The Jack Russell is a really popular dog breed in the UK, and one that is compact and small enough to fit comfortably into even smaller homes.
However, whilst Jack Russells are undeniably small, they have really big personalities and are plucky, confident, quick thinking, and outgoing. They also have bags of tenacity and a strong prey drive, as well as high energy levels, which makes dogs of the breed mischievous, alert and often, quick to get into trouble!
Terriers of all types display certain innate instincts, including a tendency to enjoy digging and also, a desire to chew and sometimes destroy their toys. Using the appropriate types of toys for your Jack Russell helps to provide a natural outlet for their hunting instincts, busy minds and desire for something to do, and when it comes to providing toys for terriers, some are a better pick than others.
The types of toys that any individual dog enjoys can be quite variable, and some dogs are harder on certain types of toys than others too. If you’re looking for good toys to choose for your Jack Russell and are wondering what type of toys to pick and why, this article is designed to help you out.
Read on to learn about four types of dog toys that are a good choice for Jack Russells.
Terriers are as a rule often quite hard on their toys in general, and they have hard mouths and never do anything with less than 100% enthusiasm, which often means that toys don’t last long in a Jack Russell’s mouth!
Picking toys that are designed to be very robust, hardy and resistant to chewing will be more rewarding for your dog as they will last longer, and whilst such toys often cost more initially, they will potentially save you money in the long run.
Many ranges of dog toys incorporate options that are designed for dogs that are highly destructive or that chew a lot, so keep an eye out for them. Remember that the toys you choose for your Jack Russell should be an appropriate size and not overly large – your dog should be able to get their jaws around the toy whilst ensuring that the toy is not so small as to provide a choking hazard.
Toys that provide mental stimulation and that make your dog have to think and work things out are very rewarding for those busy terrier brains, and can help to keep your dog occupied if they’re left on their own or looking for trouble.
Toys of this type come in various forms, but many of them involve a type of puzzle that will decant a treat if the dog susses it out, such as balls designed to shake out a treat when pushed, and Kong toys with paste or treats pushed inside of them.
Mental stimulation is just as important for terriers as physical exercise, and can help to prevent your Jack Russell from becoming destructive or unruly once they are alone.
Many dogs – particularly those from plucky breeds with a strong prey drive like the Jack Russell – enjoy playing games of tug of war, either with other dogs or with their handlers.
Whether or not tug toys and games of tug are a good choice for a Jack Russell depends on the dog – for some dogs they are not appropriate, as the tugging can turn into a battle for dominance, and confuse your dog in terms of their pack position and role in relation to you.
However, tug toys can also provide a great outlet for your dog’s energies and allow them to exercise their instincts to shake, pull and try to gain custody of their toy, which can help to keep them happy and fulfilled the rest of the time.
Before you consider using a tug toy with your Jack Russell, first of all ensure that they display good behaviour with you when playing, and that they don’t become snappish or over dominant. Always call an end to the game if your dog gets carried away or overstimulated, to avoid causing problems further down the line.
Toys that have an inbuilt squeaker sound will often generate a strong and excited reaction in your Jack Russell, and most other terrier dog breeds too. The squeaking sound mimics the sound of prey, which in terrier breeds, usually generates an extremely marked reaction!
Toys with a squeaker can be very rewarding for Jack Russells, but they also tend to get destroyed quickly, so think carefully if you’re thinking of buying an expensive squeaker toy. Some toys can be purchased with replaceable squeakers, which may make them last longer – but always ensure that you choose a proper approved dog safe squeaker toy, so that your dog won’t swallow any small parts when they chew it.