Jack Russell Terriers are a lot of fun to be around thanks to their never-ending energy, inborn minds, and lively personalities. However, given these traits, they demand daily physical activity and mental stimulation. Including playtime with appropriate toys is always a good idea.
You can’t just grab any brightly colored toy from the shelf and hope it will interest your Jack Russell.
What makes a toy fun, secure, long-lasting, and pleasing to your dog’s natural instincts? These are some of the topics we’ll cover.
What Toys Are Good For Jack Russells?
The general ideas behind choosing toys for a Jack Russell Terrier are to keep them mentally and physically stimulated, cater to their natural instincts, and ensure the toys are safe and durable to play with.
Jack Russells are energetic dogs and possess strong jaws. Most of the time, they are quite rough with their toys, so choose toys that can withstand a lot of chewing and tugging so that you won’t have to buy another one so soon. You might find durable toys with labels like “indestructible,” “for heavy chewers,” or “extra tough.” You can choose a long-lasting toy for your Jack Russell terrier by considering these factors.
- Material: The material the toy is made from could be to blame for its durability. Toys made from hard rubber or tough nylon are typically more durable than those made from vinyl or latex.
- Construction: A toy that is solid and made from single material is usually more durable than one that is made from several pieces glued or sewn together. Toys that have reinforced stitching or a double-layer of fabric can also be more durable.
- Size and Shape: A good chew toy should be large enough that your dog can’t fit the whole toy in their mouth. This can prevent them from using their full jaw strength on the toy. Also, a toy with a simple shape, like a bone or a ball, is likely to be more durable than one with lots of small parts or protrusions.
- Brand Reputation: Some brands are famous for creating durable toys suitable for strong chewers. You can do some research to see which brands other dog owners recommend. Brands like Kong, Nylabone, and West Paw have a reputation for durability.
- Reviews: Customer reviews are truly a valuable source of information about the toy’s durability. If many other dog owners relate their experiences with how well a toy has withstood their dog’s gnawing, then it must be true.
Jack Russells are intelligent, active dogs that need mental and physical stimulation at the same time. Toys that require them to use their creative abilities and muscle strength will hold their interest and satiate their desire to play for much longer.
- Varied Textures: Toys with different textures can arouse curiosity. They provide a variety of sensory experiences that keep the dog interested.
- Movement: Toys that move unpredictably are fun to play with. This could be a toy that bounces erratically when thrown or a motorized toy that moves on its own.
- Sounds: Jack Russells find toys that make noise very stimulating. Toys with squeakers and crinkles produce a sound similar to the prey a hunter dog like Jack Russell is always eager to kill.
- Treat Dispensing: Toys that can be filled with treats or kibble are all the rage for dogs. This may be a treat-dispensing puzzle toy that challenges Fido’s problem-solving skills. This sort of play satisfies both their need for intellectual stimulation and their need to eat.
- Chewable: Manyy toys are stimulating if they are chewable for dogs. Like all dogs, Jack Russells need to chew, and the process really relaxes them. At any age, and especially when they are teething, a chew toy is an absolute necessity.
- Colors: Dogs don’t see colors the same way humans do, but they can distinguish between certain colors. Bright or contrasting colors might draw their attention more.
Satisfies Hunting Instincts
Jack Russell Terriers are a breed known for their hunting origins and high energy levels. Toys that satisfy these primal drives are, therefore, supreme. Toys that are effective in this regard include:
- Chase and Fetch Toys: These types of toys tap into the Jack Russell’s instinct to chase after prey. Balls, frisbees, and other throwable toys can help satisfy this need.
- Tug Toys: Tug-of-war mimics the challenge of capturing and pulling down prey. Durable rope toys or rubber tug toys can be ideal for this.
- Squeaky Toys: The noise that these toys make can stimulate a Jack Russell’s prey drive. It’s important to ensure these toys are durable, as Jack Russells can be eager to “find” and eliminate the source of the squeak.
- Interactive Puzzle Toys: Jack Russells are intelligent dogs. Puzzle toys that hide treats and require the dog to figure out how to get them can engage their problem-solving skills, simulating the challenge of foraging or hunting for food.
- Chew Toys: Chewing is a natural instinct for many dogs, and Jack Russells are no exception. Sturdy chew toys can satisfy this instinct while also promoting dental health.
- Digging Toys: Jack Russells have a strong digging instinct, which they use to retrieve tiny prey like foxes and rabbits. Toys or play areas designed for digging, where they can bury and retrieve toys, can be a good outlet for this behavior.
Safety should be a top priority for any toys you buy for your Jack Russells. Avoid toys with small parts that could be chewed off and swallowed, as they could pose a choking risk or cause intestinal blockages. It should be big enough that your dog can’t fully fit it in their mouth.
Also, make sure the materials used in the toy are non-toxic and safe for dogs. The toy should be easy to clean to prevent the buildup of bacteria or mold that could make your dog sick.
After you’ve gotten the right Jack Russell toys, the last thing to think about is keeping things interesting and new for them. Having a variety of toys will help prevent them from becoming too repetitive and boring. Besides, remember to rotate the available toys on a regular basis.
Essential for all Jack Russells: Agility Equipment
Although not exactly a toy, agility equipment can provide fun and challenging exercise for Jack Russells. Dog agility is a sport where you direct a dog through a pre-set obstacle course within a certain time limit.
There is a variety of equipment in the obstacle courses to challenge and train your dog’s agility, balance, and speed. Simple agility sets that include items like tunnels and hurdles are available for home use:
Jumps: There are several types of jumps in agility courses. Single jumps are the most common and consist of two uprights supporting a horizontal bar over which the dog leaps. Double and triple jumps are similar, but with two or three horizontal bars, respectively. Panel jumps look like a solid fence, and broad jumps are a series of low, wide jumps.
Tunnels: There are two types of tunnels used in agility: the “open” (or “pipe”) tunnel and the “closed” (or “chute”) tunnel. The open tunnel has a cylindrical shape, while the closed tunnel starts with a rigid entrance and ends with a soft, collapsible chute that the dog pushes its way through.
Weave Poles: These are a line of poles that the dog must weave its way through, entering to the right of the first pole and then slaloming back and forth between them.
Dogwalk: This consists of three parts: a central horizontal plank and two ramps leading up and down from it. Dogs must climb up one ramp, traverse the plank, and then descend the other ramp.
Seesaw (Teeter-Totter): Similar to a child’s seesaw, but designed for dogs. The dog must walk up the inclined side, causing the plank to tip over, and then descend the other side
Tire Jump: A circular or oval frame that’s usually wrapped with tape for visibility, and the dog must jump through the center.