The Jack Russell is a very energetic dog breed that needs to learn to channel its energy properly. This requires good dog training and quality socialisation. Discover all our tips and tricks for training your Jack Russell below.

What Age Should I Start Training My Jack Russell?

The answer is simple: as soon as you welcome your new puppy home! You can start training your Jack Russell as early as 2 months old. It’s important to lay the ground rules and set boundaries early on so that your Jack Russell knows their place within the family. Your Jack Russell is most likely to learn during the first few months of its life, so take the opportunity to set up a solid training plan, based on a positive approach. 

Be sure to ban anything from the start that you wouldn't want your dog doing once they grow up. It’s easier to grant permission later than to withdraw permission granted too early. Unfortunately, this dog breed can be a little tricky to train. The Jack Russell has an intelligent and affectionate temperament, but can also be stubborn and difficult to handle if you don’t fully understand how. So, before you begin training your dog, make sure you fully comprehend the basics of dog training.

Finally, while training is easier with a puppy, it’s not impossible to train an adult dog. Far from it! Dogs can learn at any age. You just need to take into account your dog's past. Older dogs may have gone through trauma, for example, in which case you will need to exercise caution and great patience in helping them to unlearn bad habits. If in doubt, you can always hire a professional dog trainer to help. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to find Jack Russells in dog shelters.

Jack Russell Training Tips

Dog training requires certain prior knowledge and a solid base. Keep in mind that you should never use violence with your dog, neither verbal nor physical. And this is true for all dog breeds. Training your Jack Russell should be based on reward, not punishment. Reinforce good behaviour with cuddles, playtime, or healthy dog treats. All dogs respond much better to this kind of approach than to coercive training. Poor dog training could make your Jack Russell aggressive and difficult to handle.

Always follow these three main principles when it comes to dog training: patience, coherence, and consistency!

Be Patient

This is all the more important for this stubborn dog breed. Your Jack Russell may not always be willing to do as they’re told. So repeat things over and over, and learn to accept it when a training session is cut short. Teach your Jack Russell one command at a time, repeat until they've fully grasped it, then move on to the next one. Obedience requires patience.


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Be Coherent

Keep your commands short and easy to remember, and stick to them along the way. Each action or request must correspond to a specific word, which is easy for your dog to understand. Set limits and make it clear to your puppy that you are in charge.

Be Consistent

The only thing that will bring concrete results is repetition over time. Your Jack Russell cannot be expected to understand everything immediately, no matter how smart they may be. Set aside fifteen minutes a day for training sessions and repeat each lesson as many times as necessary until your four-legged friend understands what you want.

Make Sure Your Jack Russell Gets Enough Exercise

Successfully training your Jack Russell will also depend on your ability to satisfy your dog's need for physical exertion. Sometimes hyperactive, a real ball of energy, your Jack Russell will enjoy activities that allow them to move and run. Playtime is also a great way to strengthen your Jack Russell's training. Why not kill two birds with one stone!

Which Basic Commands Should I Teach My Jack Russell?

It's important to teach your dog a couple of basic commands as early as possible to guarantee their safety.

  • Come: This command helps you keep your dog safe under any circumstance. It allows you to call them back to you whenever you see that they’re in danger. And this is especially important for the Jack Russell, who is a hunting dog by nature and has a tendency to run off. To teach your Jack Russell to come to you, start in an enclosed, secure area. If need be, ask a family member or friend to help you. Take turns calling your dog and congratulating them profusely when they come towards you.

  • Heel: If you live in an apartment or house in the city, it’s also imperative to teach your Jack Russell to walk on a lead. Your pooch needs to know not to pull on the lead or zigzag in front of you. The city holds many dangers for dogs, and the lead is often the only way for you to control your pet. Fortunately, the Jack Russell is a small, rather lightweight dog, but it’s still necessary to teach your pup to walk to heel properly in order to keep them safe.

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