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11 Things You Need to Know Before Getting a Jack Russell Terrier

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My dog Milo, is a Jack Russell terrier. He is an absolute delight and adorable. People love him everywhere we go. And they constantly ask if JRT is a dog for them. Well, I tell them what I will tell you as well. Jack Russell puppy is not for everyone. There are things you need to be prepared for before you get Jack Russell breed.

JRT is a small terrier breed that has origins in fox hunting and ratting. Coat type can be smooth, rough, or broken coat. The standard Jack Russell colors include brown, black, white, or tri-color patches or spots.

I can promise you one thing, you will have fun with your Jack Russell 24 hours per day, seven days a week. But can you handle everything this dog breed has to offer? Read on some about some Jack Russell facts and things you need to know before getting the pup.

They need a lot of space


Let’s start with the most obvious Jack Russell terrier facts. These dogs need their space. Yes, I do live in an apartment. But my dog gets as much space as I can provide. I take him on walks all the time, we go hiking, and he has the freedom to roam when we are in the fields.

This puppy thrives on running around and playing games. He needs constant activity. So, if you live in a small apartment and cannot provide your JRT puppy with lots of walks and playtime, do not get one.

A natural athlete

Here is a fun Jack Russell fact. Did you know that this little dog can jump as high as six feet in the air? As a great agility dog, this dog thrives on jumping, playing, and doing all sorts of athletic games.

Fair warning: tennis balls and toys do not last a lot.

They need a lot of mental stimulation


To raise a well-mannered Jack Russell terrier breed puppy you need to give him lots of physical exercise. But also mental exercise and mental stimulation.

This dog is so smart. While it might not fall into the Top 10 smartest dog breeds, it has an amazing brain and ability.

You have to keep your JRT pup mentally stimulated. We do all sorts of mental playing games, like nose playing games and sniffing.

Without mental stimulation, your JRT puppies will resort to destructive behavior. One of the easiest ways to keep your intelligent dog mentally stimulated is to play with him. Tug toys, balls, fetch, sticks, and so on.

He is a natural hunter

Milo can sense rats, squirrels, or a foxes from miles. And that is just normal. This dog breed was bred to do exactly that, to hunt. It is part of his natural strong hunting instinct. He will sniff out other small animals every time you go on a walk.

But his sniffing ability goes a lot further. This hunting dog will sense when you are making dinner even though you are on a completely different floor.

Outside, or in the garden, Jacks will hunt for any intruders of the feline or vermin variety.

He is always on alert


Your charming Jack Russell will be forever present and alert. He is right next to you, watching and learning. He might get a bit nervous, but if you provide him with confidence, this dog will always be on alert.

That can be a problem because he will bark at people passing by your yard or under your balcony.

Short attention span

This might be one of the reasons why people think JRTs are not among the smartest dog breeds. But this puppy is always on alert. He is always looking for other things. That can make training difficult. You should vary of distractions.

Only when you have absolute confidence that your dog is focused on you all the time, you can try training in places with distractions. Here is a tip: add hand signals in addition to verbal commands. Try positive reinforcement training as well.

He is a keen learner

Yes, your JRT pup might have a short attention span. But he is a keen learner. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. You can train your Jack Russell puppy until his last dying breath.

He will love to learn and perform new and new things. We constantly add commands.

Be ready for a lap dog


No, a Jack Russell terrier is not a lap dog. But he is loyal and loving. When he doesn’t want to cuddle, you cannot get him to do it. But when he feels emotional, he will snuggle right next to you and try to gain as much space as possible. Get a bigger bed.

The small dog syndrome

Jack Russell terrier dog is a fearless dog. He is not afraid of anyone and anything. I’ve seen my JRT bark at dogs five times his size. He will even bark at horses, cows, and other big animals.

He suffers from the small dog syndrome like many other small dogs. In any situation, he will try to assert himself. His dominant alpha personality just doesn’t allow him to be second in anything.

Be ready to sleep in dog hair

Jack Russell terriers have a dense coat. Here are some Jack Russell facts for you. While they have their blowout two times per year, they shed 365 days per year. Yes, this guy will shed every day.

You need to brush him constantly and follow a quality diet to improve his coat hair and reduce shedding.

Routine is important

Your JRT dog is a smart puppy. He will learn what day it is, what time of the day it is, what happens when, and so on. Routine is important for this puppy.

Here is an example, my dog knows I am going to the gym even before I pick up the bag. He senses it and goes to his house because he knows he will stay alone.

And speaking of routine, if you try to change it, he will know it.

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