Can A Jack Russell Be Left Alone?

Are you wondering if it would be a good idea to leave your Jack Russell alone? You may have recently become a pet parent to a Jack Russell, and I don’t find it surprising to see you asking for a little freedom.

Regardless of what breed you decide to adopt, being a pet parent is a round-the-clock job. Russell terriers especially are so active and energetic; they tend to drain you with their constant hyperactivity.

You may need a quiet and relaxing evening out or perhaps even have to run a couple of errands, so there is a chance your Jack will have to spend time alone.

Earning a living along with raising a puppy, is challenging. There cannot always be a time where you can make your terrier accompany you everywhere.

But is your dog trustworthy enough to leave alone? Is it capable of staying away from mischief when you are not there to supervise? How long is it safe enough to leave your pet alone?

If you have been asking all of these questions, then you have come to the right place. In this article, I will share my insights on whether or not you can leave your Jack Russell alone and some other relevant information.

Jack Russell- Dynamics of Leaving Your Pet Alone for a While

I would begin by answering your question first. Yes, it is possible to leave your Jack alone but only for a few hours at the most during its puppyhood. When I say a few hours at the most, I am referring to leaving the pet outside its crate.

You can leave your Russell terrier at home, and generally, there is never a problem. However, the time duration for which you can safely leave the dog depends on its age. A puppy Russell and an adult Russell have a different alone-time.

In addition to verifying the suitable alone-time for your dog, you need to train it well to make it aware of the protocols to obey when it is alone. Your terrier must feel accustomed to staying alone, and you could do this by leaving it outside the crate for varying durations.

Begin by leaving the dog alone out of its crate for a short period, then keep increasing the duration little by little as you see your pet getting used to the routine.

In the early days, when you are training your pet to become used to staying alone, you must limit it to safe zones in your home. It would also be best to provide your pet with toys for chewing and mental stimulation while you’re away.

But this is the fundamental answer to your question. There is a lot more detail that goes with it and which you take care of. Let’s begin looking at each aspect in detail.

How Long Can I Leave My Jack Russell Alone

Here is a short table you may use as a reference when you want to decide the maximum time for the dog to stay alone.


If your Jack is in its puppyhood, you shouldn’t leave it alone for more than two hours a day. At the very least, note that your puppy has a small bladder and will surely need to pee and potty soon.


It is safe to leave your adult Russell for up to six hours a day. It will mostly sleep while you are not home but give you a rousing welcome on return.


I would recommend a time-frame between two to six hours for an elderly Jack Russell. You see, it may not be too active in its old age, but it may suffer from health conditions. Also, it will have loo problems and may need to unload often.

However, you must note that this is a general guide. Your Jack may be slightly different in temperament and habits. It may or may not be able to go with this basic routine.

To be sure of the ideal alone-time for your dog, you need to understand its temperament, nature, and routine to verify its limitations.

Can I leave my Jack Russell for 24 Hours?

Emergencies are a part of life, and you may find yourself in a tricky situation where you find it necessary to leave your dog for 24 hours or so. You may be asking if it is possible to do so. Well, the straightforward to that is no, you must not leave your dog entirely alone for 24 hours or more at a stretch.

I would never recommend it because some disaster will surely strike. A dog, too, has its limits, and I don’t believe we can hope for Jack’s patience to stretch to that extent. In case you are stuck in an emergency, you must strive to arrange a pet sitter to look after the dog.

Firstly, whether or not you create your Russell, it will not be able to hold its bowel movements or bladder for that long. It will surely want to pee or poop at that time.

Then you also need to consider the meal times. How much food and water can you leave out for the dog? Uncovered, cold and stale food is not going to do your pet’s tummy any good either.

This rule applies to Jack Russells to every age, but significantly more for puppy terriers.

The best course of action is to arrange a sitter if you have to be gone for 24 hours or, if possible, have your pet tag along.

It would give your dog a chance to experience new things, too, depending on the nature of your excursion.

Possible Consequences of Leaving Your Russell Alone for Too Long

You can expect disasters, mischief, problems, etc., of varying degrees to occur if you endeavor to leave your dog for long periods.  Some common problems I have noted include:

  • Bowel and bladder accidents on the carpets and flooring at home
  • Incessant barking and howling
  • Chewing on furnishings, furniture, clothes, etc
  • Biting and scratching themselves
  • Broken and shatter glass items within the dog’s range
  • Depressed and sad
  • Disturbing the neighbors with loud and angry barking/howling continuously

What Happens if I Have to Stay at Work Beyond my Daily 8 Hours Some Day?

We all understand how “certain” employers can be. You may have your bag packed and ready to hop out of the office right on the dot at five, but just a moment before the clock strikes, your boss gives you a letter to draft. What happens to your Russell waiting anxiously at home then?

I always stick to a crate when I know I have a regular eight hourly schedule at work. Plus, the traffic hours can extend the commuting time, so I cannot afford to take any risks. You must decide the best course of action based on your understanding of your Russell.

Does your pet find its crate super comfortable? Will it find any potential ways of kicking up a disaster or getting into trouble if you are away longer than usual?

I will never ask you to abuse the purpose of a crate, but where unexpected delays are concerned and where you feel your dog will be safer in a crate, I will encourage you to use it.

At least, till you are not sure you have 100% potty-trained your dog and can expect it to behave well even if you are an hour or later, use the crate.

You must also never hesitate to go the extra mile for your dog. Eight hours or more can be agony if you don’t provide toys and resources for its stimulation. Give your pet much chewing and stimulation toys, make sure you always fill its water and food bowl with fresh food and water, and then leave for work.

Once you are sure your dog will never poop or pee accidentally, will not misbehave and cause wreckage, then you can start leaving it out of the crate. Allow your Russell sufficient time to learn about the desired and undesired behavior. Work on building the trust zones slowly but steadily with your dog.

When you start training your dog to remain out of the crate but behave well, try to stick to shorter errands and trips. When you do have to stay away for eight hours or more, stick to a reliable and comfortable crate for your pet during this period.

Final Thoughts

You can leave your Jack Russell alone but only for a limited time. Russells, like every other breed, can feel mentally disturbed, depressed, and even sad if you leave it for more extended periods.

This is why I do not recommend switching from being a doting pet parent to one who leaves their dog alone for most of the day. This can disturb your dog emotionally and psychologically.

It is also essential to train your dog generously to know what it should and should not do in your absence. Rest assured, with the proper training, crating use, foods, accessories, and other practices, your Jack Russell will never misbehave in your absence.