Are Jack Russells Good For Seniors?

Are Jack Russells Good For Seniors?

When you are looking to adopt a new puppy, you have to make sure that he will fit in with your lifestyle and your living environment. Not all dogs are the same, and certain breeds, like a Jack Russell, have certain requirements that have to be met for them to be happy and healthy.

Because of their special needs and playful nature, many people have wondered whether or not Jack Russells are good dogs for seniors.

Let’s have a look.

Are Jack Russells Good For Seniors?

Jack Russells might not be a good option for seniors if their daily exercise requirements cannot be met. They are very energetic and they need at least 60 minutes of exercise per day, and this can prove to be problematic for certain senior people. However, if they are given adequate exercise then they can be excellent companions to seniors due to their loving and loyal nature.

Why Jack Russells Can Be Good For Seniors

Let’s have a look at a few reasons as to why Jack Russells can be great for seniors.

1.) They Make Great Guard Dogs

Jack Russells are very loyal and they will do anything to protect their owners, and this makes them excellent guard dogs. With a Jack Russell around, you can be sure that you are safe and that you will always be alerted when there is danger.

2.) They Like To Cuddle

Yes, they are very energetic, but they also like to lie down next to you on your bed or sit on your lap and watch television with you. They do not like to be left alone, so they will always be by your side to keep you company.

3.) They Are Loyal And Loving

Jack Russell Terriers may seem like they are a tough dog breed, but beneath that rough exterior is a very sensitive and loyal dog. They will always be there to keep you company and they have lots of love to give.

4.) They Are Easy To Take Care Of

Jack Russells don’t have a lot of grooming requirements, and this makes them easy to take care of. This is mainly due to their coats, and a brush a week is all that is needed to keep their coats healthy.

Why Jack Russells Might Not Be Good For Seniors

Let’s have a look at why a Jack Russell might not be a good option for seniors.

1.) They Require Daily Exercise

This is usually the biggest drawback of a Jack Russell when living with a senior person. Generally speaking, a lot of seniors are not as active which means that they won’t be able to provide a Jack Russell with the physical stimulation that they require.

A Jack Russell needs at least 60 minutes of exercise a day, and this might not be possible for most seniors.

With that said though, my neighbor is an elderly lady with 2 Jack Russells, and she gets a dog walker to come to her house every day to take her furry friends for a walk around the block. So, there is a way to make this work.

2.) They Require A Large Living Environment

Jack Russells have lots of pent-up energy and they need to run around and play to get rid of this energy. Because of this, they require lots of space and they don’t do well in small living environments such as apartments or small houses.

3.) They Hunt Smaller Animals

They have a very strong prey drive and a natural instinct to hunt, so if there are small animals in the house then you might encounter a few problems. Normally, a Jack Russell needs to be trained at a young age not to hunt small animals and if they are not trained, keeping them in a home with small animals will be problematic.

4.) They Shed A Lot

Unfortunately, these fur babies shed a lot and if they are allowed to jump on beds and furniture or play inside the house, then a lot of cleaning will be required to keep the house clean.


As you can see, a Jack Russell might not be a good option for a senior person, but this all depends on the lifestyle and living environment of the senior person.

I have 3 adult Jack Russells above 12 years of age, and they have certainly calmed down a lot. Yes, they still need exercise, but they are very happy to lie down next to you on your bed, or on your lap when you are sitting down. They adore my elderly parents and my parents love having them around when we visit them.

Jack Russells are very loyal and they make excellent companions, and to be honest, there is never a dull day with a Jack Russell around. They certainly have a lot of love to give, and that’s exactly what a senior person needs.

If you can somehow meet their daily exercise requirements then they can be a great dog for a senior person. However, if they will need to stay indoors for most of the time then it is best to consider another breed.


  • Jan Pretorius

    Meet Jan Pretorius, the passionate dog lover and proud owner of the popular canine haven, Born and raised in a small town known for its love of animals, Jan’s journey into the world of dogs began at a young age, fueled by an innate connection with our four-legged companions.