Jack Russell Puppy Training to Stop Chewing and Bad Behaviour
Are you tired of finding your Jack Russell chewing up the hose, stolen socks, newspapers, pot plants and much more, every single day!
Maybe your Jack Russell has more expensive tastes? Furniture, shoes, drapes? His chewing has the potential to cost you a fortune, and, if he swallows something that causes a blockage, the vet bill would be enormous!
If allowed to continue you might as well just hand over your wallet now and let your Jack Russell Terrier (terror) chew on that. Fortunately it is a problem that can be resolved, when you know how.
If its a puppy that’s chewing then this is normal. Puppies chew because their new teeth are growing in. The teething process is the same for babies. The gums swell and bleed as the adult teeth try to break through the gums. The puppies are in pain and to relieve the pain, they chew.
Unfortunately, puppies can’t tell the difference between your £300 pair of Prada shoes and your old, worn-out pair of sneakers that you were about to discard.
Puppy Proofing Your Home
The first thing you need to do is puppy-proof your home. That means, put away all electrical wires and cords. Place all your shoes in your closet (and lock the door). Any objects that can be swallowed should be put up on a high shelf.
Keep Your Puppy Contained
The second preventative measure is to keep your puppy confined to an area when he first comes home.
You need to be able to keep an eye on your puppy because in addition to his unwanted chewing on objects, you’ll need to see when he has to go potty. By confining him to a certain area with dog chew toys, you’ll keep him occupied and safe.
Meaty Ice Cubes For Teething Puppies
With puppies I freeze large slices of raw chicken or beef and offer those to little ones that are teething. Some people prefer not to feed raw meat to their dogs so as an alternative you can freeze long strips of cooked meat.
Gnawing on hard frozen food brings relief to teething puppies, and they enjoy it enormously.
How To Stop Chewing In Older Dogs
If you have an older Jack Russell chewing on things excessively it could be that your dog is bored, anxious or both. They will chew through their crates, fences, or anything, all in a desperate attempt to relieve pent up energy or any stress they are feeling. This can be remedied as well.
Again, if you don’ want to feed your dog raw meat, try offering hard plastic toys with holes in them, the ones that are made especially for dogs. You can find them in your local pet store.
Fill the hole with peanut butter or your dogs favourite treats. A bored or stressed dog will be kept occupied and stress free for ages trying to get to the food in the hole.
Exercise is very important. Take him for a long walk at least once a day, twice if possible. It will tire him out and make him feel more like resting than chewing.
Never Punish Him For Chewing
There’s always a very good reason behind a dog that chews excessively, so never punish him for it. Try to find out why and be patient while you come up with a solution.
Stop Your Jack Russell Jumping On People and Counter Tops
Jack Russell jumping takes the word “jump” to a whole other level. When I brought my first Jack Russell home she would happily greet people by jumping up on them, tail wagging and all.
However, I soon put a stop to this. I will let you know how but first, lets take a look at some of the reasons why you should teach your Jack Russell Terrier not to jump up.
Your Jack Russell is not a large dog, but he can still frighten or knock over a small child, or even an adult, if he lunges at them unexpectedly.
Also, while I don’t think that all dogs that jump up on people do so because they are displaying dominance over them, I do believe this is a good reason not to encourage it.
The truth is that if you haven’t been able to do anything about your JRT jumping on people, or tables, furniture and counter tops etc, then your dog could already believe he is in charge. If this is the case, allowing him to jump up only strengthens his belief that he is the alpha dog, and leader of his human “pack.”
Jumping Up On Counter Tops
You might not think that your Jack Russell jumping up on the counter would do much harm, but it can actually be life threatening for him. Chemicals, chocolate and cooked bones are things that we often leave on our counter tops, and any of these things can be deadly to our dogs if they ingest them.
How to Get your Jack Russell to Stop Jumping On People
When your Jack Russell Terrier starts to jump on you, say a firm “no”, then put your knee up straight in a way that it hits your dog’s chest but doesn’t hurt him. It’s a deterrent but do be sure you don’t hurt your dog.
Next, have one of your friends or a family member do the same thing. After doing this exercise with your dog several times all you will need to say is “no” and your dog will stop.
It might take him a day, a week or a bit longer to get the idea and stop altogether but remember, its a habit that he has developed. Habits can be broken, but need time.
How To Stop Your Jack Russell Jumping On The Counter
If your Jack Russell only jumps up on the counter top once you have left the room you can try setting a small trap. Its one that will scare, but not harm him. You must stay out of sight but nearby after you have set this up.
Collect a few empty soda cans. Place a couple of coins or small stones in each one and seal the holes with tape. With light cotton string tie the cans onto a good sized tasty treat and place the treat near the edge of the counter.
The cans should be laid flat and to the back of the counter so your dog doesn’t notice them when he jumps up.
When he steals the treat the cans will fly forward and fall around him making a racket that will give him a fright. He will drop the food and run off, but he wont be hurt.
Ignore him! Don’t fuss over him or the mess. He will return, so you need to quickly and quietly remove all traces of food, leave the room and act as if nothing had happened.
If your Jack Russell jumps up on the counter or table while you are still present, then that is a different problem. He obviously believes he doesn’t need to listen to you. You will need to learn how to command your dogs respect and become the alpha dog leader of your “pack.” Once your dog knows you are the alpha dog he will listen to you and obey you, always.
Solving Jack Russell Aggression
There are several forms of Jack Russell aggression. This article will cover three common aggressive behaviors…puppy aggression, dog to human aggression and dog to dog aggression.
Puppies naturally snap and growl at their litter mates while playing. When you come along, he really doesn’t know the difference – until you make him aware of it.
For instance, unintentional puppy aggression happens when your puppy sinks his teeth into your finger accidentally when grabbing a sock from you or his favorite treat. He may also accidentally bite you while roughhousing. In any case, you must let your puppy know that roughhousing hurts and that his aggression won’t be tolerated.
Make a Clear Distinction For Your Puppy
Make sure your puppy sees the distinction between you and his litter mates. Just like puppies let each other know when they’ve bitten them too hard during play, you, as the owner, must let your dog know that he’s hurt you. Here’s what to do.
If your puppy bites your hand, say “Ouch!” Then stop playing with your puppy and walk away for a few minutes so that it sinks in and reinforces for him that nipping human beings is unacceptable.
After your puppy calms down, try playing with him again. Consistently say “Ouch” when he nips you, but never yell at him no matter how hard he nips you.
Jack Russell aggression in older dogs is a little more difficult to solve. It can manifest itself in mounting, growling, and barking directly at human beings. Staring is a form of aggression too.
This is an extremely serious form of aggression that needs to be handled properly and promptly. Often, dog to human aggression is the result of the dog believing it is the leader of it’s human pack, or the alpha dog.
Dog to Dog Aggression
When two Jack Russell Terriers get in the mix, there’s bound to be confrontation. These rambunctious dogs are anxious to establish their alpha status – even the mild tempered ones. Not only that, some Terriers are aggressive with every dog they see.
They simply want to attack them for no reason. This is the Jack Russell that runs up to any dog, regardless of size, and starts a fight! Socialization is the answer to this type of aggression.
Socializing an Aggressive Jack Russell
They say you can’t teach an old dog a new trick. I don’t believe that. Any dog can learn at any age, especially Jack Russell Terriers. In order to solve dog on dog aggression, you must socialize your dog.
Put a muzzle on him and take him to the dog park every single day. Just make sure you keep him on a leash!
The more he’s around other dogs, the less frightened or antagonistic he’ll be. Love him and praise him when he behaves appropriately. Love really does conquer all. Whatever you do, never intercept a dog fight!
Never Intercept Two Dogs Fighting
When two dogs are fighting, they are 110% focused on their disagreement. They’re unlikely to notice who’s standing by.
Your Jack Russell Terrier in this situation has little regard for human hands or feet and will likely mistake your limbs for those of his opponent! Heaven help the person who tries to break up the fight with their bare hands!
Your best course of action in breaking up a fight between two dogs is to create a diversion by spraying water on them.
Quickly grab your dog and put him on his leash. Wisk him away from the situation and keep him away until he’s calmed down.
An Ounce of Prevention…
Of course, the best way to control your Jack Russell is to always keep him on a leash until you sense the temperament of the other dogs in the park. Only after you’re confident that all the dogs will play well together should you let your dog off his leash.
How To Stop Excessive Jack Russell Barking
Jack Russells love to bark! But, unlike the barking sound some breeds make, golden retrievers for example, a JRT’s bark can be quite ear piercing and not many people, no matter how much they love dogs, would be too happy about having to put up with the sound of a Jack Russell barking all day, or every time a car goes by, nor should they have to.
While your Jack Russell’s loud, high pitched bark will alert you to intruders or let you know when someone is at the door, his barking becomes a nuisance when it’s excessive and unwarranted.
Yelling at a barking Jack Russell doesn’t work. Why? He’ll think you’re joining in on the fun and could bark longer, and louder.
In fact, because he thinks he has your approval and input, he might enjoy barking all the more. Jack Russell Terriers seem to have a way of interpreting events unlike any other dog!
Stop Your Jack Russell Barking on Command
While it’s important to let your dog know that you appreciate the alert he’s giving you when someone’s at your door, you must let him know that you have the situation under control once he’s done his job and that you’ll take care of the situation – in a peaceful way.
To begin training your Jack Russell to stop barking, grab his leash (always keep it on hand) as you’re heading towards the door. If he starts to bark, say in a very firm, deep voice, “Stop barking” or, “Enough”, then clip on his leash.
If he continues after the leash is on him and you’ve given him the command to stop barking, divert his attention by giving him a toy or a treat. Do not raise your voice during this process and don’t get angry. If you want your dog to stay calm, you must stay calm.
What if He’s Barking at the Unknown?
Dog’s often bark at sounds that you and I as human beings can’t detect. If you cannot hear what your dog is barking at and you cannot get his attention, ignore him or distract him. If he’s barking for attention, do not coddle him.
Coddling him is like rewarding him for bad behavior. If you can’t ignore the barking, stand directly in front of him, look him in the eye, and say “Enough” in a calm manner.
Standing directly in front of him blocks his view of whatever imaginary thing he’s barking at and is the quickest way to get his attention.
Startle Him With a Shake of a Can of Pennies
Here’s a good one that works wonders. Get a can and fill it with pennies. The rattling sound is startling to a dog’s ears. The trick is, when you shake the can, he can’t know the sound is coming from you.
He has to think that his barking has caused this terrible noise to come out of the blue. He’ll know (or think) that the correction was as a direct cause of his barking and not from you.
When All Else Fails… It’s Time Out!
When all else fails to get your Jack Russell’s barking under control, give him a time out. His time out can be in a corner or in his crate. After he quiets down, let him out of his cage and praise him. But first, make him sit at your feet before allowing him the full transition of coming out of the cage and just going about his business.
The reason you want a transition period is so that he doesn’t go right back into his barking and hyper behavior. So let him out of his cage and immediately give him the command to sit at your feet.
Praise him for doing so, and don’t let him get up for at least a minute or two. Once he remains at your feet without getting up, you can give him the release command. Excessive Jack Russell barking can definitely be controlled by using the right techniques.
Jack Russell Housebreaking Tips
These strong willed little dogs usually have a totally different agenda than you, and are not always ready to accept your view of how life at home should be, which can make potty training your JRT very frustrating.
However, the following Jack Russell Housebreaking tips will make potty training much less problematic.
The ease with which you’ll be able to start house training a Jack Russell puppy will depend upon the age of your puppy when you bring him home. Most puppies are weaned and ready to start life with a new family at around 8 to 10 weeks of age.
At this stage, your puppy will still have a weak bladder and wont be able to control himself – especially during the night. Be prepared to take your puppy outside or to a designated area for relieving himself every few hours.
Remember though that until your Jack Russell is at least 6 months old there will be times when he wont always be able to hold on. That does not mean you should wait until 6 months to start housebreaking, the earlier you start the better. It just means that you need to be mentally prepared for a less-than-perfect training process until he gets a little older.
Select an Indoor Confinement Area
Even before you bring your puppy home, designate a place where he’ll be kept at night. I use a crate for potty training puppies. A crate is the best tool to use for the housebreaking process, especially for training an active Jack Russell puppy. The crate will serve as your puppy’s bedroom, at least until he’s fully house trained.
Make Lots of Potty Trips
Critical to housebreaking your Jack Russell is the proximity of your puppy’s crate to your own bed or bedroom. You’ll need to hear your puppy crying when it’s time for him to go potty. Expect to be aroused from your sleep at least a couple of times during the night.
Use Training Pads
Newspaper if fine, but if you use training pads the process of housebreaking your Jack Russell will be easier for you, especially if you live in an apartment. They are also good if you have adopted your puppy at a time of the year when the weather is not the best for going outside.
Puppies, and older dogs too for that matter, are not too keen on going out in the rain or cold snow to relieve themselves so training pads are a very handy alternative. Remember, the faster you can get your puppy to the training pad before he has to go, the sooner he will be house trained.
Spotting Patterns During Housebreaking
There are certain times of the day when a puppy needs to relieve himself. Your puppy will need to go potty when:
1) He first wakes up
2) After rough housing or intense playing
3) Waking up from a nap
4) Drinking a lot of water
5) Right before bed time
Housebreaking a puppy also requires that you be alert to the signals he gives when needing to go potty. Always go to him if you suddenly hear him whimpering or whining, and if he is walking in circles and sniffing the ground take him outside, or place him on his pad quickly and calmly.
Catching Him in the Act
During your housebreaking efforts catching your puppy in the actual act of peeing on your floor is a good training opportunity to help you get the message across. When you do, firmly say, “No!” Your puppy will be startled and stop in the middle of his peeing. Then, quickly pick him up and take him outside or to his training pad.
If you don’t want to buy a pad several sheets of newspaper will soak everything up. Your puppy will still have some peeing to do, as you’ve stopped him right in the middle. That’s okay, he will continue, but don’t talk to him or distract him till he does. Just stay quietly nearby to make sure he finishes, then praise and give him a treat.
Never Punish Him
Never punish your puppy for peeing on the floor. He is going to have accidents so do be patient. If you yell, punish him or make a big fuss, he will only learn to be afraid to go potty in front of you. Use a neutralizing cleaner – non-ammonia based, like Nature’s Miracle to clean the area thoroughly.
Remember dogs have a very keen sense of smell. They have millions more olfactory receptors in their noses than humans do. Leave even the slightest hint of urine behind and your puppy will probably return to the same spot the next time he needs to relieve himself.
Patience, Praise and Consistency
Remember to be patient and praise your puppy whenever he does anything right. I can’t say enough about consistency though when it comes to training. While the rules for housebreaking any breed of dog are pretty much the same, consistency is the key for Jack Russell housebreaking.
Training a Jack Russell
Training a Jack Russell can be a bit of a challenge. Why? Because Jack Russell’s are notorious for being stubborn, highly energetic, super intelligent dogs. They are loveable, yet rambunctious and strong willed.
The following tips will help to ensure your Jack Russell training gets off to a good start, however first things first. When training a Jack Russell Terrier, you must immediately set boundaries. Jack Russell Terriers are very head strong and assertive – even as puppies.
If you don’t set boundaries immediately upon arrival in your home, you’re in for big trouble. All dogs, especially Jack Russell’s, do well with guidelines.
From day one of training you must establish that you are the benevolent leader of the pack. Notice I used the word benevolent. Jack Russell Terriers will not stand for any kind of abuse, yelling, hitting, or harsh punishment.
No yelling at your JRT as this can lead to aggressive behavior, or make them timid and cowering – two extreme dispositions you really need to avoid. Reward good behavior during training and if at any stage you feel you are running out of patience finish training for the day and try again later.
Jack Russell Terriers are like overactive children. They can become over stimulated at times. My dog, Jack, goes on sensory overload when guests come over. He’s so excited to see my guests and jumps all over them. He’s so hyper, he doesn’t listen to me. This is unacceptable. So what do I do? I give him a time out in his crate.
Don’t get me wrong, Jack loves his crate – but only when he chooses to go in it. When training a Jack Russell Terrier, you need to use whatever method will get your dog to calm down. So when he doesn’t calm down, I tell him, “Time to go in the crate,” and he immediately stops jumping on my guests.
Jack Russell Terrier training requires reading your dog properly. Understanding what makes your dog tick, will go a long way in being able to control him.
A Warning About Time Outs
It’s important to explain something about time outs. In the above example, I explained that I send Jack to his crate when he misbehaves. Jack’s crate is his safe place. He sleeps in his crate most of the time (or very close by it), and he eats and drinks in his crate too. So in order not to associate his crate with being a place of punishment, here’s some crucial advice:
Don’t yell at your dog or shake your finger at him calling him a “bad dog” once he’s in his crate. Simply pick him up, and put him in his crate when he’s misbehaving. Then let him sit in his crate quietly or until he calms down. By not yelling at him after he’s in his crate, he’ll still associate his crate as a safe haven. It works like a charm for me.
Recognizing the Power of Praise
Training can be challenging, especially for a puppy! Remember, you’re asking him to do things that go contrary to his nature. Jack Russell puppies (as do adult JRTs) have tons of energy. So asking him to control his natural instincts is hard for a baby. Here’s where praise comes in.
Praise Your Puppy When He Does The Right Thing
Whenever your puppy does something right, always praise him! He’ll bend over backwards to please you! Remember, training should be fun for both of you. Here’s an example of how I trained my Jack to stop running ahead of me down the stairs.
Before opening the door, try, “Jack sit,”… “Stay”,… ”Good boy”, and then give him his favorite treat.
Then open the door and stand there because you want to see if he tries to bolt out the door. If he does, close the door quickly and say, “Sit” and then “Stay.” Once trained not to bolt out of the door, train him to wait for me at each landing of the stairs.
Training Him To Wait At The Top of The Stair Landing
So, when I was ready to walk down the stairs, I’d say, “Come on.” When we’d get to the bottom of the first landing, I’d say “Stop.” When he would stop, I’d say, “Good boy” and rub his head and give him another treat. Then I’d wait a moment and say, “Come on.”
We’d go to the next landing. Every time we got to a landing, I’d say, “Stop” and give him a treat. Jack Russell Terriers learn very, very quickly.
Never Yell While Training a Jack Russell Terrier
Whenever Jack would run ahead, I never yelled at him. I’d just needed to be consistent every day with his training. Now, he waits at each landing, even if I don’t give him a treat! Once in a while, I’ll give him a treat for stopping at the landing, just to reinforce his good behavior, but I always say, “Good boy” when he stops!
Common Jack Russell Health Problems
Jack Russell health problems are usually few and far between. They are robust little dogs, but there is one thing that causes enormous suffering and health problems for our Jack Russell Terriers, fleas.
Fleas are a common problem – especially in the Spring and Summer months. They can make a dog’s life completely miserable.
An adult flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day on a dog. The eggs fall off in your dog’s crate, on your carpet, and in your bed. Before you know it, you’ve got a flea infestation.
One solution to your flea problem is to take your dog to your vet to have the fleas removed and while your dog is at the vet, have your home treated for fleas by a professional.
It’s important to observe your dog carefully in order to know what he’s allergic to. My current Jack Russell is allergic to flea bites. He’s also allergic to certain ingredients in his food such as soy, wheat, and corn. Most commercial dog foods are prepared with these ingredients, which contribute to my Jack Russell Terrier health problems.
Jack started scratching a particular spot or biting at the base of his tail. At first, I thought he had fleas. But then I had him checked out by my vet. Finally, I got an eBook online that explained how Jack Russell Terrier allergies can be caused by certain foods.
In addition, some Jack Russell Terrier allergies are caused by dust mites, pollen or mold. The symptoms are the same: constant biting, licking, chewing and scratching.
Skin Irritation or Flea Bite?
An allergic reaction to fleas can be set off by a single flea bite. The bite causes your dog to itch, thus, he scratches incessantly. Flea allergies are caused by the saliva in the flea’s bite. On the other hand, dry skin is also a common, but less serious, cause of skin irritation.
How to Prevent Jack Russell Terrier Health Problems
The first preventative measure to take in your fight against Jack Russell Terrier health problems is to find a vet. The criteria for a good vet is as follows:
- Bedside Manners
You’ll want a vet that’s as close to home as possible, for emergencies. Your vet’s bedside manners are crucial to easing your dog’s anxiety. Who wants a mean doctor attending to them when they’re sick? I don’t, and neither does my dog!
Read Labels On Dog Food
Many commercial dog foods cause allergies. Most dog foods use fillers in order to cut costs. Unfortunately, the cost cutting is at the expense of your dog’s health. Although a dog food that has mostly protein as the main ingredient is more expensive than its filler counterpart, it’s worth it in the end to purchase high quality dog food, or even better still feed your dog a healthy, natural raw food diet.
How to Determine The Quality of Dog Food
Here is a quick method to determine whether your dog’s food is quality. If the first 3 ingredients have the words meal, or corn or soy, that means the dog food is mostly filler.
You want a dog food that says “chicken”, “duck”, “beef” and/or “turkey” as the first few ingredients. Those ingredients are pure protein and thus a better quality dog food.
Set Up A Regular Heart worm Treatment
Heart worm is deadly to dogs. Most Jack Russell Terrier health problems stem from an owner’s ignorance about heart worm prevention. During the warm months especially, all dogs should be on a heart worm prevention medication.
My Jack gets his heart worm medicine religiously on the 5th day of every month – all year around. I purchase his medicine from my vet as I feel reassured that the medicine is specifically designed for him.
Resist the temptation to buy over-the-counter worming medications. Although these medications are cheaper, they aren’t as effective as those prescribed by your vet. Also, it is absolutely essential that you have your dog tested for the presence of heart worm before giving them preventative medication.
Serious Health Issues Need Veterinary Care
Serious health problems should only be dealt with by your vet. For instance, don’t try to remove a deeply embedded splinter or object from your dog’s paw. Don’t try to straighten a limb that may be broken or induce vomiting if you suspect your dog has ingested something toxic.