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 EXERCISE  REQUIREMENTS

 

                                                                                                                   " SUPER  FRANNIE "
 
 
Before you consider owning a Jack Russell it is very important to understand the exercise requirements of this breed. There seems to be a misconception that large breed dogs need "room to run", and smaller dogs are fine in apartments,etc. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love my big German Shepherd, but all of my terriers can outrun and outlast her any day of the week. It is up to responsible Jack Russell breeders to educate perspective J.R. owners about their very high exercise needs. If you are under the impression that the average J.R. will be fine with a walk around the block once a day, you would be wrong. Unfortunately T.V. shows like "Frasier" painted a picture of a cute little dog who usually sat on the couch most of the day. Not once did you see this canine T.V. star bouncing from room to room looking for something to do. Now I realize not everyone ( myself included ) is an avid jogger or hiker, but the average person can meet a J.R.s needs with a little planning and creativity.

First of all, just being outside is a big plus. They need a fenced in area where they can safely run and play. If you start your puppy early with lots of retrieving games, the everyday tennis ball will be an invaluable tool for you. If your dog loves to play fetch he will get so much great
exercise, and have fun too. This way if you are not feeling particularly energetic yourself, you can even sit on a chair and throw the ball so your terrier gets a good workout.
I had a wonderful terrier named "Tye" who was so obsessed with tennis balls he would bring them to me at any moment of the day ( or night! ) and he would play ball until he could hardly stand up, take a two minute rest, and start at it again. Luckily I had a large water trough for the horses that Tye would jump into, cool off, and return in a flash with his beloved soggy tennis ball.

 

 

 


There are all kinds of fun accessories now like "Chuk - Its"  that help you to throw even futher.  And if you become interested in canine  sports you can train your dog to play frisbee, and may be even become a  competitive "disc dog". You can teach them to do hurdles, learn agility, or  learn the hugely popular sport of Flyball. The great thing is, the Jack Russell  terrier is smart enough, and athletic enough to do all of this and much more!
The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Canada
www.jrtcc.ca has a variety of performance events that showcase the terrier's ability. It is simply amazing to watch these little dogs compete in such events as racing, and lure coursing.  In the Lure Coursing event, they will chase a lure powered by a small motor, and often these quick little athletes will catch the lure! Years ago I took a few terriers to a lure coursing practice the Greyhound Club of Canada was running.
The great folks there were amazed at how fast, and extremely enthusiastic my J.R.s were.  I always encourage Jack Russell owners to be creative. If you are talented enough to rollerblade or skateboard while you run
your dog, you will both get an amazing workout. This gives your dog so much more of an effective workout than a leisurely walk around the block. In the winter, why not take your J.R.s cross country skiing? As long as the temperatures are favorable and you have protective footwear for your friend, it can be a great time for both of you. And in the summer you might want to cool off by taking your terrier to a safe stream or pond to chase sticks or floating toys. Many Jack Russell's are excellent swimmers, and enjoy the water very much.





                   
                                                                                                    

 


 
                                                   SPRINGER
 
                                     In these photos I have a bicycle trailer attached, so my senior citizen terrier can come with us on our ride.    
 
 
            

My favorite way to train and condition my terriers is to use a hands free device called a "springer".  A springer attaches to the frame of your bicycle and its design is such that a dog will naturally pull away from the
wheels of your bike.  I see people all the time trying to ride a bike and manage their dog on a leash with one hand.  More often than not, this can be both frustrating and dangerous.  The big concern is when the leash is too long, the
dog can cross in front of your bicycle or get into trouble with on coming obstacles.  With the springer, I find it so much safer and easier to manage that I run two terriers in tandem.  The key is to do some basic training of key
commands, so your dogs can be cued for right and left turns.  I keep my most experienced terrier on the inside (my wheel dog) and he will actually push his partner over to do a left turn.  It is great to have a steady experienced
springer dog to help teach the new ones.  You must always be ready for distractions on your ride.  It could be anything that grabs your terriers attention and takes their mind off what they are doing.  The great thing with
having your hands free is you can safely stop your bike, deal with the distraction (squirrel, cat, loose dog etc.) and carry on.  Very rarely will the dogs run towards the bicycle wheel, but part of the challenge for the rider is
to always be aware and prepared!  Sometimes all it takes is a gentle voice command to remind the dogs they are too close to the wheel.  The other big consideration is the physical capabilities of your terrier.  Start slowly!  You
can't expect them to run full speed the whole way.  Most of my riding is done at a nice brisk trot.  Remember these dogs were bred to cover ground in the hunt field all day, but you must take into consideration the temperature and the dogs fitness level.  I always carry water and a collapsable bowl for them and take frequent water breaks.  I also keep the dogs on the softest surface, and the bicycle on the pavement.  I avoid gravel or any other surface that would be hard on their feet and make sure their paws are on grass or dirt trails for the majority of our trip.  I think my years of riding horses has taught me to constantly scan my surroundings for hazards and with the dogs I make sure I am
just as dilligent.  You can avoid most hazards (broken glass, holes, etc.) but it's good to carry a cell phone in case you run into trouble.
 
 
 
                                  
                                                      OUTWIT - OUTLAST - OUTPLAY 
 
The catch phrase from the t.v. show "SURVIVOR" is truly the motto of the Jack Russell.  These 3 words perfectly sum up the Jack Russell Terrier!  They are one of the most intelligent, driven, and playful breeds.  Combined with 
amazing stamina and overall athletic ability, there isn't many things this amazing little terrier can't do.