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In this article, we will discuss the topic “Why Does My Jack Russell Follow Me Everywhere?” and the strong reason is the separation of anxiety and lack of training.
Jack Russell terriers are an energetic and highly intelligent breed that bond very closely with their owners. They become very attached and devoted, which often leads to them developing what is known as “shadowing” behavior, following their owner around constantly. While some find this endearing, it can become problematic if the dog takes the clingy behavior to the extreme.
Reasons Why a Jack Russell Loves Being Around You?
There are a few key reasons why this breed is prone to following its owners so closely:
Strong Herding Instinct
The Jack Russell was originally bred as a working terrier to hunt foxes and other small game. They would work in packs to follow prey and dig it out of dens and burrows. This means they have an innate drive to stay close to their “pack” (you) and not let you out of their sight. Their herding tendencies kick in, making them want to follow and “herd” their owner.
Jack Russells are often called “Velcro dogs” because they tend to stick close by their owners like Velcro. This devoted shadowing stems from the strong bond they form with their family. They become intensely loyal and protective of their person. If you move, they move. Where you go, they go.
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
These terriers are super smart and energetic. They love being in the middle of any action. If you walk into another room, they will follow because they think something exciting might happen without them. Their curiosity and zest for adventure means they never want to miss a moment of fun.
Being left alone can provoke severe anxiety in Jack Russell. They are pack animals wired to be by your side. When you leave, they become extremely distressed. Excessive following behavior can be a sign your Jack Russell suffers from separation anxiety and becomes panicked if you are out of sight. They will stick to you like glue in hopes you won’t abandon them.
Lack of Training
Without proper training and setting boundaries, Jack Russells will default to following you everywhere. This breed needs plenty of training to learn commands like “stay” and “place” so they don’t feel compelled to shadow your every move. Setting up a safe space for them when you can’t have them underfoot can also help ease their need to adhere to you.
Read also: Why Is My Dog Sniffing Me So Much
How to Manage Your Jack Russell’s Following Behavior
While it’s in their blood to follow you room-to-room, there are ways to manage the behavior so it doesn’t go overboard:
Make sure your Jack Russell gets plenty of vigorous exercise and playtime. A tired dog is less likely to have the pent-up energy that drives the following behaviors. Take them on long walks, let them run free at the dog park, and play games like fetch to tire them out. Just be wary of overexerting them in hot weather.
Train a “Place” Command
Dedicate time to formally training a “place” command. When they reliably go to a designated spot like a bed or crate and remain until released, you have a way to give them a job while you move freely about. Be sure to practice this command in various environments.
Create a Safe Space
Give them an area like a crate or gated section of the home that acts as their sanctuary. Fill it with toys, treats, and comfy bedding. When you can’t have them following you, redirect them to their designated safe space. But never use it as punishment.
Ignore Attention-Seeking Behavior
If they resort to vocal demands, nudging, or nipping at your heels for attention, ignore them. Only give them attention when they are calm and not following. You want to reinforce calm, independent behavior.
Avoid Rewarding the Behavior
It can be tempting to pet, praise, or play with your Jack Russell when they follow you. But this reinforces the behavior. Set up rewards for when they remain in their place or lay calmly out of the way instead.
Crate Train Your Jack Russell
Done properly, crate training not only gives you an option when you need your dog out from underfoot, but it can also help ease separation anxiety. Make sure the crate is large enough, filled with comforting items, and introduced slowly with lots of treats.
Consult With Your Vet
If your dog is displaying signs of separation anxiety like destructive behavior, bathroom accidents, or depression when left alone, speak with your vet. They may prescribe medications or recommend consulting a veterinary behaviorist for customized training.
Take it Slow When Leaving
To prevent anxious reactions in dogs prone to separation distress, keep comings and goings low-key. Don’t lavish them with attention or make a big production when you leave. Just matter-of-factly exit without fanfare and keep greetings subdued when you return.
Is It Normal If Your Jack Russell Follows You Everywhere?
It is completely normal and instinctual for Jack Russell terriers to follow their owners closely around the house. This “shadowing” behavior stems from their strong bonding, separation anxiety, herding tendencies, and not wanting to miss any action. While following can become excessive, it’s simply part of the breed’s loyal personality. With proper training and patience, you can manage the clingy behavior.
Consider Doggy Daycare
For dogs that become extremely stressed when alone all day, a part-time or full-time enrichment-focused doggy daycare can help provide mental and physical stimulation. Just be sure the facility has suitable spaces for high-energy Jack Russells to play.
Shadowing you room-to-room is just part of the Jack Russell breed’s loyal nature. With consistency, patience, and compassion, you can train your terrier to give you space when needed without damaging that special bond between you. The key is meeting their needs for activity, handling any separation distress, and setting reasonable boundaries so their following behavior does not negatively impact your home and schedule. With the right balance, you and your Jack Russell can enjoy your close-knit relationship while still respecting each other’s independence.
People also ask
How do you know if your Jack Russell loves you?
Your Jack Russell shows love through excited greetings, cuddling, licking, sticking by your side, and gazing at you adoringly.
Do Jack Russells have a Favorite person?
Yes, Jack Russells often bond very closely with one person who becomes their favorite human.
Do Jack Russell Terriers get attached to their owners?
Absolutely. Jack Russells form extremely strong attachments to their owners. Their devoted, loyal nature makes them prone to separation anxiety.
Why does my Jack Russell lick me so much?
Frequent licking is how Jack Russell shows affection. It can also be a self-soothing behavior or a sign of stress if excessive.