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Jack Russells as family/farm dogs?

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  • Jack Russells as family/farm dogs?

    I know, I asked about Shelties the last time around.

    As you can tell, that is why I still didn't get another dog after finding a home for my GSD cross two years ago.

    I am taking my time and doing my research!

    What about Jack Russells? As a family dog? I know they typically are said to be best with older children, my kids are young (one is coming 3, the other coming 1).

    They sound interesting, especially if they hunt groundhogs and other virmins. Gr.

    Yes? No? We have a farm too, so exercise would not be an issue at all.

    Are they very yappy?

    If I were to get another dog, the more I think of it, the more I think I'd get an adult rescue from a shelter, something that is already trained and that we can readily evaluate for suitability with kids. Good plan? Bad plan?

    Thanks in advance
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  • #2
    Well the word, "trained" has to be interpreted sparingly with a JR. If you are willing to be "trained" that's the dog for you.


    • #3
      We've had JRT's for 20 years and I will always have a terrier on a farm. As for small children, well JRT's aren't as forgiving being mauled on by a child as a retriever would be, IMO. Our first JRT was always busy but our others have understood "down time" and happily plunk down on their dog beds and fall asleep. Ours have been extremely loyal and loving dogs.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by redhorse5 View Post
        Well the word, "trained" has to be interpreted sparingly with a JR. If you are willing to be "trained" that's the dog for you.
        What do you mean?
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        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by SLW View Post
          We've had JRT's for 20 years and I will always have a terrier on a farm. As for small children, well JRT's aren't as forgiving being mauled on by a child as a retriever would be, IMO. Our first JRT was always busy but our others have understood "down time" and happily plunk down on their dog beds and fall asleep. Ours have been extremely loyal and loving dogs.
          Obviously, I won't let my kids torture the poor dog, but I'll definitely, and that goes for all breeders, have to find one that is forgiving if my kids happen to do something they aren't fond of in a moment of lack of supervison. Which would be minimal, but still.

          I need to have the peace of mind that if, for some reason, I am not paying attention, my kids won't get eaten alive.

          But I am not expecting a dog to put up with crap all-day long either.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
            If I were to get another dog, the more I think of it, the more I think I'd get an adult rescue from a shelter, something that is already trained and that we can readily evaluate for suitability with kids. Good plan? Bad plan?
            Obviously, a puppy is harder to pick out for temperament most of the time - though the 8-week-old pup who's giving you the stink eye and snarling at your face is probably a pass, the more subtle stuff is hard to pick out. But some people also say that the safest bet is a young adult dog, say 8 months to 2 years - you can see more of the adult personality, but if the dog is hiding some aggression, it probably hasn't been practicing as long and therefore, the dog won't be as dangerous as if it had been effectively lunging and biting for 5 years. Just a thought, particularly when you're looking at shelter dogs, particularly those from breeds which commonly have feisty/snappy attitudes.


            • #7
              Let me preface this opinion by saying I've had 3 JRTs in Ubersuburbia, so different challenges than a farm life. I've raised 2 from pups, 1 was a rescue.
              Given your situation-new to JRTs, 2 very young children-- if you were to pursue the breed, I'd counsel a puppy from a reputable breeder you can visit, to see and evaluate the parents. No one knows the JRT better than (reputable) breeders, and (reputable) breeders will honestly answer your Q's as to appropriateness.

              I dont think an adult rescue would be fair to you or the dog, unless you got very lucky. IMO, JRT rescues need experienced JRT/terrier/rescue dog people. JRTs in general aren't for everyone, and as much as I believe in adoption, having done it many times, I think you have to own what you may be bringing home with a rescue Jack-possible animal aggression, territoriality, high prey drive, high reactivity, and YUP, YAPPING. When I adopted my guy, a 1+ yr.o. male, he was fine with other dogs, friendly, and low man on the totem pole in the group of small breed rescues the rescue lady had in her house. PERFECT! But he came with other issues that I feel quite certain he wouldn't have if I'd been able to get him as a young pup. We love him, though

              I'm curious what makes you believe that a rescue of any breed would come "already trained"? IMO, you can NEVER expect a rescue to be "trained" in anything. When a dog walks into your house, its a new beginning and its up to you to teach him how life works in your house. "Expect" anything more and you will be disappointed. If you go the rescue route with any dog, go in with eyes wide open.

              I love my Jacks, but I wouldn't put my rescue guy around young playing children--he's very reactive, and ramps up quickly. My girl is much less so and even at just a year, is fine around even young kids running around-never gets too excited. Nature or nurture? I'll just say that the 2 I raised from puppyhood were both fine with kids-perfect dogs, really-as are the 2 my sister has, and I wish I'd gotten my rescue guy as a baby.


              • #8
                JRT's can be volatile. The one I have now is the sweetest dog around me but she will not tolerate my interaction with one of the other dogs. No large dog is too big to attack. As a result she has been sequestered into the back yard fenced area and is not allowed in the barn. She chased horses and nipped at their heels. JRTs can be very stubborn and difficult to train and are the most persistent dogs on earth. That makes them invaluable as ratters and will keep vermin away. I have friends who have more sedate types but if you get the highly charged animal who is like the one that I have, I would have to say that she would not be my ideal farm dog. I could never take her to shows but she travels like a champ. Goes any place and is well behaved. I can hold her on my lap while I'm eating dinner and she wouldn't make a move toward my food. If she weren't in a family with four other dogs she would be easier and she gets along to a point with the other small dogs but we would never leave them alone and any time we are out of the house she has to be caged because we can't trust her not to go after one of the other small dogs in the house.


                • Original Poster

                  I should clarified that by "trained" I mean potty trained, knows basic commands, etc.

                  Of course, I know it'll need training to know the rules of the house and so forth.

                  And I say "rescue", but I don't mean a dog with issues, I mean most likely an owner surrender or something like that... Or maybe it's not a good idea. I don't know. That's why I am researching too!

                  redhorse5, thank you for the clarification.
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                  • #10
                    I agree 100% with what lovey said. I have owned JRTs for nearly 25 years, participated in obedience/agility with them, and have volunteered for rescues in the past. I am a HUGE fan of JRTs, but breeding really, really makes the difference. My first was bred from good natured "pet" stock and she was the best dog in the world, you could take her anywhere, she was great with kids, she was not yappy at all, and was a champion obedience dog. My second, a female by Sow's Ear Stetson, is bred to hunt, and she is not good around kids or small animals! She is very shy and really just always on the hunt. She has killed rats as big as herself. She is well mannered and well trained but just a high strung hunting dog. My third I bought specifically for temperament (because as much as I love Sophie I didn't want another one) and he is a Golden Retriever in a fuzzy, silly, JRT body. The breeder was right on in her assessment, he is absolutely trustworthy with any children, loves people, and loves to play rough but never gets aggressive.

                    You may find yourself a good temperament JRT via a rescue but sadly most are being rehomed for a reason They can be amazing family dogs when from the right lines from a reputable breeder, but bringing a rescue home with a toddler might be tough.
                    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                    • #11
                      Oh, I will add, you are much more likely to get a family dog with a neutered male JRT. The females can be a little more tough and not as sweet and forgiving. My first was a female and she was wonderful, but it's not as common as with the neutered males IMO.
                      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
                        I should clarified that by "trained" I mean potty trained, knows basic commands, etc..
                        Oh dear.....if you expect to get ANY of this with any rescue, you will be sorely disappointed. And so will the poor dog.
                        If all dogs in need of rescue were indeed house-trained and heeded basic commands, they probably wouldn't be in need of a new home. Not trying to be snarky, really...its just the way it is.
                        When you decide to adopt, you must go into it knowing that the dog's past life may present challenges you may need to address. Some issues may not present immediately. But you need to be prepared that something might. With Jacks, issues are often housebreaking, food aggression, animal aggression, possessiveness, territoriality, resource guarding, excessive reactivity in general. All of which do not mesh well with kids, especially toddlers.
                        Sorry if I sound like Debbie Downer. For me, a trainer of 30 yrs. in the land of the suburban American dream, first-time JRT owner +kids under 3 = it better be an especially low key non reactive JRT with a vigilant and knowledgeable owner.


                        • #13
                          check out this site you can learn all about them. i loved mine but they do have certain issues.



                          • #14
                            I'm a breeder member of the JRTCA. I don't know many who would sell you a puppy based on your scenario. But what I do advise is going to the JRTCA website http://therealjackrussell.com and reading up about Jacks, then completing the Puppy Profiler to see if a Jack is really compatible for your family. http://therealjackrussell.com/breed/jrprofiler.php
                            ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                            Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                            "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


                            • #15
                              Well, I guess we were lucky! :-)

                              We got our JRT from a shelter when she was 2yo, before we had kids.

                              She was housebroken, didn't destroy things when left in the house, doesn't chase our cats and was great with the kids when they came along (we had one when she was 6, the other when she was 8...she's 12 now and they are 3 and almost 6).

                              Her downside? She is leash aggressive to other dogs - fine to dogs when off leash, but turns into a Cujo-like cur on a string.

                              Terriers (especially JRTs) are NOT for everyone - but they are great fun if you "get" them and have an active lifestyle they can participate in.


                              • #16
                                Caveat: I do not have direct experience with JRT's

                                With young children in the house, I just would not chance it. There will always be times when the "sheriff" is not around and young kids can be at risk.

                                We've had neighbors with JRT's from the same parents, different litters. One is OK, the other is not and they've tried and tried and tried but the dog is very aggressive, at least towards other dogs. So, I'm not sure that breeding will always win out.

                                And I've seen some come in a barn that were as laid back as you'd want a dog to be but I don't know how long it took to get them there and the people that had them didn't have kids.

                                Seems likely that young kids + JRT can = escalation.

                                Sure, not all breeds are all perfect within the breed. But I'd prefer not to have the potential makings for a small nuclear incident just waiting for the right trigger.

                                IF you could find one that is already all the things you want, that needs rehoming and does not come from a rescue (In general, obvious exceptions to that, if you know the real reason the dog was given up), that you could take on trial to see how it goes, then you might find that JRT gem.

                                But I posted on this because of the incident mentioned above and these people have tried to do right by the dog and still have it, but it is a constant problem for them.
                                Last edited by Catsdorule-sigh; Mar. 24, 2012, 03:26 PM. Reason: Rescue vs. non-rescue


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by lovey1121 View Post
                                  Oh dear.....if you expect to get ANY of this with any rescue, you will be sorely disappointed. And so will the poor dog. If all dogs in need of rescue were indeed house-trained and heeded basic commands, they probably wouldn't be in need of a new home. Not trying to be snarky, really...its just the way it is.
                                  To say that most rescue dogs lack training - or that lack of training is why most are unwanted in the first place - is dangerously misleading. Yes, you can easily find a "project" rescue dog, but you can also easily find a rescue dog who just walks in and is the family dog. Many unwanted dogs in shelters and pounds are house-trained and have basic commands. They're often just "lack of time" or "too high energy" dogs - they were acquired as puppies by people who realized too late that they didn't have the interest in dealing with a young dog's energy level. You can't train an 18-month-old lab mix who gets walked around the block once a day; it's like teaching French to a toddler on a sugar high. I've gotten 3 dogs from shelters, all came very well house-broken and all came with basic manners and at least a rudimentary understanding of commands like "Sit" and "Stay." Were they obedience champs? No. But they were familiar with the ideas, and just needed refreshing and reinforcement.


                                  • #18
                                    I'm saying that to expect any training in a rescue dog is naive. (Ref. OP's 1st post). Certainly there are rescue dogs with good training, and I've had 5 rescues, all with some training and some issues.
                                    When talking rescue, I advocate an open heart, eyes wide open, and fingers crossed.


                                    • #19
                                      There are TONS of great family/farm dogs available at rescue organizations near you.

                                      What is wrong with any one of these dogs? They sound like exactly what you are looking for:











                                      http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/20754283 Don't know WHY they are calling this dog an Irish Setter! He looks like a Border Collie mix to me.


                                      My advice to you would be to concentrate less on specific breeds and instead put your application in with a couple of the local rescues and have them help you find a dog that will fit into your family.
                                      Proud Native Texan!
                                      owned by 3 Cardigan Corgi's + 3 wonderful horses!


                                      • #20
                                        One more thing. Talking about rescue dogs needing training. We adopted a dog from the SPCA, she was approx. 5-6 years old and was surrendered by her owner (along with another dog), to the SPCA.

                                        This dog came FULLY trained. She was 100% house trained from the moment she walked in our front door, she fit in perfectly with the Corgis, she knew how to sit and lie down, she walked perfectly on the leash, she is tolerant of any dog she meets, friendly to all people (even toddlers), hops in the car and sits quietly when we go places, etc.

                                        Her name is Bonnie and without fail, EVERYONE who meets Bonnie wants to take her home.

                                        Believe it or not, most rescue dogs are not homeless because they are damaged goods or have behavioral problems. MOST dogs end up in rescue because their owners are irresponsible IDIOTS.

                                        I've worked in rescue for over 30 years, and now run my own rescue, so I speak from decades of experience. There are very few dogs that we deal with that have any kind of major problems.
                                        Proud Native Texan!
                                        owned by 3 Cardigan Corgi's + 3 wonderful horses!