Can Jack Russells Be Left Alone?

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In most cases, you will have work and other commitments to attend to, and you will have to leave your dog alone. However, some dog breeds develop depression when left alone, and you might wonder whether Jack Russell is one of them. So, can Jack Russells be left alone?

Can Jack Russells Be Left Alone?

You can leave an adult Jack Russell Terrier alone for 4 to 6 hours a day. Puppies can be left alone for a maximum of 2 hours and senior Jack Russells for 2 to 6 hours a day.

Graphic image of a white and brown Jack Russell Terrier explaining that Jack Russells can be left alone for 4-6 hours per day

Jack Russells are loyal and affectionate dogs and leaving them more than the recommended time leads to separation anxiety, stress, and eventually destructive behaviors.

Note that the duration you should leave your Jack Russell alone also depends on other factors such as lifestyle, environment, healthy condition, and level of training. Usually, these factors directly relate to your dog’s age as follows. 


Jack Russell puppies are generally less than one year old and require care and attention. At this age, you’ll also want to train your dog, socialize it with other pets like your cats, and help it adapt to your home environment. They have small bladders and will need frequent pottying and peeing.

Additionally, puppies might need to be fed quality dog food more frequently than adult Jack Russell Terriers. Although puppies might seem to play independently, they are physically and emotionally dependent on their owners. Therefore, it is advisable to leave puppies alone for a maximum of 2 hours a day.

Jack Russell


Jack Russell Terriers spend the larger part of their lives in adulthood, generally from one year to 10 years. The dog will have adapted to their environment, potty trained, and doesn’t require frequent feeding. 

Unlike puppies and senior dogs, dogs at this age have minimal health issues that might need constant monitoring. Usually, you can leave an adult Jack Russell Terrier for 4 to 6 hours a day.


Jack Russell Terriers are considered seniors from the age of 10 to 12  years. At this age, the dog might be prone to health conditions that need monitoring.

Additionally, older dogs might not hold bowel movements like adults. It is advisable to leave senior Jack Russell Terriers for 2 to 6 hours, depending on their health condition.

What Can Happen if I Leave My Jack Russell Alone for Too Long?

Due to the affectionate nature of Jack Russell Terriers, leaving them alone for too long can cause a significant impact on their emotions, leading to behavioral problems, ramped out hyperactivity, and disasters. Some of the consequences to expect if you leave your dog for too long include:

Jack Russell left alone on a couch
  • Excessive loud and high-pitched barking 
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss due to depression 
  • The dog scratching and biting itself 
  • Breaking of glass items and chewing clothes, furniture, and furnishings
  • Unusually frequent bladder and bowel accidents 

What Can I Do if I Have to Leave My Jack Russell Alone for More Than 8 Hours?

Whether it’s family or work-related issues, things happen, forcing you to be out of your home and leave your Jack Russell Terrier for more than 8 hours. Regardless of the dog’s age, you can use the following tips to reduce its loneliness and improve comfort.

  • Hire a dog professional: A pop-in dog professional can visit your dog at a set time, especially if it has some health conditions that need constant monitoring. The professional will feed the dog, let it to the toilet and have some playtime with it. 
  • Take the dog to a doggy daycare: If you frequently need to be out of the house for too long, consider taking the dog to doggy daycare. The dog will have exposure and lots of playtime with other dogs.
  • Provide interactive toys: You can reduce your dog’s boredom and loneliness when left alone by providing it with interactive toys such as the StarMark Bob-A-lot Interactive Toy. Also, the toys provide mental stimulation that can help improve your dog’s intelligence. 
  • Get another dog: If you expect to be leaving your dog alone for too long in the future, it’s advisable to adopt two Jack Russell Terrier puppies. Usually, they will play and stimulate each other mentally, relieving the boredom and loneliness. 
Jack Russell feeling depressed while lying down outdoors

Related Questions 

How Can I Stop My Jack Russell Excessive Barking When I’m Leaving?

You can reduce the excessive barking of a Jack Russell Terrier when you are leaving by ignoring it for about 15 to 20 minutes before you leave. Usually, this will help calm him and minimize excitement and tension when it detects that you are almost leaving it alone.

Can a Jack Russell Get Sick When Left Alone?

A Jack Russell Terrier can get sick when left alone as a result of separation anxiety, stress, and depression associated with being left alone. In most cases, the dog will lose interest and appetite. Eventually this will take a toll on their weight, and they will look sickly. 

Final Thoughts 

It is advisable to leave a Jack Russell alone for a maximum of 6 hours regardless of their age and level of training. If you have to leave it for longer, consider hiring a pop-in dog professional, taking the dog to doggy daycare, or providing it with interactive toys.