Just like a variety of other animals out there, a bevy of urban legends and myths surround various dog breeds. Jack Russell terriers have their share of legends surrounding them.
Urban Myth: Email Circulation
An email has been circulating around the Internet since January 2007 suggesting that Beneful Dog Food purchased at Wal-Mart in December 2006 was responsible for the sickness and/or death of 20 dogs. The dog owners maintained they saw something that looked like mold growing on the food. The symptoms reported were similar by all parties; general weakness or sluggishness, glazed eyes, not interested in food or water, white gums, lack of control of bodily functions.
Among the animals reported sick after eating Beneful during this period was a 12-year-old Jack Russell Terrier who immediately began urinating on the carpet. His companion a 6-year-old mutt, also ate the product began to vomit.
The complaint lodged against Purina, who manufactures the pet food, turned out to be a myth. After a thorough investigation and laboratory analysis, no link was found between the deaths and consumption of the product.
Dispelling Myths About Jack Russell Terriers
Jack Russell Terriers are small and make great lap dogs. This is a common myth and one that causes the Jack Russell Terrier the reputation of being a "bad dog." These animals are working dogs, trained to be hunters and diggers and they need lots of activity. They are not sedentary animals.
It is believed that Jack Russell Terriers are hyperactive; they cannot sit still. This is simply not true. Jack Russell Terriers are high-energy dogs meaning they need a lot of playtime and exercise. However, they are also subject to bursts of energy and can become short winded rather quickly.
It is also believed that Jack Russell Terriers do not like children. That is not true, they love children, but because they have a tendency to bite when hurt, it is recommended that they are not around young children under the age of 6.
A common myth now coming to light among breeders is that at the age of four weeks the Jack Russell puppies must be separated from their mothers. This common practice comes from the belief that during whelping, the puppies learn socialization from their siblings, and to leave them with their mother would only teach them her faults in terms of socializing with the adult world. Now breeders are starting to rethink this belief.
Jack Russell Terriers are demanding and tend to be dominant animals. While staying with the mother for longer periods, they learn that they will not always have what they want when they want it. The nursing mother will withhold nursing when she is not ready as the pups get older, hence they learn to wait. She will also chastise them when they bite the nibble, or bite her. Learning not to bite also transfers into the human environment as the puppies tend to be less nippy when they are among people.
Jack Russell puppies play and tag onto each other. When the mother does not want them to bother her, she will also let them know. From this behavior on the mother's part, they learn that they must wait for the appropriate social cues to approach another animals or humans within their new home.
Jack Russell Terriers are subject to a lot of misinformation. This working breed, however, is considered a faithful and loyal family pet by many owners. Obtaining proper education about the breed prior to purchasing a Jack Russell is a very good idea.