Children and dogs
We are getting meny questions about the Jack Russell Terrier (JRT). One of returning is, if the JRT is a good "kids dog". We will try to answer the question here based in both dog and child.
Please remark that the information is ment as a guide, because there will allways be variations of the theme, but generally it looks like the following description.
First of all, you must realise that a so called "kids dog" does'nt exist. Neither for the JRT or other races as well. At the same time you must also realise, that you have lost your heart to a very "big" dog in disguise. Basicly are a JRT a hunting dog with a hunting dogs instincts. It is very much used both here in Denmark and in Sweden to tomb hunting after fox and badger etc. Because of this, there is pretty much drive in a JRT.
If the JRT you are going to get will be a good "kids dog" depend of several things.
First, it will depend of how good the JRT is socialised from the breeder, and second, in which environment the dog will have to operate in by the owner.With reference to the socialising from the breeder, you can as a puppybuyer ensure, that the conditions is as they must be by the breeder, by only buying puppies from a recognized kennel under DKK, where you can come an see under which conditions the breeding is done.
With reference to the environment by you, you has to ensure that you have the necesarry knowledge to the JRT, and then make the decision if you have space, time and possibility to offer a dog the right conditions.
Please notice that a JRT in a split second, can give you all that action you want (they have a very special designed turbo mounted in their bum that by itself turns on with regular intervals :-) for in the next moment, be the most charming dog you ever had layed eyes on - and is defenately not our charming friend who has made the hole in your tulip bed !
When all this is in place, it is so, that dogs base their reactions on experiences and learnings. Are the first experiences with the child positive, the learning will be archived as positive. The next meeting with the child will give the dog associations about something nice, and the positive experience will be reinforced. The assumption for this is of course, that there is an adult to control the situation all the time.
It is equally important that the first experiences also is positve for the child.
If the first experiences with the child is negative, it is the same parameters that is influenced, and there is a risk that the dog will be reserved of children, and it can take a very long time and very hard work to turn the relationsship to the positive side, so it is very important that it is done correct from the start.
There is some simple guides you can follow to ensure, that the relation between dog and child is developing in a positive way. You must destinguish between small children and older children. The definition in this connection is, that "small children" not have started in school, and older children has started school. We will here take focus on "small children", because "older children" understand given information and can deal with it.
Before the puppy arrives, it's a good idea to explain the child about all the new that will happen when the puppy arrives. It's important that the child is prepared as much as possible to the event, but in a way so the meeting wih the puppy is natural. Do remember that it's the family who gets a puppy - not the child, and it's the family who has the full responsibility for the puppy - also the child !
Small children must:
Constant be under observation of an adult, when they are together with the puppy
Learn to respect the puppy from the first day
Dont think that the puppy is a toy
Let the puppy in peace when it's eating
Let the puppy in peace when it's sleeping
The puppy must:
Learn not to terrorize small children (especially the very small ones on 2-3 years)
The adults must:
Be aware of their responsibility !
And then it's mostly about to show mutural respect and common sence. Most people succeed without any trouble, but we hope of course you have got some help here.
And finally just a little good advice - if you have small children, maybee more than one, it would perhaps bea good idea to let the children be a bit older before you bought yourself another "child" in form of a puppy. One must be aware that it requires some ressources to take a puppy in - and take care of it !
We hope what you have read have been helpfull. If you use this link, you can find out if it is a JRT you shall have.
A propos "Children and dogs"...... (yes, you're right - she is our grand child :-)