Wolfhouse Jack Russells
We have had companion Jacks for the past 15 years simply because we love this intelligent, versatile little dog.
The Jack Russell project differs from our Wolfhound project because it is done in collaboration with my sister, Christine Monberg of Tumblewind Jack Russells. From our teenage years until we left home in our early twenties, she and I bred Connemara ponies. We then gave up the ponies and acquired our own Warmblood horses. Christine still breeds Warmbloods, while I have solely concentrated on the Irish Wolfhounds for many years.
We have often agreed that we missed the days of doing the Connemaras together, so when the Jack Russell Terrier was recognized by the F.C.I. in 2000, we decided to do something constructive with our mutual interest in the Jack Russells. Together we purchased Australian Champion Baylock Classic, who was in whelp with Grand CH Colean Brown Lager (an 8 times Best In Show winner at all breed shows in Australia). Their progeny have done well in the showring so far, and more importantly they all exhibit the most delightful temperaments. They are easy to live with, easy to train and very good around other dogs.
The Character of the Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terriers are a hardy, versatile breed well suited for the active outdoor type of family. JRTs are sporting, energetic little dogs with a love for running the fields, hunting through the shrubs, in the barn or anywhere there might be prey -- from mice to foxes or badgers. A JRT is also a dog well suited for obedience training, agility, or fly-ball. They are also well matched for foxhunting or other forms of hunting. They are great at digging holes in the garden, love car rides, hiking in the woods or the hills, and life on the farm. In the evenings you will find them resting in a warm and comfortable spot after a long active day.
The JRT is highly intelligent, curious, and full of life. He is possessive of anything over which he has claimed ownership, be it a mole hole, a dead rat, or a well-set dinner table. The possessiveness and consequent guarding of objects is something that should be dealt with from the early stages of puppyhood, otherwise it can easily become an obsession unsuitable for family life.
Jack Russells have a mixed reputation; they are often known as a snappy, yappy lot. Our Russells have learned not to yap unnecessarily and snappiness is not an issue in our household. But it is important to remember that even small dogs need proper raising and training in order to be happy, well functioning individuals.
I once had a male JRT who was very noisy by nature. Somehow we miraculously managed to train him to do a silent bark. He would sit in front of me and do all the barking motions without a sound. We loved it and he loved our delight with his little trick. Jack Russells generally take great pleasure in learning, simply because this means getting undivided attention from their people for a while.
Status Quo of the breed
The JRT is generally a hardy, healthy long-lived little breed whose future may be jeopardized by the overwhelming popularity. Weak souls are easily tempted by the possibility of setting up commercial breeding operations with a quick turnover. These days you will see anything that just remotely resembles a JRT going into reproduction. I find this very sad indeed. With the knowledge that every third Jack Russell born in the United States will be re-homed or rescued, I have fears that we will experience similar tendencies in Europe before too long. Search the web and you will find many, many very commercial looking websites peddling anything as Jack Russells as if they were just plain commodities, and not living beings. We strongly recommend that anyone who desires a Jack Russell take the time to thoroughly investigate the possible breeders before bringing a puppy home.
Click on thumbnail images to view larger image.