A big personality in a small body is an excellent way to describe lovable Jack Russell Terriers. A common question asked about this popular breed is, “are Jack Russell’s smart?”
If you look at dog intelligent rankings you will find that the Jack Russell is not ranked that high at around position 78. However, these lists of dog intelligent are generally based on trainability. Working breeds such as the Border Collie rank high on this basis as they were bred to work for a handler.
Trainability in itself is not a good indication of a dog’s intelligence as this is purely testing working intelligence. It doesn’t take into account instinctive intelligence, adaptability, empathy and problem-solving skills and the many other forms of intelligence. Due to their stubbornness and independent spirit, Jack Russells don’t score as high as many other breeds for working intelligence but they excel in other forms of intelligence such as problem-solving and adaptability.
This intelligent breed are hunting dogs by nature and enjoy chasing and running as their preferred form of exercise.
Jack Russell’s are highly intelligent and relatively easy to train. However, they can be strong-willed and a little independent so it is important to focus their attention when doing any training. Due to their high intelligence, they are often chosen for Hollywood commercials and films.
Check out this video of a smart Jack Russell
Are Jack Russell’s Instinctive?
Jack Russell Terriers have a deep concentration level and use their intelligence for quick decision making. Their instinctive skills are off the charts because they use their brains to complete tasks.
This breed was originally bred for fox hunting purposes where they used their natural instincts and skill set to herd and hunt animals according to their owner’s demands.
Are Jack Russell’s Adaptive?
Jack Russell’s use their intelligence to adapt to various living conditions such as apartment living, cold weather, hot weather and being left home alone. This adorable breed meets you halfway and does their best to adapt to various living conditions.
However, they flourish in an environment that allows them to run, chase and release their energy such as a home with a back yard.
High energy levels need to be burned off or this breed will destroy the interior of your home quickly due to built-up anxiety and energy. For more on how much and ways to exercise a Jack Russell see here.
Apartment dwellers need to provide an outlet for Jack Russell’s to release their energy such as a daily walk around the neighborhood or regular visits to an off-leash dog park so they can run around as much as they need.
Are Jack Russell’s Obedient?
Obedient training is often easy and quick with this highly intelligent breed as long as you focus their attention. Jack Russell’s understand commands and react promptly when trained correctly.
Just guiding your Jack Russell outside a few times for a potty break will cause them to catch on quickly. Since all dogs have their own unique personalities some Jack Russell Terriers might need a little convincing and some extra patience when it comes to training.
This delay in training is often due to a sensitive personality that needs a little extra loving care during training sessions.
Pet parents that have a difficult time training a Jack Russell should consult with a professional trainer to ensure your directions and commands are expressed properly. A professional trainer will help owners achieve a strong bond with their Jack Russell during obedient training sessions.
Are Jack Russell’s Affectionate?
Jack Russell’s have superior emotional intelligence that allows them to feel affectionate and empathetic towards adults, children, strangers, and other dogs. They often sense the mood level of others and react accordingly.
This breed is extremely social and makes friends easily. This friendly trait means a Jack Russell is often well known and the favorite at dog parks and around the entire neighborhood.
They are charming and have an energetic personality that makes them the favorite of many strangers. Jack Russell’s have a pep in their step and bring a fun energy to every environment. They use their emotional intelligence to connect with others and create strong bonds.
Are Jack Russell Terrier’s good with other pets?
While Jack Russell’s are friendly to other dogs they are also natural hunters. This means if you have other pets in your household such as cats, hamsters, birds or any other small pets they might not get along due to the Jack Russell’s instinct to hunt.
Pet owners that plan to have other pets along with a Jack Russell need to either keep them separate and never allow them to meet or get all the pets at once. This means adopting a Jack Russell Terrier the same day you get a kitten so they grow up together and see each other as equals instead of prey. For more on teaching a dog to get along with a cat see here.
Do Jack Russell’s have the potential for mouthiness?
Jack Russell’s use their intelligence to get what they want! You would be surprised how good dogs are at strategic manipulation – especially an intelligent breed like the Jack Russell.
Their big personalities are often expressed vocally with loud barking. They are incredibly smart and understand that loud barking will force their pet parents to give them more food, treats, water, toys and anything else they want just to keep them quiet. Avoid falling into this trap with a Jack Russell because it’s a difficult habit to break.
There are other factors that cause Jack Russell’s to bark frequently and it usually has something to do with the environment. Jack Russell’s understand the sound of birds chirping outdoors, other dogs barking in the neighborhood, lawnmowers, planes, cars and other noises mean they are missing out on the fun. Hearing these noises can provoke a Jack Russell to bark consistently because they want to interact or explore the noises.
Do Jack Russell’s need mental stimulation?
Yes. This energetic breed is incredibly smart and requires constant stimulation. A busy household, people coming and going, running around outdoors, playing with toys and playing with other pets in the household are needed to keep this intelligent dog’s mind stimulated.
Interactive toys involve tasty treats or just a plain tennis ball can keep a Jack Russell entertained for hours. One of the best ways to provide a mental challenge for your Jack Russell is to use puzzle toys. For suggestions on the top puzzle toys for dogs see here.
However, this breed enjoys plenty of attention and doesn’t tolerate being ignored. So, playing a game of fetch is an excellent way to bond with a Jack Russell, provide them the exercise they require and keeps their mind stimulated so they don’t act out in destructive ways.
Do Jack Russell’s have destructive behavior?
The answer to this question is complex because it’s a yes and no answer. Jack Russell’s aren’t naturally destructive and don’t enjoy destroying furniture, woodwork, or anything else around your home.
However, if this breed doesn’t have the opportunity to release their energy on a daily basis they act out by becoming destructive in order to burn the energy. They are simply just looking for ways to release the energy but it comes out quite destructive which could lead to damaged furniture, flooring, carpets, rugs, shoes, clothing and more. One of the best ways to cure boredom in a Jack Russell is to provide toys that cater to their natural instincts and traits. For more on the best toys for Jack Russells see here.
Overall, Jack Russell’s are highly intelligent, affectionate, and easy to train. They are excellent family pets that get along well with the entire family and bring vibrant energy, joy, and love to the household.
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