How High Can a Jack Russell Jump?

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Although Jack Russell Terriers are relatively small, they are hyperactive, and one way they expend excessive energy is by jumping. Learning how high a Jack Russell can jump will help you know how you can fence for it. So, how high can a Jack Russell jump?

How High Can a Jack Russell Jump?

Jack Russells can jump up to 5 feet high. Keeping in mind that a standard Jack Russell has a height of 10 to 15 inches, 5 feet jumps means they can jump as high as five times their standing height. In most cases, the height up to which a Jack Russell can jump depends on the age and level of excitement.

Graphic image of a white and brown Jack Russell jumping over green grass with a text explaining that Jack Russells can jump up to 5 feet high in the air

Usually, jumping in Jack Russell Terriers starts from a young age to adulthood. Although puppies tend to be more excited than adult JRTs, adults jump higher due to their sheer muscle strength. Regardless of the age or sex of your JRT, it might jump due to the following behavioral reasons:


Unlike humans, dogs do not have language skills to help them work out issues. Instead, they communicate things using different body language, such as jumping up, licking, and wagging their tails.

Keeping in mind that JRTs are territorial and protective of their owners, they might jump to communicate that the situation is under their control and demonstrate dominance over their territory.


In most cases, dogs will greet each other by sniffing. Although JRTs are affectionate dogs and might want to greet you by sniffing your face, their heights can’t allow it.

As a result, they will try to jump up on you and sniff your face to greet you when you come home from work. It is a sign that they are excited to see you back and that they missed you when you were away.

Jack Russell terrier jumping happily

Seeking Attention

Since JRTs are energetic dogs, they are playful and will want to engage you in games. In most cases, this will happen if you’re not engaging the dog in intense exercise or there are no interactive toys for the dog to play with.

Considering that the dogs can communicate their feelings like humans, the JRT will try to catch your attention and start a game by jumping on you. The dog can also jump on you to remind you it is time for exercise.


JRTs are intelligent dogs with good memories and can remember events and anticipate moments. For instance, the dog can predict that you will play, take it for a walk, or feed it.

That means the dog can become happy and excited when it sees you holding a toy, car keys, or entering the kitchen. In most cases, JRTs demonstrate their excitement by jumping up. Typically, you can tell how excited a JRT is by how high the dog is jumping.


The strong hunting instincts in JRTs make them curious and will want to see what is happening even in elevated places. For instance, if you’re doing something on a cabinet, the dog might try to jump and see what you’re doing.

Jack Russell terrier jumping on the grass

The dog might even try to jump over a fence as it tries to see what is on the other side of the fence. Therefore, it is advisable to have a fence that is at least 6 feet tall and keep your JRT on a leash to prevent it from jumping over.

Tips to Minimize the Jumping Behavior of Jack Russell

Although jumping might not be an issue for puppies, excessive jumping of adult JRTs can be problematic and a safety risk, especially if you have small children in your home. Fortunately, you can use the following training tips to discourage and minimize jumping behavior.

  • Train the dog not to jump from a young age: Since most JRTs start jumping while still young, discourage the puppy by turning away from it and failing to give it attention whenever it starts jumping.
  • Reward good behaviors: Use the positive reinforcement training method and give your JRT treats when it stops jumping.
  • Engage the dog in intense exercises: You can help your dog use up the excess energy by engaging it in intense exercises. Usually, the dog will take a nap after the exercise.
  • Keep the dog on a leash: Physically prevent the dog from jumping by keeping it on a leash.
Jack Russell terrier jumping to look for Llamas

Related Questions

Can Jumping Cause Patellar Luxation in Jack Russells?

Yes, jumping can cause patellar luxation in Jack Russells, especially if they land in the wrong way. In most cases, you can know your JRT has patellar luxation if it starts hopping or changes the walking style after a jump.

Are There Health Benefits of Jumping in JRTs?

Moderate jumping can help JRTs build muscle strength and remain physically fit. Jumping can also help the dog relieve stress which can cause health issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, or even diabetes.

Final Thoughts

In most cases, Jack Russell jumps out of excitement, to demonstrate dominance or seek attention. It’s advisable to use positive reinforcement training methods to discourage jumping as it can be a safety risk, especially if you have small children.