Archive for the “Choosing Your Jack Russell Terrier” Category

Choosing Your JRT.

Where Not To Get A Jack Russell Terrier

Backyard breeders and pet shops are not the best places from which to get a dog, nor is someone breeding a litter so their children can see “the miracle of birth.” These folks are not the best guardians of the breed.

Backyard Breeders

Backyard breeders are those who have bred their dogs but do not have the knowledge (or desire, or energy, or finances) to do what is necessary to produce the best dogs possible. This could be someone who has a female Jack Russell Terrier and wants puppies, and so breeds the female to a friend’s male down the street. No health checks were done, no studies of genetics or background checks were done, and in many instances the dogs may not have been registered, either. A backyard breeder may also be someone who hasn’t spayed the female and then doesn’t keep her safe when she comes into season and is bred by a wandering male. The puppies may or may not be purebred; the male (or males) may not even be known.
Most such people are not breeding for the future health and soundness of the breed. They have not looked over pedigrees and studied what stud dog would improve the qualities of their bitch and have not done all the appropriate homework and preparation for a litter of puppies. They likely have not had the bitch tested or even registered. Most such breeding’s are due to any convenient stud dog.

Why Not Buy from a Pet Store?

The only advantage to buying a JRT from a pet store is that you can have a puppy the day you walk in. There are many disadvantages. A pet store does not sell adults or rehome abandoned dogs. Many times the pups are taken from their dam and littermates way too early for their well-being.
Pet shops frequently buy their puppies from commercial breeding facilities (sometimes known as puppy mills) where there is little thought or care for the well-being of the puppy. Jack Russells in puppy mills are generally not registered with the JRTCA and there may be no way of verifying their pedigree—if, indeed, a pedigree is offered. Most puppy mill dogs come without pedigrees.
You’ll also pay a lot more than you would from a breeder, you won’t be able to see where or how the dog was raised, you’re unable to meet the dog’s relatives to see if they are the kinds of dogs you would want to have, and you won’t know the dog’s health history. Pet store employees won’t be able to show you how to groom your dog and won’t be able to answer any questions you have as the years go by. And if you have to rehome the dog, a pet store will never take her back. A reputable breeder will.
Pet shops are selling Jack Russell Terriers strictly to make a profit. Dogs bred only for dollars are the worst possible choice.

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Jack Russell Terrier Rescue

Instead of a puppy, you might want to consider a recycled Jack Russell Terrier. Perfectly wonderful dogs sometimes have to find new homes. It is not any fault of the dog. Humans get ill or move where they cannot keep a pet. People get divorced and can no longer care for a pet.
Dogs who need homes are most often adults. They are spayed or neutered and housetrained. Russell Rescue Inc., the rescue organization associated with the JRTCA, screens all dogs and is very careful not to place any dogs with known behavior problems or serious health issues. Rescue also screens the homes these dogs go to. All adoptions are by application.
Often rescue dogs go to foster homes before they are adopted, so the foster family learns a great deal about the dog in their care. You might enjoy being a foster home and eventually adopting a dog in your care. Rescues need foster homes as much as they need funds to carry out the work of rescue. All foster homes need containment for a dog and an understanding of the needs of the breed.
Some shelters and humane societies keep a list of people who apply to adopt a specific breed. Please know that Jack Russell’s do not fare well in shelters. Being in such unfamiliar surroundings and under such stress can make a Jack Russell behave uncharacteristically shy or aggressive toward the other dogs in holding runs. This makes JRTs tough to adopt out. Some shelters will not take Jack Russell’s because of their distress at being sheltered. They often are completely undone and fall apart in such circumstances. But that same unhappy dog in the shelter may be a happy dog if she is played with outside for an interview.
Dogs with a second chance for a home make wonderful, loving pets. Many rescued dogs seem to understand their good fortune and express great gratitude and affection to those who have chosen them. A rescued dog can give you boundless love, and you can do a dog a great service by giving her a second chance at life in a permanent home. The love you give and the love you will get back from a rescue dog is very satisfying. It is a win-win situation for both of you.

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Jack Russell Terrier

If at all possible, arrange to visit the breeder’s kennel. You will better know the relationship the breeder has with their dogs if you visit. You will get to see firsthand how the dogs are kept and cared for. You want dogs who are well kept in clean conditions and looked after by loving keepers. If you can visit the litter, ask also to meet the dam and the stud dog if he is on the premises. Meet as many dogs in the puppy’s pedigree as you can while visiting. Reputable breeders will be proud of their dogs and happy you want to meet the other dogs.
You will want a puppy who has been raised in the breeder’s home, with lots of activity and contact with people and the normal sounds of a home. A Jack Russell Terrier puppy who has been introduced to gentle children is more apt to love children and more inclined to be more patient with them.
When you visit, here are some questions to ask the breeder and points to consider:
– The breeder’s house and surrounding area should be well kept up and clean.
– There should be no doggy smell when you enter the house.
– Ask if it is possible to meet all the dogs. The dogs should be friendly enough to happily receive visitors.
– Do the dogs have the run of the house? If not, can you actually visit the rooms they live in? This will tell you a lot about the environment in which they are raised.
– Are all the dogs happy and sociable?
– Are the dogs well groomed?
– Have the sire and the dam of the litter had health checks for genetic disease?
– Does the breeder BAER and CERF test his breeding stock? The BAER test scientifically proves the dog can hear, and the CERF test is to make sure the dog’s eyes are in good health and clear. The BAER test need only be one time in the dog’s life. The CERF test should be done yearly on dogs used for breeding.
– Does the breeder have a purchase contract?
– What kind of health guarantee comes with a JRT puppy?
– Are the breeder’s adult dogs registered with the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America?
A serious breeder will probably interview you as carefully as you are checking out a possible puppy prospect. Good breeders want their dogs to have good permanent homes. They will have a contract that protects their dog and also protects you. Make sure the breeder is willing to answer any questions about your new puppy when the purchase has been made. Ask if there are any genetic problems that the breeder has seen in their litters. Find out if the breeder will be helpful if for any reason in the future you cannot keep your dog. Beware of any breeder who does not care deeply about the fate of a dog they have bred.

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Now that you have researched the breed and feel sure you have the time and energy for a JRT, it’s time to find a reputable breeder. Buying a dog from a serious breeder is the best way to get a dog somebody has cared enough to breed to be the best they possibly can. A reputable breeder will take great care to bring puppies into the world who are healthy and well cared for from the beginning. A reputable breeder is more apt to aim to breed dogs without known defects.

JRTCA Breeders

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTA) has one of the most unique registries in the world. It was set up by founder Alisia Crawford in 1976 specifically to protect the working terrier from genetic faults and structural characteristics that would be detrimental to the breed’s working ability and mental and physical health.
Unlike other registries, such as the American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club, which register entire litters at birth, each application for registration for a Jack Russell Terrier is considered on the merits of each individual dog when she is 1 year old. That means just because a dog comes from registered parents does not mean she will be registered. A dog at 1 year must be examined by a veterinarian, and the doctor must note any obvious defects on a form submitted with the registration application.
Inbreeding is highly discouraged. Father to daughter, mother to son, and brother to sister matings are strictly prohibited, because inbreeding and line breeding can lead to increased risk of serious heritable diseases and traits. These defects would be detrimental to the future health of the working JRT.
A breeder who is a signatory of the JRTCA’s Code of Ethics has contracted to uphold the club’s high standards of conduct. Everything in the Code of Ethics is there to protect the dog and the well-being of the breed. All breeding stock must be registered and kept under clean and sanitary conditions. The puppies are required to be with their littermates and dam until they are at least 8 weeks old.
A reputable breeder, who is a caring guardian of the future and soundness of the breed, will be more apt to produce sound, healthy puppies. By selecting a soundly bred dog, you can better be protected from the later heartache of discovering your dog has serious health problems that could have been prevented by careful and thoughtful breeding.
How do you find a reputable breeder? The first step is to get in touch with as many breeders as possible in your area and arrange a visit for the whole family. If you have friends or neighbors who have healthy, well-behaved JRTs, you might want to ask them who the breeder was. You can also attend JRTCA events to meet Jack Russell breeders.

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