Prey Drive In Jack Russells

7 Feb 2024, 2:39 p.m. by Tracey McLennan


The breed is named after the Revd John 'Jack' Russell who was an enthusiastic hunter in the 1800s. This is a hunting breed who are excited by fast movement, prey sounds and scent. They are specialists at finding prey living underground and then going underground to get to the prey. The breed are used to help farmers and land owners minimise damage to their land caused by nuisance animals living underground. The dogs should bark while underground but many working Jack Russells will also wear locator collars to allow them to be found and dug out if they become trapped while working.

Keep Your Jack Russell Happy

Your dog has been bred to be determined and fearless. They are often expected to hunt underground, which is difficult and dangerous for dogs. Your dog will need opportunities to be challenged and to have activities that mimic the work they were bred for.

Suggested Activities

If you'd love to know more about keeping your high prey drive dog happy, click here and sign up for my FREE course designed especially for high prey drive dogs.


Predatory Motor Sequence statistics for Jack Russells. The graph shows the percentage of Jack Russells in my research study that had a strong level of interest in each behaviour.

Bar chart showing the percentage of Jack Russells intensely interested in each part of the predatory motor sequence

Hunt: 65%

Orient: 50%

Eye: 25%

Stalk: 10%

Chase: 75%

Grab-bite: 50%

Possess: 30%

Kill-bite: 60%

Dissect: 50%

Consume: 5%

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Woman with short hair and a purple top walks through stunning countryside carrying a pink dog lead

Hi - I'm Tracey.

I am the founder of Best Dog Learning and Stuff and a massive prey drive enthusiast. I've lived with high prey drive dogs for over 20 years and I love them. I run the awesome High Prey Drive Club where I help my members learn to have fabulous walks and happy lives with their high prey drive dogs.

I am a published researcher in my field with both my original research and my review of the literature looking at prey drive in dogs being published in the respected journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

I am the author of Canine aggression: Rehabilitating an aggressive dog with kindess and compassion.

I want to show you how easy and fun it can be to have a high prey drive dog.

If you'd like help with your dog, I'm ready to help you right now.