Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The Meerkat (also known as the Suricate) is a small species of foraging mammal that is found inhabiting the harsh conditions of the open and arid, semi-desert plains in southern Africa. A member of theMongoose family, Meerkats differ from the other 35 Mongoose species in a number of ways with the biggest difference being that Meerkats are incredibly sociable animals, where most Mongooses are not (only 3 other species are known to live in groups larger than pairs). There are three different sub-species of Meerkat that are found in varying geographic locations and although they are very similar in appearance, they differ slightly in their fur colouration and markings. All however, live in highly organised communities known as gangs or bands, that rely on one another for their survival in such hostile conditions as whilst the majority of the group is out foraging for food, others stand on guard to keep a watchful eye out for approaching predators.
The Meerkat is a small sized mammal that has a long and slender body with a long and light but black-tipped tail that can almost double the animal's total length. Meerkats are sandy to light brown in colour with eight darker stripes on their back, markings on their sides (which are unique to the individual) and a lighter face and underside. They have elongated muzzles with a black nose and dark coloured bands around their eyes. Meerkats have long, sharp claws on their front paws that are curved and can grow up to 2cm long and help them to both dig their burrows and to find small animals that are buried beneath the soft sand. The fur of the Meerkat has actually adapted remarkably to the differing desert conditions, not only helping to keep the animal cool during the boiling hot days, but also acting as a layer of insulation to keep it warm during the freezing-cold winter nights.
The Meerkat is found in southern and western Africa inhabiting the dry and hostile scrub-lands of the Kalahari Desert. Spanning across five different countries in southern Africa from Angola to South Africa, Meerkats are found throughout this vast, arid region foraging for food on the ground during the day and retiring into their immense burrows in the sand at night. Conditions in the Kalahari Desert are incredibly extreme with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees Centigrade in the summer (with a sand temperature of 70 degrees), and falling to well below zero down to -10 degrees during the bitter, winter nights. This area of Africa has an incredibly low level of annual rainfall with only a rare, small amount falling generally between January and April and after which, the Kalahari briefly transforms into a well-vegetated and life-filled region before the cooler winter months set in.
Unlike all but three other Mongoose species, the Meerkat is a highly sociable animal that inhabits territories in the desert in groups that usually contain between 10 and 30 individuals (although much larger bands are not uncommon in areas where there is an ample supply of food), and consist of three or four family units of a male and female pair, with their young. After emerging from their burrow to sunbathe in the early morning sun, the majority of the band goes off to forage for food while others either babysit the young, or act as guards. By standing upright on their hind legs and tails on the top of mounds and in bushes, Meerkat guards are able to have a good vantage point to watch out for approaching predators, particularly from the sky. One of a series of different alarm calls will then be sounded to alert the rest of the group what the danger is, often causing the whole band to dive into their underground burrow to hide.
Although there may be a number of breeding pairs in one band, Meerkat society is generally dominated by one male and female pair. Young Meerkats are usually born in November after a gestation period that lasts for around 11 weeks. Having mated with her partner at the start of the summer, the female Meerkat gives birth to between 2 and 5 small kits in a grass-lined chamber in the burrow, that are born blind and without their full coat of fur. Unlike with the rearing of numerous other small mammal species, both females and males tend to their young with males and siblings known to help to teach the young Meerkats the skills of surviving in the surrounding desert. Whilst the majority of the band is out foraging for food, the young Meerkats never stray far from the den and whilst playing in the hot sand, are kept a watchful eye on by an appointed babysitter. Meerkats can live for up to 10 years in the wild but have been known to live for longer in captivity.
The Meerkat is a carnivorous animal which means that despite it's small size, it only forages for and eats small animals in order to gain all of the nutrition (and most of the moisture) that is needs to survive. Like other Mongoose species, Meerkats have an excellent sense of smell which is used to sniff out potential prey that is lurking just under the surface of the sand. Once detected, Meerkats then used their long and sharp front claws to dig out their prey, with the majority of their diet being made up of insects and other small invertebrates, along with also eating larger animals such as Lizards and Rodents. Due to the fact that Meerkats are small in size and have adapted to living in such a harsh environment, they must spend a great deal of their waking hours foraging for food as they are known to loose around 5% of their body-weight during the night and must therefore ensure that they have enough to eat every day.
If the individual Meerkat on guard spots approaching danger they will sound the alarm to the rest of the group. Meerkats are known to use a wide range of vocal calls to communicate between one another sounding long howls to warn the rest of the band of an approaching bird of prey, and using short double-barks to alert them of a predator nearing the group on the ground. The individual territory of a Meerkat group covers a large enough area to ensure that the band has everything they need to most successfully survive. This includes areas of both hard and soft sand as although the hard sand provides the perfect ground for building their tunnels in, it requires more energy for Meerkats to forage for food in it too. Digging in the softer sand requires less effort and therefore means that they can conserve more energy for other activities.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Roseate Spoonbill

The Roseate Spoonbill is a large species of wading Bird, found from the Gulf Coast of the United States to Argentina at the tip of South America. The Roseate Spoonbill is one of six Spoonbill species found across the world, and although they all inhabit warmer, tropical climates, the Roseate Spoonbill is the only one that is found in the western hemisphere. Like all Spoonbill species, the Roseate Spoonbill is named for it's spatula shaped beak, which becomes flatter and broader towards the end, allowing the Roseate Spoonbill to scoop food out of the water with ease. They are closely related to other large wading Birds including, Herons, Storks and Egrets and are often mistaken in Florida for Flamingoes, particularly by tourists.
The Roseate Spoonbill is said to be one of the most distinctive Birds found in North America, with their pink and white plumage, orange tail-feathers, red legs and eyes and black feet. Like all wading Birds, the legs of the Roseate Spoonbill are thin and very long, allowing them to walk about in the shallow waters without getting their head or feathers wet. Their distinctively long beak is very sensitive to enable the Bird to easily detect the presence of prey, and has two small slits close to the top meaning that the Roseate Spoonbill can still breathe whilst it's beak is submerged in the water. The skin on their head is featherless and often has a greenish tinge to it, leading to their lighter coloured beak.
The Roseate Spoonbill is found along North America's Gulf Coast, most notably in Texas and Florida. It's range extends through Central America, down to Argentina at the bottom of the South American continent, and they can also be found on islands like the Bahamas, the Caribbean and Cuba. The Roseate Spoonbill can be found in fresh, salt or brackish waters, where the water level is low and is close to roosting sites. The Roseate Spoonbill is most commonly found in shallow wetlands from bays and estuaries, to mangrove swamps and tidal ponds. Despite drastic falls in population numbers in the USA in the late 1800s, the Roseate Spoonbill colonies there are now healthy and sustainable through much of their native regions.
The Roseate Spoonbill is a very sociable Bird that inhabits it's wetland homes with other Roseate Spoonbills, and they are also commonly found in the presence of other waders including Herons, Egrets and Ibises which they are closely related to. The Roseate Spoonbill is a fairly large Bird, making it's flying style long and slow. They fly together in small flocks in diagonal lines with their necks and heads outstretched, when moving between habitats or migrating to their annual nesting sites. The Roseate Spoonbill is often seen in small flocks when feeding but they have also been found to do this on their own as well. In the wild, they are known to be particularly shy Birds, with the whole colony known to fly away if startled, but have been known to adapt well to Human disruption when kept in captivity.
The Roseate Spoonbill is a colonial nester, meaning that they gather in large numbers to produce and rear their young, possibly for protection. Roseate Spoonbills reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 or 4, when they migrate to appropriate nesting grounds to find a mate. Once paired up on coastal islands, both the male and female construct a nest in trees, thick bushes or reeds where up to four eggs are laid per clutch. The Roseate Spoonbill chicks usually hatch after an incubation period of around three weeks, and fledge after about a month. The young Roseate Spoonbills have white plumage with a slight pink tinge, and often won't develop the colourful adult feathers for at least a couple of years. Both the incubating of the eggs and the feeding of the chicks is shared by the male and female parents.
The Roseate Spoonbill is an omnivorous animal that uses it's spoon-like beak to catch small animals in the water. The Roseate Spoonbill sweeps this distinctively shaped bill from side to side close to the bottom of the water, creating little whirlpools of water that trap prey inside them, enabling the Roseate Spoonbill to feed. Although they will eat a number of both plant and animal species, small Fish such as Minnows are the primarily source of food for the Roseate Spoonbill, comprising roughly 85% of it's diet. The rest is made up with the consumption of other small aquatic organisms like Shrimp, Molluscs and aquatic Insects that lurk close to the muddy bottom, along with a number of aquatic plant species.
Despite it's very distinctive appearance, the Roseate Spoonbill is often mistaken for other Birds like the Flamingo, particularly when in flight, even though they are generally smaller in size and have a longer, wider beak than these pinker Birds. Not only is their distinctive spoon-like bill useful for catching food though, but there are also very sensitive nerves at the end, which causes the Roseate Spoonbill's beak to snap shut quickly when it comes into contact with small aquatic organisms. It is widely believed that the reason for the bright pink plumage of the Roseate Spoonbill, is due to the algae eaten by the Crustaceans that these Birds consume (in a similar way to the Flamingo but not quite as bright).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Abyssinian cats

The Abyssinian Cat is thought to be one of the oldest breeds of domestic Cat in the world, as the first domestication of the Abyssinian Cat occurred in Ancient Egyptian times. It is thought that Abyssinian Cats were bought and sold on the banks of the River Nile by traders, where the African Wild Cats (the ancestors of all domestic Cats) lived in their native habitats. Abyssinian Cats are most easily identified by their "ticked" fur which gives their coat a mottled appearance.

The Abyssinian Cat has a more wild looking appearance when compared to many breeds of domestic Cat in modern times. The Abyssinian Cat has large ears (meaning it has fantastic hearing) on top of it's broad head, and the large almond-shaped eyes of the Abyssinian are still distinctive to this breed today. The Abyssinian Cat is a medium sized Cat with a long and muscular yet slender body and a relatively short tail. Although today, the Abyssinian can be found in a variety of different colours from blue to lilac to red, the dense, silky fur of the Abyssinian was originally silver or fawn in color.
The Abyssinian Cat is known to be extremely intelligent and playful and is thought to be one of the most active breeds of domestic Cat as the Abyssinian seems to find it almost impossible to sit still. Abyssinian Cats are known to be extremely loyal and obedient felines making them easy to train in the house. The Abyssinian Cat is as wild in temperament as it is in appearance and enjoys to have a lot of attention as well as to keep active, which also tends make these Cats naturally good hunters.
Today, most species of modern day domestic Cat are thought to have descended from, or be close descendants of, the Abyssinian Cats which were brought to England from Northern Africa in the 19th century. The Abyssinian Cat is thought to have been one of the first species of Wild Cat to have been domesticated by Humans, and is therefore one of the first wild animals to be treated like a household pet. The Abyssinian is now one of the most popular domestic Cat breeds in the USA and was thought to have been first exhibited in Crystal Palace in 1871 and the first official listing of the Abyssinian Cat breed was in 1882.
In Ancient Egypt, the Abyssinian Cat was seen as a sign from the Ancient Egyptian Gods and was therefore thought to be a sacred animal with legend deeming that the Abyssinian was the "Child of the Gods" and it was therefore worshipped on the banks of the Nile. This meant that the Egyptian people believed that the Abyssinian Cats were extremely special animals and they therefore looked after their Cats very well, with Abyssinian Cats often being depicted as sacred beings in Ancient Egyptian art and legend.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Komodo Dragon

The Komodo Dragon is a large species of lizard that is only found on a handful of islands in the Indonesian archipelago. Not known to the world until the First World War, the Komodo Dragon is actually a species of Monitor Lizard that has been evolving in island isolation for millions years, which has led to it becoming very large indeed. The Komodo Dragon is not only the largest lizard in the world, but it also one of the most aggressive and is so powerful that it is able to take prey many times it's own size. However, Komodo Dragons are also in severe danger in their natural environments as hunting and habitat loss, along with a shortage of prey, has led to population declines on the few islands where they are found in the Komodo National Park, meaning that they are now listed on the IUCN's Red List and therefore have some legal protection.
The Komodo Dragon is an enormous reptile that can grow up to three meters long and weigh 150kg. They are incredibly strong and powerful with long, thick bodies, short, muscular legs and an almighty tail that is used for both fighting and for propping the animal up when it is standing on it's hind legs. The Komodo Dragon has long and sharp, curved claws that are often used for digging and it's greyish brown skin is covered in small scales and folds around the neck. Komodo Dragons have relatively small heads compared to their large body size and wide, powerful jaws that conceal a mouth that is filled with deadly bacteria. Although the Komodo Dragon has good eyesight, the majority of it's surroundings are sensed to smell which the Komodo Dragon does with it's long and deeply forked tough. By flicking it's tongue out of it's mouth, the Komodo Dragon is able to "taste" scent particles in the air to locate both live and dead prey up to 8km away.
Although the Komodo Dragon would have once been widespread across many Indonesian islands, they are today confined to just five which all lie in the Komodo National Park. The islands of Komodo, Rintja, Gillimontang, Padar and the western tip of Flores are the last remaining homes for these enormous animals that are most commonly found in open woodlands along with dry savannah and on scrubby hillsides, and can also be found inhabiting dried-up river beds. It is thought that Komodo Dragons evolved to be so big on these islands due to the presence of a number of large mammalian species that have since gone extinct. Today however, they are becoming more threatened in their natural environments with the loss of their habitats to deforestation for timber has pushed the last remaining populations into smaller and more isolated regions.
The Komodo Dragon is a solitary and powerful predator that roams a territory which is dependent on the individual's size, with the average adult covering a distance of around 2km every day. They are also known to be excellent swimmers, travelling from one island to another over a relatively long distance. Although they are solitary animals, a number of Komodo Dragons will often gather around a single kill with smaller individuals normally having to give way to the larger ones. In order to catch such large animals, Komodo Dragons can sit for hours hidden in the vegetation and are well camouflaged by their grey-brown skin as they sit waiting for a prey animal to pass by. The Komodo Dragon then ambushes it's victim with incredible speed and force. Although the majority of initial attacks are successful, if the animal somehow manages to escape then the bacteria transferred from the Komodo Dragon's mouth in the bite-would, causes the flesh to become septic and kills the prey within 24 hours.
Besides when feeding on a large carcass, Komodo Dragons can also be seen in the company of one another during the breeding season when, in September, nearby males fight one another by standing on their hind legs and propped up by their tails, try to win the right to breed with the local females. After mating, the female Komodo Dragon lays up to 25 leathery eggs in a hole that she digs into the soft sand. The young hatch after an incubation period that lasts for between 8 and 9 months and are boldly marked with cream bands (which they lose as they get older), and are completely independent from when they leave their shell. However, until they grow to a larger size, young Komodo Dragons will venture up into the trees where they will spend most of their time until they are big enough to look after themselves on the ground. Komodo Dragons tend to live for an average of 30 years in the wild.
The Komodo Dragon is a carnivorous animal that only hunts and kills large animals in order to survive in it's natural surroundings. Adult Komodo Dragons are able to kill prey much larger than themselves as even if they are not successful at killing it on ambush, they will then follow it for miles until it eventually dies of the blood-poisoning caused by the deadly bacteria in the Komodo Dragon's mouth. Largemammals make up the bulk of the Komodo Dragon's diet including PigsGoatsDeer and even Horses and Water Buffalo (all of which have been introduced to the islands by people). Young Komodo Dragons however, prey on smaller animals in the trees such as SnakesLizards and Birds. The teeth of the Komodo Dragon are sharp and serrated but they mean that this animal cannot chew. Instead they tear bits off the carcass and throw it backwards into their mouths, able to swallow it whole aided by their flexible neck muscles.
The Komodo Dragon is known to have fifty different types of toxic bacteria in their saliva that thrive on traces of flesh, causing bite-wounds to become quickly infected. Recent research however, indicates that the real reason for such a high success rate in poisoning it's prey could be down to the fact that the Komodo Dragon may have a venom gland in it's mouth. Although Komodo Dragons have thrived in this part of the Indonesian archipelago for millions of years, they were not known to the world until around a century ago when reports came in from a pilot that swam to Komodo Island after his plane went down. The immense size of the Komodo Dragon is thought to come from the fact that they would have once hunted large mammals that would have then existed in Indonesia, including a species of Pygmy Elephant which is thought to have now been extinct for thousands of years. This means that the main prey of the Komodo Dragon today, has all been introduced to the islands by Human settlers.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


The Okapi is an elusive herbivore that is found in a small pocket of tropical mountain forest in centralAfrica. Despite it's Deer-like appearance the Okapi is actually one of the last remaining ancestors of the Giraffe, which is the tallest animal on Earth. Along with having a relatively long neck compared to it's body size, the most striking feature of the Okapi is the horizontal stripes that are particularly visible on their behinds and give this animal an almost Zebra-like appearance. The Okapi is very shy and secretive, so much so in fact that they were not recognised as a distinct species by western science until the earth 20th century. Although they are seldom seen by people, the Okapi is not an endangered species as they are thought to be fairly common in their remote habitats.
Like it's distant and much larger ancestor, the Okapi has a long neck which not only helps it to reach leaves that are higher up, but also provides the Okapi with a tool to both defend itself and it's territory. The Okapi has a red-brown coloured coat of fur with horizontal, white striped markings that are found on their hind quarters and at the tops of their legs, and provide the Okapi with excellent camouflage in the dense jungle. They have white ankles with a dark spot above each hoof and very thick skin to help protect them from injury. The Okapi has a long head and dark muzzle with large set-back ears which enable the Okapi to detect approaching predators easily. The Okapi also has an impressively long tongue, which is not only black in colour but it is also prehensile meaning that it is able to grab hold of leaves from the branches above.
The Okapi is found in the dense tropical rainforests of north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo generally at an altitude that can vary between 500 and 1,000 meters, although the majority of individuals are thought to inhabit areas at roughly 800 meters above sea level. They are incredibly shy and elusive animals and rely heavily on the very thick foliage around them to protect them from being spotted by predators. The Okapi can also be found in areas where there is a slow-moving fresh water source, but the range of the Okapi is very much limited by natural barriers, with unsuitable habitats on all four sides trapping these animals into the 63,000 square kilometre Ituri Rainforest. Around a fifth of the rainforest is today made up of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, which is a World Heritage Site. Although they are thought to be common in their native region, the Okapi has been severely threatened by habitat loss particularly from deforestation.
The Okapi is a diurnal animal meaning that they are most active during the day when they spend the majority of their time roaming set paths through the forest in search of food. They are solitary animals with the exception of the time mothers spend with their calves but are known to tolerate other individuals and may occasionally feed together in small groups for a short period of time. Okapi have overlapping home ranges with males tending to occupy a larger territory than females, which is marked with both urine and by rubbing their necks on trees. Males also use their necks to fight with one other to both settle disputes over territory and to compete to mate with a female during the breeding season. Okapis are known to also communicate with one another using quiet "chuff" sounds and rely heavily on their hearing in the surrounding forest where they are not able to see very far at all.
After a gestation period that can last for up to 16 months, the female Okapi retreats into the dense vegetation where she gives birth to a single calf. Like many hoofed-herbivores, the Okapi calf is usually able to stand within half an hour when mother and baby then begin starting to look for a good nest spot. They remain in their nest deep in the undergrowth for the majority of the next two months which not only helps the calf to develop more rapidly but also gives it vital protection from hungry predators. Although the female Okapi will protect and feed her vulnerable calf, the two are not thought to share the same close bond that occurs with numerous other hoofed mammals. Although they do begin to develop their white stripes at a fairly young age, the young Okapi do not reach their full adult size until they are roughly three years old. They are generally weaned at around 6 months old but may continue to suckle from their mother for more than a year.
The Okapi is a herbivorous animal meaning that it survives on a diet that is only comprised of plant matter. They eat leaves, shoots and twigs that are drawn into their mouths using their long prehensile tongue along with fruits, berries and other plant parts. The Okapi will even eat fungi on occasion and is known to eat more than 100 different types of plant, many of which are poisonous to other animals and Humans. Along with consuming a vast variety of plant material, the Okapi is also known to eat a reddish clay that provides essential salt and minerals to it's plant-based diet. The Okapi spends a great deal of the daylight hours in search of food and walks quietly along well-trodden paths that it uses regularly to ensure an easier escape from predators.
One of the most distinctive features of both the Okapi and the Giraffe is their long prehensile tongue which can not only be used to grab onto leaves and branches but it also assists the animal when grooming. The tongue of the Okapi is in fact so long, that they are one of the few animals in the world that are said to be able to lick their own ear! Although they are quite rare and very secretive animals, there were sightings of the Okapi in these forests but these generally involved seeing the animal from behind and so the Okapi was known by many as a Forest Zebra. The Okapi was not classified as a distinct species until 1900 - 1901, when Harry Johnston sent two pieces of Zebra-like skin to London which was analysed and meant that a new species had been recorded.

Field Spaniel

The Field Spaniel is a moderately-sized dog that has a heavier and longer build than a Cocker Spaniel. Since it has a rich and lustrous coat, this dog breed is commonly used as a show dog and has one of the sweetest and mild-mannered personalities. Its coat is silky and generally solid in color. Some breeds have tan and speckled markings, while others have spots of white on the chest. The silky coat is usually either liver-colored or all black. 

The Field Spaniel's coat is usually feathered but never curly. These dogs have regular-sized muzzles, and large noses with open nostrils. A gentle but noble expression is common for this breed, and almond-shaped eyes in hazel or chestnut brown are signature traits. The face is lean, thin, and attractive; this is an important feature for show dogs and makes the Field Spaniel especially desirable. The eyes are not too full, and may be nearly black. They often have a grave expression that further emphasizes their natural docility. Ears are usually set low which adds to the beauty of the head. They have natural Setter-like feather that makes the head and neck area especially attractive. The neck is usually strong, muscular, and lean; these dogs stand tall and confdient, and have moderatealy long, fringed ears. The tail is usually docked and tucked under. The body is long and very low, and a well-ribbed dog will stand straight or slightly arched. 

Field spaniels are natural sporting dogs and are capable of creating a very beautiful and useful stage presence. 

Trianing the field spaniel can take time but the effort is worthwile; this breed makes an excellent show dog and is easily trainable after only a few sessions. After initial bonding time with the owner, a Field Spaniel becomes especially loyal and can be a great companion dog as well. Its mild manners and even temperament make it suitable for a variety of households, families, and owners
The Field Spaniel is best suited for a house or larger living space simply because they need to run about in a yard or fenced in area. They are not well suited for apartment homes or smaller dwellings since they can become neurotic and temperamental if they do not have enough space. These dogs still have roots in natural hunting environments, and it is important that they are not let out of sight on a regular basis. A fenced-in property is the safest place for these dogs to roam and run in, as they are likely to simply follow a scent if they are left unattended. This breed prefers cooler climates and will exhibit neurotic behavior if it is simply locked away.
The Field Spaniel has a thin and glossy coat can be speckled or just plain tan with white spots. The coat is of moderate length and can be flat or slightly wavy. This breed is highly weather resistant, and thus prefers cooler climates and even wet weather. The most common coat is black, but some coats may also be mahogany red, golden liver, or plain liver in color. White in the chest area is also fairly common.
4 - 8 puppies with the average being 6 puppies.The life span of a field spaniel is 10-12 years.
The Field Spaniel is incredibly docile, calm, but also independent in nature. These dogs are smart, intelligent, and playful; they are also very active and can be full of energy. They make excellent family pets because of their drive to please and friendly nature, and they are especially good with young children because of their soft and docile presence. It is important that this breed is socialized well so that they do not become too timid; this is a natural trait and they can be very friendly and sociable once they break out of their comfort zone. If the dog is under socialized in early years, it will be much less likely to interact with strangers.

Field spaniels enjoy roaming and exploring, and are often involved with playing and activities. If play becomes too rough, however, they may become timid, withdrawn, and unsociable. It is important to monitor them in their early years so that they do not become temperamental in new situations. Tehse dogs have a tendency to become stubborn, but they are calm and placid overall. They become very happy when they have an activity to do or a project to complete; they are quick learners and will pay attention to direction and the owner's voice. Training the Field Spaniel is relatively easy and they are very sensitive to voice, tone, and manners. It is important to be direct and not too harsh with these dogs as they will pick up any nuances and behaviors immediately. A tough approach will likely disturb them and may result in reluctant behavior traits.

The Field Spaniel is famous for becoming devoted to only one family member and ignoring other parties as a result. They can become neurotic if they are locked away in a kennel, and need regular contact with a variety of people. These dogs are very trustworthy, dependable, and loyal. They can be very affectionate and loving, and become excellent family dogs over the long term. The Field Spaniel matures at an average rate, and is a quick learner and eager to grow by learning new skills.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small, miniature-sized version of a working Fox Terrier, and is often confused for this breed. However, it has distinct qualities and fun-loving, merry personality. The dog is usually white with reddish black and brown markings, and can often have many large tan patches. The skull is flat between the ears, and these usually flow to a tapering point. The stop is well-defined, and the dog has almond shaped eyes with a black nose. Eyes are usually dark brown or near-black, and the dog has one of the most "pitiful puppy" dog looks!

The Jack Russell Terrier has a very flexible body and is incredibly agile. It has a medium to small chest and this helps them run and chase after prey that are close to the ground. Highly active and usually always on the run, these dogs are athletic with plenty of energy. The docked tail is carried high and they carry themselves with a lot of energy and a strong attitude. The dogs come in smooth and wire-haired versions, although the broken coat can also be quite rough. The slightly fuzzy face and smooth head are natural qualities of this dog and the Irish types often have shorter legs than English types.

The dog is usually more white than other colors, and has its origins in fox hunting. The Jack Russell Terrier is often simply called the "Jack Russell" and has been used to describe many different types of small terriers of similar stature. These dogs tend to get very excited, and are wonderful with children. These dogs have been raised to be working terriers, and have a strong expression and distinct appearance. The red fox is the most common prey for these dogs, and they are commonly found hunting down red foxes and old badgers in dens and quarries. The Jack Russell Terrier is small enough to burrow into quarries and dens, and will gladly pursue a variety of small animals. These dogs jump at the chance to explore new territory, and it is not uncommon to find them "stuck" in a den or hole after a relentless search for their next find!

These dogs also have crooked or "benched" legs and this can be a sign of Achondroplasia. Still, they are built strong and muscular and they have a strong drive to work and stay active despite any physical limitations. These dogs are well-proportioned in relation to height and have an attractive appearance overall.

Training these dogs requires patience, diligence, and persistence. Since these dogs naturally have a high energy level, it can be difficult to keep up! Still, the discipline instilled at an early age will help to manage them in later years and they are more likely to bond with owners as a result.
The Jack Russell Terrier has a white coat with black, tan, and brown markings and often has reddish tones. The coat is moderately long and not dense, but medium textured and soft.
They litter 4-8 pups ,average 6(six).
living area
The Jack Russell Terrier is suited for apartments only when they receive an adequate amount of exercise. They do not do well by being chained up all day as they need the freedom to explore and move about. These dogs are not well-suited for kennels for extended periods of time, although they do enjoy the outdoors. They are very active indoors, and it is important to keep valuables and fragile objects out of their living space whenever possible. Although they may not be directly destructive, they do have a tendency to be hyperactive and can cause damage to fragile goods and objects as a result. These dogs should be accompanied by a person during the day and can be crate trained. However, they will need some exercise throughout the day as well as plenty of affection!

These dogs thoroughly enjoy interaction with their owners, and can develop strong bonds as a result. They will enjoy new environments to explore, and will fare well with a small yard or fenced in space of their own.
The Jack Russell Terrier is happy, devoted, loving, and very perky. It will rise up early in the morning and play about at its leisure, but most enjoys its time with a job to do. These dogs are amusing and entertaining, and will be eager to play with new toys, games, and people. They are friendly and kind towards children and strangers and will happily introduce themselves to new people. These dogs are very determined and independent as well; it is important to remember this when they are during their training stages as they can be difficult to manage at times. Still, diligence and perseverance with these dogs will pay off.

The Jack Russell Terrier may be aggressive with other dogs, especially during its early years of socialization. This is why it is especially important for these dogs to learn from early socialization and they must be introduced to different dogs and animals whenever possible. These dogs do have natural hunting abilities and a strong instinctive quality. They are stronger than the average terrier and should generally not be trusted with smaller animals. They are driven to hunt, so it is important to keep them on a tight leash in new territory. Unless they are very well-trained, these dogs can be difficult to manage off the leash and may run off far from home.

These dogs can become destructive if they are restless or bored, and it is important that they have plenty of activities to enjoy when they do not have access to formal exercise. Regular activity will keep them from becoming occupied in harmful actions and activities overall. The Jack Russell Terrier is a natural climber and can jump and climb over fences relatively easily. These dogs do get excited very easily and are strong-willed; they will do their best to achieve a goal and will run after new things easily. Making sure they are well-trained well before they have a chance to do so is in the owner's best interest.

These dogs are very loving and affectionate, and will need constant attention. They will turn to excessive barking and other unmanageable behavior if they are not getting the attention they need, and may even resort to digging and destroying objects in the home. It is important to vary their activities and make sure they are actively engaged with the family on a regular basis. These dogs do have a tendency to be "cat-aggressive" and will not get along well with other small animals in the home. They often get involved in fights with rabbits and other small fur-bearing animals so it is important that they are kept far from the cages of any household pets as often as possible.

These dogs are inquisitive and curious, and due to their small sizes, can find themselves in a lot of trouble very easily! It is important to remember that these dogs do not enjoy being "lap dogs" and would rather play about freely. They are not comfortable sitting in one place for extended periods of time, and will need to be taken to new environments and settings on a regular basis.
''         '' PLAYING WITH  BALL!
The Jack Russell Terrier is very adaptable to different environments, but does require a lot of exercise on a regular basis. Owners can expect to become athletic and build endurance themselves; these dogs enjoy running, walking, and jogging outdoors as well as playing standard games such as fetch or with a ball. Since they are constantly active indoors as well, these dogs need plenty of stimulating toys and activities during "rainy days." They tend to become destructive and irritable if they are bored, and it is important that they are given the freedom to run and play about if they are inside for extended periods of time.

The ideal workout for these dogs is about two long walks or light jogs per day. These dogs are naturally early risers and will expect to get exercise immediately after waking. They need open spaces to run, hunt, play, and explore; taking them to a dog park or other open field for a day is perfect for fulfilling their exercise needs.

These dogs are quick learners and highly intelligent. Although they may run off from their owners, they can return quickly after careful training. It is important to keep them on a leash until they are well-trained so that they do not get lost. These dogs have superb stamina and endurance, and older owners may have difficulty keeping up. Naturally hyper and overactive, these dogs are relentless when finding physical activities to participate in!