Are Jack Russell Terriers Smart

Are Jack Russell Terriers Smart?

Are Jack Russell Terriers Smart? Oh yes!  Given half a chance, your Jack Russell will have you wrapped around their little paw in no time at all.  They are very intelligent, quick thinkers and crafty.

Training the Jack Russell Terrier

When you take on a Jack Russell as a pet for the first time, you are in for a treat.  They bring their character to your home and treat them right and they’ll be loyal and protective.  Given just half a chance, they’ll dominate to the extent that they rule the house.  So early, consistent and fair training is needed to ensure you enjoy your Jack Russell and they know that they are not in charge.

Find the favourite toys or treats and give them value by only bringing them out at training time.  This means that your Jack Russell will be eager to play with the toy or enjoy the treat and will do what you want them to as soon as they learn it to get their reward.

Your Jack Russell might be a puppy or an older dog.  Either way, keep the early training sessions short and always end them on a success.  If they are not ‘getting’ what you are trying to teach, go back a step to something they do know, reward them and end there. It is likely that you will have to change your training method for that particular request and start again the next day.

Most dogs and Jack Russells are no exception respond well to high value food when training and this is particularly useful when training from sit to lie down and roll over.

At any time, if your Jack Russell seems bored, get them to do something they know and end the session with plenty of praise and fuss.

Even when they know commands and what they are supposed to do in certain situations, Jack Russells are independent spirited and many will ignore your commands and do their own thing.  So the trick here is to find the way to get their focus on you. 

Working the Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russells were developed to hunt, and boy do they love to do so.  Your Jack Russell won’t need much encouragement to flush out rats and mice and dispatch them efficiently.  Where they will need training is not to attack anything that moves.  They can easily turn their hunting instinct to your neighbours’ cats or chickens with disastrous consequences.

What this means is that if you definitely do not want to work your Jack Russell at all, you need to discourage their natural instinct to do so.  Because they are smart, training them not to chase and kill small furries and fowl is relatively easy with consistent training.

When you do want your Jack Russell for working or to be able to dispatch the occasional vermin but to leave your small pets and the neighbourhood cats alone, then this is where their intelligence really pays off.  Because they are so smart, you can work with your Jack Russell’s natural prey drive to tell them when they can chase and attack and when they have to leave alone.  Or what they can chase and dispatch and what they should leave.  A well trained Jack Russell or Jack Russell team will chase and kill rats in a chicken pen but know to leave the chickens alone.

Jack Russell’s love to work as a team.  While a single Jack Russell will happily work, two or more will work together to get the job done and relish the praise you pour on them.   

As well as going underground to flush out rabbits and foxes and despatching vermin, your Jack Russell can also turn their paw to other jobs.  You can train your Jack Russell to do fly ball, agility or terrier racing.  They could help you by alerting you to the doorbell or alarms; they successfully help people in many ways as service dogs.   

The Jack Russell is Smart

With the correct and consistent training, your smart Jack Russell will want to help you, work with you and please you.  Many will still have that independent streak but should be won round to your way of thinking with a favourite toy or treats.  They are endearing little dogs. 

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about The Ultimate Jack Russell Terrier Guide.

Jack Russell Adoption

Jack Russell Adoption

Today we take a looking at the topic of Jack Russell Adoption. How do you adopt a JRT and where to adopt from. Also, what training you will need to do.

Jack Russells make wonderful pets and if you are thinking of welcoming a new pet into your home, then adopting a Jack Russell could be the perfect option.

How to Adopt a Jack Russell

It’s a good idea before you start contacting rescue centres to have a look around at your home and garden to see if you need to make any changes to create the perfect Jack Russell home.


Your new dog will need a safe, secure garden where they can spend some time chilling, exploring and playing.  

Jack Russell’s are brilliant at finding their way through the tiniest space or under or over a fence or obstacle in their way.  So your garden needs to be well fenced to keep them safe.

Front Access Safety

Ideally, all access into and out of your home should be secure for your Jack Russell.  The front garden should also have a gate and be well fenced.  When this is not possible, a well-thought-out plan is needed to keep them safe.

Jack Russell’s love to chase and if they spot a cat across the road as you open your front door, they’ll be gone before you can say, Jack Russell.  However, well you train your Jack Russell or Parsons Russell terrier, they will run out through an open door or open gate.  Fortunately, there are strategies you can put in place to keep them safe when your front garden is not secure.

 Make sure that everyone in the family knows not to open the front door unless the Jack Russell is behind another door that is firmly closed.

If you don’t have a secure front garden, then whenever possible, plan to take them in and out for walks through the back access so that they don’t get into the habit of having fun when they go out through the front door.

Somewhere to Sleep

Think about where your Jack Russell will sleep, where you will feed them and groom them.  

When you have worked out all the logistics of welcoming an adopted Jack Russell into your family, then you can have the exciting time of looking for your Jack Russell.

How to Adopt a Jack Russell

Contact local rescue centres and discuss your desire to adopt a Jack Russell with them.  Then complete their interest forms.  They may go through the questions with you over the phone, but most likely, they will send them to you or guide you to the right place on the website.

Where to Adopt a Jack Russell From

There are several national rescue centres such as Dogs Trust, The Blue Cross and Rescue Remedies, and they would be a good place to start.

You might also like to try smaller local rescues such as Margaret Green Animal Rescue in the South West, Raystede in the South East or Manchester and Cheshire Dogs Home in the North West, to name a few.

Or, maybe you’d like to adopt an older Jack Russell?  Then Oldies Club is the perfect rescue for you to contact about adopting a Jack Russell.

The Process 

A member of the rehoming team will chat with you and learn about the type of dog that will suit you.  Just like people, Jack Russell’s come with all sorts of different personalities and needs.  The more flexible and open you are, the more likely that a suitable dog will be available sooner.

A volunteer or member of the team will come to your home to assess the home.  They will be non-judgmental; they are looking to make sure that you have a secure garden, somewhere suitable for the dog to spend time.  As well as, if necessary, that you have a robust strategy in place regarding any exits that are not backed up by a secure area.

In some cases, when it is not possible to carry out a home check, the rescue organisation will contact your veterinary surgeon instead when you have existing pets or have had a dog in your home before.

Training Your Adopted Jack Russell

When you get your Jack Russell home, you’ll want to show them the garden, where they will sleep around all the parts of the house that they are allowed to go into.  

The training you do will depend on the training that your Jack Russell has already received.  They may be a well trained adult dog that all you have to do is reinforce the training that has already been in place.  Or, at the other end of the scale, they may be from a puppy farm or have been in a home where they were not trained or socialised as a puppy.  It is important to discuss training needs with the rescue centre staff and to be honest about your experience and the dynamic of your home and family.

In all cases, you will need to be patient and consistent with your adopted Jack Russell.  They will need to learn to trust you.  Kind, consistent boundaries and training will see you well on your way to a rewarding relationship.

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Jack Russell and Kids 

Jack Russell and Kids

Jack Russell and Kids 

Sometimes, Jack Russell’s get a bad press; they are described as unpredictable and snappy.  Yes, like any dog, they can be.  The secret is the training – and not just of the dog either. If it is important that your Jack Russell is good with kids, then well trained children are required too.

The Rescue Jack Russell

Any reputable rescue organisation will not rehome a Jack Russell to a family with young children unless they are confident about the dog’s background and are happy with how your children interact with the dog on visits to the centre.

When rehoming any dog, it is important that the dog goes to the right home and you, as responsible parents, want the right dog for your family.

Many, but not all dogs who end up in rescue do so because of the failings of the people where they came from who didn’t put the groundwork in with consistent socialisation and training.  Even when there is another reason why the Jack Russell finds itself in rescue kennels, they are one of the breeds that rescue centres don’t like rehoming to families with young children.

The Jack Russell Puppy

Welcoming a Jack Russell puppy into your home when you have children gives you the fun and opportunity of training and socialising your Jack Russell yourself. When they are properly trained and brought up with children, they make fantastic family pets.

Jack Russell’s are intelligent, fun-loving dogs and they thrive on consistent, reward-based training. If you are new to Jack Russell’s, then your lively little pup would probably benefit from puppy socialisation classes with an accredited trainer.

Training Your Children

When training your puppy, consistency is key in getting it right, so your kids need to know the training you are doing and the reward system in place.  It’s sensible to keep toddlers and teething puppies separate to avoid your terrier accidentally hurting your child when the pup is at the mouthy, chewy stage.  

It is also essential to instil in the children that the Jack Russell is not a toy; they shouldn’t pull its tail, bash it with toys or do anything to the puppy that they would not like done to themself, so no kicking, smacking, teasing allowed.

When you ensure that the experiences your puppy has with your children are positive when they are most impressionable as young puppies, you are setting them up well to being good around all children.  

From the beginning, have a set place where the Jack Russell eats and make sure that children in the home are kept away from that area or, if they are older, know to keep away from the dog when it is having meals.

Letting your kid/s join in with training is a great way to instil in them the importance of consistent and fair training.  Jack Russell’s who are brought up with kids, make great family pets.

Kids Around Dogs

Even if your dog is not a Jack Russell or even if you don’t have a dog, you should teach your kids how to behave around dogs.  Like puppies with children, your children should be positively rewarded for considerate interaction with dogs, which can start from around 18 months.  If your child at any age acts inappropriately towards a dog, then you should stop them immediately remove them from the situation and explain to them calmly why you have removed them.  

Teach your child to always ask if it is okay before approaching or touching a dog they don’t know.

Precautions of Jack Russell’s Around Kids

When you have a Jack Russell but don’t have kids, your terrier will not be used to the boisterous unpredictable behaviour of young children.  A Jack Russell who feels threatened or who thinks someone is threatening you may well respond by growling or barking at a child who approaches them or comes into the home.  Or worse still, even lunge or bite.

Generally, any dog aggression towards children is fear-based.  Although, it can also be food-based.  The Yellow Ribbon scheme is one way to help keep everyone safe.  When you know your dog is not used to children or is fearful of them, putting a bright yellow ribbon on their lead or collar is a warning to parents and savvy children not to rush up to or pet your Jack Russell.  Unfortunately, the scheme doesn’t get much publicity and you may need to warn parents and children as well to be careful.

Creating a positive experience around children when out with your Jack Russell is an extension of their training and is something that you should consider part of puppy socialisation.  With rescue dogs, or when you have not been able to create the perfect environment when your dog was young, then giving them high value treats when they encounter children reinforces positivity. 

In all instances, by taking a few precautions, you can keep everyone safe and happy:

  • Any introductions of a dog and young children should be closely supervised by an adult
  • Never leave babies, toddlers, young children or special needs older children alone with any dog
  • If your Jack Russell shows signs of stress, calmly remove them from the situation and reassure them with praise so that they accept the encounter as positive
  • Train your Jack Russell to follow verbal and sign commands
  • If your Jack Russell has already shown signs of fear towards children, try and find a dog-savvy child to help you with positivity by them doing some obedience training with you and your dog
  • If your Jack Russell has already shown signs of aggression towards children, then it is sensible to muzzle them when out where you might encounter children.

Having pets is enriching for children and there is no reason why a Jack Russell shouldn’t make a perfect family pet as long as both the dog and children are trained.  Where your child’s safety and your dog’s welfare are concerned, it is essential to be proactive and put the training in place for a safe, happy, successful coexistence. 

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Jack Russell Adoption

Jack Russell Biting

Jack Russell Biting 

Today’s blog is all about Jack Russell Biting. Generally, Jack Russell’s are good-natured, friendly dogs with a few exceptions.  They are also a breed that tends to be protective of their home.  Jack Russell’s are also known to be highly protective of their family. 

Why Dogs Bite

Dogs explore and communicate with their mouths. A lot of what we view as biting is exploration and would be a normal behaviour if they were still part of a pack in the wild.  But our pet terriers are not part of a wild pack and so, even the exploratory and communicative mouthing and biting is not acceptable.

Those dogs who are carefully socialised as puppies will know not to bite and will not do so without good reason.  However, dogs who have not had the best upbringing or have been mistreated somehow are more likely to mouth and bite in unacceptable ways.   

There are adult dogs in rescue who did not receive the correct training as puppies who still mouth and play-bite at people.  They are not aware that it is an unallowed behaviour.

 Another example is the terrier who is loose in the garden when an unexpected visitor arrives and kicks or lashes out at the dog through no fault of the dog.  The terrier, having been kicked, retaliates by grabbing the offending leg and holding on as only a terrier can.  This actually happened to someone I know with a Parson Russell Terrier.  Fortunately, she witnessed the whole scenario from an upstairs window. Thereafter, from that bad experience and unless remedial training is successful, any previous well behaved and well-socialised terrier can no longer be trusted around strangers. Jack Russells and Parson Russell terriers have long memories, and it is a very fortunate owner who manages to completely eradicate such a bad memory through retraining their dog.

Training Puppies and Dogs

Eliminating biting at the puppy stage is a case of communication and consistency. Your puppy is not aware that biting and chewing you is not acceptable.  The biting and chewing stage is a way of learning and exploration and puppies also need to chew when they are growing and changing their teeth.

Engage the puppy with a toy that they are allowed to chew on and encourage them when they are biting the toy. Play tug with them and when you want them to let go, stop pulling and moving the toy and use the word you want to use for them to let go.  When they let go, reinforce the word and praise them.  High value treats work well to reward even the smallest good behaviour.

By letting them know what they can chew and the word for stopping, you are on the way to training your Jack Russell terrier puppy to stop biting you or things that they shouldn’t.

The training takes time, and it can take a few weeks.  Consistency pays off and sometimes the progress is slow, but the thing is to be consistent and train frequently for short bursts of time.

The plan is to redirect their energy and biting into play or to distract them into not biting.  Reward them when they don’t bite and when they let go of the toy when asked. 

If you have a bitey dog or puppy, put them on a lead when you have visitors so that they don’t get into the habit of charging up to people and biting at shoelaces or trousers.

When they lick you when before they would have bitten you, that is a good thing, so reward.  Be prepared to distract them from your hand, arm, shoe or trouser leg with a toy.

Adult Rescue Dogs

Because the habit is more set, it can take longer to eradicate undesirable biting and mouthing in adult dogs.  In some cases, it’s as though they realise they missed out on training and they are desperate to please you.

Frequently, adult rescue dogs that have not been trained and socialised have leftover puppy behaviour.

Whichever type your adult rescue Jack Russell is, the method of redirecting as described above works.  You are encouraging the good behaviour and removing some of the opportunities for them to practice the not so good, so they start to lose the habit.

Using high value treats is a tool that works well with older dogs.  A food orientated dog is less likely to bite when there are tasty treats about.  Use the treats with praise so that, at times, praise is enough.

Training in short bursts is even more important with an older dog.  You don’t want them to become disheartened or bored.  So plan the training in short bursts over several weeks and be prepared for consistent training to take longer.

If you enjoyed this article on  Jack Russell Biting you might also like to read about Jack Russell Teeth and Dental Care.

Jack Russell Anxiety

Jack Russell Anxiety

Do you leave your Jack Russell at home, only to return hours later to a general disaster? Is the little one terrified during holidays? Are groups of people just too much to handle? Are you able to recognize Jack Russell Anxiety before it becomes a problem?

Signs of Jack Russell Anxiety

How exactly do you recognize Jack Russell anxiety? How can you tell if something is wrong?

Your little one probably won’t be feeling too secure. He will likely act differently than normal! Some behaviours can be very obvious, like household destruction with separation anxiety. Others might be less clear, requiring an experienced eye to recognize (ex. Yawning, lip licking).

  • Aggression
  • Frequent yawning
  • Urinating or defecating in the home
  • Drooling
  • Excessive panting
  • Destructive behaviour
  • Depression
  • Excessive barking
  • Pacing
  • Restlessness
  • Repetitive or compulsive behaviours

Different types of Jack Russell Anxiety

Fear Related Anxiety

This is probably the first thing we think of when the phrase Jack Russell anxiety comes to mind! Fear is a normal and healthy response to unfamiliar or unknown things in a dog’s environment. Fear is what helps ensure your little Jack stays alive and uninjured!

You might say fear is an evolutionary adaptation! While the Jack Russell breed isn’t much more than a century and a half old, scientists believe his wolf ancestors appeared between 1-2 million years ago!

Even then, wolves weren’t even close to the largest predator around. A fearless wolf probably wouldn’t have lasted long.

Examples of fear-related anxiety include:

  • Fear of loud noises (ex. fireworks, thunder)
  • Fear of unfamiliar people or animals (ex. fear of groups or crowds)
  • Fear of travel (ex. fear of cars)

A dog that has suffered a negative, traumatic confrontation with another dog might have a fear of other animals. 

You can avoid most cases of fear-related anxiety by socializing your dog with the instigator ahead of time. Strong, continuous socialization beginning at that third and fourth month is highly recommended!

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety means exactly what the word implies. Many dogs become anxious when separated from their human or animal companions. This is especially common if the dog hasn’t been desensitized (isn’t used to; see explanation below) to solitude!

Imagine a young puppy adopted during the 2020 Covid quarantines. The owner worked from home for several months, so companionship is all this puppy has ever known! 

The owner is called back to his regular 9-5 job, leaving the now older puppy to his solitude for 8-9 hours at a time. This could seem terrifying to the dog! That young Jack Russell has no idea what happened to his human parent, where he went, or if he’ll come back again. 

Many handlers will return home to torn pillows, shredded blanketing, and various other types of damage! You might see scratch marks near the front door, where your Jack tried to ‘escape’ his prison and find you.

Seperation anxiety is extremely common in dogs! Your pup isn’t angry with you or trying to punish you for leaving, but rather distressed. Separation anxiety can become severe in rare cases and might require veterinarian prescribed calming medication.

Age-Related Anxiety

This type of anxiety could affect your older Jack Russell, just like it does with many other ageing dogs. Your pup might become easily startled, and his awareness might start to go. 

Age-related anxiety can be linked to Cognitive Dysfunction in dogs. This is a disorder very similar to the early stages of human Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Basically, your older dog may experience increased levels of anxiety or become startled easier.

How to Help Your Anxious Jack Russell

We’ll cover all three types below, along with general care tips to make management easier!

Fear Anxiety

How do you treat fear-related Jack Russell Anxiety? You counter condition your dog to the disliked stimulus by desensitizing him to it. 

Let’s start with Counterconditioning, meaning your dog is trained to give the opposite response he was originally conditioned, or learned, to give. When you are finished, your terrier should at least tolerate, if not enjoy the thing he once feared!

  • You will accomplish this by slowly desensitizing your pup to the feared stimuli. You’ll gradually be introducing him to first very small then larger increments of it over time.
  • Add something your dog enjoys more than the feared thing! 

Let’s say water gave your pet fear anxiety. He absolutely refuses to step foot in the pond nearby! 

Step One: You’re going to find a high-value treat reward. Begin by asking your jack to only get close to the water, but not yet get wet. You could throw a stick to the edge of the pond for him to retrieve. Reward your Jack with enthusiastic praise and the tasty treat!

Repeat this several times over a few days, slowly inching your way closer to the water. 

Step Two: Now you’re going to toss the stick right at the edge of the water! Your dog will have to just barely get his footpads wet. Reward with cheer and treats once the stick has been retrieved. This is the most impressive thing you’ve seen all week!

Gradually repeat this several times until your dog doesn’t even notice the water on his paws.

Step Three: Now this is all about gradually increasing the exposure. Slowly toss the stick further and further out. Your Jack will be swimming before long!

Note: Always supervise your terrier closely around water, and make sure every interaction is positive.

Separation Anxiety

How do you prevent separation anxiety in Jack Russells? You’re going to have to allow your terrier to slowly adjust to solitude over time! Never suddenly immerse your pet in long durations of solitude, as this is one of the leading causes of separation anxiety in the first place.

Begin by isolating your dog for only a few minutes. Every time you leave over the course of the next several days, add a few minutes to your absence. Eventually, you’ll be at a half-hour, then an hour, etc.

This reassures your pet that you’ll always return! The method is almost identical to crate training for dogs.

Age-Related Anxiety

This type of anxiety is caused by mental degeneration, and there really isn’t any cure for it. That being said, you can treat it by making accommodations for your older dog! You can also consider discussing anxiety-relieving medication with your veterinarian.

Try to limit loud noises and changes in your pet’s environment. Do your best to keep everything the same, familiar way it was. Maintain a constant aura of peaceful calm!

Positive, Reward-Based Reinforcement

Always focus on rewards and positive reinforcement! You’ll want to avoid using any kind of punishment when treating Jack Russell anxiety. 

Feeling upset when returning home to a trashed house is natural, and we completely understand! Your dog has cost you money, stress, and needless effort. Before responding, imagine how your little one is feeling.

Your dog is frightened and nervous! In many cases, he doesn’t understand why you’ve left. Punishing him for destruction or damage he’s caused while he was frightened and nervous might only make him feel more anxious!

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about When do Jack Russells Calm Down?! and Can Jack Russells be left Alone?

When do Jack Russells Calm Down

When do Jack Russells Calm Down?!

Caring for a high-energy Jack Russell Terrier can seem frustrating at times! Their incredible energy and prey drive can become both frustrating and stressful, especially if you live near busy roads. 

When do Jack Russels calm down? It can seem like that bundle of energy might never tire out! It’s true; your Jack is going to have a lot of energy most of his life.

Why are Jack Russells so High Energy?

Parson John Russell was a dedicated fan of fox hunting. In the mid-1800’s he sought to breed the ultimate fox hunting dog! 

John’s champion was about the same height as fox terriers of the time, able to chase a prey animal to ground and beyond without killing it.

Of course, chasing prey to ground was only half the battle! With their small yet powerfully muscular, agile bodies, these terriers were easily able to flush prey out of their underground burrows.

Today’s Jacks have an equally high prey drive! Sure, most Jack Russells today are devoted members of the family, as opposed to the sprightly small game hunters of old. This doesn’t mean they’ve lost any of their hunting instincts.

Not many breeds come with a stronger prey drive than our little Jacks! This is one dog you want to keep tethered to your side via lead when out on the trail. If not, we might just end up with fewer wild critters running about!

Fenced-in Yard

This isn’t a dog you want roaming your neighborhood whenever he chooses. Even if your Terrier has been socialized well, you still have roads, traffic, and other hazards to worry about! Dogs don’t have the depth perception of a human, making vehicles even more dangerous.

  • Make sure your dog is wearing identification tags.
  • Countless dogs have reunited with owners thanks to microchipping!

Socialization is Crucial

Early, strong & consistent socialization is already very important for all dogs. However, socialization training is vital with the Jack. 

If you don’t teach your Jack Russell smaller animals are friendly and mean good things, the neighbor’s cat or your daughter’s bunny rabbit might not last too long. 

When do Jack Russels Calm Down?

He wouldn’t have been as useful to the hunter if a working Jack Russell began to lose his energetic drive on the hunt. Now that you know they were bred to be very high-energy dogs because that trait was valued, when do Jack Russells calm down? 

As your terrier begins reaching that advanced age of around 10-12, he’ll begin to calm. This isn’t exact and every dog will be a little different, but aging dogs generally aren’t as energetic. 

As he ages, your little one’s metabolism will begin to slow. He might begin to experience some vision loss. Weight management may become slightly more difficult. Those joints may encounter some arthritic degeneration. 

Sadly, these are all facts of life for both humans and dogs alike.

How Do You Calm a Hyper Jack Russell?

If you said exercise is the best way to calm a hyper Jack Russell, you’re right! These were bred to be high-energy dogs and valued for their spirited zest! What are the best exercises for a Jack Russell Terrier, and how much exercise do these dogs need?

Enrichment Activities

Simply offering a walk a day isn’t always enough! Enrichment activities utilize a dog’s natural instincts, behaviors, and characteristics. These are usually going to be some of the most enjoyable and fulfilling activities for your dog!

Social activities, like a visit to the dog park, are enriching!

Socialization and social interaction with other animals and people will offer several enrichment benefits! It’s important to ensure your Jack Russell has been fully vaccinated, and you’re familiar with other dogs at the park.

You want to control as many variables as possible, and you never know how comfortable that new dog is, or if the new dog is carrying anything that could harm your pup.

Tracking or scent ‘puzzle’ games are enriching!

Scent ‘puzzle’ games force a dog to use his nose in order to locate some type of reward. Tracking activities force a dog to utilize all of his advanced tracking skills! Have you ever hidden a favorite toy in your house, and challenged your terrier to find it?

Be sure your pup knows what you want him to do! This might take some training, but tracking comes naturally to all dogs and will present more of a challenge to you than your dog. 

Be sure to offer plenty of encouragement, help your pup along the way, and reward when he ‘finds’ the toy (even if you have to help him find it)!

How Long to Walk a Jack Russell?

To be satisfied, your terrier should probably get about 60 minutes of walking time a day, split into two walks. This still won’t completely deplete those vast levels of energy, and walking doesn’t always offer much in the way of mental stimulation.

It’s difficult for many handlers to meet those recommendations!

Do you have a fenced-in yard for your pet to roam? What do you do to keep up with your little one’s energy demands?

Looking After Your Older Jack Russell

Though he may be around 11 or 12 years old, your Jack will eventually calm down! This is a simple fact of life. As your pet’s energy levels lower, his metabolism will also begin to slow. Your pet’s joints could begin to suffer degenerative effects, and he may experience vision loss.

Aging dogs also tend to cope with higher levels of anxiety, and temperature regulation could become problematic. 

Go easy on your older Jack! Consider providing ramps for elevated surfaces like the stairs or car, so your pup doesn’t have to jump or climb. Nutrition is even more important to prevent weight gain.

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about:

Jack Russell Feeding Guide

Jack Russell Feeding Guide

What exactly is the best food for a Jack Russell terrier, and is it any different than other breeds? With so many selections at the pet store, how will you ever decide? 

Take a look at our Jack Russell Feeding Guide here!

Carnivores and Animal Meat

Take a look at your dog. His teeth are pointed and are designed by nature to grab, hold and tear at animal meat, not grind like our human teeth. 

All of his main senses, whether they be smell, hearing, or even sight, have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years- from the very first Wolf species- to augment his very powerful tracking and hunting skills. 

Common sense will tell you nature intended dogs to thrive off of animal products. Fruits, vegetables and even grains have a role to play but aren’t as important.

Though dogs are scientifically classified as carnivores, they aren’t true obligate carnivores in the way cats are. Meat isn’t absolutely essential, and they probably won’t die without it. Your Jack can easily become malnourished on a poorly designed vegan diet, however!

“But why does it have to be meat?” you ask. “Why not plant protein?” 

The answer lies mostly with the type of essential amino acids these proteins are built from. Essential amino acids are amino acids your dog needs to find in his diet, and his body can’t create on its own.

Most of the essential amino acids your dog needs in his diet can be found in meat products, whereas they are harder to find in fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and Vegetables are Still Important.

This doesn’t mean you want to feed your dog solely meats! Fruits and vegetables also offer valuable nutrients. Even grains are important. These shouldn’t make up the main percentage of your dog’s diet, but any high quallity diet will include its fair share of fruits and vegetables.

Wet vs Dry Dog Food

What in the world is the difference between these two? Why would one be recommended over the other? Should you opt for dry or wet dog food?

The main difference between wet and dry dog food is moisture content. Wet dog food is going to be much higher in moisture content, benefiting dogs that struggle with hydration or are experiencing digestion difficulties. 

You might supplement your pet’s diet with wet food in a very hot or humid climate.

Older dogs that experience difficulties chewing may benefit from a wet food diet. Dental hygiene can become more problematic, so you might want to get in the habit of brushing your pup’s teeth. 

Some breeders might transition their pups from mother’s milk to wet food before progressing to dry puppy food.

On the flip side, your Jack Russell might need to eat twice (or more) the amount of wet food to achieve the same level of nutrition the dry counterpart might offer. 

There are pros and cons to each!

Recommended Brands

ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Orijen is a premium quallity, top of the line manufactured dry dog food and one of the absolute best I’ve ever seen! All you have to do is take a look at the ingredient list to tell why. Not only are all of the upper ingredients premium, but you also won’t see a low quallity source among them. 

  • Orijen also offers a small breed formula. This food above is marketed for dogs 25 lb. +.
  • 38% protein
  • 18% fat

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food With Roasted Venison

Novel protein sources like venison and lamb make up the bulk of this high quallity brand. On top of that, your small breed food consists of smaller bite-sized kibble for your Jack’s smaller mouth. You want your dry dog food to be rich in both proteins and fat while limiting the carbohydrates compared to others.

  • 36% protein 
  • 20% fat

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe

Deboned chicken is the primary ingredient here, followed by chicken meal. Deboned meats are easier on a dog’s digestion, while a ‘meal’ is a concentrated source of meat protein. Omega fatty acids help support your pup’s skin and coat health, while other nutrients support joint health!

  • 30% protein
  • 17% fat

Quantity of Food

Exactly how many calories should your Jack Russell Terrier get? There are far too many variables to give you a perfect answer for your particular dog! This will depend upon things like:

  • Age
  • Activity level
  • Size

Thankfully, you can calculate the average resting energy requirements for your little one, if the math doesn’t bother you. This is again just an average estimation.

(Dog’s body weight in kg) raised to the ¾ power,  multiplied by 70

Example: A 10 kg (22 lb) Jack Russell Terrier adult would need 400 calories daily, according to this formula. Of course, this is on the larger side for a Jack!

Then there are further calculations that can be made to better specify this number. You can find those calculations here (Ohio State University).

Meals Per Day

You’ll want to split your feedings into two meals per day, for a healthy Jack Russell Terrier adult. This is normally split into 1.5 cups daily, but you’ll want to refer to your individual dog food packaging instructions.

Treats and Chews

What about dog treats and chews? These offer extremely useful training tools if nothing else! Can you offer too much though?

Too Many Carbs

You do want to watch the carbohydrates you offer your dog. Excess carbs can lead to weight gain, which can, in turn, open the door to a wealth of medical complications. 

Believe it or not, an estimated 40% of adult dogs are already considered at least overweight in the United States! 25-30% of our domesticated canine populace is considered obese (VCA), which amounts to several million dogs.

Your manufactured dog food brand almost certainly already offers well over the number of carbohydrates a wild canid would get from his natural diet. Still, your dog should be fine with adequate exercise (which many never get, as you can see from the statistics above).

Then you are adding extra caloric sources like human treats or dog treats. 

If you’re going to offer treat rewards, look for small ‘training rewards’ that come in packages of 500 or so. Your dog will lose his mind, while you’re able to keep those calories limited at the same time! You still want to limit the amount you hand out, even with these.

Watch the Sodium

Too much sodium/salt can not only lead to dehydration, but cause other medical issues also. Just like carbohydrates, you’re adding sodium to your dog’s recommended amount with every treat or bit of human food.

Normally this still wouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as your Jack Russell always has access to fresh, clean, cool drinking water. Unfortunately, many dog owners choose to limit their pet’s access to water, only offering it at certain times. 

While it isn’t healthy to allow a dog to ‘free-feed’, you really shouldn’t limit access to drinking water.

Older Dogs & Weight Gain

A dog’s metabolism will begin to slow as he or she ages, just like ageing humans Your older dog will probably become less energetic, and won’t have the same desire for play and exercise. Wear and tear on those joints will become more apparent, leading to conditions like arthritis. 

Exercise and proper nutrition are both even more important in older dogs!

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Jack Russell Puppy Feeding Guide and Best Dog Treats for Jack Russell

dog park pros and cons

Dog Park Pros and Cons

I’m sure that if you are a new dog owner then you are interested in taking your dog to the dog park for a bit of socialisation. It can be a great place to take your dog, but remember that you are always banking on other dog owners being responsible too. And sadly, not all of them are. Here’s our list of dog park pros and cons, followed by some dog park tips for staying safe.

What is a Dog Park?

A dog park is an enclosed space in public parks that is designated for your dogs to go off lead and run around and mix with each other. Most big USA and UK cities have dog parks. If you are not sure where your local dog park is, there are apps you can use to find them. Some of the most popular dog park finder apps are:

  • Bark Happy – Featuring over 20,000 dog parks, bark happy is available as an app for iOS and Android.
  • Paw Parks – An iOS app that helps you to find dog parks and walking trails near you.
  • Dog Park Finder Plus – Over 6000 dog friendly parks, beaches and hikes on this iOS app powered by DogGoes.
  • Hundescove – Hundescove is the perfect app if you want to find a dog park in Denmark.
  • Dog Park Assistant – This doesn’t find dog parks but it’s an app that helps you to choose a healthy and safe dog park for your dog, with tips on dog park etiquette and safety.

Dog Park Pros and Cons


The main pros of the dog park are:

  • If you have a sociable dog he or she will be able to have fun with other dogs.
  • Dog will run together and get good exercise
  • It’s usually enclosed so you can let your dog off lead (provided you trust the other dogs and owners!)
  • It’s sociable for the adults too!


The main cons of dog parks are:

  • Dogs can sometimes result in over-excitement and dogs may end up fighting
  • If your dog gets attacked it may affect his behaviour towards other dogs in future
  • Some dogs find it too overwhelming or stressful
  • Some dog owners aren’t responsible e.g. don’t muzzle snappy dogs, don’t poop scoop, don’t intervene in fights

If your dog is constantly barking when at the dog park, you need to decide whether it’s a bark of excitement, or a bark out of stress. Not all dogs do well at the dark park and it may not be the best place for nervous dogs or dogs that have not been properly socialised as pups.

Our dog Blake prefers to meet dogs on a one to one basis, rather than the high energy and stressful environment of a dog park.

Tips for the Dog Park

  • Keep aggressive dogs away from the dog park
  • Always take poop scoop bags (plural – they poop a lot!)
  • Muzzle dogs that are learning how to socialise
  • Discipline your dog the second it displays any aggressive, dominating or inappropriate behaviour e.g. humping
  • Only let your dog off lead if he has 100% recall
  • Take a bottle of water and bowl or a special doggy water bottle – they get hot when playing
  • Put a harness on your dog for the dog park because it is easier to grab your dog in an emergency situation

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Jack Russell Exercise

Black and Tan Jack Russell

Black and Tan Jack Russell

My second dog Suzy was a gorgeous Black and Tan Jack Russell. She had a black body but tan eyebrows and tan paws with sticking up ears. She was Jack Russell through and through but her markings made her more unique. She was a special dog!

The Black and Tan Jack Russell

The black and tan Jack Russell will look like the traditional Jack Russell but won’t have the white body with black and brown markings that they usually have. A black and tan Jack Russell may be all black with tan markings on the feet and eyebrows or all tan with black markings. Some people say that they are crossbreeds, but many recognise them as a Jack Russell or at least Jack Russell cross. They are generally rarer than the traditional Jack Russell.

What is the Personality of the Black and Tan Jack Russell?

The black and tan JRT has a very similar personality to the traditional Jack Russell. They are energetic and lively with a strong prey drive. Because of this they can be difficult to train in recall (being off lead and coming back when called).

Jack Russells are very loyal and loving towards their owner, some people even describe them as velcro dogs! This makes them great family pets. They love to please their owner and they are great little dogs for learning party tricks such as play dead, roll over and walk (on two legs!!!) They can quickly learn how to speak.

But they can also be a little bit barky and aggressive when there are intruders – this means that they make great little guard dogs!

Where can you get a Black and Tan JRT?

As they are a little rarer than traditional Jack Russells they may be harder to find. We got our from the Dogs Trust. If you have the time, energy and home environment to rescue a Jack Russell then you can also try places such as the RSPCA or Freshfields.

If you have a black and tan JRT then please comment on our blog – we’d love to hear from you!

Why do Jack Russells shake

Why do Jack Russells shake? is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Affiliate links may be used on this page and in articles, but they do not impact on the price that you pay.

Lot’s of dog owners have recently asked me ‘Why do Jack Russells shake?’.  It’s important to look at the context when your terrier is shaking; so let’s take a look at the main reasons here:


Jack Russells are active, lively little dogs and there is nothing they like more than hunting.  When they are expecting an opportunity to hunt, it may be that they’ve seen a mouse twitch the grass or they know the cues you are showing that they are going to get a chance to hunt.

Other reasons that may cause them to shake with excitement is the sheer joy that you are about to take them for a walk.   Stud dogs will often shake with anticipation when they know they are about to meet a bitch. 

Jack Russells are one of the small breeds that have a fast metabolism and are often hyperactive.  The shaking or trembling you see is just part of their excitement response.  

They are wet!

Jack Russells and most dogs actually shake when they are wet to dry themselves off. So you will notice your dog shaking from side to side after he has been swimming or when he gets out of the bath. This is completely normal and natural dog behaviour.

Stress and Anxiety

Although Jack Russells are curious, bold, fun little dogs even they can suffer from stress.  Sometimes stress or stressful situations can cause your Jack Russell to shake.  Generally, they are less prone to stress and anxiety than a lot of other dogs, but they can become stressed, anxious and frustrated.

Shaking that is a result of stress or anxiety is likely to be due to situations like separation anxiety from being left at home alone, being crated when they have not been carefully introduced, a visit to the vet.  Frequently, this type of shaking will be accompanied by panting and drooling.

To help your Jack Russell overcome the stress or anxiety you will need to discover what is the cause.

Actual Fear

Shaking from fear is very closely aligned to shaking due to stress or anxiety.  The actual fear though is more likely to be things like thunder storms, other loud bangs or fear from something they perceive as a genuine threat.

They will show typical signs of extra adrenaline in their sympathetic nervous system, meaning that the shaking will be accompanied by other adrenaline symptoms such as wild looking eyes, pacing, panting, pinning back their ears and tucking their tails down.

Feeling Cold

Because they are small dogs with a fast metabolism they often feel the cold.  Your terrier may be shaking because he or she is cold. Short coated varieties are most likely to feel the cold.

Muscle Tremor

It is not unusual for a Jack Russell to display shaking of their rear legs, frequently one leg only is affected and you may notice it happen at times of excitement or for no apparent reason.  In any other breed, it’s something that you’d get checked out by a vet, but Jack Russell’s are prone to this little tremor and if it is not severe and they don’t seem concerned or in pain, just general monitoring until their next annual check up is all that is usually required. 

Many Jack Russells live long and active lives with this tremor.

Old Age or Health

It’s comparatively rare, but just like any other canine; terriers could develop neurological problems as they age or occasionally even when they are younger.  Any new, unexplained shaking or tremors should be checked by your vet. 

I hope that you enjoyed this article on ‘Why do Jack Russells shake?’ If you enjoyed reading it then you might also like to read about Jack Russell Behaviour.