How to Train Jack Russell Terrier

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Jack Russell Terriers were originally bred to hunt small rodents. While they are hyperactive, playful, and fun to cuddle dogs, you’ll see their hunting nature through their behavior. They like to bark and love to dig and can be extremely aggressive.

That’s why it’s important to train Jack Russell Terriers that not only will ensure their safety but it’ll also strengthen your bond with your pup. This article discusses the best tips that will help you learn how to train Jack Russell Terriers.

How to Train Jack Russell Terrier

If you have an untrained Jack Russell Terrier or you’re planning to buy one, use the following tips to train it properly.

Graphic image of a man giving a treat to a Jack Terrier with a text explaining whether it is difficult to train Jack Russell Terriers

Create a Training Plan

The first step is to create a detailed training plan that you’ll use to train your dog. You’ll need to determine the amount of time you can give to your pup daily and schedule your training responsibilities. For example, you’ll need to decide the time for exercising, feeding, and teaching commands, as well as tricks.

It is best to create a proper training plan before bringing your Jack Russell Terrier home. It’ll allow you to start training the pup as soon as it reaches its new house.

Start Training as Soon as Dog Gets Home

Starting the training process right after bringing your Jack Russell Terrier home will keep the dog from developing bad habits. The dog will start to understand that there are rules that it needs to follow. Begin with obedience skills, eating habits, and potty training.

Jack Russell Terrier

Take a Leading Position

Some dogs don’t perform well when you try to train them based on roles. However, that’s not the case with Jack Russell Terriers as they thrive on it. So, make sure that you set yourself as a leader. Your pup must understand that you are the one who sets the rules of the house and it needs to follow them.

These dogs are clever and if you fail to set yourself as a leader, they’ll assume that position. In addition, it’ll be very difficult to reverse the roles if it happens.

Important Note: Being a leader means being consistent and guiding your dog according to the plan you’ve made. It doesn’t mean that you can punish or scold your pup.

Feed Meals at the Same Time

Offer food to your Jack Russell Terrier at the same time each day. These dogs can quickly get accustomed to a schedule and it’ll help you greatly with the overall training process. Feeding your dog at the same time also helps it to have the same toilet time every day.

Keep in mind that Jack Russell Terriers are animals of habit. Eating food at the same time each day provides them with a calming and relaxing rhythm in their lives.

Not only does it keep them happy but it also helps them stay healthy. Irregularity in feeding time can make their stomach hyper-acidic which can lead to vomiting and nausea.

Bowl full of dog pellets beside empty plates and bowls

Train for Toilet

When you initially begin potty training your Jack Russell Terrier, you might want to set out a few minutes daily just to show the toilet to the pup. You should also teach your dog to listen and respond to your cues and commands.

For example, if you say “potty” by raising a finger in a high-pitched voice, your dog will know what he needs to do in the toilet.

Encourage Good Behavior

You must always encourage good behavior of your dog as it accelerates the training process. But it certainly doesn’t mean that you should scold your pup for bad behavior. According to studies, you should ignore the behavior that you don’t like.

For example, if your pup uses the restroom correctly, praise and reward it with a treat as an incentive for good behavior. It’ll make your dog understand that he did the right thing and it’ll do the same next time to earn the reward.

However, if your pup makes a mistake, don’t punish or scold it because it’ll lead to a lack of:

  • trust
  • anxiety
  • hurt feelings

Start Obedience Training

Basic obedience training is a necessary part to train your Jack Russell Terrier in order to have a well-behaved dog. Not only will it help your dog learn some helpful commands such as “down”, “sit”, and “stay” but it’ll also strengthen your bond with your dog.

It’s important to note that obedience training can be a time-consuming process. You’ll need to spend time with your pup daily so that it can start understanding your commands. In addition, make sure that you use one-word commands such as “potty” instead of long phrases like “go toilet and potty”.

Introduce the Leash

Dog jumping around while wearing a harness

Jack Russell Terriers are known for their unwillingness and stubbornness to accept training at first. Therefore, you might face some trouble while trying to put on a leash for the first time on your pup. The earlier you start the leash training the faster your dog will learn.

Introducing a leash to your dog is important to keep it safe during a walk from unrestrained animals and traffic. I recommend you not to take your Jack Russell Terrier outside for a walk if it’s not leash-trained. 

Once your dog is comfortable with wearing a leash, you may take it outside. But start with short walks to train your dog how to behave among unknown people.  

Be Patient

Even though Jack Russell Terriers are exceptionally clever canines, they require time to understand their surroundings and most importantly develop habits. They also pick up on their owner’s feelings.

For example, if you’re anxious or stressed out about the training process, your canine friend will also learn to be anxious and stressed out. So, stay calm and comfortable while training your Jack Russell Terrier.

Be Consistent

When training any dog breed including Jack Russell Terriers, consistency is crucial. They rapidly pick up and learn routines, and if they are acclimated to a schedule, training them will become a lot simpler.

You’ll also need to remain consistent with your training commands and rules. Make sure that you use the same command each time for a certain action or your dog will become confused.

Get a Crate (If Needed)

Some owners believe that one should not use crates. However, sometimes it’s important for Jack Russell Terriers as they can benefit from them. These dogs appreciate having their own space where they can be alone and relax. 

They are active and energetic, and if you don’t make them relax, they will just keep going. Puppies, like kids, may get irritable when they are exhausted. Make sure that your new dog follows a healthy rest daily schedule and you can use crates for this purpose if it’s becoming increasingly aggressive.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some frequently asked questions about training a Jack Russell Terrier.

Is It Difficult to Train a Jack Russell Terrier?

Yes, Jack Russell Terriers are a little hard to train because of their hunting instinct and the process can also be time-consuming. However, you can make the process easy by using the right training techniques.

How Long Does It Take to Train a Jack Russell Terrier?

There is no standard time duration to train a Jack Russell Terrier because each dog is unique and has its own learning pace. If you use the right training techniques, you can train a Russell Terrier puppy within two to four weeks.

Final Words

Jack Russell Terrier is a playful, active, and extremely loyal dog but training it can be a tricky and time-consuming process. I hope this guide will help you understand the right way to train your Jack Russell effectively.

Just make sure that you remain patient and consistent during the entire training process to have a well-settled and happy dog.