A Jack Russell Terrier staring while sitting down by his toys

Why Do Jack Russell Terriers Stare At You?

As an Amazon Associate, I earn commissions on qualifying purchases. This helps to support the website. Thank you for your support!.

Firstly if you have a Jack Russell Terrier, you know that he is your best friend, as is my JRT. He follows me everywhere, like my little shadow. But along with following us around. Are you wondering why a Jack Russell Terrier stares at you? Let’s find out why! I can answer this for you from an owners point of view.

Jack Russell Terriers have a special bond with their owners. They look to their owners with pure devotion and express their affection. It’s built into a Jack Russell to be loyal, and their whole world revolves around their human companion. They stare through approval and love. Your Jack Russell Terrier will also be getting his dose of oxytocin, and so will you be.

How a Jack Russell Terrier acts by staring at us certainly does reflect their loyal personalities and the longing for us to communicate with them. They crave their owner’s attention, but within reason, they are still very much independent dogs. Jack Russells do a great job at reading their human companions, more so than we think. They are intelligent dogs and very alert. Along with starring, they also won’t miss any movement from their owners. A trip to the kitchen or off to the bathroom a Jack Russell never wants to miss out. They often will commence following when they see you leave the room.

Humans can benefit from staring at their dogs (Oxytocin)

Did you know that when you gaze into the eyes of your dog, your brain automatically releases a chemical called oxytocin into your bloodstream? I kid you not; Oxytocin plays a role in social bonding between you and your dog. Dogs are the only species that this happens outside of human to human bonding. Oxytocin helps lower stress and anxiety. It can regulate our emotions, trust, and empathy and even result in positive communication.

Recommended Read: Are Jack Russell Terriers Good With Kids?

Other reasons a Jack Russell will stare


Perhaps your Jack Russell is hungry and is staring at you for food, or maybe you are eating, and they want a taste of your dinner.


Jack Russell’s love to play, and perhaps your Jack Russell is staring at you, waiting for you to pick up their favourite ball or throw their teddy at them.

Gaining knowledge

A Jack Russell terrier has an inquisitive outlook. They love to be in the know-how and keep up with what’s going on around them. It even shows in their face. The puzzled look they have is a good sign that they want to learn and be a part of your life.

Time for walkies

Your dog could be suggesting it’s time for a walk, or staring, waiting for you to pick up the leash or say those magical words, time for a walk.

Waiting for direction

Jack Russells love to learn, and they love to learn from their owners. Training a Jack Russell is simple, as they know how to read their human companions so well. Perhaps you have started training with them, and your JRT is eager to learn more and for a chance to earn a treat.

Toilet time

Your Jack Russell is trying to tell you that they need to go to the toilet. Perhaps they have moved towards the back door and commenced staring, and this would be a good indication they need to go to the bathroom.


Dogs will stare at you when they are in an aggressive mood; however, the stare is not the only sign of aggression that a dog will show. A dog will also display a dominant manner, like standing tall, holding ears back, showing their teeth, growling, or barking.


If you would like to know more about your Jack Russell, I have written here an ultimate profile of a Jack Russell Terrier. As you can see, there are many reasons why a JRT would stare at you; however, I think the main reason is for pure devotion and the love that a Jack Russell has for their companion. Remember, if you gaze back nicely with love, you will get a boost of oxytocin. So, enjoy it, and no need to feel self-conscious. Just have many happy memories with your dog.

Happy JRT dog parenting

Sharing is a good thing to do!

2 thoughts on “Why Do Jack Russell Terriers Stare At You?”

  1. Pamela Constable

    All that is true, my Littlebit does just that. I know when he looks at me to tell him, how much I love him. I would just die without my Littlebit. Been together since he was week’s old, being 9 year’s now. Been though hard time’s and we love each other.

    1. Teresa Milne

      Awwe lovely glad you agree, JRTs and owners have such a special bond.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top