Jack Russell Puppy Training for Behaviour: 3+ Best Tips

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Welcome to the exciting world of Jack Russell puppy training! If you’ve recently welcomed one of these spirited bundles of joy into your home, you’re in for an adventure filled with boundless energy and endless affection. However, as any experienced Jack Russell owner will tell you, managing their behavior requires a thoughtful and consistent approach. In this guide, we’ll unveil three essential tips that will pave the way for a well-behaved and happy Jack Russell companion. Get ready to embark on a journey of discovery as we delve into the keys to successful Jack Russell puppy training.Are you tired of finding your Jack Russell chewing up the hose, stolen socks, newspapers, pot plants, and more every day!

Jack Russell’s puppies are brilliant as well as stubborn. Jack Russell puppy training is not an easy task. If you recently got one, know that you have to invest a lot of time and energy in training him while having the patience to stay calm.

As these dogs are bred for hunting, they require a lot of physical and mental exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

Maybe your Jack Russell has more expensive tastes? Furniture, shoes, drapes? His chewing can 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 your know-how.

How to train a Jack Russell puppy?

Table of Contents

If it’s 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.

1. Puppy Proofing Your Home

The first thing you need to do is puppy-proof your home. That means putting 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.

2. 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. You’ll keep him occupied and safe by confining him to a specific area with dog chew toys.

3. Meaty Ice Cubes For Teething Puppies

With puppies, I freeze large slices of raw chicken or beef and offer those to teething little ones. 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 relieves teething puppies, and they enjoy it enormously.

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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 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’ wants to feed your dog raw meat, try offering hard plastic toys with holes in them,which are made especially for dogs. You can find them in your local pet store.


How to Stop a Puppy (or Adult Dog) From Chewing Everything | PetMD

  • Fill the hole with peanut butter or your dog’s 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 essential. 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.
  • There’s always an excellent reason behind a dog that chews excessively, so never punish him.  Try to find out why and be patient while you develop a solution.

Stop Your Jack Russell Jumping On People and Counter Tops

Jack Russell jumping takes the word “jump” to another level. When I brought my first Jack Russell home, she would happily greet people by jumping up on them, tail wagging.

However, I soon put a stop to this. I will let you know how, but first, let’s look at some of the reasons 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 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 countertops 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 be life-threatening for him. Chemicals, chocolate and cooked bones are things that we often leave on our countertops, 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 so that it hits your dog’s chest but doesn’t hurt him.  It’s a deterrent, but 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, it’s 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 countertop once you have left the room, you can try setting a small trap. It will scare but not harm him. You must stay out of sight but nearby after setting this up.
  • Collect a few empty soda cans. Place a couple of coins or small stones in each 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 counter’s edge.
  • 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 frightens him. He will drop the food and runoff, but he won’t 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, that is a different problem. He believes he doesn’t need to listen to you. You will need to learn how to command your dog’s respect and become the alpha dog leader of your “pack.” Once your dog knows you are the alpha dog, he will always listen to you and obey you.

Solving Jack Russell Aggression

There are several forms of Jack Russell’s aggression. This article will cover three common aggressive behaviours…puppy aggression, dog to human aggression and dog to dog aggression.

1. Puppy Aggression

Puppies naturally snap and growl at their littermates while playing.  He doesn’t know the difference when you come along – until you make him aware.

For instance, unintentional puppy aggression happens when your puppy accidentally sinks his teeth into your finger when grabbing a sock from you or his favourite treat.  He may also accidentally bite you while roughhousing.  You must let your puppy know that roughhousing hurts and that his aggression won’t be tolerated.

2. Make a Clear Distinction For Your Puppy

Make sure your puppy sees the distinction between you and his littermates. Just like puppies let each other know when they’ve bitten them too hard during play, you, as the owner, just let your dog know that he’s hurt you.  Here’s what to do.

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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 are 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.

3. Dog to Human Aggression

Jack Russell’s aggression in older dogs is more challenging to solve.  It can manifest itself in mounting, growling, and barking directly at human beings.  Staring is a form of aggression too.

This is a severe form of aggression that must be handled promptly and adequately. Often, dog to human aggression results from the dog believing it is the leader of its human pack or the alpha dog.

4. Dog to Dog Aggression

There’s bound to be a confrontation when two Jack Russell Terriers get in the mix.  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!  Socialisation is the answer to this type of aggression.

Socialising 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.  To solve dog on dog aggression, you must socialise your dog.

Put a muzzle on him and take him to the dog park every 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 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 out until he’s calmed down.

An Ounce of Prevention

Of course, the best way to control your Jack Russell is always to 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 an 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.

Because he thinks he has your approval and input, he might enjoy barking more. Jack Russell Terriers seem to have a way of interpreting events, unlike any other dog!

1. 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 remain calm.

2. What if He’s Barking at the Unknown?

Dog often barks 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 cuddle him.

Coddling him is like rewarding him for bad behaviour.  If you can’t ignore the barking, stand directly in front of him, look him in the eye, and say “Enough” calmly.

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. When you shake the can, the trick is that he can’t know the sound is coming from you.

He thinks that his barking has caused this terrible noise to come out of the blue.  He’ll know (or think) that the correction was a direct cause of his barking and not from you.

When All Else Fails… It’s Time Out!

Give him a time out when all else fails to get your Jack Russell’s barking under control.  His time out can be in a corner or 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 complete transition of coming out of the cell and just going about his business.

You want a transition period so that he doesn’t go right back into his barking and hyper behaviour.  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.  You can give him the release command once he remains at your feet without getting up. Excessive Jack Russell barking can be controlled by using the proper techniques.

Jack Russell Housebreaking Tips

These strong-willed little dogs usually have a different agenda than you and are not always ready to accept your view of how life at home should be, making 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 won’t be able to control himself – especially during the night.  Be prepared to take your puppy outside or to a designated area to relieve himself every few hours.

Remember that until your Jack Russell is at least six months old, there will be times when he won’t always be able to hold on.  That does not mean you should wait until six months to start housebreaking. The earlier you start, the better. It 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

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 for the housebreaking process, especially for training an active Jack Russell puppy.  The crate will serve as your puppy’s bedroom until he’s fully house trained.

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1. Make Lots of Potty Trips

Critical to housebreaking your Jack Russell is the proximity of your puppy’s crate to your 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.

2. Use Training Pads

Newspaper is fine, but if you use training pads, housebreaking your Jack Russell will be more straightforward 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 convenient 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.

3. 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 roughhousing or intense playing
  3. Waking up from a nap
  4. Drinking a lot of water
  5. Right before bedtime

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 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 neutralising 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, regarding training.  While the rules for housebreaking any dog breed are pretty much the same, consistency is the key for Jack Russell housebreaking.

Jack Russell Puppy Training – Training a Jack Russell

Training a Jack Russell can be a bit of a challenge.  Why?  Because Jack Russells 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 headstrong and assertive – even as puppies.

If you don’t set boundaries immediately upon arrival in your home, you’re in big trouble. All dogs, especially Jack Russells, 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 abuse, yelling, hitting, or harsh punishment.

No yelling at your JRT as this can lead to aggressive behaviour or make them timid and cowering – two extreme dispositions you need to avoid. Reward good behaviour during training, and if at any stage you feel you are running out of patience, finish training for the day and try again later.

Time Outs

Jack Russell Terriers are like overactive children.  They can become overstimulated 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.

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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 correctly. 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.  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.  He’ll still associate his crate by not yelling at him after he’s in his crate as a haven.  It works like a charm for me.

Recognising the Power of Praise

Training can be challenging, especially for a puppy!  Remember, you’re asking him to do things contrary to his nature.  Jack Russell puppies (as do adult JRTs) have tons of energy.  So asking him to control his 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 favourite 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 gate, train him to wait for me at each stair’s landing.

Training your Jack Russell 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”, 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 just needed to be consistent every day with his training.  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 behaviour, but I always say, “Good boy” when he stops!

Common Jack Russell Health Problems

  • Jack Russell’s 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 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 essential to observe your dog 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, contributing to my Jack Russell Terrier health problems.
  • Jack started scratching a particular spot orbiting 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 online ebook explaining how certain foods could cause Jack Russell Terrier allergies.
  • In addition, some Jack Russell Terrier allergies are caused by dust mites, pollen or mould.  The symptoms are constant biting, licking, chewing, and scratching.

Skin Irritation or Flea Bite?

A single flea bite can set off an allergic reaction to fleas.  The bite causes your dog to itch. Thus, he scratches incessantly.  The saliva causes flea allergies in the flea’s bite.  On the other hand, dry skin is also a common but less serious cause of skin irritation.

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How to Prevent Jack Russell Terrier Health Problems?

The first preventative measure to take in your fight against Jack Russell Terrier’s health problems is finding a vet.  The criteria for a good vet are as follows:

  • Proximity
  • Bedside Manners
  • Cost

You’ll want a vet 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 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 three ingredients have the words meal, corn or soy, the dog food is mostly filler.

You want a dog food that says “chicken”, “duck”, “beef”, and “turkey” as the first few ingredients.  Those ingredients are pure protein and thus a better quality dog food.

Set Up A Regular Heartworm Treatment

Heartworm is deadly to dogs.  Most Jack Russell Terrier health problems stem from an owner’s ignorance about heartworm prevention.  During the warm months especially, all dogs should be on a heartworm prevention medication.

My Jack gets his heartworm medicine religiously on the 5th day of every month – all year around.  I purchased his medication 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, you must have your dog tested for the presence of heartworm before giving them preventative medication.

Unleashing the Best in Your Jack Russell:

In conclusion, mastering Jack Russell puppy training is not just about shaping behavior; it’s about fostering a strong bond and creating a harmonious life together. As you embark on this journey with your lively companion, remember the power of patience, positive reinforcement, and understanding. Your Jack Russell is not just a pet; they are a loyal friend who thrives on your guidance and companionship.

Your vet should only deal with serious health problems.  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.

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Gaurav Mongia
Gaurav Mongia
Gaurav Mongia is a seasoned author and a marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience in the field. Gaurav is known for his expertise in digital marketing, branding, and market research, and is highly respected by his colleagues and clients alike.

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