Jack Russell terriers are a smart breed of dog requiring a good training regimen to make them a suitable pet. They are easy to train because of their intelligence, but can also be manipulative. Their overwhelming smarts allow them to prey on the weakness of the owner and get away with anything they can. Owners must take control of this animal to make them behave well with people and other animals by giving them specific, unwavering boundaries.
Jack Russells will get along with most other dogs but should be watched around other terriers. As a class, terriers can be quite aggressive and territorial making it ill advised to have more than one terrier in a home. Jack Russells are best suited to pair with more laid-back breeds such as Labradors and golden retrievers. These dogs will not mind the smaller dog taking control of the house.
Herding Dog Problems
Herding dogs likely should be avoided with Jack Russells, but it depends on the training and the temperament of your particular animal. If the Jack Russell has been trained well it might not be a problem. Terriers tend to try to control other animals in the house, which may cause problems for herding dogs such as any kind of shepherd. This breed can get antsy and stressed if constantly dominated by a terrier. While the dogs will not likely fight, it will not be a pleasant atmosphere for the shepherd.
Other watchdogs such as rottweilers and pit bulls can get along with the small dog but might not tolerate the aggression of the terrier. If they are introduced as puppies to the already-adult Jack Russell, you are more likely to have success. The pecking order is predetermined by age, allowing the younger dog to get used to the ways of your particular terrier. Bringing a Jack Russell puppy into the house with a large watchdog is not recommended.
Cats and Rodents
A bigger concern with Jack Russells is any kind of cat or rodent. Jack Russell terriers are hunting dogs and their instinct is to kill or corner cats and rodents. Not only will the dog constantly be going crazy trying to get to these pets, the other animals likely will be stressed to the point of ill health. The tension surrounding the bad mixture can cause health problems or possibly death of the animals under attack.
Children are another concern when it comes to this breed. Kids older than 6 are usually fine with the animal. Children younger than 6 tend to aggravate animals without meaning to, and the Jack Russell does not have the temperament to put up with such aggression. The dog is likely to fight back, either scratching or biting to defend itself against what it will view as an attack.