Are Jack Russell’s Easy to Potty Train?[+ How to Do It]


When deciding to adopt a new dog for the family, it’s natural that you want to do your research ahead of time.

Especially when it comes to how trainable a new dog may be and what exactly you will be dealing with if you go ahead and go through with the adoption.

Jack Russell’s are fantastic dogs, but I notice questions come up all the time on specific subjects with this breed.

One of those questions pertains explicitly to how easy a Jack Russell Terrier is to potty train.

I’ve now owned my Jack Russell for quite some time, and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, are Jack Russell’s easy to potty train?

Yes, Jack Russell’s are easy to potty train. To potty train a Jack Russell effectively, you need to ensure that you add these routines and methods to your daily regimen:

  • Utilize Crate Training at Night
  • Let Your Jack Russell Outside Immediately After Meals
  • Stick to Routines Religiously
  • Pay Attention to Your Jack Russell’s Body Language
  • Reward and Praise the Correct Potty-Training Behavior

Now, me telling you these things to do with your Jack Russell sounds straightforward, but it requires more explanation so that you know how to complete each of those recommendations above effectively.

That’s what I want to dedicate the rest of this brief post towards.

I want to effectively teach you how to potty train your Jack Russell with ease and make sure that you understand how to effectively utilize the potty-training tips above like a pro.

For those of you in a hurry, I’ve created an easy to navigate table of contents directly below that will break down what I intend on covering in this post.

Feel free to skip around to any section that you desire to learn more about.

are-jack-russells-easy-to-potty-train

Here is what I intend on covering for you here today:

As stated previously, I want to ensure you realize how easy potty training a new Jack Russell can be and lead you down the best path.

Use the links above to skip around or settle in for just a minute and let me break this down for in the easiest possible fashion.

Here are the details you need to know.

Are Jack Russell’s Easy to Potty Train Recap

Alright, let’s kick things off with a brief recap and a statement that should help put your mind at ease.

Yes, Jack Russell’s are easy dogs to potty train.

Jack Russell’s are brilliant dogs in general, but they do have a burning desire to please their owners.

This is a good thing, but it does require you to put them through a challenge from time to time.

Of course, potty training certainly falls into this category, and your Jack Russell will attempt to please you with their ability to learn to poop and pee outside as well.

It does take a small amount of time, routine, and dedication, but nonetheless, Jack Russell’s are still 100% capable of being house trained quickly and picking up on potty training techniques easily.

Why Does My Jack Russell Keep Peeing in The House?

Before diving into my tips and steps towards effectively potty training a Jack Russell, I wanted to touch on something I’ve noticed with my female Jack Russell during the first 18 months.

I’m sure this question has come up with other JR owners who are curious as well.

Why does my Jack Russell keep peeing in the house?

I’ve narrowed this down to one thing and one thing only.

Excitement.

Although my Jack Russell is now trained to poop and pee and outside, I still notice that when she gets overstimulated or overly excited that she will still dribble pee from time to time inside of the house.

Sometimes this occurs around my 4-year-old son who riles her up from time to time, and sometimes it happens even when I’m getting ready to take her for a walk.

It’s a non-intentional pee that almost indicates that she doesn’t even realize that she is peeing at all.

Trust me, once these dogs understand how to complete a task, training method, or trick, they strive not to disappoint you, and it’s just part of owning a new Jack Russell.

It will pass when they have more control of their bladder, but for now, don’t worry about it and continue to focus on completing the full task at hand.

The potty training processes.

Let’s dive into those details next.

Always Remember Jack Russell’s Love and Crave Praise

Next on the to-do list when potty training a Jack Russell is to always remember one simple tip.

Jack Russell’s are “working dogs” and love to please.

Make sure that they understand when they are doing what makes you happy and when they are performing a behavior that you desire to see continue.

This helps reinforce training and really seems to work fantastic with Jack Russell’s.

They have a mind that’s opened to learning, and when they get it right, they need to know about it.

Continue to offer treats (in small amounts) and continue working on your training techniques.

With potty training and Jack Russell’s, I highly recommend clicker training or only using simple voice commands to relay your message to your new JR effectively.

Let me take the time to explain how this done in the next section.

Implement Clicker Training and Rewards

In comes one of my favorite methods of all time when it comes to training a Jack Russell.

In all reality, I think it’s an excellent technique no matter what kind of dog you are attempting to train.

Clicker training.

Clicker training is the simple process of using a handheld clicker to make an audible noise when your Jack Russell performs an action you are attempting to train them.

For potty training, it’s obvious when you would use the clicker to make the audible noise.

You would use it right when they begin pooping outside or when they pee outside.

Make a clicking noise, tell them good girl or good boy, and provide a small treat.

Once they begin realizing that the pooping or peeing behavior is causing the click followed immediately by a treat and praise, they will quickly catch on that this is what you prefer to see.

You can use this method even when they make mistakes.

Let’s assume you wake up to find a small area of pee inside of the home.

Don’t scold your new Jack Russell.

Simply clean up the mess, take them outside, and continue reinforcing the positive and correct behavior.

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and potty training doesn’t happen overnight.

It does, however, happen quickly if you stick with it and take the time to build that bond, trust, and training techniques with your new pup.

If I remember correctly, it took my Jack Russell roughly 2 weeks for me to feel confident with her potty-training abilities.

However, another thing you need to keep in mind is that Jack Russell’s are a small dog breed and have small bladders and smaller digestive systems.

This leads me directly to my next point.

Ensure you go out relatively quickly after meals and water and start practicing crate training.

For now, let’s start with timing meals and water consumption like a professional.

Timing Meals and Water Consumption for The Best Results

Something important to understand about Jack Russell’s compared to other dog breeds is their size.

I also have a 100lb yellow lab, so trust me, it’s easy for me to distinguish the difference between the two when it comes to the digestive system.

My yellow lab can hold his bodily functions for hours if need be.

My Jack Russell…. not so much.

Jack Russell’s are small, and when you have a dog this size, it doesn’t take long for food that was just consumed to eat to be ready to pass out the other end.

The same goes for water consumption.

Especially if you recently came back from exercise, and they consume a large amount of water to re-hydrate.

I’ve narrowed the time frame down to about 15 minutes after a meal, or heavy water consumption is about the longest you want to wait.

Otherwise, in the initial days, you may have an accident on your hands.

However, if you can get this timing down and ensure you let your JR out shortly after a meal, you can curb the accidents with greater success.

Provide them a treat for getting the job done correctly and begin cementing these positive and desired behaviors into them permanently.

Trust me, it helps dramatically to get this step of the process done correctly.

Now, let’s move into the next tip I have for you is which is utilizing a crate to your advantage.

Crate Training Is Always a Safe Bet

I know, I know.

Crates are cruel.

My Jack Russell hates hers as well (or did in the beginning), and she cries and keeps me awake at night.

I know the feeling and trust me; I feel just as bad as you probably do use a crate.

That doesn’t mean it’s not the best course of action to take.

Dogs do not like soil their own areas where they sleep.

It drives them crazy, and they avoid it at all costs.

This isn’t to be cruel, but it’s to begin programming your Jack Russell to not only use the potty outside but to learn to hold it for just a tad longer than usual.

Clearly, you don’t want to abuse this or overdo it, but you do want to use it the correct way.

At night, when you go to sleep, you should be placing your Jack Russell in a crate that’s large enough to be comfortable but not too large where they can soil the crate and still sleep on a separate side to avoid the mess.

You need it to be a size that they would avoid soiling.

In the morning, or If you hear an “I have to potty” distress cry, let them out and use the same techniques to reward them that we discussed previously.

After time passes and they begin getting the hang of this, you can start using a larger crate, and you can start allowing them more freedom throughout the house.

However, in the beginning, I can assure you that if you skip this step, you will have far more messes and a more difficult time potty training your Jack Russell.

Use it, train your pup, and grant the freedom later.

Case closed.

Build A Solid Routine

This tip plays into nearly everything we have already discussed up to this point.

Routine is the most important for a Jack Russell.

In all reality, the routine is imperative for any dog breed to learn how to live accordingly.

Pick a time in the mornings to let your dog out to let them use the restroom.

Reward in the same manner each time.

Use the same times throughout the day, so they begin becoming a creature of habit just like you, and I enjoy adapting and have routines in our own lives.

The more consistent you can be with timing and potty training, the easier it’s going to be on your Jack Russell, and the easier it’s ultimately going to be for you during the process.

Final Thoughts

Jack Russell’s are not difficult to potty train.

It takes the same dedication and consistency as any new dog would require getting the job done.

I’d even argue that Jack Russell’s catch on faster to this kind of training much faster than other dog breeds.

Jack Russell’s are extremely intelligent and loving dogs.

They want to please you, and they want to succeed with any task or training that you are willing and want to provide.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your new Jack Russell and the potty-training process.

Share Your Thoughts

As always, I encourage the readers to help fellow pet owners and Jack Russell owners adapt and learn the ropes the best we can.

Do you have any further recommendations that haven’t been discussed in this post that can help potty train a Jack Russell even more effectively?

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

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.

Thanks again, and we will see you 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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