Are Jack Russells Aggressive? Real Truth And Calming Tips

Are Jack Russells Aggressive? Real Truth And Calming Tips

Many potential JRT owners are curious about Jack Russell Terriers’ aggressiveness. There are some misunderstandings that Jack Russells are extremely aggressive due to their ancestral predatory history. 

So, are Jack Russells aggressive? No, they are not that much aggressive. They behave aggressively in certain instances such as fear, boredom, lack of discipline, towards threats, dominating the territory and lack of socialization. Apart from that, they are not always aggressive. However, JRTs are a bit aggressive at the initial stage of adoption. Still, with proper training, they will become loving and affectionate dogs for you and your family. 

Jack Russell Terriers are small, energetic dogs that first originated in England. They are active, athletic, and working dogs specialized for hunting foxes, rabbits, and rodents. Even though they were used as hunting dogs before, now they are famous as domestic pets.

Due to their small size and cute appearance, JRTs attract many dog lovers. JRTs need initial training to adopt as domestic pets, and then they will become loving and affectionate dogs. 

As a proud owner of a JRT for three years, I can make you aware of the matter with my personal experience with my Jack Russell, Shaggy.

By reading this article, you will be able to understand whether Jack Russells are aggressive or not. Then let’s identify the answers for the matter, are female Jack Russells aggressive.

After that, you will identify the reasons for the aggressiveness of your JRT, and finally, I’ll provide you with some calming tips to minimize the aggressiveness of your four-legged furry friend.

If you are a JRT owner, or a person willing to adopt a JRT, then this article will help you. Keep reading.

Are Jack Russells aggressive?

Jack Russell Terriers are a dog breed with a long history that runs along the 16th and 17th centuries. They are a small, energetic, and active dog breed popular for hunting.

They are working dogs and are specialized for hunting foxes, rabbits, rodents, and small animals. JRTs are popular among dog lovers as domestic pets and are good, affectionate dogs. However, are Jack Russells aggressive is a common question that comes to mind. 

Even though JRTs are famous as somewhat aggressive dogs, they are not aggressive dogs in common consideration. Similar to other dogs, they are aggressive occasionally.

However, with my personal experience of adopting a JRT, they are a bit aggressive and difficult to control at the beginning of adoption. JRTs are aggressive towards other pets and animals.

In addition, due to their excess barking and biting behavior, they are considered unsuitable for apartments and urban areas.

However, they can be turned into loving and affectionate domestic pets with proper training. So, don’t get discouraged from adopting a JRT by hearing their aggressiveness. 

Are female Jack Russells aggressive?

When you choose a dog to adopt, what dog you should choose comes to mind, whether it is a female or a male dog. Some prefer male dogs, while others prefer female dogs. Adopting a male JRT is different from adopting a female JRT.

In consideration of their suitability to adopt, Jack Russell’s aggressiveness comes to the discussion. When concerning the aggressiveness of JRTs separately, as we already discussed, JRTs are not aggressive dogs.

However, male JRTs are more aggressive than female JRTs on certain occasions. They are trying to dominate their territory over female JRTs. 

Are female Jack Russells aggressive? The answer is no, they are not aggressive as male JRTs, and they are more calm, timid, and less hyper. Female JRTs are more independent and behave well than male JRTs. They are easier to control and train.

The female JRTs are trying to stay in charge, and their nature of alpha should be controlled. They can be territorial as male JRTs, but not aggressive like them. Therefore, you need to train them immediately after the adoption, and socialization is important to control their behavior.

However, if you are looking to adopt a JRT that is not aggressive, then a female JRT is more suitable for you than male JRTs. 

Why do Jack Russells get aggressive?

When answering the matter, “are Jack Russells aggressive?” As we already discussed, they are somewhat aggressive occasionally, and there are several reasons for their aggressiveness.

Before identifying the calming tips to control your JRT’s aggressive behavior, you need to understand the reasons behind their aggressiveness.

As an owner of a JRT for three years, I can share my experience with you regarding the reasons for the aggressiveness of JRTs. Here are some common reasons why JRTs get aggressive. 

1. Boredom

JRTs are not lazy dogs, and they are active and intelligent dogs that are specialized for outdoor activities. They are very energetic and athletic and are initiated as hunters.

Therefore, they need a way to release their excess energy, and if not, they may get bored. Then they get aggressive when they are bored and have no way to release their energy.

They need activities to engage in, and boredom can be mentioned as the main reason for their aggressiveness. 

2. Fear

JRTs get aggressive when they have a fear of something. Even though they show off aggressiveness towards others, sometimes JRTs are fearful dogs inside.

They may have fear when they get into new things. New people, new animals, new places will make them frightened, and they may behave aggressively in the failure of their adaptation to it. 

3. Lack of Socialization

As we already discussed, JRTs need initial training to adopt as domestic pets. They should be socialized at the beginning of adoption. They will get aggressive when they lack socialization.

When they are first introduced to the home environment and new family members, they will behave aggressively.

When they meet new people and pets, they will also act aggressively due to their lack of socialization. 

4. Neglecting 

Neglecting your JRT can be a reason for their aggressiveness. JRTs are caring and affectionate pets that love their owners a lot.

Therefore, they are always seeking your love, affection, and time. When you neglect them and spend no time on them, they feel neglected and act aggressively to seek your attention. 

5. Lack of discipline

At the initial stage of adopting, JRTs have no discipline, and due to this, they have become famous as aggressive dogs.

Therefore, they will behave with no discipline, and the option here is the proper training. After proper training, you can discipline your JRT well, and then they won’t behave aggressively.

6. New pets

When you decide to adopt new pets or take new pets to the home, your JRT may act most of the time aggressively.

They love their owners a lot, and due to that, they feel jealous. On such an occasion, your JRT behaves aggressively. 

Calming Tips for your aggressive JRT

When considering the aggressive behavior of JRTs, as JRT owners, you should be aware of the calming tips to control the aggression of JRTs.

According to my experience with my JRT, here are some ways that you can control the aggressiveness of your JRT and calm down your dog. 

1. Proper Training

As we already discussed, JRTs are a bit difficult to control at the initial stage of adoption. They need proper training to behave as loving domestic pets.

Therefore to control and calm your JRT, you have to train them well, and training is the most important part of adopting a JRT.

You need to make your dog familiar with the surroundings and make them confident with the training.

2. Enough exercise

One of the major reasons for the aggressiveness of your JRT is a lack of exercise. Since JRTs are filled with excess energy, you need to provide enough exercise appropriate to their energy level and age.

Take your JRT outdoors and walk. Allow them to play outdoors. It will release their stress of excess energy and aggressiveness.

3. More time with them

You need to spend time with your JRT, and they are always seeking your love and affection.

JRTs love their owners so much, and therefore, they are always trying to stay with you. So, to avoid their aggressiveness, try to make time for them and stay with them. 

4. Rewards

Rewards are one of the good ways to calm your JRT. You can avoid their aggressiveness by rewarding them with things they love, such as meat or cookies.

Rewarding good behavior will make your dog understand how it should behave. Then they will try to minimize their aggressiveness.

5. Socialization

Socialization is essential for the adoption of a JRT. Your JRT may behave aggressively at the initial stage when they lack socialization.

Therefore, you need to make your dog socialize with your family members, friends, neighbors, and other pets. If not, they will act aggressively towards them.

Introduce your friends and neighbors to your JRT and make them familiar with them. In addition, allow your JRT to play with your neighbors’ pets.

Final thoughts about Jack Russells Aggressiveness

So, at the end of the article, now you are well aware of Jack Russell’s aggressiveness. Then, you have got a clear idea about the reasons for the aggressiveness of your JRT.

And we discussed calming tips that support getting rid of it. I have shared my experience with my JRT, Shaggy, and you can try them out with your JRT friend as well.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your favorite dog breed.


  • 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.

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