Jack Russell Terrier Tricks

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

A Jack Russell is an energetic and intelligent dog that can grasp many tricks if you train it properly. Whether going for exercises or visiting dog parks, you can use the different Jack Russell Terrier tricks to improve your control over the dog or make it perform certain tasks.

Jack Russell Terrier Tricks

Jack Russells are intelligent and have good memories, and can learn various tricks and commands such as come, stay, sit, drop, and down. However, they need a lot of focus, interaction, and activities to keep them focused if you want them to learn new tricks without feeling bored.

Graphic image of three Jack Russells with a text explaining the common tricks performed by Jack Russell Terriers

In most cases, excessive barking indicates boredom, and the dog might not grasp the commands or tricks you are trying to teach. However, as long as you remain calm, consistent, and in charge during the training sessions, you can teach your Jack Russell the following tricks.

Listen Command

Listening is the most important command and should be the first trick to train your JRT as it forms a foundation for the rest of the training. This trick will help prevent destructive and aggressive behavior that may result in disobedience and stubbornness during training.

Be careful not to get irritated during training as it will only worsen the situation. Use your voice to command in a friendly manner without shouting to get the dog’s attention. You can then give it treats and praises as a reward for listening.

White and brown dog with a stick on its mouth

Lie Down and Stay Still

These are relatively easy to start with tricks, and the dog can learn through repetitions of ten minutes a day for around five days. Consider using positive reinforcement training methods such as giving the dog rewards once it responds to the command correctly.

Calmly say ‘Sit’ and then tap the back legs. When the dog responds positively, immediately give a treat. To ensure good behavior, do not usually give treats. Instead, reward them with verbal praises. After successfully mastering the ‘Sit’ command, use the word ‘Stay’ to make the dog remain seated.

Do not treat until you are done with the ‘Stay’. If the dog does not remain, you need to start the process again. Lying down should be the next trick. You start with tapping the back legs and then applying some force on the shoulders.

Come Command

The come command is vital, especially when you will be going out with your dog for walks. When you are away from its location, call out its name and say ‘Come.’ Make sure to show an accolade to the dog with a treat when it comes.

Repeat this while standing at a different location until the dog masters. Another effective method is calling out its name followed by the word ‘Come’ and then provoking it for a chase. This will be fun and will help the dog learn at the same time.

Drop It

This trick is very important since JRTs have a strong prey drive and pick different things with their mouths. Picking up dead animals or toxic chemical bottles may pose a danger to the dog’s health, and the Drop It command can help mitigate this risk.

White and brown dog looking at a red ball

Use the Drop It command, and if the dog correctly responds, reward it with a treat. Repeat the process without a reward or treat to instill discipline so the dog won’t expect a reward every time it drops whatever it has in its mouth.

Shake Hands

The shake command is one of the few tricks that can make your JRT seem intelligent and unique. Make the dog sit down, grasp a treat on your hand, and move close to its paw. At this point, you will provoke the dog, and it is likely to start raising its paw.

Use the word ‘Shake’ and then reward it with a treat when it does it correctly. Repeat the process daily until it masters the shake hands trick.

However, even after the dog learns the shake hand trick, it’s advisable to discourage children from practicing it as the dog might be aggressive, especially when there are no rewards.

Roll Over

The rollover trick is enjoyable to teach and can help your dog pass through small passages in case of emergencies. After teaching your dog the lie command, command it to lie down. Grasp a treat and move your hand towards its nose for sniffing.

Move your hand behind its head at a slow pace to try to reach it from the back. Try to move the hand towards the dog’s shoulder, and then pronounce the word ‘Rollover.’ The dog will follow the reward resulting in its rollover. Repeat this process without a reward.

High Five

The high five tricks comes after the dog masters the shaking hand trick. The first step is to give a shake command while holding your palm a level higher than the usual handshake level.

However, you should consider the size of your dog and not lift your hand so high as it might cause discomfort to the dog, making it unwilling to continue learning the trick.

The dog should be able to hit your palm with its paw. Pronounce the word ‘High five,’ and then reward and praise the dog. In most cases, the dog will need to be sitting to make the high five more natural, so you will need to have taught your dog the sit command.

Important Tips for Teaching a Jack Russell New Tricks

Although the dominating nature of JRTs makes them stubborn and challenging to teach new tricks, the following tips can help you teach your JRT regardless of its age or level of aggression.

White and brown dog with red harness
  • Be consistent: Consistently repeat the same procedures over a given time to ensure the dog masters all the tricks.
  • Break down the training sessions: Divide the training into short sessions to maintain focus and concentration.
  • Maintain a calm and fun environment: Shouting loud during training will only create fear and frustration. Usually, this will affect the dog’s focus and level of response. Maintaining a peaceful learning environment will enable the JRT to grasp the tricks faster.
  • Reward the dog: Rewards are the driving force and the source of motivation for the dog. JRTs love to please their owners, and rewarding them helps to improve their concentration.
  • Engage the dog in exercises: It can be challenging to train a hyperactive dog that needs to expend energy. The best way to reduce its hyperactivity and calm it down before training is to engage it in some physical activities such as walks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Jack Russell Easy to Train?

Training a JRT can be easy when you are fully in charge of the training sessions. You will need to be consistent with the training and remain calm and patient even when the dog is stubborn. Using treats to reward the dog boosts its focus and makes the training playful and entertaining.

What Is the Best Age for Training a JRT?

The best age for training a JRT is immediately after adoption. Puppies are less territorial and dominating and might not be stubborn like the adult JRTs.

There are also higher chances of the dog remembering the commands taught during puppyhood than those taught during adulthood.

How Do I Discipline My JRT During the Training Sessions?

Positive reinforcement methods such as rewarding and praising your dog are the best way to discipline it during training. Instead of punishing it, you will give the dog a treat when it obeys and deny it when it disobeys.

Final Thoughts

Jack Rusell Terrier tricks such as handshakes and high fives can make your dog seem unique. Rollover tricks can even help your dog escape through narrow passages during emergencies. Regardless of the age of your JRT, you can teach it new tricks using positive reinforcement methods and being consistent.