Activities For Patterjacks

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Introduction

What do you get when you cross two hyper but lovable dogs like the Patterdale Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier? You get the Patterjack, the Energizer bunny of the canine world. Patterjacks are so friendly they love everyone, and their energy just keeps going and going and going. 

These pups don't always look the same but they are usually no more than 14 inches high and weigh less than 16 pounds. Since their background is an ancestry of working dogs, they love to be helpful - but their version of helpful may be different than yours if you don't keep them actively stimulated!

Patterjacks can be stubborn and will require structured discipline and consistent rules. They are good family pets if they have been socialized and trained well.

Obedience Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash and harness
Clicker
Treats
Activity description
Some dogs are naturally followers. They will do what you ask them to do because they want to please you. The Patterjack is not one of those dogs. Patterjacks have double the stubbornness and intelligence in their DNA, making it vital that you work with them through obedience training to avoid problems in the future, especially if you have other animals, children, or multiple visitors in your home. You can train them yourself if you have the time, consistency, and knowledge, but an obedience class might be beneficial if you are unsure about your ability to start from scratch with the training.
Step
1
Find an obedience class
Your dog's obedience class is only as good as the instructor who holds it. Because of this, it's important to do your research and not jump at the first class you find. You may have to drive a little bit to find a reputable instructor that comes highly recommended by prior students, but it will be worth it. You can also compare three or four potential classes to see which ones are in your budget and timeframe. Expanding your driving radius by an extra 10-15 minutes should give you more options.
Step
2
Prepare for the class
Once you have decided on your class, call to schedule an appointment. There may be online scheduling options, but if you call you can usually find more information and get a feel for the instructor and staff. Ask if there are any requirements, such as shot records, clickers, treats, etc. so you have time to prepare.
Step
3
Go to the head of the class
On the day of the class, you should arrive early so that Fido is not entering a room full of unknown dogs. This can make any dog nervous and they may feel threatened and act out unusually. Once class starts, pay attention so that you can take what you learn and practice at home. Consistency is key with stubborn little pups like the Patterjack, so if you want to get to the head of the class, you'll need to practice, practice, practice! Reinforce your pup's learning at home the same way it is done in the class, and you'll have a playful, lovable, obedient dog by the time the course ends!
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Swimming

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Doggy life vest
Doggy sunblock
Towel
Activity description
Patterjacks need a lot of exercise, but it's best to do it in small chunks of time because of their little legs, lungs, and hearts. Since these pups are prone to hip dysplasia, it's also important to be careful what kind of activities you have them do. Low impact, low-intensity exercises like swimming are great because they don't put much strain on the muscles, joints, and tendons that could otherwise injure your pup but they still keep them active. Active swimming should not be done for more than half an hour at a time, especially on hot days in direct sunlight.
Step
1
Gather your materials
Taking your pup swimming, even in your own backyard pool, requires you to put a little time into gathering the materials you'll need. Fido will need a towel to dry off with as soon as you leave the pool, since going from the cool water to the hot air can shock their little body. You'll need to apply sunblock at least 15 minutes prior to letting your dog outside so it can dry and begin working. Finally, you'll need to get Fido used to their doggy vest before putting them into the water so they aren't doubly stressed.
Step
2
Introduce Fido to the water
The sunblock is working, the doggy life vest was a hit, and the towel is sitting nearby ready for use when you're done. Now it's time to throw Fido into the water! NO! Never use the sink or swim method to teach your dog to swim. Let your pup become gradually used to the water, going in at their own pace if it's a lake or beach, or clinging to you as much as they prefer if it's a one-depth pool until they feel safe. This may take a couple of visits to the water. Not all dogs love to swim, contrary to popular belief, and your Patterjack may be one of the exceptions. If your pup does not conquer their fear of water, don't force it. Find another low impact activity instead.
Step
3
Have fun swimming!
However, if Fido takes to swimming like a duck to water, you can teach your pup how to swim independently. Start with the basics, like moving a short distance away and having Fido swim to you. Then you can begin incorporating tricks, going underwater, and using swim toys when you feel that your frisky dog is ready to explore some new activities in the water. Keep that doggy life jacket on, though, you never know when they may become overheated, exhausted, or overtired.
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Regular Walks

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Leash and harness
Water bowl and bottle
Activity description
Because of their proclivity to hip dysplasia and patellar luxation, it's important that your Patterjack stay fit and active through low impact activities. Extra weight on their joints adds stress to your dog's hips and knees. However, the activities that they perform need to be restricted to low-intensity workouts on smooth, softer surfaces. Going for walks with these dogs as you would another dog can be dangerous to your pup's health. Instead, you'll need to plan ahead to find a walking path that won't be too hard on your dog's hips and knees. Keep the walk to half an hour or less to avoid too much exertion on your small but energetic pup.
Step
1
Find a route
There may be hiking areas in your neck of the woods with paths that don't have many rocks or tree roots in the way. These softer dirt paths are better for Fido's sensitive knees and hips, especially if you can avoid obstacles. If not, a level sidewalk without many bumps and cracks will do so that your pup can still get exercise. Avoid uneven, hard surfaces as much as possible.
Step
2
Prepare your gear
Even if you plan on going for a short distance, you'll still need to gear up. Make sure your pup has a leash and harness and that the harness fits snugly but not tightly. If it's too loose, your energetic pooch will pull away chasing after an (imaginary) object they see. If it's too tight, it may chafe and cause pain. Don't forget a water bottle and bowl to keep yourself and Fido hydrated.
Step
3
Go for a walk
Your version of a walk might be nice, leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. With a Patterjack, you should quickly get rid of that notion and accept the reality that your pup is going to need a way to expel some of that excess energy. They will want to run, walk, jump, and move at their own pace, and as long as the surface and environment is safe for them to do so, you can try to keep up with them without limiting them too much. This will get you some extra exercise, too!
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More Fun Ideas...

Agility Course

Investing in an agility course for your Patterjack is a great way to ensure that your pup always has an outlet for their energy. You can create your own from stuff you have lying around your house or purchase a pre-made course from the store. This can be done inside or outside, but setting it up in your fenced-in backyard lets Fido have a constant play area any time they are ready to run. Make sure you stay outside with your pup, though. The Patterjack's small size makes them a prime target for birds of prey and other local predators.

Road Trip

Patterjacks love to socialize and explore new places, so why not take your pup on a road trip to see (and smell) new sights? With your energetic dog, you will have to pull over at rest areas every hour or so along the way, so you'll be sure to see lots of scenic views you may never have known existed. Your pup is a great car companion as long as you let them run their energy off at rest stops, and when you get to your destination, you'll find them highly interested in exploring the area right along with you!

Conclusion

Owning a dog as energetic as the Patterjack is a lot of responsibility that comes with even more reward. These loving, loyal pups are excellent family dogs, very social, and always great to bring a smile to your face with their antics. But if you aren't a responsible, firm pet owner that sets and keeps rules, those same antics can be trouble-making instead of funny. It's important to teach your Patterjack obedience with loving but strict guidance. If they are left to find ways to stay active themselves, Patterjacks will find their own stimulation and entertainment. If you have a Patterjack in your family, expect that your days and nights will always be entertaining and full of love!