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Hi guys!

You probably get people joining up just for a single answer and then never coming back all the time, but this isn't the case with me, even though my first post is a question.

Okay, so I'll explain the story.

A friend of my boss at work had a litter of Jack Russell Terriers and asked our office if anyone would like one, and I said yes. I grew up with dogs and absolutely adore them, but the only experience I really have is with larger dogs, for example a Staffordshire Bull Terrier which was one year old when I was born, and it lived to a ripe old age of 16.

What I'd like to know is what I've not been able to find elsewhere on the web, as Yahoo Answers gives more opinion than fact on matters such as dog diets.

I met the little guy today, and he has sharp little teeth which he made very evident, so dry food will be okay for him, but he's the runt of the litter and I'd like to make sure he's getting exactly what he needs to make him big and strong.

I would basically like ideas on what to feed him to ensure he's got all the energy he needs, but as I'm not really experienced with smaller dogs I'd also like to know portion sizes, and when I should change his diet (ie, I want to beef him up, then when he's nice and fit I need a diet which he'll enjoy eating and maintain his weight well).

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated, as I already love this little guy and want the best for him.


Many thanks!
Luc
 

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I feed mine Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream. I like that it is fish based protein and grain free. Fish based because I have an allergy dog who cannot eat beef or chicken and grain free because it's just better for carnivores. Not to mention there are no fillers, so there is also much less poop to scoop.

Best advice I can give with a terrier is be prepared for an energetic, athletic, smart as a whip, stubborn dog :)

Crate training is great for helping housebreak and for keeping the lil guy from chewing all of your stuff.

I feed mine on a schedule so that I know when they will need to go potty and can get them outside before an accident happens. When they were pups I leashed them to my side until they learned to go outside for potty and not to eat my possessions. If I was busy and couldn't keep a close eye on a pup I would place it in the crate to nap until I could supervise. I took them outside about every 30-40 minutes and praised them like they were the first dogs to ever poop or pee on the grass every time they went. I also took them out immediately before and after crating, after play sessions, after training sessions, after they woke from naps, and every time I had to go. It sounds like a lot, but it becomes less and less as they grow older and can hold it longer.

With a terriers tenacious nature they tend to shred toys. I like to buy quality toys and ropes for play and chewing. I have had great success with Kong and Nylabone products. They tend to last much longer than other toys and don't break up into pieces a dog could swallow and get a blockage from.

With any energetic and intelligent terrier you want to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise appropriate to its age and training to help tire out the mind as well as promote good manners. There are a lot of nifty tricks and behaviors to teach, as well. I've seen Jack Russels do weight pull, Schutzhund, agility, obedience competitions, flyball, and many other sports. Maybe think of something you'd like to train for and compete in with your dog when he is older.
 

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Just make sure to use a good quality puppy food b/c that is higher in fat and has a different nutrient ratio that are designed to help them grow. I wouldn't worry about fattening him up at all at this point. Just find a good puppy formula and maybe hold off on the switch until a year if you are worried about his size. Mine is 8 months and i just switched to adult for many reasons but it's fine to wait until a year if you are worried about him being the runt.

Avoid corn in his food. There are a lot of other things I avoid (wheat, soy, and other things like animal digest) but that is a biggie that is in most cheap dog food. I have never had a JRT but terriers can have more allergy issues so just avoiding fillers that could be high allergens is easier than figuring it out after the fact.

Mine loves puzzle toys. He would rather me put his food in a puzzle or a cardboard tube (folded at the ends) than a bowl. He feels like he's conquering it, I guess. Have fun with trick training and obedience training...these are really active dogs and you can do a lot with them even though they are small. They are not lap dogs! Enjoy your new pup!!! Welcome to DF!
 

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Ok just saw he's 5 weeks old! Yikes, that's very young. I think at this stage they might eat a mush or gruel. Don't quote me on that.

You will have to work extra hard with teaching him not to bite b/c he's been taken from the litter far too early. There are stickies about this in the puppy forum.
 

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Awesome advice you two, really appreciate it.

I know what you mean about just being five weeks :/ we've had kitten litters before so I know the importance of letting them go at just the right time, but due to circumstances with the breeders health he's trying to get them homed before "anything happens", so yeah, not exactly what I'd like but there we go.

As he's so young I was planning on feeding him porridge, scrambled eggs (my mother gave me that one) and probably mushed dry food.

Our old Staffie was a meathead rather than a thinker, but he was loyal, brave and great fun as a kid, but I'm now an adult and don't have kids of my own so I'd enjoy a companion more than just a toy dog.

On the subject of housetraining I was way too young to acknowledge it going on with our old dog, but my sister has two whippets and has explained how she trained them. She mentioned the importance of NOT punishing him as it can just make him scared of doing his business in my company. She also told me she used small chunks of cheese as a little reward.

What's a little bit luckier is I have wooden floorboards in my room rather than carpet, so even if mistakes do happen then it won't be much of a drama.

On the subject of biting, I'm really wary of that kind of behaviour, as I remember when my nana's dog bit me and I was absolutely petrified of her for the rest of her life. As a puppy it wouldn't be too bad, but I'd need to help him shake the habit before it sticks.


I'm in the UK, so those brands are unknown to me but I'll look them up and try to find similar brands over here.

Thanks again guys, I'll upload some pics tomorrow when I pick him up.
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I have wood floors, too. DO NOT let an accident sit for even a fwe minutes or it seeps into the wood and the dog will be able to smell that spot is a potty spot and be more likely to use it again. Some people use bleach and water, vinegar and water, or pet enzyme removers. I prefer to not let the accident happen in the first place, but if it does any of the above mixes work well for cleaning.

I taught my dogs a potty command. Every time I took them outside I would wait until they were in the act of going and say "Go potty! Goooood potty!" and then give a treat. After a bit they all learned to go when I said "Go potty." Awesome when you live in a cold climate or have a rainy day and the dog needs to go out, but wants to mess around. With a potty command you can get them to go and then come inside before you freeze to death :)

Some people can feed their dogs eggs and such without a problem. With a pup that young I would worry about two things: 1) the pup won't be getting complete nutrition when he needs it most and 2) the pup might decide not to eat kibble because eggs and such are much tastier. Then you end up with a picky eater. I'd find a nice all life stages kibble and wet it into mush with water until the pup can eat it on his own if he can't eat dry kibble yet when he comes home.
 

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Yes my sister's dog peed on her wood floor when she was at work at they had to cut the floorboards and replace them b/c it had soaked thru a crack in the finish. You can solve this problem by crating the dog when you are not directly supervising or when you are away. At 5 weeks old you are probably going to have to do some kind of whelping box type setup where there are papers for the dog to go on. Again, I've never raised a pup that young so hopefully someone here can chime in. It will be more work than if the dog went home at the right time but it's not an impossible task.
 
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