The Jack Russell Terrier is an extremely energetic and intelligent dog. The Jack Russell was originally a hunting dog used to chase foxes and other small game, and they’re now a popular companion breed. This breed is known to be quite healthy, although it is susceptible to eye problems as well as conditions of the knee. These small dogs have an excellent lifespan between 13 and 15 years.
Primary Health Conditions of the Jack Russell Terrier
Breeders have been careful with the Jack Russell Terrier and the dog has avoided many of the common hereditary problems among many purebreds. However, the breed can be prone to lens luxation, or displacement of the eye lens, which is an inherited condition. While some forms can be treated with medication or surgery, others can lead to blindness. The Jack Russell Terrier is also susceptible to patellar luxation—displacement of the knee cap. Surgery is used for treatment, and weight control can help lessen advancement of the problem.
Secondary Health Conditions of the Jack Russell Terrier
Legg-Calve Perthes syndrome is a hereditary condition known to occur in the Jack Russell Terrier. Its cause is a malformed leg bone that doesn’t properly fit into the hip joint, which results in pain and lameness. Treatments can include painkillers and hanging the affected leg in a sling, although surgery is needed for advanced cases. The Jack Russell Terrier can also be subject to von Willebrand disease, in which blood clotting is impaired. The disease can be managed but not cured, and dogs with the disorder should not be bred.
Jack Russell Terrier Exercise and Walking Needs
Jack Russells have enormous reserves of energy that will require time and energy on the part of its owner to release and channel. The breed needs much room and time to run and play and enjoys long walks as well. For this reason, despite the terrier’s small stature, the Jack Russell is not the best apartment dog. Without adequate exercise and stimulation, the Jack Russell Terrier can become bored, leading to barking, mischievousness, and destructive behaviors.
Jack Russell Terrier Nutritional Needs
The Jack Russell Terrier has a good appetite given its extremely energetic nature. They require a high quality dog food rich in protein and nutrients. These dogs do not tend to have obesity problems, although older dogs and dogs with lower activity levels can begin to put on weight. Smaller sized kibbles are recommended for this small dog.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.