Jack Russell Terriers are loving and loyal dogs. They can also be high-energy and stubborn. If you own a Jack Russell, you want to make sure you care for it properly. Proper feeding, exercise, and grooming is important for a Jack Russell’s physical health. You should also make sure to train your Jack Russell carefully. Jack Russell Terriers can develop behavioral problems without proper training. You also want to take certain safety precautions with a Jack Russell terrier. Be careful around other dogs and pets and watch out for breed-specific health conditions.
Feed your dog a high quality dog food each day.
Jack Russell terriers need to be fed twice a day. You should not free feed a Jack Russell, as they’re prone to overeating. In general, Jack Russell terriers need about 1.25 to 1.75 cups of quality dog food each day. Calorie amounts vary between brands of dog food, though, so check the feeding instructions on the food packet so you aren’t overfeeding or underfeeding your Jack Russell terrier.
Your dog may need more or less depending on its size, age, and activity level. If your dog appears over or underweight, ask your vet about adjusting its food. Your dog may also need more exercise if it’s overweight.
You should divide food into two meals. You can try serving one during the morning and one at night. Feeding a dog once a day will result in your dog being hungry throughout the day.
Exercise your Jack Russell for 30 to 45 minutes each day.
All dogs need exercise, but it’s particularly important for a high energy breed like the Jack Russell. Make sure the exercise is vigorous. Brisk walks and intense play sessions are important for your dog’s health.
If you walk your Jack Russell, make sure to keep a fast pace. Jack Russell terriers benefit from swift walks.
Play with your dog indoors if you don’t have time to walk it every day. Allow the dog to run around inside for at least 30 to 45 minutes each day.
If possible, allow your Jack Russell terrier to run around outside off the leash. Consider fencing in your own yard. If your Jack Russell is calm with other dogs, take it to a dog park to play.
Brush your Jack Russell regularly.
All Jack Russell terriers require regular brushing for optimal health. At least once a week, brush your dog remove loose hairs.
Avoid bathing a Jack Russell. Jack Russell terriers only very rarely need baths. Only bathe your dog if it’s very dirty or is coated in something like mud or dirt.
Trim your dog’s nails twice a month.
A Jack Russell terrier’s nails get long quickly. This can cause discomfort for your dog, and its nails can get caught in something. About twice a month, trim your dog’s nails. If you hear the dog’s nails clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim.
Use a pair of dog nail clippers to trim your dog’s nail. Carefully take your dog’s paw and clip the nails one at a time. Praise your dog for staying still throughout the process. If necessary, have another person hold your dog still during the trimming process.
Only cut off the tips of a dog’s nails. Strive to make a quick, clean cut as not to prolong the clipping process.
Keep your dog’s teeth clean.
Get a dog toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure to brush your dog’s teeth at least two to three times a week. This will prevent the build up of bacteria in the mouth.
Start training young, if possible.
Dogs are generally easiest to train when they’re younger. This is particularly true for the Jack Russell terrier, as they tend to be a stubborn breed. The sooner you start training, the better. If you got your dog as a puppy, start training it right away.
Train your dog consistently.
Jack Russell terriers thrive on a consistent schedule. As the dogs tend to be stubborn and grow bored easily, consistent training is key to successful training. Strive to have training sessions each day. Due to their high energy and tendency to get bored, it’s vital to teach a Jack Russell terrier basic commands like “sit” and “stay” to get to keep them under control.
Make sure you train your dog a little each day. You can start with basic commands and work your way up.
Consistency is vital. Jack Russell terriers are a highly intelligent breed, and will get confused if expectations shift. Make sure your dog knows what behavior is and is not acceptable during training.
Reinforce good behaviors.
Jack Russell terriers, like most dogs, want to please their owners. They’re more likely to respond to rewards than punishment. When your Jack Russell behaves correctly during the day, and during training, give it a reward. It will slowly learn which behaviors are and are not acceptable.
Jack Russell terriers will respond to rewards in the form of treats and praise. You can also play with a Jack Russell as a form of a reward, as this will help get in its daily exercise.
Make sure to reward good behaviors right away. Dogs live in the immediate. If you don’t reward your dog right away for good behavior, it may not understand why it’s being praised.
Expect training to take longer for a Jack Russell than a different breed. Jack Russell terriers are stubborn by nature, and tend to resist training efforts. Things like housebreaking and basic commands may take a long time to master.
It may take six or eight months for a dog to learn to behave, so don’t get discouraged. As long as you’re being consistent and offering rewards, you’re not doing anything wrong in regards to training. The Jack Russell terrier is simply a breed that takes awhile to train.
Watch out for common health problems.
Jack Russell terriers are generally a healthy breed that live a long time. However your dog may be prone to hip problems, deafness, and dislocation of the knee caps. If your dog appears to be sick or in pain, bring it into a vet right away. If you went through a good breeder, your dog is less likely to have these kinds of problems.
Keep your dog entertained.
You need to play with your Jack Russell terrier regularly. Make sure it has a lot of toys to entertain itself. Jack Russell terriers need a lot of mental stimulation to be happy. If they’re not entertained, they’ll act out by getting into things around the house.
Make sure your dog has toys it likes. If your Jack Russell seems uninterested in its current toys, make a trip to a local pet shop to get it something different.
It’s not uncommon for Jack Russell terriers to get destructive around the house if not entertained.
Be careful with other pets.
Not all Jack Russell terriers take well to other animals. They tend to be territorial, and can even kill smaller animals like cats. Introduce a Jack Russell terrier to new pets slowly. Do not bring a Jack Russell terrier to a place like a dog park if you don’t know how it takes to other pets.
Jack Russell terriers may be particularly aggressive to dogs of the same sex.
Some Jack Russell terriers do best as only pets. A lot of them are simply aggressive to other pets.
Avoid getting a Jack Russell if you have young children.
Jack Russell terriers may snap or bite if handled improperly. Very young children should be supervised closely around a Jack Russell terrier.
Make sure you teach your children how to interact safely with a Jack Russell terrier. Teach them not to approach the dog when it’s eating or sleeping.
Make sure any fences are secure.
Jack Russell terriers are escape artists by nature. If you let your dog have access to a fenced in yard, check your fence carefully. Make sure there are no gaps in the fence, and that it’s high enough that your dog cannot jump over it.
Electronic fences are not recommended for Jack Russell terriers. It’s easy for a Jack Russell terrier to find its way around an electronic barrier.