There is no denying that Jack Russells have volcanic energies and are far from the cuddly, docile dogs you find as most pets. This breed is a handful for sure, and some first-time enthusiastic pet owners may soon find themselves under considerable stress.
It is no wonder that many pet parents start questioning if their Jack will ever calm down to a manageable creature. The thing is that the truckload of energy you find in Russells is due in part to their breeding. Reverend John Russell created this particular breed to work foxes.
He wanted a dog that would be not only compact enough to slide through underground tunnels and earth passages but also fierce and courageous. If any creature can take down a fox like a pro, trust your Jack to do it.
Although this breed has seen some changes as times have evolved, the prey drive, bravery, sharp intellectuals, supreme energy, and keenness of the first breed are still alive today. However, you don’t need to despair just yet: Russells do calm down but with age.
Let’s discuss it all below.
Wait till Seniority for Your Russell’s Soberness
You see, a puppy or young Russell cannot help but have tons of energy because that is how the Reverend formed this breed. The dogs cannot help but demand taxing physical activities, playtime, and mental stimulation daily, more than the average dogs. They need proper venting and exertion of their pent up energy to reach a state of calmness and friendliness.
However, as your Jack progresses into seniority, you will eventually see it calming down around the age of ten or twelve. Before this age, if you find your dog overly energetic that too frequently or under energetic, note that there may be some underlying condition. Perhaps an improper diet and lack of proper mental and physical stimulation may be the cause of it.
When you first adopt a Russell, you may feel that the hyperactivity will last for life, but I tell you it won’t. Firstly, if you deal with it rightly daily, you will not find the bundle of energy frustrating. You see, it is imperative to understand the fine line between positive energy and frustrating energy.
Your Russell will begin its day with tons of positive energy, but upon feeding it well and given ample playtime, training and exercise time, etc., you will never find your dog problematic after that. It is all very easy and even enjoyable once you see how treating your Russell well and fulfilling its needs works like a charm.
Jack Russell- Cause of Their Hyperactivity
Like I mentioned above, Revered John wanted his particular breed to serve as hunting companions. He aimed to develop excess energy, agility, bravery, and strong willingness no matter what the situation is. Jacks cannot help but be excessively energetic and hyper with such a specific role for their existence.
What You Can do to Calm Down Your Jack
Apart from the proper training, diet, physical and mental stimulation I hinted at, you can apply certain other techniques to further your Russell calm down. Let’s take a look at them below:
1. Gentle Rubs in Stop and Muzzle Area
Like a gentle rub on the belly, a rub on the elongated nose will also help soothe the dog down. However, to give your Russell such a rub, be sure that you have won its utmost trust first. If you attempt to pet the nose or face of your dog without earning its complete trust first, you may be in danger. If not for biting your hand, it will surely bark madly or just back off.
The stop is the spot on the bridge of your dog’s muzzle, in between its eyes.
Imagine how a back massage would feel for you—instantly relaxing, right? The same applies to your Russell, but when you do it on its belly. Rubbing your pet’s belly will calm it down to a considerable extent, perhaps even to the point of putting it to sleep.
However, you must remember to massage or rub its belly in a very calm and relaxed manner. Turning it into a game or being too rough will excite your Jack needlessly.
2. Avoiding letting Small Kids, Pets, and Cats to Come Close to Your Dog
Russell terriers are never too friendly with small kids, other pets, and cats in the house, most especially not when they’re already hyper. Children have quick and unpredictable movements most often, and this will unceremoniously excite your terrier. Some Russells take these as a cue to play and chase, and we don’t want that.
Children also tend to spark some jealousy in Russells, especially when the kids are close to the dog’s owner. Nor are these fierce dogs any friendlier towards other pets and cats, and it is best not to let any of these trigger the prey drive in your pet.
3. Stock up on Chew Toys
Russells, like every other breed, have the instinct to chew everything within its reach. You may look at this as a benefit too because it helps maintain your pet’s dental health. Apart from that, chewing also helps Jack calm down significantly.
Hence, it would be a great idea to provide plenty of chew toys for your pet. This will help it release more endorphins and feel calm, happy, and relaxed.
4. Calm Hold Technique
Before adopting a Russell terrier, try to learn the calm hold technique. In this, you have to place your hand on the side of your Russell’s shoulder and hold them still. You must not speak to your dog while doing this, nor make eye contact.
However, if you wish, you may hold the dog by its collar with one hand while you place the other hand on its shoulder. Once you feel the tension going out of your excited dog’s body and it sobers down, you can move your hand away.
5. Train from Puppyhood
This breed is very intelligent and has an independent streak. You must start training them from their puppyhood never to outsmart you and display their independence later on. Early training ensures that your dog learns to obey and never crosses its boundaries. They will learn to obey your commands and behave at all times.
Jack Russells tend to live a longer life, up to fifteen years, so once you begin training them from the earliest age, you will be free from tremendous stress later on.
6. Never Skip Exercise
You must never allow the energy to build up in your Russell because they would translate into more dangerous things than just hyperactivity. You must strive to give your pet at least an hour of high-intensity physical stimulation daily, if not more.
The breed also requires rich mental stimulation simultaneously, daily. Unless you don’t provide these essentials to your Jack Russell, you must never expect it to calm down at all.
7. Meditative Music is Therapeutic for Your Dog
If music can calm your soul, why do you think it would be different for your dog? I always believe that what works well for us, humans work for our pets too. Hence, it would be a great idea to give your Russell some music therapy to calm it down.
You can find different music on the net, which especially cater to relax and calm dogs. You can even find relaxation dog music on Amazon or use free tracks online.
8. Discourage Hyper Behavior
One great mistake owners tend to make is to reward the hyper behaviors they should discourage. Owners love it when they return home, and their Jack jumps up in excitement at them. They also often laugh with joy when they see the dog sprinting about the house in a frenzy.
These are not the things you need to praise the dog for or laugh at. It is exactly the kind of behavior that creates the negative energy you soon will find unpleasant. The best way to discourage your dog from its hyperactivity is to ignore it when jumping or to sprint around.
Jack Russells are highly energetic and action-packed. It is no wonder that Russell terriers’ pet parents often ask with somewhat desperation when their pet will calm down.
Being independent and hunting dogs, you cannot suppress the excessive energy in their compact bodies. However, you can ensure a proper routine with necessary training, playtime, exercise, and other practices to help your Russell stay calm and relaxed.