Sweet curly girl and jack russell dog is sleeping in night.

Jack Russell Terrier Sleeping Habits

The Jack Russell Terrier, otherwise known as the JR terrier, has both its fans and detractors, but no one can deny that this dog has plenty of personalities. In fact, there are even those who argue that Jack Russell terriers are actually people in dog suits! However you feel about the JR terrier, one thing’s for sure; if you’re going to be sharing your home with one of these dogs, you’ll want to know all about its sleeping habits before you do so. In this article, we will discuss the sleeping habits of Jack Russell Terriers, and provide you with everything you need to know to ensure that your pet gets the proper amount of rest.

Understanding Jack Russell Terrier Sleeping Patterns

Jack Russell Terriers are known for being active and energetic dogs, which means that they require plenty of exercise and playtime throughout the day. However, despite their high energy levels, Jack Russell Terriers also need plenty of rest and sleep in order to maintain their physical and mental health.

On average, Jack Russell Terriers need between 12-14 hours of sleep per day, although the exact amount may vary depending on the individual dog’s age, activity level, and overall health. It’s important to provide your pet with a comfortable and quiet sleeping space, free from distractions and noise.

Factors Affecting Jack Russell Terrier Sleeping Habits

There are several factors that can affect a Jack Russell Terrier’s sleeping habits, including:


Jack Russell Terrier Sleeping Habits
Dog puppies Jack Russell terrier right after birth. Small dogs.

Newborn puppies 0 to 2 months

As they mature, Jack Russell Terriers gradually become more active. Around three weeks old, they spend approximately two to four hours each day exploring their surroundings and exerting energy in brief intervals.

For the initial two weeks of a Jack Russell Terrier’s life, when their eyes are still closed, they dedicate 90% of their time to eating and sleeping. However, their slumber is frequently disrupted due to nursing every two hours.

Puppies 2 to 12 months

For the first two weeks of a Jack Russell Terrier’s life, before they open their eyes, their time is largely spent on feeding and sleeping, with 90% of their time dedicated to these activities. However, their sleep is frequently interrupted as they nurse every two hours.

During the REM phase of sleep, the body and brain’s energy is replenished. Humans typically spend 25% of their sleep time in the REM phase, but puppies only spend around 10% of their sleep in this phase. As puppies are growing rapidly, they require naps throughout the day.

Jack Russell Terrier puppies between the ages of 2 and 5 months typically sleep for 18 to 20 hours per day. As they get older, from 6 to 12 months, their sleep time decreases to an average of 14 to 16 hours per day. By this stage, they should be more active and curious during the day and will usually sleep through the night for 6 to 9-hour periods.

Adult Jack Russell Terriers

In a 24-hour cycle, adult Jack Russell Terriers typically sleep for 12 to 16 hours, although this may vary depending on the dog’s temperament and activity level, as well as the owner’s lifestyle. Interestingly, a study has shown that older and middle-aged dogs tend to sleep more during the day compared to younger adult dogs, likely due to decreased energy levels.

As for Jack Russell Terrier puppies, those aged 2 to 5 months tend to sleep for approximately 18 to 20 hours per day. Meanwhile, puppies aged 6 to 12 months typically sleep for 14 to 16 hours in a 24-hour period. By this age, they should be more active and curious during the day and can sleep through the night for 6 to 9 hours at a time.

Aged Jack Russells

When your Jack Russell Terrier reaches around 8 years of age, they enter their senior years. At this stage, you will notice them gradually increasing the amount of time they spend resting and sleeping.

As a senior, a Jack Russell Terrier will sleep for an average of 14 to 16 hours per day. However, this duration may increase as they continue to age. For instance, a 14-year-old terrier could sleep up to 18 hours a day.

While your senior terrier may be sleeping more, they may also wake up more frequently at night due to their increased need to use the bathroom. If your terrier is an indoor pet, you can assist them by taking them outside before bedtime and limiting their water intake in the late afternoon and at night.

Activity Level

To ensure Jack Russell Terriers stay happy, it’s important to provide them with sufficient exercise and stimulation, given their high energy levels. Originally bred for fox hunting, these agile little dogs require regular exercise to prevent boredom.

The amount of exercise required will vary depending on their age and overall health, and it’s crucial to monitor their energy levels. If they still have pent-up energy after exercise, they may need more physical activity.

Jack Russell Terrier Sleeping Habits
Three Jack Russell puppies play on the grass at lawn.

After a strenuous exercise session, Jack Russell Terriers will naturally require longer periods of rest to relax and restore their energy levels. However, if they appear lethargic and exhausted for extended periods, it may be necessary to reduce their exercise routine to allow for recovery.

Health Issues

If your Jack Russell is sleeping a lot more than usual, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. Common health issues that can cause lethargy and excessive sleeping in Jack Russells include arthritis, dental problems, and thyroid issues. It is essential to consult your veterinarian if you notice any unusual sleeping patterns in your pet.


The environment in which your dog’s periods of sleep can also affect its sleeping habits. Dogs that sleep in noisy or uncomfortable areas may have difficulty sleeping through the night.


Every dog has a unique personality, and some Jack Russells may simply prefer sleeping over other activities. This behavior is entirely normal, and as long as your pet is otherwise healthy and happy, there is no need to be concerned.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we are going to answer some of the most asked questions as far as jack russell’s sleeping habits are concerned:

Why JRTs wake up during the night?

Jack Russell terriers are famously hyperactive, and that zest for life extends into their sleeping patterns. Jacks are small dogs with a lot of energy—this is why they’re able to keep up with large dog breeds in terms of playtime and exercise. JRTs tend to have short bursts of energy throughout the day, and since they don’t have a particularly long attention span, their short bursts of energy can lead them from one activity to another during any given day.

How often do Jack Russel terriers wake up during the night?

The average Jack Russell sleeps approximately 13 hours each day, but that number is definitely influenced by outside factors. For example, if it’s an especially hot day or if it snows heavily at night, you can expect your Jack Russell to have longer naps—and lower energy overall—during those periods. On a normal day, Jack Russell terriers usually need three or four 30-minute naps throughout their waking hours; as you might imagine, dogs who nap less than that aren’t getting all of their required R&R.
There’s no reason to be alarmed if your Jack Russell wakes up during the night, though!

How long does it take Jack Russell terriers to fall asleep?

If your Jack Russell terrier has trouble settling down at night, there are a few things you can do to encourage restful sleep. Try putting him in his crate for 20-30 minutes before bedtime and then just playing with him for about 20 minutes until he’s tired out enough to be calm; if he still won’t settle down, don’t push it, and try again later.

How much sleep does a Jack Russell terrier need?

The Jack Russell terrier is a small dog breed that tends to require less sleep than some of its larger counterparts. However, JRTs do require enough rest so they can remain alert and active throughout the day. How much rest a Jack Russell needs depends on their age and activity level, but overall it’s estimated that these dogs need about 12 hours of sleep per day.

What should you do if your Jack Russell terrier is always tired and sleepy?

If your Jack Russell terrier is always sleeping, you might be tempted to think that she’s sick. But there could be a number of other reasons for her constant fatigue. For example, she might be having trouble with Noise: The sound of trucks and delivery vehicles outside can disrupt your Jack Russell terrier’s sleep patterns, as can loud music from neighbors or late-night partygoers.

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