The Jack Russell Terrier Personality: Small Dog, Big Attitude

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Jack Russell TerrierThe Jack Russell Terrier is a small dog with a particularly big attitude. When people talk of a small dog with a big dog attitude most of the time they are referring to this spunky terrier whose roots are in fox hunting. While it may be a small dog the Jack Russell is a very adept hunting dog and uses its small size to its advantage. Despite this fact, however, it has earned a place in hearts of dog lovers everywhere.

Origins of the Terrier

It is thought that the Jack Russell Terrier found its beginnings from the English White Terrier when a parson, Reverend John Russell purchased a small terrier talented at fox hunting, from his local milk man. The female “fox terrier,” so named because of its ability to fox hunt and not for any relation to an actual Fox Terrier, became the beginnings of Reverend John Russell’s breeding program in which he strived to breed courageous fox hunters with good stamina. As a hunter himself, it was important to Russell that he had a fox hunting dog that was able to keep up with the hunt as well as drive out the foxes from their holes. Already by the 1850’s these dogs were recognized as a specific breed and this is where the Jack Russell Terrier began.

The Terrier of Russell’s time, however, was larger than the Jack Russell of today. Through demands of the breed over time they began to change. It was around 1894 when Blake Heinemann created a breed standard for terriers that were to be used for digging out badgers, he required shorter legged dogs and it is thought that perhaps this is where the Jack Russell began to shrink down in size from Reverend Russell’s larger fox terrier. As time progressed changes in the dog began to become more apparent but it was post World War II that brought a drastic change for the small terrier.

From Hunting to Household

After World War II there was less demand for hunting dogs and so the Jack Russell began to serve more as a home dog and less as a hunting dog. During this time they were also cross bred with a variety of other smaller dogs creating a wide range of off shoots from the Jack Russell Terrier including “Shortie Jacks”. As society moved further away from post war life it became a popular dog among households worldwide and prompted the formation of a variety of breed recognition clubs.

History of the Jack Russell Terrier

While there have been some changes in the Jack Russell over its history (namely in its height and leg length) the actual  breed has changed very little for the past two hundred years or so. The standard for the breed today has the dog measuring in between 10 – 15 inches tall at the withers and weighing in at anywhere from 14 – 18 lbs. Due to their small size it is increasingly common to find overweight Jack Russell’s from their being fed table scraps or too much food in one meal. The Jack Russell Terrier can have a smooth or a broken coat and these coats are always thick double coats which serve to protect the dog that works as a hunter. It is generally white with brown and black spots and it should also have small ears that are triangular in shape.

A Spunky Personality

Jack Russel Terrier PuppyThe Jack Russell Terrier is still built as a dog that is intended for hunting and the tradition of docking the tail so it may serve as a handle to hold while pulling a ratting dog from a hole is still intact today (although rarely done for practicality it is mostly done for the look of it.) It’s tail is long when not docked and often carries patched markings similar to those on the dog’s coat. One of the most favored characteristics of the spunky Jack Russell Terrier is that of its almond shaped eyes which shine with life and excitement in a truly happy Terrier. Overall though it should be noted that the number one reason that people choose this dog is for their attitude.

The Jack Russell Terrier is a dog who has never known a hard day of work in its life. It lives to work, and perhaps play as well, because being bred to hunt they are runners that enjoy a good run and in particular a good chase! An unfortunate instinct, however, is their barking and general noise level. A working Jack Russell would have to gain the attention of its master as well as frighten foxes and badgers from their holes and they did so by barking. Unfortunately for most, for owners today this is a characteristic that stuck with the breed and they are known for being noisy dogs that aren’t afraid to bark to get the attention of their owner or other companion animals.

No Shortage of Energy Here!

In addition to barking the Jack Russell Terrier is a particularly high energy dog that was bred to have good stamina when it came to the hunt. The Jack Russell Terrier can be deceiving being such a small dog; however, the amount of energy that these small dogs possess can rival even a young big dog on days. The potential owner should always be aware of this stamina and need for exercise because the Jack Russell will always find a way to entertain itself if it is not provided with adequate exercise and stimulation.

Like most intelligent dog breeds that were intended as working dogs, Jack Russell Terrier must be stimulated every single day and offered an appropriate level of exercise to allow the dog an outlet of its energy. Without sufficient exercise the breed is prone to destruction of its master’s property and terrorization of other household pets…this may or may not include children who will generally receive nips at their heels.

The high energy level of the Jack Russell Terrier does not have to be a negative characteristic though; it can prove particularly helpful in a household with athletic individuals who are looking for a dog that can keep up with them. The Terrier’s energy level is also particularly useful when the dog is trained in agility or flyball, two activities that this breed in particular excels at. In short the Jack Russell Terrier is a dog that needs exercise and plenty of it and it should be noted that the average lifespan of this small Terrier is approximately fifteen years so bringing a Jack Russell Terrier in to your home is certainly not a decision that should be taken lightly!

There are a few other factors to consider when bringing a Jack Russell Terrier in to your home aside from energy level. One of the most important things to know about this breed is that while they are family-oriented dogs and can do well with children they do not tolerate being pulled on and taunted the way more family friendly breeds like Labrador Retrievers do. The Jack Russell Terrier is not afraid to nip or bite back when it feels that it is being threatened. In general, however, the Jack Russell is a particularly happy breed of dog and they can thrive in a household with children when the children are taught to respect the dog and not tease or hurt the dog in any way. This should, however, be a lesson taught to any children who are seeking to become dog owners!

It is also important for any potential owner to know that this breed has a tendency to fall in to what is referred to as “Small Dog Syndrome.” “Small Dog Syndrome” occurs when a small dog believes that he is the leader of his pack and he directs the actions and attentions of everyone in his pack – including his humans! In order to avoid falling in to this trap with your future Jack Russell Terrier it is important that you maintain a firm and confident hand throughout your dogs training and obedience classes and establish your position as alpha dog of the family.

Jack Russell Terrier Personality: This is One Smart Pup!

One impressive aspect of the Jack Russell breed is their intelligence and this is one trait for which they are renowned. They are often used in Hollywood films and commercials due to their high trainability and in general the breed also thrives on the intellectual stimulation it receives from being trained. It is possible to have a very well trained and well behaved Jack Russell if you are dedicated to providing a stable and structured pack for your dog to live in. Acting as your dogs master will garner you respect as well as a well behaved dog.

Potential Health Concerns

While the Jack Russell Terrier is generally a sturdy working breed of dog they do have a small variety of health problems which are common to the breed. Included in these health problems are kneecap dislocation, deafness (a popular trait among many dogs that are primarily white coated,) Legg Perthes (a disease that affects the dogs hip joints,) and inherited eye diseases. While most of these traits can be lived with a Terrier that is suffering from any ailment is not free to act like they should. This is an instinctively highly energetic dog with a high prey drive and a need to run so any kneecap dislocation that puts the dog on crate rest and limited exercise for a period of time is going to cause additional problems for the dog such as depression.

One way to avoid the majority of these health concerns is to ensure that the dog you select is from good stock. Ensuring that your dog is from good stock involves research in to your potential breeder, asking to see the health certifications of the puppies parents as well as grandparents is a great place to start. It is also important to ask about any problems that may have occurred with past puppy litters. By asking all of the right questions you can help to ensure that your new Jack Russell Terrier puppy is healthy and sure to live a long life without interference from health problems that could have been avoided.

There are many families that are well suited to the Terrier breed; in general these families are high energy families that always try to make their dog a part of their outdoor fun. Part of ensuring that this is the right breed for you involves researching the breed characteristics as well as actually meeting with your dog and assessing whether your family is a good match for the breed and vice versa. The importance of having a good match between a high energy breed such as the Jack Russell Terrier, and the family it will be living in cannot be over stated.

An unhappy dog leads to an unhappy family which almost always leads to another innocent dog sitting in the shelter waiting for a new home. By doing your research and learning about all the pro’s and con’s of this particular breed you can determine if you and your family are ready to take on this little Napoleon of the dog world and offer it the type of lifestyle that it deserves while still maintaining your families sense of normalcy. Bringing any dog breed in to your home is about meshing the characteristics of your new dog with the characteristics of your family and when done right everyone is happy.

Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet.

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45 Comments on "The Jack Russell Terrier Personality: Small Dog, Big Attitude"

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I adopted a 9 month old Jack 4 years ago after she was returned twice. After some searching I found the foster family that took her in while she was at the kennel and they said she was beaten badly by her first family. Even with this past you can see the spark in her eyes. She is very protective especially towards men however she is great with my newborn nephews and once she gets to know you, once she knows you belong, well then its time to play… all the time, everywhere. The best is in the truck when I tell her to “get those winder washers” and turn on the wipers and she goes nuts trying to get them, lol. She is also way to smart. If I throw the ball from the couch she gets annoyed and starts pushing it under other furniture so I have to get up or she goes to the top of the steps and throws the ball, chases it, and repeats. They are great warning dogs as she lets me know who is around. They are very smart and training is a must imo because they love the work and they also become the most well behaved dogs.
Kerri
I adore my little girl Coco. She is a rescue dog having had quite a horrific earlier life. She turns five soon and I have had her for half her young life. When she first came to live with me she was wild, jumping on the kitchen table, didn’t come when called etc. Her early life had required she jump extraordinary heights to find food and it took patience to train her to stop it. Six months of love and nurture and she is more and more perfectly behaved everyday. I have always adored her, even through those tough early months of adjusting to each other. JR’s need exercise and my little girl can’t do it on a lead – she needs to stretch those paws far quicker than I can keep up! I find a good off-lead location, let her stretch it out twice a day for about 15 minutes and that is enough for her to snooze the rest of the day away without a sound. If she doesn’t get her run she gets restless and chatty (woofer). If you are considering a JR, good on you – they’re adorable.
Jeff
I have had my Russell Terrier, Lucy for 4 years as she is aged 10-11 years. Love her dearly for better or worse, but she is indeed a dog who belongs in a high energy household. Dogs fit best with the right owner, so folks should read first before picking out a dog just because they looked good in a commercial. I am indeed fit to keep up with a Russell Terrier and I would recommend folks thoroughly research before picking one of these balls of energy. If you can keep up, they make life memorable!
I just recently had to put down my 9-year old Shorty JRT. She passed from liver failure. It was devastating for the family but Chloe was the perfect family pet. I have two daughters aged 4 and 8 and Chloe was always snuggling with them, never any issue with biting or nipping at the kids. She was the perfect dog. Chloe was my 3rd JRT. Once the sting goes away from the loss of Chloe, our family will have another JRT. If they are trained right, you treat them with love, kindness and walks, they are the perfect family pet.
Kimberly Alt
Chloe sounds like the perfect dog. I’m so sorry for your loss and am so glad your family had so many wonderful years with sweet Chloe. My thoughts are with you all.
DeeDee
My sweet babies are 13 years old as of November and are just the best dogs ever!!! Rocky and Abigail, I have had them both since they were 8 weeks old and they truly are soulmates. My Rocky did develop Cushings disease at 6-7, I was told he may have 2-3 years at best because he was allergic to the meds they gave him, I started treating him holistically and 6 years in he is doing amazing, you’d never know he was a cushings dog. That’s a good thing too because I was so distraught for my Ms Abigail at the thought of her losing her best friend too soon. Can’t go wrong with these dogs but, and this is a big BUT here, they do require you put in the work!!
Kimberly Alt
Wow, that’s so great you are able to treat Rocky holistically for 6 years and he’s doing great. So glad to hear they’re still together and creating lots of happiness I’m sure. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Ryan
I’ve now had my Jack Russel for 4 1/2 years and it breaks my heart to imgine only around 10 years left with him.

He’s a very happy dog with great respect of his owner. He’s also a very calm and gentle do when need so, in particular with old people and young children.

His intelligence is unimaginable as he always knows when we’re talking about him. At time I wonder if he can tell when we’re talking about him even if we don’t say words such as “dog” and “take him” .

Overall he is a lovely natured and playful dog. He is definitely a dog to get.

However, the only negative thing about him in my opinion is the fact that he malts/sheds everywhere. So unless you’re prepared to vacuum everywhere 3-5 times a day for a clean house. It’s best to get a hairy dog, not a furry one.

bianca
I have a three month old JRT. He is a joy to be around however there are a few issues.
He still goes around the house doing his business, we have tried the sprays and everything, does not seem to work, some days he will be good and go on the training pads other days he will go underneath the sofa.
As of yet we have never left him alone and I worry the longer we leave it, the worse it will be. We have tried to leave him alone for 20 minutes and he howled and wined for all of that time, we gave him toys, left the tv on, it doesn’t work. The problem is that we live in a flat so can’t let him cry and whine, as our neighbours will not be happy. We have tried to tire him out before trying to leave however he is a very light sleeper, even if we leave the room, he normally follows us. We have tried crate training again he never took to this either.
I just saw an article from our local shelter for a Jack Russell Terrier to be adopted. I would love to adopt the little guy but currently have a 10 year old Golden Retriever (female) and a female long haired cat who is 11 and very shy. I am very concerned about how the terrier will get along with our other family animals. Also have two grandchildren who would not necessarily interact so much with the dog but again am concerned how the dog would interact with the children, ages 1 and 3. Can anybody give me some advice? I don’t want to try to adopt and then have to bring the little guy back to the shelter-
Kimberly Alt
I suggest asking the shelter about doing a home visit, which would consist of the Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) coming to your home and see how your other dog and cat respond to him. If this makes you uncomfortable, my other suggestion would be to bring the cat and dog to the shelter to meet the Jack Russell Terrier. I also recommend having your grandchildren visit with the dog, but not on the first time you meet him. It’s important that you meet the JRT first and become comfortable with him, then introduce your dog and cat and finally, your grandchildren. You don’t want to overwhelm the JRT, so it’s important to take things slow and gradually introduce each of you to him. I hope it works out for you and you end up with a new furry family member! 🙂
Joelyn
Jack Russells are great dogs, and I have one. It all depends on the dog it’s self. As long as your family animals are okay with high energy dogs it should be fine. But the dog may want to play with the cat but the cat will take it the wrong way. It would probably be best to ask the shelter to reserve a quite room that you can use to introduce your animals with the dog. You would want to keep the dog on a leash and then gradually release more of the leash until the dog can reach your animals. You may also want to bring your grandchildren just to make sure. The shelter may say that the dog is good with kids, but just like dogs, all kids are different. The dog may be good with kids but not good with loud kids that may pull on its ears. And even if the children are quite they may be different with a NEW dog. Also even if the shelter says that the dog is good with only older kids, they may have introduced him/her to loud or roudy children. My last tip is if you choose to meet the dog, you will want to introduce them to your animals and kids, do one by one, and when you’re introducing a different animal or child, take the old one out of the room, and then at the end have all the kids and animals come in the room at the same time. I wish you luck!
Heather
I am a new owner to a Chihuahua mixed Jack Russell Everytime my kid wants to pet it he snaps at them I don’t know what to do to get him to stop he’s only a year old
Lisa Streett
Heather, I believe y dog is also Chihuahua Jack Russell mix and he doesn’t like my grandkids. Would you mind comparing pictures so I can see if he is mixed like I think?
Deborah padilla
Hello I adopted a parsons Jack Russell in May. Not my first I in past had 3 Rotti s and 3dobermans. But this little fellow is fisty loving and after reading many everyone’s comments. I see Russ in many. The peeing playful with balls but know he has been niping and today drew blood on my arm three places. I can’t put him in a pen with out him fighting and growling and trying to bite me. If my grandsons visit ages 6/8 if they fall asleep Russ will lay with them and if they move he wants to attack them and bite. If I move and try to put the boys to bed he gets aggressive growling and biting at me. It breaks my heart cause I want to provide him love and carry home. I live alone and he’s my buddy. I have trained and been trained with my dobermans . But this little guy is giving me a run for the money. I hate to give him up. And yes I have watch The dog whisper CEASAR EVERY Saturday morning .Nothing seems to work. I can’t afford to take him training for his behavior. I am not sure what’s gonna happen next I am not sure what type of home he had before. They said he was about six . Please help Sincerely
Debb and Russ
Kimberly Alt
I’m so sorry Debb. It sounds like Russ needs to be away from your grandsons until he is not aggressive. This will eliminate the risk of Russ hurting them. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other suggestions for you. Have you sought help from a dog trainer for Russ individually?
rocket
Have a look at positive reinforcement based training such as Victoria Stilwell’s. JRs need to work hard and if you set them jobs and tasks they will be happier. Keep the kids away until you have sorted the biting. Its not fair to the kids or dog to keep them together right now. Good Luck
stephen
i have a jack who the best dog iv ever had and I have lots of dogs.. he was only 5 weeks old when I got him. and he traing to do anything hunting come went call bring rabbit home. he can sniff out anythink I ask him . I just show him the sent and he find it.. theirs just me and him at home we never a part he three years old. coming up he can do trick .. but I would not trust him with kids he never bite any kid but he not to be trusted it his toys he let me take them off him. or some one he knows yes but not kids . ill love him until the day I die I know he loves me until the day he dies..
We’ve had our JRT for just over a year. Got him at 6 wks old. We have tennis balls all over the house it seems! Champ, our beloved JRT’s name, loves to retreive them for hours on end. He has taught himself how to carry one in his mouth and kick the other back to whomever is playing with him. Caught our 16 yr old son “playing ball” with Champ. Son was sitting on the floor rolling the ball to him all the while Champ was literally kicking the ball back. Ignore Champ when he wants to play and you will be “punched” for lack of a better word for attention. He is the best dog we have ever had! Jack’s have a HUGE personality for their small size!
Susan
I have a Jack whom I love dearly. She’s almost 11 years old and I’ve discovered has an enlarged heart. Last year she started to cough in the spring of the year. I took her to the vet and he listened to her heart and said that it sounded very good. He suggested it might be an allergy to something in the environment. It seemed to go away so I thought they were right. This spring she started coughing again. I took her to the vet but insisted on having a chest xray. He said again that her heart sounded fine, but upon examination of the xray he found that she had an enlarged heart and some fluid in her lungs. Now she is on medication for her heart. I love her so much that I want her live her life as healthy as she can. Does anyone think that if I increase her Omega 3 fatty acids it would help her heart?
Rick Murray
We rescued a 4 1/2 year old female JRT about 6 weeks ago. We were told she had been treated badly. I have managed to teach her a lot in that time with the exception of coming when called. She shows no signs of aggression towards animals or our little grandchildren. If she gets a bit cranky she gives a little growl, but nothing else. She is still a bit skittish, but has come leaps and strides since we got her. Her tail constantly wags unlike when we got her. I don’t know if it was her previous like that has made her a little aloof, although she gets more loving every day.
She does chase my daughters cat, but I think she just wants to play. The one thing I’m concentrating on at the moment is getting her to come when called. This is made worse when she goes under the house, and won’t come until she’s ready. They do take a lot of patience and time to train, but ours is a truly loveable little dog and we are so glad we rescued her.
Debra Manos
When calling the “COME”, you need to be a pez dispensers with small treats (use soft, small treats that do not require a lot of chewing). You can use a long line (I do not like the retractable leashes, as they give false corrections) , until she realizes COME means treat. A fun thing to do with the grandkids is to make a circle (everybody with treats) and take turns calling her. Remember to praise because you will wean of treats to just praise. Call her name & COME. As soon as she looks at you (this is a desired response), praise. You have 3-5 seconds to praise for desired response (or to correct) – after 5 seconds, the action is gone from the dogs brain. As she is high prey drive, you may be able to call & run in opposite direction SWITCHING her prey drive towards you. Good luck !
Debra Manos
You may want to have under the house checked – she’s probably chasing the cat, but there is something under there putting her in prey drive.
Richard Livingstone
I (well, my then 12 year old daughter, encouraged by wife) with my very very reluctant acquiescence) got Abbie, our 3 yr old Parson Russell terrier at 10 weeks. Never having had a dog and not looking forward to life disruption, I can be honest and say I was crapping myself at the prospect (sorry). But, who knew – what a lovely dog she is now. Provided she is exercised for an hour a day and five minutes play with chew toys after meals, she’s happy as Larry and a joy to have around. I’m lucky to be a home worker so the above works for me too, and she’s a lively and lovely companion for me and our two cats, who she loves and vice versa. Can recommend Jrts on this basis – we selected a breeder very carefully though, and were not disappointed.
Alexis Poolos
I’m a first time dog owner and just brought home my 3 month JRT a few days ago. Things are going fairly well except for getting her to coexist with the cats. When I try to get them to meet, she seems excited like she wants to play but usually scares off the cat. When the pup and cat are held they’ll boop noses so I feel like that’s a good sign; any tips?
Sadie Cornelius
Alexis, congrats on your new pup! Introducing animals can be a challenge, especially when the cats have been there first (as they can be territorial). We are actually working on an article on this very topic that is full of tips on getting dogs and cats to get along. It published in a few weeks so I’ll be sure to post the link here as soon as it’s live! In the meantime, good luck with your new furry family.
We got our jack when someone dumped her on our street. I had 2 big labs and a Shepard all boys. She fit right in and is the alpha. She is always first in line and barks at everyone to get ready. She took charge the day she came into our home.
Becs Wallace
I have a twelve year old jack, called Dougal. I rescued him when he was five.
The breed was not my first choice, as I had been led to believe that were “yappy and snappy”. Dougal is neither. He has a very deep bark but it doesn’t happen often – mostly if he sees a squirrel or more especially a cat. He has never snapped or nipped.
He is intelligent and tenacious and I now adore the breed. He is, by far, the best companion/friend/partner, I have ever had.
Karen
My Jack Russell, Louise, is 4 1/2 years old now. She’s a rough coat with white with tan around the eyes and ears. She is the mellowest Jack Russell I’ve ever met. We crate trained her for 2 years so that my have kept her feeling calm and secure as young dog. I honestly think she was just born with a calmer disposition than some of the Jacks I hear about. She rarely barks–except at the mail carrier, squirrels and crows! She does occasionally get scared of larger jumpy dogs. My son can do anything to her and nothing bothers her. We take her on planes and into stores and you hardly know she’s there. She is very sweet and cuddly but not clingy. I do have to say that it took a long time to house train her. I’m not sure if that’s typical of Jacks! She is a wonderful dog.
Kathryn Derwey
I got my JRT a year ago when he was about 9 years old from a friend who had too many pets. He is mostly white and is deaf except for some random sounds. Through perseverance and patience I have trained him to recognize more than the basic hand gestures and what they mean. My index finger perpendicular to my mouth means be quiet. He has an obnoxious high pitched whine. Now he stops that on command. He also pays close attention to me. He watches my face 24/7. Kind of unnerving but am now used to it. With JRTs the saying, “a good dog is a tired dog” is very accurate. They need lots of exercise and new experiences. Walks are great but they need, need, need to run. I bought a Mini Kanine Kannon. He gets ball three to five times a day. He tells me when he has had enough by holding onto the ball. Usually the AM ball takes 20 minutes. The rest of the day 10-15 and sometimes only 5 minutes. I got a lite ball for night ball which I use in the winter because of short daylight. I also hide the ball and give him an open hand and shrug to tell him to go find it. Keeps him busy and interested. It also helps to socialize them by taking them to a doggy daycare where they interact with more people and possibly dogs. I take mine to Lowes and Home Depot as well as pet stores. The workers love him and he likes the experience. I also got him a harness and no longer use a collar. The harness stopped his pulling on the leash. Also stopped using the retractable leash. Now only use a 6 ft. That has also stopped his pulling and has made him easier to control.
Lisa Elliott
I rescued my shorty jack from an abusive house at 6 months old. He was and is petrified to go near a cage due to his old owner punching him when he refused to go to his cage. We’ve had him for 5.5 years with minor incident. On Wednesday, Louie fell asleep on my lap. I moved a bit and he freaked and bit my face.
Kathryn Derwey
See my other post. Your dog may be deaf. Try not to startle him and do not let him sleep near your face or on your lap. I keep mine next to me, not on me, mostly at arms reach. He has nightmares and I wake him with a touch at arms length. Snapped once but made no contact. Do not crowd these dogs. They need their personal space. Also do not feel sorry for them. Dogs remember but they live in the now and do not dwell on the past as we do. Mine clings to me because I am his Alpha but he likes people. Not much other dogs – male ego and all. Keep yours in check with a touch or a sound when he/she acts up. It breaks their attention. Mine must be touched as he is deaf.
Anon
I’m so sorry that dog faced such harsh punishment. OK I read jack russells, at least when mine is on my bed with me…if someone comes in the room she starts growling and attempts to bite them. I completely hate that but punishing through anger won’t help. It’s a lot like a friend they need constant reminder. If my dog did that to me, I’d question keeping her. However, if you push on, don’t back down get assertive, let her know your bigger and stronger your authority over her. I’m still working on jealousy issues Jacks naturally have! Keep calm, and you’re the gentle boss! I’m sorry about you being attacked. By the way we have a comfy dog house and our jack “hates” it! I’d sleep in there if I could, it might be a feeling trapped, don’t know.
Anders Nilsen
Hi – Have had my JRT on several training courses, and one is with a dog specialist working for the Police in Oslo for helping in cases where people are bitten by dogs. He says most people that get bit by dogs are dog owners who are kissing their dogs good night. The dogs are deep a sleep and dreaming, and get scared when suddenly being woken up by their owners. You should always be careful waking up a sleeping dog 🙂
Michael Delcoco
Ok, I am new to owning a Jack Russell. I’m told the pup is 9 weeks old, however housebreaking and control seem to be getting out of hand. Any recommendations?
Kimberly Alt
Here’s an article dedicated to housebreaking puppies. Hopefully it helps you! https://www.caninejournal.com/how-to-housebreak-a-puppy/
tony moran
I have a chocolate short legged Jack Russell that is 4 months old and when I first got her, I was having problems with her wanting to go anywhere she wanted to, when I would see her about to pee, like going around in circles, I would say with a firm voice no and bring her outside and let her finish. I am still in the process of dealing with other behavior problems, you have to have a lot of patience, they are very smart and they do want to please their owner, when she does go outside to pee etc. I show her affection and let her know she is doing good.
Kathryn Derwey
See my other posts above.
Anon
They are creatures of habit…they look for scent on carpets, put her nose towards it after she does and say no. My dog’s peeing literally right under our nose! Get training pads in bathroom so she’ll associate it, she’ll get it, clean carpets or she’ll do it again. If you stay on top of it and let her know its not okay to pee there she’ll learn.
Marty
I have a 2 1/2 yr old JR. Potty training took a long time…. But he is now 97% trained . I have had dogs my whole life and he has been dsomewhat challenging
I knew that when Zi got him. He is wonderful and now a pleasure as long as he gets daily exercise. He is crate trained. Keep up with potty training…take him out often and do not bring him in unless he goe. Good luck.
Lishy
So I’ve had a lovely all white with a couple brown spots Jack Russel named Kasper for almost 7 years now. I love him and he’s an amazing dog when you need the affection. I wish I could do more for him though.

I received him through an old friend who couldn’t take him as well as all her other dogs so he was free. The only thing she made me aware of is he came from a puppy mill. 🙁

So of course I want to give him all the love and attention he needs and one is taking him for walks. Problem is he screeches terribly at anything and is very persistent on walking ahead of you and strangling himself while doing it. And it’s not just while walking he does it when he’s at my parents house too even if they are in the house. I thought it was a loneliness type thing but with people that he knows around him I’m confused. I do try hard to keep him calm, distracted and unaware of other things and people. He is not aggressive but it’s embarrassing to me that I can’t control my own dog while just taking a walk. I have tried treats and nothing seems to work. I try to be sensitive to the fact he was from a puppy mill and treated terribly but I’m sure there is a way I can help him.

Anyone have any tips or tricks that could help?

Hennis
Sounds like he is overly excited, or being ditzy, depending on age. I have a year old jack that is adorable dog you’d enjoy, she loves winning and playing. House training has been a nightmare. At first I thought she was just young but others thought she’s being a blonde in saying she won’t learn. Well, I hand walk her to bathroom pad in the morning she goes. She mostly has been on the up but one step back and carpets are drenched. Creature of habit. One thing I notice, I have a large yard no fence so I bought a long clothing line rope from dollar tree to just let her wonder but she feels the need to challenge the length…lol. I mean I’ll peak outside and she’s pulling against it and it’s long, or she gets twisted around everything. I’m not saying this is jack behavior but I had a family dog for 15 years that we picked out from a box of mutt puppies that was so different. He would pee in the tub before going on the floor. He was part terrior. This is my first girl dog and I’m smitten but she’s a rebel, if she gets out she’ll run unlike other breeds. I’m trying to train her to be needy of me/clingy. I know it might sound wrong but I want her to stay close due to their tenacious need to roam and challenge…lol. Yes, above poster your not alone. I think jack Russells are very loved but can be a challenge at least for me. My family got our little angel otherwise I would’ve (had I not bonded) with different breed.
Kathryn Derwey
See my other posts.
Dawn
1) Use a halter instead of a choke collar when walking him, so he doesn’t hurt his neck straining and pulling when you walk him. 2) Look up how to train a dog to ‘heel’ – should be some info online. 3) In an obedience class I took they taught to always stop and refuse to move forward if dog is pulling; also to 4) keep dog on a very short leash at your side and give a tiny treat every 5-10 seconds to start, while walking; then gradually increase length of time between treats, then make treats more intermittent, etc. until dog is trained. (Same procedure, more or less, for all training.) We did not work too hard at this and our dog still pulls a lot – he’s a puggle, not a Jack Russell, thougn.)
Laura
hi lishy i read your story about jack russell. it just breaks my heart to hear that your dog was being mistreated. im so sorry. did you ever hear of the tv show ceacar911 or the tv show the dog whisper? they both air on animal planet cesar milain is a world renowned dog trainer. you can contact him on website. i hope this wiil help lishy. im laura by the way pls let me how know what the outcome is. thanks laura this is my email address brenlaur9814@hotmail.com.

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