Russell Rescue, Inc. (Connecticut)

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I am not Wishbone!

Please do your research before deciding to adopt a Jack Russell Terrier. We are flooded with dogs, Nationwide, because people underestimate what is necessary to care for these amazing animals. These dogs are incredible but they are not for everyone.

Jack Russells ...

... are first and foremost hunting dogs. The traits and skills that make them excellent hunting dogs (i.e., digging, barking, aggressive nature, ability to follow scent) are often interpreted as bad habits that cause people to give them up.

... are bred to go underground, following scent to locate and bark at quarry until they are dug down to or the quarry bolts. If they do not have an outlet for their natural instincts, they will invent new and fun jobs for themselves, which frequently include guardian of the world and/or their possessions and family, chasing cars, hunting birds, bugs or leaves, or endlessly digging in the soil.

... are a big dog in a little body. They have the same need (or more!) for exercise as a much larger dog... and the mentality to match -- they think they are at least 150 pounds, and are fearless, often challenging other dogs three times their size.

... are often aggressive with other dogs. Same-sex aggression and aggression towards other breeds of dogs is well documented with this terrier. It is strongly recommended that no more than two Jack Russells (of opposite sex only) ever be permitted to stay together unattended.

... are NOT a non-shedding breed! All coat types shed! Smooth coats shed the most, dropping hair continuously year round. Rough coats maintain the guard and dead coat, requiring manual shedding a few times a year. The broken coat is an intermediary coat, between the two types.

... require firm, consistent discipline. They are extremely intelligent, continue to test their limits throughout their life. More often than not, train their owners before the owner knows what has happened! This ability to train their owners can include displays of aggressive behavior. Their assertive nature must be understood and handled properly!

... can become very possessive of their owner or a favorite member of the family or of what they consider to be their personal property if allowed to do so to the point of showing aggressive protective behavior that must be controlled from an early age.

... are commonly known to harass, injure or kill other small pets, such as cats, birds, rabbits, mice, rats, etc., simply due to their strong natural hunting instinct. Raising a puppy with a cat does not guarantee the cat's life-long safety!

... remain active well into their 15-year-plus life span; their need for activity and desire to hunt continues for their entire lifetime. Untrained, unsupervised dogs rarely meet their life expectancy.

... require at least basic obedience training. The dog's life may depend on it! Even well trained dogs will be tempted to chase something interesting, or even disappear into a hole while you are not looking. Off-lead is always a dangerous situation for a Jack Russell unless in a safe environment with experienced JR owners.

... absolutely need a securely fenced yard! Jack Russells will roam due to their hunting instincts.... even if left in an unsecured for a few minutes! You can let them out every day for three years with no trouble....but one day they will disappear and may never come back. Many JR's have been killed by cars by darting into the road in pursuit of a squirrel, cat, etc. They can also dig under, climb or jump over fences; some can climb trees and any height chain link fencing.

... can be very destructive if left unattended and unemployed! Most behavioral problems are due to a lack of companionship, discipline, activity and exercise. If you've only seen perfect, well-behaved JR's, they are ones that were lucky enough to be exercised, well socialized, and trained.

... are country dogs. When made to live in a city or suburban-type environment, their needs and instincts do not change. It would be unreasonable to expect them to be anything other than what they are genetically bred to be -- a serious hunting dog. Your lifestyle must be adjusted to meet their needs; they must have jobs to perform -- an outlet for their considerable energy and intelligence.

... are NOT recommended as apartment or condo dogs. They need a great deal of exercise and outdoor activity, and are usually too loud for such high-density living. They need room to run; leash walking does not satisfy their boundless energy. Unless your schedule permits many hours at home and a lot of outdoor activity, with a safe place the terrier can run, this is not the dog for you. MANY rescues come from apartments, condos, or homes where the owners work away from the home for long periods of time.

... will NOT TOLERATE even unintended mistreatment from a child. They will not put up with typical child handling such as pulling of ears, tails, etc., or taking or "sharing" of the dog's bones, food, toys, etc. They are very assertive and demanding, and never still... jumping all over whoever will allow it. Jack Russells are not recommended for households with children under the age of six unless you are previously experienced with this feisty little bundle of energy.

... are NOT as they are portrayed in the movies, on TV, or other forms of media. Those dogs are professionally trained and handled, and are very obedient only for VERY short periods of time. Celebrity dogs have their needs met by the trainer, and perform their jobs accordingly.

... require a long-term commitment to obedience, activity, exercise and entertainment... their unique character, intelligence and high energy level can frustrate you, will undoubtedly entertain you, and can bring you great joy (when they're happy!) or great grief (when they're not!). If this type of relationship does not appeal to you, then consider another breed. Jack Russell Terriers are always a work in progress!

You Might Want To SKIP This Dog!

Not ALL Jack Russell's are like the ones described in this article. But puppies don't come with personality guarantees...please do your research on this breed and be prepared to attend doggie obedience classes and to do your homework. These dogs flourish incredibly in the right environment with the right training.

"You Might Want To SKIP This Dog!" by Connie Roller

Is a Jack Russell terrier dog right for me?

So you saw the movie, and now you want one. You might name it Skip, or Eddie, or Wishbone. You and your puppy will live happily ever after, and he will charm you forever with his intelligence and antics. Right?

Think again.

The Jack Russell Terrier you saw in "My Dog Skip" and you see on Frasier is in real life a dog named Moose, who shares both roles with his son Enzo. But not together.they can't get along.

What impact do these "stars" have on families who watch "My Dog Skip", "Wishbone", and "Frasier"? They all want one, of course. Just like the millions of families who responded to 101 Dalmatians, by buying Dalmatian puppies, many families will be looking for Jack Russell puppies in the next few years. So what's wrong with that?

The Jack Russell Terrier is a working breed. Historically, they were specifically bred to chase prey (mainly foxes, but any fast-moving critter will do), into the ground, burrow and dig, and bark furiously, to annoy that prey out of its safe haven. When the prey comes above ground, the hunter can then get a clean shot at it.

The very characteristics that make a Jack Russell a champion are the same characteristics that make it unsuitable for many families. They dig furiously, they bark, they are relentless when they want something. (Prey, food, a sock, a Barbie Doll's head?) They are extremely territorial, they often don't get along very well with other dogs, especially dogs of the same sex. And according to many sources, they will kill your cat. It may seem like the dog and cat get along beautifully, but there are many stories of owners coming home to find their cat slaughtered by their Jack.

Jack Russell Terriers also need enormous amounts of exercise. The most common phrase echoed around the country from breeders and trainers is "A tired Jack is a good Jack." An hour a day of running, playing chasing and digging is the bare minimum. Ask any self-respecting Jack Russell himself, and he will tell you three hours is more like it. Do you as a family have this much time to devote to just playing with your pet? Do you have a fenced yard to keep playtime safe? If you don't have time to play, your Jack will invent his own fun; shredding your furniture, digging craters in your yard, chewing every sock and toy he can find laying around.

You still want to get a Jack Russell puppy for your kids? Keep in mind that the typical Jack doesn't tolerate small children very well. A reputable breeder will most likely refuse to place a Jack Russell in a home with children younger than age five. The most innocent nudge to a sleeping Jack can enrage him and cause him to bite. Heaven help the toddler who trips over a sleeping Jack. They also have zero tolerance for their ears, tails or feet being pulled on, and unlike a Golden Retriever or Lab, they will NOT make special allowances for children. Many Jack Russells are deposited at local humane societies and Russell Rescue, just for this reason.

According to Jane McClay, a private rescuer of Jack Russells in Maine, most rescue dogs would make wonderful family pets, for families familiar with the breed. "Most of the dogs I get in rescue aren't given up because there is something wrong with them, but rather just because they're Jack Russells and people didn't do their research. The dog is FINE and it's the ownert hat just shouldn't have gotten this breed." If you are interested in a Rescue dog, check them out at

Jack Russells are notoriously stubborn. Training is a MUST. Professional training, with a trainer who specializes in this breed is recommended.

Any antics that you find amusing in a ten week old puppy (oh, listen to that cute little snarl) and ignore, will most likely escalate into major problems later on. By the time you realize it's a problem, that dog has had YOU trained for quite a while. They can be very difficult and stubborn to potty train, also. Are you willing to clean up messes in the house potentially for 10 to 12 months?

Do not feel bad if you have decided that a Jack Russell is not right for your family. You shouuld be proud that you have done your research, and with more research, you will find the perfect dog for you!

Written by Connie Roller

Who We Are

Russell Rescue, Inc is a network of volunteers dedicated to placing unwanted or abandoned Jack Russells into permanent homes. The Network arranges for emergency rescues throughout the country, and gathers information designed to match appropriate permanent and temporary homes. It is funded by donations and supported by Jack Russell Terrier lovers and volunteers throughout the world. The goal of the Russell Rescue is to have this unique hunting terrier be in the protective care of those who thoroughly understand this dog. Visit or to see if a Jack Russell Terrier is the right dog for your family.

Adopting a friend

If you are interested in adopting any of our special friends, please contact the person listed on their web page. Please note that an application will be forwarded to you to complete and a home visit for all our pups is a must. Adoption fees are given to Russell Rescue for continued care of all our foster dogs and related expenses concerning our dogs up for adoption. Details can be discussed with a representative. We take a lot of care in placing the pups in our care and are proud to go the extra mile for our furry friends.

Come Visit Us!

Russell Rescue, Inc. is not a shelter. We are a group of volunteers that love the breed and want to do all that we can to place pups in the best homes we can find. If you have any questions about our available dogs or if you have a dog you would like to place in the Rescue please visit and go to the Contacts page to find the contact person in your area.
Russell Rescue, Inc. (Connecticut)

New Haven, CT 06512

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