Can Jack Russell Terriers Be Left Alone?

Can Jack Russell Terriers Be Left Alone?

Jack Russell Terriers are small but energetic hunting dog types known to be clever, charming, and independent. Jack Russells are famous in their nature as a dog type that is somewhat difficult to handle. However, with proper training, you can make them care and obey.

When adopting a JRT, most people have the issue of “Can Jack Russells Be Left Alone.” Many people prefer to adopt a dog but are denied due to the worry of leaving them home alone.

With our busy schedules, we won’t be able to stay at home to take care of our dogs all the time. So as an owner of a Jack Russell for two years, I think I can give some good opinions on this.

So, Can Jack Russell Terriers Be Left Alone? It is common to have hesitations of leaving your Jack Russell alone at home when you are away. Some JRTs are aggressive and bark a lot. When you are away, you have the matter of whether your JRT may bark a lot and disturb your neighbors. On the other hand, you need to worry about your dog in his behaviors and emotions. You have to be concerned about those factors in leaving your dog alone. Therefore, try to train your dog and follow some tips to make it comfortable for him to stay alone. 

From this article, I will answer your question on Can Jack Russells Be Left Alone and how long they can be left alone. Then, let’s pay attention to what can happen by leaving them alone for too long and will they suffer from separation anxiety.

Then let’s identify what the additional help you can get is, and I will provide you some tips to follow when leaving JRTs home alone. Keep reading, and at the end of the article, you’ll be confident about leaving your JRT alone in a favorable way.

Can Jack Russells Be Left Alone?

This is a common matter of most JRT owners. We cannot always stay at home due to our busy lifestyles. Within this competitive society, most of the time, all the family members are not at home during the daytime.

Work, education, shopping, day outs with friends, or many more reasons keep us away from home. Even though we love to adopt a JRT, the matter of leaving them alone makes us think about it further.

With my experiences as a JRT owner, the answer is Yes, JRTs can be left home alone. However, it depends on the age and the nature of your dog. 

It’s a worse feeling seeing your dog with a sad face when you come back home or having complaints from your neighbors about your home alone JRT’s interrupting barking behavior.

So it’s normal for you to be worried about this matter. But with my experiences with my JRT Shaggy, I can leave him alone at home for at least 5 hours without any problem.

However, during the first few days, he acted crazy when I left him alone and chewed my sofa due to his feeling of boredom.

And also, those days, I had complaints from my neighbors about his barking. Then, I trained him well and used some techniques to reduce those issues.

With time, he adapted to stay calm and sleep when I left him alone at home without any interruption. 

How long can Jack Russells stay alone?

Can Jack Russells Be Left Alone? If yes, how long will they stay alone? This depends on the age and the nature of your JRT. By observing most cases, I can guide you on the hours you can leave your JRT alone according to their ages.

You can leave the puppies alone for only 1-2 hours per day since they are too small to understand the situation and bear the loneliness. And also, they have small bladders, and if you leave them too long, you may exactly need to clean your home and furniture!

Adult JRTs can stay alone for 4-6 hours. They’ll adapt to the situation soon and prefer to sleep when you are not at home without causing any disturbances. To make them follow this behavior, you need to provide them with proper initial training to obey you and stay calm.

Then elderly dogs can stay alone for 2-6 hours per day, depending on their health. If they have health problems or issues with their bladders, leaving them alone at home for too long is not good.

However, these details differ from dog to dog, and you need to identify the nature of your dog before following these guides.

What happens by leaving JRTs alone for too long?

When answering the matter, Can Jack Russells Be Left Alone, you should be aware of the consequences of leaving them alone for too long? Trust me; you will face a disaster if you leave your JRT alone at home for too long.

Even though my JRT, Shaggy, is a very obedient dog, he too acts crazy when I leave him for at least 7 hours. Some consequences you may face by leaving your JRT alone for too long are as below. Unfortunately, most of them are my experiences.

  • Excessive, loud, and continuous barking and howling
  • Sad emotions
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Chew furniture and carpets
  • Breaking fragile objects
  • Biting their own body
  • Scratching objects
  • Toileting

Additional help you can get when leaving your JRT alone

To avoid the above disastrous consequences, you can get additional help for your JRT. There are several ways you can get help in leaving your JRT alone. 

1. Get the help of a family member

If your family members are free at home, you can ask their help to take care of your JRT until you come back home. But most of the time, all of us are busy and not at home for long hours.

Therefore, this won’t work if your family members don’t have enough free time or they don’t like your dog.

2. Ask a neighbor

If there are close neighbors who are free at home, you can politely ask them for help to take care of your dog for a few hours.

If they love dogs and like to be with them, then this way will surely work. But remember, before leaving your JRT with your neighbor, introduce the neighbor to the dog and make the dog obey and respect them.

3. Dog walkers

You can hire dog walkers to take your dog for a walk and take them back home. Most of the time, students and young people work part-time as dog walkers, and you need to choose a person who can be trusted.

Even though it is costly, it will give your dog exercises as well as a good mental state.

4. Pop-in-visits

You can hire dog professionals to pop into your home and take care of your dog for a set time.

They will visit your JRT, let him to the toilet, play with the dog, and leave. You should select a trusted person for the pop-in service, and it is also costly.

5. Put your JRT in a daycare

This is a very fruitful additional help you can get, but expensive. However, in doggy daycares, your JRT will be able to meet other dogs and play.

So it’s a good way to leave them in a daycare when you are away. I recommend it for your long tours. 

6. Return home during your lunch hour

This option can be followed if you are working on a nearer place to reach easily.

Then you can come home even for a little period and take care of your dog, look after his needs, and stay with him for a few minutes. However, it won’t be possible if you are too far away. 

Will JRTs suffer from separation anxiety?

Can Jack Russells Be Left Alone? Will they suffer from separation anxiety then? The answer is yes; they can suffer from separation anxiety. JRTs are a very affectionate and energetic dog type that love to be with their owners and play with them always.

Therefore, they hate to separate from you and even sometimes show jealousy toward others who may interact with you. So it is very difficult for them to stay at home alone, and they will face separation anxiety.

They may relieve their tension of separation anxiety by doing the things they shouldn’t do, which will have negative consequences.

So, you can follow some ways to reduce their separation anxiety. You won’t be able to cure it in one day.

You can use continuous practices to get rid of it, such as taking your JRT for daily walks, regular exercises, proper training, obedient activities, making him less dependent on you, training to follow guidance, and making him understand what he should not do.

Most importantly, understand the separation anxiety your dog suffers when you are away, and don’t punish him for his misbehavior to relieve tension.

How to leave Jack Russell Terriers home alone? Tips to consider

Since “Can Jack Russells Be Left Alone” is a pressing issue for most JRT owners, I’ll provide you with some tips on leaving them home alone according to my experiences with my JRT, Shaggy. You can try them out. 

1. Choose a better place for them at your home

The most important thing you should consider when leaving your JRT alone is the place where they should stay at the house.

Allow them to use the whole house or your room if only they are well-trained JRTs. If not, you will face a disastrous situation. You can leave them in a dog crate if you are away for only 2-3hours.

But it will be uncomfortable to stay in a cage for too long. The best option is a playpen, and it has more space for them while it is suitable for less trained JRTs or puppies as well. I also used a playpen for my JRT, and it is more successful than other places.

2. Provide toys

When you are leaving your JRT alone, provide them with mental-stimulating toys to keep them active and entertained.

You can provide chew toys which they love most, and even there are home-alone toys for JRTs, and you can try them too.

I tried suction treat cup dog toys and some puzzle toys for my JRT to keep him from boredom. It will be favorable for your furniture and carpets since they will pay more attention to toys than chewing your furniture.

3. Settle their fundamental needs before you leave

Take your JRT for a walk, give him a chance to use the toilet, feed and water him before you leave him alone.

I’m leaving some freshwater cups and biscuits on my Shaggy’s plate before I leave him alone, and then he won’t suffer from hunger or thirst when I’m not around. 

4. Let them go outside after you are back

Since JRTs are very energetic and active dogs, they’ll feel stressed by being confined to a place for a long time.

So when you arrive back home, let your JRT go to the garden and spend time there. It will support him to release the tension of staying alone in a single place for too long.

5. Use a camera to observe your JRT

You can fix a camera in the place where you leave your JRT and watch them when you are away from home. It will support you to release your anxiety about leaving them alone.

It is natural to have worried about leaving them alone since we love our JRTs so much. Then with the use of a camera, you can identify whether your JRT is bored or happy.

6. Be patient in their misbehaviour

You need to understand the nature of your JRT, and you should be empathetic about your dog. Try to feel his emotions and boredom when you are not around and stay calm and patient on their misbehavior.

You may face some interruptions due to their toileting and chewing behaviors. But when adopting a dog, you have to endure them and don’t punish them when you are back home, which may make them feel more sad and depressed.


Now, I guess you have got answered for your matter, Can Jack Russells Be Left Alone. You know that they can leave home alone and don’t get discouraged about adopting a JRT by worrying about this matter.

Consider the facts mentioned and find out better ways to leave him alone without any problem by identifying the nature of your JRT. Then you’ll be able to maintain a loving relationship with your JRT together with balancing your working schedules.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope it answered your burning questions about Jack Russell Terriers. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts.


  • 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]

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