Jack Russell terriers were bred to be hunting dog. Unfortunately, the skills that make them a perfect choice for hunting don't always translate to what some consider perfect pet behaviour. Jack Russell terriers are hyperactive, they like to bark, love to dig and can be aggressive. They are also playful, enjoy being mentally active, physically busy and are loyal.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Create a training plan before you bring the dog home. Decide how many hours a day you have time to train it, walk him or play with him, and schedule your responsibilities so you can. Once it arrives in your home, and you learn more about its personality, you can add or remove things from his training program. With a basic program laid out, though, it will make the first few days that much easier and get your new dog off to a good start.
Begin training your Jack Russell terrier the first day you bring it home. Starting early prevents any bad habits from developing further, and teaches it there will be rules it will have to follow. Begin with socialisation, potty training and obedience skills. Its eventual mastery of these will make you a happier dog owner and it a more settled dog.
Be consistent in how you train the dog. Decide on the command words you will use, as well as praise and discipline. Don't change the command words, even by adding an extra word, as this can confuse the dog. If it follows your commands, always praise it. If it does not listen to you, discipline it. The simpler the training is, the faster it will learn.
Get the dog leash trained early. It is far easier to control an energetic dog, like a Jack Russell terrier, if it already knows how to behave on a leash.
Keep the Jack Russell terrier active and busy to distract it from destructive activities it will engage in if its bored. Jack Russell terriers can be trained faster than many other breeds, simply because they are hyperactive.
Take the dog on long walks and play lots of games. Jack Russell terriers love to be active and the more time the better. Put it on his leash and take it on a 5-mile hike. Bring the dog home and play catch in the garden or tug-a-rope in the house. The more it is able to expend its energy every day, the fewer problems you will have with the dog following your commands.
Praise and reward the dog the right way. Jack Russell terriers love to please their owners and get attention for doing so. While a dog treat is all right now and again, don't feed it treats every time it is good. The dog will grow to expect them and behave badly without them. You also run the danger of the dog getting fat. Rubbing its head, scratching its belly or behind its ears will please it just as much.
Continue training as long as you own your Jack Russell terrier. Left too long without continued discipline, the dog can lapse back into old bad habits.
Tips and warnings
- A healthy diet is just as important as the correct training.
- Until the dog is trained, don't leave it unattended in the house. If it can get into trouble, it will.
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