8 Games To Play With Your Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are a high energy working breed that excel when given jobs to do. One of the best jobs a Jack Russell can have is playtime with their owner! This breed loves to showcase their intelligence, speed, and agility. This article lists 8 interactive games that will allow your Jack Russell to put their natural talents to good use. Keep them challenged and bond with your pup through these mental and physical activities.

A Classic Game of Fetch

One of the best games to play with a Jack Russell Terrier is a good old fashioned game of fetch. This breed has a strong inherent desire to chase after things due to their history as hunting dogs. They will delight in dashing at top speed after balls, frisbees, or any other toy you throw for them. Their intense prey drive makes retrieve and return their go-to move once they’ve captured their “prey.” A long session of fetching is a great way to satisfy your Jack Russell’s instincts while tiring them out physically and mentally. The mental stimulation comes from focusing their attention and energy. The physical exercise comes from running back and forth. Fetch is usually a Jack Russell’s favorite game, so break it out for a rewarding play session.

Tug of War

Jack Russells love any game that allows them to dig in and shake or pull with their jaws. A good game of tug of war allows your terrier to safely act out these innate behaviors in a playful setting with you. Get a rope toy and engage your dog in a friendly match of back and forth tugging. This enables them to flex their muscles and experience the satisfaction of gritting down and not letting go. Tug of war is also a great bonding opportunity as you both develop a playful rapport. Just be sure to establish rules with your dog, like having them sit before starting and stop when you give a release command. Proper form ensures tug of war is fun for everyone.

Running Jack Russel Terrier.

Hide and Seek

Want to engage your Jack Russell’s intelligence? A rousing game of hide and seek will do the trick. This breed has extremely keen senses when it comes to smelling and hearing. They can pick up scents and sounds humans wouldn’t even notice. Hide and seek leverages your dog’s innate tracking talent by allowing them to put their nose to work finding hidden treats or toys. Start by having your dog sit and stay in one spot. Then go hide a favorite toy or a handful of tasty treats in a different room or outdoor location. Once hidden, release your dog and watch them scramble to investigate and hunt down the missing object! Your clever pup will be thoroughly entertained searching high and low. Over time, increase the difficulty by picking trickier spots. You’ll have a tired and content Jack Russell on your hands.

Agility Course

Jack Russells thrive when they can put their athleticism and energetic spirits to work. Set up an agility or obstacle course in your backyard and you can provide an outlet for their physical skills. Include obstacles like tunnels to crawl through, jumps and hurdles to leap over, platforms to climb, ramps to run up, poles to weave through, and more. Then walk or guide your dog through the course, allowing them to navigate each obstacle. Your Jack Russell will have a absolute blast climbing, jumping, balancing, wiggling, and dashing through this fun fitness circuit. It taps into their playful energy while building confidence and bonding with you. Over time you can even join in the agility fun! Set up two sets of obstacles side-by-side for a friendly competition.

Flirt Pole Fun

Prey drive meets playtime with the popular dog toy known as the flirt pole. This simple contraption features a rope or other tug toy attached to the end of a long stick or pole. As you stand holding the pole, you can move the tug toy rapidly around with quick unpredictable movements to mimic the motions of prey trying to evade capture. Your Jack Russell will be compelled to chase after it, changing directions suddenly, leaping in the air, and grabbing at it with their jaws. The flirt pole allows your terrier to engage their primal hunting instincts in a controlled and positive way. It’s a great physical workout too as they jump and run back and forth. A short session with the flirt pole will really tucker your pup out!

Jack Russell Terrier with a ball in his mouth.

Nosework Searching

As a breed renowned for their extraordinary sense of smell, Jack Russells can have a blast using their sniffer for nosework games. Simply hiding treats around a room or outdoor area can activate their natural hunting ability. As they sniff out each treat tucked into nooks, objects, or under things, their mind will be firing as they experience mental enrichment. You can increase the challenge by making the search areas larger and more complex, or even hiding toys instead of treats. Nosework is great rainy day fun. Just make sure to watch your clever Jack Russell during the game – some are so adept they may sneak a treat without you noticing!

Obedience Training and Tricks

The intelligence and eagerness of Jack Russells makes them excel at obedience work and trick training. This is a great way to engage their minds and strengthen the bond between owner and dog. Practice basic cues like sit, stay, down, come, heel and any other commands. Your Jack Russell will pick them up quickly. Then you can move on to fun tricks like spin, crawl, play dead, roll over, and more. Your terrier will thrive on the positive reinforcement and mental challenge. There’s no limit to how many tricks you can teach – some Jack Russells master over 100! End each training session with praise and affection. Your dog will beam with pride over their new skills.

Frisbee Toss

Jack Russell Terriers are incredible jumpers and leapers, making tossing a frisbee a perfect outdoor game. Grab a frisbee and head outside to a wide open grassy spot. Get your dog excited and eager, then fling the disc for them to run after at top speed. They’ll love racing to get under the flying disc and timing their jump just right to snatch it out of the air. Playing frisbee toss allows your terrier to have a blast while satisfying their desire to jump high and show off their athletic skills. A tuckered out, happy pup will be ready to curl up contently after a frisbee session.

About The Author

Marc Magny is a seasoned dog owner and breeder, lending his expertise to captivating and informative articles. His deep understanding of dogs and their behavior, health, and breeding practices enriches his writing, offering invaluable insights to readers.

With his practical experience and passion for dogs, Marc’s articles serve as a comprehensive guide for dog lovers. His work resonates with the joy of dog ownership, positioning him as a trusted voice and resource in the pet parenting journey.