7 Easy Ways To Keep A Jack Russell Terrier Busy [They Work]

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Owning a Jack Russell presents unique challenges daily. Especially when you are a new Jack Russell Terrier owner, and you are still learning the ropes.

I know that when I first embarked on the journey of raising my Jack Russell Terrier (Luna), who I am sure many of you have seen on YouTube at this point, I had tons of questions. One of the most significant struggles I faced was learning how to keep her occupied, entertained, and busy.

When not entertained and when they are not kept busy, Jack Russell Terriers have their own agenda and behaviors that they may display.

Trust me, many of these behaviors that stem from boredom or other negative reasons are not behaviors you want to witness or deal with while leaving your Jack Russell at home.

The rest of this discussion will be dedicated to explaining the best methods that I recommend you implement so that you can keep your Jack Russell entertained and occupied.

Ultimately resulting in better behavior, easier training, and a more disciplined and happier JRT.

Why Keeping A Jack Russell Terrier Busy and Entertained Is Essential

Again, I am sure that most experienced Jack Russell owners are not reading this discussion/blog posts and that if any of you are reading, you are new to owning a Jack Russell Terrier and struggling with a main core principle that can make or break how easy things will ultimately go for you.

That is keeping your Jack Russell entertained and what may happen if you decide to neglect this area of ownership.

First and foremost, it is critical to understand that Jack Russell’s are high-energy dogs.

They have high exercise demands and demand the attention of their owners.

While they may be considered one of the most loving dogs you can adopt, they can also be one of the clingiest dogs you can choose to bring into the family.

They are known to follow you everywhere and, in some situations, even suffer from some significant separation anxiety when you decide to neglect some of their needs to remain busy and entertained.

While it will not be the end of the world if you forget to keep them busy or entertained from time to time, it can be somewhat regrettable when it does happen.

Typically, when you have a bored Jack Russell with not much else to do, they are going to find ways to do some of the following:

While this will not always be the case or a guaranteed situation if you do not supply your JR with something to do, it is 100% more likely to occur when you neglect to remember to find something constructive for your Jack Russell to do whether you are around, at work or passively with your JR for the day.

Below, I will break down 7 of my top tips or methods you can implement so that you can effectively keep your Jack Russell entertained, busy, and out of trouble.

7 Ways To Keep Your Jack Russell Entertained

#1-Plenty Of Toys

Plenty of toys is always necessary with Jack Russell Terriers.

With all dogs, you will find that toys play a crucial role in keeping your furry friend occupied and busy.

When it comes to the perfect toys for Jack Russell’s, you have tons of options.

I talk about my personal favorites in my post about the best toys for Jack Russell’s that you can see here.

Another key is to ensure you have plenty of them.

Jack Russell can be relatively destructive with toys and grow bored of them quickly.

Have plenty of options and find out which ones your Jack Russell prefers and likes the most.

Once you find it, make sure to always provide it.

Trust me, when you cannot provide attention towards your JR, they will need something to do, or they will get bored and need something else to keep them busy.

#2-Plenty of Exercise

Compared to other dog breeds, exercise may be the most important thing you can offer your Jack Russell.

For many reasons outside of the obvious reasons such as health.

One of the other most significant things I have realized about exercise is that it dramatically improves my Jack Russell’s behavior the remainder of the day.

There is something to be said about tuckering this dog out.

They love zoomies, and they love using their energy, and the more constructive and creative you can get with this process, the better.

Not to mention, it is going to help you remain in shape and allow you to build a bond at a deeper level with your JR.

Plain and simple.

#3-A Well Protected and Safe Yard

I know how it goes, and sometimes life can get in the way.

With that being said, I know that it can be tough to be the one in charge or responsible for always providing exercise or finding ways to get your Jack Russell busy, entertained, and staying out of trouble.

I still struggle with this 3 years later with my own Jack Russell Terrier.

This is when a well-put-together backyard can be incredibly beneficial for you.

Let your Jack Russell burn off some energy and run around outside.

Of course, when they are young, you want to make sure that they are not doing things like digging or finding a way out of the yard.

Not to mention destroying the garden you worked so hard to put together.

However, after some time has passed, your trust with your Jack Russell is going to increase, and you will feel comfortable allowing your JR to enjoy the outdoors without constant supervision.

Use this opportunity so that your JR can burn off some energy allowing them to behave better during the other hours of the day.

Trust me, it may sound like a lazy approach, but life gets busy.

I still use methods like this today and have no regrets or shame letting you all know that it works and does a great job keeping your Jack Russell busy and entertained.

Just remember, they will still get bored eventually, so it is not a permanent fix.

Only a band-aid and supplement.

#4-A Kennel Or Crate When Necessary

Something that you need to come to terms with if you own a Jack Russell Terrier is that your Jack Russell Terrier will need a crate at some point.

You are going to need to go to work or run to the grocery store.

Perhaps you need a night out with your friends.

No matter what the situation is, a crate should not be considered cruel or an unusual way to treat a Jack Russell.

In fact, I would argue the exact opposite.

Honestly, I do not really care what expert advice or advocate against crates has to say about the scenario.

Crates keep your dog safe.

Crates and kennels also keep your home protected until you have complete trust in your dog.

That trust will come where you can depend on your dog to keep themselves busy and entertained, but it does not happen on day 1.

Have a crate that is the ideal size and allows your Jack Russell to be comfortable but safe and occupied.

Provide a comfortable dog bed and a cozy environment inside of the crate.

Again, you do not need to use the crate forever, but you will want a crate at the beginning of your ownership with your Jack Russell Terrier.

I have a post dedicated to my recommendations for the best Jack Russell Terrier dog crates and kennels that you can see here.


Get creative with this recommendation.

Playtime can be referring to one on one time with you or it could be referring to you are taking your Jack Russell to the dog park.

The point is, you are spending some time with your Jack Russell interacting and having fun that does not necessarily have to involve exercise.

This is a great way to keep your Jack Russell occupied and busy, and out of trouble.


#6-Mental Toys and Games

Jack Russell’s are brilliant dogs.

If you want to challenge them at a new level and give them something to keep them busy so you can enjoy some “you time” or can stop worrying about your carpet being torn up.

Consider mental games and toys for your Jack Russell.

They can be a great way to build additional skills with your Jack Russell and great overall use of your JR’s time.

#7-Sticking By Your Side

This may seem a bit crazy to bring up, but you have 1 other thing you can do to keep your Jack Russell Terrier busy and occupied.

Accept the fact that they are going to be by your side nonstop.

It is what this dog breed does.

They follow you everywhere you go.

They get jealous, and they are incredibly loyal.

Assuming this behavior of being attached at your hip is not driving you crazy, try and go with the flow and enjoy your Jack Russell personality trait.

I get it, sometimes it can be annoying, but it can also be excellent.

It also saves you time trying to find clever ways to keep your dog busy if you simply accept the fact that this dog wants to be in your pocket all day long.

It is that simple, my friends.

When To Consider Other Alternatives With Your Jack Russell

Suppose you are still struggling to keep your Jack Russell Terrier from destructing or displaying negative behaviors even after implementing the recommendations we have discussed.

Now, it becomes time to consider other actions or alternatives.

Most likely, you need to revert and provide more training and discipline for your Jack Russell Terrier.

Socialization can also be a significant factor in the overall behavior and demeanor that your Jack Russell displays.

If nothing seems to be working and you are currently at the end of the line with your patience, consider consulting with your local vet or even a professional trainer.

Maybe even consider puppy classes to help rectify some of those negative boredom-caused behaviors.

This does not make you a bad dog owner.

Every dog is different, and sometimes you simply need some advice or additional help from someone outside of the home.

Be sure to utilize it so you can find the root cause of the boredom, unhappiness, or destructive side of your Jack Russell so you can begin rectifying the issue as quickly as possible.

Keep Your Jack Russell Terrier Entertained To Avoid Issues

As you have probably noticed thus far into the discussion, the necessary steps or recommendations needed to keep a Jack Russell Terrier busy and entertained are not necessarily difficult.

Nor time-consuming.

However, the outcome of not doing so can be more stressful to deal with, and trust me, I have been in your situation and can speak from experience.

Nonetheless, a well entertained and busy Jack Russell Terrier is a happy Jack Russell Terrier so do your best to implement routines and activities for your new dog and everything will be much smoother.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russell Terriers.

We hope that you never struggle to keep your new family addition busy and entertained.

What Recommendations Do You Have For Keeping A Jack Russell Entertained?

Do you have any recommendations for keeping a Jack Russell Terrier busy or entertained that was not included in my list?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, or 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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