Skip to Content

Does My Jack Russell Love Me? 10 Hidden Signs

Everyone likes to thinks their dog loves them. But how do you actually know they do? Scientific studies have proven that dogs can read our facial expressions, detect human emotions, and even understand a human’s love.

However, it’s a lot more difficult reading the emotions of your dog. And JRT owners will agree, this is especially true if you own the enigmatic and mischievous Jack Russell Terrier.

So, we’ve put together a list of all the hidden ways your JRT may be showing you love and affection without you knowing. And make sure you get to the end, because the last one may seem annoying, but the reason behind it is actually kind of sweet.

RECOMMENDED: Things New Jack Russell Owners Need to Know

1. Your Jack Russell will lay on your lap.

Not all Jack Russells love to be lap dogs. In fact, they’re naturally independent and stubborn dogs. So most of them aren’t going to be eager to take a nap on your lap. However, if you do find your Jack Russell always snuggling up with you, it’s a much bigger deal than you think.

Each time they choose your lap over the many cozy corners around the home, it’s actually a testament to their love towards you, as well as a clear sign of trust. They might not be able to say it out loud, but their actions speak louder than words. 

And while they’re silently claiming your lap as their own, they’re also ensuring you won’t be going anywhere without acknowledging their presence. 

2. When a Jack Russell does their “soft whine.”

The Jack Russell Terrier may be one of the most expressive dogs in the canine kingdom. Along with their silly antics, Jack Russells also have a unique method of vocalizing their feelings – that is, by using their “soft whine.”

This isn’t just a random noise they make from time to time. Jack Russells use the soft whine when they’re excited to see you after a long day of work, or even when they’re loving the belly rub you’re currently giving them.

They may even make this sound when they feel a bit anxious or when they’re seeking their loved ones for some comfort. But unlike the more boisterous barks reserved for squirrels or mail carriers, this sound is exclusively used to communicate to the people that they love.

This is just a tender reminder of the emotional depth and sensitivity that all Jack Russells possess.

3. Your Jack Russell makes eye contact with you.

For humans, making and maintaining eye contact can be a very intimate thing to do. Well, as it turns out, it’s the same with your Jack Russell Terrier! When your dog does this, it creates a deeper bond of trust between dog and human.

According to Gary Richter, DVM, “just like humans gaze into each other’s eyes to show love and affection, so does your dog,” However, not all eye contact means love.

For example, your Jack Russell may make eye contact when they’re trying to establish dominance, waiting for a cue, signaling stress or anxiety, and even when they’re confused. It’s only when your Jack uses a “soft eye contact” with you that they’re showing affection. 

This won’t be an intense or challenging stare, but rather a relaxed, comfortable eye contact that conveys a sense of safety and emotional connection.

If you’re still not sure what kind of eye contact your Jack Russell is giving off, look at body language for hints. “Soft eye contact” usually comes with a relaxed body posture and possibly even a wagging tail!

4. Your Jack Russell will approach you all on their own.

Forcing your Jack Russell to come to you or give you a hug may be the quickest way to get them to run away. Trust me, these dogs never enjoy being told what to do, let alone being forced into doing it.

But if they approach you on their own, it’s usually a clear sign that they trust you and enjoy being around you. Now, this may seem like a very casual thing for dogs to do. However, that’s not always the case with the Jack Russell Terrier.

This self-initiated interaction is like receiving a personal invitation to their world, an honor not easily given to just anyone. Jack Russell owners know exactly what I’m talking about. Just think of it as their way of saying, “you’re special to me.”

5. When your Jack Russell brings you their favorite toys.

It may not seem like it…but when your Jack Russell willingly hands over their most cherished toys, it’s a pretty big deal. They’re engaging in a silent pact of friendship, trust, and affection. Just think of this action as your dog giving you a “gift.” 

Would you give your favorite possessions to someone you didn’t love? I didn’t think so.

This act is much more than an invitation to play – it’s an invitation to share something special to them, a simple gesture that says, “I love this toy, but I also love you…so you can have it.” 

But keep in mind, your Jack Russell can bring you other things, such as a dead squirrel or raccoon. Sure, it’s not the kind of gift we’d like to receive, and it’s definitely not going in the fridge, but it’s crucial to understand the intention behind it. 

In the wild, wolves will bring back food – meaning, dead animals – to their pack as a way of caring for them. So, when your JRT comes trotting up with a lifeless critter, in their mind, they’re being a “provider” for their loved ones

6. Your Jack Russell falls asleep near or touching you.

You may or may not let your Jack Russell sleep with you on the bed. But chances are, if your dog loves and trusts you, he’ll find a way to sleep as close to you as possible – whether it’s on the floor just below the bed or right outside your door.

After all, dogs understand that they’re in a vulnerable position when they’re sleeping. They need to be close to their loved ones to feel secure. Despite the Jack Russell’s independent nature, they’re still dogs at the end of the day.

And dogs are pack animals, after all. So it makes sense that JRTs are going to enjoy sleeping near people they trust. Not only does this show that they love you, but also that they view you as a valued member of their pack.

7. Your Jack Russell will flip on his back and show you his belly.

To most owners, this casual behavior may seem like your dog is just asking for a belly rub because he’s itching or needs a good massage. However, there’s nothing that says “I love you” more than when your JRT rolls onto his back while giving you those sweet puppy eyes.

Just like when they sleep, your Jack Russell is putting himself into a vulnerable position when exposing his belly. So for your dog to do this while engaging with you shows that he has complete trust and relaxation when he’s around you.

But, this can also be a sign of submission. In other words, your Jack Russell is showing that they’re not a threat to you, but rather you’re the leader of the pack he chooses to follow.

8. Your Jack Russell chooses to follow you, but not others.

Like I’ve already mentioned, the Jack Russell Terrier is notorious for being an independent dog breed. So when they choose to follow you around the home, but not others, it’s actually highlighting the loving bond you share. 

Whether you’re heading to the kitchen or just moving from room to room, they’re right there with you, step for step, like a furry little shadow. Some people like to call them “velcro dogs,” which believe it or not, is not a common term used to describe the Jack Russell.

However, affection may not be the only reason your Jack Russell follows you. They could be bored, scared or just want you to give them a delicious treat. Ever heard the saying, “follow the leader?” Well, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

9. Your Jack Russell will greet you with excitement.

Imagine this scenario: You’re barely through the door when a whirlwind of excitement, wrapped in a furry coat, launches a greeting that’s nothing short of a hero’s welcome. 

This isn’t just any hello; it’s an exuberant celebration of your return, as if you’d been gone for a decade, not just a day at the office. Tail wagging as if trying to set a new world record, they dance around your feet, a flurry of joyful jumps and delighted yips.

Your JRT’s inability to control the love and excitement becomes even more obvious when they start associating cues with your return. The moment the garage door starts its rumble or your car’s engine hums in the distance, it’s showtime! 

But you’ll want to keep in mind that this may not always be good behavior to reinforce. It’s hard not to show love back, but it’s still best to wait until they calm down before doing so. This way, it’ll prevent the possibility of developing separation anxiety in your Jack Russell Terrier.

10. Your Jack Russell loves to steal your stuff.

Embracing their inner pirate, your Jack isn’t stealing your shoes just to annoy you. This behavior isn’t just about claiming your favorite socks or the occasional unguarded remote control as trophies of their crazy antics and adventures. 

It’s a complex game of affection and attention-seeking. You see…your Jack Russell Terrier navigates this world using his nose and amazing sense of smell. In fact, their sense of smell is around a thousand times more sensitive than our’s. 

So if your JRT is notorious for stealing your laundry, it’s only because they want to be as close to your scent as possible! Okay…stealing may not be the best way to describe this behavior.

However, according to recent studies, dogs get most excited when presented with the scent of a loved one. So if your Jack Russell is always taking your stuff, don’t get too mad at them. He probably just misses you!


Does your Jack Russell Terrier show any of these signs? Let us know in the comments section below!

Posts you may like: