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Jack Russells/Breeding my Jack Russells: Question


QUESTION: Hello. I plan to breed my Jack Russell Terriers sometime this month. It has been six months since my female's last heat cycle. Her vulva appears to have swollen, however, there is no bleeding. She is also not eating much. When I take her to visit my male (on a lead line down the hill), she bolts to see him. He tries to grab her but she simply rolls on her stomach. When she does stand, she does not flag her tail, and although she is playful, crouching and then leaping to bat his face with her front paws, she will eventually snap at him if he continues to make grabs her and run away to a safe distance. The male dog whimpers and struggles to reach her, pacing. I believe she is in heat, in the Proestrus stage but she is not bleeding. How much longer until she bleeds, and secondly, how many days until she becomes receptive and ready to breed? Thank you.

ANSWER: WHY are you breeding them?
I don't condone breeding just for the sales of the puppies, it is SERIOUS and could cost you the life of your female.  Make sure you are WELL EDUCATED before you attempt this. Breeding during proestrus is WRONG so I'm not sure where you get your information from.  All these behaviors you are describing are just frolicking, she is FAR FROM ready to breed at this stage.  
Assuming you will go ahead and do it anyway, I offer the following KNOWLEDGE.
Swelling of the vulva is the normal START.
Bleeding does follow but every dog is different. Some dogs are so meticulously clean that you won't ever see any blood.  If and when you do see blood, her cycle could be 2 days or it could be 12.  The discharge (blood) has to turn to a straw-yellow color, then she will be fertile. It is a numbers game and nothing is "typical" - you have to know your dog.  If this is her first time, she will be very scared, make sure she is in comfortable familiar surroundings with you nearby.  Sometimes you will even have to gently hold her. She may yelp in pain and when the male dog is attached, it is crucial that your female doesn't try to pull herself away, she could permanently hurt and damage both herself and the male.
This is only the BEGINNING of a very important 16 week (4 month) commitment of rearing healthy pups.
Are your dogs BAER and CERF tested?  Are they registered?  What kind of puppies are you bringing into the world?  I've enclosed some information on ethical breeding practices for you to read and learn.
I know not everyone is a backyard breeder and you have to start somewhere, but you don't even know what the heat cycle is. Please educate yourself and make smart choices. I would say good luck but luck has NOTHING to do with it.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

My female
My female  

My male
My male  
QUESTION: I have owned Jack Russell's for almost ten years, however after studying them and taking careful consideration I decided to have my first litter. Both dogs are healthy and registered. The male is a long legged tan and white 5 year old. The female is a short legged black and white two year old. In the past I have fixed all my females at 6 months. So while I am educated on the breed, I have taken to studying dog breeding. I never said I would breed her on proestrus, merely that I believe that is the stage she is in. As for why I'm breeding her, I believe she and the male are excellent representations of the breed and I have a strong affection for them, hence I wish to continue their bloodlines. I am a responsible breeder even if I am a beginner. I have conducted two projects studying My Jack Russell's, even having my female's coat color genotype tested in a professional lab. I had once wanted to be a vet and I understand that since this is her first time breeding it will be hard on her. I had watched the signs of heat before and for me, viewing my male's and female's interaction together is one major factor I use in determining her stage of heat. I just wanted some clarification. You said it would be 2-12 days until she started to bleed or 2-12 days until she is receptive and ready? The latter question is most important. Thank you for being prompt last time and please forgive me if I am being bothersome.

Thank you for your response, and you are not being bothersome, I am passionate about the breed.
I wouldn't breed a shorty and a Parsons together, they are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BREEDS...unless
you are trying to create your own breed to keep? What will you call them to the buyers? Mixed?

Once she starts bleeding, she could bleed for 2 to up to 12 days...
the sign to watch for is when the blood color turns darker yellow, straw colored.
Test this each day by wiping her and observing.  
Again, all dogs are different, but this has been MY experience in breeding.

I have enclosed a page from my site that explains the difference between PARSONS (long legged jack) and English/Irish/ORIGINAL shorty jack russells to help you.  Take care, and don't worry about being bothersome, I want to help.          

         Difference between Parsons and Shortie’s

John ("Jack") Russell (December 21, 1795 – April 28, 1883), "The Sporting Parson" was an enthusiastic hunter and dog breeder as well as an ordained minister. He was reputed to be a man who enjoyed good living.
Born in Dartmouth, England, eldest son of John Russell and Nora (Jewell). The Reverend Mr. Russell was educated at Plympton Grammar School, Blundell's School and Exeter College, Oxford, and it was there, tradition has it, that he spotted a little white terrier bitch with dark tan spots over her eyes, ears and at the tip of her tail, who was owned by a milkman. Mr. Russell bought the bitch on the spot, and this girl, called 'Trump', became the foundation bitch of a line of fox hunting terriers that would eventually come to be known as Jack Russells. The Reverend came to live in a village called Swimbridge in North Devon. After his death the local public house was named after him: The Jack Russell which still stands today.   Jack Russell was a founding member of The Kennel Club. He helped to write the breed standard for the Fox Terrier (Smooth) and became a respected judge. He did not show his own  terriers on the conformation bench, saying that the difference between his dogs and the conformation dogs could be likened to the difference between wild and cultivated flowers.

“Jack Russell Terrier” is now the common name given to the original old English and Irish Terriers – (little white terriers).  These original little guys were routinely used in the Irish and Northern English fox hunts as well as Fox Terriers ).   
“Jack Russell Terrier” is also the name commonly used for the (cross bred fox terrier and original).  When Reverand (Parson) John (Jack) Russell came to America with this “new”
breed, it was “registered” as the Jack Russell Terrier, thus began the “standard” of the
long legged, square nosed, Jack Russell in America…. (which is the Fox Terrier crossed with the little white ORIGINAL.).   

The original short/little white terrier that the good Reverend cross bred with his fox terriers were just called “terriers” (Or Irish terriers if in Ireland, or English terriers if in England, or often called Puddin’s).

In an attempt to avoid confusion, (a little LATE for that!)  the JRTCA have graciously agreed to call and register the tall Jacks as PARSONS.  Our little ones are now called  RUSSELL TERRIERS  but you will still hear (Shortie, Puddin, Irish, English)
depending upon the origin of  your dog. .
However, our ORIGINAL short terriers, are not accepted to be registered with the JRTCA (simply because Mr. Jack Russell registered his cross breed first).  We are
diligently working on getting the well deserved recognition our ORIGINAL breed deserves.   

Russell Terrier or old true, originals are known by many names  are short legged sturdy dogs between 9.5 and 12 inches. Most of the  Russell Terrier’s backs are longer than the lengths of their legs giving them a more rectangular shape.  Prick ears as well as flap ears and bowed legs are common characteristics of the shortie, as these dogs were originally true working dogs, low to the ground, and not bred for specific conformation or for show.
This is your dog.

The Parsons of today are bred to confirmation standards (long legged, square nose, hunting instinct).  These Parson Russell Terriers are known to display more of a hyper, sometimes less tolerant temperament. They are avid hunters and athletes.  This is the type of “jack russell” that has the reputation of being “bouncing off the walls”, “crazy” and a “hyper” dog .   

The temperament between the two (parson terrier vs. shortie) is immediately apparent.  Russell Terriers (Shorties/Irish/English) are most commonly known for their adaptability to family and the farming lifestyle. Bred to be less likely to chase your family cat and more likely to lick her, Russell Terriers were always part of the family and loved living with people and animals on farms catching all types of unwanted rodents/vermin. These Shortie Russells are much less aggressive and have become a family favorite, enjoying being loved, snuggled and living an active happy life with their family and friends, on farms or in apartments!  Don’t be fooled though, they love a good chase or run and will
keep you constantly laughing and amazed.

OK Lola, good luck in your research!!!!  

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Carol F


Questions on "Jack" Russell Terriers pertaining to their health, well being, general questions on breed, types, size, shape, health, personalities, behavior problems, genetics, so called standard, what to look for when purchasing, and if you would be a good match with this wonderful and unique dog. Too many times, people buy jack puppies because they are absolutely adorable, and then a few months down the road they own this dog that they know nothing about and haven't prepared or trained for. I love the breed and everything about them and hope to provide some help, education and advice to current and prospective owners. I am a veterinary technician, dog trainer and breeder of Jack Russells.


I own four Jack Russells and I have been working with dogs for 30 years. My personal interest is in helping educate people about the very special qualities of this breed. I advocate education and research of the breed before you buy one, they are wonderful pets if suited with the right person/family. Do your homework first! I can help you determine if you are a good match with this breed. I want people to know also that there are two types of Jack Russells, the Parson hunter with long legs and the Shortie or Russell Terrier and their very distinct differences. I also hope to allay fears about their CRAZY reputations - which is not always the case. ~*~*~*IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ*~*~*~ PLEASE NOTE: I DO NOT ENDORSE THE SALE OF ANY JACK RUSSELLS OR JACK RUSSELL PUPPIES THAT MAY BE ADVERTISED ON THIS PAGE. BEWARE OF PUPPY MILLS OR OTHER PLACES THAT SELL MANY DIFFERENT DOGS OVER THE INTERNET. ALSO I DO NOT ENDORSE ANY VIDEOS OR TRAINING TAPES THAT ARE ADVERTISED ON THIS PAGE. I WILL BE HAPPY TO HELP YOU PICK OUT A REPUTABLE TRAINER/VIDEO SERIES OR EVEN PUPPIES IF PRIVATELY ASKED. I DO NOT ENDORSE ANY SALES ADVERTISEMENTS ON THIS PAGE.

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Veterinary Technician - Newbury College 1982 - 1985

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