Choose a Breeder Before you Choose your Jack Russell Puppy
Whether you are getting your Jack Russell puppy from a professional breeder or a hobby breeder, there are several things you need to know when it comes to choosing your puppy.
Firstly, research on the breeder is vital to make sure that your puppy is coming from a responsible breeder, and that the conditions for the mother and pups is up to standards. Ask your veterinarian or check with Breed Clubs for recommendations. Signs of a responsible breeder are:
- Willingness to show you the puppies, mother, father (if available) and living area of dogs.
- Clean living space for dogs, with plenty of space. Much like one would keep for their pets.
- Breeds only one or two specific breeds, and is knowledgeable about them.
- Can and does explain genetic problems associated with Jack Russells and provides documentation about the lineage of the puppies and chances of genetic issues with the puppies.
- Is recommended by and has strong ties with veterinarian and can provide individual medical records for each puppy, and provides a written statement of health for each puppy.
- Can show references from prior customers.
- Does not sell puppies to stores or to online customers they have never met.
- Will require you to meet the puppy, provide information about landlord or living conditions, provide veterinary information if you have any, and sign a contract stating you will return the puppy to them instead if it does not work out.
- Keeps the puppy with the mother and littermates until it is 8 weeks old, although you may visit it before then.
An Objective Decision is Best
When you are shown a litter of wiggling little furballs, it can be difficult to choose just one. It can also be hard to keep from choosing the first one that wobbles up to you and starts to lick your hand or chew your shoelaces. But it is always a good idea to evaluate each puppy for several traits, instead of letting your emotions make the decision for you.
Depending on what kind of dog and relationship you want, there are some things you should look for in each puppy, and how they interact with each other. There is a personality type for everyone, so knowing what you are looking for in a dog is critical at this point.
When the puppies are grouped together, look to see if there are any that seem like more of a loner. They may sit and watch the other puppies play, or they may go off on their own to explore. These puppies may need lots of socialization to be comfortable around other dogs and people, and will be a bit more independent than their littermates would be.
Watch how the puppies play. The ones who are always on top when play fighting usually have a more dominant personality and may be more likely to need extra socialization in order to be good with other dogs and people, and those that are comfortable being on top or on bottom are more likely to be comfortable with many different people and dogs.
An important clue in a puppy’s behavior is how she reacts when she accidentally plays too rough and hurts a littermate. When she heard the yelp did she jump back and stop the behavior? If so, she is likely to be more willing to adapt her behavior, and training will be based on pleasing you. If she continued the behavior, her training will more likely have to be based on rewards.
At around 8 weeks, puppies should begin to show interest in newcomers. This would be you if you are visiting the litter. Watch to see which puppies immediately run to you. These are puppies that are socialized ad enjoy the company of new friends and will crave company probably all through adulthood. Puppies that run away or seem scared need more socialization in order to build confidence and to know how to properly greet newcomers. This can be a rewarding relationship for some owners. And puppies who seem to not be interested in newcomers at all, instead choosing to chase a butterfly or sniff out a new smell, completely ignoring you, are more likely to be independent dogs. These dogs will need reward based training and won’t mind alone time as long as they have something to keep them busy.
Talk to the breeder about the personalities of each puppy. In general, the strongest traits of a puppy will carry into adulthood, although training and socialization will keep them from the extremes.
You’ve Chosen A Puppy, What Now?
Once you have chosen your Jack Russell puppy, make sure that you have complete records of any vaccinations or deworming that has been administered, so you can take that information to your own veterinarian. You may also receive information about the parents of the puppies, too, for registration or for medical reasons.
There is a lot to know about raising a puppy, from daily care, to feeding, to medical issues, to training, and Jack RussellsMadeEasy.com can help with everything. Our D.O.G. training system works great with puppies, and we have the expertise and resources about puppies that will have you covered from the day you bring your new Jack Russell home.