Friday, June 15, 2007

Slandering the Good Name of Ireland

This post is recycled from this blog, circa May 2006.

I came across a few puppy peddler ads on the internet that should astound those who dig and work their dogs in Ireland.

You are being seriously slandered, my friends!

For example, we have the "Irish Jack Russell Terriers." Irish Jacks, the puppy peddlers, tell us, are better than regular Jack Russells, because the Irish Jacks "...are not bred for their hunting abilities [and so] make better pets." Beautiful! See >> for more nonsense.

I note that there are very few pictures of adult "Irish Jack Russells" on these puppy peddler sites. Apparently the bow-legged and barrel-chested adults (a function of a genetic defect called achondroplasia) makes for an adult dog that is a little less pleasing to look at. It is certainly an odd-looking dog, and one that cannot work well in the field due to its expanded chest.

The "Irish Jack Russell" people are selling their dogs under several names and now they are promoting a dachshund cross as (wait for it!) a "hunt terrier". They have even created "The Hunt Terrier Club of America" at Ironically, this web site appears to come out the Southwest U.S -- an area of the country where almost no one hunts their terriers at all. The say they hope to get their bow-legged dachshund crosses registered with the AKC. Say no more! The very definition of success for a working dog!

A quick search turns up more puffery about "hunt terriers" from the "English Jack Russell Terrier Association" web site at where they prattle on about a dog "famous around Limmerick".

Limmerick eh? Well of course, I remember the limmerick:

The internet ads offer puppies,

To rich and quite silly young yuppies

Romantic histories are told

So more dogs can be sold

May I recommend "Jack Russells for Dummies"?

Of course, the "Irish Jack" puppy peddlers are offering no less of a load than you find with most dog registries with their nonworking dogs and their also-invented histories.

If anyone can find a honest history of a single breed of dog registered by the American Kennel Club, you are doing a better job than me!

A rose by any other name ... and the same can be said for puppy peddlers.


clandauer said...

Despite my difference of view with Patrick on some aspects of the pet trade, I do have to wonder how this small time breeder can really put their priorities in this order:

* superior temperaments
* sweet dispositions
* intelligence & trainability
* overall good health and body structure
* smaller size
* color and markings
* friendliness and loyalty

It seems logical to me that if you're trading in a mutant variant, you have to put that first. She (I assume she's a middle aged fat woman like 95% of the breeders I know) HAS to be selecting for the achondroplasia disease above everything else.

The scarcity of said disease also makes me believe that she will also make compromises in other principles. If her breeding bitch is a carrier for any number of other recessive (or dominant) disease genes, do you think she'll pay more to test all the puppies and the stud dogs?

There can't be that many achondroplastic dogs to begin with and they are likely highly related to start with.

I've seen "respected" breeders who were breeding for a specific recessive color (there are "lilac" and "blonde" border collies, believe it or not... double recessive on multiple genes) make questionable choices out of CONVENIENCE... placing their desire to produce the color over all other issues.

And is this surprising? If there are only 3 or 4 dogs within 1,000 miles that are carriers for all the right recessive genes required to produce the same in a new litter, and if they are all closely related (likely) or have any number of borderline do-not-breed-me qualities... do you really think the breeder is going to NOT BREED, or find a suitable dog at a greater distance (read:cost)?

The dog rescue channels are filled with stories and photos of puppy millers who breed merle x merle dogs, and on average 1/4 of their puppies will be horrible disfigured albino messes that need to be euthanized. If it wasn't for the "have to be euthanized" part, I imagine that the diseased puppies would be sold right along with the marginally more healthy ones.

I guess that's why

* superior temperaments
* sweet dispositions

are first on the list, and

* friendliness and loyalty

is last. The breeder obviously doesn't understand that they're all the same thing. The first two are the mistake, the final one is the honest place for that priority.

The fact that the breeder combines HEALTH and BODY STRUCTURE into one is also telling.

A disfiguring DISEASE is not health or healthy in any way. It's just too hard to be honest and say that she and her buyers find frankenpups CUTE and that fulfillment of human desire is placed above all the interests of the dogs.

Every time I see these "puddin" dogs, along with the similarly diseased puddin cats, I hear dueling banjos playing in my head.

Dun dun dun ding dun. Some might think of forced sodomy, but I hear reflections of the hand of Fate knocking on the door in the opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth. If your breeding pool is but a pond, or in the case of these coat color seekers and achondroplasia mongers, but a thimble... You're only a generation or two away from genetic ruin.

Patrick would be interested to hear that one theory of the origin of the synchopated notes is not Fate, but from an overheard Yellowhammer.

PBurns said...

Order your pups sight unseen and get 'em overnighted to you from >>

There's no shortage of folks selling dogs this way or buying 'em that way, either. Pick a breed, any breed. Pathetic, but there it is.

As to the origin of Symphony No. 5, by Beethoven, that's a couple of cucumber sandwiches richer than I live and it's not my type of music. Ask me about certain kinds of bluegrass music or late 60s and early 70s rock, however, and I might be OK, LOL. I can tell you, however, that the European Yellowhammer is not the same one as our bird. Ours is a type of flicker, and their's is a type of bunting.


Colleen said...


I have a working Jack Russell terrier and have recently had someone argue with me that 'puddin' jacks are the 'real' Jack Russells and have a calmer temperament. IF those weren't bad enough, we now have hunt terriers? People can just make up histories about these dogs...i read the bios on the websites, apparently darker colored terriers were used before the white color became popular. Yet their pictures clearly show dachshund crosses!

PBurns said...

The nonsense spewed by dog dealers is amazing, and so too are their customers who do very little research on the dogs (or they wouuld get something different). The Jack Russell is a hunting dog and the quarry demands a small chest which a puddin does NOT have. If you want the true history of the Jack Russell it is here.


Colleen said...

Thank you for the response. Puddin Jacks have always creeped me out, I would never purchase a dog that was breed with a defect like that. I am looking into getting another Jack Russell in the near future, but sorting out the differences has been a real challenge. I never knew 'Russell Terrier's" existed. My original breeder now advertises her dogs as 'Parson's' The dog I got from her in the early 90s was tall, at about 15". He had no trouble getting down into woodchuck holes though. I am confused as to whether or not today he would be considered a parsons, because from what I can read, the "Parson Russell" Terrier is recognized on the 14" standard and the JRTCA standard is 10" to 15". Beyond that I have no idea what any difference is besides closed versus open breed registries.

Anonymous said...

I know that this posting is quite old, but I feel that I have a need to post further information about the Irish Jacks "Organization". I say "organization" because that is what they are. They are highly organized and run quite a good scam on many people each year.

It has not been mentioned here how much these puppies are being sold for. The average prices are from US $1000 to over $2500 per puppy. They are selling over 20 puppies per year but more like 40 if the puppies being "adopted" are correct. I monitor their site weekly for puppies that are "adopted", become "available" so quickly at an "adoptable" age, and that simply disappear.

Any of us who have bred AKC, UKC (United Kennel Club), or KC (UK) approved dogs even those who are in the Top Ten within their countries have a hard time moving a litter (not to mention two litters) per year at prices much less than these people.

The worst part of all of this is that they are stating that Jacks can be solid colors or with very little white and in colors that are simply not acceptable within the JRT, PRT, or RT. This is a problem. They have even generated a wikipedia page for Irish Jacks with falsified information. My kennel manager, other reputable Russell owners, and myself continually alter this page for people to know the real information about the breed.

Additionally, anyone who has dog experience can see that the majority of the puppies which are on their site are mixed breeds that either have a small percentage of Russell in them or do not have any at all. The site as of today does have more Russell looking puppies on it than what I have ever seen. It also has the smallest selection which I have ever seen on their site.

I actually saw a posting online about someone who had gotten a GSD looking puppy from them that was 24" tall but that proudly stated that it was an Irish Jack. Something is seriously wrong with that. Those people were taken for a money ride. I do not know who is to blame... the owner of this organization or the people who are buying dogs from them and supporting their organization.

On a final note, there is a really great Rip Off Report article about Irish Jacks. It makes some very valid points which I have verified. They are in fact purchasing puppies of many different breeds and crossbreeds from puppy mills in Ireland very CHEAPLY and importing them to the US.

Luckily for the potential buyers, the new importation laws on age is making it impossible for them to import at the young ages that they were before. So either they have been effected by the economy or they are effected by the new laws which is why they only have a handful available at this time and they are all older puppies. On most visits to their site there have been a minimum of ten puppies available but usually more like twenty.

One day they will be prosecuted by the right person who has gotten a puppy from them. False advertisement is luckily something which Americans love to sue over.

Just my two cents worth on this situation which is still going on.