Back to Back Issues Page
Your Jack Russell Puppy Care Checklist - Jack Russell Crazy Issue #21
July 27, 2011

Training tips! Contests!.

In this issue, we are going to cover the "drop it" command, a neccessity for many JRT owners. An article about your JRT's IQ is also included. The details of the August, Jack Russell lover photo contest will be discussed.

Drop It  

Lots of Jack Russells have a tendency to pick up things in their mouths that they probably shouldn’t. They have a particular liking for socks and shoes – because these things carry your scent. “Drop It” is your way of telling your dog that what he has in his mouth is a no-no. The purpose of the command, as the name implies, is to get him to drop whatever he’s carrying.

  1. Take an object that you don’t want your dog to pick up, such as one of your socks, and lay it in front of him. Have some treats at the ready. (It’s important that the treats are more valuable to him than the item, but not so valuable that he loses interest in the sock.) You may want to put him on leash if he has a habit of bolting away when he gets a forbidden goodie like this.

2. Let him pick up the sock. When he has it in his mouth, take hold of it.

3. Don’t tug the sock from him. We want him to give it up of his own free will. Show him the treat and say, firmly and clearly, “Drop It.”

4. Exchange the treat for the object in his mouth, then take it away.   It’s important that he doesn’t get the sock back after this. This will help to differentiate this command from the Give command, which is what we will use for items that we are going to give back, like a ball in a game of Fetch.   Never turn this into a tug of war. Your dog will just think it’s a game – and a competitive game at that, which is not necessarily going to help you build a “team bond” with him. Hold onto the sock, but wait until he lets go before you take it away.  


Amazingly, a Jack Russell Terrier's intelligence appears equivalent to that of a two or three-year old child. Although you wouldn't want one to be in charge of your bank account, an average JRT can count up to four or five and they have a basic understanding of arithmetic and will notice errors in simple computations. They can comprehend more than 150 words and intentionally deceive other dogs and people, according to psychologist and leading canine researcher Stanley Coren, PhD, of the University of British Columbia. Think about whether your JRT has ever tried to manipulate you to get attention, a walk, or a treat....chances are you've been duped multiple times!! During play, JRTs are capable of deliberately trying to deceive other dogs and people in order to get rewards, said Coren. "And they are nearly as successful in deceiving humans as humans are in deceiving dogs."

Dogs have the ability to solve complex problems and are more like humans and other higher-level animals than once thought. Of nine types of human intelligence, they excel at three: naturalist intelligence (“nature smarts”), body kinesthetic intelligence, and spatial intelligence. In addition, they also do well when it comes to interpersonal intelligence as they have an innate ability to read, understand, and communicate body language signals. The four types of human intelligence they may fall a bit short in are musical intelligence, logical mathematical intelligence, existential intelligence, and intra-personal intelligence (self-smarts).

Coren indicates that there are three types of dog intelligence: instinctive (what the dog is bred to do....for JRTs, that's hunting), adaptive (how well the dog learns from its environment to solve problems) and working and obedience (the equivalent of 'school learning')." Concerning some of their other skills, JRTs can learn the location of valued items (treats), better routes in the environment (the fastest way to a favorite chair), how to operate mechanisms (such as latches and simple machines) and the meaning of words and symbolic concepts (sometimes by simply listening to people speak and watching their actions). The intelligence of various types of dogs does differ and the dog's breed determines some of these differences. Although Coren hasn't included JRTs in his ranking of dog intellect (Border Collies are number one with Afghan Hounds at the bottom of his list), we all know from experience that JRTs can hold their own in the dog IQ world.

Having the knowledge that you dog can outsmart you in certain scenarios is humbling but important. Make sure you are using the treats, toys, and mental stimulation necessary to keep your JRT intellectually challenged and happy.

Need a more detailed guide to every aspect of raising, training and looking after a Jack Russell puppy. The Jack Russell Lover's Ultimate Guide to Training is the only resource you need – and it's available for instant download for only $14.95.

Click here to watch a video explaining exactly how this guide can help you, and then get your copy today.


We absolutely love receiving photos of your JRTs. That's why we are holding our second, August cute JRT contest. Send us your most adorable JRT photos with a brief explanation of who your JRT is and what your JRT is doing/thinking/scheming about in the picture. It's okay if you've already entered in the past, just send us a different picture of your JRT than the one you've previously submitted. The winner will be announced on August 20th, will be featured on our homepage, and will receive a free JRT tote bag from our new JRT Amazon Store. Submit your photos here!

'Til Next Time...

Take care - and take care of your JRT!

Any comments on this issue, or ideas for upcoming issues of the E-Zine? Don't hesitate to contact me. Simply reply to this email. Your question may even be featured in an upcoming issue of the newsletter!

Know of a friend who might be interested in this newsletter? Go ahead and forward it to them and encourage them to sign up. Let's continue to grow the Jack Russell Lover community together.

Thanks for reading and best wishes,

Tom McSherry and the Jack Russell Team

Click here to order a copy of The Jack Russell Lover's Ultimate Guide To Training

Back to Back Issues Page