YOur Terrier for Racing
Bob Franklin, CT
on the category where your terrier races, it may run only 2 races during
Jack Russell Trial racing or up to 8 races. Those terriers, which place
first in one of their races and thus qualifying for a Championship run-off,
will run still another race. If a stakes race category is added, this
could add another 3 or 4 more races. Throw in the possibility of one
or two re-runs for whatever reasons and this adds still more potential
times your terrier must run down the 75 yard track at full speed. Add
to this, the energy many terriers expend clawing at their cages or jumping
up and down in eagerness while waiting to race and it becomes evident
that conditioning of racing terriers is very important.
feeding a good quality dog food usually purchased from a high-end pet
supply house. A canine in the wild would consume mostly protein, fat
and calcium as it eats the small animals or birds it catches although
some of these animals/birds may have some partially digested grains
in their stomachs or crops. You will almost never see a canine eating
corn on the cob, wheat or beet pulp because the canine system evolved
with mouth and digestive juices designed to digest animals - not grains.
Therefore, it makes sense to look for dog foods where animal by-products
(chicken, turkey, lamb, etc.) are listed as the highest percentage ingredients.
Note also that dog biscuits are mostly wheat because the gluten in wheat
is required to make biscuits hard.
your terrier get overweight. You should be able to feel ribs and back
bone easily. General rule-of-thumb is that terriers should weigh about
one pound per inch of height at its withers. Usually, smaller female
terriers will weigh slightly under this rule and larger male terriers
may weigh slightly over this rule. So, regulate the amount your terrier
gets each day by the condition of the terrier rather than mfgr. recommendations.
Obviously, terriers that run all day need more food than terriers that
sleep on the couch or in their crates all day.
is vital to condition terriers for racing. Hopefully your terrier can
be loose in your yard a major part of each day. If possible, walk your
terriers off-leash in the woods several times each week. If you walk
a mile, your terrier will run as many as 5 miles back and forth, digging,
exploring and generally having a great time. A mile walk for you terrier
on a leash is hardly any exercise at all. Running in the woods is especially
good because it also teaches your terrier how to jump hurdles as it
leaps over logs, rocks, etc. while running at full speed. If walks in
the woods are not practical, then teach your terrier to fetch a ball
and throw the ball 40 or 50 times several times each day. If your property
has a hill, throw the ball up the hill as this increases the exertion
level for the terrier dramatically.
say their terriers swim a lot. This probably keeps terriers in good
physical condition, but swimming is probably not the best type of conditioning
for racing. Muscles used in swimming are different than required for
speed running. Lure coursing in moderation is probably good for conditioning,
but too much lure coursing may make for lazy dogs. They rarely ever
catch the lure and eventually realize it is a futile effort so start
loafing or cutting across.
plan on racing your terriers frequently for conditioning, it is recommended
that you do this in moderation because too much racing can lead to boredom
and make lazy racers. Let racing be an infrequent activity and they
will really stay excited.
this article helps you to condition your terriers for racing. On the
other side of that coin, I hope not too many of you begin beating my
terriers so that I rue the day I ever wrote this article. Just kidding