This article can help you understand whether or not Jack Russells are good with kids. Are you thinking of getting a Jack Russell? I have included both possibilities, a puppy and an adult dog.

Jack Russell Terriers are great with children. They are high energy and playful, which mix well with kids. However, as a parent, you might be concerned about an adult Jack Russell primarily if the dog has not been known to have socialised with children. In this case, you will need to take some precautions.

Although these adorable little dogs might be your first choice, you need to think twice before bringing an adult one home by understanding their personality and background. Taking these precautions is the best way to ensure your child’s safety and the dogs.

Like other dogs, Jack Russells are shaped by their past. If the adult Jack Russell you are getting has grown up with other kids, there shouldn’t be any problems, and they will get along fine.

However, if an adult Jack Russell has never been around kids, you must safely introduce them before taking the steps in bringing the dog home. 

Two small kids walking with Jack Russell Terrier
A Happy Jack Russell Dog Walking With Kids
  • Meeting with the potential new dog on occasions to make sure they fit in and for you to get to know them. Understanding their personality would be the safest way. 
  • Asking lots of questions to the previous owners would be a must to grasp their behaviour and character.
  • Animal Rescue centres do an excellent job matching dogs to their new homes. However, being a responsible parent, you must still take precautions by getting to know the dog and asking questions.

You may have to decide: If something doesn’t feel right, perhaps the dog would be better suited to a family without small children. It doesn’t mean they are nasty or aggressive. It’s just the case they are not used to children.

Recommended Read: Does a Jack Russell shed a lot?

Brief Overview Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier Also Known as Jack, JRT, Jack Russell

Bursting with charisma, these dogs love to please! they make wonderful loving dogs. Their general health is excellent, and they can live up to the good old age of 16-18 years old. 

Jack Russell Terriers come in a few different colours, like tan and white, all white, black and white, or all three, tan, black and white, called a tricolour coat. Generally, they have white on them more than any other colour. White fur was the breeder’s must-have higher colour among the coats. Having white fur meant that he could easily see the dog whilst out hunting.

Thanks to the breeder Reverend John Russell who lived in the 1900s, he created a wonderful dog breed, the Jack Russell Terrier, to assist him whilst out hunting foxes. 

These dogs needed to have high energy, and their loyalty was paramount. 

The commitment and intelligence traits of these dogs were high for the Reverend John Russell as it helped in the process that the dogs would always return with the shaken but not bleeding game and take orders.

There is so much more to this breed. Please find the ultimate Jack Russell breed profile I wrote.

Why Are Jack Russell Terriers Perfect For Kids?

Kids love to play with dogs. The Jack Russell Terrier is just perfect for ideal family dogs. If you wonder why it is so, follow the rest of the post.


The Jack Russell Terriers are perfect companions for kids because they are smaller and less scary than large dogs. They also won’t knock your child down while they are playing together.

High Energy Level

Jack Russell Terriers are known for their high energy levels. Increased energy means they can easily keep up with your child’s energy level. Whether playing in the garden or playing with toys, your child and Jack Russell will have fun together. Playing with a dog, especially an only child, will help keep your child from feeling lonely.

Great Watchdogs

Jack Russells make excellent watchdogs. If they are appropriately trained, they can be perfect protectors. They are loyal and have a loud bark that makes them fearless. They can also tell the difference between a friend and an intruder and will protect kids without thinking twice.

Highly Trainable


Jack Russells are very smart dogs from an early age, making them easier to train. They pick up human emotions and what they should and shouldn’t be doing with ease. Puppy toilet training is usually effortless and straightforward with these dogs. They love treats and respond very well to praise.


Jack Russells are intelligent dogs that love to please their owners. An adult Jack Russell can be well-trained in new commands with proper behavioural modification tactics. If they ever received poor training at any point in their lives, their intelligence will still shine through.

If you’re a first-time dog owner, before you get a Jack Russell, take the time to read this article to understand the breed first.

A Jack Russell And Child Safely

If you want to introduce a Jack Russell to kids, you need to take some steps. For instance, take them for a walk and allow them to become familiar with each other. 

The bonding process is of the utmost importance. Remember, you are responsible for both the actions of the dog and your child. 

There are a few more steps that you should consider:

Behavioural Training

Socialising a Jack Russell as a pup would make it easy for them to interact with children. Teaching them some basic commands, like staying, sitting, or coming, would make them get along well with children. Also, it would help them to bond well with kids and to have some structure.

You must train your dog to be patient around kids. If the dog has not been introduced to kids when it was a pup, it is essential to give it behavioural training. Behavioural training will help the dog learn how to behave around kids of different ages.

Allow Proper Playtime

You must be well aware that Jack Russells are highly active dogs. They love games like throw and catch or tug of war. So, if you have small kids in the house, these games would be perfect for them to do together. Never rough play! Constructive playing should be encouraged.

As soon as you adopt a Jack Russell Terrier, you should try and keep it busy right away with training, playing and bonding. The faster Jack Russell gets adjusted to the family and kids. They would realise their new family and adapt to the new living habitat.

Rules For Safety

Creating rules is very important. You should train a child on how they should be treating the dogs and vice versa. For instance, if your child is below eight years, you should teach your child so that they don’t hug, climb or pat the Jack Russells alone.

Jack Russell terriers should be introduced to situations that might not get kids’ attention. However, one person should be there to manage the interactions between the pet and the child. This way, your Jack Russell would get used to conditions.

Kids shouldn’t be allowed to pull the dog’s fur. Instead, they should be taught the signs of a dog’s anxiety and react accordingly by giving them the needed space.

Being Alone

A Jack Russell shouldn’t be left alone with children, like any dog, to avoid potentially harmful accidents for the dog and the child. You should keep the Jack Russell in a playpen, take them with you or give them a separate room so they can play with toys to help them remain preoccupied without feeling left out.

Recommended Read: Find out how long a Jack Russell can be left alone for

Can Jack Russell’s Be Great Family Dogs?

Yes, Jack Russell Terriers make an excellent family dog. Their love and devotion to their family are the highest among dog breeds. Being a loving and affectionate dog, it always tries to please through affection and good behaviour. 

However, it’s still important to know how this dog breed will behave around children. Whether you have kids or plan to have kids shortly, you must ensure that your Jack Russell develops a strong bond with kids and understands their individual personalities, both good and bad.

Only when Jack Russell develops a strong relationship with your children the safety of your kids is guaranteed.

Recommended Read: 5 Tips – Calm a lively Jack Russell?

Final Words: Are Jack Russells Good with Kids? + Cats

We know that Jack Russell puppies won’t have any problems with kids and are very good with them. It’s a different matter when dealing with an adult dog unfamiliar with being around children. With the advice above, you can take the utmost safety for a child.

Although I don’t have any children, I have 13 nieces and nephews, ranging from 1 year to 21 years. So I certainly know of many kids’ behaviour and Jack Russell’s behaviour together.

Walks With JRT
Walks With JRT

The only Jack Russell of mine that had any problems with children was my rescue Jack Russell, and due to the past issues that he experienced, through no fault of his own, he did not like kids. In this case, separation was a must until I gave careful training, and this was something that happened over several months.

Not knowing how a dog will be around kids that could cause accidents is why it’s so important to understand the background of a Jack Russell and grasp their character before bringing an adult dog home.

Puppies, on the other hand, will have no problems at all. They will grow and love the kids like pack members and build many happy memories together.

It’s not always the kids you need to worry about. Sometimes you have to take into consideration other animals, like cats. If you have cats or are thinking of getting a cat and you currently have or getting a Jack Russell, see my article that can help with this situation.

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