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7 Sure-Fire Ways to Calm Your Jack Russell’s Anxiety

Written by: Tarit
| Published on July 17, 2023

How To Conquer Your Jack Russell’s Separation Anxiety, Sound Anxiety or Travel Anxiety

If your jack russell is experiencing anxiety, life can be miserable both for you and your pup. I myself spent 2 years battling extreme separation anxiety with my dog, and we successfully came out on the other side. In this article I’ll share some of the resources and strategies that worked for us.

There are many forms of anxiety that your jack russell may be suffering from. Typical causes of anxiety in jack russell’s might be:

  • Separation anxiety – Fear of being separated from their owner. This often manifests itself by your jack russell pacing, drooling, biting, or being destructive while you’re away.
  • Sound anxiety – Fear of loud noises like thunder, fireworks, or a vacuum cleaner
  • Travel anxiety – Fear of traveling in a moving vehicle, or fear of intimidating places like your vet’s office or a boarding kennel


1. Experiment with Hemp Oil for Your Jack Russell’s Anxiety

One of the tools I successfully used in treating my dog’s anxiety was Hemp. While your results may vary, approximately 67% of the dog owners polled here claimed that Hemp was ‘extremely effective’ or ‘somewhat effective’ in helping their dog’s anxiety.

In my experience, Hemp helped my dog calm down enough to respond positively to the other training methods I was using to treat her anxiety. When choosing a Hemp oil, always look for a certificate of analysis showing a pure and safe product. I’d also recommend a product with 0% THC.

If you’d rather not give an hemp oil tincture to your dog, there are also great full spectrum hemp treat options available for dogs on Amazon. 

2. Desensitize Your Jack Russell to The Cause of Their Anxiety

A key strategy for treating your jack russell’s anxiety is desensitizing them to the trigger of their fear. For example, my dog’s anxiety was triggered anytime I walked out the door to leave the house. For other dogs, the trigger might be you grabbing your keys or putting on your coat.

Begin by doing the trigger activity, but then immediately reversing it. For example, I would grab my keys and walk out the door. Then I’d come back 5 seconds later. I did this literally hundreds of times over a period of a week. Eventually, my dog was desensitized and bored by the behavior.

3. For Sound Anxiety, Trying Isolating Your Jack Russell and Playing Loud Music

Many jack russell’s that suffer from thunderstorm or fireworks anxiety experience relief in a smaller, more isolated room of the house where music can be played at a loud volume.

A word of caution though, if your dog is also experiences separation anxiety leaving them alone in a room during may be counterproductive.

Related: Best Calming Chews for Dogs


4. Try Using a Compression Wrap (Available in Many Sizes and Will Fit Your Jack Russell)

Many dogs are comforted by the feeling of compression across their body. One popular product many have found success with is the Thundershirt (available on Amazon). The product applies gentle, calming pressure that is very reassuring to many pups. The company claims the product to be helpful for about 80% of the dogs who tried it. It can be used to help calm your australian shepherd during fireworks, thunder, separation, travel, or vet visits, with no training and no medication required.


4. Try an Herbal Supplement for Your Jack Russell with Calming Herbs Like Chamomile, Passion Flower, Ginger Root or Valerian Root

Many calming supplements exist for dogs that are palatable for dogs, easy-to-feed, and can help quickly relieve your australian shepherd’s stress and give a sense of safety and calm. Some supplements contain calming herbs like chamomile, passion flower, ginger root, and valerian root are a great option. Some products, such as this bacon flavored soft chew for dogs, contain all of the calming herbs in one. This calming chew is also available on Amazon.  


5. Experiment with a Pheromone Diffuser for Your Jack Russell

Canine pheromone diffusers mimic the calming pheromone that a mother dog emits while nursing her puppies. The diffuser can help many dogs feel calmer and more comfortable in stressful situations.

The same company that makes the Thundershirt above also makes a product called ThunderEase diffuser, which is also available on Amazon.


6. Try an Anti-Anxiety Supplement Containing L-Tryptophan, L-Theanine or Melatonin

Other popular ingredients in anti-anxiety supplements include the amino acids L-Tryptophan and L-Theanine, both of which offer calming properties and increase the release of “feel good” serotonin in your dog’s body. In addition, some calming products for dogs contain a small amount of melatonin, which can help regulate and improve their sleep. All these of these ingredients are available in some chews such as this. This calming chew is also available on Amazon.  



7. Experiment with Using Your Own Scent & Sound to Calm Your Jack Russell

In my experience, using your own scent and sound to help calm your dog is a powerful strategy in beating anxiety. I stumbled upon this one day with my own dog by accident.

Typically, if I left the home my dog would instantly enter a panic. But one day I needed to take a long phone call, and left my dog outside my bedroom door where I took the call. During the call, she calmly lied next to the door, where she could obviously smell and hear me. It occurred to me that I could possibly mimic this tactic while I wasn’t at home.

I recorded my voice on a CD player and then put it on loop. Then I placed a used t-shirt on the inside of the door where she could easily smell it underneath. To my surprise, I was able to leave the house for a short time. (I monitored her on a video camera). I slowly increased the length of time I left, and always found her calm and sincerely believing that I was just behind the door!

If you’d like to read the full story of how I cured my dog’s extreme separation anxiety, go here.

Another great product to help calm your dog is the Comfort Cuddler Buddy. You can stuff the cozy fleece man with your clothing or pillow case with your scent, and leave with your dog.

Lastly, another popular calming product is the heartbeat puppy toy. Traditionally, these have been used to help calm puppies who recently left their litter. The plush toys come with a warming features as well as a simulated heartbeat. While originally intended for puppies, many dog owners have found they can effectively calm dogs of all ages. This popular model is available on Amazon. 



Defeating your jack russell’s anxiety is possible, but every dog’s journey will look different. I hope the tools and strategies above will be helpful to your journey.

If you’d like to learn more about the Hemp oil and calming chews we use here at iHeartDogs, learn more below.

For best results, you can pair the above Hemp oil with the calming chews below. Between the 2 supplements, they offer 10 active and natural ingredients to help calm your dog without the use of medication.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Jack Russells are known for their high energy and playful personalities and their proneness to anxiety. If you do not have a dog and are looking at breeds, make sure you have enough time to handle the emotional needs of this breed. However, if you already have a Jack Russell and need to learn how to cope with their anxiety, you are in the right place. Learn how to help your dog to enjoy life and reduce anxiousness.

Do Jack Russells Have Bad Separation Anxiety?

Yes, Jack Russells are known to be prone to separation anxiety. They are social and affectionate dogs who form strong bonds with their owners, which can lead to stress and anxiety when left alone. Symptoms of separation anxiety in Jack Russells can include destructive behavior, excessive barking, pacing, and even physical symptoms such as panting, trembling, or drooling.

As a Jack Russell owner, you need to take steps to prevent and treat separation anxiety. This may include gradually acclimating the dog to being alone, providing plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and using positive reinforcement training techniques to build confidence and reduce anxiety. In severe cases, medication or professional behavior therapy may be necessary to help the dog overcome their separation anxiety.

Why Is My Jack Russell So Clingy?

Jack Russells are social and affectionate dogs who enjoy spending time with their owners, as in right on their lap or in their face. While some dogs may be naturally more independent, others may become clingy because of breed or personality. Also, some dogs socialization, deal with anxiety, or have health issues that can make them clingy. 

Can Jack Russell Terriers Be Left Alone?

Yes, Jack Russell Terriers can be left alone for short periods of time. However, like many dog breeds, they are social animals that enjoy human interaction and may become anxious or bored when left alone for too long. Some Jack Russells may tolerate longer periods of alone time, while others may become stressed or exhibit destructive behavior after only an hour or two. As a general rule of thumb, adult dogs should not be left alone for more than 4-6 hours at a time.

If you need to leave your Jack Russell alone for an extended period of time, ensure they have plenty of food, water, and a comfortable sleeping area. Providing toys and other forms of mental stimulation can help keep them occupied and reduce boredom. Gradually acclimating your Jack Russell to being alone for short periods can also help them become more comfortable and reduce separation anxiety while you are away.

How Do I Know If My Jack Russell Has Anxiety?

Jack Russell Terriers are energetic and playful dogs, but like any other dog breed, they may experience anxiety. Here are some signs that may indicate that your Jack Russell is anxious:

Excessive barking or howling

Destructive behavior


Trembling or shaking

Pacing or restlessness

Excessive licking or grooming

Loss of appetite

What Age Do Jack Russells Calm Down?

Jack Russells maintain high energy levels and can be quite active and boisterous throughout the majority of their lives. However, as they mature and age, they may gradually start to calm down. Generally, Jack Russells tend to start settling down around the age of 3-4 years old. By this age, they may become less hyperactive, less demanding of attention, and less destructive than when they were puppies.

Can A Jack Russell Be A House Dog?

Yes, Jack Russells can make great house dogs! However, they are high-energy dogs that require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive. They also need to be socialized from an early age and properly trained to avoid problem behaviors like excessive barking, digging, or destructive chewing. If you are considering getting a Jack Russell as a house dog, be prepared to provide plenty of opportunities for exercise and playtime, as well as a safe and comfortable indoor space for them to relax in.

What To Do When Your Jack Russell Has Really Bad Separation Anxiety?

Dealing with a Jack Russell that has really bad separation anxiety can be challenging, but following a few steps can make a huge difference. For example, start with gradual desensitization, provide comfort times, give them plenty of time to exercise, and tons of time mentally stimulated with toys, sniffing outdoors, or playing. If these steps do not work, you may need to try more advanced steps. 

Consider crate training your Jack Russell, so they have a safe and secure place to rest when you are not at home. Be sure to make the crate comfortable and appealing to your dog, and never use it as a form of punishment. Also, consider hiring a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to help develop a personalized plan to help your Jack Russell overcome their separation anxiety.

Why Are Jack Russells Difficult?

While Jack Russells are energetic, independent, and determined dogs, they are often difficult, too, making them harder for some people to live with than others. Here are a few reasons why some people might find Jack Russells difficult:

Energy Level: Jack Russells are a high-energy breed that requires a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent destructive behavior.

Independent Nature: Jack Russells are independent dogs that can be stubborn and difficult to train, requiring an owner who is firm and consistent.

Strong Prey Drive: Jack Russells were originally bred for hunting, and as a result, they have a strong prey drive, making them likely to kill small animals.

Fearlessness: Jack Russells are often fearless, which can be both a positive and a negative trait, as they can get into a lot of trouble.

Health Issues: Jack Russells are prone to several health issues, including deafness, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation.

How Do I Know If My Jack Russell Has Severe Separation Anxiety?

Several signs can indicate your Jack Russell has severe separation anxiety. Some of the common signs include destructive behavior, excessive barking or howling, escape attempts, and chronic self-injury. If you notice one or multiple of these signs, your dog may not like to be away from you without consequences that can make life miserable for them and you. 

Why Are Jack Russells So Moody?

Jack Russells often seem moody for various reasons, some of which are related to their personality and breed traits, while others may be due to health issues or environmental factors. Here are some of the common reasons why Jack Russells can be moody:

High energy levels: Jack Russells require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, or they become restless.

Strong-willed nature: Jack Russells are known for their strong-willed nature and can be stubborn at times. They may become moody or even aggressive when they do not get their way.

Health issues: If your Jack Russell is experiencing pain or discomfort from a health issue, they may become moody or irritable.

Environmental factors: Jack Russells can be sensitive to changes in their environment or routine which may make them moody.

Should I Crate Train My Jack Russell For Separation Anxiety?

Crate training can be helpful in managing separation anxiety in Jack Russell Terriers, but it is important to introduce the crate gradually and positively. You cannot use the crate as a form of punishment and use it to manage emotions. The crate should be a safe and comfortable place for your Jack Russell, with a comfortable bed, favorite toys, and treats. 

You can gradually increase the amount of time your Jack Russell spends in the crate, starting with short periods and gradually building up to longer periods of time. It is also important to provide plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and attention when you are with your Jack Russell to help reduce their anxiety.

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