I’ve helped numerous clients with their Jack Russells recently, with varying behaviour problems; from excessive barking, nervousness, pulling on the lead, separation anxiety, all the way through to aggression. I’ve also fostered a Jack Russell Terrier called Daisy in the past, when she was between homes. She was naturally a very nervous dog, who learned to trust me over time, which helped her to relax.
So what is it about Jack Russells that makes them different to look after? There is a lot of talk about Jack Russells being fiesty, yappy dogs, however many of those I’ve helped have had JRTs in the past, who they found to be completely different characters to their current version. There is a lot of stereotyping when it comes to different dog breeds, as I’ve pointed out in previous posts. What I’ve found to be the case is that typically the smaller and cuter the dog, the less seriously it is taken, so this is why smaller dogs can be considered to be more problematic, as owners with bigger dogs do tend to seek help earlier! The reality is that each JRT is ultimately a canine, so have a canine instinct which affects their behaviour. Yes, they may have come from a strain that were originally used for ratting, so they may be more likely to seek out the smell of a rat, or to ‘shake their toys to death’ than say a Doberman, which has a completely different history. Each one is an individual though, just as we all have different personalities from our own brothers and sisters, despite sharing DNA and environment; an element is just individual nature.
If you have a Jack Russell, it is important to bear in mind it’s individual character, so you cannot assume its behaviour based on others you’ve had in the past, or what you have read in books. By all means pay attention to how to physically look after your JRT in terms of how much to feed it, and what known medical problems may exist, so you can do what you can to eliminate them. As far as behaviour is concerned, as Forrest Gump’s mum used to say, “You never know what you’re gonna get”. What you can do though, is manage its understanding of what it needs to do. If we let them, dogs will train us! They will find out what we respond to, and use that to get their own way. If they are able to do this then they will naturally worry about us and themselves, and then take charge of our safety, and our discipline! Showing your Jack Russell in a way that he or she understands that there are boundaries that they are answerable to you for, makes all the difference. This is what I teach. I was taught by Jan Fennell, who learnt a lot from her own Jack Russell as she developed the method we now refer to as Amichien Bonding.
If you are having trouble with your Jack Russell Terrier (or any other breed for that matter) then I can help you! Based in Leigh on Sea, I provide Dog training in Essex, from Southend, up beyond Colchester, and into parts of London. You don’t need to tolerate continuous yapping, or aggression, or let your dog feel nervous, there is help available. Don’t wait until you reach the end of your tether, let me help you create a wonderful relationship now…