When selecting a family pet, one must choose prudently. Not every animal is suited for every home. Unfortunately, many people do take into consideration the various factors concerned in the selection. As a result, animals are left abandoned or sent to shelters by the thousands each year.
The Jack Russell Terrier is a canine that needs the right owner just as much as the owner needs the right dog. They can be stubborn and hard to train. They have strong personalities and will dominate any inexperienced owner. The Jack Russell Terrier has been ranked as one of the 10 breeds of dogs that are most often rejected or abandoned by their owners simply because they are misunderstood.
Often, people make the mistake of buying a Jack Russell Terrier because they believe that their size makes them good lap dogs for the elderly. This could not be further from the truth. Most people have the idea that each cute little Jack Russell is a clone of Eddie, on the television show Frasier. They visualize the dog sleeping on the couch, and, when awake, making a great companion for his owner, the senior Martin Crane. They forget that the show also emphases how Martin, though wounded by a gun shot to the leg, still takes his dog out on walks. Not only does he take the dog out but the live-in physical therapist, Daphne Moon takes the dog out as well.
These dogs need plenty of exercise and if their elderly owner is not mobile, the dog will not be happy. They will tend to bark loudly, bite and even destroy furniture. The will dig up houseplants, and soil carpets if they are not let out of the house in time. The Jack Russell must have at least one good walk a day. An elderly owner must be able to walk the dog or make provisions for someone to do it.
Jack Russell terriers can be quite overwhelming for frail elderly persons, especially since they are very energetic. Because of their hunting instincts they tend to jump a lot. They can leap as high as five feet, perhaps startling or causing the elderly to topple over. Their quick movements can also trip seniors.
As already stated, these dogs require lots of exercise. They also need lots of attention and lots of training. However, on a positive note, a Jack Russell Terrier is a fierce and loyal friend and will make an excellent companion for the active, mobile senior. They also make great guard dogs and are able to alert their elderly owners to the presence of an intruder. Home invasions are less frequent in homes where canines live.
Jack Russell Terriers also make good service and therapy dogs. They visit and work at many nursing homes, senior care facilities and hospitals.
Marietta, Georgia has a New Lease on Life Program where Jack Russell Terriers are used in nursing homes to enrich the lives of the bedridden. Murphy, one of the dogs, gets up on the bed and snuggles up to the patients, who simply love him.
Jack Russell Terriers, whether working in therapy programs, or at home with their elderly companions, are delightful animals, loyal and true, mischievous and playful. They will delight and charm everyone - especially the right dog owner.