Archive for April 23rd, 2012

Jack Russell Terrier - A Hunting Dog

The Jack Russell Terrier was developed to meet a formidable opponent below ground, the red fox (although JRTs also hunt other quarry). He was blended from now extinct strains of white-bodied terriers in Great Britain. With a dash of this working breed and a dash of that one, a hearty, healthy, keen, earthworking dog was shaped to the job of hunting.
The Latin word terra means earth, and that is the origin of the word “terrier”—earth dog. First and foremost, the Jack Russell Terrier is a hunting dog who works below ground. The dog’s job is to keep the fox in check while the handler digs to both the fox and the dog. The dog has to possess a good voice to
address the quarry below ground when located, to help keep the prey at bay, and to help the handler locate the dog by sound.
Everything about the dog reflects his job as hunter. It is said about the Jack Russell Terrier that where the fox can go, so must the terrier. This terrier’s structure is modeled after that of the vixen (female fox). Like the fox, the Jack Russell must be well angulated and possess a small, compressible chest that enables him to maneuver in narrow earthen tunnels, often deeply below ground. The predominantly white coat is to help distinguish the dog from the fox when the hunter digs to where the dog holds his quarry at bay.
The intense character is all part of the hunting package, as well. Without a doubt, the Jack Russell is a courageous companion with the grit to hunt. The intelligence of the dog adds to the package, because the dog must independently solve problems below ground and hold himself back from taking on the quarry;
a dog too eager to do battle below ground is apt to be lost.
The breed was not meant to harm the quarry he encounters. Still, Jack Russell Terriers do have different styles of work. Some are “hard” and engage their quarry with intent to inflict harm, while and some are “soft” and bay at or dislodge their quarry with their intense presence. All JRTs, however, should have the attitude,
grit, and tenacity to confront larger and more formidable animals below ground. A very intelligent and cooperative Jack Russell may sometimes be called out of the den by the handler, but don’t count on it!
The courage of the Jack Russell Terrier must be understood and accepted, whether you hunt with your dog or not. The dog’s behavior may be described as total abandon. The instincts of the dog may make him act with single-mindedness in both work and play. You must be prepared to protect the dog from himself and always expect the unexpected.

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