Jack Russell Terriers makes for one of the cutest dogs you can potentially adopt, and no doubt exist that Jack Russell Terrier puppies may be one of the cutest dogs to ever be photographed.
However, if you are one of those individuals currently debating if you should adopt a Jack Russell Terrier or not, you have some essentials you need to keep in mind.
As someone who adopted a female Jack Russell Terrier when she was just 8 weeks old and has been raising her for the past few years, I feel qualified and obligated to be the one to prepare you for your new Jack Russell Terrier puppy.
That is precisely what I intend to do in this discussion here today, and here is how I plan to layout the information for you:
- 11 Essentials To Keep In Mind When Adopting A Jack Russell Terrier Puppy
- Understanding Jack Russell Terrier Puppy Behavior and Needs
- Being Prepared For Your Jack Russell Puppy Will Save You Time and Frustration
11 Essentials To Keep In Mind When Adopting A Jack Russell Terrier Puppy
The first thing I want to do is deliver you with 11 essentials that you absolutely need to either:
A.) Do And Mentally Prepare For
B.) Purchase And Have Ready In Advance
All of these tips, tricks, and essential care tactics are what I believe will set you up for the best chance at an easy puppyhood, seamless transition into the new home, and the best chance at keeping your sanity with your new Jack Russell Terrier.
None of these 11 essentials or to-do items are in any particular order, so assume they all carry the same weight or are all equally important.
Now, it is time to dive right in.
#1- Be Ready To Socialize Your Jack Russell Terrier Puppy Immediately
Socialization is one of the most critical aspects of your Jack Russell’s life, and it is imperative to start this process when they are a puppy.
The sooner you can get your dog exposed to all kinds of situations, the better.
This includes getting them familiar with you and the entire family, including children.
This also includes getting them out on walks, exposing them to friends and family, and even allowing them around other animals in the house.
The more socialization your Jack Russell gets when they are a puppy, the better they will ultimately behave in the future.
It will also reduce the chances that specific social situations creating anxiety, any sparked aggression, or other issues in the future.
Once adopting your Jack Russell Terrier puppy, start this process the day you get home and continue offering socialization as much as possible.
Trust me, while it may seem overwhelming to think about now, it pays off massively in the future.
#2- Understand Crate Training Is An Absolute Must With Jack Russell Terrier Puppies
I know, and I get it. It makes us get sad to even think about putting that cute Jack Russell puppy in a crate and forcing them to cry, become sad or experience separation anxiety.
However, it is 100% recommended and benefits both you and your dog dramatically.
First, it will help teach your Jack Russell that life does go on when you are not around and programs them that sometimes you will need to leave them alone at home.
Additionally, crate training can be hugely beneficial for ensuring the potty-training process is remaining effective.
Not to mention, it helps keep you sane, allowing you to get a good night’s rest when you put your Jack Russell in the crate for the night to sleep.
Your Jack Russell needs sleep as well so do not feel bad.
Trust me, do not skimp on crate training, and make sure to read my guide about the best crates for Jack Russell Terrier’s here for further information.
#3- Puppies Make Mistakes and Your Jack Russell Will Too, Be Patient
Another big tip I have for you with a new Jack Russell puppy is to be patient and expect some mistakes and frustration.
It is all part of the journey, especially with a dog breed with such high energy.
Jack Russell’s will find ways to test your limits initially and be testing you as much as you are testing them.
Maybe the frustration will come in the form of chewing.
Maybe your Jack Russell puppy will be a digger or struggle for a week or so with potty training.
Regardless of which area your dog tends to push the boundaries, it can be overwhelming if you go into the adoption, thinking everything will be perfect.
It will not be.
However, with the right mindset and understanding that the Jack Russell can mature into one of the best dogs you can adopt with time and patience, it makes it much more worth your time and anxiety during those initial tough weeks.
#4- Get Your Puppy Engaged In Training Immediately
Training is essential for any dog breed, and that 100% includes your new Jack Russell.
It is essential to begin the process right away.
Most of the time, this will begin with the socialization process and potty training.
Crate training will help immensely with potty training, like we mentioned previously.
For the rest of training and acclimating to their new world is takes effort from you as the owner.
Get the process started quickly and continue to work with them each day for the best results.
The more consistent you can be with your Jack Russell puppy, the better.
Jack Russell’s are brilliant, and they are willing and eager to learn if you are ready to take the time to teach them.
#5- Prepare, Coordinate, and Plan For Exercise With Your Jack Russell
Some dog breeds demand a significant amount of exercise and some dog breeds demand less.
Jack Russell’s are one of those dog breeds with the energy and stamina to exercise with the best of them.
In fact, they need it, and it can dramatically improve their overall behavior.
Make sure you are planning for a way to get your Jack Russell moving around.
If you have a large and safe property for your Jack Russell to run and burn off steam, then you are in better shape than most Jack Russell Terrier owners.
If you do not, you need to be planning about how you can provide this exercise.
You can consider things such as a proper fence for your yard and your Jack Russell as one idea.
Maybe you choose to do something as simple as a walk per day or several short walks per day.
Maybe you love exercise yourself and want to get your Jack Russell involved in other forms of exercise.
When your Jack Russell is a puppy, you need to ease them into physical activity and be careful not to overdo it to avoid stress on their growing joints and bones.
It is better to push the limits with exercise for when your Jack Russell is closer to being full-grown.
Nonetheless, exercise is still imperative and needs to be provided so plan ahead to avoid a dog with pent up energy finding other crazy or destructive behaviors to substitute that time burning off some energy.
#6- Have Plenty of Chew Toys and Regular Toys Ready For Your Jack Russell
It is not just Jack Russell Terrier puppies that are known to chew.
All puppies are known to chew and try to explore the new world around them with their mouths.
Unfortunately for all of us Jack Russell owners, this can often mean that items that we prefer not to be chewed end up getting chewed.
However, if you plan and have plenty of safe toys and items you prefer, they chew around the home, you can help yourself dramatically.
Keep an eye on your dog when they are young and replace negative chewing behaviors with toys and items you prefer to play with and chew.
They will begin to cement these hobbies and be much better suited for the future if you start this training and replacement form of behavior modification when your Jack Russell Terrier is a puppy.
#7- Get Up To Date Shots, Vet Visits and Plan Your Neutering and Spaying
This is more of a common practice compared to an item that you need to overly stress about.
Many reputable Jack Russell breeders will have your dog’s first shots completed for you before the adoption.
When I adopted my Jack Russell Terrier as a puppy, she had her first round of shots, was micro-chipped, and was basically all-set and ready to go home.
Talk to your breeder and find out what has been completed and what is still needed.
After you do this, shop around and find the vet that you want to work with for the duration of your Jack Russell’s life if you do not have one already.
You can then plan to have your Jack Russell neutered if they are a male puppy.
Or, of course, you can plan on having a female Jack Russell spayed at a certain age that your vet can recommend for you.
This can help with some behaviors such as running off/running away due to hormones and scents they pick up and frequent urination can be reduced.
If you have no intentions of breeding your Jack Russell puppy in the future, most of the time, neutering and spaying will be recommended and is considered dramatically beneficial.
Plan on getting these initial health and vet type related issues taken care of and out of your mind early in the process to avoid the stress and research on the topic later.
#8- Get The House Proofed For Your Jack Russell Terrier Puppy
Proofing your house will help your new Jack Russell puppy stay out of trouble and save you from those moments of complete anger when something gets destroyed.
If you attempt to set them up to succeed, they likely will.
If the environment is begging for them to make a mistake or chewing/biting or nipping something right in front of them, they also likely will.
Remove items you do not want to be destroyed and consider a puppy gate to keep them in an isolated room.
Maybe you choose a room when your Jack Russell is a puppy with hard floors that make cleaning potty mistakes easier.
Additionally, you do not want your Jack Russell capable of destroying things such as trim or other furnishings or valuables in the home when they are young.
And of course, always continue utilizing crate training when necessary to ensure your Jack Russell remains safe and out of trouble when you cannot supervise.
Typically, when you are not around or watching, this young dog will find themselves doing the most damage or getting into the most trouble.
Proper planning can help avoid this altogether.
#9- Get The Yard Ready In Advance For Your Jack Russell
We just talked about puppy-proofing the home, but it is important to puppy-proof the outside of the house.
If your Jack Russell puppy can find a way to get into trouble inside, they can do the same outside, and I know this from firsthand experience.
You want to make sure the yard is secure to avoid your Jack Russell running away.
You also want to make sure that you keep an eye on them when they are off the leash in the beginning to avoid things such as digging or hunting for rodents in the yard.
Proof the yard and check for any easy escape points and make sure you supervise to avoid filling holes every week.
#10- Understand Common Behaviors and Plan Accordingly
When you tie all these tips together, it may be becoming clear that it is necessary to understand how a Jack Russell puppy typically behaves and do your best to plan accordingly.
This dog has energy, spunk, and does not like to get bored.
They always love interaction and love doing something, so if that activity is not provided, they will find it regardless.
You want to supervise, proof, and plan, in the beginning, to avoid them finding negative ways to use their time and burn their energy.
The more they know you are watching and have a plan for each day for them, the more they adapt and stick to this plan on autopilot in the future.
Put in the work early in the process with your Jack Russell Terrier puppy, and things will get so much easier for you in the future.
#11- Get Used To Having A Jack Russell Puppy Attached To You
One of my last tips for you and your Jack Russell Terrier puppy is something I would consider a positive and something I plan on touching more later in this discussion.
This dog is an absolute people pleaser and loves to be around their family and owner.
They are going to be attached to you and follow you basically everywhere you go.
Do not try and avoid this and be sure to show love back.
It may be annoying in the beginning, but you will grow to love it.
We will touch on a few of the other small factors to keep in mind about this behavior and personality characteristic in just a few more minutes.
Understanding Jack Russell Terrier Puppy Behavior and Needs
Before sending you on your way, I thought it would be helpful to move on from the 11 essential things to know and plan for with a Jack Russell Terrier puppy and simply break down 5 of the most common behaviors you will notice with a Jack Russell Terrier puppy.
If you tie in this knowledge with those essentials’ items, we just discussed, raising, and training your Jack Russell Terrier will not only be more comfortable but will make much more sense for you moving forward.
Here are those details.
Jack Russell Puppies Are Needy, Clingy, and Affectionate
A moment ago, in this discussion, we mentioned how your Jack Russell puppy will be attached to you.
It honestly does not go away.
In my opinion, this is a very owner and family dependent dog and must be around the attention and activity, or they are not happy.
Therefore, you may have read that Jack Russell’s are known to follow you everywhere.
It is also why some owners will say that they often stare at them when they are not interacting with their Jack Russell puppies.
This dog loves to follow, is known to suffer from separation anxiety, and needs love and affection.
If you provide it, you will likely grow to love this about your Jack Russell and honestly makes them an excellent guard dog.
I would not overthink further into his behavior and learn to embrace it as a positive.
The annoying feeling it creates for us as the owners slip away and you get used to it, and honestly, at this point, I love it and think it is just a way they show loyalty and love.
Your Puppy Is Prone To Use Their Mouths
We also touched on this previously, but I want to stress it one more time to avoid you getting overly upset with your Jack Russell puppy.
Puppies use their mouths, and Jack Russell’s arguably even more so than other dogs.
This should be understood and worked with.
Not used as a reason to punish or get upset with your Jack Russell puppy if they make a mistake.
Proper discipline is always important with a Jack Russell Terrier puppy.
Again, refer to my previous tips on the list above to plan accordingly for this.
Jack Russell Puppies Are Hunters and Ready To Prove It
Some of you who recently adopted a Jack Russell puppy may not be aware that this dog breed was initially bred to hunt.
This means that they have a strong natural prey drive, which can be shown much more as they mature.
They will pick up scents from animals in the yard, such as squirrels, rabbits, and even larger pesky animals like possum and raccoons.
Yes, they may even kill a few of the smaller rodents such as mice, rats, and rabbits, and I have had my female Jack Russell get to some mice a few times.
It is in their nature.
It is not something you can avoid and something you can use to your benefit if you choose.
Nonetheless, understanding that they have this prey drive will help you prepare more accordingly.
Full Of Energy Is In Their Blood
Earlier in this discussion, we discussed how Jack Russell’s absolutely need exercise, and that is 100% true.
Jack Russell puppies are going to be a high energy dog breed.
They pent up energy and need the ability to let loose as much as possible.
You may, of course, get a Jack Russell with a slightly calmer demeanor, and yes, you can even train and condition a Jack Russell to be more relaxed around the home based on how your family interacts and behaves during the day as well.
If your household is always high-traffic, high-commotion, and busy lifestyle, your Jack Russell will always be up and moving around and following you around.
However, the relaxed family lifestyle will also rub off on your dog as time passes.
Work with your dog and be sure to provide ways for them to burn some of this energy.
Smart But Often Stubborn Is A Jack Russell Terrier’s Personality
My last bit of information and advice I have for you is to realize that the Jack Russell Terrier puppy is one of the smartest dogs you can potentially adopt.
However, they have a stubborn side and can use that intelligence if you allow it against you.
Be sure to use your authority and establish who is the boss early in the relationship.
Doing so will help set the stage for the future and let you take advantage of their intelligence for good behaviors and obedience instead of being clever in ways that seem like they are against you.
Being Prepared For Your Jack Russell Puppy Will Save You Time and Frustration
Hopefully, these 11 essential things you should do for your Jack Russell puppy can help you understand how to plan for your pup and execute the adoption and phases shortly after like a pro.
Not only that but understanding your Jack Russell’s typical behaviors should help you understand why they do some of the things that they do and what you can do to help them correct behaviors.
It may take some time initially, but trust me, Jack Russell Terriers can make for a great addition to any family.
You just need to be prepared, educated, and willing to put in the time and effort with them to reap those rewards.
Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russell Terrier puppies and the journey you have ahead of you!
Do You Have Any Other Considerations or Essentials That Need Added To This List?
Do you have any other essential items you recommend people have before adopting a Jack Russell Puppy?
Do you have any other considerations that individuals need to be aware of to be more prepared for their new Jack Russell puppy?
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.