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Your Jack Russell Puppy Care Checklist - Jack Russell Crazy Issue #24
December 10, 2011
Hair Today...Gone Tomorrow
My friends always tell me that I'm so lucky that I have dogs that don't shed. Ummm, wait a minute, back that thought up a minute. Are we talking about my Jack Russells? Because if so, that couldn't be further from the truth. My Jacks definitely shed and I have the white little hairs stuck all over the place to prove it! Actually, many people write in to tell me they were surprised to find out how much hair they find scattered around their house. Jack Russell actually shed more then other breeds and the length of hair doesn't seem to make a difference to the amount of shedding. Is there any way to put a stop to it? Unfortunately not, as far as I know. But good and consistent grooming as well as higher quality dog food can cut down on a bit on your vacuuming and lint brush time.
Jack Russells all have a dense double coat that has hair that is thick and course - but they come in three distinctive types - smooth, rough and broken. The smooth coat has an outer layer where the hair is short and stiff. The rough coat Jack's have a more wirey appearance but the hair is not hard or wooly. And the broken Jack's have both long and short hair making some areas rough and some smooth.
The amount of shedding will depend on the coat type of your Jack Russell. Smooth coats shed more than rough coat Jack Russells however rough/broken coats tend to trap more dirt and require maintenance. Smooth coat Jack Russells will need brushing to let new hairs come through. Shedding is caused by light exposure, so if your JRT is inside most of the time with electric lights, don't be surprised if it sheds a little all year round. Eitherway, your house will require a good cleaning :-) Regular grooming is an essential part of Jack Russell care. You should groom your dog at least once a week if it is a short-haired Jack Russell. You can use a special brush or a grooming mitt for this. For my short haired Bella I personally use a combination of a grooming mitt, the FURminator and a horse curry comb (for horses but dogs love it as it provides a nice massage and helps remove dead hairs). A rough coat Jack Russell Terrier requires more frequent grooming and you will have to pluck the hairs. There are several reasons to keep you little guy well groomed. Grooming is not only important to your Jack's hygiene but it also promotes bonding. I aim for a weekly session of a 5 to 10 minute window.
The method for grooming a long hair JRT is more time-consuming and delicate than grooming a short hair JRT. You shouldn't cut a Jack Russell's hair. Cutting changes the texture of the coat, making it softer - a Jack Russell's coat is supposed to be firm and wiry. That said, you may think a softer coat would be perfect for a pet. Keep in mind though that cutting can also dull the color of the dog's markings. So as a basic rule of thumb, never give your dog a hair cut if you want it to win Best in Show.
Grooming should be done on a table to save you having to bend down to meet your JRT. Run through the coat with a comb first to remove loose hairs. Use your thumb and index finger to pluck the hairs. Start with the hairs that poke out the furthest. Hairs should come out easily and plucking should not cause the dog pain. Repeat until the dog looks tidy. You can buy a rubber thimble to help with this, or give the dog a little dusting with grooming chalk.
If you get worn out trying to groom your rough coat Jack Russell, buy yourself a stripping comb to strip the hairs off rather than plucking them. Don't try to groom too much at once. If your dog gets agitated, try again later. Grooming is a lot like training - it's not about one big session, but lots of little ones with incremental progress each time. The stipping comb can be difficult and is not for everyone, you can always considered getting your Jack groomed by someone trained and let the professionals do their magic.
Jack Russell hair doesn't retain dirt very well, so luckily a bath is usually only needed once every few months. Of course, there will be some dogs who insist on rolling in the filthiest mess they can find at every opportunity. It's important to use a shampoo that is designed for dogs. Dog skin has a different pH level than human skin, so human shampoo can damage your dog's skin and coat. Find a shampoo that suited to your Jack Russell's coat or skin problems, if he has any. So, choose a moisturizing shampoo if his skin is dry and scaly or an oatmeal shampoo if your dog has a tendency to itch. When bathing check to see that the water is warm but not too hot. Apply shampoo to his coat, work your way from back to front, paying particular attention to the oily areas of his ears but avoiding the eyes. When rinsing, reverse the motion and rinse from head to tail, making sure that no shampoo residue remains.You don't have to clean the entire dog at once - this can build up a negative reaction toward bath time. Dogs have a short attention span. Try bathing the dog a little at a time, in 15-minute sessions, just like when you're training.
Feeding your JRT a home-made treat
Here is a delicious recipe gleaned from All Recipes that I wanted to share with you. Try it out and let me know if your dogs give it two paws up :) Ingredients
-1 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup margarine
- 1 cup boiling water
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, margarine, and boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Grease cookie sheets. Thoroughly stir in cornmeal, sugar, bouillon, milk, Cheddar cheese, and egg. Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, until a stiff dough has formed. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, mixing in additional flour as necessary until dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Roll or pat out dough to 1/2" thickness. Cut with cookie cutter (I prefer bone shaped), and place 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Cool before serving. Store in a loosely covered container.
If you are looking for more info on home-made dog food and treats, Dr. Miller has many years of experience as a vet and provides almost 250 recipes which he has tested on his own dogs...so you know they are tried and true!
Anyway, if you want to check out Dr. Miller's website Click Here!
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'Til Next Time...
Take care - and take care of your JRT!
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