Are Jack Russell Terriers Good Family Pets? [The Truth You Should Know] is reader-supported. If you buy a product through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

If you’re considering adopting a Jack Russell Terrier, you are likely questioning the decision and attempting to do your homework on the pros and cons.

After all, you don’t want to ultimately adopt a dog breed that’s not going to be a good fit for the entire family.

It leads people to often ask, do Jack Russell Terriers make good family pets?

I currently own a female Jack Russell named “Luna” and while I can’t speak for all Jack Russell owners, I can certainly talk about my experience on this topic.

So, do Jack Russell Terriers make good family pets? Yes, Jack Russell Terriers make good family pets. Jack Russells are loving and affectionate dogs. Jack Russells if trained and handled correctly, grow close bonds with all family members. Jack Russells strive to please their owners and make loyal and protective pets.

You likely think that this contradicts other stories you have read online.

The problem with stories online is that they can often be crafted by individuals who don’t own the specific dog breed being discussed.

This is a problem and gives Jack Russells a reputation of always being wild and crazy.

While Jack Russells certainly has a personality unlike most dog breeds, they are 100% trainable and excellent family pets.

In this post today, I plan to cover this in-depth with real facts from an actual Jack Russell owner.

Additionally, I know the trend in this fast-paced world is to skim blog posts quickly.

If that’s your intentions here today, I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will detail what we intend on discussing in this post and allow you to skip straight to any specific section of this post that you want or need to learn more about.

Here’s a brief outline of what you can expect to learn in today’s post:

If you don’t need to skip around in this post and have about 3-minutes to spare, I recommend checking out my full post below.

I will include images of my Jack Russell “Luna” as well as explain in-depth and advocate that Jack Russells make fantastic family pets.

Here are the details you need to know.

Jack Russell Terrier laying on floor
Luna Hanging Out

Why Jack Russells Make Good Family Pets

The small TV star type dog stemmed back from England nearly 200 years ago.

Originally bred to hunt fox, Jack Russells have a unique personality.

However, with love, proper training, and dedication, a Jack Russell can remain calm and make an excellent family pet.

That’s been my experience so far with my Jack Russell.

Jack Russells are affectionate dogs.

During puppyhood, it’s imperative to take some time to program the correct behaviors into your new Jack Russell to reach the desirable behaviors.

I have seen online in the past some information on Jack Russells that I don’t believe to be blanket statements.

I think any anti-social Jack Russell is more the result of lack of training and interactions with the dog on the owner.

I’m basically 100% blaming the owner in these situations

I believe a puppy is nothing but a puppy when born that can be molded into a loyal and loving pet with dedication.

I’ve also owned yellow labs and other dog breeds in the past.

Compared to other dog breeds, a Jack Russell is just as loving towards their family as any different dog breed you can choose to adopt.

The first step you need to take is to simply ignore the negative stories you have read or heard in passing.

With proper training and love, those stories simply don’t apply to Jack Russells.


Ignoring the Information You Find Online

Jack Russells tend to get the reputation of being a rapid and crazy barker, extremely hyper, and not the best dog breed for small children under the age of 6.

Not true.

My son has not turned 3, and my Jack Russell and son get along great.

My son can pick her up and hold her, and Luna is protective of my son.

It’s a replication of how my 5-year-old yellow lab behaves.

Jack Russells also gets the reputation of being overly aggressive with other dog breeds.

Again, not true.

I’ve had no issues since day 1 with my Jack Russell living in the same household as my 100 lb yellow lab.

They play tug of war together and share the same fenced yard to potty and play.

My pictures below go to prove this theory further.

It merely hasn’t been a concern this far into my parenthood of a new Jack Russell.

However, I have taken the time to set the stage for the behaviors I desire and take the time to actively partake in training and molding with my JR.

Part of my luxury may stem from the ability to work from home.

This provides me even me a more substantial opportunity to spend time monitoring and training the new JR, but, in all honesty, I don’t think a regular 9-5 job would have yielded much different results.

They are intelligent dogs that pick up quickly how to please you and what’s right and wrong.

In fact, the only accident my JR had with potty training was during the first 2 days.

Since then, no issues or accidents.

I’m not saying we are in the clear, and things don’t happen.

I’m simply pointing out that a JR deserves the same consideration as any other dog breed from potential dog parents.

Let’s switch gears and talk about some of the easy tactics you can implement to get your relationship off on the right track with your Jack Russell.

Training Your Jack Russell to Become a Family Dog

If you want a family dog, you need to implement training to achieve this.

I’m not referring to potty training either.

I’m talking that simply training your Jack Russell to behave in the fashion you prefer.

Jack Russells are high energy enough, so it’s important to train your dog that time for play exist and a time for relaxing exist.

It’s also important to get your family on the same page.

Young children (like my son) tend to play rough.

While playing is a great thing, it’s important it’s a constructive form of playing.

This can be with toys, tug ropes, or even playing fetch with a tennis ball.

Devoting a time of the day that’s meant for nothing except burning off some steam and energy is your bet.

Jack Russell Terrier playing with Yellow Lab
My Jack Russell Playing Tug With My Yellow Lab

What to Avoid with Jack Russells When Adopting?

When you adopt a Jack Russell, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

First and foremost, understand that they do require some space such as a yard or a decent size house.

If you live in an apartment, make sure you understand you are going to need to find other avenues for allowing your Jack Russell to get mental and physical stimulation.

A Jack Russell that’s nothing more than a house dog for cuddling doesn’t ‘t tend to pan out very well.

Stay diligent and devote time, and a Jack Russell can be one of the best family dogs you can adopt.

Pros and Cons of Jack Russells As Family Dogs

All dog breeds typically present unique pros and cons.

I wanted to take a minute and breakdown what I believe to the most significant benefits you can enjoy owning a Jack Russell as a family dog.

Pros of Jack Russells As Family Pets

  • Small
  • Excellent Guard Dogs
  • Extremely Loyal and Loving
  • One of the Most Intelligent Dogs
  • Healthy and Long-Life Spans

On the other hand, I wanted you to be prepared and understand that Jack Russells do have drawbacks as well.

Cons of Owning a Jack Russell

Final Thoughts

Regardless of what you have heard or read, I’m here to tell you that Jack Russells do make fantastic family pets.

It takes some time, and it takes some work, but if you put in the effort, a Jack Russell terrier can be one of the best options and dog breeds you can adopt.

Best of luck with your adoption or your current JR.

Let the Readers Know Your Thoughts

Do you agree that Jack Russells make fantastic family pets?

Do you have any other tips you can share with the readers?

Be sure to share your thoughts, comments, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading our blog.

We will catch 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 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