Are Jack Russells Good With Kids?

By John Martin - January 28, 2022

Jack Russell with kid

Keeping Jack Russells and your kids in the same room can sound like a sure sign of chaos. However, as long as you manage to socialize and train your Jack Russell Terrier from a young age, you will not have too much to worry about.

There are, of course, things to be cautious of and steps to take to reach this point. You can go through these in detail below.

Are Jack Russells Good With Kids?

Jack Russells are not instinctively good with kids, but they certainly can learn to be as long as you train and socialize them well enough. In this sense, provided that you have not yet brought a Jack Russell into your home, it can be a good idea to take your time to think about it.

Ideally, bringing a puppy into your home will make it much easier for you to train them properly and introduce them to your kids. Even then, however, you should keep several other factors and concerns in mind as well.

Potential Concerns

Jack Russells can learn to be good with kids, although there are several concerns that you should look out for so that things do not go too wrong.

Temperament

Jack Russells are generally quite affectionate with people and are also extremely playful around the house. They have an abundance of energy and need ways to release this energy otherwise they can end up becoming aggressive and destructive.

They are also a bit stubborn, which can become difficult to manage if not taken care of from a young age.

In this case, it can be quite tough to ensure that your Jack Russell Terrier will get along with kids since they might not be able to hold themselves back, especially if they are bored and unattended.

Threat

In some cases, your Jack Russells might end up viewing your kids as threats since what might be an innocent and playful action on your kid’s part might not be interpreted in this way by your dog.

In addition, Jack Russells, who were initially bred for hunting, tend to have a high prey drive and a high level of alertness. This can also make them view your kids as threats, leading to barking, growling or even biting.

Lack of care and attention can lead to this as well.

Leaving Them Alone

Another potential concern can be the prospect of leaving your Jack Russells and your kids alone in the same room. This is a very valid concern and you should make it a point to ensure that you do not let this happen too often or for longer than a few minutes.

This is because either of them could cross their boundaries, which could result in a scuffle and potential accidents.

If you are present nearby, then you can easily separate them if they end up causing some kind of trouble.

How to Make Jack Russells Get Along with Kids

There are several steps that you can take to make Jack Russells get along with kids. Make sure you use them in tandem with each other so that you can achieve the desired results. You can go through these steps and methods below.

Start When Young

It can be a good idea to introduce your Jack Russell Terrier to your kids at a young age, ideally when they are still puppies. This can make it much easier for them to learn what you teach them and adapt to new situations in a better way.

It might take a while for your puppy to get used to and familiar with the kids in your house, so make sure you go about the process with patience. This will also make your kids more comfortable around them and more aware of how they should act around the puppy.

Do note that you should start out small during this introduction process. Expecting your puppy and kids to get along immediately by forcing them together will end up doing more harm than good.

Make sure you are always around to supervise them so that you can avoid accidents. Start out with short walks or a few minutes in the same room while gradually increasing the time.

Training

You should provide a good amount of training to your Jack Russells so that they can learn to obey your commands and behave in a certain manner. This will make it easier for them to get along with the kids in your house.

This training process should also begin at a young age so that your dogs can learn them easily. Keep reinforcing these training techniques regularly so that your dog does not forget them.

When it comes to training them in the context of your kids, you can keep them in the same room for a few minutes and give them certain commands to follow. If your dog manages to fulfill these commands and stay calm throughout the process, you can then reward them with praises and treats.

This kind of positive reinforcement can serve you, your dog and your kids well.

Also Read: Are Jack Russell Terriers Smart?

Socialization

Proper socialization is another essential process that you will need to get started with for your Jack Russell from a young age. This should go hand in hand with the training process since you can combine them effectively.

You should start introducing your Jack Russell to different people from the moment you bring them into your home so that they are prepared to meet your kids. Talking to your kids about what they should expect can also help in this regard.

Using toys, games and other outdoor activities can be a good way of getting your Jack Russells and kids to get along.

Establish Boundaries

Make sure you establish boundaries between your kids and your Jack Russell. Apart from being around them when they interact, it can also help to teach your kids what kinds of behaviors are okay and what is not.

For instance, if they end up pulling your dog’s fur or ears or stealing their things for them, then this can create fear and aggression in your Jack Russell towards them.

Keeping your dog on a leash during the initial few meetings can also make it easier for you to handle them. Make sure you separate your kids and dogs from each other immediately so that things do not get too bad.

Provide Exit Points

Whenever you make your Jack Russell interact with your kids, make sure you provide them with an exit point so that you do not end up overwhelming them or making them too anxious.

In fact, forcing your dogs to spend time with your kids can be quite harmful to both of them. In this sense, if you notice signs of your dog feeling antsy or restless or afraid, then you should take them to another room so that they can have some space. It is as important for them to spend time alone as it is to spend time together.

You can also consider crate training so that you can create a safe space for your Jack Russell to go to whenever they feel anxious or overwhelmed.

Regular Exercise

Regular exercise can go a long way when it comes to keeping your Jack Russell healthy and happy. Take them on regular walks and runs while also asking them to fetch some objects. Overall, this can be a good way to manage the behavior and temperament of your dog.

This can help your dogs release the energy that they tend to have a large amount of so that they are much calmer when they are around the kids in your house. Providing mental stimulation can also help keep them occupied so that they can calm down in time.

Gradually, you can also ask your kids to accompany you and your Jack Russell on your walks so that they can become more familiar with and comfortable around each other. In addition, you can ask your kids to throw a ball for your dog to fetch so that you can get them to bond and trust each other.

Playtime

Both your dogs and your kids need plenty of playtime to stay happy and occupied. Make sure you provide this to both of them so that they are more willing to interact with each other.

You can also have some common toys between them that you can teach them to share while also ensuring that each of them has their own toys and games that they can play around with.

As time passes, you can also start combining this playtime so that they can learn to stay around each other. You can also push the process along by playing with each of them separately and together.

Care and Attention

If you do not provide enough care and attention to your dogs, then you might end up neglecting them, causing them to act out and demand your attention in aggressive ways. If you provide extra attention to your kids and not to your Jack Russell, then they might end up viewing your kids as a threat, leading to further problems.

To avoid this, make sure you spend a good amount of time with both your dogs and your kids so that neither of them feels left out. You should feed them well, care for them and also play and cuddle with them regularly to encourage affection instead of rivalry between them.

Final Word

To sum up, Jack Russells can learn to be good with kids with proper training, socialization, boundaries, exercise and rest as well as care and attention. Make sure you look after them and teach them to look after each other in the process as well.