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If you are thinking about anew family pet, Jack Russells are a bundle of fun – full of energy and very intelligent. They suit an active family who has time to go walking and play with them. For various reasons, people often look for a puppy. Admittedly, they are easier to train from a young age, especially on recall as little pups follow you everywhere! But if you have patience and the ability to rescue a Jack Russell then you definitely should!

Reasons to rescue a Jack Russell

  • You will be saving a dog from the shelter (or even worse being put to sleep).
  • If more people rescue a Jack Russell than buy puppies then the demand for pups will decrease and this will reduce puppy farming, puppy farms are profit driven and they don’t have the dogs best interest at heart and many bitches can be forced to have too many litters.
  • Your dog will love you for life and his eyes will always thank you for rescuing him!
  • Usually skip the puppy stage! (there really are pros and cons to this!)
  • Rescues that come from a charity or shelter usually come microchipped, spayed and vaccinated.

The Challenges of Rescuing a Jack Russell

There are many challenges of rescuing a Jack Russell. Rescue dogs are often more fearful and less socialised than dogs you get as puppies. They often have not had the training that they need and also can have some behavioural difficulties such as snapping or not being toilet trained. You need to consider this carefully and make sure that you have the time and dedication needed to rescue a dog. Consider any children or other pets that you might have. How would it effect them and how will you ensure that everyone in the house is safe?

My first two Jack Russells were puppies and were really great pets. They were great off-lead too and had good recall. When I finally got my own house after university, I decided that I would continue to have Jack Russells but that I would rather rescue than get puppies, because I was upset at how many dogs were in the shelter and didn’t have a loving home.

Then came Milo – he was the cutest and most perfect specimen of a Jack Russell. But there were a few problems when I first got him. He pooped and weed on the DOUBLE BED!!!! He was not house trained at all when we got him! He did actually get used to going outside within a couple of weeks. But the other scary things were that he growled and snapped at me once when I went to stroke him. This really startled me, but he just wasn’t secure enough to be stroke when he wasn’t expecting it. He developed a strong bond with me after that and it never happened again. He also went for another dog quite badly and so we never let him off the lead – he just wasn’t friendly enough to be trusted. But all in all he ended up being the most wonderful and faithful little dog.

My next rescue after Milo was Blake – a gorgeous brown Jack Russell Patterdale cross. He came to us from the RSPCA and his file said that he came from a home with domestic violence. He was very weary of strange men and barked at my husband a lot when he first arrived (now he totally loves him!) One of the things that shocked my was how scared he was of raised voices – once I told him off and he was so scared he weed himself there and then! Poor boy! We were kind as possible to him for the first 3 months of having him and he settled well and grew in confidence.

How Long will it take for my Rescue Dog to Settle?

I learnt that it’s important to consider their background and the way that they were treated by previous owners to figure out what is scary for them and what is OK. As a general rule it takes them 3 days to get out of the ‘shell shocked’ stage, 3 weeks to start to adjust and 3 months to finally feel comfortable and build trust. So it is important that you give them that time is you rescue a Jack Russell.

Where to get your Rescue Jack Russell

Go to a reputable charity or dog shelter to rescue your Jack Russell. This will mean that they have had the necessary checks needed to be rehomed. They will have been neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. I have adopted Jack Russells from both the RSPCA and the Dog’s Trust. There are also several websites dedicated to terrier rescue.

RSPCA – These dogs are often rescued from abusive situations or households with domestic violence. As a result, they will need extra patience, love and care. We got our Blake from here and although he has been a challenge, he has an extremely strong bond with us now and we love him so much! The RSPCA is the largest animal welfare charity in the UK.

Dog’s Trust – The Dogs Trust is the charity where I got my first rescue JRT – Milo. You can filter on the website by size and breed which is great if you are specifically looking for a Jack Russell. They have branches all around the UK including Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and Devon.

Oldies – Dedicated to the rescue of Older senior dogs, this is a great website to find an older Jack Russell.

Have you ever rescued a Jack Russell? If so, we would love to hear you and find out how you are getting on! Please comment on our blog below 😉

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4 thoughts on “Rescue a Jack Russell

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  • April 13, 2022 at 11:10 am

    Me and my partner have a 11 month old Jack Russel, he is proving to be too much for us and I feel like I can’t give him the time and attention and training that he deserves and needs, especially with us both working full time. We have come to the decision that we think he would benefit from being with someone else who can give him what he needs.

    To add to this point the reason why we need to give him up is because he is too much for us and we just don’t have the time and he has started resource guarding but we feel like because we are both so busy with work we can’t give him the appropriate training he needs for his resource guarding.

    So do you have any spaces available to take him on or do you have anyone to recommend we try?

    • May 12, 2022 at 9:02 pm

      Unfortunately are are bloggers, not a rescue centre. But we would recommend the Dogs Trust – we have adopted Jack Russells from there previously.


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