It’s common to see pets stick to their owners. However, some are a bit too clingy. Several reasons are behind this behavior. As for Jack Russells, their specific breed traits certainly have something to do with it, but they are not the only cause.
How Breed Affects Behavior
Recent research has shown that breed does predict behavior tendencies but has almost zero effect on personality traits.
The study proved that particular breeds were more likely to follow specific, heritable behavior. These tendencies stem from the selective breeding of dogs. For example, Terriers are more likely to obey commands, whereas Corgis are eager to do physical exercise.
Those and many other traits were the goals of genetic manipulation, so it’s only natural these instincts persist in pets. However, that doesn’t mean personalities are also predisposed. In fact, another discovery Science's paper found is that these traits don’t define a dog’s character.
For instance, temperament and sociability are not inborn traits dogs have due to their breeding. Several experts advise owners not to misunderstand that predictable behavior determines a pet’s personality. These are likelihoods that one may follow or not.
Jack Russell Terrier’s Breed Traits
Jack Russell terriers are, in essence, hunting dogs.
They’ve been designed for agility, speed, stamina and obedience. This combination makes them more prone to follow an owner around and try to please them. This breed also displays a seemingly endless source of energy.
Consequently, this breed is not recommended for novice owners. These dogs require a lot of attention, training and caring. As such, it’s tough to keep up with their demands for inexperienced people.
Moreover, the need for physical exercise makes them very clingy towards people. Training and physical activities tend to deepen bonds between pet and owner. As a result, Jack Russells wind up being deeply attached to their owner and will constantly try to play with them.
Do note that all of these behavioral traits are tendencies and not definite features of every Jack Russell. If one of them is the total opposite of how they’re supposed to be, it’s perfectly normal. All dogs are unique, and most won’t follow a set pattern.
Why Does My Jack Russell Follow Me Everywhere? A Few Reasons
Before discerning whether this attitude is detrimental or acceptable, it’s a must to detect why a dog always follows its owner. The reasons are many and they differ quite vastly.
This is the first reason that pops when someone wonders, 'why does my Jack Russell follow me everywhere?'.
Beginners owners usually cultivate this attitude without themselves knowing. One can incentivize behavior with positive encouragement, ranging from petting to simply looking at a dog fondly. The effect these reactions have on pets is enormous.
Whenever owners respond to their pet’s calls for attention affectionally, they are encouraging their doggies' behavior. For example, if a dog humps its owner and they react to it, the attitude is reinforced. If not addressed, the attitude will increase in intensity.
Just like Golden Retrievers, this breed has a lot of energy. Jack Russells need exercise.
A Jack Russell's body is designed for physical prowess. Hence, they get restless with nothing to do and will even complain. These dogs are very vocal and will express their discomfort quite openly. Despite how annoying it may be, this is a good sign.
People don’t speak dog language, but they can recognize a dog’s body language. The signs pets display can help owners identify what’s wrong with them. That is why barking, growling and whining are actually beneficial for people: they communicate something’s not right.
Spending some quality time with a Jack Russell should do the trick.
Setting boundaries is a crucial part of owning a pet. That is especially true for hyper breeds such as the Jack Russell.
If dogs get too used to having their owner around, they’ll build a dependent relationship. The pet will follow its master everywhere just because they feel the need to do so. It’s some sort of natural instinct positive encouragement nourished.
Nonetheless, negative reinforcers can also take part in this. If a dog doesn’t have anything to do on their own, they’ll perceive their alone time as a bad thing. It is vital then to teach a pet the importance of being alone and activities they can do without an owner’s presence.
When dependency goes uncontrolled, a dog may find itself severely distressed without its owner’s presence.
Dogs undergo separation anxiety symptoms when they notice their owners about to leave. It is a concerning condition that upsets them a great deal.
Fortunately, separation anxiety is easily noticeable; unfortunately, that means a dog will experience serious symptoms to spot. These indicators usually are: barking, howling, peeing, pooping, disrupting the house, walking back and forth, and trying to break free, among others.
From the moment the owner shows signs of leaving until its arrival, a dog will act in an abnormal way while lamenting its loneliness. Regardless of how dire this situation sounds, it is possible to fix this issue or at least tone it down.
Since pets see their masters’ departure as something negative, making clear this is not the case is the key. A way to demonstrate this is to teach them to enjoy their time alone by providing activities to do. Usually, toys are great tools for that. Nevertheless, some training will be required.
Suppressing separation anxiety should be a priority for any owner. The condition harms dogs and escalates over time.
Should You Stop Your Jack Russell From Following You?
Not necessarily. If you don’t mind your Jack Russell being overly affectionate and there are no negative aftermaths on it, there’s no need to stop their behavior.
Pets following their owners is perfectly normal behavior. Although it’s not advisable to actively encourage it, it is a nice gesture that benefits both parties. As long as both the dog and the person can relish their time together, it’s all good.
Having said all that, if you have the answer to the question why does my Jack Russell follow me everywhere, you’ll know when to stop it.