How Much Exercise for Jack Russell Terrier?

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Different dog breeds need different exercise levels to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Although Jack Russell Terriers are fairly small dogs, they are energetic and have one of the highest exercise requirements. So, how much exercise for Jack Russell Terrier?

How Much Exercise for Jack Russell Terrier?

A Jack Russell Terrier needs at least one hour of daily walk or 30 to 45 minutes of intense exercise such as jogging or hiking. In most cases, the level of exercise depends on the dog’s age, health condition, and weight.

You can exercise a Jack Russell Terrier through different physical activities such as swimming, walking, running, and playing games. 

Keeping in mind that JRTs are energetic dogs, failing to engage them in intense exercise can lead to destructive behaviors such as excessive barking, shaking, and jumping. On the other hand, JRTs are small dogs, and over-exercising them can lead to exhaustion and fatigue.

That means you will need to determine the right amount of exercise for your dog, depending on its age. Some of the exercises you can engage a JRT in without causing fatigue and injuries include:

Jack russell terrier lying

Daily Walks

Daily walks are one of the best ways to help your JRT expend energy, burn calories and remain physically fit. Keeping in mind that a walk is a low-intensity exercise, it has no health consequences such as patellar luxation that might result from activities such as jumping.

Typically, this makes daily walks the best exercise for an overweight dog or a senior JRT that might have bone issues. However, since it’s a low-intensity workout, the walk needs to be longer, around one hour per day.


If you’re on a tight schedule and don’t have time to take your dog for an hour of walk, you can engage it in sprints. Usually, sprints are high-intensity short bursts that can help your dog expend energy and burn calories within a short time.

Since a typical sprint ranges around 25 mph, a 10 to 15 minutes sprint can be an intense exercise for JRTs due to their small sizes and short legs. However, it is not the best exercise for a JRT suffering from breathing problems as it can lead to shortness of breath.

Jogging and Hiking

Unlike sprints, jogging and hiking are moderate exercises that will help your JRT burn calories without excessively working out the muscles. Usually, a JRT requires around 30 to 45 minutes of daily jogging or hiking.

Jack russell terrier walking on grass

Tug of War

A tug of war game is one of the favorite games for JRTs and can help exercise even an overweight dog that can’t run or walk for long. Give your JRT a tug of war toy to bite, and when it bites, pull it back.

Since the dog will be biting on the toy, it will have control over its energy and breathing, allowing it to release the toy whenever it feels exhausted or runs short of breath. However, it is advisable to engage your dog in short tug of war sessions of around 15 to 20 seconds.

Keep in mind that JRTs are possessive and aggressive dogs, and you need to control the game to prevent things from getting out of hand. Whenever the dog becomes over-excited, consider stopping the game.

Benefits of Exercising a Jack Russell Terrier

Like in humans, exercises have many health and behavioral benefits to JRTs. Regardless of your dog’s age, providing it with the right amount of exercise can help it in the following ways.

  • Helps a dog lose weight: JRTs are prone to obesity due to their small sizes. Engaging your dog in regular exercises helps it burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Prevent destructive behaviors: The high energy in JRTs makes them develop destructive behaviors such as excessive barking and eating furniture if they don’t expend it. Engaging them in intense exercises helps them use this energy and take a nap afterward.
  • Improves the bond: Most of the exercises are full of fun and enjoyment, and the dogs will enjoy accompanying them for exercises. Usually, this creates a stronger bond between you and your dogs.

Related Questions

Jack russell terrier playing

What Is the Best Way to Keep a JRT Busy?

The best way to keep a JRT busy is to engage it in physical activities that can stimulate it physically and mentally. However, you should avoid over-exercising your dog in a bid to make it sleep out of exhaustion.

Instead, give it interactive toys so it can play and rest whenever it feels like it.

Can Over Exercise Harm My JRT?

Over-exercising a JRT, especially through intense exercises such as sprints, can lead to heat exhaustion, leading to heatstroke that can be fatal. In most cases, this happens if the dog is overweight or the weather is hot.

Final Thoughts

Jack Russell Terriers are energetic and hyperactive dogs that can develop destructive behaviors if you don’t engage them in the right amount of exercise. The most common exercises for JRTs include daily long walks, high-intensity short bursts, and tug of war games.