Can Jack Russells Howl?

can jack russells howl

A lot of people are under the impression that only larger breeds howl but the truth is that most types do to some degree.

It’s something that they’ve been doing for many years and it’s just as much a part of their pack mentality as their need for companionship, hunting prey, alerting other animals in the area of danger, or even getting your attention.

But have you ever wondered if your Jack Russell can howl? Let’s find out.

Can Jack Russells Howl?

Yes, Jack Russells can howl. They will howl if they are lonely, in pain, needing attention, or if they are afraid of something. While Jack Russells are not well known for howling, they are certainly capable of making this sound.

Why do Jack Russells howl?

Let’s explore a few reasons why your Jack Russell is howling. If his howling is a concern to you, this will help you to identify the root of the issue.

1.) He is looking for attention

Jack Russells may experience separation anxiety when you are not close and may howl in order to get your attention. My Jack Russell, Vanilla, will often do this when I’m outside in the yard and he can’t get to me because he is locked inside the house.

As soon as I come back inside or if I stand close to the door so he can hear me, he will stop to howl.

2.) He is afraid of something

If your Jack Russell is normally quiet and is all of a sudden howling, it could be he is afraid of something in the house or yard. He may have encountered a new object like a vacuum cleaner or he might have seen or heard something that scared him.

3.) He is responding to other noises

Jack Russells have a keen sense of hearing and can hear sounds well above our range of human hearing. If he hears another dog howling in the neighborhood, he may be howling to respond to them.

Dogs often howl simply because they can and because others will howl back, so they are having a form of conversation or bonding activity with them.

4.) He is in pain

It’s also possible that your Jack Russell may be in pain. If you have noticed your dog limping, a sore paw, or other injuries, it could be that he is in pain and is exhibiting this behavior. It is important to pay attention to any health issues and take them to the vet immediately if anything seems different.

5.) He is disoriented after surgery

Anesthesia does have some side effects that your veterinarian should explain to you. If your dog undergoes surgery, he may be a bit disoriented after the anesthesia wears off. He may not recognize his surroundings, and it could be possible that he is in pain and howling out of discomfort.

6.) He is hungry or thirsty

Jack Russells are very active dogs and require daily exercise to keep a healthy weight and body condition. If your Jack Russell has gotten used to being fed at a certain time and you feed him later than normal or don’t feed him at all because you are running late for work, he may howl out of hunger.

How to stop your Jack Russell howling

separation anxiety

As mentioned earlier, Jack Russells can howl for various reasons. It is therefore very important to identify the reason why he is howling, and then addressing the issue accordingly.

1.) Don’t leave him alone for too long

It is recommended that you don’t leave your furry friend alone for longer than 6 hours at a time (max 2 hours for a puppy). Try to check in on him on a regular basis, or if you’re at work, ask a neighbor to come over once or twice during the day until you get back from work.

Another option is to hire a dog walker to take him outside when you’re away. Not only will this help prevent separation anxiety, but it will also give him some much-needed exercise.

2.) Address any fears or discomforts he may be experiencing

If your dog is afraid of something in the house or yard, don’t just let it happen. In the event that something is making him uncomfortable, try to figure out what it is. Perhaps there are things you’ve forgotten that shouldn’t be left on the countertop or in a chair.

Once you have figured out the issue, address it promptly and get him used to it. For example, maybe your dog is afraid of vacuums because he hasn’t seen one before or because he was hurt by one once.

If possible, try to get him used to the sound of these things with positive reinforcement rewards for good behavior. The more comfortable your dog is with these things, the less likely he will be howling in fear when hearing them again.

3.) Create a schedule for feeding and playtime

As previously discussed, Jack Russells are known to have a lot of energy. This means that they require a high level of physical and mental stimulation. To cater to this energy, create a routine schedule for playtime and feeding.

If your dog is used to playing before he eats, try doing that every day as well. Once he gets the hang of his new schedule, he will associate it with good things instead of having anxiety about where or when they will happen.

4.) Develop a fun outside activity to do with your dog

If your Jack Russell is howling because he wants to play outside, it might be because you’re not taking him around the neighborhood often. While they are small dogs that need daily exercise, some dogs enjoy running around and exploring more than others.

If this is the case with your furry friend, try to take him out for a walk as often as possible.

A great idea is to develop a fun game for both of you to play outside together. Some popular games include fetch or hide and seek. These games can provide physical exercise while also providing mental stimulation, as well as bonding time between you and your dog.

5.) Make sure he is not in pain

If your Jack Russell is in pain due to something related to age or medical issues, make sure he receives adequate medical care. While no dog should ever get hurt (including your Jack Russell), some dogs are injured during play or hurt by other dogs.

If your dog has been injured somehow, have him examined by his vet.


While Jack Russells are small dogs with lots of energy, these traits are not without their drawbacks. If you have been following the advice in this article and other resources, you should be able to handle any issues you may have with your dog’s behavior.

As long as he is getting daily exercise and mental stimulation, he should be fine.

If you do need more help or advice, make sure to get in contact with a professional dog trainer to ensure everything is being done correctly. If anything seems out of place or if your Jack Russell is still experiencing anxiety or other issues, it is best to schedule an appointment with a vet right away.


  • 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.