Why Are Jack Russell’s Grumpy[Are They Moody Dogs?]


Jack Russell Terriers 100% make for one of the best dogs you can choose to adopt but understanding their attitude, demeanor, temperament, and yes, even knowing if they can be a bit grumpy or moody is something many Jack Russell Terriers owner will wonder at one point or another.

I have now been raising my Jack Russell Terrier for the past 3 years, and here is what I can tell you on this specific subject.

Why Are Jack Russell’s Grumpy?

 Jack Russell Terriers are not naturally grumpy dogs. On the contrary, Jack Russell Terriers are high-energy and demand the attention of their owners. If your Jack Russell Terrier is acting or behaving grumpy, more medical, or behavioral problems may be the root cause of the issue.

Suppose you are anything like me with your new Jack Russell.

You probably have no idea what you are doing and may even be struggling to understand your new dog and the behavior and attitude they are showing.

More specifically, perhaps you believe your Jack Russell Terrier is acting a bit grumpy, moody, or out of sorts.

The rest of this brief discussion will cover what may be the primary cause of any aggression, grumpiness, or negative attitudes that your Jack Russell Terrier is currently showing and displaying.



Why Are Jack Russell’s Grumpy?

I was in the same situation as you when I first adopted Luna (my Jack Russell Terrier).

I was not ready or prepared for many of the adventures, attitudes, and behaviors you are getting prepared to encounter with your Jack Russell.

In all honesty, I never really had any issues with this specific topic until Luna reached about 1 year old.

At 1 year old, Luna could show a grumpy side and begin letting her attitude display with a little more ease and comfort.

Here is one key thing to remember.

Grumpy behaviors or a moody dog is not naturally how a Jack Russell Terrier will behave.

If it is currently taking place and your Jack Russell is acting in this fashion towards another person in the home or even towards another pet, you likely have an entirely new issue to deal with and need to be prepared at what those issues could be.

This will ultimately give you the best chance to fix the situation and ensure your Jack Russell can live in a much more comfortable and happier environment.

To do this effectively, it is essential to first understand how a typical Jack Russell Terrier will behave.


The Temperament of A Jack Russell Terrier

Before lumping all Jack Russell Terriers together into the same bucket, I want to clarify that I 100% understand that all Jack Russell Terriers are different and will have unique behaviors and personalities.

However, I also 100% understand that a good majority of Jack Russell’s will share a lot of behavior traits and share a general temperament.

Unless, of course, something else is wrong.

Jack Russell’s have specific needs that you want to meet.

For the most part, you do not need to have too much concern over a slight attitude from your Jack Russell, but here is when you should begin looking for additional help, resources, and trying to fix the issue.


When A Moody or Grumpy Jack Russell May Be A Concern

For me, I personally would not be concerned with your Jack Russell acting a little grumpy or moody if some of the primary behaviors or situations below are not taking place:

  • Aggression towards specific individuals or family members
  • Aggression towards other animals in the home or animals outside of the home
  • Growling or showing teeth for no apparent reason
  • Destructive behaviors
  • Showing increases possessiveness or jealousy around specific individuals

Now, I know what a lot of you are already thinking.

Did I just describe your Jack Russell?

Completely, kidding, but I absolutely understand, and sometimes Jacks just wants to show others or another dog who is boss.

Luna has been the same way in the past.

When those behaviors stick around and never improve, you need to worry or consider getting additional help to remedy the problem.

I want to begin talking about some of the steps you can take and what you can do to ensure this never becomes an issue for you, and what some solutions could be for you to try.


What You Can Do for Your Jack Russell

As mentioned, a moment ago, situations will arise depending on your Jack Russell. You may feel overwhelmed or like you should step in and provide something further to help a negative behavior or grumpy attitude that your Jack Russell is walking around with.

Here are some of the top recommendations I can provide to you if you are currently in this situation.


Provide More Exercise

Jack Russell’s are known to be high in energy and get restless relatively quickly.

Without exercise, behavior typically goes downhill, and boredom can set in relatively quickly.

Whether you have a backyard that your JR can play and enjoy or must partake in the activities, be sure to be providing plenty of exercise for your Jack Russell.

This should help eliminate some of the signs of boredom and frustration and help with some of the grumpy mood swings your Jack Russell may be displaying.

Consider exercise activities such as the following:


Provide More Training and Discipline

This probably will come across as common sense to you, but it is still important to mention.

If your Jack Russell is not showing much respect or showing an ugly side towards you, other family members, or other pets in the house, perhaps they need more discipline.

The more Jack Russell views you as the owner and leader, the less negative behaviors they will show towards you or others in the home.

are-jack-russell-terriers-grumpy-2-jack-russells-playing

Allow Your Jack Russell A Few Minutes of Your Time

Another key I have found to be helpful with my own Jack Russell is to allow your Jack Russell to have a few minutes a day with you.

This is what I would label as uninterrupted time.

No distractions where you can either play, work on training or just enjoy each other’s time together.

Sometimes, with how busy life can be, a few minutes of interrupted time can go along to show affection towards your dog, and trust me, Jack Russell’s are the kind of dog that 100% returns that affection back towards you.


Socialize Your Jack Russell Beginning at A Young Age

This may be one of the most essential tips I can give you to avoid behavioral or attitudes displaying from a Jack Russell Terrier.

I have an entire discussion about socializing your Jack Russell that you can view here for further information.

In a nutshell, the more you can expose your JR, too, the better.

They need to be around other animals.

They also need to be around family and friends and other social situations as often as possible.

This will make them more comfortable long-term with any of these situations and avoid any negative behaviors or moods that stem from stress or anxiety.


Consult Help or Consider Training Classes If Necessary

My last piece of advice that I want to leave you with before sending you on your way is simple but essential.

Consider help if you feel you need it.

Sometimes, your Jack Russell may be experiencing illness or trying to signal something else is wrong.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a local vet that you trust or even consider obedience, training, or aggression classes for your Jack Russell if the problem does not seem to be resolving itself.


Jack Russell’s Are Not Moody or Grumpy Dogs, They Simply Have Needs

As discussed, in-depth, Jack Russell Terriers are not grumpy, moody, or aggressive in most situations.

They are naturally happy, playful, and energetic dog breeds.

Yes, they have needs, demand your attention, exercise, and want to be the center of attention.

If you are noticing an irritable, moody or aggressive behavior sticking around longer than it should, be sure to seek the help of a professional for further advice, training and even consider implementing some of the tips Luna, and I broke down for you today.

Best of luck with your Jack Russell Terriers and the journey you have ahead of you.


Have You Ever Dealt with a Moody Jack Russell Terrier?

What experience or expertise can you share with the community about dealing with a moody, grumpy, or even aggressive Jack Russell Terrier?

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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