Are Jack Russell’s Hard to Take Care Of? [No, And Here is Why]


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When deciding to adopt a new dog, you may have reservations and concerns about what the road ahead may look like.

Who wouldn’t have these concerns? It’s completely normal, and I was the exact same way before adopting my Jack Russell.

I had owned several dogs before adopting my Jack Russell and had this idea in my head that I wanted a smaller dog that my young 2-year-old son at the time could begin bonding with and caring for with me.

I had hundreds of questions in the beginning, but one question stood out and caused me some early anxiety.

More specifically, I had to know if Jack Russell’s are hard to take care of.

After owning my Jack Russell for 2 years now, going through the early days of training and learning, here is what I can tell you on this topic.

No, Jack Russell’s are not hard to take care of. If you begin training and correcting behaviors during puppyhood and at young ages, Jack Russell’s adapt quickly and have a great deal of respect and love for their owners and family members. With exercise, love, and a safe home, Jack Russell’s can be easy to care for.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

Every dog breed, including Jack Russell’s present unique challenges and can, be hard to take care of from time to time.

With proper planning, helpful blogs such as Terrier Owner and trial and error, Jack Russell’s can become very easy to take care of, and I’m certainly here to help.

In fact, that’s why this blog post is being put together for you.

In this brief, easy to digest post, I want to break down why Jack Russell’s are not hard to take care of and give you my top 11 reasons as to why they can be easy dogs to own and easy dogs to care for.

I’ve also created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to navigate to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.

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Here are the topics and the outline of the information I plan to cover in today’s 2-3-minute post:

Like mentioned previously, if you want or need to skip around in this post, feel free to do so using the links directly above.

Otherwise, settle in and I will break down my theories and reasoning behind why Jack Russell’s are not hard to care for.

Here are the essential details to understand.

Are Jack Russell’s Hard to Take Care of Recap

We started off this post having the discussion on if Jack Russel’s are hard to care for and what the path forward for you may look like.

I want to continue with conversation and explain with 100% transparency what my opinion and feelings on this topic come down too.

Obviously, my general opinion is relatively clear up to this point in the post.

I don’t believe that Jack Russell’s are hard to care for.

Especially if you are a dog lover and use to caring for dogs previously.

In all reality, it’s no different than raising any other dog if you put in the time and provide a loving home for them.

Instead of merely stating how I feel on this topic, I found it appropriate to break down 11 reasons as to why I believe Jack Russell’s are an easy dog breed to care for.

Let’s dive into those examples next.

11 Reasons Why Jack Russell’s Are Not Hard to Take Care Of

#1- They Learn Extremely Quickly

Clearly, when you have a situation where your dog is capable of learning quickly, this helps immensely with training, housebreaking, and overall, makes the dog easier to care for.

Jack Russell’s do not fall short in this category.

In my opinion, my Jack Russell I adopted roughly 2 years ago tends to learn at 2x the speed that my yellow lab was capable of learning at.

It seems like everything comes easy to them if you are willing to put in the time and find the most effective training methods for them.

They love to learn; they are extremely smart, and they want to seek your approval.

For this to effectively carry over into classifying a Jack Russell as an easy dog to care for, clearly, it requires some effort on your end as well.

Still, overall, the intelligence they possess makes them an excellent family pet.

#2- They Have A Strong Desire to Seek Approval and Please Their Owners

This ties back into tip #1 and plays directly into a Jack Russell being intelligent and easy to train.

The fact that they crave your approval and love makes them that much easier to take care of.

They don’t want to disappoint you, and they are incredibly loyal dogs.

I’m sure many of you know this feeling.

As opposed to the stubborn reputation they may have from sources that clearly don’t own a Jack Russell, it’s the exact opposite.

My female Jack Russell is almost embarrassed and makes a distinct look when she knows that she has disappointed me.

They don’t want to fail you, and they are happy to accommodate.

Again, this requires them understanding what is right and wrong for them to effectively become an easy dog to care for.

#3-Exercise Can Remove A Great Deal of Energy

My next tip is a big deal.

Exercise or some form of energy release is a must with Jack Russell.

Even if you have a nice backyard or if you live in an apartment.

It’s still essential.

A Jack Russell that gets to blow off some steam and energy compared to a Jack Russell that doesn’t creates two completely different dogs.

It doesn’t take much to provide this exercise as the owner either.

Something as simple as a walk, run or a game of tug and war can do the trick.

If you ensure that you set aside a few minutes a day for your new JR, you will realize how much more of a calm demeanor they have throughout the rest of the day.

They build up a lot of energy for their little bodies, and without a chance to use it, they can act hyper around the house.

To make a Jack Russell much easier to take care of, be sure to provide some exercise.

It’s that easy.

#4- The Right Toys Can Stimulate Their Minds and Chewing for Hours

For this example, always ensure you are using safe toys for them to chew.

I’d personally avoid all ropes or plastic that breaks apart easily.

They are master chewers, and what seems like a sturdy rope toy will quickly become lunch.

However, using the correct toys that are safe to chew and provide some interaction can keep a Jack Russell occupied for hours.

Be sure that if you plan on adopting a Jack Russell soon that you plan and have a good stock of mind and body stimulating toys for them to interact with outside and inside of the home.

#5- They Are Content Roaming the Backyard, Be Careful with Digging

I personally use strong chain tie-downs in my backyard that’s completely fenced in with roughly 40 feet or roaming area.

If you are curious why I even use a tie-down at all, it’s because Jack Russell’s are also master hunters and follow scents until they can’t track the smell anymore.

This creates digging if you have anything such as rabbits, raccoons, or possums in your yard.

Squirrels as well.

With the 40 feet of extension, while she’s outside, she still gets to roam most of the backyard.

When the weather permits, she is content, does not bark often, and loves just lying in the sun.

This is much like any other dog, and if you have a busy day ahead of you, you can simply allow them to enjoy the backyard.

If you ask me, this is a clear reason that proves Jack Russell’s are not hard to care for.

#6- Other Family Dogs Can Become Their Best Friend and Occupy Time

One key piece that has helped with parenting my new Jack Russell is the fact that I also have a 6-year-old yellow lab.

Many individuals underestimate how helpful this can be when bringing a new puppy into the household.

It can help in several different ways.

First, it helps dramatically with training.

Your Jack Russell is going to naturally pick up behaviors and certain things just by watching and mirroring what a trained dog is already doing and what’s causing you to reward your other dog.

It’s also going to help keep your JR occupied and give them a companion, which is a nice added benefit and can make caring for your Jack Russel that much easier.

My yellow lab and Jack Russell are basically attached at the hip and do everything together.

This allows your new Jack Russell another outlet to stay mentally stimulated and gives them an outlet and someone to play with.

Overall, if you have another dog in the household, 9 times out of 10, it’s going to make caring for your new Jack Russell that much easier.

#7- They Are Capable of Being a Relaxed Lap Dog

Jack Russell’s have a reputation of only being capable of being hyper, filled with energy and out of control.

This is not true if you ask me.

If you provide some mental or physical stimulation throughout the day, your Jack Russell can undoubtedly be a relaxed lap dog if that’s what you desire.

Later into the evenings each day, my Jack Russell becomes much more relaxed and basically just chills out.

Clearly, when dogs can have this personality trait, it makes caring for them slightly easier.

#8- They Don’t Require as Much as Larger Dog Breeds and Have Longer Life Spans

Another glaring difference I’ve noticed with Jack Russell’s compared to my Labrador is that they simply need less.

Less of everything.

Thus far, 2 years into the journey, my Jack Russell tends to have fewer issues that require a vet visit, they eat less dog food overall, and they are known to live nearly twice as long as larger dog breeds.

While these don’t necessarily remove tasks from your everyday dog parenting list, it’s still an excellent perk when you have a generally happy, healthy, and less needy dog breed overall.

#9- Crate Training Is Always an Option and Recommended

If some of your concerns about your new Jack Russell come down to leaving your Jack Russell home alone or even potty training, never forget the ability, you have with Jack Russell’s to utilize crate training.

It works fantastic with Jack Russell’s, and I highly recommend it.

If you have a demanding job or need some help with potty training, be sure to utilize practical crate training to make these tasks much easier to handle.

#10- They Don’t Require Many Baths

Unfortunately, Jack Russell’s are known to shed moderately.

However, one thing to realize about Jack Russell’s is that giving them too many baths can actually make shedding worse.

If your Jack Russell isn’t covered in mud, you can relax on giving them frequent baths because it’s likely to cause more harm than good.

I’m not a huge fan of bath time with any dog breed, so in my mind, it’s an apparent reason that I can argue as to why Jack Russell’s are not hard to care for.

At least that’s my two cents on the topic, and I’m sticking to it.

#11- Provide Some Love, and They Are Content and Happy

This is my last argument for Jack Russell’s being easy dogs to take care of.

If you can provide a loving home, some form of an energy release, and provide adequate care, then you will be in good shape.

That is all this dog breed is looking for and doing so will create a long, loving, and lasting relationship for years to come.

Implement Your Strategies and Training at Young Ages

Before sending you on your way, I want to explain one more thing.

If you want the process of training, raising, and owning a Jack Russell to be as easy as possible, you need to begin training and implementing good behavior reinforcement at the youngest age possible.

Nearly all dog breeds you can choose to adopt slowly become more stubborn and less likely to adopt new behaviors as they get older.

Ensuring that you plant the proper seeds and teach your Jack Russell the correct way of behaving at a young age is going to make the entire journey of raising a Jack Russell that much easier.

Not only now but years into the future.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it’s my opinion that Jack Russell’s are not difficult to care for.

They make for excellent family pets and need nothing but some training and a loving home.

Sure, we will all face challenges from time to time with any dog breed, but in the grand scheme of things, Jack Russell’s can become a laid-back dog breed to own and care for.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck if you do decide to adopt a Jack Russell and appreciate you stopping by today.

Share Your Thoughts

Do you have any further information or reasons you can add to the list advocating that Jack Russell’s are not difficult to take care of?

Do you feel like anything has been left out of this post?

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.

Thanks again, and 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 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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