What Size of Doggie Door Do I Need for a Jack Russell Terrier?

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Jack Russell Terriers are dogs who love to go outside, play, and run. Therefore, a door mount would be very convenient for them. If you own this breed, you might be asking ‘’what size of doggie door do I need for a Jack Russell Terrier?’’ and how to install it.

What Size of Doggie Door Do I Need for a Jack Russell Terrier?

The size of your doggie door should be one inch taller than your Jack Russell Terrier. Their height ranges from 10 to 15 inches, so you’ll need one that’s no more than 16 inches tall. For width, you must choose one that is at least two inches wider than your dog.

An image of a doggie door for Jack Russell terrier

This will allow them to go out and enter without any inconvenience. This is important if you don’t want to build an excessively big door for them. However, if you have bigger dogs in your house, you must consider them too.

In this case, the door should be built one inch taller than your biggest dog and two inches wider than your widest dog. Additionally, the step-over of the door should be a third of your dog’s height. For example, if your dog is nine inches tall, the step-over should be three inches.

How to Measure Your Jack Russell’s Height and Width

To properly calculate your dog’s measurements, you must learn where and how to measure them. If you do it incorrectly, you could get a door mount that is too small for them, which could cost you a lot of time and effort.


To calculate its height, make sure they are standing on a flat surface and look for the tallest point on their back. This spot is located just below their neck, around their shoulder blades. However, since all dogs are different, look for any other taller point.

Once you find it, roll down a measuring tape from their tallest point down to the ground. Lastly, read the measuring tape and write the result down on your phone or a piece of paper.


To determine your dog’s width, you must wrap a measuring tape around the widest part of its back. If your dog is not in ideal shape, it could have a big stomach. Therefore, you need to take that into consideration when measuring their body.

How to Calculate the Step-Over of the Door

To calculate the step-over, you must know your Jack Russell’s height. Then, you need to use the next formula: 1 divided by 3, multiplied by (dog’s height). This will give you the most convenient size for the step-over of your doggie door.

For example, if your dog is 15 inches tall, the formula would look like this: 1 divided by 3, multiplied by 15. The result of this is 5. Therefore, your step-over should be 5 inches tall.

An image of a white door with a doggie door for Jack Russell terrier

How to Install a Doggie Door

Once you have all your measurements done, you can take the doggie door that suits you best and install it. For this, you will need tools such as a hammer, a jigsaw, a drill, a screwdriver, and a pencil. Then, you can follow the next instructions.

  1. Remove the door from its frame using the hammer and the screwdriver and lay it down.
  2. Use the cutting hole template that your doggie door pack included and mark its location on the door. If yours doesn’t have a template, you would need to manually draw its outline on the door.
  3. Don’t forget about the step-over. Using the measurements you previously took, mark the height of your step-over.
  4. Drill holes on each corner of the cutting hole template.
  5. Grab your jigsaw and cut out the door following the outline.
  6. Drill the holes for the doggie door frame and install it. If the hole is too tight, you can use the help of a hammer.
  7. Seal it with a weatherproof sealant.
  8. Rehang the door.

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about doggie doors. 

Is Having a Doggy Door Safe?

Although humans can’t fit through a doggy door, some intruders could use it to access your house. However, there are safety measures you can apply in your house to prevent this from happening.

Can Mice Get In Through Doggie Doors?

Yes, any kind of small animal could get through your dog’s door and get into your house. However, you can prevent this by locking this door at night. Since these animals are mostly nocturnal, you will stop them from getting into your house.


Since Jack Russells are a small breed, you will probably not find problems when installing a doggie door for them. However, if you have more than one dog, you should consider getting a door mount that is convenient for all animals in your house.