Are Jack Russell Terrier’s Crazy [Are JR’s Destructive+Tips] 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.

Jack Russell Terrier’s certainly have the reputation of being a dog breed with a lot of spunk, energy, and personality, and it is normal to be curious if they can act a bit crazy at times.

Why wouldn’t you want to know before potentially deciding to adopt a Jack Russell Terrier?

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

Are Jack Russell Terrier’s Crazy?

Jack Russell Terriers are not crazy or destructive. Jack Russell Terrier’s are high-energy dogs that need the ability to exercise and crave attention. When a Jack Russell Terrier cannot exercise, is not provided attention, and cannot burn off energy, they may display negative or destructive behaviors.

Hopefully, that is a relatively straightforward answer and helps you understand a bit more into the personality of the Jack Russell Terrier.

If you still have questions and concerns about if a Jack Russell Terrier can be crazy or destructive, do not worry; that is what the rest of this discussion is designed to explain for you.

Here is how I want to layout this discussion for today in this post.

Jack Russells Can Be Crazy If You Do Not Actively Manage Them

Here is the thing about Jack Russell Terrier’s.

They are not crazy dogs like they have been given the reputation of, but they certainly can be if the right circumstances occur.

Most of this, I will cover here a few moments more into this discussion, but overall, a Jack Russell Terrier is much like any other dog breed regarding how they will act and what negative behaviors they might display.

It takes an owner willing to put in the time, provide love, and provide consistency to see the best trained, disciplined, and obedient version of the Jack Russell Terrier.

A further look into the behavior of the Jack Russell will help you understand what I mean.

A Further Understanding Into A Jack Russell’s Personality and Behavior

Jack Russell Terriers were initially bred to be hunting dogs and were exceedingly popular for their hunting skills for fox and other rodents.

Even today, Jack Russells can get a reputation for being exceptionally skilled at killing and hunting mice and rats around the property.

Jack Russells are a working dog breed and desire to be on the move and finding a way to please you as the owner.

They also desire to be the center of attention when possible.

This is part of why you may notice your Jack Russell is attached to your hip and tends to follow you everywhere you go.

It may also be the reason you find your Jack Russell staring you down when you are not showing any love or positive reinforcement towards them.

It is in their DNA to find ways to get your attention.

This, in my opinion, is a positive personality trait of the Jack Russell Terrier and what I would consider a pro of owning this dog breed.

However, the problem begins when a Jack Russell is never provided the ability to exercise, release access energy, or does not often get any attention or affection from you as the owner.

This is when they can be known to be crazy and, yes, even find destructive ways to release some of that energy and anger.

Are Jack Russells Destructive?

I would never use the word destructive with Jack Russells as a blanket statement, but when the scenarios become a realization that we discussed a moment ago, yes, they can do some destructive type things.

This can include excessive chewing.

It may also include digging plenty of new holes in the yard.

These behaviors are typically the result of boredom and a lack of interaction.

A Jack Russell cannot sit around all day and sleep.

They simply are not wired in this fashion and when you fail to provide any of the training, discipline, and outlets to burn energy, is when you are likely to notice destructive and crazy behaviors.

Luckily, I plan to cover my top tips you can implement to ensure you never have to deal with any of these crazy behaviors or destructive behaviors.

Tips Towards Avoiding A Crazy and Destructive Jack Russell Terrier

Socialize Your Jack Russell Terrier Immediately

Socializing your Jack Russell Terrier early and often is one of the best things you can do.

This includes getting your Jack Russell around children and includes getting your Jack Russell comfortable with the environment and the home.

Ensure your Jack Russell is also introduced and allowed to interact with other dogs and animals in the house.

With supervision of course.

The point is that the more socialization you can provide your Jack Russell Terrier, the more well-behaved and used to certain situations they will become.

Less social anxiety and less stress will usually create less destructive and less crazy behaviors.

Provide Plenty of Exercise And Crazy and Destructive Behavior Will Be Reduced

In my opinion, this is the number 1 thing you can do for your Jack Russell to prevent destructive and crazy behavior.

This is one of the most hyper and energetic dog breeds that exist.

They are capable and even bred for working, hunting, and performing for their owners.

If they cannot do this, they still need to burn off energy in some fashion.

This is going to effectively tucker them out and keep them in check with destructive behaviors.

Try activities such as the following with your Jack Russell to help with this crazy behavior:

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Rollerblading
  • Hiking
  • Fetch
  • Running Around The Backyard

It does not matter which exercises you choose; you just need to make sure it is provided to take away some of those negative behaviors that may arise when they built up energy that becomes too much for your JR to handle.

Provide Plenty of Love and Affection

Love and affection can go the distance with many dog breeds, including the Jack Russell Terrier.

Neglected and bored, is a combination that can create that behavior that can be considered crazy or destructive.

Be sure to provide positive reinforcement, show some love and work with your Jack Russell when you have time.

Utilize Crate Training To Avoid Destructive and Crazy Behaviors

If you want to make sure your Jack Russell cannot destroy things when you are not around, you need to utilize crate training.

I have a post dedicated to breaking down the best crates for Jack Russell Terriers here.

Even the most well-behaved Jack Russell can go a bit crazy or being destructive when left home alone.

Utilizing crate training is one of the best ways to ensure you control the environment.

Trust me, you may feel bad the first few days you use the crate for your Jack Russell, but you will be very thankful in the future that you did.

So will your shoes and your couch!

Continue Providing Training and Discipline

Another critical tip I have for you is to never stop working with your Jack Russell.

Keep at training, keep using positive reinforcement, and keep making sure that you are working with your Jack Russell not only when they are a puppy but well into adulthood.

Jack Russells wants to be challenged, and providing this creates a more well-rounded, well educated, and obedient dog that is far less likely to be crazy or destructive when you are looking and when you are not looking.

Make Sure You Always Have Plenty of Toys Available For Your Jack Russell

And finally, and perhaps one of the easiest things you can do to prevent your Jack Russell from any crazy or destructive behavior.

Be sure that you provide plenty of toys to keep your Jack Russell well-stimulated and occupied.

Toys can help Jack Russell understand what they can chew and destroy and what should not be chewed.

This can be especially important during critical phases such as teething as well.

Have a nice collection of toys accessible and nearby and save money overall due to the house’s damage you have avoided.

Trust me, toys for Jack Russells can be a lifesaver.

Jack Russells Can Be Crazy and Destructive, But Not With Proper Parenting

Jack Russell Terrier’s are not crazy dogs, and they are not destructive dogs.

They simply have a high-gear motor that can remain running longer than other dogs and need the ability to exercise, burn energy, and be shown attention and love.

If you provide these things, a Jack Russell can be one of the best dogs you can adopt.

If you do not provide these things, you can likely expect to have a favorite pair of shoes destroyed or witness some other crazy behaviors from your Jack Russell.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russell Terriers and the journey you have ahead of you, and we certainly hope crazy and destructive behaviors are not in your future!

Has Your Jack Russell Terrier Ever Acted Crazy or Destructive?

Does your Jack Russell Terrier ever act crazy or destructive?

What kind of behaviors do they display, and what did you do to end the crazy behavior?

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 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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