The Relationship Between Hunting and Jack Russell Terriers
Hunting and Jack Russell Terriers have gone hand in hand ever since the breed came about in the early 19th century, but why is it such a great hunting dog and what problems can this cause to a modern owner?
The Sport of Hunting and JRTs
When the Jack Russell Terrier was first bred by John Russell manyyears ago, it was done so to deliberately ensure that the ultimate hunting dog was created – a dog that would fearlessly chase foxes through the countryside and jump into burrows without hesitation. In fact, the Jack Russell’s hunting instinct is so strong that it would regularly hold its quarry in a burrow without releasing for hours on end, until the owner came and either pulled the terrier out or had to dig through the ground to get to it!
It is this tenacity and fearlessness that are the main attributes that a Jack Russell possesses. While many other dogs shy away from confrontation and are easily distracted by other goings on, the Jack Russell always remains focused on its quarry, regardless of the size or danger that it might pose to the dog! Of course, the size and the shape of the dog also made hunting and Jack Russell Terriers a perfect combination, as the small figure allowed the dog to fit down the smallest of holes. The physical power and forceful jaws also contributed heavily to the ability that the Jack Russell Terrier had when it came to being the best fox hunting dog in the business.
Problems Caused by the Hunting Instinct
Obviously nowadays the Jack Russell Terrier is kept primarily as a pet and is not often used as an aide to hunting. The bond between hunting and Jack Russell Terriers still remains strong though, and this causes some problems for owners. Perhaps the biggest of these is the fact that the Jack Russell Terrier really doesn’t get along with other animals in the home. It has an instinct to chase smaller animals and therefore it is not advised to own a Jack Russell should you have cats, rabbits, hamsters or any other small pets already in the house. They can also be very aggressive with other dogs, so only experienced dog owners should attempt to introduce another dog into a home that already has a Jack Russell, or vice versa.
Another problem that the association between hunting and JRTs has brought is that they are incredibly quick to run off! While most dogs can be let off the leash when trained properly, an owner who lets their Jack Russell run free whilst walking it is almost asking for it to not come back! Jack Russells will chase anything, investigate any hole and squirm through even the smallest of gaps – their inquisitiveness knows absolutely no boundaries. The best course of action is to always keep a Jack Russell on a leash – there are many extendable leashes that allow them to run around but also be under thecontrol of the owner.
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