How To Train A Jack Russell Terrier: 9 Essential Training Tips


Understanding how to train a Jack Russell Terrier is imperative for new Jack Russell owners who have recently adopted or plan to adopt soon.

After the initial day home has passed and the excitement has dwindled is when routines, your new schedule, and the discipline for your Jack Russell Terrier should begin and when the bonding will start to flourish.

The problem that remains with many new Jack Russell owners is that they are not 100% sure as to what the best methods could be or how to train a Jack Russell Terrier in the best fashion.

That is what the rest of this post is going to break down for you.

I am entering my 3rd year raising my Jack Russell Terrier and learned some lessons, tips, and tricks I can relay to you.

A few pairs of shoes have been lost, and even furniture with a few wear marks has been a part of my life since adopting my Jack Russell.

I have learned other lessons through trial, error, and research. I feel confident I can relay to you what the best methods, tips, and tricks are that you should be using to train your Jack Russell Terrier.

Here is a quick overview of how I intend to teach you to train your Jack Russell Terrier:



How to Train A Jack Russell Terrier

When you are first getting home with your new Jack Russell Terrier, everything is fun and exciting. In all honesty, your Jack Russell will likely be sleeping quite a bit as a puppy.

It is essential to understand that although adorable, fun to cuddle, and overly sleepy, training still needs to be a part of the regimen.

Training, discipline, and obedience are incredibly crucial with Jack Russell Terriers. Most owners will inform you that the bond strengthens, and the dog excels in every category when training is a routine and part of their lives.

Now, the question for most Jack Russell owners becomes how you do it and when is the best time to begin.

Image Credit-ShutterStock

When Should You Begin Training Your Jack Russell Terrier?

Now for the fun and exciting news that I am sure all of you want to hear.

You need to begin training your Jack Russell Terrier right now.

Literally, after you get done reading this post.

Training for a Jack Russell is most effective when it is started right out of the gates, and when you arrive home from the adoption.

If you have already waited any amount of time since the adoption and have not done much training, that is okay. Just plan on getting it into your routine right away.

The earlier a Jack Russell begins learning right from wrong and begins the socialization process, the easier the next 13-17 years are going to be.

That is a long time to have a Jack Russell in the family, so it seems like a wise time investment to me to get the training and obedience started now so you can enjoy the bond and friendship for the remaining years.

Now that we understand that training needs to begin immediately, I want to start diving into what I have found and what I believe to be the most effective training methods for a Jack Russell Terrier.


What Is the Most Effective Way to Begin Training A Jack Russell?

When it comes to finding the most effective method of training a Jack Russell, many owners will have their own unique ways or preferences to get the job done.

I wanted to make that clear so that you understand that you have different methods you can use to train your JR.

Nonetheless, some of the options and items needed to get the job done will remain the same, so I want to dive into my favorite methods, and what I know you should use or will need when training your Jack Russell.


Clicker Training a Jack Russell or Non-Clicker Training

Clicker training is my preferred training method and what method I used to train my Jack Russell.

This is because I prefer a reward-based training method for my dogs.

Non-clicker training may still work with a reward, but some individuals also use discipline as a training method, which I am not a fan of.

Clicker training essentially allows you to use treats and straightforward phrases and a “clicker button” so that you can have your Jack Russell associate the click with a phrase which only occurs after a desired action takes place.

To use clicker training as your primary training technique, you will need a few items.

  • A clicker
  • Small Treats (You May Use Lots of Treats in Small Time Frames)
  • A Quiet Distraction Free Area

If this is the approach you decide to take to train your Jack Russell, you will want to refer to some best practices about clicker training first.

Typically, when training your Jack Russell, you will start with the basics as well.

I want to move into that portion of this guide next.


Common Commands to Train Your Jack Russell Terrier

Most of the time, when your Jack Russell is a puppy, you will want to start with the basic commands when it comes to training.

Of course, you will also want to be working on potty training (more on this shortly)

Basic training commands for your Jack Russell will typically include the following:

  • Sit
  • Lay Down
  • Stay
  • Come

Others who have trained dogs in the past may throw in intermediate commands such as shake as well.

However, the primary 4 above is a great place to start with your Jack Russell to get a basic routine, obedience, and socialization.

Now, when it comes to teaching these 4 commands to your Jack Russell while working on potty training, you will want to invest in some essential items to make sure you are prepared.


What Will You Need to Begin the Training Process with Your Jack Russell?

Treats- Treats are a great training tool for any dog breed.

My recommendation is to use small treats when training your Jack Russell.

First, you need to understand that Jack Russell’s, especially when puppies, have tiny, sensitive little bellies.

When you are attempting to complete training, you want to reward them as often as possible.

Since they will be eating a decent number of treats in a short amount of time during training, I would stick with treats such as the (Link to Amazon).

They are the treats I used in conjunction with my clicker training and never had much of an issue.

Plus, they last a while and are easy to manage on a budget.

Reserved Time Slots- This may be one of the most essential items on the list when it comes to planning out your training with your Jack Russell.

It is growing harder and harder for society to carve out any slots of time for anything.

However, if you want to avoid issues with behavior or general obedience in the future with your Jack Russell, time slots to train your Jack Russell are necessary.

Some experts will recommend 3 sessions a day, even if they are only 5 minutes long.

Work on those basic commands such as sit, lay down, come, and stay during these 5-minute bursts.

You do not need to be setting aside tons of time to do this.

It is considered better to work with short intervals of time to maximize the effectiveness and not push your Jack Russell’s attention span too far.

These short intervals of time with treats included become associated as a lot of fun for your Jack Russell, which is what training should be for the both of you.

Set aside 5-15 minutes a day to work with your Jack Russell, and the results will compound over time.

Jack Russell’s are brilliant dogs, and it will not take many sessions before the training begins to cement with them.

Collar and Leash- A collar and leash are two more often overlooked items needed to begin the training process with your Jack Russell.

One reason will be for potty training, and the other will be to begin training your Jack Russell to walk on a lead properly.

Not to mention, Jack Russell needs some exercise if you want training to be effective and to calm your Jack Russell down the rest of the day.

A Proper Sized Crate for Crate Training- I always stress the importance of crate training a Jack Russell.

In fact, I have a video you can see below that demonstrates how to do it and why I find it to be an imperative piece of the training puzzle with Jack Russell Terriers.

This is going to help train your Jack Russell with potty training significantly in the beginning.

It is also going to help with separation anxiety and help your Jack Russell begin understanding routines and allow you to leave your Jack Russell alone for longer durations of time.

Not to mention, it is good for your Jack Russell to get into the habit of being crate trained at night to keep up with regular sleeping patterns.

Overall, the only downfall to a crate for your Jack Russell is the sad feeling you get when you place them inside of it when you need to leave or when it is bedtime when they are a puppy.

While they may excessively bark in the beginning, it gets better, and a crate is one of the most significant items you need to purchase before even arriving home with your Jack Russel from the breeder.

Period.


The 9 Most Important Considerations to Understanding When Training A Jack Russell Terrier

Shockingly, we are this far into this post, and we still have not covered my top 9 tips needed to effectively train a Jack Russell Terrier.

Without further ado, here are my top 9 tips for beginning training your Jack Russell Terrier today.


#1-Reward Your Jack Russell for Positive Actions and Strong Training Sessions

Rewards, rewards, and more rewards.

That is what effective training of a Jack Russell Terrier looks like.

Jack Russell’s are originally bred as hunting dogs, have a strong prey drive, and love to please their owners.

When you communicate to them that they are doing a good job or performing the desired action, they begin to fall in love with the idea of training in general.

Make sure to keep offering rewards for them to remain happy and excited with the idea of training.


#2-Consistency is Crucial with Jack Russell’s

Consistency is essential when you train any dog breed.

It is especially important when you train a Jack Russell Terrier.

They pick up and learn routines quickly, and when they get accustomed to a schedule when it comes to training, it will be much easier.

Build training into your schedule.

Maybe this is for a few minutes after work, during a lunch break, or even in the early mornings.

Whatever the case is, the more consistent you can be with your training, the better and easier your training efforts will unfold.


#3-Patience Will Be Required

Training a Jack Russell is not necessarily for the faint of heart.

It can take time, and it does require you to be patient with your dog.

While they are extremely intelligent dogs, they still need time to adjust, socialize, and learn the environment.

Not to mention your routines.

Refer to tip #2 and hang in there.

Remain consistent and keep up with the training, and it will become easier each day as you go.

It happened to me with my Jack Russell, and I am confident it will happen for you.


#4-Short Sessions May Be the Most Effective with Jack Russell’s

We touched on this earlier, but I find it necessary to mention it again.

Mainly because it makes your life easier and the training for your Jack Russell Terrier more effective.

Keep sessions short such as 5-15 minutes to maximize effectiveness, all while not interrupting your day too much.

It is all a Jack Russell needs to begin the learning process.


#5- Remain Consistent with Rules and Training Commands

Consistency with timing is one thing, but you also need to remain consistent with how you present commands and offer rewards.

Consistency needs to be a pillar of your training from every angle.

The short, one-worded answer is the best instead of phrases in most situation.

Instead of using phrases like “go outside and go potty,” you can use phrases like “potty.”

The rest of the basic commands are self-explanatory, but once you pick your methods, phrasing, and rules for the training, do not change them.

Stay consistent, and the learning and training will move along at a much more robust pace.


#6-Do not Extend or Push Your Jack Russell Too Far

This refers to tip #4.

Assume for a moment that training is going excellent one day, and you have really been trying to finish and perfect a trick with your Jack Russell.

In comes the consistency part of the equation again.

It is much like when an athlete is pushed too far, and form is compromised due to fatigue.

A Jack Russell can get mentally fatigued and begin to lose interest.

Do not start stretching sessions or pushing to extremes just to “get in some extra work.”

Likely, when they begin losing interest, form, messages, and communication is starting to falter as well.

It is better to keep them at these short sessions, and when the time has elapsed, call it a day or call it a session.


#7- Do not Ignore the Possibility of Puppy Classes and Professional Training Sessions

Jack Russell’s can make for excellent pets.

Your ability to train your Jack Russell is one side of the equation, but if you do struggle with it, you should not just throw in the towel and disregard training your Jack Russell moving forward.

Not unless you want to deal with some unfavorable behaviors in the future.

Consider taking puppy classes locally to get more guidance on proper training techniques.

Heck, you can even reach out to us at Terrier Owner using our contact us page if you are struggling with training your Jack Russell.

We are happy to offer any help we can and answer your questions.

The point is simple.

Do not give up and seek help from others or a professional if you are struggling to train your Jack Russell.

Plenty of people who love JR’s are willing to help.


#8- Never Leave Exercise Out of The Training or Daily Routine

This is huge.

Never, ever leave exercise out of your Jack Russell’s routine.

Make sure they are having time outside or getting the opportunity to go for a run.

It does not really matter what kind of exercise you choose, but some exercise needs to be taking place.

Without it, training can become much more difficult.

The natural hyper tendencies of a Jack Russell can make it difficult to get any kind of meaningful information relayed to them if they do not have the attention span or the exercise completed beforehand.

Consider activities such as the following for your Jack Russell:


#9-Continue Correcting Bad Behaviors Throughout the Process

Teaching tricks, commands, and other basic training items to your Jack Russell is one thing.

It is also crucial that you continue to correct bad behaviors as well.

Depending on your personality and the overall feel of the environment, some bad behaviors may not bother you as much as others.

For instance, I despise barking, but I do not necessarily mind my Jack Russell being hyper with my other dog.

I have a young son who is wild anyway, so the dogs running around seems normal to me.

Barking, on the other hand, drives me more insane.

In situations like this, you want to pick and choose your battles and be sure to correct negative behaviors you do not prefer to continue.


Train Your Jack Russell Not to Bark

An example of this would be to train your Jack Russell not to bark.

This can be accomplished by interrupting your Jack Russell barking, and when they stop this behavior, you can reward them.

Some individuals also like to use shock/bark collars.

I am also a fan and believer in this method.


Train Your Jack Russell Not to Bite or Nip

This my second most hated behavior of a Jack Russell.

Especially when they are young.

The number 1 recommendation I have for you to train your Jack Russell not to bite or nip is to make sure that they always have plenty of chew toys or items that they should be chewing and playing with.

This helps them understand what is okay to chew, bite, and nip and what is not.

You also need to understand that training a Jack Russell not to nip takes time.

This is a playful dog, and they are not necessarily trying to inflict any pain or being aggressive.

They are just being a puppy.

As annoying as it may be, remain patient and keep working with them, and it will get easier.


Are Jack Russell’s Hard to Train?

In my opinion, no, Jack Russell Terriers are not difficult to train.

However, I am a relatively routine individual, and I stuck with the schedule, which made things so much easier.

While Jack Russell Terriers require patience to train, I do not believe they are challenging to train because of how smart they are.


Training A Jack Russell May Be Challenging in The Beginning, but It Gets Much Easier

A few common themes have emerged in this post about training a Jack Russell Terrier.

Some common words were used throughout the entire post.

Consistency, routine, patience, and an effort are what it takes to train a Jack Russell Terrier.

With these few necessities plus some love and affection, I have no doubt that your Jack Russell will begin learning commands and becoming more disciplined quickly.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your new Jack Russell and the journey and training you have ahead of you.


Share Your Thoughts and Recommendations for Training a Jack Russell Terrier

What other training tips and tricks can you share with the community about training a Jack Russell Terrier?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, tips, and tricks by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today, and we will see you again next time.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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