JACK RUSSELL TERRIER
One of the most popular slapstick action comedies of the 90’s, The Mask was a story about an incredibly nice and painfully unlucky bank clerk who finds and wears a magical mystical mask (resembling Loki, the Norse night god of mischief) which turns him into a green faced uncontrollable lunatic reflection of his manic alter ego. Stanley Ipkiss also has a dog, Milo. Milo has to go through the antics of “the mask” and then smartly get Stanley out of trouble when necessary. Milo even got his own subsequent sequel, which we couldn’t bother to watch just like the rest of the sequels. Throughout the movie Milo shows exceptional vigor, tenacity and intelligence to perform extraordinary antics. And the producers got the choice of breed spot on when they cast the Jack Russell Terrier for the part.
Jack Russells are energetic breeds that rely on a high level of exercise and simulation, and are relatively free from serious health complaints. It is a feisty little champ filled with courage and determination. A big dog in a small package, here is the Jack Russell Terrier.
It all began with the Reverend John (Jack) Russell, originator of the breed. Russell was always a keen country sportsman and, as such very familiar with different breed of dogs including terriers. A terrier Russell bought off a milkman became the foundation bitch in the line of what were, in time, to be known as Jack Russell- and later Parson Russell-Terries. Following Russell’s death in 1994, the Devon and Somerset Badger Club was formed by Russell’s friend, journalist and hunter Arthur Heinemann.
The club fell by the wayside just before the Second World War, and post-war, the Jack Russell Terrier became a ‘type’ rather than a breed, often crossed with other breeds to pro- duce the wide range of sizes and colurs often see in modern days. For a while, it looked as though the Parson Jack Russell Terrier would become extinct but a small band of enthusiasts reformed the Parson Jack Russell club in 1983 and submitted the old Parson Russell to the Kennel Club for recognition. Eventually after couple of recognition, kennel club recognized the breed in January 1990.
The Parson is brave, intelligent and energetic terrier with a great sense of joy for life. They are family oriented dogs, but don’t tolerate a lot of pulling about, so may not be best for the families with young children. Due to their hunting ancestry and instincts, they won’t always readily accept other small animals, especially rodents, although if trained from an early age to respect other family pets, they can live quite happily with them. Parsons love to be with involved with all family activities. They don’t like being left on their own for a long time and need to be taught from early time.
The breed has recognition for being healthy with long lifespan. However, the main health problem which the kennel club recognizes is PLL (primary lens luxation) which affects the Parson Russell Terrier’s eyes. The Animal Health Trust has recently discovered the gene responsible for PPL. There have been the cases of hereditary cataracts in the breed but this is not a recognized problem. The other problem being seen now is late onset ataxia; a muscular co-ordination problem.
Being a hunt-driven dog, the Jack Russell will usually peruse most creatures it encounters. This includes the skunk, and the breed is prone to skunk toxic shock syndrome. The chemical in the skunk spray is sprayed absorbed by the dog and causes the red blood cells to undergo hemolysis, which can lead to fatal anaemia and kidney failure. Treatments are available to flush the toxin out of the dog’s system..
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
Dogs ideally are sturdy, tough, and tenacious measuring between 10-15 inches (25-38 cm) at the withers and weigh 14-18 pounds (6.4-8 kg). The body length is always in proportion to its height.
There are three different types of coat: rough, which requires stripping by hand at least twice a year; Broken, which is easily kept tidy with brush and have longer hair but does require stripping; and smooth, which just requires a brush. Broken and roughs doesn’t shed all time, only when they needed to be stripped.
Parson Russell Terrier have extremely healthy appetites and therefore need a well-balanced diet which gives them maximum energy and satisfaction. Mostly, plain food is suggested for their diet. It’s extremely recommended that adult Parson is fed twice a day.
Parson Russell Terrier is a long-lived breed, with the average lifespan of around 11-15 years of age.
Parsons are very energetic, with their long legs. They prefer to live in homes with gardens where they can run around, and don’t take well to confinement in apartments. Being intelligent and energetic, they like to keep themselves occupied, so tend to be good at obedience, agility and fieldwork activities. As far as other dogs are concerned, Parsons tend to be somewhat territorial, so care must be taken when introducing them to dogs they do not know. However, they can co-exist perfectly happy with other breeds of dog in the family unit if they are raised with them.