Are Jack Russell Terriers Good Family Dogs? Yes, Good Pets

Are Jack Russell Terriers Good Family Dogs? Yes, But Read This

Suppose you are considering adopting a Jack Russell and thinking about their suitability to your family. In that case, you might be thinking, ‘Are Jack Russells good family dogs or not?’. No one wants to adopt a pet that is not a perfect match for their family condition. 

If you do some research on the pros and cons of JRTs, you might find that Jack Russells are kind of aggressive and hot-tempered dogs with excessive energy. So, you might be thinking JRT is not a good choice for your family.  

Hold on! I am going to discuss all the positive and negative things about JRT as a family dog. Therefore, I hope this post would be helpful to finalize your decision.

So, Are Jack Russells good family dogs? Of course, they are good family pets. Jack Russells are playful and loyal dogs with gentle attitudes towards family members. And also, they are protective and alert dogs that make your family safe. Jacks are intelligent dogs, so they know how to adapt to families well. However, it is recommended to train them at their young age for best results.

As a proud owner of two Jack Russell Terriers, I have 7 years of experience raising them with my family. Therefore, my perspective is different from those who say that JRTs are not good family dogs without raising one. 

Read – All you need to know about Jack Russell Terrier here

We know that Jacks are a healthy and energetic dog breed. Mostly, they are so independent, not like other small dog breeds. You can maintain a JRT easily with minimum supervision. 

And also, they have a relatively longer lifespan than other small dog breeds. JRTs can live most of their life actively despite having some old age problems. It means that your family has a lovely companion that lives close to two decades. Isn’t it nice?

“In my opinion, Jack Russell Terriers are an excellent family pet that brings light to your family.” 

There is a lot to discuss deeply. I have listed the main topics that we discuss today in this post. You can click on it and jump into the section you want. Let’s get started!

Are Jack Russells good family dogs? Yes, they are

Why do I say Jack Russells are good family dogs?

You may have heard people say that Jack Russells are too aggressive, so they are not good family dogs. Even my friends ask me why I raise two Jack Russells instead of raising a golden retriever or another small dog.

There is a myth within the people that JRTs are not behaving well. I am saying that it is an entirely wrong impression they have taken from a badly behaved JRT.

It is unfair to measure all the Jacks from that perspective. There are plenty of well-behaved Jacks all over the world.

A dog’s behaviour depends on factors such as early age training, socialization, owner’s care, and affection.

Therefore, you can expect a well behaved and calm dog if you train your dog. There is a dedicated dog owner behind every smart dog.

What makes Jack Russells perfect family dogs?

  • Easy to take care of – They are so independent. Therefore, you can raise them with minimum attendance.
  • Healthy dogs – They are relatively healthy among other small dog breeds.
  • Loyalty – Jacks are loyal to their owners.
  • Lifespan – JRTs have a relatively longer lifespan than other small dog breeds.
  • Budget-friendly – They consume little food. It will save considerable money in the long term.
  • Gentle with kids – Jack Russells love children. They have a kind and gentle attitude towards kids.
  • Active temperament – Jacks have an active and energetic temperament that brings a lively feeling to the house.

Those are a few reasons for my opinion that Jack Russell Terriers are a perfect dog for families. There are more pros and cons of JRTs as family dogs.

Are Jack Russell Terriers aggressive towards family?

Yes, sometimes they are aggressive towards strangers and other pets. It doesn’t mean that they cannot be good family dogs.

In fact, they are lovely and loyal dogs for their family members. I have two Jack Russells, and they are well along with my 5 years old son. They are so gentle with my kid and sometimes overprotective of him.

If you consider adopting a Jack Russell, you have to keep aside the myths about Jack Russells.

A newborn puppy is like completely blank paper. As you can draw any art on paper, you can train your puppy how he should behave. It is not an easy task nor a complex one.

You should start training your puppy between 3 – 4 months old. Then, you will be able to have a well-behaving dog with unconditional love.

Are Jack Russells good with kids?

Are Jack Russells good with kids?

Yes, of course. They are so gentle with kids and have a kind attitude. 

You may have heard that people say Jack Russells are not a good dog for families with small kids. However, I am raising my younger son with my two JRTs without any problem.

You need to train your dog well, no matter what breed. Then, you can expect a kind-hearted dog with a gentle attitude.

We know that Jack Russells have a predatory heritage. Therefore, they may not be the best dog breed to raise with kids under age 3. If you plan to do so, you need to keep an eye on both the kid and the dog.

Most importantly, you have to teach your kids the correct way of approaching the dog. And also, let the dog know that he should respect the family members. In that case, Jacks can adapt to your home situation because of their high intelligence.

Finally, I can say that Jack Russell Terriers are excellent with kids if you train them well.

Pros of Jack Russells as family pets

There are several pros of Jack Russells as family pets. 

  • Loyalty – Jacks are extremely loyal to their owners.  
  • Lovely Pet – JRTs are small and adorable dog breeds. They have unconditional love for their family members.
  • Healthy – They are relatively healthy dogs among other small dog breeds. 
  • Longer lifespan – Jacks have an average of 14 years of lifespan, which is relatively longer than other small dog breeds.
  • Playful – JRTs are so energetic and motivated. They can play for hours without getting tired.
  • Apartment friendly – Jacks are good apartment dogs because of their small size.
  • Less maintaining cost – JRTs have a short and shiny coat. So, the maintenance costs for grooming and cleaning would be lower than other dogs.
  • Appetite – They eat less because of their small size. It is good for your pocket to save some extra bucks.
  • Activeness – Jacks are so active and playful. It will make your house active too.

Cons of Jack Russells as family dogs

And also, there are cons of Jack Russells as family dogs.

  • Noisy – Jacks may bark loudly. They are good at making noises to attract attention.
  • Extreme energy – JRTs have an extreme energy level that makes you tired. They will not stop playing until you are exhausted.
  • Lots of exercises – They need daily activities for around 30 – 40 minutes. Otherwise, Jacks will have some mental and physical unbalance, such as shaking and vomiting.
  • Aggressiveness – Jacks love to show their power to other pets. Typically, they are good with cats and other small pets but can be messy sometimes.
  • Breeding – Jack Russells come to their breeding age after one year. Therefore, you have to take steps to neutralize them unless you expect to breed them.

Read – How Soon Can I Walk My Dog After Neutering?

How to train your Jack Russell to be a good family dog?

Training is the key for any dog breed. It is better to start training your dog from 3 – 4 months of age until you get what is expected.

There is no need to train them to be super dogs but teach them to behave well. Mainly, I would recommend training them.

  • Feeding attitude
  • Potting
  • General commands

And also, it would be better to socialize the JRT with other pets and strangers at their early age. Then, you can have a gentle dog. 

Read – How Many Puppies Do Jack Russells Terriers Have?

Most importantly, teach your kids and family members the correct way of dealing with the dog. Also, try to move the dog with all the family members to increase his loyalty. 

Let the JRT know that you are the boss who makes the decisions. Once he understands that, you can easily control your dog.

Those are not that many hard things to do. You only need consistency and patience.


We have discussed the reality of Jack Russell Terriers as family dogs. There are pros and cons of Jacks as family dogs. However, you can expect a perfect family companion after proper training.

Typically, they are gentle with kids, contrary to their aggressiveness. And also, we discussed the way of training Jacks to be an excellent family dog. I believe that now you have a strong answer to ‘Are Jack Russell Terriers good family dogs?’.

I hope this post was helpful to you to understand the reality from a Jack Russell owner’s perspective. Stay tuned with us! Cheers from Shaggy and Lenny!


  • George Brown

    George B. is the founder of the JRO Organization. He believes in creating a better world for domestic animals. He believes domestic animals are more vulnerable than other animals, especially dogs, since they have been used to depending on their owners for generations. So, he started JRO to share his ideas and insights while helping vulnerable dogs worldwide. George runs multiple projects on street dogs in developing countries, especially Sri Lanka.

    [email protected]

Similar Posts