How Hard Is It for a Jack Russell Terrier to Train to Be a Service Dog?

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Dogs can provide a lot of assistance and even emotional support to their owners. If you are curious about this subject, you might be wondering ‘’How hard is it for a Jack Russell Terrier to train to be a service dog?’’.

How Hard Is It for a Jack Russell Terrier to Train to Be a Service Dog?

It is not hard for a Jack Russell Terrier to learn how to be a service dog. Due to their caring and intelligent nature, they are suitable as service and therapy dogs. In fact, this breed is often used to help owners who have PTSD and anxiety disorders.

Graphic image of a Jack Russell and the word service dog with a text explaining if you can train Jack Russell Terriers to be a service dog

However, due to their small physique, this breed is not convenient for owners who need physical support. This means that they will not be able to pull a wheelchair, open a door, or turn on a light switch. Their bodies are too small for these actions.

On the other hand, they are convenient for people with asthma and diabetes since they can perceive the symptoms and alert their owners. This is because this breed can spot changes in your glucose level and even detect the signs of an upcoming epileptic seizure.

Who Can Benefit From Jack Russell Terrier’s Support?

As I mentioned before, not all dogs are suitable for all kinds of disabilities. For example, if you require a dog who can carry large objects or pull heavy things, a small dog such as the Jack Russell won’t be very convenient. However, they could even provide you with emotional support.

Dog with his owner reading a book.

Traumas and Mental Health Problems

This breed can be great for emotional support for people with traumas such as PTSD and anxiety disorders. They can learn to detect when their owners are in distress and comfort them. Also, they can understand what upset their owners and make them stay away from it.

For example, if their owner becomes agitated by a particular scent, they can detect it and alert them. Also, if their owner dislikes places with crowds and loud noises, they can send a signal that it is not safe to enter that location.

Lastly, as this breed has a sociable nature, they don’t mind going outdoors and being around people. They can stay quiet and calm while being close to other dogs. This means that it is convenient for people who need to constantly go outside.

Diabetes, Asthma, and Epilepsy

Like most dogs, Jack Russell Terriers have a great sense of smell, which, combined with their intelligence, they can use to detect upcoming problems. For example, they can smell their owner’s scent when their glucose level is too low and alert them of this.

It happens the same when I talk about asthma and epilepsy. These dogs can smell the scent of an epileptic seizure 45 minutes before it happens. This is due to small changes in your scent that they can easily detect and alert you.

JRT dog standing up on his own

On top of that, when it comes to asthma, they can detect what triggers their owners’ attacks and prevent them from inhaling it. For example, if there is too much pollen, dust, or smoke in a place, they can detect it and prevent their owners from walking in that direction.

Hearing Impaired and Deaf

This breed is also very convenient for those with mild or severe hearing loss. Their intelligence allows them to learn sounds such as clock alarms, notifications, and smoke detectors. Therefore, they can offer great help by alerting their owners to these sounds.

Here you can see the sounds they can detect and how they can help you.

  • They can alert you when your phone is ringing.
  • If your smoke detector goes off overnight, it can wake you up.
  • You can set alarms on your phone, and they will be able to hear it.
  • They can alert you when someone is talking to you.
  • They can notify you when someone is knocking on the door or ringing the bell.
Sunkissed photo of a dog

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about service dogs.

How Long Does It Take to Train Jack Russells?

Jack Russells could take up to two years to fully train as a service dog. This is because they must be highly trained to respond to their owners’ urgent tasks. They should commit almost no mistakes when supporting people.

Can I Train My Jack Russell to Be a Service Dog?

Yes, you can train your Jack Russells to be service dogs. It is, however, recommended that you enroll your dog in a dog service training program. Professional trainers will be able to teach your dog faster and more effectively.

Also, your dog’s personality could not be suitable for a service dog. Despite their breed, some dogs are just afraid of crowds, new environments, and unknown people.


Because of their intelligence and natural sociability, Jack Russells can be an excellent choice for service dogs. They can also provide great emotional support. However, they lack physicality, which is inconvenient for people who require physical assistance.