Do you own a Jack Russell terrier and wonder if it can kill a fox lurking in your garden? People say Jack Russells have incredible hunting and killing potential. But are they capable of ending the lives of cunning red foxes too? I will uncover all that and more in this article.
You may find the sight of a luscious red fur-coated body nosing around in your garden. Many animal lovers welcome such visitors’ sight on their property, while others unleash their ferocious terriers to chase the unwanted and cunning guests away.
But if you are a typically anxious pet parent who worries that their terrier may hurt himself in the process of attempting to kill a beautiful fox frequenting your land, I am here to ease your concerns.
First, I would like to answer your question by confirming that Jack Russells can kill a fox. Their breed came into existence for this specific purpose. If you take careful note of the body structure, built, and instincts of your terrier, you’d know how this fact rings true.
Russell terriers have a certain flexibility level and compaction through which they can trace foxes underground. They have a particular strength and agility that renders them capable of holding them in a hunt and beating a supreme prey drive. If you wonder if your Jack Russell is a deadly enemy for your visiting foxes, then yes, it most certainly is.
Let’s go back in history to where Jack Russells come from.
Jack Russells- Some Historical Facts
The Russell breed takes its name from Reverend John Russell, who lived in Devonshire, England, in the mid-1800s. He created the finest and the unique strain of terriers to hunt foxes specifically.
Reverend John created this particular strain to hunt foxes, and the breed that we adopt today as Jack Russells still possesses the same instincts and reflexes of the pre-1900 Russells.
The modern-day Terriers have undergone several changes owing to the efforts of the working Russell enthusiasts. But thankfully, the breed has survived through each change and preserved the specific qualities that Reverend John created this breed with.
For more than a hundred years now, Russell terriers have maintained their reflexes as hunters. Regardless of what age your Jack Russell is today, it indeed has fox-hunting primarily in its mind because this feature runs in its blood.
Moreover, intelligence, character, conformation, and coloring all relate to the purpose of fox-hunting. You will your Jack’s body compact, with an excellent balancing of proportions, straight legs, clean shoulders, and a small chest. The smaller chest is the most useful feature, and an average-sized hand can easily span the widest part behind Russell’s shoulders.
You will also note tremendous flexibility in your compact terrier because this helps it maneuver the undergrounds. The confirmation of your Russell ensures that it can follow its prey right through the narrow underground earth. Where a fox goes, there will your terrier also go.
Today, our Jack Russells may be more versatile and a working terrier for many purposes, but the core of its existence still pertains to fox-hunting. Your Russell, if it comes from proper breeding, indeed possesses enough courage to stay with its quarry underground until its opponent bolts, the hunters dig through to it, or you call your dog out.
Several instances in history tell us that a Jack can survive on active earth for several days, even weeks, in the absence of water and food. This comes about because of the powerful instinct as a breed, which teaches them to stay till their quarry does.
However, if you fear your dog might become a victim if a fox attacks it, you need to lay your fears to rest. First of all, as I mentioned, a Jack Russell can hold its own, and it is always fearless regardless of the size and type of its foe.
Moreover, foxes are, by nature, very cautious. They will not deliberately pick up a fight or want to attack your Jack. Foxes also do not rely only on meat for their meals, contrary to popular belief. They primarily feed on small animals such as frogs, mice, rabbits, insects, etc., and are also omnivores. So if not for the small insects, the fox also fares well with plant foods.
With this fact in mind, you can rest assured that no fox will mainly come to slay your Jack terrier. Even if the two animals engage in a battle, trust your fierce terrier to come out as the victor.
When the two animals engage in a fight, they are both in a confined space. In that, too, your JR killing the fox has a higher probability.
If, in any case, you do want to prevent an unpleasant encounter between your Jack Russell and a fox slinking into your garden, you can take a few measures.
Keeping Foxes Away from Your Garden
You will no doubt find it a menacing task having to shoo foxes away from your garden. It is more problematic if potential conflicts can occur between the fox and your Jack. If you don’t want to have to bury a fox because of your pet’s prey drive, here are some things you can do:
Organize Your Garden
Usually, foxes slink into gardens when they are searching for places to hide. So if you allow vegetation to overgrow in yours, you should not be surprised to find foxes trying to mark the overgrown vegetation as their territory.
Here, a pro tip is to tidy up your garden by pulling out overgrown weeds, clearing up ivy and stray bushes, etc. By making your place as neat and presentable as possible, you will eliminate the enticements that would draw foxes to your garden. This rule would mark your garden as a clear “no entry one” for furry visitors.
Leaving out bins with rubbish and food scraps is like inviting the wild foxes to a buffet. If you don’t want them to come and hound your green space, you’d be wise to remove the bins and make sure they’re always empty.
Empty or bins will be a deterrent for the pests and will not raise the hackles of your Jack. However, if you leave them a bin to ransack frequently, they will make a permanent habit, and this could eventually end up in a bloody battle.
Tips for Taking Good Care of Your Jack Russell’s Health
Now that you know you have such a competent hunter under your guardianship, it is only right you take good care of its health. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to maximize the health of your working Jack Russell:
- If you are mainly planning a hunting trip with your Jack Russell, feed it well that morning. You must also take half-ration to feed it at noon if your dog has been hard at work since daybreak. Do not ever make the mistake of sending your pet out into the field without breakfast. It can cause its blood sugar to dip dangerously and approach hypoglycemia.
- Such a fine dog only deserves the most premium-quality dog food. Try not to skimp and save money when it comes to feeding your dog. It will never do to serve this hunting genius high fat and low protein foods.
- If you have a hunting place where there are snow and ice, you should make it a point to check the pads of its feet frequently. Hunting in such locations can cause frostbite, abrasion, and cuts between its toes and feet pads.
- Fitness is imperative, especially if you are planning to use your Russell in the field. Fitness does not align with a thin dog. Fitness for a Jack Russell means well-toned muscles and tremendous staying power. You cannot expect a thin Russell to have these two elements.
- You may have adopted and been raising your Jack Russell to hunt in severe cold and sweltering temperatures. This can only happen when you ensure your Russell does not live as a house mouse for twenty-four hours in a day.
- Once your hunt comes to an end, you should check your Russell’s eye and flush it with a lot of sterile water. This will wash out any remaining pieces of grit remaining in its eyes. Also, try to accompany the wash with an excellent anti-bacterial ointment for its eyes. You can use Terramycin or any other your vet may recommend. Make sure you recheck your dog’s eyes the next morning and flush with sterile water, and use ointment again if need be.
- Make sure your Jack Russell’s vaccinations are up to date.
A Jack Russell can not only hunt but also kill a fox, should the need arise. This breed came into existence with specific regards to working foxes. This is why every Jack Russell, even today, possesses the unique qualities and body structure that make it capable for this particular purpose. To bring out your Russell’s best hunting potential, you must give it appropriate training and care.