become bored with.

Take advantage of their energy – Jacks are balls of energy, which can help make Jack Russell training more effective and fun for both of you. How? Think about it, you need to make your Jack want to do what you want him to do. Just like a child, you shouldn’t expect an enthusiastic response unless it is something fun and interesting to do. If you can’t keep your pup’s attention, you are only wasting your time and his.

Give them your time and attention – Obedience training requires plenty of your time and energy, but it’s the only way you will show your Jack you mean business as you enjoy spending time with him. Plus, the more time you spend with your dog, the more you will pick up on his habits and deter bad ones from growing.

Short attention span – Don’t forget that a Jack Russell puppy’s attention span last only seconds. Therefore, you need to make sure in the beginning that training isn’t only consistent but also shorter. Have 5 – 10 minute training sessions with your dog, and then play with him. As your Jack becomes older, his attention span will improve, and you will be able to have longer training sessions of up to 30 minutes.

Overall Jack Russell Training Tips

House breaking – House breaking (training the dog to do his business outside) should begin the first day you introduce your puppy into his new home.

Puppy kindergarten – This is beginner training for your Jack. Think of it as a warm up before real obedience training. In puppy kindergarten, your Jack will learn basic training skills in a relaxed and less rigid environment that won’t demand too much of his attention.

Obedience class – Your Jack should be enrolled in an obedience class as soon as he reaches the required age (usually between 4 and 6 months). Check the requirements of your local dog obedience school.

Be consistent with your training – Don’t change the method in which you give commands to your dog, because you will only confuse him and he won’t understand. For example, don’t change the words you use when giving a command. Avoid statements like “come here” and use only one word commands such as “come” to make it easier for your dog to learn. Moreover, make sure everyone in the family uses the same consistency your Jack as learned.

Be Firm When Discipling – When you discipline your Jack, be firm but gentle. Let him know you won’t tolerate his misbehavior, and continue to teach him until he gets it right. It’s in the Jack’s nature to try your patients and outwit you. Stand your ground, and the Jack will know who’s boss. Note: Never hit your dog when disciplining!

Praise, Praise, Praise! – Give your Jack praise every time he performs a command correctly.

Jack Russell Terrier that is properly trained is confident and HAPPY! If you want a dog that is loving, loyal and sociable he needs to be trained. Training is the only guide your dog has to life. It isn’t cruel, as some people believe; it’s what the dog needs in order to develop healthy characteristics that make him a credit to his breed.