Why Do Jack Russells Run Away?

Why Do Jack Russells Run Away?

I’m fortunate enough that my 3 Jack Russells are fairly obedient due to proper training. On the odd occasion, they can suffer from selective hearing, but for the most part, they will listen to my commands.

That said, I have been struggling with one of them, Vanilla. He is the only male Jack Russell in my home and he has a tendency to run away whenever he gets the opportunity.

So I’ve been wondering, why do Jack Russells run away, and how can I discourage this type of behavior?

Let’s have a look.

Why Do Jack Russells Run Away?

A Jack Russell might run away if he is bored, which is often caused by a lack of exercise. They might also run away if they spot another pet or small animal, which they are known for chasing after. Without proper training, your Jack Russell might run away given the opportunity and when presented with the scenarios just mentioned.

How Do I Stop My Jack Russell From Running Away?

It is important to remember that Jack Russells have a natural instinct to hunt because they were originally bred for that purpose. To train that out of a Jack Russell will be extremely difficult. Any Jack Russell, when given the opportunity, might run away.

So, the idea here is to prevent your furry friend from running away and also, how to deal with the situation when he decides to run off.

Let’s look at a few things that you can try to keep your Jack Russell from running away.

1.) Secure Your Home And Yard

I will talk about this first because it is probably the best thing that has kept my Jack Russells from running away. I made sure that the backyard has a fence and I’ve also made sure that they can’t dig their way out.

In addition to this, I always keep the front door of my house closed. If I have to open it to get outside, I make 100% sure that my furry friends can’t run past me.

2.) Keep Him On a Leash

When you’re taking your pup for a walk around the block or for playtime in the park, keep him on a leash or in a harness. I prefer to use a harness because it doesn’t choke my pups.

This will prevent him from running away, especially if he sees another dog or a small animal (which they love to chase).

3.) Give Him Enough Exercise

It’s no secret that Jack Russells need regular exercise, and if they don’t get it, they can get bored and this can cause them to run away. Give your Jack Russell at least an hour’s exercise every day to keep him from getting bored.

4.) Train Your Jack Russell Recall

This is probably one of the best things that you can teach your Jack Russell. Recall involves training your pup to come back to you when they are alerted with a verbal cue.

I personally use the word “Come!” followed by a whistle, but you can use whatever you like as long as it is a short and punchy verbal cue that your pup can easily recognize.

5.) Train Your Jack Russell To Stay

Another thing that you should teach your Jack Russell is to stay. With patience, your pup should stay put whenever you instruct him to, which can be useful if you see that there’s a sign that he wants to run off.

6.) Don’t Chase After Him

If your Jack Russell decides to run off, do not chase after him. He will think that you are trying to play a game with him, and we all know how they love to play. This will encourage him to run even further, and he will enjoy it when you chase after him.

Rather use the recall method instead.


Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of why Jack Russells run away.

Giving your furry friend regular exercise will prevent him from getting bored and ultimately running away. It will also tire him out and relieve pent-up energy, which is great.

Make sure that your home and yard are secure so that your Jack Russell does not attempt a prison break, and when you’re taking him for a walk around the block, make sure that he is on a leash or in a harness.


  • Jan Pretorius

    Meet Jan Pretorius, the passionate dog lover and proud owner of the popular canine haven, JackRussellTerrierDog.com. 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.