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KYLEMORE Jack Russell Terriers
Located in New England  ~  617-899-9738  ~
Vaccine/Health Information for our Jack Russell Terrier

Canine vaccinations continue to be a hotly debated and controversial topic.  There is clearly no “best practice” or “right answer” when it comes to vaccination protocols because they can be influenced by many factors including your pup’s environment, age when first vaccinated, your geographical area, your dog's breed and size and the elapsed time between vaccinations.

We ask that you take the time to educate yourself prior to administering any vaccinations to your new puppy.  We want you to be aware of your options and understand the potential risks involved.
This page was last updated: June 22, 2018
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If you have any questions  that we have not been able to answer on our vaccine and health page, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Not to be confused with the taller Parson Jack Russell Terrier (12" to 16" tall) our shorter legged terriers are known by many names such as Irish Jack Russell Terrier,Shorty Jack Russell, English Jack Russell Terrier, Short Legged Jack Russell, Shorty Jack, Irish Jack or English Jack and stand on average 10" to 11" tall.
Irish Jack Russell Terrier Breeders | Irish Jack Russell Terrier Puppies for Sale | Irish Jack Russell Terriers
Understanding How Vaccines Work

Vaccinations work by introducing a small amount of the virus into the dog to allow the immune system to develop antibodies for that particular disease.   When something foreign, such as a virus or bacteria, infects your dog's body, his immune system will develop antibodies to fight off that disease. Once those antibodies have been created, he usually won't be infected by the same strain of that virus again, because his body will immediately recognize and destroy it, more quickly each time.

Because current vaccines are very good at protecting against various viruses, a properly vaccinated mother will pass on protective immunity to her pups for up to 15 weeks.   However a puppy will not produce its own antibodies to a disease until it is either exposed to the disease by infection or by receiving the appropriate vaccination.  Therefore it is important to vaccinate based on risk.

As a result of these findings, we practice a more holistic vaccination schedule using only core vaccines beginning when the pup reaches 9 or 10 weeks of age as recommended W. Jean Dodds, DVM in the table below.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Phone: (714) 891-2022 ~ Fax: (714) 891-2123
e mail:

Note: The following vaccine protocol is offered for those dogs where minimal vaccinations are advisable or desirable. The schedule is one I recommend and should not interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It's a matter of professional judgment and choice.
Age of Pup

9 - 10 weeks

14 weeks

16 -18 weeks (optional)

20 weeks or older, if allowable by law

1 year

1 year

Vaccine Type

Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (e.g. Intervet Progard Puppy DPV)

Same as above

Same as above (optional)


Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV

Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)
Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request.
Vaccinating a puppy prior to 9 or 10 weeks of age is not going to give your puppy any more protection than he is already receiving from his mother.  It is also important not to give two shots less than three weeks apart as it can actually be harmful to their immune system.
Vaccinosis - The adverse reaction your pet suffers as a result of being vaccinated or over-vaccinated.

Adverse reactions to vaccines is a serious condition and can happen days or weeks after your dog has been vaccinated, make sure that you can recognize the symptoms of vaccinosis in your dog.  Over-vaccinating your dog can lead to serious life-long health conditions such as auto-immune diseases, skin issues, allergies, arthritis, thyroid disease and behavior problems such as aggression.

Core Vaccines

We vaccinate with only core vaccines per the 2011 AAHA Guidelines using Dr. Jean Dodds' minimal vaccination protocol outlined above and recommend that you do the same.

  • Canine Distemper (CDV)
  • Canine Parvo (CPV-2)
  • Canine Adenovirus (CAV)
  • Rabies
Be Your Dog's Advocate

When you bring your puppy home at eight weeks of age, you are the only one he has to speak for him and you owe it to him to be his advocate.  Please don't let any vet talk you into a vaccine or vaccination schedule other than what we have recommended because I can guarantee you that they will.  If they continue to pressure you, ask your vet to sign something saying that the vaccine is completely harmless.  Ask them why vaccines provide lifelong immunity for humans and not for dogs?  Take the time to educate yourself about vaccines so you can make an informed decision on behalf of your dog.  We have raised all of our dogs following this practice of minimal vaccines so we can stand behind what we say.
Learn about the
Rabies Challenge Fund
Follow These Steps to Eliminate Unnecessary Vaccines

  • Always consider where you live, your lifestyle and vaccine effectiveness.  For example, Bordetella (kennel cough) is for dogs in close quarters such as kennels and not for pets occasionally playing with others.  Leptosperosis is a disease of wetlands and wooded areas and may not protect against the actual disease in your area.  Lyme only covers one of the four tick-borne illnesses.  All of these vaccines are dangerous and have side effects.
  • Eliminate vaccines not on the "core" list of the AAHA.
  • Do not allow combination shots!  Spread your vaccines out and do not allow your vet to give your dog a vaccine cocktail.  Many vets will try to administer "combination" vaccines with five or seven vaccines given at once such as DHLPPC.
  • Don't allow anyone (Vet, groomer, trainer) talk you into giving unnecessary shots.
  • Test immunity prior to re-vaccination.  After one year, perform titer tests to measure your dogs immunity to certain diseases.
  • Never vaccinate a sick dog (including a dog who is undergoing routine surgery such a spay/neuter).
  • Don't vaccinate your puppy too early.  Wait until they are at least 10 weeks of age before they receive their first vaccine.
  • Insist that your vet document adverse vaccine reactions.
  • Make sure you keep detailed copies of your dog's medical records in case you ever have to prove your dog has been vaccinated.
Worming and Tick Prevention for your Jack Russell Terrier Puppy

We worm the puppies with Pyrantel Pamoate at 2, 4 and 8 weeks of age.  At 6 weeks, we also do one worming with SAFE-GUARD or PANACUR just before pup goes home with you.  We also give CORID (amprolium) x 5 days as a preventative against coccidiosis.

Check with your vet on your first visit about starting your puppy on a monthly preventative called INTERCEPTOR.  It prevents heartworm disease and also protects against other worms like hookworm, whipworm and roundworm.  The dose is based on weight and is given once a month.  Heartworm can be an issue here in New England so we simply don't take any chances with this one. 

If ticks are problematic in your area, talk to your vet about the best tick prevention treatment.  Since ticks are a real problem for us, we use K-9 ADVANTIX during the spring, summer and fall months.  We don't recommend starting treatment until puppy is at least a few months old.
Understanding the Piebald Gene and Why it is Important

Piebald is defined as "random spots of color on a white background".  Dog breeds such as the Dalmatian, Boston Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Bull Terrier, Great Dane and Cocker Spaniel, among others, all carry the Piebald Gene which produces areas of white by suppressing pigmentation.  In other words, white hair occurs when the skin cells are not able to produce pigment. 

All dogs carry two alleles for every trait and white spotting on dogs is determined by the S gene.  Dogs that have uniform color with relatively little or no white, carry the dominant allele S.  Piebald are the recessive alleles of the gene S and are expressed as s_i (Irish Spotting), s_p (piebald) and s_w (extreme piebald).  Dogs with Irish spotting tend to have white on the legs, tip of the tail, chest, neck and muzzle.  Dogs with piebald tend to have a colored head with or without a white muzzle or blaze and colored patches anywhere on the body but rarely on the legs.  Dogs with extreme piebald tend to be almost completely white with just small amounts of color on the head and occasionally at the base of the tail.

Occasionally, dogs with extreme piebald can be prone to deafness as a result of the lack of pigment in certain parts of the inner ear.  In our breeding practice, all damns and sires are BAER tested and any extreme piebald puppy that we produce is BAER tested at seven weeks of age.
Allele - DNA sequences that code for a gene.

Dominant - a trait that requires only one copy of a gene be inherited in order to exhibit that trait.

Recessive - a trait that requires two copies of a gene be inherited in order to exhibit that trait.
Dogs that carry the Piebald gene are also more prone to skin issues and vaccine reactions.  Because of this, we recommend a grain free diet for all of our dogs and puppies as well as a limited vaccination protocol.

In the picture to the right, seven week old Fionnuala, an all white, extreme piebald from the D'Arcy x Seamus 2012 litter is undergoing a BAER hearing test at seven weeks of age.   She can hear perfectly in both ears.

Coat and color genes in dogs is a technical and complicated subject and we have done our best to summarize it here without being too scientific.
Piebald puppy.
Extreme piebald puppy.