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When you begin the planning and adoption phase for your Jack Russell Terrier, you may be curious if you should be leaning towards a male or female Jack Russell Terrier.

I was the same way before adopting my now 2.5-year-old female Jack Russell Terrier.

I wanted to know if the male or female Jack Russell was the better choice for my family and I and wanted to compare some of the personality and behavior characteristics of both sexes.

That has led me to create this quick guide for all of you in the same situation that I was in.

This guide is meant to break down if you should be leaning towards the male or female Jack Russell Terrier as your first Jack Russell, and here is how I intend to break down and present the information for you today:

Male Vs. Female Jack Russell Terriers

Clearly, when you are getting ready to adopt, I am sure you are aware that there will be a difference between adopting a male Jack Russell Terrier and a female Jack Russell Terrier.

While both dogs can make excellent pets and additions to the family, one of these sexes may match your personality more and offer more behavior characteristics that you would prefer to adopt.

I want to begin by breaking down some of the typical traits and the personality of the male Jack Russell Terrier compared to the female Jack Russell Terrier.

Characteristics of The Male Jack Russell Terrier

While the male Jack Russell will have some characteristics that may differ from the female Jack Russell, they still make for excellent pets when provided a loving home, discipline, and training.

Characteristics of The Male Jack Russell Terrier

However, you may notice a male Jack Russell has a more assertive personality in some of the following areas:


Jack Russell Terriers are known to be a hyper dog breed by nature.

They love to be on the move and running around, but the male Jack Russell is known to be even more hyper and willing to entertain.

The male Jack Russell is going to be physically built for exercise and working in addition to having the stamina to perform activities for long durations of time.


The male Jack Russell is also known to be a highly affectionate dog.

Male dogs, in general, have been known to be more affectionate dogs then females in many situations, and many Jack Russell owners will state that the male Jack Russell Terrier is highly affectionate.

Focused and Love Working

Male Jack Russells are known to be a people pleaser and love to seek the approval of their owners and family members.

They love to be challenged and love to learn.

Although I could easily argue that female Jack Russells are equally as focused and love seeking.

My female Jack Russell will do about anything she can to please me and get my attention.

Highly Motivated by Food and Treats

Male Jack Russells are much like other male dog breeds when it comes to food and treats.

This is a good thing for many because training absolutely needs to be completed with a new Jack Russell Terrier puppy.

They need training immediately and need socialization immediately.

When your dog is motivated by treats and food, it makes it easy to offer rewards for performing the correct actions during training.

Typically, More Aggressive

This could be considered one of the negatives when it comes to choosing a male Jack Russell Terrier.

While I do not believe a male Jack Russell is naturally an aggressive dog, it is known that a male Jack Russell can display more aggression than a female in certain situations.

Most commonly, this will take place when a non-fixed or un-neutered male dog is around other male dogs.

This is also when you may notice your male Jack Russell attempting to mark their territory more frequently.


This is a behavior trait I have noticed with my male yellow lab.

Even though we are on the topic of Jack Russell Terriers, I do notice a significant difference in the way my male dog protects the yard and patrols the area of the home compared to my female Jack Russell.

If you opt to adopt a male Jack Russell Terrier, you may notice this protective behavior not only towards you and the family but also of the property.

They make for excellent guard dogs.

That is for sure.

Not a negative trait to seek from a Jack Russell Terrier but may potentially lead to some other undesirable behaviors such as excessive barking.

Now that we have an idea of what you can expect with the male Jack Russell Terrier, I want to move on and break down some of the characteristics, behaviors, and personality traits you can expect if you happen to be leaning towards adopting a female Jack Russell Terrier.

Characteristics of The Female Jack Russell Terrier

Characteristics of The Female Jack Russell Terrier

Calmer, Reserved, and Often More Timid

This is something that I enjoy with my female Jack Russell Terrier.

Compared to the male Jack Russell Terrier, the female is less hyper, easier to calm, and more reserved than the male JRT.

This makes the female Jack Russell Terrier the perfect lap dog in most situations or a good cuddle buddy.

More Independent

Do not be confused about this characteristic trait of the female Jack Russell.

My female Jack Russell still craves attention and wants to be front and center in most situations.

You can learn about how she behaves in this fashion by visiting my YouTube Channel here.

While she may be like this, she is still relatively independent and can enjoy time lounging alone or even relaxing in the sun in the backyard if the family and I have other obligations taking place or going on.

One of my favorite traits of the female Jack Russell Terrier!

The Women in Charge (Alpha)

This is 100% true, and I have experienced this firsthand with my Jack Russell Terrier.

The female Jack Russell’s notion that they are the alpha and often try and oversee the relationship.

It is essential to combat this that you take control immediately after the adoption.

Begin with basic training commands and potty-training practices.

Make sure that you are beginning the process of socialization and discipline with your Jack Russell so that they never feel in charge of the relationship.

Honestly, this has never been an issue for me, and if you make it clear that you are in charge, the female Jack Russell Terrier makes for an excellent pet.


Female Jack Russells, much like the male Jack Russell, can also be territorial.

They tend to take a strong liking to someone in the household, and they always like to keep an eye on the situation.

They may also be territorial of their own yard and property around other dogs.

If you want to avoid this, be sure to begin the socialization process early and get them around children, other friends and families, and other dogs from the get-go.


My female Jack Russell Terrier displays this personality characteristic.

She is always willing to inform me when someone is coming onto the property and stays within about 2 feet of my 4-year-old son anytime we are out and about.

Once the female Jack Russell takes a liking and love towards the family, they like to protect it.


In my opinion, this is a characteristic of both the male and female Jack Russell Terrier, but Jack Russell Terrier owners have noted that the female Jack Russells tend to be a bit more loyal than the male Jack Russell.

Female Jack Russells can be extremely affectionate, prefer being near you when you are relaxing, and will do anything to please you.

Certainly, a trait I enjoy about owning and raising my female Jack Russell.

Smart and Intuitive

My female Jack Russell is one of the smartest dogs I have owned and worked with throughout my life.

However, I do not believe the male Jack Russell would not impress in this category.

Overall, the Jack Russell is just a smart dog breed.

Both dogs are eager to learn, love to show off skills, and adapt to situations very quickly.

If you are looking for a smart dog that can impress the friends and family, I think you could adopt the male or female Jack Russell Terrier.

Physical Characteristics and Differences Between the Male and Female Jack Russell Terrier

Now that we understand how a female vs. a male Jack Russell will behave and how they will display their personality, it is also important to note that you have a few physical characteristics that are different between the male and female Jack Russell Terriers.

First and foremost, the female Jack Russell is going to be smaller compared to the male Jack Russell.

The female Jack Russell will have less overall muscle mass and often weigh less.

The male Jack Russell also will have a large head, be more athletic, and have a more robust bone structure.

Additionally, the male Jack Russell will never go into heat as a female Jack Russell will.

While the physical differences between the male and female Jack Russells are not dramatic, you still get a smaller, less athletic, and calmer demeanor dog when you choose the female Jack Russell compared to the male Jack Russell Terrier.

Choosing A Male Vs. Female Based on Your Household

The most important advice I can give you about choosing a male vs. female Jack Russell Terrier is to select the dog that makes more sense for you and your family.

If you like the idea of the Jack Russell being slightly smaller, more loyal, and maybe a bit calmer, you can lean towards the female Jack Russell.

If you like the athletic and muscular build of the male Jack Russell, then you can always choose that option.

Most reputable Jack Russell Terrier breeders near you will offer both a male and female Jack Russell, and neither should be difficult to find.

However, always remember that either of these dogs can be trained and adapt to the environment you create for them, so do not necessarily choose the male vs. the female based on personality characteristics.

Choose your dog based on preference and mold your Jack Russell into the dog you want in your household for the next decade and a half.

Male and Female Jack Russell Terriers Will Make Excellent Pets

Instead of thinking about this subject from the angle of “male vs. female  Jack Russell Terriers”, try thinking about which of the personalities and sex dominant behaviors you prefer in your life, in your house and around your family.

Think about if a male or female Jack Russell Terrier is going to suit you better for the long-term.

Both the male and female Jack Russell Terrier make for one of the best dog breeds you can choose to adopt, and I do not believe you can go wrong choosing the male or the female Jack Russell Terrier.

Luna and I certainly wish you the best of luck with whichever Jack Russell you decide to adopt and the journey you have ahead of you.

Did You Adopt A Male or Female Jack Russell?

Did you end up adopting a male or a female Jack Russell Terrier?

How did it turn out for you, and what else can you recommend to the readers?

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 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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