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Your Jack Russell Puppy Care Checklist - Jack Russell Crazy Issue #21
August 15, 2011
Poop Happens--House Training with your JRT
In this issue, we are going to give a few pointers on house-training your JRT. A recipe for homemade dog biscuits is included. The details of the August, Jack Russell lover photo contest will be discussed.
Growing up, my parents got my sister and I a dog after much begging. They made us promise that we would care for the dog in every capacity. That meant making sure we walked the dog in the morning, in the evening and before we went out as a family. I think they figured that this we could be a good way to teach us responsibility. Little did they know that it would be the source of great family tension when the dog had an accident in the house or in her crate. "How are you ever going to be functional adults if you can't even take care of a dog" my Mom would say to us as we tearfully cleaned up an accident that was found upon returning home. "We walked her before we left" we would both solomely swear as our parents disapproval rung strong in our ears.
I'm not surprised that we had a few accidents here and there. It happens to just about every dog owner at some point in time. As kids, we used to put our dog's nose in the accident and scold her. Fortunately, I know understand that this doesn't work in the long run. Getting mad may destroy the bond that you've been working so hard to make with your dog. Since Jack Russells are clever, harsh punishment does not get them to stop, it reinforces them to hide the behavior from their owner. Punishing a puppy or full grown dog is like yelling at a young child for wetting the bed. They can't always help it or they are possibly doing it for a reason (marking territory, feeling unsafe or anxious, still smelling old urine remaining in the carpet, etc). And just like a young child, if your dog has an accident and you don't notice until after the fact, and then punish him, he won’t have any idea what he is being punished for and will wonder what his place in the household is.
If your Jack does have an accident you can bring the “evidence” to the proper spot in the backyard so he understands that’s where it’s supposed to go. (Leave it there for a little while so your dog can get the idea.) Praise and reward your dog when he uses the bathroom outside. If you catch him in the act - or better, with leg in mid-lift - take him out quickly with no fuss. Do make sure to clean the soiled area as thoroughly as possible. Dog’s urine contains an enzyme that their noses are super sensitive to, it tells them where their toilet area is. There are many specialized odor removers at your vets or at your local dog supply store that help with this more so then your everyday household cleanser.
For Jack Russell Puppies, make sure you watch their body language for signs of elimination. Remember that Jack Russells and puppies in general have small bladders and must be taken frequently. That means, as soon as they get up, after naps, after play time, after eating, and before and after crating. Basically.....all the time :-) Try finding a spot that your Jack prefers to go and take your Jack there consistently before walking them. Also, consider using a crate. Most dogs will not make where they sleep. Mix a little humor and patience with your Jack since potty training doesn't happen overnight. Expect some accidents here and there especially with puppies under 4-5 months since they don't quite have control over their bladders yet.
For Jack's that have been house trained and now have backslided a little make sure to ask yourself these questions. Is he on a schedule? Does he go out at set times he can count on? Is he being left alone for too long? Has he been checked out by the vet for any urinary tract infrections? Am I doing enough mental and challanging games with him? An organized, confident dog is a dog who is trained and has an active life. Being active means they are less likely to find special ways to entertain you. Remember that commitment, consistency and smart use of positive reinforcement will go a long ways.
If you experience housetraining and incontinence problems with an older dog, it’s more likely a medical problem rather than a training problem. Lots of changes in personality and the appearance of aggression late in a Jack’s life can also indicate the onset of medical problems. If in doubt, get in touch with your vet. Old dogs should have a check-up with the vet every 6 months at the minimum. Every 3 months is better, if you can afford it.
Every dog is different but many issues can stem from training or the need for retraining. If you go to our forum on the website you will see many more specific circumstances from owners and answers to their questions. Or you may have some specific questions of your own that you want answered.
Oh and P.S., my sister and I are both fully functional adults that own and care for dogs. I guess our early years weren't a true indicator after all :-)
Home-made Dog Biscuit RecipeMy sister and I give our parents a little bit of a hard time for being behind the times in terms of style. But in terms of dogs, they were actually ahead of the curve. They have been hand making our dogs' food for many many years. In fact, we used to joke that the dogs ate better and more nutritious meals then my sister and I. Not only were meals made in advance and frozen in our freezer, but they also made homemade dog biscuits. I wanted to share one of the recipes with you since I have such fond memories of making them with my Mom and then giving them to our dog Muffin. To me, it was so rewarding watching her gobble up something I had out my hard work into making! Not only is this a fun activity to do with your kids or grandkids, it makes great gifts. In fact, the reaction I often get is "I didn't know you could make your own dog bisuits!". And if you want to take things up a notch, you can buy a doggie bone shapped cookie cutter. I actually recommend this so that your homemade dog biscuits don't get mistaken for people cookies :-) although these cookies are safe for human consumption!
1 egg 1/3 cup peanut butter 1/2 cup mashed banana 1 tablespoon honey (optional) 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 cup oats 1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Lightly grease a baking sheet. Stir together the egg, peanut butter, banana, and honey(optional) in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour and oats; mix well. Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter, place on prepared baking sheet, and brush tops with egg white. Bake biscuits in preheated oven until dried and golden brown, about 30 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
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!
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