Dkrainwater’s Weblog

The Jack Russell, Small Children, and the Napoleon Complex

Posted on: October 23, 2008

A young Jack Russell may be leery of small children and babies the first time that they encounter them, but will quickly adapt. Once a Jack Russell has become accustomed to the presence of little people he will often enjoy their company and the enthusiasm that children usually show in playing games of fetch and other activities that Jacks love. It’s important to note that a Jack Russell will not tolerate being manhandled or abused by anyone, small children or adults. The Jack is unique in this way as it has one of the most well defined senses of personal boundaries of any dog breed, which is often unexpected because of its size. A Jack will quickly and aggressively defend itself against any form of abuse, even unintentional. Very small children who are prone to pinching, grabbing or squeezing the dog should be kept at a safe distance. Children should be taught from an early age how to properly treat the dog and what type of interaction is inappropriate.

Jack Russell’s are very friendly and outgoing to both humans and other dogs, often ready to play with other canine breeds upon first meeting. It is very common though for a Jack Russell to exhibit aggression and dominance toward other dogs of the same sex. The male Jack is happy to play with other dogs, as long as they know he is the alpha male. A very common mental quirk among Jack Russell’s is what’s known as the Napoleon Complex. The Napoleon Complex can best be described as the inability to recognize the reality of a situation. The key trait of this complex is that the dog will behave as if it is much bigger than it is, and refuse to accept any type of dominant behavior from another breed, even if much, much larger. Jack’s who exhibit this trait are essentially fearless and will try to press its own dominance onto another animal, no matter its size. It’s as if the jack doesn’t realize how small it is at all. Their alpha attitude quite surprisingly can work to their advantage, and the Jack has been known to easily scare of dogs and other animals that are much larger than it.

Kellie Rainwater loves her Jack Russell Terrier, Trixie, so much that she co-authored the book, “The Jack Russell Terrier: Canine Companion or Demon Dog.” You can find this book and other Jack Russell toys, jewelry, and merchandise that is branded with the face of this tenacious canine at

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