What are 10 bad reasons to want a Jack Russell Terrier?

1. You want a nice, obedient dog like Eddie on Frasier or Wishbone on PBS.

2. You want a companion for your pet cat, rabbit or bird.

3. You want a companion for your other small dog.

4. You want a dog to hang out and watch TV with you.

5. You want a small dog who is easy to handle.

6. You have never owned a dog before, and think a Jack Russell would be a good first choice.

7. You are not an experienced dog trainer, but want a dog you can teach to do all kinds of tricks.

8. You want a dog for your young children.

9. You work all day, but think a small dog like a Jack Russell Terrier will do fine being at home alone all day while you are gone.

10. You don’t know much about the breed but are sure you want one because they are so cute.

But Eddie on Frasier and Wishbone on PBS are obedient.Why wouldn’t my Jack Russell be?
Because you most likely don’t have several hours a day to spend training and exercising your Jack Russell, nor do you have the expertise of a professional trainer. Also, these dogs might be well behaved while they are on TV, but their time in front of the camera is limited. The rest of the day, they are running around and being typical Jack Russell Terriers.

Why can’t my Jack Russell be a companion for my pet cat, rabbit or bird?
Your Jack Russell doesn’t see himself as a companion to small animals. He sees himself as hunter who was put on this earth to kill such creatures. Jacks are relentless when it comes to hunting, and view small animals as something to hunt, not play with. Your terrier will take one look at your rabbit or bird and begin trying to figure out how he can get to the animal to kill it. He may not attack your cat right away, but in time he will likely decide that kitty is prey too. At the very least, your Jack Russell will harass your small pets. At the worst, he will kill them. This is especially true of small rodents like hamsters, mice, rats, gerbils and guinea pigs.Never, ever
expose a Jack Russell to these kinds of pets. Tragedy is sure to result.

Why shouldn’t I get a Jack Russell as companion for my other small dog?
Generally speaking, Jack Russells don’t really like other dogs. They view them as competition for food and attention. In the worst case scenario, the Jack Russell will decide to act on the notion that he’d prefer to be an only dog and will start fighting with your other dog to get him or her to submit. The fighting will escalate to the point of sure disaster, especially if the other dog is likely to fight back rather than be submissive and kowtow to the Jack Russell’s every whim.

Most terriers don’t get along with other dogs, but Jack Russells are particularly disagreeable in this regard. It doesn’t matter how big the other dog is, either. Even though Jack Russells are small, they see themselves as large and often bully other dogs, both large and small.

In situations where a small dog does not back down quickly enough from a Jack Russell, that dog’s life is in danger. Jack Russells have been known to kill small dogs, even dogs they have lived with for years.

Why aren’t Jack Russells a good dog to hang out and watch TV with you?
Jack Russells have way too much energy to be couch potatoes. The only way a Jack Russell might be content to sit and watch TV with you is if it’s nighttime and you spent the entire day making him run by throwing a ball to him for hours on end, or taking him along on a very long bike ride. Or if you live on a farm and your terrier has been outside hunting, climbing
and digging all day, he might be willing to crash out on the couch in the evening. But these are the only scenarios where you’ll have a Jack Russell behave in couch potato mode. More likely, you can expect your Jack Russell to be running around the house getting into trouble while you are trying to relax in front of the television.

The Jack Russell is a small dog, so wouldn’t it be an easy dog to handle?
No. The Jack Russell’s small size is deceptive. The Jack Russell is a big dog in a small body and has more energy and tenacity than most large breeds. Think of the Jack Russell as the Tasmanian Devil in the Bugs Bunny cartoons. Taz is small, but he’s like a tornado. That is the Jack Russell Terrier.

Some people think that they can bully a small dog into behaving simply because that dog is smaller than they are. Jack Russells are surprisingly strong for their size, and can get nasty if they are treated roughly. Jack Russells won’t hesitate to bite to defend themselves if someone is trying to push them around.

Why isn’t the Jack Russell a good choice for a first dog?
Because Jack Russells are aggressive in nature, extremely active and hard to train. Most people who have never had a dog before are completely overwhelmed by a Jack Russell Terrier. If you are looking for a first-time dog, you are better off with a breed like the Labrador Retriever or the Golden Retriever. If you want a small dog who is easy to handle, try a Toy Poodle or Pomeranian.Trying to tackle a Jack Russell Terrier as your first dog is likely to make you give up dogs forever.

Why can’t I teach my Jack Russell all kinds of tricks even though I’m not an experienced dog trainer?
Jack Russells are difficult to train. They don’t listen well, and have their own ideas about what they should be doing with their time. In order to overcome this, you need experience and knowledge as a dog trainer. It takes plenty of creativity as a trainer to get a Jack’s attention and keep it, and to convince a Jack Russell that he should listen to anything you say at all.

Why isn’t the Jack Russell Terrier a good dog for young children?
Jack Russells don’t put up with the kind of treatment young kids typically dish out. Small children often pull tails, tug on ears and step on paws, without realizing they are hurting the dog. Many dogs, like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, will tolerate this kind of behavior
because they sense that the small humans who are tormenting them are simply younger versions of adult humans and don’t really know what they are doing. Jack Russells don’t see it that way, however. Jacks don’t care how old the small human is and don’t seem to recognize the innocence of a child. They simply will not put up with tail pulling and ear pinching and all the other things that small children do to dogs. They have no qualms about biting a small child to get the point of “leave me alone” across.

Can I leave a Jack Russell Terrier alone at all?
Only if you have him confined to a secure crate, and then not for more than a few hours a day. Plus, you can only do this if you have given the Jack Russell several hours of hard, interactive exercise before you leave.

You will have to exercise the heck out of him when you come back, too, since he’ll be raring to go once you let him out of that crate.

Can’t I just leave the Jack Russell outside while I’m not home?
Not unless you want your garden destroyed, your lawn furniture eaten, holes dug under your fence and angry neighbors who have been listening to loud barking for hours on end. Also, if you don’t have a secure fence, your Jack Russell will quickly find a way to escape, whether that is over it, under it or around it.

Why shouldn’t I get a Jack Russell because they are cute? Isn’t that a good reason to get a breed?
It’s tempting to get a dog because it’s cute, but that’s never a good reason alone to pick a breed. The way a dog looks is only a small part of who that dog is. Personality of the breed should be your uppermost concern if you want to live a happy life with your dog.

Jack Russells may look cute, but they are high-maintenance dogs who are difficult to train and manage. They might look like stuffed toys, but their appearance truly belies their personalities. They are tough, tenacious little dogs who are very difficult to handle.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This article is very true. As a first time dog owner, I had to learn the hard way. Jacks have wonderful personalities but it takes a strong owner to keep them in line because they will try to take advantage at every opportunity. They are too smart for their own good and a pain in the butt. Although, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my Jack!

jane said...

Alfie our jack russell.
hes lovely and he also needs a lot of play , walking ,games he has a lot of toys. we walk him along with our lab for two hrs or more hes just crazy boy but we would never let him go because he is so lovely.

Ben said...

This article is ridiculous!
My Jack Russell 'Anfield' isn't like this at all, since she has gotten older she has gotten a little bit irritated at this she wouldn't have before but that is just age! She is 7 years and 9 months old. She is friendly to small animals, actually she's too frightened to go near them! The big dogs however she isn't afraid of, so that part of the article is correct. We leave her alone 5 days a week for about 7 hours, and she is fine, doesn't chew up or destroy anything, she stopped doing that when she was an older puppy. She is playful but doesn't always toleratemboisterous dogs like my brothers 11 month old Springer Spaniel who constantly tries to mount her, which she turns around and pins him down with a (what she thinks to be a vicious) growl, no biting. She doesn't bite, well only playful soft bites. She is the friendliest dog you could have! Also they don't try to escape at every opportunity, they always come back, don't chase after them otherwise they think it's a game and will continue running, just stop and walk the other way, the JR will then want your attention and come back. They don't try to escape either, our fences often get knocked down due to Gale Force Winds, but she doesn't run away. I know other Jack Russell's who are similar to Anfield, and those which aren't, every dogs personality is unique. She is out first dog and she has been the best fun, and she will cuddle up to you on the sofa, (if you allow them on the furniture) even if they haven't had a lot of exercise that day.
This article is just one person's opinion which seems very unfair and is completely untrue to Jack Russell's. Try one out for yourself if you like and ignore this article.

Ben said...

7 hours a day, 5 days a week that is*

Anonymous said...

In response to Ben's comment, females tend to be extremely different then males. I think this blog accurately portrays the vast majority of typical Male jack behavior. I've owned both genders, female first & I was in for a surprise challenge when I got a male the time around. Still great dogs, but he's currently 3yrs old and sometimes walking 3-4 miles per in a day, along with an hour or so of fetch, and he's no where near exhausted his energy. A dog trainer I used actually told me the same thing, and if you ever look around to adopt a Jack you'll notice an abundance of 1-2yr old males that people just couldn't handle anymore.

Anonymous said...

Im getting a 10 week old JRT soon and i will be leaving her for 6 -7 hours a day alone. Will this be okay? I will be able to walk him everyday after his 2nd vac. help me please im really scared?

Steve Nichols said...

I have a 6 year old female Jack. She certainly can be a handful. We have an 8 year old boxer which gets bullied by her often, however he doesnt have a problem letting her know he's bigger. My Jack is quite the escape artist and loves to get out and chase cats and other dogs. I have had a couple of issues with her breaking out of the housing and attacking dogs on leashes. She has calmed down in the last several years and sleeps more when a pup. Needless to say I have taken her on long bike rides. With a break of less than 5 minutes she can keep going and going. definitely a high maintenance dog.

Anonymous said...

My JRT is male(Eugene). He lives very peacefully with cats (although he finds them fascinating). While not trained like "Wishbone" or "Eddie" he has a HUGE vocabulary and is very obedient. He's never been crated and, with the exception of the early puppy months,Eugene has never destroyed anything. We've had him for 8 yrs+ and he has been a delight!!! He LOVES watching TV and enjoys long naps. He's not hyper. As a young pup he exhibited the "turboing" behavior associated with the breed but has not done such since then. He loves to play but if I'm having a busy day and can't play with him, Genie will curl up next to me, roll on his back, and let me stroke him while I work. He's spoiled me for all other breeds. JRT's are absolutely wonderful!!!

Anonymous said...

Most everything in this blog is untrue with my male JRT. I got him when my son was 3 and they have been the best of friends for the last 10 years. He has never been aggressive towards small dogs and loves to play with other dogs. We have a female lab and they are inseparable.
Yes he does hunt rodents and birds. That is what they are bred for. Yes he has many kills under his belt. Only rodents and birds and only with our permission. He waits until we tell him to get it. He is a better mouser than our Kitty. Yes we have a cat too! No issues there as well.
He is very loving and calm. Very easy to train and the best dog we have had. You make them out to be evil dogs, they are not. They are very smart dogs and with the proper care will become the best pet ever.

Anonymous said...

I have a six month old male jack russell, he is a lively but lovely pup. Likes to eat things that he shudnt, like cushions etc. Hes house trained an we can leave him in the house, in one room with his bed in, for hrs on end an he just seems to sleep. The only problem weve really had with him is that he got ova the fence yesterday and killed our rabbit. Wasnt very happy, but what can I do

Anonymous said...

My son brought a kitten home some time ago and we unfortunately had to have funeral not long after that because Mr russell killed her. I am getting a spaniel puppy soon, will he be ok around jack or should I just keep an eye?

Jennifer Bermingham said...

I have two female jack Russell 's one is 8 and one is 3. Everything this article says is a lie . I've owned both Russell s from pups. I have a lab also who is 12. (Female). They all get on great, never are aggressive, love sitting on my lap any time of the day, love everybody.I really think it's how you rear them. Russell always get a bad rap but after owning 2 one for 8 years i think the are amazing little dogs, very social, brilliant personalities, best fun to have around. Each bitch from total different littersand have extremely different personalities.. Russell s rule ����

Midlands Kellie said...

We have a 6 yr old male JRT. We've had him as soon as he could leave the dam. Prior to Jack, we have never had a dog. I have to children, my eldest was 15 (& lives with aspergers) & my youngest was 4, when we got Jack.

The comments shared in the original post, come across as the opinions of someone who is rather negatively biased against the breed, rather than an impartial, academic presentation of accepted facts about the needs & nature of JRT's . Sadly, the energetic delivery of the post, is reminiscent of someone who has had a bad experience, venting.

Our dog does love being active. He is given 3 20 minute walks daily & is quite happy to sit or lie about for the rest of the time. He will happily sit by our feet, or on them for as long as we will allow him. He is not allowed on rugs or furniture & is completely obedient. He performs tricks, he even attempted to take the washing out of the dryer after watching us perform the task.

Yes, JRT's are exceptionally strong. Jack Was hailed a hero; when he chased after a run away buggy, it was going down a slight hill in a park & the child was strapped inside. Jack ran in front of the buggy & used his body to prevent the buggy going any further. He then licked the crying child, until it's tearful mother caught up - we lived next door to the park at the time & she actually came by another day. With a reward for our hero.

A very young kitten, that should have been tucked up with mum, wandered out of a neighbours house. Jack had never met this kitty before, but he first sat down & proceeded to groom it & then lay down & allowed it to paw & claw him, until it's mother came & retrieved it. After depositing her runaway inside, she returned & gave Jack a thorough licking - initially, he thought he was for the high-jump & submitted. It was a sight to behold.

Poor Jack has been dressed-up, pushed about in dolls prams, the family stories are endless. Jack has always been an excellent guard & would not hesitate to defend my home or family. In many ways, he may not display behaviour that is considered typical of his breed. But, I feel he is so well behaved, partly because of the firm, clear & calm training hd has been given & because of his lovely personality.

One last story: I shouldn't speak so poorly of a child - but we had a particularly unpleasant little visitor, who informed us (in front of her parents), that she was going to "in a little while.....demand to be given a custard cream." If we failed to comply our young guest informed us, she was going to ".....kick Jack in the face." Her mother decided to ignore the outburst, so our young visitor promptly kicked our beautiful Jack across his muzzle. Jack had never been struck or hurt by anyone, how do you think he responded? He didn't even yelp, he stayed sitting in the same spot, wiped his muzzle with his paw, looked at her & then sneezed!

Maybe we just got lucky, but I don't think so - we are life long JRT fans.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 male Jack Russell's who have been sleeping with me on the couch for the past hour. They are crated while we are at work, for the neighbor's sanity (barking) and safety of the house in general. They "dug" a hole through my kitchen wall and also unstuffed my loveseat in one busy, boring day. They have been "arrested" by animal control for "running at large" when they dug a hole under the fence and escaped on another day. They are fairly rambunctious and as a team, unstoppable. I agree with the aggression towards other animals as they almost killed my cat one summer morning. We have them separated from the cats at ALL times. We love them a lot despite their constant need for hunting anything that moves and incessant barking at anything that may or may not move. One will stand at the door just waiting for anything to walk by so he can run out to the backyard to bark at it. They both have seriously entertaining personalities although I would not recommend them to coexist with other animals. They were best friends with the cat one day and the next, attacked him while he was sleeping. Good dogs to have as long as you fully research first. I refer to them as my toddlers as they exhibit a lot of the same traits of a semi-tired 3 year old!

Unknown said...

This article may have a few good points, but I found most of it not to be my experience. My jrt is now 11 years old. I brought her home with me when she was 12 wks old. She was my first dog ever. She was was VERY trainable and learned tricks like sit, sit pretty, stay, shake and roll over very easily. She has run of the house all day when I'm at work and has her own doggy door to go out to her fenced in yard anytime she likes. Over the years we have had many cats. When they were kittens, my jrt would clean their ears when they would hold still long enough. That being said, she will kill squirrel, rabbits, mice, birds and moles every chance she gets. She does not like other dogs, nor does she care how big they are. She is uncomfortable around small children. I will usually crate her when nieces and nephews come around. She has always enjoyed sitting on my lap and sleeping at the foot of my bed. She seems to know when I'm not feeling well and will not leave my side!

Susan Price said...

This article may have a few good points, but I found most of it not to be my experience. My jrt is now 11 years old. I brought her home with me when she was 12 wks old. She was my first dog ever. She was was VERY trainable and learned tricks like sit, sit pretty, stay, shake and roll over very easily. She has run of the house all day when I'm at work and has her own doggy door to go out to her fenced in yard anytime she likes. Over the years we have had many cats. When they were kittens, my jrt would clean their ears when they would hold still long enough. That being said, she will kill squirrel, rabbits, mice, birds and moles every chance she gets. She does not like other dogs, nor does she care how big they are. She is uncomfortable around small children. I will usually crate her when nieces and nephews come around. She has always enjoyed sitting on my lap and sleeping at the foot of my bed. She seems to know when I'm not feeling well and will not leave my side!

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