Can You Hike With A Jack Russell Terrier? Facts With Guide

Can You Hike With A Jack Russell Terrier? Facts With Guide

Hiking is an interesting activity that many people prefer to engage in. I love hiking so much since it allows me to engage in an adventure with the exploration of new things together with amazing sceneries. It needs fitness, energy, as well as commitment.

When I have leisure time, my most favorite hobby is hiking. As an owner of a Jack Russell Terrier, in the beginning, I had the matter of hiking with my JRT, Shaggy. Then, I took my JRT, Shaggy, for hiking and found out how it is to Hike with a Jack Russell. 

Jack Russell is a small, energetic, and athletic hunting dog breed that first originated in England. They are famous for outdoor work since they were hunting dogs before and are talented in killing rodents.

JRTs are very intelligent, and even though small, their bodies are filled with a lot of energy. Therefore, JRTs are one of the best dogs for hiking.

You can take your Jack Russell hiking with you, and they will be a great companion for you on the journey. Hiking with a Jack Russell is an amazing experience for you as well as your JRT since it also loves hiking.

From this article, you may be able to clarify your doubt on whether Jack Russell is good for hiking or not. Then you may identify how far you can take your JRT for hiking and how to prepare your dog for the hike.

Finally, I’ll give you some tips you should consider in hiking with your JRT. If you are an owner of a Jack Russell, you may also have this interest in hiking with your JRT. So this will be the right choice for you to explore the matter. Stay tuned!

Are Jack Russells good for hiking?

Yes, Jack Russell Terriers are good for hiking, and they are one of the best types of hiking dogs. Initially, they are hunting dog breeds, and adventure and outdoor activities are embedded in their genes as well.

Jack Russell is a small dog in size. Even though small in size, they are a very active, energetic, and athletic dog breed full of energy. JRTs are strong and intelligent dogs, and therefore they can commit to hiking and can endure it.

In addition, Jack Russells love their owners and like to be with them. They like to stay and interact outdoors, and therefore hiking with their owners will be a great pleasure for them, and they will be good companions for you as well. 

However, when you are taking your JRT hiking with you, many people will express several comments on Hike with a Jack Russell. They doubt the small legs, size, the energy of your dog, and the difficulty of hiking.

I also faced the same issues, but with no discouragement, I took my JRT for hiking, and then I witnessed how much he enjoyed it. So, you can believe me since I’m sharing my own experience of my JRT, Shaggy, on hiking.

Therefore, Jack Russells are good at hiking, and you can take your JRT hiking with you without any hesitation. 

How far can a Jack Russell Terrier hike?

When concerning a Hike with a Jack Russell, you may wonder how far JRTs can hike. However, the answer for the matter will be different for each JRT. It depends on the size, age, fitness, and capacity level of your Jack Russell.

If your JRT is young, active, and energetic with good health conditions, then it may be able to hike for approximately 10 miles. However, this is an estimation, not an exact value, since it differs from dog to dog.

If your Jack Russell is elderly, chubby, or not in good health conditions, then don’t expect such good distance or support from your JRT in hiking. They’ll be an interruption for you rather than being a supportive companion.

They’ll get tired easily and even face several health matters as well. Therefore, I recommend you not to take such JRTs for hikes. My JRT, Shaggy, is a young dog with lots of energy, and he can hike at least 10-12 miles without causing any interruption to me.

Shaggy enjoys hiking, and he loves to chase butterflies and run under the sunshine. You can start Hike with a Jack Russell from short hikes first and try to identify the endurance level of your JRT, and then you can take him to long hikes.

How to prepare your Jack Russell Terrier for hiking?

Now you are planning a Hike with a Jack Russell. Am I correct? If so, before taking your Jack Russell for hiking, you have to make him prepare for the hike.

Here are some facts you need to be concerned about in preparing your dog for hiking and follow them before starting the journey.

1. Check the health conditions of your JRT

You should check the health conditions of your JRT first before taking him to hike. To enjoy hiking, your JRT should be in good health condition with no injuries or illnesses.

You can’t take pregnant JRTs with you as well. Check whether proper vaccines and other medical precautions have been fulfilled and if the dog is not healthy, it is good to leave him home than taking to hike.

2. Exercise

Physical fitness is the most important fact needed in hiking. You have to prepare your JRT for hiking before the journey, and you can do regular exercises with your dog.

Take him for walks and engage more in physical activities. Conduct physical training and make sure your JRT is physically strong for hiking.

3. Healthy diet

When planning to take your JRT for hiking, you have to consider his diet more. Give him food with more nutrients that will support him to maintain his fitness and good health.

Do not provide fatty foods more and concern the nutritional value further.

4. Start slowly

JRTs are small dogs, and they have short legs. Therefore, start the hike slowly, especially at the beginning.

I suggest you go for a short hike first to make your dog prepared for hiking. During the hike, don’t walk at a speed that your dog cannot reach. 

5. Winter coat

Put a winter coat on your JRT if it is cold in that hiking area. It will support him to endure weather conditions and may keep him warm during the journey.

If not, they may get cold when you climb up to heights.

6. Leash or harness

When preparing your JRT for a hike, it is better to use a harness or putting your JRT on a leash.

If not, due to their active and hunting nature, they will chase small animals, and you will have to search for your dog instead of hiking.

Tips to consider in hiking with a Jack Russell

Hike with a Jack Russell will be too interesting if you plan it well, and everything you plan will work well during the hike.

To make it a successful journey, there shouldn’t be any interruptions from your JRT. You both should enjoy hiking, and for that, I hereby suggest you some tips that you have to consider in hiking with a Jack Russell. 

1. Take water and food 

Make sure to take water and food not only for you but for your JRT as well. Since hiking is a tiring activity, your dog may feel thirsty and hungry, and you have to keep water and food with you.

If not, he will face dehydration, and it will disturb the fun and enjoyment of the journey.

2. Keep an eye on the JRT

Most importantly, when hiking, you have to keep an eye on your JRT and don’t let him stay away from your sight. They are hunting dogs in their nature, and they prefer to chase small animals.

There may be rabbits and squirrels in these mountain regions, and your Jack Russell may run away to chase those animals. So, keep observing it, or using a harness can be a better option.

3. Take breaks

Since your JRT has small and short legs, it will be difficult for them to walk too long continuously.

Therefore, it is better to take small breaks during the hike and allow your JRT to rest and gather energy.

4. Carry necessary items

Hiking with your dog doesn’t only mean taking the dog with you; it includes carrying necessary items for your JRT as well.

You have to consider doggy items in addition to necessary items for you. They include extra dog kibble, a pet first aid kit, dog clothing, dog food covers, and poop bags for your JRT.

You can make a dog backpack and allow the JRT to carry it rather than holding all the things yourself.

5. Etiquettes

Considering etiquettes is another important tip you can follow. Since you are taking your dog away from home, especially to an unfamiliar place, then you must consider the control of your JRT, their good behavior, and poop bags.

So, introducing the dog to the new environment, other hikers, and new people interacting is necessary.

6. Praise and Rewards

It will be encouraging to give praise and rewards to your JRT in achieving certain points in hiking. Since dogs love rewards, they will act more energetic and active in the journey with them.

You can touch their head, praise them for their hard work, and can reward them with their favorite meat or cookies. It will make your dog more motivated and enjoy it.

Conclusion – Hike with a Jack Russell

Now I guess you’ve got a clear idea on Hike with a Jack Russell by identifying Jack Russell as a good hiking dog, and he will be the best hiking companion for you. I suggest it with my personal experience with my JRT, Shaggy, and therefore you can believe me.

So, if you are a JRT owner that loves hiking and prefers to take your Jack Russell to hike with you, you can follow the above facts, and then it will be so interesting to hike with your JRT. Good luck with enjoying your hiking!

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

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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