Can Jack Russells Live Outside? - The Truth

Can Jack Russells Live Outside? – The Truth

Jack Russell Terriers had developed 200 years ago as hunting dogs to hunt rabbits and foxes. Still, their characteristics and behaviors are filled with these attitudes. They are a very clever, independent dog breed, also lovely and affectionate.

If you want to have an experience with a hunting dog, JRT are the best for you. With proper training, they will be friendly and loyal to the owners with their exclusive energy. When it comes to adoption, most people are questioning Can Jack Russells live outside? Therefore, I decided to write this article on this important topic. 

So, can Jack Russell Terriers live outside? The answer is both yes and no. If you are planning to keep your Jack Russell outside, it should have love and affection from the owners to escape from their isolation when they are outside. Because this dog breed highly interacts with its owners. Usually, they will follow their owners around almost every time. So adopting a Jack Russell outside without fulfilling above mentioned preconditions may be a risk to push them towards anxiety and stress. Also, it may be a reason for health issues. Therefore, the best thing is to keep them inside and interact with them as much as possible.

Read the article and find out answers to your burning questions about Jack Russell Terriers such as can Jack Russells live outside, are they indoor or outdoor pets, would they prefer isolation, and know if they get cold easily or not.

Let’s get started and explore.

Can Jack Russell Terriers live outside?

The Jack Russells can live both inside and outside. Jack Russells can live outdoors if they receive plenty of love, affection, and social interaction with their owners. Not only that, they need a safe climate and a shelter in good condition.

Otherwise, they will get cold quickly, which will be a reason for many other health issues.

But, the most suitable thing you have to do when adopting a Jack Russell is keeping it inside. Additionally, they are not capable of living outside regularly. This small dog breed cannot bear cold. Remember not to choose small dog breeds to adopt outside.

Moreover, Jack Russells are strongly bonded to their owners and love to be with owners every time. If you try to embrace them outside, it may cause anxiety, isolation, and stress with them. They will continue to bark all night to get inside.

So it is best to rethink how Jack Russells live outside if you are going to keep them outside.

Are Jack Russells indoor or outdoor dogs?

As Jack Russells were bred as hunting dogs, and since we already know that they can live both inside and outside, you may doubt if they are inside dogs or outdoors. When considering the following factors, we can come to a conclusion that JRTs are indoor dogs.

  • Jack Russells thrive socially

Jack Russells are energetic dogs that always like to play, dig holes in backyards. But they need to be with their owners as staying inside the house with owners is their comfort zone.

They need a social environment to live in. If we keep them outside, they may suffer from stress, anxiety, and isolation, turning your Jack Russell into a dangerous dog. 

  • Jack Russells are sensitive to cold.

They are a small dog breed that prefers to stay warm. They have a short coat that is not bearable for a cold environment. Exposition to cold weather may be a cause for many diseases like hypothermia. 

  • It is unsafe.

As Jack Russell Terriers are a demandable dog breed, there is a high probability of stealing if you keep your dog outside the house. 

  • Jack Russells do not prefer isolation.

Your Jack Russell may follow you wherever you go as they do not prefer isolation. They have a strong bond with their owners. They are naturally protective dogs that show unlimited love to their owners.

So they do not like to be isolated from their family or owners. So it is better to adopt them inside.

  • Jack Russells are escape artists.

They are energetic dogs who love to play and they might get excited and try to run away from the house if you led them to stay outside. JRTs are too good at this and will find out thousands of ways to escape.

This will be harmful to outside people as well as to your dog. It will be mindful to think can Jack Russell Terriers live outside before you adopt them.

Do Jack Russells prefer isolation?

Jack Russells do not prefer isolation. They are strongly attached to their owners. They always prefer to have a companion with them. If not, they will be the victims of anxiety, stress, etc.

Also, they are the easy victims of separation anxiety. This can be identified through their behaviors as they start to chew something all the time. So, you have to provide them with a suitable chew toy.

Replace the other chewing items with this chew toy, and they will adapt to chew it. Then you can protect your valuable furniture from your Jack Russell.

Another basic behavior of JRT, who is suffering from separation anxiety, is barking a lot. You have to train your dog to stop this and implant the idea that you will love them as soon as you come back to the home.

Within time this behavior fades away, and they will wait for you to come back home and cuddle them.

As I mentioned before, Jack Russells are naturally protective dogs who are strongly bonded to their owners. They will follow you everywhere and sometimes it may be annoying to you. But they do not want to distance themselves from you or other family members.

This shows how clingy they are. If you try to distance your dog from social interaction and adopt them in isolation, they will become more aggressive; even you won’t be able to handle them.

Not only that when Jack Russell isolated for a long period, but you may also have to experience;

  • Scratching
  • Sad and depressed
  • Biting themselves
  • Chewing on furniture and furnishings
  • Howling and barking
  • Toileting

But as all are spending a busy life in contemporary society, there are occasions you have to leave your Jack Russell alone. It depends on the age of the dog and the hours that you are not around them.

If you are out for hours, you can put your dog into dog care. They will have plenty of opportunities to play as they want. This is one of the best and costly methods. 

If you work near your home, you can come home and spend time with your Jack Russell during the lunch break. Moreover, you can ask for help from a familiar neighbor to check with your dog.

In this way, you can avoid the negative outcomes of adopting a Jack Russell. Remember to spend a good time with your Jack Russell as they do not prefer to be isolated at any time.

Do Jack Russells get cold easily?

Jack Russells are extremely sensitive to cold. Most probable answer to the, can Jack Russells live outside is a “No” because of this. As they are a small dog breed, they have short hair coats to keep them warm. It is hard for your Jack Russell to be cold for a long period due to that.

And it would be best if you remembered that the outside temperature decides it is hot or cold and the wind. Keeping your Jack Russell outside in a windy climate is also unbearable to them, and they will get cold.

And also, the sensitivity of humans to temperature is different from that of a dog. So you cannot decide if the weather is bearable for your dog or not.

Usually, a Jack Russell will get cold in temperatures under 50 degrees F. This depends on the length of their coat as well.

JRTs with smooth-haired coats can easily get cold as cold can easily pierce through the hair coat and hit the skin. But, broken coats or long-haired Jack Russells can bear a little longer as the hard coat protects them from cold. 

Their behavioral patterns change when they get cold. As they start to shiver, you can assume that your dog is cold. Another sign is they sit by holding a paw up. This depicts that they have cold paws.

And they show lethargic behavioral patterns and do not move much, or they will hunch over or curl to trap their body heat. So, you can identify that they are cold by this body language.

Then you can find solutions by not letting them stay outside for a long period, warm them up with a heater, and wrap them in a coat to protect them from the cold weather.


You may get a clear understanding that can Jack Russells live outside? By reading this article. As they do not prefer to be isolated and like social interaction, try to keep them inside and close to the family members. Most of the time, adopting them outside causes separation anxiety, stress and will turn your small Jack Russell into a small beast.

Moreover, they are susceptible to cold weather, and easily getting cold will lead to many diseases. All these depict that Jack Russells are an indoor dog breed. So, if you are going to adopt a Jack Russell, remember to shower them daily with love and affection!

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.

    [email protected]

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