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Don and Kellie Rainwater
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Some Variations You May See in a Jack Russell and Other Tips
Prick Ears The condition called "prick ears" consists of a pup's ears standing up instead of folding forward. This is usually a permanent condition. The JRTCA considers this to be a conformational fault (i.e., the terrier is not eligible for registration). There is really nothing that can be done to get the ears to fall to their normal position (i.e., folded over). Pay careful attention to the dam and sire of the puppy prior to purchase to see if your puppy may develop this condition. However it is important to remember that during the time period of 3 1/2 to 7 months of age, your Jack Russell is teething. During this time frame the ear set will do strange things, such as stand straight up, partially up and over to the side, etc. Don't panic, the ears may go back after the teething process is over. You should contact your breeder if the ears do not correct themselves after this time period.
Spots on Skin/Coat A healthy Jack Russell has black or brown spots on their skin all over their entire body. When they are wet it is more noticeable. This is perfectly normal. The majority of Jack Russell Terriers have these skin spots. The spots will change in shade and size as your puppy matures. Your puppy may or may not develop "ticking." Ticking refers to small spots -- usually just a few hairs -- of color in the white coat. Ticking can be tan or black. Some dogs have both colors of ticking. It can be just a few spots or many, many spots. It changes with age as well. All remain at least 50% white. Some dogs may have no ticking at all in the first 14 weeks, and then begin to develop new "ticks" frequently with age. Ticking usually starts to appear at 7-8 months and will become thicker and more noticeable in the winter.