Does Jack Russells Like to be Held?

If you plan to adopt or have already adopted a Jack Russell, I would like to commend and congratulate your courage and inexhaustible energy. Of course, no other breed is as fine as the Russell terrier, but they aren’t the best choice for passive lifestyle enthusiasts.

Owning a Jack is equivalent to adopting a volcano. There’s so much energy, hyperactivity flowing from their compact bodies; it is fantastic. So if you’re wondering whether such a dog would like to be held, then yes, it would, but that too is conditional.

Let’s dive into the details of how and when you can earn the honor of cuddles and hugs from your energetic Jack.

Jack Russell-Does it like Cuddles and Hugs?

Yes, Jack Russells are incredibly affectionate and loving dogs, too but only when you have trained and treated them right. This affection and physical closeness you crave and seek from your boisterous bundle cannot possibly come about till you have treated it well, cared for it as per its need, and shown respect to the dog.

Jack Russells are, by nature, too keen, intellectual, and intuitive. But how can you expect anything else from a breed that came into existence with strategic breeding? Our Russell terriers came into existence back in the early 19th century. Reverend John Russell from Dartmouth, England, wanted a particular breed that would hunt and work foxes.

He wanted a dog that would be not only courageous and ferocious enough to take on the cunning creatures but also be compact enough to follow them right through the narrow underground networks. Thus, the Russell terrier came into existence.

Over time, as the breed evolved and expanded, we saw slight variations in their coats and colors. However, the compact bodies, intuitiveness, extreme intellect, bravery, and hunting drive is still present. Hence, regardless of Jack’s age, you can never attempt to turn it into a house mouse.

Expecting such an incredible breed to cuddle up like a stuffed-toy is quite far-fetched. But like I said, this does not rule out that the Russells do have a loving and cuddly side to them, but you have to coax that out with the right approach.

You can see your Jack transform into the pinnacle of love and affection for yourself and the family too.  However, this can happen only with proper training, commitment, and socialization since its puppyhood.

Apart from being overly energetic, you will never catch a Russell low on energy; they are also highly independent. Perhaps it is their nature as working dogs that contribute to this aspect.

Once you give your Jack its necessary dose of exercise, activity, playtime, and attention, you will find the dog doting on you. This means that as a parent, you will have to put in superhuman efforts perhaps, to adhere to its mental and fitness requirements but to attain cuddling and to hold privileges, this effort is necessary.

You cannot bring out the cuddly bit in your Jack until you have not fulfilled its physical and psychological needs. You see, a Russell can’t help expressing its innate nature -that overabounding energy runs deep in its blood. Give it what it needs, and you can cuddle it then all you want.

Requisites of Attaining the Privilege to Hold Your Pet

Now that I have stressed the importance of treating your dog right so he is open to hugs, let’s look at what you can do to bring this about.

Physical Engagements

I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough for Jack Russells. Under-engaging your Jack physically will not only make him unfriendly, and un-cuddly, it also makes him dangerous. Being a lazy pet owner to a Jack has serious consequences.

You must note that your Jack has tons and tons of energy, and it needs to burn that to reach a relaxed and amiable mode. It is imperative to dedicate at least one hour early on in the day where your pet can abound off-leash and unleash its very Jack-like energy.

Once you help your dog alleviate its stress, you will find it in a much happy and receptive mood for the remainder of the day.

Mental Stimulation

Obedience training is simultaneous of utmost importance, not only to stimulate but also teach manners mentally. Since the day your Russell joins you, make it a habit to train together.

You do not even need to wait for the full apparatus and clicker at your disposal. You can start training anytime and anywhere, at home or in a park, indoors or outdoors. The important thing is to give your Russell experiences in different environments to help it familiarize.

Once your dog becomes comfortable with the world around you, you will find it very civilized most of the time. Then, you can look for opportunities to cuddle and hold it. In case you find your inexperience an obstacle in giving your dog the right training, you can opt for training classes in its puppyhood.

Don’t Invade Your Jack’s Place

Being a working dog, you will find a strong independent streak in your Jack. This is mainly in part of their working environment. They love to dispose of vermin and perform at their best on stage.

Remember, Russell came into this world for a sole job. The breed knows in its depths that it has to be self-reliant and have an individual drive. Having a bustling household will thus be at odds with your pet. If you expect it to let you hold and cuddle him when it doesn’t feel at home, you’d be making a mistake.

Therefore, I suggest that you first allow personal space, a haven for your Russell. Perhaps a crate or a designated corner would work. When the dog feels out of place, let it retreat and find its sanity there. Once you see your Jack accepting your home as its own, then you can attempt to hold and cuddle it.


Once your Jack is capable of walking, you must try to start socializing it. It is the best means of making sure your pet feels content around other dogs and knows the protocol of behaving in the company. Try to introduce your Jack to a new dog daily and, if possible, in different settings.

It will learn to accept and enjoy the company of new people, new dogs, and children in a new setting.

How Often Can You Hold Your Jack

Jack Russells do come to accept cuddling and holding with time, but you cannot expect that to happen often. If you try to pet and cuddle it too much, you should not be surprised if the Russell yelps or reacts even more harshly.

Jack Russells do like cuddling, but you have to wait for the right time and opportunity. It is also a bad idea to attempt to hold your dog when it is aggravated, in a nasty or jumpy mood. Remember that it can take a flash for a Jack to transform into a ferocious opponent from a civilized pet. It is best to take things at the dog’s own pace and moods.

It is also important to note here that Russells are not very accepting of children. So if you have a new kid in the house or more of them, you must be extra cautious. Never leave your dog unattended with the child. Also, you should never attempt to hold it when you see the Russell insecure in the kids’ presence.

Final Thoughts

You can hold and cuddle your Jack Russell, but only when you treat it right and set a good mood in the dog. By nature, they are hunting dogs with more extreme reflexes, nature aspects, and energy. Cuddling such a ferocious breed at any time you choose is not a smart thing to do.

To ensure your pet’s affection, you must earn its respect, create a positive and fulfilling life for it, and then moving on to the cuddling bit.