Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Meet Jack, the Havanese Jack Russell - When Your Pup is Not Characteristic of the Breed

Jack(l) and Charlie (r)
Jack takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'
About a week after Charlie first came to us, we introduced him to an 8 month old pup named Jack, and Jack and Charlie have been best friends ever since. Jack is a purebred sable havanese purchased in the fall of last year from a reputable breeder in south central Ontario. Jack is not your typical havanese. He is full of unbridled energy that never seems to quit, and has since earned the nickname "Jack the Havanese Jack Russell". Since our friends took Jack into their family, we have often had the discussion of how prospective owners come to choose a dog based on the "typical" characteristics of the breed, however, when chance would have it that the dog you select does not match the "typical" characteristics where do you go from there? Jack's family is a busy family with both parents professionals with fast paced high stress jobs, two kids in the primary age group, a big home, pool, and active social life. So, when the pet that they decided on ended up not being the low maintenance, medium energy dog that they bargained for, their ideal of house, family, dog and white picket fence turned upside down. Jack ended up being an intense, high need and high energy dog, who after even four/five hours of straight activity, doesn't want to stop. He requires continual stimulation and attention which can put pressure on an unsuspecting family. I don't think it would be uncommon for families to feel disappointed with their choice in pup when their new family member ends up not entirely being what they expected, but think that once the family comes to terms with the unexpected needs of the dog, they should immediately begin to formulate a plan for changes that they can make to meet the needs of the dog in order to ensure healthy growth and development (it seems in puphood, every second counts). Jack's family, a busy one with a sporadic schedule knew that it would be challanging to maintain the rigors of their new dog. They quickly made modifications to their plan for Jack in order to ensure he received the additional stimulation he needed. One of the ways, that they have found beneficial is fostering the relationship between Jack and Charlie. Working closely with our family, the 2 families have found a way to help each other. With our varied schedules we have come up with an arrangement that freely allows either of us to arrange dog playdates when an extended crate time may be forthcoming. As we are both committed to healthy development of our pups and want our boys socialized with other pets we take every opportunity to allow the boys to play and so when one is off to work, shop, errands, appointments, if the other is available, even for a portion of the time, the boys enjoy time together in one of the yards. This reduces crate time, allows socialization and provides an outlet for Jack to expend his energy. Looking beyond dog walkers and dogsitters but looking towards almost an extended family for Jack, this family has allowed Jack to be the Havanese Jack Russell he was born to be.

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