Jack Russell Terrier Personality

The Jack Russell terrier is also known as JRT for short, they are lively, energetic, happy dogs. They love companionship and are extremely loyal. Since originating from a hunting background, they love digging! It's naturally built into them to dig, hunt and flush out any rodents lurking about, this contributes highly to their personality of being fearless and lively.

Perhaps you’re looking at owning a Jack Russell or just wondering what their personalities are like? Whatever the reason is I have a good idea, and I would like to share this with you. I have had four Jack Russells in my lifetime. Two, when I was growing up, called Willie and Wilma and then two in my adult life, named Honey and Pippy. I got so much joy out of them, and they all had such lovely personalities.

Jack Russell Terrier
Pippy at 16 years old

What is a Jack Russell Terriers personality like

The Jack Russell terrier is also known as JRT for short; they are lively, energetic, happy dogs. They love companionship and extremely loyal. Since originating from a hunting background, they love digging and searching! It’s naturally built into them to explore, hunt and flush out any rodents lurking about, and this contributes positively to their personality of being fearless, energetic and lively.

From my own experiences, this is my list below that I think best represents a Jack Russells personalty. I have also included some of the questions that I think you may ask if you could.

Jack Russell Terrier


  • Energetic
  • Lively
  • Vocal
  • Stubborn
  • Intelligent
  • Fearless
  • Athletic
  • Loyal
dog under the duvet
Honey – under the duvet

Is a Jack Russell affectionate?

Yes, although like any dog, it all depends on how they were brought up, and how they have been treated. However, from puppies, they have a loving personality. Jack Russell’s love companionship, along with kisses and cuddles. They love to get under the duvet and snuggle if you let them. One of the best characteristics is that they always greet you at the door and act so excited when you arrive back home.

Are Jack Russell Terriers good family dogs?

Yes, they are loyal, loving dogs! I would say they are best suited for families that have older children as they can nip or bite back when he or she feels threatened, i.e. if tail pulled by a toddler. Still, again it does depend on the dog itself and training you do with him, training will shape and change his or her personality and how they react to certain situations. Never leave a dog unattended with babies or small children.

Can You let Jack Russell’s of the lead?

I wouldn’t recommend it, out of my pack of JRT’s, I could have only trusted one of them off the lead. Pippy, altho I believe that it came solely down to him being a rescue dog and didn’t get the best start in life, he was terrified and timid most of the time. If I had had him from Puppy, things would more than likely have been different. This proves that there upbringing does shape their personality and the way they are treated make’s such a difference in how they react and behave. My dog Honey, on the other hand, no way, as soon as she was off the lead, she was off and no stopping her.

Do Jack Russell Terriers bark a lot?

Yes, their lively and energetic personalities can, unfortunately, cause them to bark a lot and mostly unable to contain their excitement of seeing other dogs or small rodents. Jack Russell’s love being vocal and love being heard. However, good training will help reduce barking. Keeping them entertained also can help with a dog that excessively barks.

Can Jack Russells be left alone?

Jack Russell’s generally love to have their companions with them all the time, although if you need to leave them at home for a while, they can be entertained with toys and treats. So, if you plan to leave them alone, make sure they have something to play with and a few hidden treats dotted around.

At what age do Jack Russells calm down?

This is a difficult question because my furbabies never did calm down or change when they got older, it was only in their very final years they tended to sleep for more extended periods. What fascinates me is in their old age they still made every effort of greeting me at the door when I returned. This shows you how loyal they are as a breed and how much they love and respect they have for their owners.

What happens when you have one Jack Russell, and you get another one?

Wow, erm they need a lot more training! When I had Pippy and then got Honey. Pippy started to misbehave. But with patience and a bit of refresh training, all was fine. I mainly found that it was their playtime together all the time. They started their day off playfighting and pretty much ended the day playfighting. This shows that the Jack Russell breed is friendly and playful.


We have learnt they are the most playful dogs around; they love playing and pretty much never growing old. If you’re still thinking of getting a Jack Russell, I hope that this has given you a good insight into their personalities and behaviours. Just remember like any other dogs personalities Jack Russell’s don’t suit everyone, so make sure its the right decision before you take the next step. If you do decide they are the dogs for you and your family, you’re going to have a happy, loyal companion by your side for many years. I hope one day I will get another Jack Russell as they really are beautiful dogs and are indeed underestimated.


Why do Jack Russell’s shake?

About the Author

Teresa loves animals and travelling around the UK! She currently has two dogs and two cats. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge of pets. Qualified Dog Groomer and currently studying Canine Behaviour. She has been part of the Dog Friendly Team since 2016