Jack Russell Terriers' behavioral disadvantages

Key behavioral issues

The main cause of behavioral problems in Russells is a lack of physical and mental activity. They need constant work or play to occupy their body and mind.

Key behavioral issues

Ignoring this rule can cause the pet to turn into an unpredictable animal whose restrained energy will one day explode into destructive behavior.

Just like many people, Russell likes to have his schedule. Something your Russell will look forward to.

It's a good idea to let your pet drag you around the house like he's glued to it while you do chores - clean the bed, do the laundry, go to the store. For each new chore, come up with new commands for him to learn. For example, when you are going to sweep the kitchen floor, teach Russell to bring you a dustpan. Pretty soon you'll find him helping out with his chores and he'll be happy to do what he was born to do - work with his owner.

Let's take a look at the most common behavioral problems in Jacks that give their owners a lot of trouble. All of these issues can certainly be corrected or avoided through proper training and education. Rest assured: there is no such thing as incorrigible behavior, just lazy owners who simply don't have time to train their pets.

All dogs bark. It is one of the ways they communicate. Barking is very diverse, not only in the number of sounds but also in the number of messages conveyed. Your Jack will bark on the following occasions: he needs to go outside to do his "business"; he warns you of a situation, such as someone coming to the door; your Jack is hungry; he sees another dog and thus says to him: "Hello." These are all instances of perfectly normal barking. Annoying barking is another matter entirely. Whenever your terrier barks for no apparent reason, it's from boredom. If Jack behaves this way when you're home, draw his attention to yourself - with a voice, a clap. When he stops barking, reward him with a game or treat. If he's barking outside while you're walking, give him one or more tugs on the leash, then let go of the leash. When Jack is quiet, encourage him: you can let him off the leash or give him a treat,


A Jack showing willfulness or stubbornness is begging you to notice him. If you yell at him, repeat the command several times, Jack gets exactly what he has longed for - your undivided attention. For example, you give him a command: "Jack, drop your slipper!" He ignores you. You raise your voice, yelling at him, repeating the command over and over again. Finally, you grab the slipper by the loose end and start pulling. Your Jack is happy-this is his day!

Stubbornness certainly stems from the origin of the breed. The Jack Russell Terrier is a self-sufficient dog, able to make decisions, take responsibility, take risks, insist. Every time you give Jack a command he thinks for a moment: "Do you want to play by your rules? Is this or that action necessary?" He not only listens to you unconditionally but decides if it is necessary for him. You think he is being stubborn and refusing to obey. If you have an adult Jack who weighs your every command, it means that you have failed from childhood to establish your dominance over him as the pack leader. To prevent stubbornness, build up your relationship with your puppy from day one as an adult, build up his obedience skills and teach him commands without waiting for him to grow up.


Dogs love to chew. As kids, they chew because their teeth are changing. Adults chew because they enjoy it. Of course, you wouldn't want your Jack chewing on shoes or furniture. Provide puppies with suitable chew toys and chew bones, lots of them available at pet stores. And try to limit Jack's access to shoes (just move them away). If the terrier does chew your shoe, don't yell at him. Divert his attention with a toy, and when he starts chewing it, praise him. And be generous with praise. 

Separation anxiety

One explanation for unwanted Jack Russell Terrier behavior is separation anxiety. It happens to adult terriers as well as puppies. When you bring a puppy into your home - you are separating him from his siblings. He's not used to being alone, without the company of his littermates and his mom. It's natural to expect him to cry and whine about being alone, especially when you leave home. To distract himself with something, in this state Jack may chew furniture, baseboards, shoes, dig upholstery, leave puddles and piles, whine and howl. He doesn't behave this way because he wants to bully you or punish you on purpose. It's just how he expresses his fear that you might not come back to him. Likewise, an adult Jack may suffer from loneliness if this phobia has taken hold since he was a puppy. His destructive behavior can do even more damage to the apartment, given the strength of his paws and adult teeth. And his loud barking or howling will give the neighbors a lot of trouble. Why? Because Jack is trying to get out of the house and find you. He is taking active steps to achieve his goal. When you come home and see the mess you've made, your first impulse is to punish your pet. But this is the most wrong thing you can do. Because in this case your Jack will wait in terror for your return, but at the same time he will not stop worrying about your leaving and making a mess - so you are in a vicious circle.

Jack Russell Terrier
Here are some tips to reduce your pet's fear of being alone:
  • Take your Jack for a long walk before you leave.
  • Provide him with a comfortable place to wait for you.
  • Leave him a new squeaky toy and tasty bones to chew on. Put the toy away when you return and only give it to him when you leave.
  • Leave the radio or CD on
  • When you leave, don't make it a big deal in your terrier's eyes - don't kiss him goodbye, leave discreetly at all.
  • Some people solve this problem by getting their Jack a friend.
  • This can be another dog. Best of all, if you can afford to keep two Jacks at once. 
Fear of loud noises.

Many Jacks, and dogs in general, are afraid of loud claps, fireworks, and thunder. Usually, everyone has these fears as a child, but they go away as they get older. If your puppy is afraid of loud noises, don't show concern or try to calm him down. The moment you see your puppy's fear, call him to you, pet him, praise him. But by no means reassure him, do not pick him up. Let him see that you are calm and don't show excitement. One of the most important things you should teach Jack when he's a baby is to run to you, not away from you, so he won't try to escape headlong into the unknown if he's upset by the sound of gunfire or fireworks. Teach this skill from his first days in the house.

It's possible that this phobia doesn't go away with age. Never try to correct this behavior yourself. This is a genetically inherited trait that only a specialist can correct, and trying to do so yourself can only make the situation worse.


It always bothers the owner when Jack hugs someone's leg with his paws and performs imaginary frictions. Or rides on top of another dog. Moreover, this behavior is completely independent of the dog's sex. Terriers can hop on top of dogs of the same sex, on your feet, or the feet of guests. We often think that this behavior is sexually motivated. However, this is not always the case. Typically, pouncing means wanting to show their dominance. Whether it's another dog or a human. This is a peculiar form of aggression of your Jack AND should be stopped immediately. If your terrier tries to ride your leg, immediately push him away and say in a firm voice, "No!" The next time this behavior occurs, just turn away and walk away from him. Your Jack will soon understand the kind of behavior you are not comfortable with.


Jack's purpose is to chase an animal or drive it out of its hole. That's why your Jack will chase anything that moves and interests him, whether it's a bird, a cat, another animal, a person, a bicycle. As a mobile, high-speed, exciting dog, before you know it Jack will be chasing something you might not have thought you saw. Of course, such behavior is dangerous first of all for Jack himself, especially in the city near busy highways. To avoid trouble, train your pet from childhood in obedience, obeying the commands "Come to me", "Ew!". Teach your dog to return on command in the presence of any irritants. But even with an obedient and very well-mannered Jack, you must be very attentive and not let him off the leash in dangerous places.

Why do dogs tag?

When you take your pet outside to the bathroom, he is busy not only with this issue but also with a much more important matter: marking his territory. Among dogs, this is an important means of communication. Watch your Jack busily blasting the ground with his paws and marking the spot with his foot up. He's just left a message to his fellow dogs: "This is my territory and I'm in charge here." It's all fun to watch until Jack starts marking his dominance in the house and tagging strategic objects: table legs, chair legs, couch corners. Some even defiantly leave piles, always in the most obvious places. What is the reason for such "undignified behavior" of your pet? Most likely it was caused by a change in the environment of the house, for example, a new person came with the smell of another dog, a new member of the family, a new pet. Jack is asserting his dominance in this way. So how to behave? Of course, let him know that you are extremely unhappy with his behavior (but only at the moment when you "caught" him in the act, not after the act took place). Give him a place where he can leave his tags with impunity. Build a tray with a post and praise Jack when he tags the post.

If you're visiting with your Jack in a house where there's another dog, he's bound to try to establish dominance by tagging the corners of someone else's apartment. To avoid this kind of embarrassment, introduce the dogs outside instead of in the apartment. Let them sniff each other, lift their leg as much as they need, and only then take them indoors.


Many dogs like to dig and dig when they are outside. This is a normal activity. The digging instinct is present in every breed, regardless of purpose. This is how ancient dogs built a bed of grass and leaves before settling down for the night. Jacks, on the other hand, especially excelled in this activity. The origin of the breed makes Jack an excellent digger. Curious cases have been known when Russells dug a hole so deep that they had to dig themselves out later. They dig if they smell a mouse or a rodent if they want to bury their bone or a toy if they want to dig a cooler hole and hide from the heat in it. Unfortunately, this type of activity is frustrating for owners, especially when favorite beds or beautiful beds with rare flowers are dug up. It is not uncommon to dig up the upholstery of expensive furniture.

What to do, you ask, it's the same instinct? Will you have to endure? No, and again no! We must go the way of correction. Any dog behavior gets a foothold if there is no backlash, and if it's rewarded the behavior will be firmly in place for life. Don't let your puppy dig since he was a baby. Don't scold him for the behavior, but make sure he knows you don't like it. Provide him with an alternative, distract him from digging by directing him to something else. T