Winnie is a Jack Russell Terrier mix from Delaware, Ohio and a graduate of the Homestead Dogs 2-week Basic Dog Obedience Training Camp. Way to go, Winnie!
Jack Russell Terrier
Will the real Jack Russell please stand?
Officially, the Jack Russell Terrier is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. They wanted to, but were stopped by the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA) that petitioned to maintain the exclusion and preserve the dog’s working skills and heritage.
When a dog breed is listed by AKC, they develop physical characteristics to maintain stringent breed consistency. This is desireable for most breeds, but the Jack Russell Terrier is unique.
Jack Russell’s were originally bred to hunt fox (they were even referred to simultaneously as Fox Terriers). To out-fox a fox, the original breeders worked to enhance the breed’s intelligence and stamina. As they got smarter, handlers found other jobs they could be trained to do and would themselves breed in characteristics to perform the new duties for their individual environments.
What resulted was a highly intelligent, high octane dog that could vary as much as 150% in size, be a kaleidoscope of colors with an equal variety of personalities. When the AKC inquired about listing the breed, JRTCA then stepped in fearing the breed would lose it’s hunting instinct and other skills that were so respected. The AKC agreed, but 20 years later, another attempt was made to list the breed. The AKC developed guidelines, but for a new descendent of the Jack Russells called the Parson Russell Terrier. Another descendent later became simply the Russell Terrier, and is also listed on AKC.
This may be more of a grade for the trainer than the trainee. Jack Russells are highly intelligent, but the trainer needs some experience in dog training and handling skills to be successful…and a little patience. Once they get it, though, Jack Russells will want to do it all day and with you. They’ve been known to be trained a skill only to later figure out a different, and better, way to perform it.
Jack Russells are very high energy, to the point of being referred to as hyperactive, and need an outlet. This can be challenging in a suburban or city environment. Leaving them in a fenced-in back yard is not suggested. They’re designed to out-smart foxes, so a cute picket fence really doesn’t stand a chance.
You can read more about Jack Russell Terriers at the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America.
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