Are Jack Russell’s Friendly? [ Yes, But Watch Out For This!]


Adopting a Jack Russell is a fantastic experience.

I can inform you of this because I’ve lived it, done it, and am currently a Jack Russell parent.

I have a female full-bred Jack Russell named Luna.

I have, however, noticed that people who are on the fence about potentially adopting a Jack Russell, have one significant concern always looming in the back of their mind.

Are Jack Russell’s friendly?

Although I’m not a secret dog whisperer, I have plenty of insight I can share on this topic from my own experience.

So, are Jack Russell’s friendly? Yes, Jack Russell’s are friendly. Jack Russell’s are an energetic and loyal dog breed who desperately seek the approval and love from their owners. Jack Russell’s enjoy companionship and can get along great with owners, kids, and other animals with training.

I’m sure that when I mentioned the phrase “with training” into my answer above that you may have had an alarm go off in your mind.

Don’t worry about this.

It wasn’t intended to mean that Jack Russell’s need training to be friendly.

I’ll explain this more in-depth later in my post.

In fact, you can see directly below what I plan on covering in today’s Jack Russell lessons about how friendly they can be.

You can also use those links directly below to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.

Here’s what we will cover:

This post is roughly a 3-minute read from start to finish.

Like I said if you are in a time crunch and don’t have those 3 minutes to spare, use the links above to navigate quickly to a specific section of this post.

Otherwise, grab a coffee, take a seat and give me 3 minutes and I’ll explain just how friendly Jack Russell’s are and what you can do to launch the relationship with your JR to new heights.

Here’s what you need to know.

How Friendly Are Jack Russell Terriers?

Let’s be super clear about one thing to kick start the conversation.

Jack Russell’s are friendly dogs.

Period.

Do they have a few characteristics that set them apart from other dogs?

Sure, no doubt about it.

If you take the time to follow some of my advice in this post, that’s not going to be a concern for you.

Jack Russell’s love to play and interact and desperately seek attention and approval from YOU.

They want to please you, and they want you to show them that you love them.

The stories online or in other blogs are frustrating, to say the least, and leads me to believe that they are not written by real Jack Russell owners.

If they were, they would have a completely different tone associated when discussing JR’s.

Let me explain further.

My Story with Luna

I will attempt to keep that as short-winded as possible.

I have a two-year-old son who will soon be 3 that you can see over in our about us page.

My wife and I also have a 5-year-old yellow lab named Graham that you can see on just about any blog post on this site or the about us page as well.

graham-5-year-old-yellow-lab
Our Other Dog, Graham. Luna and Graham Get Along Great

Long story short, my son wanted a puppy or as he calls her “my baby small puppy dog.”

It’s not that he didn’t love our family Labrador, but he simply started asking for a “baby-sized dog.”

Naturally, as anyone would, we started deciding on which dog to surprise him with.

After reading stories about Jack Russell’s and how friendly they can be, I was hesitant as well.

As I continued to read, I noticed that the articles didn’t seem genuine and thought to myself that any puppy is only a puppy, and I would train the behaviors I desired into my new dog.

I pulled the trigger and adopted my Jack Russell and disregarded everything I’ve read.

It’s been fantastic.

Trust me, Jack Russell’s love their owners and love their families.

She interacts with my big dog; she is gentle with my son, and she has become a member of this family.

She’s also equally as friendly as any other dog I’ve ever owned or just as friendly as any dog others I’ve known had.

That’s the best way to put it.

She loves to cuddle, she loves to sleep close to us, she loves my son, and she wants to be around us.

However, before you jump in your car and head to adopt your own, I want to be sure I disclose a few caveats that Jack Russell’s can display when it comes to being affectionate and friendly.

Here are those details.

Caveats and Behaviors Jack Russell’s May Display

Here’s the thing.

Those behaviors we just discussed are the norm, but they do require some attention to detail.

The first thing to understand is that you are in control.

As I said, a puppy is nothing more than a puppy at the time of adoption.

One typical Jack Russell behavior is chewing.

This isn’t meant to be a bad thing.

It’s just how Jack Russell’s behave.

They are very playful dogs.

This can translate easily into a Jack Russell not being a friendly dog for someone who isn’t educated on the topic.

This is Ludacris to me, considering nearly all puppies love to chew or destroy chews.

You need to replace the behavior.

Obviously, we don’t want our JR’s getting the reputation for chewing our young children’s fingers.

I personally prefer clicker training, but again, I’m not a dog whisperer.

However, I do fully support clicker training and recommend it for beginners.

All I did was simply replace whatever my Jack Russell was chewing with a chew toy, and when she chewed the correct item, I used the clicker to make an audible noise.

This catches your dog’s attention.

Follow this step with a treat, and you are on your way to greatness.

Do the same for other behaviors that commonly make dogs appear as if they aren’t friendly.

This could be getting into companies’ faces when they are over for the Sunday football games or even barking like a mad dog when they see the mailman.

Give the command and start correcting these behaviors from the get-go.

It doesn’t take long for your Jack Russell to catch on and desire that treat for good behavior.

It’s a win-win in all reality.

Jack Russell’s are extraordinarily hyper and using training methods to mentally and physically stimulate your JR helps them to burn energy.

That’s really all there is to it.

Be sure to avoid roughhousing and teaching wild behaviors and train your dog in the manner you desire.

Trust me, the relationship will turn out fantastic, and soon, I sincerely hope that the general dog-loving world begins to realize how great of a family dog-breed the Jack Russell Terrier truly is.

Your Jack Russell Interacting with Kids and Pets

This goes back to what we were discussing about 10-seconds ago.

In all reality, you don’t have too much to worry about with this.

Check out my about page if you are skeptical.

My son and Jack Russell are connected at the hip.

Be sure that you keep your JR in check once you adopt the behaviors we discussed previously, and they will interact with dogs and your family without issue.

Additional Tips and Tricks to Strengthening the Bond

The last tips I have for you today are simple.

Fulfill your Jack Russell’s needs the best you can for the best results.

Spend time with them daily.

Let them burn off steam and continue to program the desired behaviors into your JR as much as humanly possible.

Training a dog isn’t a job for just the first week or second week.

It’s the duration of ownership.

Also, be sure that you train your JR with positivity and not scolding.

Remember, Jack Russell’s wants to work hard for your approval and they have been this way for nearly 200 years.

Don’t scold your puppy for the behaviors they do wrong but reward them for the behaviors they master and that you desire.

These are extremely intelligent dogs, and it doesn’t take long.

Final Thoughts and Advice

In case I lost you within my ramble in this post, I wanted to provide a quick recap of the original question.

Are Jack Russell’s friendly? Yes, Jack Russell’s are friendly dogs.

About as friendly as it gets with the proper, love, and attention.

If you are currently on the fence and can’t decide if you should take the leap of faith to adopt a JR, then I will leave you with this.

DO IT.

It’s one of the best dog breeds, in my opinion, and they keep your days interesting and can always find a way to bring a smile to your face.

If you have had enough of my advice and would like further help or perhaps to provide your own advice, I encourage you to chime in below.

Best of luck with your JR!

How Friendly Is Your Jack Russell?

Luna and I love to hear from the readers.

If we stated something that wasn’t in-line with what you believe or have experienced, then be sure to let us know about it.

How friendly is your Jack Russell?

Have you adopted your JR yet? If you haven’t, what’s holding you back?

Share your stories, concerns, and thoughts by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by, and we will catch you next time.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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