Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Helping your JRT Cope with Stress

As you recall, in our last article we looked at the more common stress triggers for your JRT.  We are all guilty of them, whether we want to admit it or not.  Admitting the guilt, but not doing anything to alleviate your JRT's discomfort, now that is another thing all together.

Your JRT relies and depends on you to provide for them, in their physical and mental health.  To not do so, is not being the best companion to your JRT that you can be.

Dog, White, Jack Russel, Animal Portrait, Head, Snout

Keep in mind, that a certain amount of stress in your JRT's life is pretty much a given, just as it is for us humans.  It is when the amount of good stress is outweighed by the amount of bad stress that problems come about.  Problems that can cause long term damage.

So, lets look at some methods to help relieve both stress, and anxiety, for your JRT.

The first thing to remember, is do NOT punish or yell at your JRT for expressing that they are stressed.  This may occur by means of howling, barking, pacing, or just generally acting out in ways that are not their norm.  When this is happening, do not yell or raise your voice to your JRT.  Do not crate them, or isolate them by themselves.  All this will achieve will be to ramp up their stress levels, and making an already bad situation even worse.

Dog, By His, Jack Russel, Terrier, Animal

As with young children, the power of touch can not be overrated when it comes to your JRT.  Every creature on the planet, at one time or another, has experienced touch.  It is ingrained in many life forms as a form of comfort, and protection.  The same is with your JRT.  When your companion is stressed, gently rub or massage them.  This will help to lower their stress levels, while at the same time maybe lowering yours as well.

Dog, Jack Russell, Smile, Man, Pet, Domestic Animal

Desensitization is another proven way to help your JRT with specifically stressful situations.  Once example would be a JRT that has a stress filled fear of thunderstorms.  Desensitization can be achieved over time, and in small sessions.  One might use a machine that reproduces thunder, on a very low volume, at short intervals.  Increasing the intervals, and then the volume, will help your JRT realize that the real thunder will not harm them, and in time will pass.

Jack Russel, Doggy, Dog, Animal, Pet, Dogs, Animals

Another means of relieving your JRT's stress would be making sure they get plenty of exercise.  A good long walk, a playful game of tug o'war, or even a romp in the park are all great methods of releasing pent up energy, and stress.  When a JRT releases pent up energy, they release endorphins, which are hormones that have a calming effect, and in turn helps to relieve stress.  Win-win situation.

Jack Russell, Dog, Terrier

Helping your JRT get back into a familiar "zone" can do wonders in helping them relieve their stress.   If there was a particular activity that your JRT loved, or maybe a favorite toy, then encourage your JRT to engage in that activity, or play with that toy.  If your JRT takes great joy in a game of fetch with you, then play a game of fetch.  Engage your JRT's mind in an activity they are fond of, so that the feelings of stress are no longer on their mind.

Jack Russell, Dog, Terrier, Play, Bite, Race, Animal

Some JRT's will use the method of self soothing.  When they are feeling stress or anxiety, they may choose to lick a paw, or chew on a favorite toy.  This simple action can help them to calm their own nerves, and focus their attention on an activity, and away from their stress or a stressful situation.

Dog, Doggy, Race Radio, Animals, Pet, Dogs

Also to be considered are the "Five Freedoms" created by the Brambell Commission in 1965.  These "freedoms" include the following:

1.  Ensure your JRT is free from hunger, thirst and malnutrition.

These three are pretty self explanatory.  Make sure your JRT has plenty of fresh, clean water at all times.  Also, make sure you provide your JRT with a regular, well balance, nutritious meals.  Meals that are suitable and meets their dietary needs.  Something as simple as not providing the suitable type of food for your JRT can cause their system distress, which in turn can cause undue stress and anxiety.

2.  Ensure your JRT is free from discomfort.

When the term discomfort is used here it encompasses many things.  Make sure your JRT is not too hot nor too cold.  Make sure they have a dry place to sleep.  Your JRT also needs a place that is quiet, and undisturbed, so that they may feel safe and comfortable enough to get adequate rest.  And, do not isolate your JRT for extended periods of time.  Dogs are social creatures, and they need the frequent interaction with their humans, as well as others of their kind.

3. Ensure your JRT is free from pain, injury and disease.

This step included making sure that your JRT is adequately vaccinated, to protect them against all possible types of diseases.  Also, regular check ups with your veterinarian, as well as weekly body checks for anything unusual at home are included in this freedom.  Being free from pain goes hand in hand with being free from discomfort.  So keep that in mind.  JRT's are hardwired by nature to not show pain or weakness, so often times they may be experiencing pain or discomfort and trying not to show it.  Be aware of any changes in your JRT's normal routine, actions, and overall appearance.

4.  Ensure your JRT is free to express normal behaviors.

Keep in my that your JRT is a dog, and that as a dog there are certain behaviors that, although me way think otherwise of, they see as natural.  Top of the list here is "butt sniffing".  I know that it may seem like a trivial action to us, but for your JRT it is common place.  Your JRT needs to be able to interact with others of its kind...other dogs.  You are their favorite individual, but the interaction with other dogs is need for them to have a normal psyche, and to help keep stress down in their lives.  When a JRT is not allowed to interact with other dogs, then when they do meet a stranger, their stress is amped up and this is not of benefit to them.  So, proper socialization is key in this freedom.

5.  Ensure your JRT is free from fear and distress.

This is one of the more crucial freedoms, and for some reason the hardest for some owners to understand.  Although I am a believer that no owner would intentionally harm or cause their JRT undue fear, there are times when that very thing happens.  No properly socializing your JRT causes stress.  No providing them with proper and frequent play time and exercise causes stress.  And getting mad when they do not understand what you are telling them to do or not do causes them stress.  We, as owners, can cause our JRT's more stress than most any other situation out there.  That is why we need to be aware of our actions, not just that of our companion.

These are just a few methods to aid in helping to relieve your JRT of unwanted stress.  Keep in mind, not all JRT's react the same way, to the same situation.  What works for one, may not work for another, or may even make the situation worse.  Try several methods until you find the one that works best for you and your JRT.

Doggy, Sea, Pet, Water, Jack Russel, Beach, Fun, Nice

Above all, keep in mind that it is a process.  A journey to healing that you and your JRT are taking together.  Patience is the key word in this journey.  Always be calm, comforting, and reassuring, and your JRT will pick up on your moods, and in turn will lower their stress levels immensely.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Possible Stress Triggers for your JRT

The definition of stress is "the response of an organism to a demand placed upon it to change or adapt."
As any owner knows, JRT's are vibrant, energetic, bundles of fur. But, they are also hyper-sensitive to the world around them. Because of this sensitivity, they may not interpret what we say, or our body language, the way we do. What you see as meaning one thing, your JRT may see as meaning another, or be totally confused about to begin with. It is because of this chasm between our world, and the animal kingdom, that things we do and take for granted as being proper, a JRT may see as something that totally stresses them out.
Jack Russell Terriers
But, you ask, what are some of the situations or actions that I may be doing that are stressing my JRT out? I am glad you asked. Lets take a look at the most common ones.
1. Lets face it, dogs were created to be outside, and partaking in plenty of exercise. They are hardwired for this, and when they do not get all the exercise they require, and all that energy is pent up, they will become stressed. And when a JRT gets stressed, they need to take that frustration out on something....anything. So, they may begin to turn to destructive behaviors such as digging, chewing, or even shredding items around the house. One of my girls went through a phase that nothing in the way of a paper was safe. I thought at one time that I would have to change her name to Shredder, because that was what she was constantly doing. But, after being able to let her outside more, and taking her on frequent walks, that behavior began to ebb away. Now, when she starts to shred paper, I know that she is stressing over pent up energy, and I make sure she gets her outside time.
This almost looks like my boy!  And esp with the shredding Kleenex!:
2. Remember, your JRT is a DOG. It is not a small human child, and it is not naturally going to act the way that you think it should. All JRT's are made to sniff, bark, run, chew, hunt, roll in dirt, shed their fur, and yes...smell. They are dogs. It is what they do. So, do not get upset when you put human constraints on them, and then they do not own up to them. Yes, you can train your JRT to certain commands, and actions, but keep in mind that no matter what they learn...they are DOGS. Your trying to change your JRT's very nature will do nothing but stress both you and them out. And, when you are stressed, your JRT picks up on it, and that heightens their stress levels even more.
Happy Jack:
3. When you sets rules for your JRT, stick to them. Do not be inconsistent, and one day allow them on the future, and the next day get upset when they jump up on the couch next to you. They only know and understand what you tell them and train them to do and not to do. By not being consistent, you are only confusing your JRT, and adding more stress to them. Not to mention the mental stress involved as well.
Audrey Hepburn with her Jack Russell terriers, 1987:
4. I admit it, I have done it. We have all done it at one time or another...had a staring contest with our JRT. But what I, and probably others didn't know, is that it can cause your JRT to become very uncomfortable, and stressed. In the canine world, staring is a form of challenge. For instance, have you ever noticed when you took your JRT for a walk, and they see another dog or a rabbit. They will stop, become completely still and stiff, and stare at the other animal. My oldest girl does this, and after a few moments, she will start to shake. This is a sign of stress, and irritation, and also a form of challenge. Although, with your own JRT, it may not be quite as stressing to have a staring contest with them, but when they meet others, ask them to refrain from extended eye contact with your JRT. This will help your companions stress level immensely, and will help them to more easily accept their new acquaintance.
The Jack Russell Stare. They will keep staring at you until you figure out what they want. so true!:
5. No JRT is perfect, and from time to time they will need to be reminded of what they can and can not do. The form or means of punishment you chose to use can play a large part in your JRT's overall stress level. There is nothing that your JRT could do that would warrant hitting, kicking, or beating them. This is not a form of punishment, it is a form of cruelty. If your JRT does something that displeases you, the very act of making this displeasure known will not be lost on your JRT. After all, they are pack animals, and they take guidance from, and want to please their alpha...YOU

Jack Russell Terrier:
6. Some experts claim that hugging your JRT can ramp up their stress and anxiety levels. Although, with my own girls, I do not believe this to be true, with some JRT's it might be a fact. I have known other JRT owners who have commented "don't pick her up, she doesn't like that". When hugging your JRT, observe their body language. Are more whites of their eyes showing? Are they turning their head from you? Are they drawing their ears backward, against their head? If so, then they very well may be stressed by the whole hugging process. Hugging may be something that your JRT will have to be gradually introduced to. We, as humans, shower our love on our JRT companions by various means, hugging being one. But, in the canine world, hugging is not a gesture they use, and in some cases, interpret if for what it is. They only know that is makes them uncomfortable, anxious and stressed.
vintage photo Little Girl w 2 Jack Russell Terrier by maclancy, $7.50:
7. You are taking your JRT to the vet. You get out of the car, and open the door to the vets office. Your JRT tenses, wiggles around in the arms, and tries to escape. You try to comfort your JRT by saying "its okay". Those two little words, in and of themselves, will become cue words that will ramp up your JRT's stress. We, as humans, tell each other "its okay" in scary situations. But, using those same two words to try to comfort your companion will only condition them for the stress to begin, or intensify. JRT's learn through repetition. So, if every time you go to the vets office, and your JRT starts acting nervous or anxious, and you say "it's okay", your JRT will see that as it is not okay, adding to their overall stress of the situation.
Uhhhh, oh, hello there...Okay, okay, I admit it...There was no monster in the bed. Nope, you're safe, really; it was just me tunneling around under the covers the whole time. Heh! I had you pretty scared though, right?:
These are some of the most common triggers for stress in your JRT. There may be others, that are specific to your companion, but these are the more commone triggers. In the next article, we will look at methods to help your JRT deal with and reduce their stress levels.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Helping Your JRT Beat the Heat

It is officially the summer season!  Which means the temperatures across most of the nation will go up, up, up.  And with them the instances of JRT's succumbing to the heat.

JRT's are just as susceptible, if not more, to heat related ailments than most canines. Their hyper personalities, and constant need to run, jump, and play puts them at risk for heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat stress...the most common summer ailments for JRT's.

16 Reasons Jack Russells Are Not The Friendly Dogs Everyone Says They Are:

Lets take a look at these ailments, and ways to prevent your JRT from becoming their next victim.

Because JRT's do not perspire in the same manner as we humans, they can not move the heat off their body as fast, or as efficiently as we do.  Their method of perspiring is through panting, and minimally through the pads of their feet.  This less efficient manner can lead to heat related complications in a very short time.

(happy jack):

If your JRT is spending time out in the heat, there are a few things to keep in mind.  The first and foremost are the signs and symptoms of the heat affecting them.

For heat stress, the most common signs are:
Profuse panting
An anxious expression
Staring without seeing
Failing to respond to commands
Skin that is warm and dry
Rapid pulse
Fatigue or exhaustion
Muscular weakness
Physical collapse

For heat stroke, the most common signs are:
Excessive panting
Warm nose and foot pads
Glazed eyes
Rapid Pulse
Bright Red Tongue and Gums
Bloody Diarrhea

If you suspect your JRT may be suffering from heat stress or heat stroke, the first thing to do is wipe them down with cool water.  Rush them to your vet, as heat stroke left unattended can do long lasting damage to vital organs, and can even lead to death.

Brain damage occurs when the JRT's body temperature reaches 106 degrees or above.  A JRT's normal temperature runs between 100.5 degrees to 101.5 degrees.

Make sure to keep an very close eye on your senior JRT's, as they are more likely to succumb to the affects of heat...more so than their juniors.

Georgetown, KY - Jack Russell Terrier. Meet Jenna, a dog for adoption.

Although heat related ailments such as stroke, exhaustion, and stress are very possible, there are a multitude of methods to help your JRT beat the heat, and be able to enjoy the summertime with you.

Before heading out for your outdoor time, why not give your JRT a good brushing.  JRT's have multiple layers of fur, and as any owner of a JRT knows, they are constantly shedding one layer or another.  By brushing your JRT on a daily basis, you are helping them rid themselves of that excess fur that may be holding heat in close to your JRT's body.  Air will be able to circulate better through your companions fur, allowing a means to keep the core temperature of your JRT at a more comfortable and safe level.


If you take a daily walk, why not schedule it during the early morning or later evening hours.  These are the times when the temperatures are not quite so high, and both you and your JRT will be more comfortable and able to enjoy your time outside.

Steer your JRT clear of walking on concrete or asphalt as much as possible.  Because both hold heat, they may burn, or do damage to the delicate pads of your JRT's feet.  And again, one of the means of them releasing heat is through these very pads, and if the surface they are walking on it too hot, this source of perspiring is affected.


Make sure you JRT always has fresh, cool, clean water.  Although they do not perspire as we do, constantly panting can cause them to dehydrate quickly.  There are several ways of making sure your JRT has the cool water they need.  You can freeze water, or use ice, and add it to their water bowl periodically, so that when it melts they will have the cool water they will need.  Or, you may carry a container of chilled water with you, and make sure to refill your JRT's water bowl often.  Always make sure they have all the fresh, clean water they want on hot summer days.

Tommi drinks water:

When playing outside, the best areas to let your JRT enjoy the day are near trees or water. Making sure there is plenty of shade available to both play under, or just lay down and rest is ideal.  Also, if you live near a beach or a lake, allowing your JRT to take an occasional dip in the water is a great way to relieve them of any heat stress they may encounter. Maybe get them a wading pool to put in the back yard.  Not only will it be a source of exercise and fun, but it will help to keep them cool as well.

Jack Russell Terrier.  Get out the pool and stay cool.:

Another method for keeping your JRT cool while on a walk or at play, is to take a bandana, wet it with cool water, roll it up, and tie it around your JRT's neck.  The cool temperature at the base of their neck will help to keep their brain and nervous system a more pleasant temperature, thus helping to head off any heat related problems.  Plus, with the bandana around their neck, they will look so darned cute.

If your JRT has one of those currently popular and so trendy doggie shirts, wetting it with cool water and placing it on your JRT will help to keep their core temperature down.  As with the bandana, make sure you keep wetting the shirt down with cool water, and don't let it dry out.

Jack Russell Terriers:

DO NOT leave your JRT in a parked car.  Many people do not realize just how quickly a parked cars interior temperature can rise.  Even with the windows cracked on an 80 degree day, the air temperature inside the car can rise to 102 degrees in only 10 minutes. The air does not circulate through a car, like it does a more open area, and it takes no time at all for the temperature to get to a dangerous level. So, err on the side of caution, and do not leave your JRT in the car.


Just because the temperatures are on the rise, does not mean that you and your JRT can't enjoy the outdoors together.  As long as you take precautions, and keep a keen eye on your companion, you both will be able to enjoy the beautiful weather together.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Socializing Your JRT

Socialization, by its very definition, is "the act of adapting behavior to the norms of a culture or society such as going out and meeting new people, and experiencing new situations."
But with JRT's, the introduction of new people, and new situations can often lead to some very bad results. We will take a look at the process, and possible techniques, for socializing your JRT, so that you may both lead happier, healthier lives.
staggered line-up:
Although it is recommended that you socialize your JRT between the ages of three and twelve weeks, sometimes this is not possible. Maybe you rescued your JRT, or maybe you never thought of socializing them until they were much older. Do not despair. Your JRT can still be socialized, it will just take a little more time and effort on your part to get it done.
Introduce your JRT to new situations in small, short sessions. Your companion can quickly become very overwhelmed by it all, and you do not want to imprint a bad impression upon your JRT that creates a feeling of fear, instead of acceptance.
One sure fire way to start your JRT towards socialization is to leash walk them on a daily basis. Make sure you have them properly leash trained first. A guide for leash training may be found on this site in a previous post. Proper leash walking will help in the assurance to you that your JRT is under control, and will provide your JRT with a level of security as well.
Team Jack Russell huddle, don't mind us! #jackrussellterrier:
When on a walk, your JRT will be exposed to a myriad of sights, sounds, and smells that are new and exciting. They will also be able to walk off all that energy, for which they are widely known to contain. Walking off this energy will help tremendously in the socializing process, as they will be less nervous, fidgety, and more submissive to the situation. If your JRT does begin to bark, dance, or pull on its leash, do not tug back or yell at your JRT. All this will serve is the chance that they will become even more nervous and agitated, and neither one of these will serve well in the long run.
There are many factors that may block your attempts at socializing your JRT. For instance, some JRT's are more receptive of women than men, and vis versa. And, some JRT's will appear leary of certain facial features, such as a beard, a floppy hat, sunglasses, or even a walking cane. JRT's have been known to react very aggressively to persons in uniform, such as a policeman, a fireman, and as we all know a postal worker. By taking the time to introduce your JRT to a variety of individuals and situations, you are aiding in a well rounded socialization of your companion.
OMG this is so my life!! Frannie growling with the "Chuck it" ball in the mouth!:
Children are another issue in socialization. JRT's do not perceive small children as the tiny humans that they are. Rather, they see them as bundles of energy, that like to tug ears, grab tails, and just general heighten your companions anxieties. JRT' s are very nervous and anxious by nature, so anything that ramps up that nervousness and anxiousness is not on their list of favorite things. When trying to socialize your JRT to children, expose them to calm, well behaved children slowly. JRT's, for the most part, love all humans. By using the proper method to introduce them to small children in the beginning, you are assuring that there will not any problems down the line.
If you would like to take your JRT to dog parks and have playtime with other canines, then you will have to socialize them to this situation as well. Take your JRT to the dog park, but do not go inside the fence. Allow them to look in and observe the other canines. They will be able to see how the others interact with one another, and see that they are having fun. If your JRT starts to growl, or lunge at the fence, or other canines, back them up a few steps, until the growling stops. Once stopped, allow them to approach the fence again. As one of the canines approaches the fence, give your JRT a small nibble of treat. Do this each time your JRT is approached. They will come to learn that another canine approaching them is a good thing.

Socializing an adult JRT can be a daunting task, but on the other hand it can be done. It will take patience on your part, and remembering that new situations for your JRT can be both scary and off putting. Introduce situations slowly, and do not force or rush your JRT into them. Allow them to proceed at their own pace and comfort. It may take a while, but eventually they will come to accept it all. Above all, use your best judgement in all situations. If it does not feel right to you, you can almost guarantee that it will not feel right to you JRT.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Training Your JRT to a Leash

With most training, you have to assert from the beginning that YOU are the alpha...the one in charge. It is the same with leash training. Where it differs from other training is that, usually you set the pace. But in leash training you need to leave some leeway for the JRT to learn at THEIR pace.

(71) Twitter:
There are no definitive rules for leash training. What works for one, may not work for another. What one learns almost immediately, may take another days or weeks to learn. What you need to keep in mind is that you need to be patient, calm, confident, again take it at a pace established by your JRT, and work at alleviating your JRT of any fears it exhibits. If you can do this, leash training can be a fun learning experience for you both.
First and foremost, execute your leash training in short sessions, and use lots of positive reinforcement. This can be a very emphatic "yes" when your JRT does well, coupled with lots of hugs and kisses, or maybe even a little nibble of their favorite treat. Just make sure that your JRT knows when it has done good, not just when it has done wrong.

Parson is an adoptable Jack Russell Terrier (Parson Russell Terrier) Dog in Jefferson, LA. Expect this boy to be active, agile and smart. He walks nicely on a leash and is learning to sit for treats. ...:
To begin any training, you need to make sure you have the proper equipment. I can not emphasize this enough choker chains are NOT for leash training. Do NOT put a choker chain on your JRT. This will hinder more than help and will not aid in alleviating any of your JRT's fears or anxieties about the whole training process.
Choosing your collar and leash should not be a snap, or sudden choice. Some JRT's work well with collars, others not so much. My JRT's never did adapt to collars, and after months of working with them both, I decided to switch to a harness. I can not tell you what a world of difference it made. Before, with a collar, in the beginning stages, my JRT's would tug and pull so much, they would literally choke themselves. This was not acceptable. Using the harness made the process much more comfortable for them both, and afforded me a little more control than the collar did. So, choose your method wisely. And if a collar does not work, do not get discouraged. You always have the option of trying a harness.

Hi, my name is Indy and I'm not sure what kind of breed I am. A lot of people think I'm part Jack Russell; maybe they are right. Either way, I am a super sweet, fun-loving guy. My favorite things to do are hiking and going to the dog park where I get to meet lots of people and other dogs. I may be small but I love going on adventures and I have a big personality.:
In leash training, the one constant, other than the training itself, is that a properly trained JRT will walk to your side, with the leash constantly slack. They will not be ahead of you, behind you, or way off to the side. Also, the leash is not to be pulled taunt at any given time. This will help to establish the boundaries that are necessary for you to be in control, not your JRT.
Start you first day with placing the collar or harness onto your JRT, and letting them get the feel of it. Let them know that the collar/harness is not something that will hurt them, or cause them pain. They will assuredly rub and try to get the collar/harness off, but that is okay. They need to adjust, and after a little while, they will be fine with it.

Meet Trixie; 3 year old Jack Russell; very quiet; "speaks" Spanish but is learning English; does well on a leash; Ginny Millner Rescue Group in Atlanta, GA:
The next step is to attach the leash. Let the JRT move around freely, dragging the leash behind them. This will also establish that the leash, like the collar/harness, is not there to cause them harm. They need to know that that they are safe when wearing their collar/harness and leash.
Once they are adjusted to both the collar/harness and leash, now is the time to begin implementing your short sessions of training. When I trained the girls, the first several sessions were done indoors, with minimal distractions and were about listening and paying attention to my commands. I achieved this through the use of small nibbles of their favorite treat. I would pick up the leash, and instruct them to come to me, tugging ever so slightly to emphasize what I wanted done. When they obeyed, they got a treat. I would then tell them to stay, walk away a few steps, and tell them to come, again tugging on the leash gently if necessary. I repeated this routine for the entire first, and most of the second session.

Candy is a 11 week old Jack Russell Terrier mixshe is now learning how to walk on a leash - goes outside to the bathroomAdoption fee is $180.00Adoption fee includes:Spaying or neuteringDistemper/Parvo combo shotDewormingMicrochippedpet food,Free...:
Repetitiveness and patience are the two key factors in this type of training. Do not get discouraged or upset if your JRT resists at first, it is in their nature. Just keep repeating the routine over and over and most assuredly your JRT will quickly catch on.
After you feel confident that your JRT has mastered the routine indoors, then it is time to take them outdoors for the next couple of sessions. The outdoors provide a whole different setting, rife with temptations and distractions. This is when you will begin the sessions on training your JRT to listen, and not just go off and do their own thing. When dogs are outside, they are hardwired to explore their environment. This can become an issue with any training situation, but leash training especially.

The Busy Person’s Guide to Dog Training | WOOFipedia by The American Kennel Club:
Have your JRT sit, and then you proceed to walk a few steps away. Tell them come, and when they do reward them. If they do not do as told, and instead wonder, or get distracted, go up to your JRT, get their full attention, tell them to stay, and repeat the routine. Once they have executed the command and required results correctly a few times, repeat the process by walking further and further away each time. When they have done well, you will then allow them sniffing and exploring time. But. keep the leash in your hand, and the JRT close at all times. You need to let them know that they are still to listen, but for the moment they are allowed to wonder and explore.
Once you have this routine established to your satisfaction, it is time to take your JRT outside its comfort zone, and for a walk. There will many more distractions for your JRT, but just remember to keep the roles established of who is in charge. Make sure that that leash remains slack at all times, and that your JRT remains at your side, close the entire time as well. If your JRT starts to wonder, or tug on the leash, stop, indicate to your JRT to sit or stay, wait a few moments, and walk a few steps away. Command your JRT to come and when it does, praise or treat them. If you JRT is being especially stubborn, you may have to go back home, and do additional sessions until the routine is cemented.

Teaching BASIC HEEL - 1. Find a quiet place for training. 2. Place your dog in the sit position by your side. 3. Begin walking, hold your dog's leash and say "Timmy, heel!" 4. If your dog decides to run ahead, let him reach the end of the leash and  say "heel", quickly make a U-turn and walk briskly in that direction. Your dog will turned in the new direction, so praise him when he catches up to you. 5. If your dog tends to lag behind, simply entice him to catch up with verbal encouragement.:
Do not give up and do not become discouraged. Patience is the key role on your side of this endeavor, and it is a journey that you and your JRT are taking together. Just be consistent, firm, and in control. Allow your JRT to work at their pace, and you are sure to get them trained.  

pictures from http://www;

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dealing with a Shedding JRT

As any pet owner knows, whether they own a dog or a cat, pets will shed. But in the case of JRT's the shedding can occur in much greater quantities than most dogs, and most assuredly become a down right nuisance.
With most JRT's being 70% or more white in color, when they shed, it is very obvious. No matter what their owners do, the white shows on everything.
There is nothing that can be done about a JRT shedding, it is controlled by mother nature. But there are steps that the owners can take to reduce the amount of shedding that occurs, so as not to present an unsightly problem.

That Friday look of deep concentration.:
The first step to reducing your JRT's frequency of shedding is to visit your vet, and make sure that there is not an underlying medical condition for the shedding. These may include allergies to food or medication; a newly introduced soap or shampoo; or even bites from pest, such as fleas. Also to be considered and checked for is the possibility of a hormonal imbalance.
Most dogs fall into two categories: seasonal shedding and year round shedding. JRT's fall into the year round shedding category. They have seven layers of fur, so at any given time one of the layers are actively shedding.

Mies the Jack Russell Mix -- Dog Breed: Wire Fox Terrier / Jack Russell Terrier:
Groomers and those who show JRT's deal with this year round shedding by using a special comb that, when run through the dogs fur, will pull out every other layer. This helps to remove any loose hair, while at the same time thinning out the coat some. But, this grooming technique can be very uncomfortable for your JRT, to say the least. Lets look at a few alternative methods for dealing with the constant shedding.
First and foremost, brush your JRT daily. This is best started as a daily routine when they are young, so that they are well adjusted and do not fight or fidget. If you are starting with an older JRT, just keep in mind that anything new has to be introduced gradually. You may not be able to brush them every day from the beginning, maybe once every other day or so. And, make the procedure fun for your JRT. Praise them, give them lots of love, and even a nice nibble of treat after wards as a reward. Eventually, being brushed everyday will seem second nature.

When brushing your JRT, make sure you are using the correct type of brush for their fur type. For wire haired coats a bristle brush is better, as opposed to those JRT's with thicker coats, in which a "rake" brush would be more ideal. If in doubt what type of brush to use, your local pet store clerk should be more than happy to find the right type of brush to fit your needs.

The next step in helping to decrease your JRT's amount of shedding is to bathe your JRT regularly. Keep in mind that regularly does not mean every day. It does not even mean every week. Depending on your JRT's outside activities, once a month is the recommended bathing schedule. A JRT is prone to developing dry and flaky skin if bathed too often. If you feel you must bathe your JRT more than once a month, make them short and quick bathings, not long and luxurious. This way the essential oils their skin needs will not be stripped away leaving them all dry and itchy.

'The Order of the Bath' by Charles Burton Barber (1845-1894) English painter in the Victorian era who attained great success with his paintings of children and their pets.:

You should introduce bath time to your puppy as early as possible. If your JRT is older, it is of utmost importance to remember not to just plunk your JRT into the tub of water the first time. This is a totally new experience for them, and taking the time and patience to introduce them slowly, will more than pay off in the long run. Make bath time fun, by having toys and treats nearby. This will help to reduce stress, that the JRT can easily associate with the act of bathing.
Next, make sure that your JRT is getting enough moisture in their diet. Other than required water intake, your should be providing you JRT with other sources of moisture. When a JRT's diet is solely dry food, with is chuck full of filler, their fur coats will not get the moisture needed, thus making their hair brittle and break easily. Introducing moisture producing food in moderate amounts such as cantaloupe, watermelon, apple (all de-seeded), green beans, carrots, and good lean meats can help to bolster your JRT's moisture quota. There are some who say you can use olive oil or flax oil added daily to their food, but I highly suggest checking with your JRT's vet first.

And finally, vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. I have two senior JRT's and vacuum every 2-3 days. And make sure you get in behind couches, chair, tables, etc, because the fur will travel back behind these areas, accumulate, and look like you have another JRT living with you. You will need to keep a lint brush handy at all times as well. The hair will undoubtedly get on your clothes, and you will come to think of the lint brush as your new to your JRT that is.

look at that questioning face....looks just like a younger version of my cutter :):
So there you have, a few helpful hints at dealing with a shedding JRT.  Although you will think the dealing with all the excess fur would be troublesome, it is more than outweighed by the love and companionship of your JRT.  Believe me, they really are more than worth the little extra work.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Training Your JRT

The JRT breed is quick to learn, but can be a little stubborn as well.  They like for things to move on their time, and at their pace.  Because of this fact, a lot of JRT owners will give up on their companions training, thinking that is an impossible task.  But it is not.

The first and foremost thing you need to do is establish that YOU are the alpha.  You are in charge, you will set the pace, and you will call the shots.

#LoveYourPetsEyes "Hoooman I love you. I am so happy in my forever home. Thank you for loving me!":

When first starting the training, your most crucial items you will use will be a harness and a leash.  It is imperative to keep your JRT under your complete control at all times.  They will be very adamant about not wanting to cooperate at first, and that is fine.  But, you need to establish control from the very beginning.

Another crucial tool you much use is the act of praising your JRT.  The breed is smart, eager to learn, and just as eager to please their alpha.  By praising your companion when they have done well, you are establishing a precedent that will be invaluable in the days to come.  If a JRT thinks that what it is doing is making you happy, through your act of actively praising them, they will be more eager and receptive to repeating the pleasing act.

How to Train a Puppy to go Potty Outside:

Before any training begins, take the time to bond with your JRT.  Like any pack animal, they need love and affection.  The showing of this love and affection, and making sure your JRT does not feel lonely or alone, will cement your bond.  Once you have established a strong bond, your JRT will be even more eager to follow your directions to gain your praise.

Now, as you begin your journey towards training your JRT, keep in mind that any bad habits, or unwanted behavior, from day one, must be nipped in the bud.  You are trying to establish that you are calling the shots, and by allowing the JRT to "run amok", then they will think of themselves as being in control.  You will quickly lose your status as alpha in the hierarchy.

SPOTTY - A1027517 - - Brooklyn  TO BE DESTROYED 05/16/15 – Not yet 2 years old and little Spotty has been at Brooklyn ACC twice in his life. The first time, in 2/2015, Spotty was brought in because his owner had some sort of personal issues but he had glowing remarks about the little guy—he lived with 3 adults & 3 teenagers, with another dog, was housetrained and crated trained and knew a host of commands. So this full of life JRT, was no doubt disappointed but:

Lastly, before training begins always remember to be PATIENT.   Your JRT learns through repetition, and on your side of the learning process, the repetition will require you to have a lot of patience.

Also remember being CONSISTENT is a major key.  Always execute the basics of your training in the same manner.  Always use the same words, the same tone, and the same gestures.  Through this consistency, your JRT will eventually see them all as second nature.

Remember...YOU call the shots, and are are to remain in control at all time and in ALL situations.

Now, you are ready to begin your training.

As stated above, for best results, use of a harness and leash are recommended.  If your JRT is not accustomed to either of these items, give them adequate time to learn how they feel, what they do, and to not be afraid or intolerant of their use.

Public health officials are urging pet owners to take more care about the use   of antibiotics, and to wash their hands regularly after handling cats and   dogs, in a bid to tackle the rise of antibiotic resistance:

When you are training, keep it lively and fresh.  JRT's bore very easily, it is their nature.  They are very attuned to their surroundings, and if you are doing the same training exercises, the same way over many days, then it will only serve to bore our JRT, and then they will lose interest and their attention will lag.  Mix it up a little, maybe by changing the sequence of commands of even of venues where you train.

When using the leash and harness, do not jerk or tug sharply or suddenly.  This will only serve to heighten your JRT's anxiety, and complicate the training process substantially.  A slight tug, with a very authoritative tone should be more than enough to get the point you are try to relay across adequately.

Teaching BASIC HEEL - 1. Find a quiet place for training. 2. Place your dog in the sit position by your side. 3. Begin walking, hold your dog's leash and say "Timmy, heel!" 4. If your dog decides to run ahead, let him reach the end of the leash and  say "heel", quickly make a U-turn and walk briskly in that direction. Your dog will turned in the new direction, so praise him when he catches up to you. 5. If your dog tends to lag behind, simply entice him to catch up with verbal encouragement.:

Start out with simple, easy commands at first.  Commands like sit, stay, heel, and come are the easiest for your JRT to pick up on and learn.  They can usually be taught in conjunction with a hand gesture. With the use of a gesture, you are reemphasizing to your JRT exactly what you want done, and when. Like mentioned before, JRT's are a highly intelligent breed, and they will pick up on these simple commands within a matter days.

Lastly, when you feel your JRT has the basics down, interject distractions into the training.  Taking your JRT off leash, allow another dog, or such distraction to come into the mix.  If your JRT does not answer to your commands, with the distraction in play, then put your JRT back onto its leash, and run through the training again.  Once you can have your JRT off leash, with distractions, and still them to respond to your commands, then you will know your training has taken.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Deterring Your JRT from Destructive Chewing

As anyone who has had a puppy knows, they chew on things.  But, some puppies never outgrow the chewing habit, and in their adult years that very chewing habit becomes very destructive.

There are several of reasons why your JRT, puppy and adult alike, may be chewing.


Your JRT puppy may be cutting teeth, and the chewing helps to break the gums allowing the teeth to push through.   Help your puppy with their need to chew at this time by providing them toys and such to chew on.  There are some very fine toys available on the market today, geared and engineered towards helping to relieve teething discomfort.

In your adult JRT, normal chewing behavior is common.  It is natures way of keeping their jaws strong, and their teeth clean.  The very act of chewing helps to keep the tarter cleaned off their teeth, preventing the onset of gum disease and tooth loss.

pull it:

It is normal for your JRT to chew on things:  sticks, bones, what have you.  They see the act of chewing as fun, a source of stimulation, a means of keeping occupied, and as a means of dealing with anxiety.

Yes, anxiety.  Separation anxiety is one of the major causes of chewing in most adult JRT's.  It is during this anxiety that they may be at their most destructive.  They work themselves up, and get so upset, that they lash out by way of destructive chewing.

Pearl the Jack Russell Terrier:

But, how do you solve the problem of your adult JRT's destructive chewing?

If your JRT is a puppy, or a newly acquired family companion, closely monitor your JRT until they learn the house rules.  When you observe them chewing where and when they shouldn't, make sure you let them know they are misbehaving.  Usually taking a firm tone, then moving them away from the area, or the item away from them will eventually get the point across.  You must be consistent in this though, because if one time they are allowed to chew on the item, and the next they are not, then this only serves to confuse them even further.

Isolate your JRT when you are not there to monitor their behavior.  When you leave the house, no matter the length of time, place your JRT in a small, closed off area, or even in a crate.  Make sure that there is nothing that is chewable within their reach, thus not affording them the ability to lash out and chew, and that they have plenty of fresh water.


When choosing acceptable toys for your JRT, make sure they are easily distinguishable as toys that they are allowed to chew on.  Giving your JRT an old sock or shoe only serves to confuse them.  By giving them this type of chew toy, they are confused when they are corrected or scolded for chewing on the socks and shoes not designated as theirs.

"Dog Proof" your house.  Any objects that you do not want them chewing on, make sure to put them up out of your JRT's reach.  This will take away both the availability and temptation that the item presents.

Then, provide your JRT with chew able toys of their very own.  Toys that are made for extended periods of chewing, as well as those that are of benefit to tooth and gum health are the ones that are best.  To keep your JRT from getting bored with their toys, rotate in new ones about once every two to three weeks.  This way, they will stay interested in their permitted chew able, and not so much the ones they are supposed to stay away from.


With those particularly persistent JRT's, it may be necessary to use a spray deterrent of some sort.  The JRT will associate the item sprayer with the deterrent with an unpleasant taste and will not bother it again.  Spray any items that are proving particularly difficult of breaking your JRT from.

Lastly, your JRT may be acting out and chewing because of boredom.  The JRT breed needs lots of exercise, play, and stimulation.  Make sure they get their needed walks as well as romping time. Being able to burn off their natural energy, will help keep them from working that energy off in other ways.