How to Socialize a Jack Russell Terrier

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After you have brought your JRT home, one of the most important things to do is to ensure you properly socialize it. Even if it is an older dog, it may not have been properly socialized, and you will notice this from how it behaves. Socializing your dog is not something you can ignore; you will have to learn how to socialize a Jack Russell terrier.

How to Socialize a Jack Russell Terrier

If you do not socialize your dog, you will find it exhibiting particular behavior, such as aggression and anti-social behavior towards other animals and humans and fear of external stimulus. If you want your JRT to become well-behaved, you must ensure you socialize.

An image of Jack Russell terrier seating on a grass

Daily Walks

Walks with your Jack Russell are a great way to exercise and socialize. It also presents an opportunity for your dog to know the neighborhood.  They offer an excellent opportunity for your furry friend to take in the neighborhood’s sights, sounds, and smells. Some of the things it will encounter include:

  • Vehicles
  • Benches
  • Strollers
  • Sirens
  • Children playing

During the walk, ensure you keep it close and walk it the right way so it does not pull on the leash. This way, it will learn how it is supposed to be done from the beginning, and you don’t have to deal with misbehaving in the future. If it acts up or starts barking, do not yell at it; otherwise, it will associate the negative experience with all walks.

If you encounter any challenges and you realize you realize your Jack is not handling them well, go back home. It is usual for most things to intimidate your Jack Russell during the first walks. With time, you will realize that it is becoming much more relaxed and has started looking forward to the walks.


Your dog will meet strangers, some will be friendly, and others will not. You have to train your dog on how to behave around people. You do not want your dog to become hostile to other people; this will make it difficult for you during walks. It will also be difficult to leave your dog under another person’s care when traveling.

When introducing your dog to other people, ensure that the encounters are short and pleasant. The interaction between your dog and the other person should be limited first. Let them say a quick hello, focus their attention on you, and ignore the dog.

As time passes, you can make the encounters longer, and you will notice your furry friend start to want attention from the other person. You can give your friend treats to the dog; however, the treats should not be regular. This way, your dog will not expect treats from everyone it meets.

Other Dogs

When starting to socialize your Jack Russell, it is not a good idea to start with dog parks. This is because your JRT is not used to hanging around other canines, and as a result, it may misbehave. To start, you can have a friend bring over their dog. When socializing with your furry friend, you should start small, so you do not overwhelm it.

An image of dogs playing

Start with walking your dogs; keep some distance between them. Slowly reduce the reduce; if you do not notice any hostility between them, walk them close to each other. With time, you will notice them sniff each other and start to run around each other. You should still be guiding the movement with the leash.

At this point, your dog is ready to move to the next stage. Go to a place where they can play together. Throw then sticks and balls and let them bring them to you. If it can share its toys with the other dog, it has not adopted a possessive attitude towards its toys which will also be the case with food and will share with the other dog.

Children and Puppies

After getting your Jack around adults and adult dogs, it is time to socialize them around children and puppies. Jack Russell terriers are good with children if they are properly socialized. How you socialized it when it came to other people and adult dogs does not differ from how you will do it now. However, the results vary because puppies and kids can be unpredictable.

Ensure that the child is calm and in a good mood. You should monitor the interaction closely and be ready to act if things do not go as planned. Do not allow them to touch until they have all gotten used to the presence of the other one.

This socialization is crucial as it gets your dog used to having other dogs smaller than it is around. You also want to ensure that your Jack Russell is well behaved around children so it can behave well with our children and other children even when you are not around to monitor the interaction.

Dog Socialization Classes

It may be a little difficult for you to take your dog through socializing with people, other dogs, puppies, and children. This may be due to time constraints or because you prefer the socialization classes.

In a dog socialization class, the environment is controlled and less stressful for you and your Jack. There is also an expert who will guide you through the whole process. The classes have new people and other dogs that the dog can interact with. You can also see the progress of other dogs ahead of you.

In the socialization class, you can expect your dog to learn how to:

  • Be confident around other dogs
  • Bite inhibition
  • Off-leash obedience
  • Avoid being bullied by bigger dogs

Dog Parks

When you first take your dog to the dog park, it should be to watch other dogs interact. Do not let your dogs interact with them on the first visit. The first should also not be the first step during socialization. Before the dog park, you should have taken it through all the socializations mentioned above.

An image of training on how to socialize a Jack Russell terrier

Next time you go to the dog park, you can have your friends whose dogs your Jack has met before coming to the park; this way, it will be easier for your dog to play with them without feeling like it is a new environment for it. However, there are things you need to do in preparation for this day. They include:

  • Look up reviews of the park
  • Ensure that your Jack’s vaccinations are up to date
  • You have enough treats for your dog
  • Put the correct information on your dog tag
  • You have poop bags
  • Carry your dog’s toys for it to play with

When your dog interacts positively at the park, ensure you reward them. When they do not, reprimand them; however, it should be in a way that does not cause them to behave negatively or to withdraw. If you notice that it is becoming too overwhelmed by the other dogs, you can take it aside and play with it. This way, it will not associate the dog park with being overwhelmed.


Socializing with your dog is one of the most important things you can do for it. Whether it is a puppy or you adopted an older Jack Russell, you have to socialize it. Seek help from experts when you feel the process is not going as smoothly as it should, and your furry friend will be socialized in no time.