When it comes to training Jack Russells, the majority of owners struggle. Jack Russell training is usually a battle of wills. This problem is not helped by the fact that most owners not only don't have the correct training method for their terrier, they also don't have a specific idea or set of goals for what they want to achieve with training. Let this guide help you understand what you should be aiming for with your pet in terms of training, and what are reasonable expectations.
Training a Jack Russell Puppy
When it comes to Jack Russell puppy training, you shouldn't expect too much from your pup. Many new owners don't know what's a reasonable expectation of their puppy in terms of behavior and get mad when they puppy shows natural "misbehavior." Either that, or they try to skip to teaching tricks before they have mastered basic commands.
In the first 4 months of her life, you should be happy if your pup can carry out a few basic commands consistently, such as Sit, Stay, Come, walking on a loose lead and being housetrained. Housetraining can take a long time, so don't worry if the puppy doesn't quite have it down after 4 months. The goal here is to go for a small number of commands your puppy knows and can do consistently, rather than a whole lot of hit-and-miss commands and tricks.
Training Adolescent Jack Russells
The stage of a puppy's life between around 4 and 18 months of age are usually full of frustration for the owner. This is the stage when the puppy starts to grow into an independent adult. A Jack Russell pup who gladly followed directions in the past may suddenly decide to challenge your authority of "forget" all her training.
Likewise, it's common to find that a previously housetrained puppy has a backslide and starts going to the toilet inside during the adolescent stage. The key here is to press forward and stay consistent with early training. If you let the puppy see that she can get her way just by challenging you, your commands and training will begin to lose their power.
Again, focus on quality of training over quantity. Get a few solid basic commands down pat. Don't stress too much about teaching advanced training and tricks until after 12 months of age.
Training Adult Dogs - Problem Behaviors
Reforming an adult dog who has had little or no previous training can be difficult. This is often the challenge faced by people who adopt a Jack Russell, or those who simply didn't realize the importance of training as their puppy grew up. Luckily, there are proven methods to deal with all the common Jack Russell problem behaviors you are likely to come across. I cover the best of these methods for stopping barking, aggression, excessive digging and other common problems in my ebook.
Training Adult Dogs - Advanced Training
When you've trained your dog from puppyhood right through to adulthood, you can really have some fun with training Jack Russells at an advanced level. Jack Russells are intelligent and energetic enough to perform a vast array of tricks and compete in various sports. If you have mastered all the basic commands for everyday life and taught your dog a few tricks, the next step is to keep pushing the boundary by entering int Jack Russell trials and competitions, such as Agility contests.
Training Old Jack Russells
It simply isn't true that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, although many owners will find their dog starts to slow down around the age of 8 or 9 years. This doesn't mean they can't be trained, however. Old Jack Russells are typically still sharp in the mind, even if they start to slow down in the body. Training Jack Russells in old age should focus on mental challenges, and avoid movements that may cause damage to joints (ie, dancing on hind legs is not a great idea for an elderly dog!) While you may feel it necessary to retire a dog from intensive sports in old age, you can carry on teaching tricks around the house, such as retrieving hidden car keys.
A Comprehensive Training Guide
No matter what age your Jack Russell is at, she will always benefit most from solid techniques for training Jack Russells that are proven to work specifically on Jacks.
If you are having any difficulty curing a problem behavior or getting a particular command down, or you just need help with training in general, my Jack Russell Training ebook has the answers you're seeking.