Not an Apartment

Because the JRT is small and very cute, many have been brought into small city apartments and condos and left alone while people work all day. The restrictions of being left alone in a confined place all day has made for some surprised owners, who come home to find their apartment ransacked by the bored dog. If left to entertain themselves, JRTs can be very busy doing things humans don't like. That havoc is very entertaining to the dog, though.

This is not a dog who can be crated for long hours and left alone. It is, in fact, cruel to crate a JRT for more than an hour or two. They do not thrive with such restrictions to their physical need for lots of exercise and their mental requirement to engage their minds in interesting activity.

Because of their enormous need for activity, Jack Russell Terriers are often misunderstood and even rejected. They can easily become unruly without good human leadership. Confused owners unprepared for the needs of the dog sometimes seek to place them with rescue groups or surrender them to shelters when they can no longer cope.

The dog's eyes are designed so that he can see well in relative darkness, has excellent peripheral vision, and is very good at tracking moving objects, all skills that are important to a carnivore. Dogs also have good depth perception. Those advantages come at a price, though: Dogs are nearsighted and are slow to change the focus of their vision. It's a myth that dogs are color-blind. However, while they can see some (but not all) colors, their eyes were designed to most clearly perceive subtle shades of gray, an advantage when they are hunting in low light.

Dogs have about six times fewer taste buds on their tongue than humans do. They can taste sweet, sour, bitter, and salty tastes, but with so few taste buds than we do, they are likely to try anything and usually do.

A dog's ears can swivel independently, like radar dishes, to pick up sounds and pinpoint their location. Dogs can locate a sound in 6/oo of a second and hear sound four times farther away than we can (which is why there is no reason to yell at your dog). They can also hear sounds at far higher pitches than we can.

In their first few days of life, puppies primarily use their sense of touch to navigate their world. Whiskers on the face, above the eyes, and below the jaws are sensitive enough to detect changes in airflow. Dogs also have touch-sensitive nerve endings all over their bodies, including on their paws.

Smell may be a dog's most remarkable sense. Dogs have about 220 million scent receptors in their nose, compared to about 5 million in humans, and a large part of the canine brain is devoted to interpreting scent. Not only can dogs smell scents that are very faint, but they can also accurately distinguish between those scents. In other words, when you smell a pot of spaghetti sauce cooking, your dog probably smells tomatoes and onions and garlic and oregano and whatever else is in the pot.

It is extremely important to be prepared for the basic characteristics and personality of any breed before getting one. People often spend more time selecting a pair of shoes than they do a companion animal that they will share their lives with for up to twenty years.

With his boundless energy, the Jack Russell is a challenge not everyone is prepared to provide for or cope with. Not all dog owners are up to the task of living with such a bold, devil-may-care breed.

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Responses

  • michale ford
    Are jack russell terriers supposed to have ears that are sensitive to touch?
    3 years ago

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