The Joys and the Terriers: Raising a Jack Russell Westie Mix
About my Jack Russell Westie Mix
Five years ago, a little white dog with a single apricot-colored stripe down his back and apricot-colored ears walked into the life of my husband and I. This dog was friendly (evident in the amount of kisses given to us), quiet, underweight, and dirty. That first day we brought him home we had to give him a bath immediately; the bathtub water was black by the time we were finished cleaning him. The veterinarian gave an estimate that he was between eight months to a year and a half old at that time.
All dogs are unique in their own way. Our dog’s personality makes us laugh from the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to bed every day. He is quite the character! The following is a list of just a few examples to give you insight on what he is like:
Makes various noises when he yawns.
Spins in circles nonstop when he gets excited.
Rolls around on his back while making various noises and stares you down.
Can jump or leap at great heights.
Prefers to place his head on a pillow when he lies down.
Will sit at your feet when he feels you need to be protected.
Will wait stubbornly for you to say sorry to him first and ignore you until he is satisfied with your apology.
Examples of Jack Russell Behaviors We See in Our Dog
Our Jack Russell Westie Mix eats half of a cup of food twice a day per recommendation by his veterinarian. Our dog is a little odd when it comes to the type of food given to him though. He will get tired of eating the same bag of food after a while, and I suppose we all would if we had the same done to us. My dog prefers chicken flavored dog food, and he will make it clear when he has had enough of it. He will refuse to eat his food for days until you get him different food. Once his food is switched, he immediately goes into his typical behavior of taking some food in his mouth, trotting away to the next room with it, spitting the food whole on the floor, and trotting back to his dog bowl to do the same thing one more time before he actually starts eating. He always saves the food he spits out on the floor for last. My husband and I are convinced he is taste testing each piece of food, deciding if it is worthy to his taste buds.
Our Jack Russell Westie Mix must be groomed every three to four months. We take him to a local Petsmart, and they do such a great job; however, we have been to other Petsmarts where the end result was horrifying. Our dog can have two different looks when it comes to his grooming: the Jack Russell look and the Westie look. Our dog will get shaved with the second shortest cut they do. With this grooming, he looks like a Jack Russell; fast forward four months later, and he looks like a Westie. The downside of a breed like this mix is that the longer the fur gets, the more shedding that occurs. We always have fur on our shirts if we pick him up, and there are always clumps of fur hiding around our house after a week or two without sweeping and vacuuming.
For the past four years, our dog has generally been a good dog after we got out of the typical puppy phase. It was honestly easy training our Jack Russell Westie Mix the basics. Many articles, including “Types of Dogs That Get Along With Jack Russell Terriers” by Pharaba Witt, express how intelligent Jack Russells really are. Unfortunately, our dog’s natural instinct overpowers all of our training. When he sees a person, animal, or really anything that he has a burning desire to say hello to, he will run. We do not have a fenced in yard, and we allow him to roam around without a leash. We pay close attention to him when he is outside to get his attention before he runs. He typically will stand very still, with his tail up, staring in the direction he will want to run. When we see this, we will get his attention immediately to distract him from what he smells or sees. However, if he has already started running then there is no stopping him.
It is obvious that my husband is the alpha male in the house. Our dog listens and responds better to my husband because of this. I have been working hard to establish more of a dominance with our dog to prevent any misbehaving when my husband is not home.
Accidents in the House
Our dog is trained, as most dogs are, to not have accidents in the house; however, accidents still happen. Accidents can include pooping, peeing, and throwing up. These accidents can happen because your dog ate something that did not agree with them. Accidents can also happen because of a change in a dog's routine; when our dog's routine has been thrown off and he poops in the house, he will hide his mistake with a blanket from the house. Our dog has done it all, including marking his territory in our house to show dominance during a puppy play date. Accidents might not even occur from your own dog. During a puppy play date, the accident can happen from the other dog(s). The following are methods we have found for each accident mentioned above to ensure the stain and smell is removed from the surface.
1. Pooping and throwing up
- We use to clean up the surface. This is a great product, available on Amazon, that removes any nasty odors. All you have to do is shake the can, spray the foam, and work it into the surface. The directions are also on the back of the can to ensure its quality. Resolve Pet Expert High Traffic, Carpet Foam, 22oz
2. Peeing on soft carpet
- First, we use a paper towel to soak up the pee. Then, we pour some sparkling water on the stain to pick up any pee that got deep into the carpet. We use a fresh paper towel to soak up the carpet again, and we follow the same process as we do with other accidents using Resolve. This method worked amazing on our Cut Carpet Pile carpet.
3. Peeing on rough carpet
- Resolve does not work on Textured Cut Pile carpet to remove a pee stain. Our friend recommended for us to use "" when I expressed my concern over a pee stain from a puppy play date in our home. She said it works on stains days later after the accident happened. My friend was absolutely correct; that product works wonders! You could not even tell there was a big stain there. Nature's Miracle Dog Stain and Odor Remover
I have come across multiple people over the years that have mentioned how frustrated they get when their Jack Russell barks at anything they see through the window of their house. I am not convinced this is a Jack Russell habit, but a dog habit in general. My husband has strongly discouraged our dog from barking at anything he sees interesting, but my husband does not discourage our dog if the barking is a clear sign of protection of us and our home. Our dog has found a loophole in this rule though; he replaces barking with whining. To be honest, I do not know which habit is worse to handle.
Our dog is very energetic. He spins in circles, runs very fast, and jumps up and down like he is Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. This behavior was nonstop when he was a puppy, even when we took him out for exercise. Naturally though the older he gets, the calmer he gets. He still has plenty of energy, enough for people to still think he is a puppy, but he now knows there is a time and place for it.
We try and take him out for a walk or run every day. If we are unable to, we play with him in the backyard or inside of the house. We found the best way to wear out our dog is to take him to the dog park for an hour or more. We let him run and play with the bigger dogs to ensure maximum exercise for the day. Even then though, he can still be jumping up and down when we get home.
Growing up, my parents had a Cocker Spaniel and a Golden Retriever. After having our Jack Russell Westie Mix, I have a new appreciation for smaller dogs. Our twenty pound dog is small enough where I can pick him up, and I can fit him on my lap when I am in the passenger seat in the car. He is so playful, so sweet to everyone he meets, and his unique personality can get anyone laughing within minutes. Despite some of the negative habits that our dog has, I find him to be fairly easy all around to keep up with compared to other dogs I have encountered in the past.
“Nature's Miracle Dog Stain and Odor Remover Pour, 32 Fl. Oz.: Pet Supplies.” Amazon, Amazon, www.amazon.com/Natures-Miracle-Stain-Odor-Remover/dp/B071W6CQ7S/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1529633085&sr=8-4&keywords=natures+miracle+stain+odor+remover&dpID=41Lpu%2BTgAiL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch.
“Resolve Pet Expert High Traffic, Carpet Foam, 22 Oz: Home & Kitchen.” Amazon, Amazon, www.amazon.com/Resolve-Expert-High-Traffic-Carpet/dp/B00LO1Q7WE/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1529633203&sr=8-10&keywords=resolve+pet+expert.
Witt, Pharaba. “Types of Dogs That Get Along With Jack Russel Terriers | Cuteness.” Cuteness.com, Cuteness, 9 Feb. 2017, www.cuteness.com/article/types-along-jack-russel-terriers.
maileun. “Funny Jack Russell Terrier 2017 #6.” YouTube, YouTube, 18 Apr. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PNZUofUg4w.