How to Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy (with Pictures)

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How to Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy (with Pictures)
How to Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy (with Pictures)

The Jack Russell terrier is a robust and strong breed that can be aggressive if not trained in the right way. Like all terriers, Jack Russell has a lot of energy and needs a lot of activity to spend it all. Otherwise, the dog finds a way to occupy himself, usually with something undesirable or with mischief. The most important thing to do to keep your pet happy is to love it and train it to set limits. These dogs are extremely loyal to their owners. With the right training and lots of exercises, you can have a happy life together.


Part 1 of 2: Training the Jack Russell terrier

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 1

Step 1. Train your puppy dog

It all starts on the first day, when the owner teaches the puppy where to go and that the transport box is a safe place. Puppies learn fast, so take advantage of age to teach basic commands. More complex training can start from the eighth week, but with short sessions. The sessions should last (in minutes) corresponding to the dog's age in weeks and should be distributed in two or three throughout the day. It is important to teach the most basic commands such as 'sit', 'down', 'stay' and 'stand up', but he must be trained to obey as well.

If you don't train the Jack Russell terrier from a young age, he will continue to fight to get what he wants. This breed is determined and can step on the owner's head if not trained in the right way

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 2

Step 2. Do obedience training with your dog

That way, he learns to be polite and behave and you learn to train your dog the right way. He will be able to socialize with other dogs and with humans in a controlled environment.

  • Training a puppy or an adult dog involves repetition, reward, praise and patience. Never hit, fight, or otherwise give your puppy negative reinforcement during training. Keep your voice positive, as dogs quickly learn to interpret disapproval in their owner's voice.
Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 3

Step 3. Teach him to do his needs in the right place

If you have a puppy, you need to teach him to “use the bathroom”. Start by choosing a small room in the house to keep the puppy in while you're not home. Line the floor with newspaper for him to do his needs and change the sheets every day until he starts noticing the place chosen by the puppy. Then start taking the paper out of the other spots little by little.

When he uses only a small area of ​​paper, it is possible to place the newspaper in the place in the house designated as the dog's bathroom

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 4

Step 4. Teach an older dog to use the toilet

If the older Jack Russell terrier starts doing his needs in the wrong place in the house or yard, retrain him. Take him out every three hours and after he eats or naps. Remind him that it's time to relieve himself. If he succeeds, give him lots of praise, like "good boy." If not, take him inside, wait 15 minutes, go back to the yard or the street and try again.

Always take the dog to the same place. In this way, he starts to associate the area with the time to use the bathroom

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 5

Step 5. Notice signs of anxiety about being alone at home

Maybe your dog has what's called separation anxiety when you leave the house and he stays. He may scratch doors, vomit, urinate in the wrong place and become aggressive in your absence. These signs indicate that your dog is dependent on you and misses you, not that he is misbehaving.

To combat the problem, don't fill your pet with attention right before you leave. It's best to ignore it for 15 or 20 minutes before you leave the house and for 20 minutes after you return. So he gets less excited

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 6

Step 6. Stop him from hunting cats and other small animals

It could end up in an accident, it could hurt itself or the other animal in that chase. To avoid the behavior, immediately use the sit and stand command. Another option is to use the desensitization technique.

Desensitization can also work in other situations, but it takes a lot of patience, consistency and time to train the dog to react the way you expect. It is possible to start after teaching the command to sit solidly

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 7

Step 7. Use the technique of desensitization to cats and other small animals

Put a resistant collar or even anti-pull (a halter type) on your dog and ask him to sit while someone else brings a cat in a carrier box or something similar that has protection bars. When the dog notices the cat and reacts aggressively (barking, growling, or trying to run), tell him to sit down. As soon as he obeys, have a snack. Let him watch the cat, and whenever he shows signs of aggression, use the sit command and give the treat when he obeys.

  • When you notice the puppy more relaxed when observing the cat, go approaching the carrier box and taking the cat out of there little by little, but keep the dog on a leash until you realize that it obeys the command to sit down right away.
  • This process can take several sessions (which should be short) and many days, but at some point the dog learns not to run after cats.
Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 8

Step 8. Reward your Jack Russell

Offer tasty morsels, such as a chicken cube or cheese cube, to reward the dog when he obeys your commands. As soon as you start teaching him something new, offer the reward for noticing any form of progress. Give verbal praise as well, like "good boy" or "that's right," and don't forget to be affectionate during the session.

Do not try to train a puppy that is hungry, tired or full of energy. Expect him to be relaxed (but still able to react to your stimuli)

Part 2 of 2: Socializing the dog and interacting with him

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 9

Step 1. Understand why socializing helps the Jack Russell terrier

Socialization is the process of introducing a puppy to new situations so that he learns to interact properly. By experiencing different situations and living with people, he learns that he doesn't need to be afraid of other people, friendly dogs and cats. A fearful dog can become aggressive, biting and barking, if he cannot escape a situation.

Also, if he runs away from harmless things, he could have an accident. The puppy may run out into the street and get run over or run away from home and get lost

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 10

Step 2. Socialize your pet

With his vaccinations up to date, you can now take him to parks, walk him on busy streets, go to places that allow the presence of dogs and enroll him in a training school. In the absence of such a school in your city, it is possible to teach the basic commands yourself. It's also nice to take him to crowded places so he can observe new people and things.

  • Try to expose your puppy to as many different things as possible. For example, take a quick car ride with him and stop every now and then so that your dog can explore the surroundings. Another idea is to invite your friends who have pets to meet your Jack Russell. Let him interact with different people and animals.
  • Don't force or rush socialization. If he's afraid of new animals, don't force him to interact all the time. Prefer to take it easy and progress at a pace that is comfortable for your dog.
Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 11

Step 3. Don't pick up your dog when there are other dogs around

If you act like that, Jack Russell learns to be tense and aggressive with other dogs. It's best to leave it on a leash by your side when other puppies get close. If a stray or aggressive dog approaches, leave the place quickly with your pet.

On the other hand, it's Jack Russell who tends to be too aggressive with other dogs, even of the same breed

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 12

Step 4. Observe his behavior around other dogs

As the Jack Russell terrier is a hunting dog, it is in its nature to be aggressive. Never leave him alone with another dog, even one of the breed. Therefore, the dog should also not be allowed to come near small children, small animals or cats.

To control this aggression a little, always exercise with him and fill him with activities. A bored Jack Russell terrier is more likely to be aggressive or destructive

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 13

Step 5. Teach him his place in the family

Since he tends to think he's the boss, teach him you own it. For example, after the dog learns the sit command, ask him to stay seated before you let him eat.

Be firm and consistent. Don't let your pet do what you want

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 14

Step 6. Exercise Jack Russell at least twice a day

You can take him for walks over long distances or play active games with him. This breed is intelligent and can be a lot of work for the owner if there is no way to release so much dammed energy. Some active play, such as playing the ball, helps to expend this excess energy. Terriers love to pick up objects.

The breed loves the owner to run after it to get the toy back. However, do not create this habit, as the dog unlearns to go to the owner when called. It's best to teach the "release" command so you can play without losing control

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 15

Step 7. Buy toys that are very resistant and durable

They help the dog of this breed to expend energy. The Kong interactive toy is great as it's nearly impossible to destroy. You can fill it with treats to keep the dog busy and scrambling for treats.

In general, stuffed animals are not a good choice for terriers, even if they love it. It is very likely that your Jack Russell will destroy the poor man and try to eat him, leaving his house full of foam

Keep a Jack Russell Terrier Happy Step 16

Step 8. Provide nutritious food

Choose a good quality feed that is not full of grains and preservatives. Ideally, the feed has meat as its main ingredient. As products vary, look for specific quantity instructions on the package. You also need to adjust the amount of food according to the age, activity level and size of the Jack Russell terrier.

In general, a 12-inch dog should weigh between 5 and 6 kg


  • If you have small animals like hamsters, don't let Jack Russell get close.
  • When taking him for a walk, try to keep him right next to you or just a little in front. It is important to prevent the dog from pulling the owner. An anti-pull collar or chest is great for minimizing the problem.
  • Teach your dog to jump on your lap. That way, if you need to catch him in an emergency, he'll jump right into your arms.
  • A great way to expend a Jack Russell's energy is to teach him to run on obstacle courses (agility). Look for professionals who offer agility training and participate in competitions. The tracks can have different types of obstacles, including seesaws, tunnels, ramps, and so on.


  • Observe bites in puppies up to one year old. If your Jack Russell has a habit of biting, you need to teach him to stop.
  • Don't let him go off a leash until he gets indoors or to a safe, fenced place where he can run in peace. They are fast.
  • This breed likes to dig. It's nice to have a separate area where the dog can dig freely so it doesn't destroy your garden.

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