Do Jack Russell Terriers And Kids Get Along? Complete Guide

Do Jack Russell Terriers And Kids Get Along? Complete Guide

Jack Russell Terrier is a small, energetic, active hunting dog breed that first originated in England. They are known as aggressive and need essential training to adapt as domestic pets. They are evaluated as working dogs specialized for hunting foxes and small animals like rodents, rabbits, and squirrels.

That’s why JRTs are famous for excess barking and aggressiveness. So when adopting a JRT as a domestic pet, many were concerned about the fact, Jack Russell Terrier and kids.

It is important to consider whether JRTs and kids can get along and be good together or not for the safety of your kid.

Are Jack Russell Terrier and Kids getting along? Dogs are closer friends of kids in most cases. Kids love to be with dogs, and dogs too are very affectionate about kids. It is a beautiful bond between them, and cherishing to see their loving togetherness. However, when it comes to Jack Russell Terriers and kids, it is a matter that should concern twice. Some consider that it is not good to allow kids below 8 years to get closer to JRTs.

As a JRT owner for two years, I’ll share my experience regarding this concern with you. JRTs can be a loving and affectionate pet as well as a friend for your kid after proper training. You can get them closer with no issue if you are sure that your dog is well-trained and obedient. But remember that training is essential before introducing JRTs and kids.

By reading this article, you may understand whether Jack Russell Terrier and kids get along or not. Then you will understand the way you should introduce your kid to JRT and the possibility of leaving JRT and the kid alone.

Finally, I’ll provide you with some tips to train your Jack Russell to get along with your kid. So, if you are a parent of kids and willing to adopt a JRT, then this article may find you.

Keep reading for more interesting facts!

Do Jack Russell and kids get along?

If you are a parent with kids or have the intention to have kids in the future, then before adopting a JRT, you may exactly consider the matter of whether Jack Russell Terrier and kids can get along or not.

I also had the same concern about adopting my JRT, Shaggy, two years ago. Some consider Jack Russell as a dog breed that is not suitable for kids below 8 years. The reason is their aggressiveness and hunting behavior, together with excess barking. 

However, as a JRT owner as well as a parent of a six years old kid, I have a different experience regarding the Jack Russell Terrier and kids. JRTs can be affectionate and loving friends for your kid as well as your family.

The fact you need to be concerned about here is training and socializing your JRT to your kid. You need to start the training process of your JRT as soon as possible on the very first day of adopting it.

If not, it is uneasy for you to control your JRT since they are extremely energetic and somewhat aggressive. You may face difficulties with it first since their reaction to strangers is too irritating.

So if you want to get your Jack Russell along with your kid and make them close, then you need to be concerned and make more time to make your JRT obedient and familiar with your kid. Then they will be great friends, and most probably, your JRT may love the kid more than you. 

I have the same experience with my JRT and the kid. I have trained after adopting my JRT to get along with my 4 years old child. Now my kid is 6 years old, and within these 2 years, my JRT, Shaggy, has become his best friend, and Shaggy is also loving and affectionate with my kid.

I have nothing to worry about my kid since Shaggy is always caring for him. That bond is amazing, and you also can experience the same situation with proper training of your JRT.

So, don’t get discouraged from adopting a JRT by considering the idea that they are not good for kids.

But I’m again emphasizing here the need for training. Without the training and socializing process, don’t take your JRT closer to your kid since it can be harmful to your kid.

Introduce kids to your Jack Russell Terrier

As we already discussed, training is the main part and essential of adopting a JRT. If you have kids, then you have to be concerned much deeper about this training program. You have to make time for training from the very first day of adopting your JRT.

The early start may support your JRT to adapt to the new family and environment easily and faster. You have to focus on time, discipline, obedience, socialisation, interactions, limitations, and boundaries. 

JRTs are intelligent and smart dogs, and therefore they can learn things well. Training should be including physical activities to release their energy, walking, obedience-making activities, realizing don’ts, and rewards to good behaviors.

Remember, don’t get closer to your JRT to the kid before you are sure about their obedience and respect to your commands.

Before introducing kids to the JRT, you have to correct their bad behavior of jumping, excess barking, nipping, growling, play biting, chasing, and standing by placing their paws on the kid.

These behaviors won’t be irritating for adults, but they can harm the kids, and kids may be hurt by them. Especially, JRTs are prey-driven skilled dogs, and with that skill, they may chase and play with your kid.

Even though it may seem entertaining, it can be violent and hurt the kid seriously with injuries as well. So, when introducing your JRT to the kids, you have to consider them more. 

So, concerning Jack Russell Terrier and kids, in the beginning, your JRT may consider your kid as weird since kids are different from other humans in appearance, attire, smell, sound, and behaviors.

And most importantly, JRTs seek more attention and greed for your love. When you pay attention to kids and love them, your dog may feel jealous, and it can make introducing kids and JRT difficult.

Therefore, you have to be strategic and favorably introduce both parties by rewarding and realizing to the dog that he should love and care for your kid as well.

It is better not to close your too-small kid with JRTs because kids too must have proper knowledge on interacting and caring for the JRT. You have to prepare both parties before introducing them and make them closer.

Can you leave your kids with a Jack Russell alone?

Leaving a Jack Russell Terrier and kids alone is a serious concern that needs more attention. In my personal view, leaving your kid with JRT alone is not a good idea, and you should not do it.

You need to supervise and observe what they both together are doing and when they are left alone, you have no way to know their activities.

I personally never leave my son with my JRT, Shaggy, alone for a considerable period since it contains the chance to have negative consequences. I feel comfortable and safe when I can observe them and their activities.

JRTs are energetic, active, demanding, and prey-driven dogs. Due to their hunting inheritance, they can be aggressive and tend to chase along. On the other hand, kids love to play, chew, bite, lick and cuddle the pet.

But your JRT may be unable to identify these interests and behavior of kids, and they will interpret it as hostility and then may react aggressively to the kid.

So, if you leave your kid with JRT alone, you can’t assure that the kid is safe. Even though your JRT is well trained and obedient, I recommend not leaving them alone for a long period is better.

Tips for training your Jack Russell to get along with kids 

When concerning the relations of Jack Russell Terrier and kids, you have to be more aware and cautious about the matter since it associates with your kid. It will be a hazardous situation if harm to your kid may occur from your pet JRT.

To get rid of such a situation, you can follow thorough training for your JRT to get along with your kid. Here are some tips you can follow to train your Jack Russell to be closer with your kid. 

1. Implement rules

One of the most important facts you should consider in training your JRT to close with your kid is the rules. You should impose rules and realize them on your dog.

You can use your movements, body language, and facial expressions to indicate the rules, whether they are things that he should do or not.

Not only for the dog, but there should be rules to the kid as well, such as do not hug or chew it, and the time range they should interact with the JRT. 

2. Enough exercise

JRTs are full of energy, and they need enough physical exercise to release them. If not, they get stressed physically and mentally.

So, before letting your dog go for your kid, make sure to give him the necessary exercise. If not, your JRT may act in an aggressive way towards your kid, and it may create harm. Enough exercise will allow your JRT to get along with your kids more peacefully.

3. Teach them to obey your orders

You have to teach your JRT to be obedient and follow orders. It is necessary to teach it to them before making the dog closer to your kid.

Under this, you should teach them to obey the recall of you, sit down when asked, calm themselves, stop activities, etc. Control over the dog is necessary to manage the time between the kid and the dog together. 

4. Demarcate boundaries

You have to demarcate boundaries between the dog and the kid to make it more manageable. If there are no boundaries, then their relations may go far, and then there will be some negative consequences.

Kids may try to spend more time with the JRT, and it can affect family bonds, social skills, and the education of the kid.

So, firmly demarcate boundaries and let your dog identify how he should stay with the kid, and what are the things that you do not prefer.

5. Socialisation 

Socialization of your dog is essential for him to get along with your kid. So, before making your kid and the dog closer, you have to take your dog for walks or introduce it to your friends and neighbors, especially to their pets and socialize them.

It will support your dog to understand the nature of others, and then it will be easy to be closer with your kid.

6. Train to play 

Your kids love to play with the JRT so much, and it is better if you could train them to use toys and engage in several games.

Provide JRT with several toys and teach him to play with them. Then it will be easier for them to get along with kids and have a joyful time together.

Conclusion – Jack Russell Terriers And Kids

Now, you have got a clear idea about whether Jack Russell Terriers and kids can get along and how to introduce them to each other. Then you may clarify whether you can leave your kid alone with the JRT and then the tips you can follow to train your JRT to get closer to your kid.

So, if you are a parent with kids, but have the intention to adopt a JRT, don’t get discouraged with the thoughts that JRTs won’t be appropriate for kids. The only thing you need to do is make time and train your JRT well as an obedient dog. Then a beautiful bond will create among them, and the JRT will be a loving and affectionate friend for your kid.

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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