Jack Russell Terriers are an extremely active high-energy little dog that requires a good variety of toys to burn off energy and keep them mentally stimulated.
Originally bred as ratting terrier they have a strong chase instinct, are intelligent and skilled at solving problems, and can be a little destructive. It is important to provide them with toys that cater to their natural traits and instincts.
The best toys for Jack Russells need to be tough, get them moving to burn off pent-up energy and provide a challenge for their minds.
Here is a selection of the most recommended toys for Jack Russell Terriers;
The must-have toy for Jack Russells
If you don’t know what a Kong for dogs is it is a tough rubber dog toy with a hole in the center so you can stuff it with treats or even flavored paste. the Kong is actually three dog toys in one.
- Food and treat stuffing puzzle toy. You can even freeze the Kong for a hot weather treat.
- Chew toy – made of safe near-indestructible rubber
- Fetch toy – due to its unique shape it bounces in unpredictable directions making a game of fetch more like chasing a rat
Although the standard red Kong Classic would be fine for a Jack Russell I recommend using the black Kong Extreme. These are near indestructible and will last your dog’s lifetime.
They come in a range of sizes from XS to XL. For the Jack Russell, I recommend using the medium Kong as the small doesn’t hold as much food or treats as you would think.
For a Jack Russell puppy, you should choose the Puppy Kong. These are made of softer more flexible rubber so they do damage to their young and developing teeth and jaw. See Puppy Kongs on Amazon here.
Toys for Jack Russells that burn energy
Jack Russells are a high-energy dog that requires a large amount of exercise. In addition to the daily walk, dog toys can be used to help release more of that pent-up energy. To learn more about the exercise requirements of a Jack Russell see here.
These toys stimulate their natural hunting and chase instinct while giving them a good workout.
A Flirt pole is like a giant cat tickler for dogs. It has a long handle with a bungy type rope with a lure or toy attached to the end. You simply move the lure along the ground around in circles or in different directions as your dog chases it. It works directly with their natural prey instinct. Be sure they have a good leave-it command and don’t allow them to destroy the toy. This game is excellent for burning up that pent-up energy in a short amount of time. For a full guide to flirt pole exercise for dogs see here.
View the range of flirt poles on Amazon.
This video gives a good guide on how to use and train your dog to use a flirt pole.
If your dog is ball mad then the Wicked Ball is the ultimate moving dog toy for them. The magic ball runs and bounces all by itself and the LED light adds another level of engagement for your dog. No App or remote controller required.
It has several settings such as the Intelligent Companion mode. In this mode, the Wicked ball has 10 minutes of play and 30 minutes of rest. If your dog pushes or hits the ball it starts the play cycle again. It also has three reaction modes (gentle, normal, active) so you can set it to suit your dog’s mood. Due to its obstacle avoidance system (collision sensor), it doesn’t get stuck in tight spots.
The Wicked ball is durable and dog safe and is also waterproof so can be played with when swimming. It also has a treat hole for dogs that are food motivated.
View the Wicked Ball on Amazon.
Perfect balls for that game of fetch with your Jack Russell as they combine lights, sound, and movement to make it more like chasing prey. The ball features small grip holes so your Jack Russell can pick it up and move it around.
These balls make teasing sounds and slightly throb resembling the feeling of live prey. They have a high bounce making them great to chase. With the lights, they are easy to see even in the dark. Don’t worry if you lose one as they come in a pack of three.
See LED High Bounce Balls on Amazon
The PetGeek Play Bone is an automated dog toy that spins and moves in unpredictable directions. An ideal chase toy for a Jack Russell. You simply pat the bone and it bursts into action. It can be easily dismantled and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
There are also available similar types of toys which are known as smart bones. These have a similar concept but operate using wifi or Bluetooth and allow you to operate the bone even when you are not there. Ideal for the home-alone dog. They also have an app that allows you to control the movement of the toy like a remote control.
To learn more about Smart bones and what they can do see here.
Automatic ball launchers
If your Jack Russell loves a good game of fetch (most do) but you grow tired of having to throw the ball over and over an automatic ball launcher is the answer. With an Automatic Ball Launcher, they can play fetch all by themselves. This will require training them to put the ball in the funnel initially, but once they know what to do they are away and fetching. Read Automatic Ball Launchers for Dogs to learn more.
The Zany Ball wiggles, turns, twists, and jiggles to engage your dog. It has a soft grippy surface that is gentle on your dog’s teeth.
Turn on the ball to activate the random action. It will continue to play by being touched by your dog. It only requires one AA battery which is included.
For more dog toys that shake, rattle, and move on their own see here.
Best toys for Jack Russells that shred
Most Jack Russells love soft plush toys. However, it can get quite expensive not to mention having to clean up the mess every time you give your Jack Russell a new toy. The Tuffy range of plush toys is my top pick for the toughest nearly indestructible plush dog toys.
For more recommended dog toys for dogs that like to shred see here.
Tuffy plush toy range
The Tuffy range is known as the toughest soft toy for dogs. Tuffy plush toy range combines durability with softness. This is accomplished with seven-layer stitching, multiple tough outer layers of material and a fleece inner lining. They are also machine washable and float.
(available in a range of animal shapes)
See the full range of Tuffy Plush Toys on Amazon
Best chew toys for Jack Russells
There are in general three categories of chewing types in dogs – gentle chewers, average chewers, and power chewers. Jack Russells tend to fit into the power chewer category.
Power Chewers are strongly determined chewers. It is important to select chew toys that they can destroy with ease.
Gough Nuts Indestructible Chew Toy
The Gough Nuts chew toys are my number one pick for aggressive power chewers. Extremely popular with people with power-strong dogs for their toughness.
Extremely tough and a good size and shape (11.75 inches long). Dogs like stick-shaped toys because they can hold them between their paws while they work on the end. Also great for a game of fetch.
View Gough Nuts Maxx Stick on Amazon
The Gough Nuts ring is 5″ in diameter with a 1.75″ cross-section. Virtually indestructible, guaranteed! If your pet can chew through the outer layer to expose the inner red layer, GoughNuts will replace your toy.
View Gough Nuts Chew Ring on Amazon
If you are wanting a more edible dog chew, deer antlers are one of the toughest and longest-lasting. These are available in a range of different sizes to suit your dog. Antlers are a source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. And many dogs seem to really like the taste.
View Deer Antlers on Amazon.
For the best toys for aggressive power chewers see here.
Toys for Jack Russells that like to dig
Many Jack Russells like to dig. Digging is a natural behavior for dogs. The problem occurs when they are digging up your garden or even the carpet inside.
You can’t really train an instinctive behavior like digging out of a dog, but you can redirect the behavior. This can be achieved by providing them with toys that cater to that instinctive behavior. To learn more about the best dog toys for diggers see here.
Toys for Jack Russells that challenge their minds
Jack Russells are an intelligent little dog. It is crucial not only to exercise their bodies but their minds as well. With their endless supply of energy, it is unlikely that physical exercise alone will truly tire them.
The best type of types to provide mental stimulation for any dog is generally the puzzle type toys. Most of these usually involve your dog working out how to get a treat out of the toy (with the exception of the iFrenzy – see below).
When selecting interactive puzzle type toys for your Jack Russell it is best to select toys that are a little more difficult. As Jack Russells are great problem solvers you don’t want them to figure it out too quickly.
Here are some of the top picks for puzzle toys for Jack Russells. For more ideas on the top puzzle toys for dogs see here.
This automatic rolling treat ball from Petgeek is activated by a soft touch from your dog and can last for up to 7 hours. Requires two AAA batteries and goes into sleep mode after a period of no activity.
Provides physical exercise and mental stimulation as they figure out how to release the treats. Can hold up to 380ml of kibble or small treats(sized up to 0.3 inches). This is ideal for the home alone dog also.
View the Petgeek Automatic Rolling Ball on Amazon,
The iFetch Frenzy is the only dog puzzle toy that doesn’t use treats. The ball itself is the reward. Your dog drops the ball into the top and scrambles to find it as it randomly rolls from 6-12 feet out of 1 of 3 chutes at the base.
There’s no launching, like our other iFetch ball launchers but it still gives your Jack Russell the opportunity to chase. This product allows dogs to quickly return to the real challenge: the mental game of guessing where the ball will appear next.
View the iFrenzy on Amazon
This one is great for a fun game or as a food-dispensing option. The Kong Wobbler holds a good volume of dog kibble or treats to occupy your dog for a reasonable amount of time. Because of its unique shape your dog can bat it with their paws or nose sending it off in all directions dispensing food. It is also ideal for dogs that gobble down their food too fast or are on a diet as it makes them work for their food.
View the Kong Wobbler on Amazon.
The Tornado puzzle has three layers that spin with four compartments on each level. Italso comes with bone puzzle pieces you can place over the treats to add an extra level of difficulty.
The constant movement and spinning action keep your dog engaged. This puzzle is also great to feed your dog their dry kibble to slow them down. Especially if they are fast eaters or to make mealtime last longer if they are on a diet.
The only downside is your dog may cheat and flip the puzzle over so the treats drop out. In that case, you may need to teach let to use it properly.
For more top puzzle toy suggestions see here.
Best toys for Jack Russell puppies
When selecting the best toys for a Jack Russell puppy it is important to consider several things. Firstly, they should not be too hard and should have some give. This prevents damage to the jaw and the new teeth. It is also important that they do not shatter or break into small pieces. This is to prevent the risk of your puppy choking on any fragments that come off the toy.
Kong puppy chew toys
As mentioned at the top of this article, The Kong for dogs is a must have. In addition to the classic shape Kong, there are other shapes available such as the Kong teething stick and the Kong Goodie Bone. These have grooves on the side so you can spread a little paste into them to make the toy more interesting than your shoes.
For puppies that love plush toys but tend to pull apart normal plush toys like Jack Russell puppies tend to, The Tuffy Junior range is ideal. They are more durable than other plush toys and are machine washable. These are for puppies mainly as an adult dog would be more than likely to be able to destroy them. They are available in a range of sizes to suit your puppy.
The Nylabone puppy teething keyring is a classic. These have been available for teething puppies ever since I can remember. These are soft enough for enjoyable chewing, yet strong enough to withstand it.
They have lots of moving parts that make a sound when shaken. Toys that make a sound are always more preferable and fun for a puppy. The irregular shape and texture provide choices of different surfaces and feelings while chewing and after some chewing, raised bristles are released that clean the teeth to help dental health.
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