Jack Russell Terriers [9 Pros and 8 Cons To Consider]


If you have been trying to decide if you should adopt a Jack Russell Terrier, you have likely wondered what the pros and the cons to owning a Jack Russell maybe.

It makes sense and would likely make the decision that much easier.

Luckily, that is what this discussion is designed to break down for you.

The pros and cons of owning and raising a Jack Russell Terrier.

Here is how I want to break this discussion down for you today:



The Pros of Adopting A Jack Russell Terrier

As a Jack Russell Terrier owner myself, I found it fitting to begin discussing what I believe to be 9 of the pros of owning and raising a Jack Russell Terrier.

These are some of the beneficial and desirable traits I have noticed with my Jack Russell and the pros I believe you would experience adopting your own Jack Russell Terrier.


1.) Jack Russell’s Are Extremely Smart

Jack Russell Terrier’s make for one of the smartest dogs breeds you can choose to adopt.

While they may be known to be stubborn at times, they can learn commands and impress with the best of them.

If you are willing to put in the time with training, the Jack Russell will get a quick grasp of basic commands and become a full-blown working dog for the family.


2.) Jack Russell’s Are One Of The Most Loyal Dog Breeds

I did not know what to expect when it came to loyalty when I brought home my female Jack Russell roughly 3 years ago.

I will be the first to tell you that Jack Russell is about as loyal as it gets.

This dog will be attached to you wherever you go, needs to find ways to get your attention, and always wants to be in your center of attention.

When it comes to loyalty, the Jack Russell Terrier is near the top of the list.


3.) The Size Of A Jack Russell Terrier Can Be Desirable

I was always a fan of large dog breeds.

That was, of course, until I adopted my Jack Russell Terrier and now my mindset has shifted completed.

The Jack Russell Terrier does not grow much past the 15-20lb range and will always be capable of being a lap dog and cuddle companion for you and the family.

Something I believe most of you would consider a positive.


4.) Jack Russell’s Can Keep You Fit and Active

A Jack Russell Terrier is a dog breed that needs exercise and needs to burn energy whenever possible.

In fact, exercise can dramatically impact a Jack Russell’s overall demeanor and behavior, so it is more of a requirement.

Thus, in return, keeps you fit and active and finding creative routines that can help you and your Jack Russell remain active and fit.

Not to mention, they can do about any exercise you choose such as the following:

Pick your favorite activity and enjoy some time out of the house with your Jack Russell.

It can be a great bonding experience and benefits both you and your dog.


5.) Jack Russell Terriers Are Extremely Affectionate

When it comes to adopting an affectionate dog, a Jack Russell may be the most affectionate you can find.

This dog loves human companionship and attaches to one owner in most circumstances.

This attachment is strong and part of the loyalty personality trait we just discussed.

This dog will shower you with love, so be sure that if you want to adopt a Jack Russell, you are prepared and have the personality that welcomes this kind of behavior.


6.) Jack Russell’s Are Relatively Low Cost To Adopt

A lot of dog breeds today tend to cost a pretty penny these days.

Especially when you start talking about adopting a full-bred Jack Russell Terrier from a local breeder near you.

Jack Russell’s will most commonly run anywhere from $500.00-$1000.00 for a full bred.

Compared to some other dog breeds, this is relatively cheap and a benefit of deciding to go with a JR for the adoption.


7.) You Will Not Be Spending Too Much On Dog Food

While it may not seem like a massive benefit, dog food remains a consistent cost of owning a dog throughout their life, and some large dog breeds can really impact the monthly budget more than you think.

Due to a Jack Russell’s size and eating habits, compared to larger dogs, you will not be breaking the bank to feed your JR.

Unless, of course, you are using other expensive alternative diets such as organic or raw meat diets.

Please note, I am not a vet, so if you are considering a specialty diet for your Jack Russell, be sure to consult with a professional on the topic beforehand.


8.) Jack Russell’s Have A Long-Life Span

I am also the owner of a 7-year-old yellow lab and have owned and raised several large dog breeds in the past.

Great dogs, and god bless them, but it is no secret that some larger dog breeds tend to be on the shorter end when it comes to life span.

Smaller dogs, including the Jack Russell Terrier, can live 13-17 years with proper care and proper diet and exercise.

When you are debating adopting a dog for the future, why not adopt a dog that will be around and be a companion for the family for the next 1.5-2 decades?

Undoubtedly, a positive if you ask me.


9.) With Discipline and Consistency, Jack Russell’s Are Highly Trainable

This positive plays right back into the very first pro of the Jack Russell we mentioned previously.

The intelligence can take over, but you must be the owner that is willing to work with your dog to provide discipline, consistency, and training.

This is going to help with every angle of training including potty training.

If you do this, the Jack Russell Terrier can become one of the most trainable, impressive, and obedient dogs you can adopt.

They need the training and the consistency for this positive to become a reality.


The 8 Cons of Adopting and Raising a Jack Russell Terrier

Now, of course, while I would love to sit and only flaunt the positives of owning a Jack Russell Terrier, that would not really be fair to all of you reading.

This leads us to all the cons or negatives you need to be aware of before deciding to adopt a Jack Russell Terrier.


1.) Jack Russell’s Are Escape Artist

It is hard to think of anything that can be more frustrating than your dog finding a way to run away or get out of the yard, but you need to be prepared.

A Jack Russell is one of the best dogs at finding innovative ways to escape the yard and wander the streets.

It is one of the reasons I have a post dedicated to ensuring you have the best fence possible for your Jack Russell.

Other common factors that can improve this situation can be considering neutering a male Jack Russell or spaying a female Jack Russell Terrier.

This helps reduce the urge to chase down the other dogs in the neighborhood.

Nonetheless, it could be nothing more than a squirrel that grabs your Jack Russell’s attention, and the hunting instinct kicks in, and they get a random urge to make a break for it.

Be sure to keep an eye on your Jack Russell in the beginning until you are comfortable that they do not try and escape.


2.) Jack Russell’s Are Known To Be The Expert Digger

In addition to the escape capabilities of the Jack Russell, they also tend to dig up some holes in the yard.

Trust me, I have filled the holes in my yard several times.

Part of this can come from boredom, and other times, you run into issues with your Jack Russell getting fixated using those hunting instincts going after scents and animals they may smell in the yard.

Nonetheless, it is a pain point and something you can likely encounter or anticipate happening if you decide on a Jack Russell soon.


3.) Jack Russell’s Can Be Vocal At Times

This is another behavior that is possible to reduce or eliminate with training.

However, barking is a behavior that is common with Jack Russell’s.

They are hunting dogs and naturally are always high alert and enjoy letting you as the owner know if they spot something out of the ordinary.

It is also one of the reasons that they make excellent guard dogs.

Overall, not a behavior that has bothered me too much since owning my Jack Russell, but I understand that some would view this as a con of adopting a Jack Russell.


4.) Some Jack Russell’s Do not Play Nice With Others

At one point in time, Jack Russell’s reputation was overly nippy and not always nice towards other dogs.

I can tell you firsthand that with proper socialization, this is entirely not true.

However, the main point to take from this is that socialization is needed.

I exposed my Jack Russell to the other pets in the house immediately after the adoption and have not had an issue.

Without socialization, Jack Russell’s are known to be more guarded and slightly aggressive towards other dogs.

Especially other dogs of the same sex.

Keep that in mind.


5.) The Energy Of A Jack Russell Can Be Overwhelming

We talked about how the energy can be positive, but for someone with a tight work-life or tight life schedule in general, you may find the energy a Jack Russell has as overwhelming.

You need to take a step back and evaluate if you have the time and patience for a high energy dog and demands some attention.

For some owners such as myself, this will be considered a positive trait, but it could be viewed as a con that you should keep in mind for others.


6.) Exercise Is Not Optional

The exercise a Jack Russell needs, and demands is not optional and absolutely needs to be provided, which can be viewed negatively.

The good news is that you can use different ways to provide this exercise.

If you have a large yard or live in a rural area, simply being outside and moving around with them is enough.

However, if you do not have the yard for them to run around, you will need to supplement this exercise with something such as daily walks.

While exercise cannot be avoided, which could be considered a negative, you do at least have plenty of ways and options for providing it.


7.) Separation Anxiety Is Common With Jack Russell’s

Remember how I mentioned how loyal Jack Russell’s can be?

You will get to experience this firsthand. I highly recommend implementing crate training as soon as possible after adopting a Jack Russell to start working with and getting rid of separation anxiety.

Jack Russell’s will follow you around everywhere.

They also do not like to be left alone or away from the household’s activity and social activity.

They may even stare at you when you are not giving them enough attention.

Utilize crate training and begin teaching your Jack Russell that life does go on without turning this negative into something that you do not worry about.


8.) Jack Russell’s Love To Work and Boredom Can Set In

This negative plays into many of the pros and cons discussed the Jack Russell Terrier.

They love to work; they love to be involved, and they want something to do.

The downside is that boredom can set in relatively quickly when you do not provide this for them.

This is when you will likely think your Jack Russell is just a bad puppy.

You may even begin thinking that your Jack Russell is a bit crazy and destructive.

Be sure that if you cannot interact with them at certain times of the day that they have plenty of toys and positive, constructive things they can do.

This will also help with negative chewing behaviors.


The Pros Of Adopting A Jack Russell Outweigh The Cons For The Right Owner

Well, there you have it: 9 pros and 8 cons of adopting and raising a Jack Russell Terrier.

In my opinion, the pros of owning a Jack Russell Terrier far outweigh any of the cons we have discussed.

Nonetheless, we found it essential for you to have a full list of both the positives and negatives of this dog breed.

Ultimately, only you know and can make the decision if a Jack Russell is the dog for you and your family.

All I can do is educate you and give you my opinion that Jack Russell’s can make for excellent family pets.

The rest of the decision-making process is on you now!

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russell Terrier’s if you decide to adopt and the journey you have ahead of you!


What Other Pros and Cons Can You Share With The Community About Adopting A Jack Russell Terrier?

Do you have any other pros and cons about owning a Jack Russell Terrier that you can share with the community?

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.

Recent Posts