Are Jack Russell’s Good Apartment Dogs? [Avoid This] 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, you have some considerations to keep in mind.

One of the questions I see pop up frequently in concerning the living area and space required to ethically and safely raise a Jack Russell Terrier.

Are Jack Russell’s good apartment dogs?

I’ve owned a Jack Russell now for quite some time and here’s what I can share with you on this topic.

So, are Jack Russel’s good apartment dogs? No, Jack Russel’s are not good apartment dogs. Jack Russell’s are very high energy dogs that need space to run, exercise, and burn off energy. While it’s possible to adopt a Jack Russell living in an apartment, it’s not recommended.

That’s the fast way to explain the answer to the question.

I also want to stress not to misunderstand the answer.

I think it is possible to raise a Jack Russell in an apartment ethically, but many other factors and considerations would need to be met.

Don’t worry, I plan on touching on that further into this post.

Here’s what we intend on covering today:

Trust me, if there is one dog breed that’s worth reading this article before adopting, it’s a Jack Russell.

To give you some good news before diving in fully, let me start with I think an apartment could potentially work for a Jack Russell.

If you have 2-minutes to spare, let’s cover what you need to know about apartment and tight living quarters for a Jack Russel Terrier.

Here’s the inside scoop.

Are Jack Russell’s Good Apartment Dogs?

Asking if Jack Russell’s are good apartment dogs is the wrong way to approach this question.

Jack Russell’s are excellent dogs in general and whether you can make an apartment work or not is in your hands.

I know, the answer provided above seems like it is now not so black and white.

Let my brief video here that I made on this topic that is more recent do some of the explaining for you.

However, overall, and for most Jack Russell owners, apartment living will result in either a massive failure or an extremely bored and displeased Jack Russell.

This is no fault of the owner but simply the result of not being prepared or educated on the topic.

Jack Russell’s need the ability to burn off steam.

I talk about this in my post that covers if JR’s are considered a hyper dog.

If you haven’t read that post and need to educate yourself, you can read that here.

Jack Russell’s are naturally hunters and owner pleasers.

They want to strut their stuff, show you what they are made of and please you.

The common misconception that Jack Russell’s are mean dogs is complete baloney.

I’d say that mean or aggressive Jack Russell’s have the owners to blame, not the dog.

So, how do you ensure this doesn’t happen, and you don’t have a Tasmanian devil running around your apartment?

Well, your options are limited, but opportunities do exist.

You will simply need to fulfill your Jack Russell’s needs inside and outside the apartment.

That’s right.

It will take work at home and performing activities outside of the house (we will touch on this shortly)

If you take the time to do this, and you have your heart set on a JR, you can make it happen.

However, keep in mind this isn’t for the faint of heart or for someone that will give 100% for 1 week and then slowly begin to neglect the dog.

These dogs can live for 13-18 years.

So, buckle up and implement some of the activities in the next section to make a happy home for your Jack Russell regardless of the square footage of your current home or living situation.

Fulfilling Jack Russell’s Activity Needs

Activity, activity, activity.

That’s what it’s all about with Jack Russell’s.

It doesn’t need to be a crazy amount, but it needs to be daily.

Let’s call it 30-60 minutes at a minimum for the time being.

So, what can you do with your Jack Russell if you live at an apartment?

The answer is plenty.

You still have plenty of options, and I’ve created a cheat sheet below for you to give you some starter ideas and activities.

Activities You and Your Jack Russell Can Bond Over

You see, it’s not always about finding an activity that necessarily requires physical activity.

While physical exercise is great for your Jack Russell, it does not necessarily have to be this style of interaction every day.

Any activity is what you are looking for.

Always remember, they have a strong desire to please their owners and want to learn.

And they do learn. Quickly.

Clicker training for basic commands is a great way to mentally stimulate your JR.

Regardless, make sure to implement routine and habit and let your Jack Russell perform any activity that can mentally or physically stimulate them for the best results.

In my opinion, a Jack Russell may do okay in an apartment setting if you have this dedication towards your new puppy.

I’m 100% sure this would be better than living on a farm with no interaction and no activity.

Jack Russell Apartment Living with Small Kids

Another big piece of advice that I have for all potential or future Jack Russell owners is to be careful with small kids.

I don’t mean this in a frightening sense either.

Jack Russell’s are energetic dogs, but one thing that they don’t like is teasing or rough handling.

My 3-year-old son does fine with my JR, but he has been told how to treat, handle, and behave around the dog.

A rowdy toddler that likes to rough house may scare your JR or cause behavior issues from your dog in the future.

It’s not something to not adopt a JR over but something to keep in mind.

Especially if all the family will be in a tight living space such as an apartment or city living.

Other Solutions You Can Implement Living In Apartment With Jack Russell’s

While the above-mentioned solutions are the best approach, you can also consider other avenues.

One avenue for someone who has the time to give their Jack Russell activity once per day but has a demanding life outside of that schedule could rely on playpens and crate training to help limit any issues.

Simply use a proper size dog crate for your JR when you’re not home to avoid any chewing or digging type behaviors.

These are the two most common behavior problem-related traits you will run into from a bored JR.

Jack Russell’s Living In Apartments Will Be Fine With Proper Planning

I hope this post can do you some good and be a useful resource for all the future potential Jack Russell owners reading.

Do Jack Russell’s make excellent apartment dogs?

No, they certainly do not.

However, can they make a nice home and a loving relationship with a family living in an apartment?


When it comes to any dog, most of the behaviors, issues, and living style is on the owner to implement.

A puppy is nothing more than a puppy, and behaviors can be altered with proper training and patience.

It’s on you to uphold your end of the relationship and responsibility to raise your Jack Russell ethically.

If you live on a ten-acre farm or a small apartment and are considering adopting a Jack Russell, I certainly recommend it.

My experience has been fantastic and I encourage all of you to jump on the bandwagon.

Best of luck with your new puppy.

Share Your Thoughts and Concerns on This Topic

I love to hear from the readers and encourage any and all feedback you may have.

Have you adopted a Jack Russell or attempted apartment living with a JR?

Do you recommend it?

Do you have other activities you recommend implementing with your new adoption?

Be sure to share your thoughts and stories by dropping a comment below.

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

Catch you next time.

Also Read:

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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