How Much Exercise Does A Jack Russell Need [Full Guide] 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.

Providing enough exercise for any dog is always a task that potential dog owners need to be aware of.

All dogs have different needs when it comes to exercise, and it is important that we understand and fill these needs.

I had concerns myself before adopting my Jack Russell a few years ago.

More specifically, I wanted to know the answer to a specific question to provide the best care possible to my Jack Russell.

How much exercise does a Jack Russell need?

After a few years of owning and raising a Jack Russell and a plethora of research on the topic, here is the information I can provide you.

Jack Russell’s need to exercise daily. Jack Russell’s need a minimum of 1 hour of exercise each day. The exercise can be offered in various ways such as walking, running around leash-free in a yard, or engaging in more physical activity such as swimming or running. Jack Russell’s are energetic dogs, and exercise is imperative.

That is only the quick and more direct answer to the question, but it still leaves plenty of room for explanation and likely still has you curious as to what other Jack Russell owners do to fulfill these exercise needs and what you can do to keep your Jack Russell happy and healthy.

Fortunately, that is what the rest of this post is designed to break down for you.

I not only want to explain the exercise requirements of a Jack Russell Terrier but also break down the exercise activities you can utilize and answer other frequently asked questions on the topic.

To make this is as straightforward as possible, I have created an easy table of contents directly below with links that you can click to navigate directly to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.


Here is how I intend to break down the exercise needs of a Jack Russell:

By the end of this post, you should have a good understanding and know what to expect if you decide to adopt a  Jack Russell in the near future or how you can improve on your daily routine if you have already adopted a Jack Russell.

If you are short on time, take my advice and use the links directly above to skip around.

Otherwise, give me roughly 4 minutes, and I will break down everything you need to know about providing the correct amount of exercise to your Jack Russell.

Here is the critical information you need to understand.

How Much Exercise Does A Jack Russell Need Recap?

If you follow this community much or know my style, I always like to start with a brief recap to keep us focused and on topic.

When it comes to Jack Russell’s and exercise, it is imperative that you provide it in some fashion.

Ideally, you will want to get the time allotted for exercise up to about 60 minutes at a minimum for your Jack Russell per day.

But why is this so important for a Jack Russell compared to other dog breeds?

In all honesty, I find it extremely important for any dog breed, but Jack Russell’s fall into a different class when it comes to exercise and mental stimulation needs.

A Jack Russell was initially bred to hunt and work hard for their owners.

They want to work hard, and they want to be challenged with a task or something that requires energy to be exerted.

Without this exercise and physical/mental stimulation, they bottle up a lot of hyper energy.

Much like a young child, they can either use this energy in positive ways and to bond more with you as the owner, or they will use that energy that’s bottled up inside of them and perhaps perform more behaviors that you don’t prefer to see.

Don’t you worry, I plan to break down what this may look like if you provide the correct amount of exercise for your Jack Russell vs. what you may experience if you think that this is something that can be placed on the backburners.

Lets get into those details now.

The Pros of Providing A Jack Russell the Correct Amount of Exercise

Clearly, providing the adequate amount of exercise for our Jack Russell’s are the intentions right out of the gate, and we want to think that we will be experts at this right away, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

It happens, it will happen to you, and I can assure you that it happens to everyone.

However, depending on your situation and even the situation of your own backyard, this can be easier than you may believe in fulfilling their needs and it does not always require your presence (more on this later)

For now, let us assume you do a standup job at providing the correct amount of exercise for your Jack Russell.

How does this help you as the owner, and what benefits can both you and your Jack Russell enjoy by fulfilling these needs.

Here is a quick list of the top benefits I can think of right off the cusp that you will enjoy providing adequate exercise for your new Jack Russell:

  • Long Healthy and Happy Lives
  • Less Bottled Up Nervous Energy
  • Calmer Demeanor All Other Hours of The Day
  • Less Digging and Destructive Behaviors While Outdoors
  • Less Chewing and Destructive Behaviors While Indoors
  • Reduced Barking
  • Overall, More Obedient and Relaxed

Now, keep in mind, I wouldn’t say that a few of these benefits are scientific by any means, but they are what I experience when I make sure to provide mental and physical stimulation to my Jack Russell on any given day.

I am sure that plenty of other benefits present themselves when you follow the guidelines, but overall, these are sure-lock benefits I have encountered myself and can vouge for.

Now, let me start transitioning and present the ugly side of things and the behaviors I have specifically noticed when I fail to live up to the expectations and needs of my Jack Russell and her physical and mental stimulation.


Here is a look at the most significant drawbacks of not providing enough exercise for your Jack Russell:

The Cons of Not Providing Sufficient Exercise for Your Jack Russell

  • Nervous Energy Which Can Cause Shaking
  • Destructive Behavior Such as Chewing and Digging
  • Boredom and Depression May Set In
  • Excessive Barking
  • Other Ways Discovered Causing Damage to A Yard or Home
  • Less Bonding and Affection Taking Place
  • Obesity

Again, I am not stating that these are scientifically locked in stone outcomes of not providing exercise.

This is merely stating what I have noticed with my Jack Russell if life gets in the way too often to provide me enough time to allow her the exercise she needs.

Luckily, after only a few weeks of owning a Jack Russell, you begin to learn that this task is much easier than you believe to complete and doesn’t always require your full presence to allow your Jack Russell the mental and physical stimulation that they need and desire.

We will cover that side of it more in-depth shortly, but beforehand, lets cover some frequently asked questions that Jack Russell owners often are curious about.

How Long Should You Walk A Jack Russell?

As a Jack Russell owner myself, I do not believe there is any rhyme or reason to how long you or how far you walk a Jack Russell.

However, if you are looking for a direct answer to the question, I would present it in the following manner:

A Jack Russell should be walked or provided a total of 60 minutes of exercise daily. If you can provide a yard in which a Jack Russell can run around leash-free, the durations and distances of walks can be reduced. If you cannot afford your Jack Russell unsupervised yard time, 60 minutes is a good amount of walking for a Jack Russell.

This is simpler than it may sound.

If you can let your Jack Russell release energy simply by running around outside without your presence, you do not need to be walking your JR several miles a day or for an hour.

However, lets assume you live in a highly populated city and do not have the opportunity to allow your Jack Russell this free yard time.

If that is the case, you need to grab a leash, your walking shoes and get out and get moving with your Jack Russell.

Doing so is going to allow your Jack Russell to release some of that built up energy and dramatically improve their behavior and demeanor for the remainder of the day.

I hope that was a simple way to answer this question for you.

I personally have the fenced-in backyard that my Jack Russell and yellow lab interact and play within, so I typically only walk my Jack Russell around the block a few times a day that equates to roughly 20-30 minutes of additional exercise daily.

With some common sense and adequate planning in advance, a Jack Russell should not interfere with your daily lives in any significant manner.

Exercises to Enjoy with Your Jack Russell

Now that we understand the pros and cons of offering adequate exercise for your Jack Russell, it is time to move more into the actual activities, you can engage your Jack Russell with.

Some of them are the everyday activities you can implement with any dog breed, but nonetheless, I think it is essential to give you some starter ideas for your JR.

Here Is a quick list of the exercise activities I would consider implementing into your daily routine with your new JR:

All the activities above perfectly suffice for keeping your Jack Russell getting the exercise they need to burn energy and remain happy and healthy.

There is no need to get out of the box with activities unless you choose too.


The basics will get the job done perfectly fine and provide your Jack Russell with plenty of exercise.

How Do You Keep A Jack Russell Busy?

The same activities that we discussed above can be applied to this question as well.

Keeping a Jack Russell busy can involve the exercise activities listed out for you above, or you can simply allow them to interact and run around with your other dogs (if you have any)

The best advice I can give you is to not assume your Jack Russell will always do good things if left alone in an area such as a backyard.

Make sure that if you want to take this approach that you are providing items such as safe chew bones or chew toys for your Jack Russell.

Otherwise, you may find that the best idea your Jack Russell comes up with to stay busy involves chewing things you do not prefer chewed or finding a way to get out of the yard through means of digging.

It may also cause them to bark excessively if you do not give them a way to use their minds and bodies.

That is my 2 cents on the subject, at least.

Games You Can Play with Your Jack Russell

Now that we know that exercise is a must for a Jack Russell, let’s have a little bit of fun with it and also mention some games you can play with your Jack Russell to make the experience something for you to participate in as well.

Here is a quick list of games I think would make for excellent activities and exercise for both you and your Jack Russell to enjoy:

  • Food and Maze Puzzles or Bowls
  • Hiking
  • Flyball
  • Frisbee
  • Tennis Ball Fetch
  • Rope Toy Fetch
  • Yard Chasing
  • Hide and Seek
  • Swimming and Fetch Combined with a Water Ball or Water Toy

While some of these obviously require more of your attention, they can make for excellent bonding time with your Jack Russell and allow your Jack Russell to really put their mind and bodies to work.

At the end of the day, a short amount of time participating in any of these activities is going to go a long way towards a well behaved, loyal, and calm acting Jack Russell.

That is a statement you can take to the bank and a personal guarantee.

Tucker them out when you have a chance, and you will see exactly what I am referring too.

Exercise for Jack Russell Puppies

Many individuals who recently adopted a Jack Russell overthink exercise for their new pups.

It is nothing dramatically different than you would do with your mature Jack Russell.

You will, however, want to avoid running too far or placing to much impact on your puppy’s feet and joints.

Stick to activities such as walking, tug of war, and less strenuous activities for your Jack Russell puppies.

At the end of the day, your JR puppies do still need the same energy release and attention, but it needs to be dialed back to avoid injuries or over-exhaustion.

Jack Russell Terriers Need Exercise

I genuinely hope that none of the readers on this post are overthinking this part of Jack Russell ownership.

Trust me, it does not interfere with your daily life to provide what your Jack Russell needs in the form of exercise.

A simple walk or time outside with another dog (assuming they get along) will get the job done and keep your Jack Russell from becoming overweight.

Jack Russell’s make for an excellent pet and one of the best dogs you can choose to adopt.

Ensure you are prepared to find a way to provide some of this physical and mental stimulation for your new Jack Russell, and you will be in great shape.

Luna and I hope this post has helped you understand how you can implement more exercise into your day for your Jack Russell, and we certainly wish you the best of luck with the journey ahead of you.

How Often Do You Give Your Jack Russell Terrier Exercise?

Do you have anything further, you can provide the community when it comes to ensuring that your Jack Russell is getting the proper amount of exercise?

Any further activities or ways to provide exercise that you believe should be added to 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 today.

Thanks again, and we will see 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.

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