Do Jack Russells Bite a Lot? Guide For Stop Biting

Do Jack Russells Bite a Lot? Guide For Stop Biting

Jack Russell Terrier is a little hunting dog breed born in England around 200 years ago. They are clever, charming, and independent dogs who are also known as Parson Russell Terrier. 

They are small in size with 10-15 inches in height and 13-17 pounds weight. Contrary to their body size, they have excessive energy and an endless playful attitude. Therefore, most people are curious about JRT’s biting attitude.

So, do Jack Russells bite a lot? Jack Russell Terriers are not biters as other dog breeds. However, we can see JRT puppies bite and chew because of their teething phase and an act of socializing. Since their origin was based on hunting, they have the ability to bite a lot. You can stop their biting behavior by early age socialization, giving enough exercises, providing enough toys, and training them well. 

As a proud owner of two Jack Russell Terriers for the last 7 years, I have come across many hurdles with their behaviors. Most of the time, I heard people rejecting the adoption of Jack Russells due to the misunderstanding about this beautiful and loyal dog breed.

Therefore, I thought of sharing my experience and knowledge about Jack Russell Terriers biting attitude in this post. I discuss JRT’s biting behavior, reasons, and simple tricks to stop biting. 

I have listed the topics I discuss below for your easy navigation. Please, feel free to jump straight to the section you want by clicking on the topic.

Let’s get started!

Are Jack Russell Terriers biters?

No, they are not biters. Suppose you are a new puppy parent of a Jack Russell Terrier. In that case, you will often experience biting, chewing, and nipping them. This happens due to the lack of knowledge and training of your Jack Russell at an early age.

And also, they are in their teething stage in the age of puppies, and it also causes them to bite you. In the beginning, you’ll see it as cute, but then it seems annoying, and then you will begin to consider Jack Russell Terriers as biters. 

As a Jack Russell owner, I also had the same experience with my Shaggy. Then I began to understand him and identified solutions to get rid of it.

So, before naming them as biters, find out further evidence to justify it. Jack Russells are similar to other dogs, and the only matter is that they need your guidance and training more than other dogs.

Believe me, you’ll find it interesting to train them with the time, and after training, Jack Russells will be a loving pet to you. Therefore, do not hurry to come to conclusions on whether Jack Russells bite a lot, and name them as biters just with a single biting.

Why does my Jack Russell bite so much?

Do Jack Russells bite a lot, and why? In the first few weeks of adopting my Jack Russells Shaggy and Lenny, I had the experience of so many biting and nipping. However, I found several reasons for them to bite so much, and here are some of them.

1. Starting the socialization process

The mouth is the primary source of puppies to explore the world and begin the socialization process. So, they are testing and learning everything around them by biting their teeth.

It’s normal to bite your shoes or hand since they are in the process of exploring them and adapting.

2. Teething phases

Jack Russells bite so much when they are having the process of losing baby teeth and coming off new teeth.

It is a painful and uncomfortable process, and due to that pressure, they start to chew and bite anything.

3. Ancestral predatory history

Jack Russells were hunting dogs, not domestic pets, at the early stage. They were famous for hunting rabbits, foxes, and rats.

With these historical roots, biting comes from their genes, and they should be trained well to reduce it.

4. Ignorance and carelessness of owners

Before adopting a Jack Russell, you need to explore their behavior and nature. And also you need to have proper identification on the training which should be provided.

A Jack Russell with a careless owner who lacks this knowledge is aggressive and biting so much due to the lack of training and exposure to society.

Are Jack Russells aggressive?

This is another frequently asked question with the do Jack Russells bite a lot. As a proud owner of my Jack Russell Terriers, I can answer it by saying no. Jacks are not aggressive, and they are similar to other dogs.

However, it is said that JRTs can be more aggressive than other dogs depending on the situation. I agree with it as they can behave aggressively, but it falls back on the owner. 

Jacks can be aggressive due to a lack of training, exercise, and socializing with other dogs. By providing proper training, exercises, walks, and socializing, you can have a loving dog, and it’s on your hands to make your JRT aggressive or not.

I have many friends regularly visiting our home carrying their pet dogs. Still, I never experienced any aggressive behavior of my Jack Russells towards them.

They are friendly with other dogs and prefer playing with them. The fact is that we, as owners of dogs, must understand our pets and carefully train them.

They don’t have a developed brain as humans to realize that they are doing wrongs or acting aggressively. So, we need to replace their aggressive behavior with positive ones from the beginning.

Then we have no more aggressive JRTs, and they will exactly be a loving and affectionate pet for your family.

But suppose you notice any unusual aggressive behaviors of your Jack Russell, even after providing him training and all other requirements I have mentioned. In that case, you need to meet a trusted vet and a professional trainer.

How do you stop a Jack Russell from biting?

When going through the matter of do Jack Russells bite a lot, it is important to understand how to stop them from biting? I mention here some simple but practical ways according to my personal experiences that worked with my Jack Russell.

Try them out with your Jack Russell Terrier, and I assure you, you’ll get better results.

1. Socialize at early ages

The most crucial fact to prevent them from biting is socializing them. When you are adopting a Jack Russell, make sure to socialize him from the very first day.

Expose him to different social situations; interact with other dogs, family members, friends, and your neighbors. Introduce them to your dog and support them to become friends.

Then Jacks will feel comfortable around others, and it will reduce their aggressiveness and biting behaviors.

2. Provide necessary exercises

Always try to provide necessary exercises for your Jack Russell since they are active and energetic dogs. Therefore, exercising is important for their growth, and finding suitable activities for your dog is essential.

Daily morning walks, running with him, Cycling, Swimming, Fetching, and Tugging are some activities you can try with your Jack Russell.

Exercises will help to release energy and to minimize negative behaviors and pent-up energy. It will stop their excessive biting behaviors.

3. Approach with the words, “No” and “Ouch

This is the best way of training Jack Russells, and you can use it effectively to stop biting. You can say ‘Ouch’ in a loud voice when your Jack Russell is biting you.

They don’t have a desire to hurt you, and they have no idea that their biting will hurt you. So with the word Ouch in a loud voice, they will begin to learn that it should not do and stop biting.

Most importantly, train your dog with the word ‘No’ to indicate what they should avoid and control them. It will help you to control their biting and nipping behaviors.

4. Provide enough toys to your Jack Russell

Dogs prefer to chew and bite anything. It is the reason for your Jack Russell to bite you. So provide plenty of chew toys to him, and it will prevent him from biting you.

Try to use good toys which will support engaging your Jack Russell mentally. Moreover, always encourage your dog to play with his toys and always keep them around him.

5. Teach positive behavior

Try to replace the negative behaviors of your Jack Russell with positive behaviors. For example, when my Jack Russell bit me at a young age, I minimized his negative behavior by playing with him using the chew toys.

I used to throw it and allow him to take it back instead of biting my hand. Then he used to bite the toy, and I praised him by touching his head smoothly.

Then the dog identified it as the positive behavior he should learn. Teach them the way they should act by replacing his negative behaviors of biting and nipping.

6. Always give them love and affection

Make them feel that you are always there for them. JRTs are seeking attention and praise. Therefore, always show them attention, affection, and love.

Make them feel you care about them, you own them, and they feel secure with you. They need love, and like their owners, you should give them love. Then, they will learn discipline and to behave well instead of biting.

Conclusion – Do Jack Russells bite a lot?

Finally, I think now the answer is clear for the common question of ‘do Jack Russells bite a lot?’. As an owner of two Jack Russell Terriers, I have shared my experiences of raising him with you here. 

We discussed whether Jack Russells are biters or aggressive dogs and considered the reasons JRTs bite so much. Then most importantly, I shared with you how to stop Jacks from biting with some simple practices you can follow with your dog.

Your dog’s behavior is a mirror of your caring and awareness of him. So, if you need a loving, loyal, and affectionate Jack Russell, try to follow the facts mentioned, and it’s on your hands to make your dog an aggressive biter or a calm, polite pet. I hope you all may be able to make your Jack Russell a good pet as my Shaggy and Lenny.

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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