You’ll never want for a better friend when you have a Jack Russell | TeamDogs
JACK RUSSELL

You’ll never want for a better friend when you have a Jack Russell

They're small but with big ideas - and even bigger personalities

Lorna Doran

Posted 3 months ago

By Hannah Jones

If there’s a dog with Little Man Syndrome, it’s the Jack Russell. For about 10 years, I had one who thought he was Geoff Capes. His big brother was a Sheepdog called Max, a gentle soul who rounded up chickens and ducks for the sheer joy of it.

It’s what you do when you live in a city and don’t have your own flock. Needs must, right?

But Bertie was the boss. He was so sure of his leader of the pack status, he would STAND UNDER MAX’S BELLY when it rained, literally using him as his own personal umbrella.

If it rained, Bertie reigned supreme. And Max, bless his heart, would let him.

He was, as proud parents who can’t quite find the words to describe their offspring say, full of personality. 

His legs were the size of chipolata sausages but fitted with thruster engines. The breed’s ability to jump straight up and boing their welcomes like furry Jack in the Boxes never ceased to tickle me and amaze me.

So what if he wasn’t the biggest or the fluffiest or the smartest of the cutest? (Looks fade, you know.)

So what if he was so gutsy and nosey he got stuck down the toilet HEAD FIRST? (It was a hot day! He was thirsty!)

So what if he once ate my cousin’s best shoes? (His head was so small he looked properly adorable doing it.)

So what if he would chase his own tiny tail without fail for 10 minutes every single day AT NOON and never quite work out its pointlessness? (If you don’t wear a watch, it was super useful).

So what if he’d pinch stuff from neighbours’ front gardens and I’d have to pop over to apologise in all kinds of weather? (He somehow knew when I was sad that a ‘borrowed’ flowerpot could make all the difference to how I felt.)

You’d never want for a better friend. Just don’t forget to take a spare umbrella on a stroll. And I don’t mean for you, either…


Vet Linda, from Pooch & Mutt, says:

1. Never underestimate the exercise requirements of the Jack Russell Terrier. While small, they need a good deal of exercise and mental stimulation every day to keep them content.

2. Generally quite healthy but conditions that need to be considered include: Legg Calvè Perthes Disease, Patellar Luxation, Tracheal collapse, Allergic skin disease.

3. The short coat of the Jack Russell is low maintenance but they can shed excessively. This is especially true in the summer months and when they are excited or stressed.

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