Exercising Your Jack Russell TerrierGood Exercises For Your Jack Russell Terrier

Small white fox terriers were bred by the Reverend John Russell in the mid-1800’s specifically for ‘working fox’ (chasing in fox hunts) in England. After Reverend Russell’s death, these terriers were known as Jack Russell Terriers. The Jack Russell Terrier is clearly a working terrier (as opposed to a show or fighting terrier). Terriers are dog typically bred to burrow in the earth (which is terre in French, hence terrier) and other small places to get vermin, foxes, rabbits, or other small animals.

Breed Type


Physical Characteristics

  • medium sized dog with short, smooth, or broken coat
  • sturdy and muscular
  • well-balanced with straight legs


  • very intelligent and curious (a necessity for working terriers dog which are constantly problem-solving to get to its prey in difficult spaces)
  • high-energy (for pursuing prey after they disappeared underground).
  • friendly to people, good with children but not extremely patient
  • generally friendly with other dogs (not as much with cats or other small pets)
  • if not exercised regularly, prone to troublesome behavior such as digging, escaping from the yard, or excessive barking.
  • assertive, loyal

Best Exercises

Don’t let the small size fool you. Because of the combination their high intelligence and abundant energy, Jack Russell Terriers require regular exercise – and some training – to stay out of mischief and to occupy their minds.

  • Walks – Brisk walks of30 to 45 minutes are good
  • Running – these sturdy dogs can go for runs or jogs, which is actually a good way to work off their abundant energy. Start slowly.
  • Hiking – Naturally inquisitive, a hike is a good way for a Jack Russell to get mental stimulation while working off energy. But he is a terrier—keep him leashed or will go chasing after something.
  • Agility – Jack Russell’s do extremely well in this sport in competition and why not. This sport combines high-energy physicality, mental challenge and is just fun because of the variety activities involved.
  • Fetch – Games that require mental computations, like where will the ball be, are great.
  • Frisbee/disc throwing – a great mental and physical challenge for a dog like this. Do learn how to teach the dog this sport—there is a method for starting a dog off in disc catching that will keep him from getting injured.
  • Flyball – The power version of Fetch where dogs race over hurdles to a box that shoots out a tennis ball, then race back while carrying the ball. This game tends to be fast and exciting, even if you train casually, and it works off a lot of energy. Jack Russell Terriers do very well in this sport and several have earned top honors.
  • Chasing games – Not just with you but also try dog parks with other dogs. Also, try chasing toys.

Suggested Exercise Plan

  • 2 sessions a day for 20-30 minutes each, at least one walk is brisk (optimal)
  • 1 session a day for 30 minutes each (good)

A good routine: a 30-minutes walk in the morning and a vigorous 20-minute game (fetch, chase, obstacles, etc.) in the afternoon, every day.

Things To Note

This bears repeating: if not exercised regularly, Jack Russell Terriers can be prone to troublesome behavior. Get your Jack Russell Terrier out often to work his body and mind.