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So You Are Adopting a Jack Russell Terrier - The Good, The Bad, The Adorable

Updated on August 30, 2016

Looks pretty harmless doesn't she?

Maddie - The Happiest Dog On Earth

Of all my pets, mostly dogs, Maddie is the most remarkable. We got her as a puppy from a home that couldn't handle two Jack Russells. We soon found out why. Not having Jack Russell experience, there is no way we could have anticipated the incredible amount of energy packed into that little body. Never have I seen an animal move so fast. I have lived in Africa and I have seen cheetahs run in the wild but they are snails compared to Maddie. Apparently she comes with a two speed switch: off and on, no cruise.

Needless to say she captured our hearts. She is as sweet as she is fast. We men aren't supposed to use the word sweet but in this case it just fits. I don't know if all Jack Russells are like this but after three labradors, she is without a doubt the closest in disposition and smarts to my former favorites. The real benefit for me is size. I loved my labs but bath day was like taking both of us to the car wash. With Maddie, 5 minutes and we are done. Plus, she comes with a factory builtin blow dryer. Once released wet, she shoots across the house, outdoors and back inside at which point she is dry. The perfect dog accessory.

Leaving and returning home has also been a new experience. I mentioned she is fast but I didn't tell you about the springs on the bottom of her feet. To say she can bounce to eye-level is an understatement. Her happiness is expressed by popping up into the air, grabbing your attention, and then (i swear) she smiles. The emotion displayed by her body language is overwhelming. She just makes you feel happy.

My labs had many of her same attributes. They all have "the look" - those sad eyes which stare deep into your soul such that you will forgive any transgression. They all have that strong spirit and best-friend appeal, but this Maddie is a step above. My only concern is that if we were ever burgled, she would likely give the thieves a tour of the house and thank them when they left, especially for the pupparoni treats for which she will do anything. Nobody's perfect.

For those of you who choose a Jack Russell terrier as a pet, put on your speedy shoes and be aware that all your furniture will become part of the daily obstacle course running routine. AND don't believe those who tell you that they slow down with age. Maddie is now two and is an olympic hurdles contender. It's a part of their charm so don't expect it to change. If you think you can handle the challenge of a dog which never sits still, except when napping, then this pet's for you.

UPDATE 2016: Maddie is just shy of her eighth birthday now. Except for a recurring bit of shakiness in her hind legs due to being hit by a car in year three, she hasn't changed at all. (Thank you Texas A&M University Veterinary Hospital.) She continues to be the model for high-speed travel and still believes everyone who visits just came to see her. You can't go wrong with a Maddie.


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  • burning bush profile image

    burning bush 7 years ago

    Hi Tammy. Thanks for stopping by. They are extremely intelligent. I often wonder which one of us is being trained. :)

  • Tammy L profile image

    Tammy L 7 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

    Very good hub. I've never had a Jack Russell but I've been told they are very intelligent little dogs.

  • burning bush profile image

    burning bush 7 years ago

    She has yet to slow down and I have yet to speed up but we meet somewhere in between. Animals, unlike people, give unconditional ove. Can't get any better than that. Thank you erthfrend. I like your take on living too.

  • erthfrend profile image

    erthfrend 7 years ago from Florida

    This hub has won me over! I have a real soft spot for jack russels since we got our first one the same way you got yours. He was actually mixed with dalmation if u can believe it but looked just like a white jack russell with soft black spots. He was the love of my life for many years until he passed away 3 yrs ago which left me completely heartbroken. They are amazing dogs. Whenever I see one at a shelter, I want to cry and adopt them all. But since, we have adopted 2 more dogs that the shelters called Jack russell mixes. Jack Russells and mixes are truly unique dogs that are so devoted and yes, very crazy at times!! THANKS for the hub!!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

    Hi, I just came back to say that the reason why I said football was because I was walking down my park in my town a few weeks ago, and everybody was in hysterics because there was a little Jack Russell with his nose to the ball, 'dribbling' it across the field and he was going mad, barking away at the same time! I swear if there had been a goal net there he would have scored a goal! ha ha

  • burning bush profile image

    burning bush 7 years ago

    I haven't yet offered her a football but she does have a favourite game. I call it "the jet". She looks directly at you, crouches low, and then takes off running as fast as she possibly can, turns around and flys back passing you like a streak of light. This action is repeated about 6 times after which she runs immediately into the house and begins eating. I can't say I understand the rules of this game but it is great fun to watch.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

    Hi, I had a friend who had a Jack Russell, my God could it bounce! lol it jumped up so high it nearly knocked me over! but lovely little things, does yours play with a football? they are hilarious when they do this, cheers nell

  • scarlton profile image

    scarlton 8 years ago from Boonville, NC

    Good hub! Our Lab mix (Maggie) and Jack Russell (Chloe) are a million laughs. These breeds have very unique and clever personalities!

  • Sab Oh profile image

    Sab Oh 8 years ago

    Good hub, nice dog!