Will Jack Russells Kill Chickens?

Will Jack Russells Kill Chickens?

It is no secret that Jack Russells have a natural instinct to hunt. After all, they were initially bred to hunt foxes and they have a high prey drive.

This has led to many people asking questions about Jack Russells and whether they will get along or kill small animals such as chickens.

If you have chickens in your backyard and you’re looking at getting a Jack Russell, then please read on as I will discuss a few very important details. Also, if you already have a Jack Russell and you want to have chickens in your backyard, then this is for you as well.

Let’s have a look.

Will Jack Russells Kill Chickens?

Yes, Jack Russells will kill chickens because they were bred to hunt, and as such, they have a natural instinct to hunt small animals such as chickens. They have a very high prey drive and they are fast and strong, and that makes them very capable of hunting down a chicken and killing it. With that said, Jack Russells are also very smart and with proper training, they can be taught to leave chickens alone and not to harm them.

How Do You Stop A Jack Russell From Killing Chickens?

Thankfully, Jack Russells are very smart and as I mentioned, you can train them not to kill chickens. All that you will need is a harness and a lot of patience.

1.) Start Training At A Young Age

It is very important to train your pup from a young age, and also equally important to socialize him with other animals in your home or backyard. This way, he will get accustomed to them and will show more tolerance and in some cases, love, towards them.

2.) Make Use Of A Harness

I highly recommend that you put a harness on your pup when training him. This will help you control your furry friend, and because it’s a harness, it won’t choke him when you pull on it.

3.) Slowly Introduce Him To The Chickens

Make sure that your chickens are in a coop, and with your Jack Russell in a harness, walk him slowly towards the chickens.

4.) Act When He Lunges

At this stage, your pup might pull our lunge towards the chickens. If he does this, pull him back and firmly say “NO!”. After that, pull him back and walk away.

5.) Repeat This Process

Wait another day or two, and try the previous steps again. Put a harness on your dog and walk him slowly towards the chickens. But this time, try to get him a little bit closer to the chickens. Of course, if he goes for the chickens, pull him back and once again say “NO!” and walk away.

6.) Remove The Harness

If your Jack Russell is not displaying any signs of aggression when he is close to the chickens, then you can remove the harness. I would advise you to still be vigilant and to stay close to your pup at all times.

This could take a few days or even weeks, but with persistence, your Jack Russell will understand that the chickens should not be harmed and that he should stay away from them.

Should I Punish My Jack Russell For Killing A Chicken?

You need to remember that Jack Russells have a very strong prey drive and that they were bred to hunt. So if your Jack Russell kills a chicken he is just doing something that feels natural to him, so don’t punish him for it. Rather spend more time to train him not to harm the chickens, or make sure that he is entertained or getting some much-needed exercise.

Is A Jack Russell A Dangerous Dog?

Jack Russells are not considered dangerous dogs when it comes to having them around humans of all ages and other larger animals. However, they will show aggression towards smaller animals because of their natural instinct to hunt, and this makes them dangerous around smaller animals. Apart from that, they are loving and caring dogs and they make great family pets.


Sadly, there is a good chance that your Jack Russell will hunt and kill chickens if given the opportunity. It is only a natural thing for them to do.

But luckily, Jack Russells are very smart and with patience, you can train them to leave your chickens alone. It is crucial though that you train your furry friend from a young age and socialize him with other animals as much as possible.


  • 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.