Pros and Cons of Jack Russell Terriers

Pros And Cons Of Jack Russell Terriers; Read Before Owning One

It would be best if you had a clear idea about the pros and cons of Jack Russell Terriers before you raise one. It will help you to finalize the decision whether you raise a Jack or not. And also, it gives you hints of preparation for treating JR in a way he naturally likes.

Most people like to know the pros and cons before buying something. The same theory applies to dogs as well. Therefore, I thought about sharing my experience with two Jack Russells during the past 7 years. I hope this post will give you a comprehensive idea of the Jack Russells.

You might be interested in reading about “All the information about Jack Russell Terriers.

I have listed below the main topics that I discuss in this post. Feel free to jump straight to the topic you want.

Brief information – Jack Russells’ Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons of owning a JRT. The most common pros are High intelligence, high understanding level, training and skills, loyalty, small size, and longer selfie span. And also, there are cons of JRT’s such as aggressiveness, excessive energy, digging habit, and noise.

However, I can say that JRT is an excellent choice for people who enjoy the time with their pets.

Pros of Jack Russell Terriers

It is better to start with the pros of adopting a JR. As an owner of Jacks, I have noticed some beneficial and desirable traits of owning them. Let’s dive into the deep. 

  • They are highly intelligent

JR is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. There is a nice story behind their smartness. They were bred as hunting dogs in the 1800s by John Jack Russell. He wanted a dog with a small body and excessive energy along with an intelligent mindset.

The result was excellent because they were good at hunting small foxes and rabbits using their intelligence and energy. 

Jack Russell inherited their smartness though they don’t hunt anymore. However, you can still use his intelligence to make a loving companion for your life.

You can train them quickly because of their smartness. And also, you can teach them lots of tricks. They love to do tricks and quickly learn them.

  • High understanding level
It is effortless to deal with them because of their high understanding level. This is a real plus point of raising a Jack Russell.

I said earlier that they are brilliant. They tend to understand the owner and act to please him. You know that intelligent people understand things better than others.

The same theory applies to dogs. As an intelligent dog breed, Jack Russell’s understanding level is much higher. Once he understands the owner, JR knows how to deal with them.

For an instant, one friend of mine came to my home to have a chat with me one day. He is not a dog lover. My JRT, name Shaggy was not friendly towards him and made noises until my friend went away.

Usually, Shaggy is not an aggressive dog toward strangers. Therefore, my dog understood my friend is not on good terms for dogs and showed me that barking.

If you feel sad, your dog will understand it quickly and will try to please you. It is effortless to deal with them because of their high understanding level. This is a real plus point of raising a Jack Russell.

  • Easy to train

Intelligent dogs learn things quickly. Therefore, Jacks are easy to train. And also, proper training is essential for Jack Russells because of their hunting heritage. You should start training them in their first 3-6 months. 

Read – Are Jack Russells Easy To Train? Truth + Complete Training Guide

And socialization with strangers and other pets is also recommended for the Jacks. Training a dog is not a complex task nowadays. You can do it with a virtual trainer for a reasonable price. 

We know that JRs have excessive energy. Therefore, they will enjoy the training for hours without getting exhausted. Most importantly, it is easy to train them. This is one of the best pros of owning a Jack Russell Terriers.

  • Jack Russells are Dog champions

We discussed earlier the pros of Jack Russell Terriers because of their high intelligence, understanding level, and training ability. The result is a dog champion. They have won lots of dog champion competitions. 

Jacks are extremely energetic and fast. Therefore, they could make some Guinness records as well. 

Daifuku, the JR holds the Guinness title for most jumps over the leg in 30 seconds. You can find the article here.

Jack Russell, named Little Joy, holds the Guinness Record of most spins in 30 seconds.

  • Loyal companionship is one of the pros of Jack Russell Terriers

If you are thinking of adopting a loyal dog, Jack Russell is one of the best options you have. They have unbeatable love and bond to their owners and will follow you everywhere like a shadow. Most of the small dogs love to dandle and show love by kissing and hugging. 

The companionship of Jack Russell is different from other small dogs. They want to take the lead when you are outside with him.

As a leader of the pack, JRT’s try to protect their owners. Sometimes, they become overprotective and show aggression towards strangers who come closer to the owner. 

Therefore, you need to train and socialize them well to maintain their temper.

  • Jack Russell’s small size is a plus point

Jacks are a small and versatile dog breed. As a result that, they are suitable for a variety of environments. Typically, Jack Russells are 10-15 inches in height and 14-18 pounds in weight.

The size and weight could differ due to their gene influence. You can read my previous article about ‘How big are Jack Russell Terriers?’ here. 

This dog breed is suitable for people who live in apartments and single houses. And also, it is easy to transport them because of their tiny size and weight. Therefore, small size is one of the best pros of owning a Jack Russell Terriers.

  • Jack Russells are relatively inexpensive to buy

Most purebred dogs are expensive these days. Therefore, Jack Russell is a good option for you. Usually, the price of a JRT puppy may be between $500 – $900.

However, the price can depend on the breeder. Therefore, try to compare prices before you make the purchase.

Read – Jack Russell Terrier’s Cost – All Costs Of Raising A JRT

And also, there are many Jack Russell Terriers that are looking for permanent homes in dog shelters. For instance, JRT Club of America and JRT Rescue UK.

  • JRT will keep you active
Your Jack and you both can have daily exercises when you have one. That is one of the best pros of having a Jack Russell Terriers.

We know that Jacks are an extremely active dog breed. They need regular exercises up to 30 minutes daily. Otherwise, they may become destructive or other problems. They start to shake as a method of releasing their energy when they don’t get enough exercise.

JRT would be a great choice if you are an active person or planning to be more active. Jacks can help you with running, jogging, cycling, walking, or roller boarding.

Your Jack and you both can have daily exercises when you have one. That is one of the best pros of having a Jack Russell Terriers.

  • Jack Russell’s have a longer life span

JRTs have a relatively longer lifespan than the other small dog breeds. We expect our pets to live with us for a long time. Most pet lovers can’t tolerate their pet’s loss. Therefore, it is better to find a dog with a longer lifetime. 

Typically, Jacks have an average of 12-16 years of lifespan. It’s a significant number when considering other dog breeds.

However, the documented evidence of the oldest JRT is named Willie. He had lived 20 years and 106 days with a loving family in the UK.

  • Less cost for dog foods is a benefit of owning a Jack Russell

The cost of dog food is a consistent cost for a dog owner. It may affect the pocket more than you think. However, raising a JRT will save some money it. They consume less amount of food than other dog breeds. 

There are many ways to feed your dog. Therefore, this may not be the universal pros of having a Jack Russell.

Cons of Jack Russell Terriers

We discussed the Pros of Jack Russell Terriers earlier. Now, I am going to discuss the cons of having a JRT. This may help you to find answers to ‘Why shouldn’t you get a Jack Russell?.’

  • Jack Russells require lots of exercises

Contrary to their body size, they have extreme energy levels. Therefore, you need to provide them daily exercise for around 30 – 40 minutes. This may be a difficulty for a person who has a tight time schedule. 

And also, these dogs are not a perfect choice for inactive seniors. Especially if you live in an apartment, it may be hard to bring them out daily for exercise purposes.

Cons of Jack Russell Terriers
  • Jack Russell needs a lot of training

We discussed that it is easy to train JRTs because of their high intelligence. However, training is mandatory and should be consistent with keeping their good behavior.

Extreme energy may cause dogs to be overwhelmed and to be destructive or stubborn. Therefore, I am not wrong if I say they need more training than other dog breeds.

And also, your effort of training a Jack Russell may be worth it, because of the skills they can improve in a short time.

  • JRT may be aggressive towards strangers and other pets

Jack Russells were bred as hunting dogs. Still, they have inherited hunting instincts. Therefore, they may be aggressive towards strangers and other small pets. 

Most of the time, they are overprotective of their owner. So, they show some aggressive behaviors towards strangers who come close to their owner. It is because of their unconditional love for their owners.

And also, they are playful dogs with endless energy. Therefore, their energy may cause other pets to get exhausted.

Sometimes, JRTs want to be the leader among other pets. They show their power to get noticed, and it may affect harm to other pets.

Most people complain about it. That is one of the best cons of having a Jack Russell Terrier. 

  • They like to dig

I mentioned earlier that Jack Russell Terriers were bred for hunting foxes and rabbits. They used their strong sense of smell to follow animals and dig their dens. That digging habit remains with them.

They love to dig every corner of your garden. You will not be able to stop him until he is exhausted. That is how much they love digging. Digging is one of the cons of owning a Jack Russell Terrier. 

  • They may noisy

Typically, JRTs are relatively quiet dogs. However, sometimes they may become noisy. It depends on their situation. They may excessively bark when they are aggressive, destructive, stubborn, or in a situation. 

It is a little bit hard to make them silent if you don’t train them well. However, if you have an excellent bond with your JRT, you will be able to understand his situation and help him.

Conclusion – Pros and cons of owning a Jack Russell Terrier

We discussed the pros and cons of Jack Russell Terriers in this post. There are both positive and negative things. However, we can see that the benefits of owning a JRT are much higher than the disadvantages. 

Therefore, I can say that raising a JRT is a wise decision for me. However, analyze all the facts before you raise one. 

If you have anything to share with our community, Write us on our contact page. 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.

Similar Posts