"Raising Jack Russell Terrier puppies is our greatest pleasure ~ Breeding the Irish Connemara remains our greatest responsibility”

Breeding Philosophy

We are specifically dedicated to the Connemara line of Jack Russell Terrier. Many years ago, before we bred our second litter of puppies for sale, we outlined our goals and what was importance to us:

  • Continue the Connemara line of Jack Russell Terrier. This meant: Never infusing lines from unknown origin or other countries. Our terriers would continue on from old Irish stock only.
  • To breed a healthy Jack Russell Terrier using science and health testing as a tool. Our terriers have been screened for 38 known genetic diseases.
  • Accept nothing less than producing a sane terrier. One that can be trusted with children and cats.
  • While we decided to maintain the Connemara Jack Russell Terrier as it had been bred for over a century, we also planned to improve upon it in a few ways; as in a better ear set, shorter back and straighter legs - without changing it drastically.

We thought long and hard about the kind of breeder we wanted to be and the reputation we wanted to build.  We wanted to be the kind of breeder that we would want to deal with if we were in the market for a puppy.  We then built our program never compromising our integrity.  And no matter what; Have always done what is best for our dogs. 

Breeding Criteria

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Health:  We haven’t done just one or two DNA tests so we could claim our terriers are "DNA/health Tested"…Our Jack Russell Terriers have completed several screenings and clearances. We keep on top of the latest science and as new testing becomes available, we take advantage of it as soon as it is possible. As of 2017, our original, and/or current foundation stock, Jack Russell Terriers have completed DNA screenings for 38 known disease markers.
 
Temperament:  Equally important, we look for sound temperament, going beyond simple friendliness to dogs and people. We look for self-confident dogs who take life in stride, stable when faced with most circumstances and comfortable in their world.  After confidence, we look for intelligent, eager dogs who desire to be with, live with and/or work side-by-side with their human partner.  The final component of temperament we demand is friendliness and reliability.  We expect our dogs to accept polite dogs of all ages and types and to be comfortable with men, women and children. We expect our terriers to display healthy dog behaviors when in the company of other dogs. We also expect our dogs to breed naturally and easily. We find all of these behaviors to be most appropriate to a correct and sound Jack Russell Terrier.

Conformation:  After the foundation of longevity and temperament, we look for sires that complement our dams by building on their strengths and correcting their weaknesses.  For example, we use conformation dogs to strengthen type.  We always look beyond the dog himself, at the strengths and weaknesses of his pedigree. We know that some combinations meld well, while others simply do not.

Breeding Goals

Our ideal Jack Russell, the goal of our breeding program, is a dog of smaller size and substance that:

  • Meets accepted standards regarding height and weight, with correct ear set and terrier expression
  • A terrier who moves like the athlete he/she is and who is immediately identifiable as a Jack Russell Terrier.
  • We do not breed for rare colors or for “Hard Terriers”. 
  • We prefer a slightly longer than tall dog... (one who measures roughly 1-2” longer than tall) not a square dog.  
  • Carries a proper, weather resistant coat, in one of the correct coat lengths (Smooth, Broken & Rough) for Jack Russells.
  • We breed colors that meet the worldwide accepted standard (White dog with black and/or brown of any shade).
  • Average energy dog that has the spunk to hunt field mice and squirrels but not with enough prey drive to harm your cat or chase cars. 
  • This same dog must settle well in the house afterwards.
  • Tractability and intelligence to be trained with ease but still recognized as a terrier.
  • Loves the family's children and tolerates all dog-appropriate handling by them.
  • Gets on well with other dogs but not afraid and nervous or incapable of functioning as a normal dog.
  • Is healthy and sound, with no chronic illnesses of any kind.
  • Lives a long and healthy life as a beloved member of his or her family.

In short, our puppies fit well into homes and family life with regular training and exercise. We seek pet homes for most of our puppies.  Pet homes where the dog participates in many of the families activities, homes where training the dog will remain a top priority.

We follow the strictest of ethics and seek to treat our families fairly and to use our interactions as a means to educate them as well as the general public about dog behavior and the responsibilities of dog ownership.
All though we have many years of experience, we are devoted to our own continuing education as breeders, trainers and owners.
Sheila

We are very concerned about the problems facing purebred Jack Russells in the United States today: poor or aggressive temperaments; genetic diseases and general poor health.  We are saddened at the astronomical number of Jack Russells euthanized in animal shelters each year because they are unable to find or keep a loving home. We believe these problems are primarily the result of poor breeding practices and a general lack of understanding of dog behavior and training.  Our concerns are reflected in the priority of our goals and our requirements for our owners.

All though we have many years of experience, we are devoted to our own continuing education as breeders, trainers and owners. We do this through extensive reading of contemporary and historical literature on genetics, veterinary science, animal behavior and dog breeding. We attend seminars, have discussions with veterinarians, scientists, professional dog trainers and handlers and other members of the dog world. We make it a point to attend seminars each year.  Stephanie is a recent graduate of a KPA program (Karen Pryor clicker training) and will continue her studies in that direction. Sheila studied at The Academy For Dog Trainers under Jean Donaldson.

Connemara’s other trainers have a mixture of experience, all of which is science based, positive, force-free training. Each trainer spends time further developing themselves as a trainer. Continuing education is important to all of us at Connemara.

Our breeding decisions follow Connemara’s strict, established criteria and contributes to our goal of producing a healthy, sane Jack Russell Terrier. You will be able to manage and trust a Connemara Terrier with your family.

Today, Connemara is still small, exclusive and family run. We place our puppies with discriminating families, catering to those expecting professionalism in us - and quality in our terriers. Our breeding decisions follow our established criteria and contributes to our goal of producing a healthy, sane Jack Russell Terrier you will be able to manage and trust with your family. 

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