Are Jack Russells Well Behaved? Truth & Guide

Are Jack Russells Well Behaved? Truth & Guide

Jack Russell Terrier or Parson Jack Russell Terrier is a small dog breed founded in England in the 18th century. The JRT has a muscular body and weighs around fifteen pounds. 

Mainly they were grown to hunt foxes above and below the ground. Also, Jack Russell is an athletic, tough, independent, and clever little dog breed. People are always curious about their behavior since JRTs have excessive energy and an endless playing attitude.

So, are Jack Russells well behaved? Yes, they are. Jacks are good family pets with a sweet and gentle attitude apart from their aggressive and hyperactive personality. Constant training is recommended for keeping the JRTs well-behaved. They are loyal and affectionate dog breeds with a protective mentality as guard dogs. Jacks have some destructive behaviors like any dog breed. Still, with the proper training, you can expect a lovely and affectionate family dog. 

Mostly Jacks are the favorites among dog sports enthusiasts, animal trainers, or anyone who loves their fearless personality, boundless energy, and portable size. 

Also, suppose you’re interested in an energetic little companion and do not bother with chewing, digging, and barking every time. In that case, this pup might be for you. But, people still doubt whether Jack Russells are well behaved or not? 

Worthy of mentioning that they are charming and affectionate but need a handful to train and manage. This post will discuss all the relevant facts about Jack Russell Terriers’ good and destructive behaviors. And also, I have given some useful tips to keep your JRT well behaved.

This will be a comprehensive post that covers all the relevant information. Therefore, I have listed the topics I discuss below. Please, feel free to jump straight to the section you want by clicking on the topic.

Let’s get started!

Jack Russell’s good behavior

Here are some common good behaviors you will notice with a Jack Russell in most circumstances:

Follow you always

This depends on your personality. It can either be amazing or can be annoying to you. Jack Russell will follow you everywhere; it does not matter what you are doing.

When doing your daily chores, allow them to follow you and encourage them to participate in some of the activities. It will be an excellent opportunity for your Jack Russell to feel connected to its owner.

This behavior displays their connection, loyalty to their owners, which is good behavior that most of the Jack Russell’s will demonstrate.


Jack Russel is a hyperactive dog breed. Sometimes the natural hyper of a Jack Russell may be uncontrollable to you. Moreover, they get wilder when they have a chance; if they do not get enough daily exercise or other physical activities.

They try to attract your attention by chasing you around or jumping than usual in front of you. So, remember they need good daily exercises otherwise they will start to behave like this.

Excellent exercise partners

As I mentioned before, Jack Russell is a hyperactive dog breed. Also, they love your companion. No doubt, they are excellent exercise partners to take with you when you are jogging, swimming, rollerblading, or doing exercises, because they will undoubtedly join you.

It will be fun to do exercise with your Jack Russell, and it will strengthen the bond between you and your four-legged friend!

Some bad behaviors of Jacks

As we went through the common good behaviors of Jack Russell Terriers, some destructive behaviors raise the question, are Jack Russells well behaved? Some of them are mentioned below.

Barks a lot

A typical bad behavior with Jack Russells is they bark more than other dog breeds. They bark at almost everything. This behavior is mostly depicted in their first year with you.

Most dog adapters are blown away by this bad behavior. They will bark to let you know someone is coming to the house.

Also, a Jack Russell will bark to let you know anything they consider necessary or of importance; at the same time, they may be not important to you. But, with proper training procedures, this bad behavior can break off.

Digging and finding animals in the yard

Another bad behavior that gives reasons to think whether are Jack Russells well behaved is that they may dig your garden, which will drive you insane. However, digging is a common behavior with many dog breeds. But Jack Russels will dig deeper than a usual dog.

From their origin, they are a hunting dog breed used for hunting foxes above and below the ground. So this is their normal behavior. Mainly they dig the ground when they track the scent of a rabbit, squirrel, or any other animal.

So, as a Jack Rassel owner, you should correct this from its beginning.


Jack Russells have outstanding jumping abilities. Sometimes this is awesome at the same time; it is bothersome too. They will undoubtedly jump to get your attention.

Maybe when you arrived home, when they wanted to play, or whenever they got excited. However, many individuals have reached this point where jumping may be considered annoying.

Why are Jack Russells so aggressive?

This is another question that most dog parents ask altogether with are Jack Russells well behaved. Because it is a common scenario that the most hyperactive dogs are aggressive, the situation becomes more interesting when it comes to JRTs.  

There are few reasons for this behavioral problem. Such as ;

  • Jack Russells were hunting dogs

Jack Russells are first and foremost hunting dogs. Their skills such as digging, barking, aggressive nature, ability to follow scent made them excellent hunting dogs. These skills are interpreted as aggressive by the domestic dog keepers.

So most of the Jack Russells are abandoned even before they reach adulthood. But their energy level can entertain you. Also, their anger issues can be controlled With the proper training.

  • Same-gender Aggression

It is worthy of mentioning that Jack Russells are very aggressive to their same-gender dogs. It is not better to raise two Jack Russells together if they are the same gender.

As Jack Russells are mostly very possessive of their owner or a favorite member of the family, they do not like to share. They try to protect those things that are valuable to them.

This aggressive protective behavior must be controlled from an early age.

  • Neglecting and lack of discipline

This could be a primary cause for your Jack Russell becoming more aggressive. They need attention and praise. Please show them some attention.

Also, Jack Russells always need an authoritative figure present and around them. An effective discipline training will turn Jack Russell into one of the excellent dogs you will choose to adopt.

With patience, effort, and full of love for your jack Russel, you will be able to correct this aggressive behavior.

How to keep your Jack Russell Terrier well-behaved?

By training, you can keep your small but feisty dog well-behaved. There are plenty of methods to make your Jack Russell a well-disciplined dog.

With proper training methods, it would not be necessary to question are Jack Russells well behaved? It is important to remember that these aggressive dogs can become little bosses if not trained enough.

1. Keep the training positive

Try to keep the mood of you and your dog positive throughout the training process. You can use treats and simple games to reward your dog whenever it learns something properly.

An effective method is the “Clicker method.” Remember not to let yourself get frustrated while training.

Also, do not punish your dog too harshly because it does not give expected results. You have to strengthen the bond between your dog while training. 

2. Be the boss

Don’t let your dog turn the tables on you! Also, they like to feel authoritative figures around them. But it would help if you didn’t let them think you’re forcing them to do something.

If you teach them according to their preference, they willingly take part in the training. If Jack Russell doesn’t respect you, training will be impossible.

You need to ride the line between being Jack’s trainer and master, as well as the supporter.

3. Never leave exercise out of the training

Never leave exercise out of your Jack Russell’s routine. Allow them to go for a run or play outside. Training can become much more difficult if this does not take place properly on a daily basis.

You can consider activities such as:

  • Swimming
  • Rollerblading
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Fetch

4. Take breaks and have fun

You and your dog have to work as a team to be successful in the dog training session. The training time should always be short.

Keep training sessions short to 5-15 minutes. It will be more effective while not interrupting your day. And you are then rewarded with things it enjoys afterward, like a walk or a small treat.

If you or your dog gets angry or frustrated during the training, maybe it is a better time to take a break or relax with a game your dog enjoys most. Then start the training again.

Conclusion – Are Jack Russells Well Behaved dogs?

If you’re considering adopting a Jack Russell, you will question that, are Jack Russell well behaved? Yes, they are. But if you want a well-behaved Jack Russell, you need to implement a good training process to achieve it.

Discipline is essential when you adopt any dog. But due to Jack Russell’s destructive behaviors like the above mentioned, this dog breed needs proper training to get rid of those bad behaviors. With patience, effort, and love towards your Jack Russell, you can have a well-behaved dog.  

Jack Russell Terriers make good family pets. They have a sweet and gentle side apart from their aggressive and highly energetic personality. They are loving and affectionate dog breeds. If Jack Russell is trained and handled properly, they will grow close bonds with all family members. They are loyal and protective pets for their owners.

But, the mentioned personality of Jack Russell proves that this breed is not for everyone. It takes some time and effort to make a Jack Russell Terrier a well-behaved dog. So, if you prefer to sit peacefully on the couch with your dog all day, this is not the breed for you!

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about our four-legged friends.

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.

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