Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"J" is for Jack Russell

The Jack Russell Terrier is also known as the Parson Jack Russell Terrier. This feisty little dog was bred in the 1800s by (can you guess) Parson Jack Russell. A man of the cloth, but also an avid fox hunter, Parson Russell wanted a hunting dog that could match the energy, intelligence and versatility of the fox. He found it in a female terrier named Trump.

Trump was purchased on the road from a milkman that Russell happened to be passing. Perhaps sparking to her looks, since he'd had no opportunity to see her hunt, Parson Russell took her back to Oxford and bred her with a white Devon hunt terrier. The Jack Russell was established.

According to the breed standard, Jack Russell Terriers are supposed to be:
"Lively, active and alert in appearance. Fearless and happy in disposition. They should never appear nervous, cowardly or over-aggressive. They should always be confident."

I've owned terriers in my life (Scotties and Airedales) and I must admit to favoritism for the group. Their independence, intelligence and wit keeps me challenged. Their stout-heartedness and loyalty keeps me devoted. I've never owned a Jack, they may be a bit more terrier than I am willing to take on, but I do admire them. Always happy, full of energy, they are not a breed to be ignored. Just watch the clip below if you don't believe me.

One more thing and it may sound like preaching, but, please, research any dog before you adopt or buy. Puppies grow up to be dogs. Small dogs still need to be trained. Large dogs still need to be cuddled. Dogs require food and water and exercise and quality time and vet care. Nowhere in a dog's care instructions does it say: "Chain it in the backyard and yell at it." Sermon over.

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