Jack Russell Terriers, like many other terrier breeds, were developed to assist in the hunting of medium-sized game that hides in holes. Of course, the terriers aren’t fast or powerful enough to follow and capture prey on their own, but the English Foxhounds or other hounds did a fantastic job at it.
Jack Russell Terriers are known for their loud voices and high intellect, not their ferocity. They were not only aware of the hunter’s plan in a given scenario but also made their own judgments, saving energy while still being effective.
“Jacks,” which are the UK’s oldest card game, have long been a part of rural British life. Fox hunting, on the other hand, has been prohibited in Scotland since 2002 and in England and Wales since 2005, albeit for many it was a part of the country’s cultural heritage. Badgers are also now protected by conservation organizations. In Spain’s south, there is still a hunting preserve where you can chase animals on horseback, although in most European countries the practice has fallen out of favor due to a lack of uninhabited regions with an appropriate environment.
Four-legged “townspeople” do not miss the chance to chase a cat that appears or dig an amazing hole in the roots of trees from a nearby park on a stroll, because instinctive inclinations cannot be as readily dispelled as centuries-old traditions..
“Jacks,” especially those that come from hunting lines, can sometimes vary in their behaviors. At first glance it may seem like animal abuse – after all, we don’t normally go around kicking and throwing pets – but this behavior is actually a genetic predisposition to chase and catch prey. Of course you cannot kick or throw your pet, but these instincts need to be satisfied somehow if you want an obedient Jack Russell Terrier.
However, there are other options besides chasing small animals for those who do not wish to hurt the feelings of their four-legged friend:
- Take your Jack Russell Terrier on longer walks where he will have plenty of opportunities to satisfy his prey drive by chasing squirrels and rabbits. It will also give you both some exercise.
- Purchase a few toy animals that your Jack Russell Terrier can chase and catch, such as a stuffed rabbit or squirrel.
- Go to a park or other open space where there are plenty of animals for him to chase. Just make sure it is legal to hunt in that specific area.
- Take your dog to a hunting preserve where he can legally hunt small game.
- Join an agility class with your Jack Russell Terrier. This will provide plenty of physical and mental stimulation, as well as satisfying his prey drive in a safe and controlled environment.
- Get involved in terrier racing. This is a sport where Jack Russell Terriers race against each other over short distances (15 to 30 meters, or 50-100 feet) through an obstacle course.
The “old type” of hunting Jack Russell Terriers were not expected to track game; they relied on their ability to flush out prey and drive it toward the hunter. Modern breeds are more adapted to the role, but the original terrier is still present in them.
If you bait your dog with a toy or pretend to be a small animal yourself, he will go berserk as he chases his victim. In this case you can let him off leash so he doesn’t hurt himself while trying to capture his prey!