You’ve got a loving and friendly Jack Russell Terrier that can’t wait to do everything with you, from going to pick up the mail to going on a vacation.
If you are wondering what kinds of things you should do with your dog in mind, there are all sorts of them!
He will greatly benefit from doing everything you, even if it’s just strolling alongside while you take a walk around the block. Doing things with your dog builds up a relationship with them and creates a great bond between man and dog. Here are some great things to do together!
1. Food Puzzles
If your dog always has the munchies, or your vet makes the recommendation to get some more fat on him, food puzzles are a lot of fun and your dog loves them because he gets food and treats! You can hide the food in places around the house, or in a fancy dog treat dispensing toy if you want to get sophisticated and help your pet try to figure out where the food is.
You’ll both have a blast as he searches around the house or yard, and it’s inexpensive to do!
An old classic, Fetch is a great game to play for dogs who love playing with their owners, like Jack Russell’s. They get to run and jump and charge back to you with the toy or stick. It’s great for training and building up a solid relationship with your dog. Great for outdoor playing at the park or just little jumps in the house, it’s a great way to get your dog moving.
I mostly use Chuckit! balls and launchers.
3. Tug of War
This is a great game to explore with your dog. You can still maintain control and enjoy the game, too. It’s good for his teeth and may even help you work out, too! If you have kids, playing tug of war is a great way to get your dog to get used to and bond with your children. Everyone will have fun and your dog will get all sorts of exercise and entertainment out of it.
Chase is a game that is three parts fun and 1 part terrifying. You can chase each other (in a fun way, not aggressively) around the house and get your exercise that way. It’s fun to chase, but if one of you sneaks up on the other, it can be a little scary too! Make sure that game doesn’t get too intense.
5. Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek can sometimes be hard to play with a dog because they don’t like being away from their human. Try to train him to Stay while you go and hide and then softly call to him until he finds you. If he seems okay – not anxious or scared – this could be a good game for the two of you to play together on the rainy days.
If hiding yourself is not an option, hide treats or toys around the house and let your dog find them. Of course, start with easier spots to ensure success and when you see a progress, make it more difficult.
A lot of dogs love to swim during the hot summer season. It is a great way to exercise because your joints and his are both going to get some comfort while you move around and enjoy the cool water. He can play Fetch or Chase in the water, too, so there are all sorts of options! Just make sure he doesn’t mind playing in the water in the first place.
Camping with your dog is great because he is a warm body to keep next to you in a cold tent at night. He also makes a great companion for setting up the tent and enjoying your dinner and going hiking or swimming or anything else that you’d do camping. They make great companions to explore with and love being with you.
While taking a dog in an airplane isn’t the best option and should be avoided unless you have no other options. Road trips involving cars are always a great idea because your dog will get to be with you the whole time, giving both of you lots of time to bond and have a great time together on the road. Read more about how to travel with your Jack Russell here.
Even if you don’t have time for multiple day road trips, weekends spent hiking with your dog in the near by locations can be great choice. Walking through the woods, by the lake or any other nature spot can be really great for resting your mind from the work and a great option for your Jack to explore.
Mind that Jack Russell’s are primarily hunting breed, so new smells of the nature and wild animals could be really challenging, so keep him on leash unless you are absolutely sure he will respond to your call no matter what.
10. Agility, Fly-ball or other dog sports
Jack Russell’s are masters of agility, they are fast (and furious :D), really agile, perfect for dog sports. If he’s ball mad, maybe Fly-ball is the right choice for you. Dog sports are great choice for both of you, dogs love them and they make you move around which is a great exercise.
When planning your vacation or a time out at the beach, try your best to make sure that your dog is included. Whether it’s just playing Tug of War or Fetch, your dog loves to be included on family outings, so do your best to make sure everyone has a great time!
What is your favorite activity to do with your Jack Russell? What makes that special smile on his face? Tell us in he comments below
Great Article! Thanks for sharing this wonderful article!! I have two Irish Jack Russell Puppies and was looking some ways to spend quality time with them. I think the road trips will be the best one for them as they are little now.
Thank you Ethan. Road trips and hiking is our favorite, but we also play a lot. Good luck with your pups and hope you’ll all have a great time together. Cheers, Ana
Hi! I have a 6 year old male jack russell. He’s been diagnosed with anxiety and Im searching for ways to help him. Hes excellent at recall and I take him to play fetch a few times a week (unfortunately i cant everyday as I have school.) However hes extremely aggressive to other dogs and is muzzled. I understand that jack russells need a job to do. Ive looked for agility classes to no avail. Im desperate for tips on how to get him used to other dogs & activities to do with a nervous dog. Thanks :)
Hi Lily, anxious dogs need more activity than anything else. I understand you have school and you’re not able to play fetch with him every day, but you should incorporate more other activities and structure in his life. You can play some mind games at home (you can hide treats around the room and let him search, you can buy some dog puzzles, you can play tug at home, learn new tricks… Also, when you’re playing fetch, you can try to make it more intense. For example, as JRT’s are really high energy, just throwing a ball and waiting for him to bring it back, then he’s waiting for you to pick it up and throw it, he has lots of time to rest in between throws. So, I concluded that playing fetch with two balls is much more intense, as soon as he brings one you can throw the other, so he doesn’t have time to rest. Also, you can incorporate some tricks into fetching and have a ball as a reward. Of course, you have to let him rest once in a while playing fetch, watch him closely and he’ll show you when he had enough.
Also, for anxious dogs, it’s the most important thing to find a good dog trainer that uses only positive reinforcement and work with him to ease anxious situations. You shouldn’t punish him when he barks at another dog, because he sees him as a threat and it’s up to you to be his protector and make anxious situations more bearable. Take lots of high-value treats (sausages, cheese, liver treats…and cut them into really small pieces) and go for a walk. Use this kind of treats only for such situations. When you see a dog and he’s still calm, tell him he’s a good boy, reward and turn around and go the other direction. When doing this, you should watch him closely and reward while he’s still calm. The point of this is for him to connect other dogs with extra yummy treats. Unfortunately, there is a great chance he won’t be able to play with other dogs anymore, but you can change his behavior so he walks politely beside you while you’re passing another dog. There are lots of good reads around the internet (search reactive dogs) and some great books to help you. Stay calm and do your best, but once again, hiring good dog trainer will help the most. Also, you can ask your vet if he recommends some kind of medication for anxiety.
Thank you! He’s been on anxiety mediciation for 2 months now and it seems to be having an effect. Hes much calmer on walks and im going to begin teaching him some tricks. Hes much calmer around dogs as they pass and has only barked once or twice in the last few days. Once again thanks for the advice,
That’s great. It will be easier to work with him if he’s calmer. You can also use well-known tricks (sit, heel, spin, touch…) to occupy his attention while other dogs are passing by. Always look at him for a clue how he feels (anxious, relaxed, worried) and try not to go over his edge of relaxed. You can push his boundaries slightly only when you see he’s great at handling certain situations. Regards, Ana
Thanks for the good ideas! I never thought about hiding treats! What fun! You should add playing with a balloon to the list. Whenever I blow up a balloon my Jack goes NUTS! He jumps and hits it with his nose and keeps it in the air 90% of the time on his own! With all the jumping and racing around, he’s wore out like we went for a swim! ;) Happy playing!
Hi Abbey, playing with a balloon is a great suggestion, thank you. I forgot to add it as my Kala is afraid of balloons. I don’t know why, she just doesn’t like them. But we do lots of searching treats. We start each session with some easy places and make them harder as she gets into it (below pillows, behind plants…). She is so focused on searching that she can’t stop even when she finds all of them :) Try it out, it’s great fun. You can even stretch that and play it outside. Cheers, Ana
Thanks for your advice I love my dog he is a Jack Russell Terrier