Can a Jack Russell Live Outside in a Dog House?

Can a Jack Russell Live Outside in a Dog House

A dog that was originally bred to hunt down foxes, the Parson Jack Russell Terrier has been honing the craft in the 200 years since – even if today, they only get to use their skills to hunt down your furry slipper!

It’s easy to tell that the Jack Russell is a hunting dog when you take a look at the pooch’s wiry, weatherproof coat, as well as the way they carefully and slowly stalk that bird or squeaky ball.  A Jack Russell Terrier will also astound you with their unbounded intelligence.

But do today’s Jack Russells like to spend loads of time outside, or have they turned into more of a lap dog? And can a Jack Russell live outside in a dog house?  Questions like these are what we’re going to be exploring in this article:

What kind of coat does a Jack Russell have?

Did you know that there are two types of Jack Russell coat? A Jack Russell can have either a broken or smooth coat. Though they may not look like it, both of these coarse coats are actually double coats.

You will need to have your Jack Russell’s unique double coat stripped at least once a year, or maybe even twice. This prevents tangling or matting when the coat is heavily shedding in Spring and Fall. 

Even when freshly stripped, though, your Jack Russell Terrier’s coat should provide them with the warmth and insulation they need to spend hours and hours outdoors in comfort.

Is a Jack Russell sociable?

The Jack Russell Terrier was first bred to do one thing and one thing only – hunt! So of course, today’s Jack Russells are still brilliant at the pastime.

Whether it’s chasing that errant tennis ball across the park or room, or sniffing out those treats you’ve hidden, a modern Jack Russell still wants to hunt and will thrive if they have something indestructible to chase, stalk, and “kill” in your home, like a soft self-rolling ball.

Because of this high prey drive, a Jack Russell living as a pet today will still find themselves highly tempted to chase anything furry that moves. This includes any other pets you may have, like hamsters or rabbits.

A Jack Russell also doesn’t get along well with its fellow canines very often, especially dogs who are of the same sex as them.

But when it comes to humans, the small Jack Russell Terrier breed adores cuddling up to their favorite people all day – as long as they handle them gently. So, it’s not a bad idea to give your Jack Russell some indoor time each day, even if their bed will be outside.

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Does a Jack Russell dig?

Oh yes – since this dog was originally intended to hunt down foxes in their burrows, a Jack Russell today will still dig and dig. Indeed, a Jack Russell will dig up your entire garden if you give them the chance.

Of course, it is possible to train your Jack Russell to dig only in a specific spot of the garden. However, with the breed’s independent and stubborn nature, this kind of training will be tough.

The breed’s major tendency to dig does not have to be a reason why your Jack Russell cannot live outside in a dog house, but it’s something to be aware of.

So if your Jack Russell lives outside in a dog house, you may like to restrict their access to certain parts of your outdoor area. Or, you might prefer to only allow your Jack Russell outside under supervision, or for a limited time.

Will a Jack Russell bark?

When a Jack Russell Terrier notices something that piques their interest, you can be sure that they will bark their head off! During the day, if you are playing with your Jack Russell out the back, this boisterous pooch will probably become excited and bark joyously.

This is not necessarily nuisance barking though, and shouldn’t be something that bothers your neighbors when your Jack Russell lives outside.

But at night, with nocturnal life-like neighbourhood cats, hedgehogs, mice and bats around, a Jack Russell’s keenly attuned senses can prompt them to alert you to every single garden intruder!

This can be something that makes spending the night indoors a better option for some Jack Russells and for you!

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Is a Jack Russell intelligent?

Since Jack Russell is a true hunter, they are of course also highly intelligent. This, coupled with the dog’s agility means that this dog breed can, and has been trained to carry out all sorts of stupendous things for years. Not without great effort, however.

With a mind of their own, a Jack Russell will do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. So, you need to curb this and train them well.

Can a Jack Russell be an escape artist?

Coupled with the previously mentioned penchant for digging, did you know that a Jack Russell also can be an excellent climber?

In the garden, with an absorbing toy or two around, your Jack Russell will likely be content and happy enough to spend all day.

But if your Jack Russell sees a cat go over the fence or notices an interesting bird flying past, you may be surprised with the speed at which a Jack Russell can disappear from your outdoor area, even if they’ve never once done this before.

So if you’re planning on housing your Jack Russell outdoors, check if your outdoor area is a Jack Russell-proof Fort Knox. Make sure that there is absolutely no way for your Jack to surmount your fence – use a bumper or another physical obstacle if this is necessary.

You must also block access to the bottom of your fence if your Jack Russell is going to be spending any great length of time outdoors unsupervised daily since a Jack Russell could easily dig their way out if they put their mind to it.

Try putting furniture or a compost bin along the bottom of your fence, or nail a material to it. You could even grow plants in this area, like a small hedge, to keep your Jack Russell Terrier even more secure.

Or you may want to keep your Jack Russell Terrier in a large pen or run when outside, for an easier security option. In this case, there is a variety of models out there on the market to suit your needs.

So, can a Jack Russell live outside in a dog house?

In truth, there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. While living indoors may be impossible for a Jack Russell who has a strong tendency to chew up dangerous objects.

Or whose warm double coat means they can’t stand the heat for long, other Jack Russells may be Houdinis, somehow scaling the fence day after day.

They may even feel lonely and will bark all night to get inside.

So, it’s up to you to choose what is right for your circumstances and your Jack Russell. They may prefer to use a doggy door and have both options, or they may love the coziness of a dog house.

For more posts about Jack Russell’s click on the links below

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