Jack Russell’s are intelligent, active, and extremely independent, dogs. Being bred to hunt rodents and originally foxes they are extremely high energy and are on the move all the time. They have two speeds – either asleep or full on.
Below are some tips to help settle and calm down your Jack Russell
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What age do Jack Russell Terriers calm down
The truth is Jack Russells are full on most of their lives. Every dog is an individual and some Jack Russells are calmer than others. However, in general, most Jack Russell is high adrenaline and fairly intense. Your Jack Russell is not likely to calm down completely even when they are an old dog.
With the right techniques, you can make your Jack Russell much calmer and settled. These are some tips to keeping your Jack Russell calm,
How to calm a Jack Russell
1. Gentle belly rubs and massage
Compassionately rubbing your Jack Russell’s belly, has a similar effect, that a back massage has on their human owners. This rubbing sensation has the ability to calm your dog down so much, that they will fall asleep. This should be done in a calm manner and not turned into a game. This will excite your Jack Russell.
If you are in need of some sleep (or maybe need to make an important phone call), try calling your Jack Russell over to you, putting them on your lap (or a soft area right next to you), and begin to gently rub their bellies’ until you notice that their eyes have been closed for around 5 – 10 minutes, then you can gently put them down (or off to the side) go and get some sleep (or make that important phone call).
A calming relaxing massage will have the same effect. See how to massage a dog for more about massaging technique.
2. Gently rubbing your Jack Russell’s muzzle and stop area
Gently rubbing your Jack Russell’s elongated nose, will have a similar effect on your dog, as gently rubbing their belly. With this rubbing effect, it is important to note that your dog trusts you. If you are not close to your Jack Russell, then trying to touch them on the nose on their face is a “bad idea” – as they will bark at you, and/or back away.
It is unlikely that they will bite you for trying to touch their face’s if they do trust you. But like all dogs, if you push them hard enough, they will bite, so if you are not sure on whether your Jack Russell trusts you or not, do not try this calming effect.
Rubbing the stop is also very calming for a dog. The stop is the area on the bridge of the muzzle between the eyes.
3. Keep your Jack Russell away from cats, small pets, and small children.
Keep your Jack Russell away from cats, small pets, and small children (generally those children under the age of 6 when they are in a highly excitable state.
Children can make a Jack Russell very excited with their quick and unpredictable movement. To a Jack Russell, this is a cue to chase and play. Many Jack Russells are often not good with cats and other small pets. Jack Russells obviously have a very high prey drive and a cat running away is a trigger to pursue.
4. Keep your Jack Russell away from other excited/active dogs
Separate your Jack Russell from other excited/active dogs if they are becoming too worked up. Even if you are able to get your Jack Russell calm, by performing one, or more, of the methods mentioned, they are likely not to stay calm if there is another dog getting them worked up.
Jack Russell’s are not only active dogs but very playful as well. If you get them to lay down, and be calm, and then one or more playing dogs come within their field of vision, they will get excited and will want to, and very likely try to, go and play with them.
5. Use the Calm Hold technique
A calm hold is a technique used to settle and calm a dog. Simply place your hand on the side of your dog’s shoulder just holding them still. Don’t make eye contact with them and you don’t even need to say anything. You can hold your Jack Russell by the collar if you wish to hold them in place with your other hand on the shoulder.
If you wish you can say something like “Relax” in a calm monotone unemotional tone. Once your Jack Russell has relaxed you can remove your hand.
This video also shows a similar technique you can try.
6. Train your Jack Russell while they’re still young, to follow your instructions
Train your Jack Russell while they’re still young, to follow your instructions because they are very intelligent and independent dogs. They will want to showcase that independence, and they have a tendency to outsmart their owners.
So, if you train them early on (even with all their intelligence, and need to be independent) it will be easier as they get older, to have them (respect and) follow your commands. And being that Jack Russell’s tend to live a very long life (around 15 (human) years, sometimes longer), training them while they are still a pup, can save you tremendous stress, once they are adult dogs.
7. Make sure your Jack Russell gets plenty of exercise
Being that Jack Russell’s are naturally very active, energetic dogs, they need to exert “a lot” of energy on a daily basis. Jack Russells require a minimum of an hour a day of high-intensity activity. To learn more about how to exercise a Jack Russell see here.
Being a very smart and intelligent breed, it is important to make sure you also provide mental stimulation and enrichment. To learn about the six categories of enrichment for dogs see here.
This is the number one tip for assisting you with getting your Jack Russell to calm down. If all that energy is not burnt used up for that minimum of 60 minutes a day, then trying to perform any of the previously mentioned tips, will have a much weaker effect.
8. Provide chew toys for your Jack Russell
Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs and has many benefits. These include keeping your dog occupied and helping with dental health. However, one of the main benefits of chewing for a dog is that it is extremely relaxing.
This is a diffuser you plug into a power point that releases dog appeasing pheromones that give then a calm feeling. To us, these scents are odorless and are only perceived by dogs and provide a strong signal of security and comfort. The diffuser will cover an area of up to 700 sq. ft. Comes with a diffuser head and a vile that lasts up to 30 days. Replacement viles are also available on Amazon
This is a well known homeopathic remedy that has been around for 80 years. It is quite commonly used by humans to feel relaxed, calm and stress-free. As a dog groomer, I have used Rescue remedy with great success when working with highly anxious dogs. Easy to use as you just put a drop or two on the tongue.
Summary – How to calm a Jack Russell
It is not uncommon to hear a Jack Russell owner say when will my Jack Russell calm down or how do I calm down my Jack Russell. They are high energy, intelligent and independent dogs.
The above suggestions may be able to help you keep your Jack Russell in a calmer state of mind. However, the most important thing you can do is to provide them with sufficient exercise, both physical activity, and mental challenges.
Let us know in the comments what has worked for your Jack Russell