Family Life


Household Pets


Are Jack Russells Good With Kids? What Parents Need To Know

Jack Russell with Kid

Are Jack Russells Good With Kids? What Parents Need To Know

Jack Russells are cheerful dogs with a strong desire to work. They are energetic, and playful, and can easily get along well with kids. However, as a parent, you may wonder if a Jack Russell is a good fit for your children. Although these adorable small dogs might be the best choice for your home, you need to understand their background and personality before deciding to make a Jack Russell an addition to your family.

Jack Russell Personality

Jack Russells are hunting dogs by nature, developed by England’s “Sporting Parson” for foxhunts. A Jack Russell is fairly easy to train, as it’s a highly intelligent dog that can easily adapt to its surroundings. Despite its miniature size, this breed is curious and fearless, with an insatiable appetite for adventure. Jack Russells make loyal pets, but their confidence and endless energy mean they can wander off if bored.

Despite being part of the terrier breed, a Jack Russell is more prone to separation anxiety than other dogs and is happiest in households where a family member will be around for most of the day. 

Jack Russell Training 

A well-socialized Jack Russell makes a noble companion that's up for anything, loves being around the family, and can keep up on a day-long run. A Jack Russell requires a solid grounding that starts during puppyhood. These small active dogs can endure rough handling from children and keep coming back for more with a wagging tail. Jack Russells are intelligent and quick learners, making them easy to train. Their high energy levels make them a perfect match for activities such as flyball or agility training.

If you leave a Jack Russell to his own devices, expect it to seek mischief. When bored, your Jack Russell lacks firm guidance and will readily amuse himself in activities such as barking, chewing, and digging. This inappropriate behavior is because of generations of selective breeding to produce self-thinking and bodily working dogs. This makes training Jack Russells difficult. The owner needs to know how to engage their dog's interest and hold it, along with having a good grasp of fun training methods that teach the dog to behave and pay attention to the owner. Therefore, new owners need to know how to train a Jack Russell puppy or put in extra time to teach an ill-mannered adult. The trainer needs to be several steps ahead of their puppy, with a plan in place for how to correct inappropriate behavior. Training a Jack Russell takes time, commitment, and knowledge, by the owner. Below are the best tips for training your Jack Russell puppy.

Jack Russell Training
Short, consistent, and fun training sessions are essential to ensure you have a well-mannered Jack Russell. ©iStock.com/Oleksiy Rezin

©Oleksiy Rezin/Shutterstock.com

Confidence Is Key

A Jack Russell can be very headstrong, so being consistent and confident is important in them learning to respond to you. It’s easy to just give in and let them have their way, but never make this a habit. They will soon learn that’s acceptable behavior and will run circles around you. This will also make future training to be far more complex. Set boundaries from the beginning and training will be a lot easier for you.

Short, Fun Sessions Work Best

Training sessions have to be fun and consistent for them to be effective on a Jack Russell puppy. With this breed, they can suffer from low attention spans as puppies. Therefore, keep the training sessions short to get the best results and ensure that everything you’re trying to teach is effective.

Early Socialization Is A Must

Jack Russells are brave little dogs. Therefore, they need to be socialized with other types of animals such as cats early on as puppies to keep themselves out of mischief. Otherwise, you may find they will chase and bite other animals. It’s vital to keeping their hunting instincts under control.

They’re Intelligent, Use This To Your Advantage

Jack Russells are intelligent small dogs and can easily get bored. Keep them mentally stimulated through searching games and trick training. This is great because it means that you can teach your dog plenty of games and tricks to show off how intelligent your dog is and what a great trainer you are.

Make Exercise The Primary Focus

Exercise is important for Jack Russells to stay entertained and healthy. They have a ton of energy and release it by digging holes, running around the park, or destroying things around the house. Limit these habits by taking your dog out on plenty of walks and keeping them active. Your dog will love to come along on a long walk with you, which helps to get the whole family out and about staying active.

Pay Them Plenty Of Attention

Jack Russells love companionship, and it’s important to pay attention to them. If you want a dog that will give you back the love you put in, this is the perfect breed for you. They love being a big part of the family and will adore your attention. Paying attention to your dog is a very important thing to do during training. Pay them plenty of attention and give them love as a reward.

Consistent Training Is Important

Train consistently with your Jack Russell; keep them active by letting them learn new fun things, as doing this will keep them mentally stimulated. Jack Russell is a breed that loves to learn new things, and consistent training is a must.

Start Their Training As A Puppy

Jack Russells are a quick learner and love a challenge, especially puppies. Training your Jack Russell as a puppy is the most vital time to develop good habits that will carry on into adulthood. Early training sessions will make both your and your dog’s life easier and more fulfilling. There are plenty of videos, filled with useful tips on how to train your Jack Russell. 

Health Issues

There are several health problems your Jack Russell may face, and those are obesity, Cushing’s Disease, skin cancer, hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia, gum disease, and glaucoma. While these medical conditions are common in Jack Russells, most can be treated by a vet and, sometimes avoided by yearly annual check-ups. With an injury-related condition, consider looking into rehabilitation therapy to help get your beloved jack Russell back on its feet in no time.

Jack Russells And Allergies

Allergy sufferers should know that Jack Russells aren't hypoallergenic dogs. They are moderate shedders that will trigger an allergic reaction in most people with pet allergies. 

Jack Russell Shedding
Jack Russells are moderate shedders and not suitable for allergy sufferers. ©iStock.com/Smrm1977


Jack Russells And Exercise

Despite their small size, a Jack Russell is full of energy and needs at least an hour of daily exercise. Allow your dog to move around in a large backyard to stretch their legs and satisfy their curious spirit. 

Jack Russells Life Expectancy

A Jack Russells is among the healthiest and long living dog breeds, with an average lifespan between 13 to 16 years.

Raising Infants And Toddlers Around Jack Russell

Jack Russells are perfect dogs for children because they are child-sized and not at all intimidating. They are less likely to overpower or knock down your child when playing.

Jack Russells And Size

A Jack Russell varies in size, measuring between 10 to 15 inches and weighing 14 to 18 lbs. 

Jack Russells And Energy Levels

A Jack Russell has a lot of energy. Therefore, they are a perfect match for your kids because they can keep up with your children's energetic personalities. Whether it’s chasing each other around the park or playing with toys inside the home, you’ll find that your kids and Jack Russell will keep each other occupied for hours on end. After a few hours of playtime, you’ll find both your kids and dog tuckered out for nap time.

Grooming A Jack Russell

Although Jack Russells are low-maintenance dogs, they are prone to mats. Brush your dog’s coat daily to keep it healthy and reduce shedding. Use a soft-bristle brush to spread the natural oils throughout their coat, and to remove loose fur before it sticks on your furniture. 

Purchasing A Jack Russell

A Jack Russell can cost from $800 to $3,000 from a reputable breeder. Adopting a Jack Russell from a local shelter is cheaper with a maximum fee of $800. 


Are Jack Russell dogs good with kids? The short answer depends on how well you socialize with your dog during puppyhood. If you bring your dog into your family as a newborn puppy and raise it alongside your children, then you will most likely not have any issues. Remember to consider the characteristics of the Jack Russell, as this breed is not a good fit for everyone.

To top