How Long Can Jack Russell’s Be Left Alone [Use These Tips]


We all have busy lives that we can’t always put on hold regardless of what dogs, or even pets, in general, we decide to adopt.

Clearly, this leads us to wonder about what options we have with a new dog and when we can have a small amount of freedom back.

More importantly, it leads to one specific question.

How long can Jack Russell’s be left alone?

After a few years of owning my Jack Russell, and plenty of situations where I’ve had to leave my Jack Russell at home alone, here is what I can tell you on this topic.

Jack Russell’s can be left home alone for only a few hours at maximum in puppyhood if they are not inside of a crate. After a few times of leaving your Jack Russell alone outside of a crate, you can begin increasing the duration of time that your Jack Russell is alone. In the early days, it’s best to limit the space in the home for your Jack Russell and provide chew toys for mental stimulation.

That’s the most basic and straightforward way to answer this question.

I do, however, want to touch on this topic in more depth and break down all the options you have when deciding to keep your Jack Russell at home alone for the first time.

By the end of this post, I hope that you not only understand how long a Jack Russell should be alone at home but options you can implement to reduce any negative behaviors.

I’ve also created a quick navigational table of contents directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.

Here is what I plan on detailing for you today:


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Like I mentioned previously, feel free to skip around in the post if necessary, using the links directly above.

Otherwise, settle in, and I’ll begin explaining what you need to know about leaving your Jack Russell at home alone and how to accomplish this task like a professional.

Here are the critical details to understand.


How Long Can Jack Russell’s Be Left Alone?

This is the question of the day.

We know we will eventually need to leave our Jack Russell’s at home alone, but we are more curious about how far we can push our limits and what the best practices may be.

None of us want to deal with coming home to a chewed-up shoe, curtains, or even the couch.

It’s understandable, and I had the exact same fears.

We all have jobs and things that come up on any given day, and it’s undoubtedly helpful to understand what to do with our new Jack Russell while we are out.

Here’s the deal with this question.

It entirely depends on what you have to do and what you can implement with your JR.

It also depends significantly on how long you will be gone.

I want to start with this quick video I have made breaking down how long you can leave a Jack Russell Terrier home alone for.

I just highly recommend you return and finish reading the specific details on this blog post (news flash, I am a better blogger than videographer) and that is why I recommend returning after the video.

Here is that video on the topic for you.


24 Hour Absences from a Jack Russell

If you need to be gone more than 24 hours, I’d highly recommend using a pet-sitter for your Jack Russell.

First, they simply can’t hold their urine or bowel movements for this long of a stretch, whether they are crated or not at the time.

Additionally, your Jack Russell will need some water and food in this 24-hour span.

Simply put, if you need to be gone longer than 24 hours, either arrange for a pet-sitter for your Jack Russell or bring your new JR with you if possible.

Exceeding 24 hours just won’t work.

Especially when your Jack Russell is still in the puppy phase.

Now, let’s discuss the differences between running to the grocery store and running errands compared to leaving for your job while you work a full 8 hour or longer shift outside of the home.


Leaving Your Jack Russell Alone to Run Errands and Short Durations

The answer remains the same.

It depends how old your Jack Russell is currently if they are house trained and if you have items such as chew toys around the home for your Jack Russell to stay occupied with.

I’d also ensure that you let your Jack Russell outside before leaving.

The scenario I just illustrated above is if you are leaving home only to run some errands.

Keep in mind that it’s perfectly fine to use a crate for these short duration ventures as well.


Leaving Your Jack Russell Alone for More than 8 Hours at a Time

Now, let’s move into your working day and leaving your Jack Russell for more than 8 hours.

Me, personally, I always crate my Jack Russell if I’m going to be gone this long.

I have a great crate that I feel my Jack Russell is comfortable inside of, and I know she won’t find any potential ways to get herself into trouble.

It’s also a matter of just never knowing what may come up.

What happens if you’re stuck at work longer?

Maybe you have errands after work to take care of.

Look, I’m not saying to abuse the use of a crate, but in certain situations, it’s just what needs to be done until you are 100% certain that your Jack Russell has potty training down 100% and won’t get too bored or anxiety-filled while you are gone.

In my experience owning dogs in the past, this only comes with practice and time out of the cage in small durations until you build your way up to full days.

After this time has passed, of course, you can begin leaving your Jack Russell for more extended periods of time.

They are just like any other dog in this regard.

Give them time to learn what’s desired behavior and what’s not desired behavior, and you can begin expanding the trust zones slowly with them.

Until then, I’d recommend keeping the trips and errands short in the early phases and when your Jack Russell is not in the crate and if you need to be gone for more than 8 hours at a time, simply use a comfortable and reliable crate for your Jack Russell.

In all honesty, it’s really that easy and not much to it, but we do need to discuss separation anxiety with Jack Russell’s and what may happen in the early puppy years if you do decide to leave home with utilizing a crate for your Jack Russell.

Let’s dive into those details next.


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Do Jack Russell’s Have Separation Anxiety?

Yes, Jack Russell’s are known to have separation anxiety more so than other dog breeds.

Jack Russell’s when they experience separation anxiety will typically display 1 of 2 behaviors.

The first thing you may notice if your Jack Russell is going through this is an issue is a substantial amount of chewing.

When it comes to leaving your Jack Russell at home alone, this makes it imperative that you provide safe chew toys that can keep your Jack Russell occupied.

For a full list of all of the best toys for Russell’s that I recommend, you should check out my post here.

It will break down all of the toys I recommend having around the home for your Jack Russell, especially if you plan to leave them alone.

For the sake of time however, I still want to mention a few.

I personally have 3 chew toys I love to use for my Jack Russell and my other dog.

I love the Eetoys Chew Bones that help with aggressive chewing (Link to Amazon)

The Eetoys chew bone is basically indestructible and keeps my JR’s interest peaked for quite some time.

I have also always been a fan of the Classic Kong (Link to Amazon)

These last forever, can be filled with other treats and work double as well if you freeze them the night before use.

The last option I recommend allowing your JR to use on hard floors because they do have a bit of a grease factor to them.

However, these bones are awesome, are safe and provide hours of mental stimulation (Link to Amazon)

Once you choose your chew toy of preference, ensure you work with them a bit and help them understand that this is what you want them chewing and that it is enjoyable.

Don’t try and assume that they will just realize what this toy is and that this is the desired item to chew either.

Be sure to teach them that chewing these items is the ideal item to be chewing.

This can be done by replacing items you catch them chewing and placing this near their mouth and rewarding them.

You can also take the more laid back approach and just place the toy in the area of your Jack Russell on a day you don’t plan on leaving them alone and wait for them to realize it’s a toy just to ensure that they are going to like the chewing toy and use.

Regardless of which path you opt to take, providing something you prefer them to chew is your best bet just in case separation anxiety does take place.

Another solution is to use a gate that’s tall enough that they won’t be able to jump and keep them in a room where they won’t be able to chew or destruct anything.

Obviously, you don’t need to worry about this if you plan on leaving your Jack Russell in a crate when they are home alone, but overall, if they have earned the trust to free roam a bit more, this is another top recommendation that I have for you.

Next, it’s very common when a Jack Russell has separation anxiety that they can begin barking basically non-stop.

The best bet to curb this behavior is to work on training to reduce barking when you have the time.

Also, the chew toys will once again help with this behavior as well.

Point being, give your Jack Russell something to stimulate their mind and ensure that when your home, you spend some time with them to begin planting the idea that even when you leave, you return home and love them.

Eventually, this separation anxiety when leaving your Jack Russell home alone will begin to fade, but anything you can do to make your Jack Russell more comfortable and busier in productive and non-destructive ways is the best plan of action.

They are hyper dogs and need something to do when possible.

Period.


Don’t Forget Toys and Mental Stimulation When Leaving a Jack Russell Alone

We have already covered this some in this post up to this point, but I want to pound in this point a tad more before sending you on your way.

When leaving a Jack Russell alone, try and plan some in advance when possible.

Maybe take your Jack Russell for a long walk before leaving them alone to help them burn off some energy.

Decide ahead of time if you need to have additional toys and items to keep your Jack Russell stimulated during the time that they are left alone.

Decide if you will be using a crate, baby gate, or free roam approach with your Jack Russell.

Maybe even try a bitter lemon spray-on items you want your Jack Russell to have no desire to touch while they are alone in the house.

Regardless of the situation, try and prepare a bit more advanced, and you will be in much better shape for these times that you are away from home.


Keep Up with Potty Training Best Practices

The last subject I want to touch on before sending you on your way is the importance of keeping good potty-training habits with your Jack Russell even if you plan to leave them home alone for longer durations.

Ensure they get a walk, are well-fed, burn off some energy, and complete their potty duties before leaving.

Even with a potty-trained Jack Russell, you must realize that these are still small dogs, and it doesn’t take long for a meal or nice bowl of water to need to pass through them.

Keep up with your training regimens and always continue implementing best practices when you are at the point where you plan to leave your Jack Russell home alone for long durations.

Plain and simple.


Final Thoughts On Leaving Your Jack Russell Home Alone

The good news is easy to recognize in this post when it comes to leaving a Jack Russell alone at home.

You can absolutely leave them home alone if necessary, and you have several options you choose to use when doing so.

Ensure you plan and have the course of action you feel most comfortable with.

Jack Russell’s are affectionate and loving dogs and one of the best you can choose to adopt in my opinion.

Overall, your Jack Russell will be fine being home alone, but the additional planning and diligence can save some furniture and keep your Jack Russell more entertained and happier.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russell and the journey ahead of you.


Share Your Thoughts

Do you have any further tips or recommendations that you can add for the readers that can help them more effectively leave their Jack Russell’s home alone?

Did I leave anything out that you find imperative for the readers to understand?

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

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and appreciate the support for the Terrier Owner Community.

Thanks again, and we will see 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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