Do Jack Russell Terrier’s Get Depressed [Yes+How To Handle It]


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If you have been raising a Jack Russell, you are already well aware that they typically are high energy and hyper dogs, and when this behavior shifts, it is easy to believe that your Jack Russell may be depressed.

Sadly enough, depression could be an actual problem for your Jack Russell that needs to be addressed.

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

Do Jack Russell Terrier’s Get Depressed?

Yes, Jack Russell Terriers can get depressed. Jack Russell Terriers can get depressed due to lack of love and affection or significant changes in the household dynamic’s routine. If a Jack Russell is without their primary owner or a companion dog is no longer around, a Jack Russell may become depressed.

It is essential that if you want to be educated enough to recognize depression with your Jack Russell and effectively help treat the depression, you know how to recognize depression and what steps you should take to help your Jack Russell.

The rest of this discussion will be dedicated to discussing depression with Jack Russell Terrier’s.

Here is how I want to break down this discussion for you today:



Depression With Jack Russell Terriers

Dogs have emotions and connect with humans much more than we may be aware of and they are more like us than we may want to admit.

Shockingly enough, depression with Jack Russell Terriers is not uncommon.

In fact, it is easy to argue that depression with Jack Russell’s is a common occurrence.

The good news is that you have many ways to help your Jack Russell through their depression, and more severe prolonged onsets of depression are more of a rare occurrence.

To help your Jack Russell, if they do happen to become depressed, you need to understand a few things first.


How To Help Depression With Your Jack Russell Terrier?

Helping your Jack Russell avoid depression or come out of depression requires you to understand when your Jack Russell Terrier is depressed and what may have even caused it.

Obviously, you are not going to know why your Jack Russel is depressed until it takes place, so the process all begins with recognizing the signs of depression with a Jack Russell first.


Recognize The Depression With Your Jack Russell

Jack Russell may display several different behavior changes if they are beginning to slip into a depression.

I want to cover as many of them as possible, but I also want to disclaim that this advice does not substitute the need to contact a vet in some situations to ensure nothing else is wrong with your Jack Russell.


A Lack Of Following May Indicate Depression

I think we can all agree that the Jack Russell is a dog breed that will follow you everywhere.

I know my Jack Russell loves to follow me around everywhere I go.

If this were to suddenly stop, I would notice immediately and have grown used to her being connected to my hip at all times.

If your Jack Russell is no longer interested in following you and has lost that need to be around you, it could indicate depression.


A Change In Appetite Can Signal Sadness, Depression or Trouble

This can be one of the more problematic symptoms of depression to spot and likely requires you understanding your Jack Russell’s average weight.

This way, you can effectively understand if they have lost weight and begin diagnosing if the issue is depression related or not.

A lack of appetite can also indicate a problem with your dog’s mental health and signal depression.

The problem with a lack of appetite being the only symptom your Jack Russell is displaying could also mean many other things.

I find it equally important to try and spark some excitement out of your Jack Russell and show some love in this situation.

However, I also recommended not trusting that this is 100% a depression issue and be sure to consult with your vet to ensure other health issues are not impacting your Jack Russell.

When it comes to a dog not eating like they usually do, you always want to be on the cautious side to make sure your Jack Russell is okay and has nothing to worry about.


Excitement and Enthusiasm Is Beginning To Fade Is A Depression Signal

Jack Russell Terriers are one of the most energetic and enthused dogs you can decide to adopt.

It is one of the major appeals of owning a Jack Russell.

Nobody knows your Jack Russell and their personality characteristics better than you do.

If they are suddenly not behaving in the same fashion they used to or show a lack of joy or enthusiasm for activities they used to, your Jack Russell may be depressed and need some additional love and affection.


More Frequent Sleeping

Jack Russell’s are not known to sleep all day.

They would instead be following you around and finding something productive to do, and yes, sometimes, they look for bad things to do as well.

I think many of us have found that hole in the yard from some digging.

Suppose your Jack Russell is beginning to sleep more than usual but is healthy overall.

In that case, it may indicate that boredom and depression are beginning to impact your dog mentally, and this needs to be addressed.

Of course, sleeping could indicate other issues as well, so this is one of those situations where you want to make sure you consult a vet and have a good feeling that nothing more severe is taking place.


Destructive Behaviors Should Not Be Ignored And Can Indicate Depression

Destructive behaviors can also indicate that your Jack Russell has a lack of training and discipline.

However, on the flip side, if you haven’t seen this form of chewing or destructive behavior in a long time and you understand that your Jack Russell is no longer a destructivee dog in general, then you may have an issue.

If your Jack Russell is chewing more often, destroying items in the house, or acting out, it could be an indicator that they are depressed or trying to give you a “cry for help.”

Don’t worry, coming up next, I want to cover some of the things you can do to avoid depression with your Jack Russell and touch on how you can attempt to pull your dog out of depression if it is currently happening for you.


Providing The Remedy For Your Jack Russell’s Depression

Now that you know how to potentially spot depression when it is taking place, you must do your best to help your Jack Russell get back to their happy and usual selves.

Here are some of my top tips for getting this done.


Provide More Exercise To Reduce Depression

Exercise is one of the most needed and most desired tasks you need to handle when you own a Jack Russell Terrier.

Plain and simple.

A Jack Russell Terrier is a working dog that wants to be challenged and needs to burn some additional energy.

A lack of exercise can cause destructive behaviors, excessive barking, and yes, even depression.

Start exercising and getting active with your dog more often to help with depression or to avoid it altogether.

Consider partaking in various exercises and choose one that is the most beneficial for you and your Jack Russell’s.

Some examples can include the following:

Pick one and get active with your Jack Russell.

Trust me, they love it, and if they seem a little down in the dumps, it may just take some routine and consistency from you to pull them out of their slump.


Spend More Time Focused Around Positive Reinforcement

Jack Russell’s love to know that they are pleasing you.

This is a loyal dog breed that wants you to communicate how awesome they are, and you should be doing it.

I even argue that positive reinforcement consistently happens because they tend to follow their owners so frequently.

It could even be one of the reasons they stare at you all day, waiting for some approval or satisfaction.

Give them what they want, and you can avoid them becoming upset and, yes, potentially, even depressed.


Understand What Is Missing That’s Causing Your Jack Russell’s Depression

Maybe you have not done anything wrong and already do everything recommended for a Jack Russell Terrier.

When this happens, you want to try and put together the puzzle and realize if they are sad about something else.

Is one of the family members on a business trip and hasn’t been home in weeks or days?

I know that my Jack Russell loves being around me most of the day, but she also has a strong connection to my 4-year-old son.

I can nearly guarantee that her behavior would change if he happened to be gone for a few weeks.

Has another dog in the home recently died, and your Jack Russell lost one of their lifelong buddies?

Be compassionate, figure out what is now missing in your Jack Russell’s life and do your best to fill that void.

Additionally, realize that sometimes time is the only fix for a depressed Jack Russell.

Be patient and do your best.


Get The Mind Involved and Switch Up The Style Of Play

Mental stimulation is equally as important as physical exercise.

If your Jack Russell seems bored or like they are slipping into a depression, try offering a new way of interaction.

Give your Jack Russell some constructive mental type toys to play with.

Puzzle toys that offer treats are one option, and simple training is another way to positively challenge your Jack Russell.

Give it a try and try to get their mind focused on something new.

It will help more than you think.


Change Diets If Necessary, For Your Jack Russell

Diets for your Jack Russell can be one of the most important decisions you ever make.

A lack of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can impact your dog mentally and affect your dog physically.

Yes, depression can be tied to a lack of diet of a balanced diet.

It is one reason that Jack Russell owners contemplate offering better diets such as raw meat diets.

Get to the bottom of why your Jack Russell Terrier is not eating.

Be sure that you also speak to your vet if you believe this may be the issue.

Changing a diet should not be overnight, and you want to ensure you speak to a professional before making any final decisions.


Provide Training, Discipline, and Consistency To Avoid Depression

Your Jack Russell is much more of a creature of habit than you may believe.

They love routines and consistency.

If you have been consistent in the past but now suddenly changes something dramatically, it could very well cause depression.

Ensure that once you plan your schedule with your dog, you stick to it as much as possible.

Do not exercise one time with your dog and assume the problem is fixed.

These dogs get used to when they are supposed to eat and even know roughly what time you wake up most days and when you take them outside.

This can be especially important during the potty-training phase.

It is also very important during the socialization phase with your Jack Russell to remain consistent.

Keep doing that schedule to ensure your Jack Russell’s keep that routine and that you make it a high priority.

This will help much more than you think.


Depression Can Be Avoided With A Jack Russell, Provide Love and Affection

Depression is something that can impact your Jack Russell at some point.

Luckily, depression is also something you can help your Jack Russell with using the information we have already broken down in this post.

Be sure to provide plenty of love, exercise, and ensuring your Jack Russell always remains happy and healthy.

A Jack Russell can become one of the best dogs you and your family could ever adopt.

Especially with proper care!

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russell Terriers and hope depression is never an issue your JR has to deal with.


Has Your Jack Russell Ever Been Depressed?

Has your Jack Russell Terrier ever shown signs of depression?

What did you do to fix the issue, and what other tips can you provide the readers today?

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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