Are Jack Russells Cuddly?

By John Martin - January 30, 2022

Jack Russell cuddling owner

Jack Russells are extremely lively, energetic, curious and friendly dogs. It can be great to have them around as pets.

Even if they are friendly, though, does this also mean they are cuddly and affectionate? Do they always love cuddling up to you, or is it rare? Let’s find out!

How Cuddly Are Jack Russells?

Luckily, Jack Russells are highly affectionate and cuddly. They enjoy receiving a good amount of attention and affection for you as long as you create a healthy atmosphere for them in your home.

In fact, if you satisfy all their needs on a daily basis, whether that includes exercising, feeding, playing around or simply taking care of them, then it is likely that they will seek you out on their own.

However, it is important to note that this might not always be the case. Sometimes, your dogs just want to be left alone so that they can play around or get some rest.

In such cases, you should not force any kind of affection on them, as this could lead to negative changes in their behavior if they feel that you do not respect their boundaries.

What Makes Them Cuddly?

What exactly is it about Jack Russells that makes them so cuddly? Are there instinctive or temperamental reasons that make this breed cuddly to this extent?

You can go through some of these reasons below.


Jack Russells are temperamentally affectionate dogs. They enjoy being around their families, following them around, playing around with them, bounding up to them, sleeping around them and cuddling with them.

They are also quite loyal, trusting and eager to please. This can make them enjoyable to be around as you can have a good time whenever you want affection from them.

These dogs also get along well with children and other pets, although this might take time and training for them to get used to.

As long as you do not overdo it with your levels of affection and are generally good to them, you should have no problem getting them to cuddle.


Jack Russells are also quite open to new people and experiences. Even when they come across strangers, they are not likely to act hostile towards them unless they have a reason to do so.

This openness can make them more willing to be around people. In fact, these dogs are also quite flexible and adaptable, making it easier for them to get used to entirely new settings.

They are open to training as well and tend to learn things quickly, so you can also teach them how to come to you whenever you want to be around them.

Apart from that, Jack Russells are independent dogs who can manage being alone at times, so make sure you let them explore their surroundings freely before calling them to you.


Jack Russells are extremely playful. They have lots of energy in them and love to play and run around to burn some of that excess energy.

Because of their boundless stimulation needs, it is natural that they will seek you out so that you can play around with them. Doing this will only make them happier, so make sure you take some time out every day to play with them.

This can then make them seek you out more once they are tired and want to rest and cuddle.


Jack Russells were initially bred for hunting, and it was only later that they began to be domesticated. Yet, Jack Russells continue to be quite protective and vigilant, causing them to stay around their people so that they can look out for them.

This protective instinct can also help explain why might stay around you at most times, especially if they sense any kind of threat (to them or to you) nearby.

As a sign of marking their territory and ensuring safety, they might come to you more often.


Cuddling and showing affection can also be a way for Jack Russells to seek attention from you so that you can play with them or pet them. It is likely that they will try doing all sorts of things if they want your attention.

You should make it a point to understand when their behavior is healthy and when it is not. If they are seeking attention as an act of fear, you will need to attempt to correct this kind of behavior.

On the other hand, you should also meet their needs regularly so that they do not end up becoming aggressive and stubborn.

Also Read: Are Jack Russells Smart?

When and Where Should I Cuddle Them?

Now that you know what makes Jack Russells cuddly, you can move on to understand when and where they enjoy you cuddling with or petting them.

Generally, Jack Russells, like most dogs, love it when you pet them around their ears, give them head pats and provide belly rubs. This can also calm them down significantly and make them sleep.

These dogs will seek you out and give you a sign whenever they want you to cuddle them. Pay attention to these signs (such as whining or gently pawing you) and pet them well.

However, it is also important to let them be at times, either to teach them independence or to maintain boundaries while they rest, play on their own or sleep.

If you try cuddling with them when they do not wish to, they will have their own ways of showing that to you as well.

Children and Other Pets

Jack Russells usually get along pretty well with children and other pets as long as you give them enough time and training. They will not have too much of a problem being cuddly with them.

However, if the children and other pets try to fight with them or tease them, then this could make things difficult, leading to aggression or fear.

What If My Jack Russell Does Not Like to Cuddle?

It is likely that your Jack Russell might not enjoy cuddling sometimes or at all. There could be several reasons for this.

For instance, if your dog is uncomfortable or fearful around you, then this could create an aversion to cuddling, making them afraid to come near you. They might also be afraid of something or someone else around them.

You will then need to make a healthy effort to make them more comfortable.

They might also have certain health issues that could lower their energy levels. Make sure you take them to the vet in such a case.

Things to Avoid

There are a few things you must avoid when it comes to Jack Russells as this could otherwise lead to them feeling averse to cuddling. These include the following:

  • Do not punish them as this could make them fearful and aggressive.
  • Do not push them away if they seek you out.
  • Do not leave them unattended for too long, even if you are trying to teach them independence.
  • Do not put them in close contact with people or pets that they get aggressive with or are afraid of. Instead, work on removing their fear in a healthy way.
  • Do not disturb them when they are sleeping or enjoying themselves alone.

Cuddling Tips

You can go through the following tips that can make it easier for your Jack Russells to come to you to cuddle while also improving your relationship with them.

Provide Attention

If your Jack Russell seeks attention, then make sure you provide it to them regularly so that they do not feel too left out or unloved, as this could otherwise lead to negative behaviors.

This tip also applies to other times when your Jack Russell might not actively need attention but would still have their needs that you must fulfill. For instance, feeding them, making them feel safe, keeping them healthy and allowing them to rest all require you to provide attention to them without neglecting them.

This can also include keeping them clean so that they do not experience any discomfort. Grooming can be a great way for you to bond with your pets and make them feel calm.

Provide Play and Stimulation

Make sure you play around with your Jack Russells so that you can keep them busy, occupied and happy. This could simply involve spending time with them and rolling around the house or playing with a toy.

Jack Russells are also highly energetic, which is why they require lots of physical and mental stimulation on a daily basis, otherwise, they might start feeling restless and aggressive.

Further, if you manage to take them out for a run or some kind of exercise every day, then this could make them tired, causing them to seek you out for cuddles even more so that they can calm down and drift off to sleep.

Provide Training

You must make it a point to train and socialize your Jack Russell from a young age so that they can learn to come to you and listen to you.

This can also be extremely important if they come from a rough background or are generally fearful in their temperament. Positive reinforcement instead of punishment can go a long way in making them feel safe and secure around you.

Once you manage to correct their behavior and help them feel comfortable in their surroundings, then they will become more likely to cuddle and seek you out.

Give Treats and Praises

You should provide treats and praises whenever your Jack Russell successfully performs a task or action that you want them to retain. You can combine this with their training so that they can feel safe and look forward to an incentive.

Of course, you should not overdo it with these treats as they might expect them all the time, but being generally kind and generous in terms of your behavior towards them can make a huge difference.

Final Remarks

To sum up, Jack Russells are quite cuddly pets and generally love being around people and spending time with them.

At the same time, they might need some space and independence or might simply be afraid to come to you. In this case, make sure you create a healthy environment for them so that they feel safe and respected.