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The Jack Russell Terrier: 
Interview with an Owner

This is an interview with a Jack Russell Terrier owner. My questions are in orange type. (To read our full Jack Russell Terrier breed page, click HERE.)

Can you tell me a little bit about your dog? Where did you get him/her?

Jack Russell Terrier"Arrow"

“My dog is named Aristotle. We call him Arrow for short. Arrow is a 4-year-old neutered male and we have had him since he was 3 months old.

We got him from a shelter where he was up for adoption, along with his mom, dad, and four other siblings. We didn’t have the intention of getting a Jack Russell Terrier when we started looking for dogs, but we saw him on PetFinder and fell in love with him.

We were in the market for a small dog that was moderately easy to care for, and easy to train. Arrow was the perfect choice and addition to our family. He is a great dog and I love him very much.

How easy was he to train?

“Arrow was very easy to train. He was house trained within a few weeks and learned his name right away.

He can learn minor tricks very fast. For example, he mastered the command for ‘sit’ in less than an hour and then retained the information.

We discovered very soon that the Jack Russell Terrier was an intelligent breed. If someone wants a dog that isn’t stubborn and that they don’t have to spend a ton of time with training, then they should get a Jack Russell.”

Jack Russell Terrier -  owner interview

How much exercise does he/she need?

“Since he is a Jack Russell Terrier he needs to get a lot of exercise, however, he mostly does that himself. He runs around and plays with our other dog for hours on end.

We take him on long walks around the neighborhood a few times a week and he loves to play Frisbee, even though the Frisbee is bigger than him and he trips over it sometimes.

We have an invisible fence around my house, which allows Arrow to be able to run freely outside without any worry that he will run away. Often he will sit outside with our other dog if someone from the family is outside working.

Does he/she have a particular doggie smell?

“He does not have a strong smell at all, unless he is wet, which is common amongst most dogs. However when he is dry, he does not have a particular odor.”

Does he shed?

“Since Aristotle has short hair, he sheds a little bit but not as bad as some dogs.

He definitely does shed though and it can be very noticeable on dark furniture and clothing and is not for someone who is allergic to dogs or someone who will mind a bit of pet hair on their things.

It is very livable and tolerable, though, and it is usually not bad at all, especially because we brush him so often.”

Does he bark much?

“Aristotle barks a lot, which is typical for any terrier and especially the Jack Russell Terrier, and it can get annoying at times. He would make a good watchdog for anyone who lived alone, or needed someone to watch out for him or her.

He is not for someone who lives in an apartment or lives really close to neighbors or other people that could get annoyed by their barking.

What is he like around other dogs?

“Arrow can be a little bit hesitant about making new doggy friends. Because of that, he can either get along really well with a dog or become enemies with them. It really depends on how the other dog treats him and if they are friendly to him, or they growl at him.

If he is calmly introduced to another dog, he just has to get used to them before they are best buds.”

Do you have any other kinds of pets besides dogs?

Besides my two dogs, I have two cats, one horse, many fish and a few hermit crabs.

Do they get along?

“Aristotle gets along very well with our other dog and plays with him all the time.

He doesn’t get along very well with the cats, though. That’s probably just because he tries to play with them like they are dogs and they don’t appreciate that. Our horse doesn’t live at the house, and he does coexist with my other pets.”

How is he around children?

He is bad around small children.  When my brother was a toddler and Arrow was a puppy, he was very mean to him and didn’t treat him well. 

He was too young to know better. Now he growls at any small children, especially boys, and will even attack them. But if you are nice to him and treats him well he is very sweet and will be your best friend.

Would you consider him a fussy eater?

“Arrow is not a fussy eater at all and will eat anything that is given or offered to him. He is a huge fan of people food when he can get his paws on it.”

How much time does it take to groom him?

“Grooming Arrow is very easy and does not take longer than five minutes because of how short his coat is. We brush him every day so his shedding doesn’t get out of control, but it does not take a lot out of my day.”

Any special personality quirks?

“Arrow knows this particular trick where if you say “bang” and point your hands in the shape of a gun at him, he will lay over on his back and pretend to be dead.”

Do you have any further advice for people interested in getting a Jack Russell Terrier?

“Anyone who wants to own a Jack Russell Terrier should know and keep in mind that these dogs are very loud and will bark at almost everything.

This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how bad you need a watchdog. They need a lot of exercises, especially if they are the only dogs in your home.

If you have another dog, then they cut out some exercise time because they will play together. It is best to make sure you have enough time and room for your dog to run around and play.

They don’t do well with cats, only because they are so hyper around them and Arrow in particularly bad with children.

Keeping these things in mind, overall they are excellent dogs that are really intelligent and easy to train. They are also extremely affectionate and will be your best friend if you let them.

To read our full Jack Russell Terrier breed information page, just click HERE.

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