General Question

johnny0313x's avatar

Jack Russell, for me or no? Whats your experiance?

Asked by johnny0313x (1840points) September 28th, 2008

I am moving in with a roommate. We are allowed to have dogs, and I am thinking about getting a Jack Russell as I have always wanted one. I work all day and usually get home round 6AM. The apt is actually a town house so it is a decent size, and there is a back yard. I have owned a dog before when I was younger, but am by no means a dog expert. I have done alot of research on the breed and see that they can be a handful. I have never seen one that is bad aside from on TV. I was wondering what you experiance with one is, and if I take him for regular walks, as well as socializing with my friends dogs while he is young, do you think he would be a good match for me. I do plan on taking him with me on most car rides and he would only be left alone really from 9AM-6PM which I was considering leaving him in a large dog crate for that time period atleast until he is trained and knows what is right and wrong? I am not a fan of cages I think it is somewhat cruel but since it is not all my furniture in the apt I’d hate to see him pee or chew on something that is not mine when I am at work. My roommate will be home all day, but the dog would mostly be my responsibility.

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37 Answers

Darwin's avatar

Jack Russells are very energetic and tend to bark a lot out of excitement. Take that into consideration when you are making a decision.

And in my opinion, although several of our dogs love their crates and use them when they “vant to be alone,” 6 hours is a long time in a crate, especially for a young dog. Would your roommate be willing to at least interact with the dog and let him out of the crate and out to the backyard during the day when you aren’t home?

And if chewing and peeing are a concern, you might consider an older rescued dog, especially one that has been fostered. You can frequently find pure breds among the rescues, although if you are like me you will find your heart held hostage by an FLM (aFfunny Looking Mutt).

JackAdams's avatar

The perfect dog for a place like yours is the Basenji, because it is the only dog (so far as I know) that makes no sounds.

johnny0313x's avatar

I read that besenjis can be a hand full too i actually do like them but i hear they are also very hyper and when left alone make that weird screaming howling type noise. Also that they chew on things alot….they made the jack russell sound like a better choice.

On another not I will def be going through pet rescue as I like to help animals in need of homes. However I am nervouse about this decision as there will also be a cat. I am sure my roommate will help out minimally and give him some excercise when he can.

sndfreQ's avatar

Their temperament is pretty high strung, unlike the JR on the TV show Frasier (which is what most people associate when thinking of JRTs). I had a roommate for a year that had a wire-haired one that was left in similar circumstances (alone in a townhouse daily during work hours). That dog pissed wherever (on white carpet!) even after being housebroken just to spite his master. Yeah they’re generally pretty bright and full of character, but the one I knew seemed to act like he was on speed. If you go through a breeder you should check the temperament of the dog and its parents. While I’m no expert in breeding, I will say that the runt I knew had a chip on his shoulder!

johnny0313x's avatar

Can anyone suggest a cute under 45 LBS dog that sounds like it might be right for me? I don’t care for wirey haired breeds or long hair as much, I prefer short hair breeds.

I am pretty set on a JRT as of now, I think if I get one young enough I can train him to be accepting of other dogs/animals, as well as get used to my schedule so he knows when I get home I will take him for a run and he will travel with me to my friends houses that also have dogs.

sndfreQ's avatar

Initially my wife and I looked at JRTs but opted for a Beagle mix (Beagle and Chihuahua if you can imagine that! Basically a low-rider smaller variety Beagle). She is really mellow but full of character and very obedient.

Darwin's avatar

To be honest, if you go to a good rescue facility and tell them what your situation is, they might have just the dog for you. They often know which dogs tolerate cats well and which ones don’t mind being alone. They also often know who is mellow versus who is an ADD dog.

Three of our dogs are FLMs. One of the most mellow is, we think, a blend of Chow, Shepherd and something with very short legs (we call her a Basset-Chow). The next most mellow is a Katrina rescue that we think is Golden Retriever and Shar-Pei. Our third FLM was very energetic when young but has developed severe arthritis as he has aged, so now he lies on his side on the floor and barks. We think he is a Rottweiler-Dachsund cross (REALLY low ground clearance).

Our pure-bred American Bulldog is fairly mellow and the quietest dog we ever had was a Shar-Pei. She was somewhat cat-like in personality, coming to people when she felt a need to be petted and otherwise content to stare out the window. She rarely if ever barked.

Most terriers tend to be energetic. We have a Pit Bull Terrier (another Katrina rescue) who we call ADD-Dog. He will jump so high straight up in the air when we go to let him out that he actually bumps his head on the top of the door frame. He also sounds the alert for every single passing evidence of life, from a squirrel to a full-sized garbage truck.

The point of all this rambling is that while certain breeds are more mellow than others, individual dogs within a breed also vary. Younger dogs are more active and demanding than dogs that are four years old or more. In any case, a reputable source will know the personalities of their dogs and can help you find the right one for you.

marinelife's avatar

I love Jack Russel Terriers. You could have success, but people are telling you the truth here. They are terriers, which means they are relentless, and they are barky. (Will that be a problem in a townhouse?)

On top of that, the breed is very willful and difficult to train. That is why they often end up in rescue.

If your dog is old enough to be housebroken and a male, he could handle those hours crated, especially if you made time in your schedule before you left in the morning for a lengthy walk and some off-leash ball chasing in that yard. JRTs love to chase balls. They were bred to hunt rats.

They also love water. My sister’s would jump in the shower or tub with anyone. She played a game with him where she blew up a whole pack of balloons and then timed him to see how fast he could “kill” (pop) them all. He would jump into her arms on command. hers was great with cats. That should not be a problem.

They are very smart, loving, little dogs. If you have patience and really make a point of wearing the dog out before crating him, it could work if you have your heart set on it.

aidje's avatar

Second paragraph: “The Basenji produces an unusual yodel-like sound”

JackAdams's avatar

Thanks for letting me know. My neighbor had one, that was totally silent.

Hers must have been the exception…

johnny0313x's avatar

I have heard basenji to be the bark less dog and that is why i was suprised when i read that when left alone they can be noisy. Maybe that is only if they are bored and not properly cared for.

augustlan's avatar

My husband kept a Jack Russell for a friend of his for about 6 months. We really loved that dog, but he was a major pain in the ass! He tore up so many things in the house while left alone, that he actually got his own room to be kept in while no one was home. When we were there, he was the sweetest thing in the world, but while alone he barked constantly, and chewed, clawed, peed or pooped on every available surface.

johnny0313x's avatar

hm, that doesnt sound like I good thing, my heart is somewhat set on them, however I don’t want to make a bad choice, or put a dog in a situation that would not be good for him or myself. I would plan on maybe leaving him in the large basement during the day instead with plenty of toys and water, and take him for a walk before I go to work and after, then whatever my usualy day consist of he can tag along. I am hoping that would be enough to keep him happy.

deaddolly's avatar

I’ve got 2 terriers, a Westie and a Cairn…both are wonderfully smart and were easy to train. But, they bark a lot. And they get into tons of trouble.

The comment you got about going to a shelter is a great idea. since you’re not in a hurry, yo can take your time and find the perfect dog for you.

Puppies can’t be left alone in a crate for 6+ hours. They will pee and poo and roll in it. Plus it’s not fair to them. I crate trained most of my dogs and it’s the best way to go.

Cardinal's avatar

Very high strung (read bounce off the walls).

acebamboo77's avatar

Jack Russells are great pets. I say that and I’m not a dog person at all! My boyfriend’s parents breed them. Over the past ten years I’ve known him they have had the most well behaved, loveable and intelligent dogs.
A far as them being a handful, it won’t be a problem so long as you spend time with it when you can. I find the dogs pick up personality traits of their owners.
They dogs they have are home alone from about 7am until roughly 6.
It’s just a matter of training them in a friendly way, and bonding with them.
Out of all the breeds I would suggest this one, by far!

deaddolly's avatar

Any puppy you get should NEVER be left in a crate for 6 hours at a crack. I was lucky to work close to my house, so I came home about 4 times a day to let the pup out. When my Westie was little, I brought him and his crate into work with me. Course that’s not the norm for most ppl.
Would you rooomie let the dog out during the day? You could trade off something else for his/her help.

johnny0313x's avatar

Yes I think my roommate would help somewhat while I was at work, I might be able to stop home on lunch quickly or possibly bring him to work now and then. My job is laid back but I am not sure if they would want a little puppy there everyday. On occasion in the beginning, they may not mind to much.

johnny0313x's avatar

I’m debating if it would be better to get him as a very little puppy or just under a year when he has some experience on behavior. It’s a hard choice, I am thinking though it will be harder with im as a puppy, he will learn more of me if I start him fresh as a pup.

deaddolly's avatar

Yes, a puppy is a lot of work. But an older puppy sometimes has bad habits engrained already. If you can manage the daily stuff; you’ll do fine.
If you do get a puppy; make sure to see both parents if you can.
And, please whatever you do: DON’T BUY FROM A PET STORE OR ANYTHING RESEMBLING A PUPPY MILL. Find a reputable breeder. I’ve gotten dogs from ‘backyard’ breeders, which they say isn’t the best, but never had a problem. Seeing both parents will tell you a great deal about your pups future temperament.

Puppies are cool, but they’re a lot of work! Constantly.

Good luck and let us know what happens!

Have you checked out the local shelter? You might find a ‘mutt’ that has been waiting for you!

syz's avatar

Jack Russell’s are extremely high energy and definitely have the terrier mentality (they’ll fight with the biggest dogs and think they can win). Personally, I don’t like the terrier mentality – I prefer a dog that is easier to train.

Basenji’s are not a silent dog. They make an annoying ululating call that can be quite obnoxious. They are also prone to quite a few genetic defects.

deaddolly's avatar

Terriers are super intelligent, Syz. Mine were both very easy to train. They can be a handful tho and think their are the top dog, not matter what. I thought my Cairn was the smartest dog I ever owned…I’d say Zoe, crate and in she went etc. Then I got my Westie, Oliver. He’s my challenge child. Asked to ‘leave’ training class in favor of one on one. Learned behaviors in 3 clicks with the trainer. At home, he knows when he’s doing something wrong; he just doesn’t give a flying fart.
Example: He likes to get on the kitchen table, which he knows is a big no-no. I always push the chairs in, so he can’t jump up (terriers like to be high up, for some reason). So, he pulled the table runner off and got everything he wanted.

As far as barking goes: dogs bark, people talk. It’s natural.
if the landlord is allowing you to have 2 dogs, they expect barking. It’s a normal thing.

greylady's avatar

Are you totally “set” on a dog? It sounds like your situation is more amenable towards having a cat.
And Darwin’s experience with the Shar-Pei is the norm. I raised and showed them for
many years, and they tend to be just as she describes.

Darwin's avatar

I loved our Shar-Pei and am still grieving her loss. I would get another one if I could afford it or if I could find one in a shelter (ours came from Shar-Pei Rescue). She was a terrific dog with a fascinating personality.

johnny0313x's avatar

I don’t care for cats to much, I am set on a dog, and I would def be checking out the shelter first as I would much rather see a dog that is homeless or even worse on it’s way to death get a home then a dog that won’t have a problem. However I do have my heart set on a Jack Russell, but that doesnt mean another dog couldn’t work his way in there especially if logically a JRT wouldn’t be a suitable fit for my lifestyle. Judging by what I am reading though it sounds like with some hard work, I can handle having a JRT puppy as logn as I puppy proof a few things and let him know who is the boss.

deaddolly's avatar

Sounds like you’ve got the right idea! Dogs are wonderful; I’d rather be around them than most ppl I know.

Don’t forget to let us know what you get! I’ll be watching out for more dog questions!!!!

johnny0313x's avatar

I got a Jack Russell/pit mix for those who are wondering, aside from the puppy stuff..its great :)

oasis's avatar

You ought to worry about cleaning the poop up!!!
How can you reccomend a dog when you cant even clean up after yours.

johnny0313x's avatar

I made this post a long time ago when I wanted to get a dog and then I got one… I clean up after my dog now thank you. As far as taking care of him he is bathed regularly and brushed his ears are cleaned and his nails filed, and i still don’t see it being that bad of a thing cleaning my dogs mess up in my backyard which I found out is in fact mine, but i clean that up everytime now too.

oasis's avatar

good to hear about the poop,filing the Dogs nails is another matter altogether,if you need to file your Dogs nails,then its very old and cannot walk far or you are not walking your Dog.
No disrespect intended.

johnny0313x's avatar

I file them just to keep them shorter and smooth – I don’t think walking will file them completely just maintain them. He goes for daily walks….

oasis's avatar

I have never filed my Dogs nails,walk him/her for miles sometimes on a hard surface.This is a Dog,do you put nail varnish on it?

johnny0313x's avatar

No, i dont’ walk my dog for miles maybe thats why I usually take him about 30–40 minutes everyday.

johnny0313x's avatar

I dont see anything wrong with maintaining his nails this way, to me its just another way to keep him groomed and healthy.

Marley's avatar

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