Do Jack Russell’s Run Away [Yes,+ 5 Ways To Stop It]


Although I will always advocate that Jack Russell’s make for great pets, I will also be the first to admit that this dog is smart and knows how to navigate themselves into a free roam by means of running away.

I have dealt with it, walked down the streets with treats in hand, and had to lure Luna back into the house a time or two.

Mostly when she was young, and before I learned the necessary steps, I needed to take to avoid her running away in the future.

Do Jack Russell’s Run Away?

I have been raising my female Jack Russell Luna for the past 2+ years, and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

Jack Russell Terriers will run away. Jack Russell Terriers will run away due to boredom, lack of training, or due to excitement that arouses their curiosity either visually or through scent.

Jack Russell’s may even run away for a few other reasons.

The rest of this post will break down everything you can expect with a new Jack Russell when it comes to running away and the active steps you can take to avoid your Jack Russell running away in the future.

Here is how I intend to lay it out for you today:


Do Jack Russell’s Run Away and The Reasons Jack Russell’s Run Away

Image Credit: ShutterStock

Unfortunately, a Jack Russell will run away if presented with the opportunity.

I have been in the situation, dealt with it, and had to learn about the situation in more depth just as you are doing right now.

Fortunately for you, I feel confident after now owning and raising 2 dogs that have had their fair share of jailbreaks from the yard that I can present you the information needed to prevent your Jack Russell running away now and in the future.

I hope this blog post is the last resource you need to avoid your Jack Russell running away anymore in the future.

The most important thing to understand is that you likely did not adopt the one Jack Russell that doesn’t get the urge to get to the other side of the fence or bolt through the front door when presented the chance.

The point being is simple.

Jack Russell’s are programmed to get excited, curious, and even bored.

The outer world that they do not have access too often seems intriguing to them.

All of them.

Not just mine, and not only you.

They are a hunting dog, and prey drive can kick in at any time, and when they are young, they can get excited over just about anything.

If you go into your Jack Russell adoption aware that this is a real concern, in the beginning, you are going to be much more prepared.

But how exactly do you prepare, and what can you do to help your Jack Russell not run away in the first place or run away again if they already have?

That is what I want to dive into next, so stick around for some of my top tips and training recommendations.


How to Train Your Jack Russell Not to Run Away + 5 Recommendations

Now comes the part that many of you will either dread or get super excited about.

Some dog owners love the training process, and some hate it.

I can personally go either way on some days and depending on the training.

I get excited to teach all of the commands and tricks I desire, but sometimes I forget that it is equally important to train our dogs and Jack Russell’s some further commands or at least give them a knowledge base on less exciting criteria.

For now, we are going to focus solely on items that are going to pertain and help with your Jack Russell running away.


#1 Recall Training Your Jack Russell to Prevent Running Away

Recall can be one of the most challenging commands to train most dog breeds.

Let alone a Jack Russell Terrier.

However, it is one of the most significant tricks you can train your Jack Russell Terrier.

Recall is when you teach your Jack Russell Terrier to respond to you and come to you regardless of outside distractions.

Often, owners will start by doing this and eliminating distractions and slowly increasing the outside distractions present.

Sometimes, owners completely forget to increase the distractions during recall training, which is when the problem can occur with a Jack Russell Terrier running away.


Take Recall to The Next Level by Adding Distractions

When you are first starting this training, it is relatively easy for your dog to realize that they should come to you when called because the distractions are at a minimum.

Not to mention, they are smart enough to realize that you are likely to give them treats, and you are likely the center of their world, and they are having fun during this training.

However, when a Jack Russell does decide to bolt or run away, that situation changes dramatically.

You must train them to continue this pattern of recall and returning to you when called when distractions are at a maximum.

If you do not, all of that recall training is likely not to help when your Jack Russell runs away and is distracted by animals, vehicles, and people walking down the street.

It is just too difficult for them to zone out the other noises, scents, and visuals they are taking in when they get out and about during a runaway for a basic recall training session to be effective in most situations.

The main takeaway is simple.

Make sure you are practicing, and training recall with your Jack Russell not only with limited distractions but also stretch that training to higher limits by working with your Jack Russell in high distraction and high-stress environments as well.

This will make a world of difference the next time your Jack Russell runs away, and instead of chasing them down the street, you can call their name and get their attention.


#2-Training Basic Commands

While recall may be the most important command to teach your Jack Russell to help them back to you if they do run away, you also need to remember not to forget your other basic training.

All training matters with this dog breed, and they are eager to learn.

You still need them to understand that you are in charge and get them to understand discipline and obedience.

The more you work with a Jack Russell, the more impressive they can be.

Be sure to work with them from all angles to reduce the chances of your Jack Russell running away.

If they do, this will help much like recall in helping them respect you and for them to return to you on command.


#3-Do not Make Them Believe Running Away Is Fun (Chasing)

Sometimes when your Jack Russell runs away or bolts out the front door, your first reaction is to start a game of chase.

This is a big mistake.

Your Jack Russell will likely see this as a game and think it is fun.

Not only is this going to make them run further, but it will also make them remember that the last time they ran away, they had a blast.

Clearly, we do not want our Jack Russell associating running away with any kind of pleasure if we are going to avoid it in the future.


#4-Safeguard the Yard and Consider Fences and Other Electronic Aids to Prevent Running Away

This may be equally as important as all the other recommendations I have presented so far in this post.

It is important to remember that Jack Russell can jump high.

A Jack Russell also knows a thing or two about digging and finding creative ways to get out of the yard.

It is one of the reasons I made a specific post about your best fencing options for Jack Russell’s that you can see here.

You need to make sure the yard is secure and that you are not giving your Jack Russell any easy means to run away.

This can sometimes be accomplished with a basic fenced in yard, and sometimes you may need to consider electric fences or shock collars.

Nonetheless, doing a spot check of the yard and making sure it is “Jack Russell Proofed” is a great place to start to avoid your Jack Russell running away now and in the future.


Other Tips to Avoid a Jack Russell Running Away

Before wrapping up this post, I wanted to make sure that we covered a few of my last tips that can help you avoid your Jack Russell running away.


Tip #1-Consider Getting Your Jack Russell Neutered

Sometimes a Jack Russell will run away because they pick up a scent or could be looking to have some fun with the opposite sex.

A female Jack Russell that is not fixed could also get the same urge to run away while in heat in search of a potential breeding partner.

Not to mention, getting your Jack Russell fixed can reduce other issues in the future, such as high levels of aggressive behavior.


Tip #2- Always Prevent Boredom

Boredom is one of the primary factors that can cause your Jack Russell to run away.

If it is going to be a day in which your interaction with your Jack Russell will be at a minimum, perhaps keep them inside.

If they are going to be outside with limited supervision, consider using a lead to keep them secured in the yard and making sure they have plenty of the recommended toys for Jack Russell Terriers.

Anything you can do to keep their mind occupied and not wondering what is on the other side of that fence is going to dramatically reduce the chances of your Jack Russell running away.


Tip #3- Plenty of Exercise Is Crucial

Exercise is always something I preach in all my posts when it comes to raising and caring for Jack Russell Terrier.

The more exercise that they are provided, the calmer and content they are for the rest of the day.

They absolutely need a way to burn off some of their hyper energy.

Without exercise is when they tend to get restless, bored, and find ways to use their intelligence and energy against you.

Make sure your Jack Russell is getting plenty of exercise, and the chances of them spending time plotting an escape to run away will decrease.

Consider activities such as the following with your Jack Russell:


Jack Russell’s Are Curious Dogs, Train Them to Avoid Them Running Away

Jack Russell’s will always be known as a curious dog with the ability and intelligence to run away with ease without proper training or proofing of the area.

Ensure you work with your Jack Russell to practice recall, provide exercise, and provide interaction to avoid long durations of boredom.

If you take the time to do those things, the chances of chasing your Jack Russell frantically down the street due to them running away will decrease dramatically.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your new Jack Russell’s and hope that your JR does not continue to run away!


Share Your Thoughts About Your Own Jack Russell Running Away

Has your Jack Russell ever run away, and what did you do about it?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today, and we will see you again 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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