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.

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