Jack Russell Obedience Training

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Do you have a Jack Russell Terrier and wish they would obey your commands? Do they bark or growl at people or other animals? These behaviours are not acceptable in a dog. Jack Russell Terriers are, after all, terriers and their personalities have as much to do with their history as a hunting dog as it does from its breeding. The way to get your terrier to obey is through obedience training.

Basic Dog Obedience

The first step for obedience training is obedience classes. Your dog needs to be well socialized with other dogs and people. It also needs to learn basic commands such as, sit, down, stay and heel. The benefits of this are that your Jack Russell Terrier will be more confident both at home and in public.

No Biting!

Your Jack Russell Terrier shouldn’t be biting at your fingers unless it’s for play time. When he does bite, you can say “no!” or scream “ouch” and pull away from him so that he gets the message not to do it again. (You may want to read this article on are Jack Russells aggressive?)


Sitting is a pretty natural action for your dog. If you show him a treat and then move it in an upward direction, the ‘sit’ should happen naturally. His head should go up following the treat and his bum should automatically go down. You can then add a short, direct ‘sit’ command. Remember not to overuse the command – your dog should respond on the first go with you unnecessarily repeating it!

Lie Down

If your dog won’t automatically lie down, a good trick is to sit on the flaw and make a tunnel with your legs. How you say the command also plays a big part in how fast your pup responds. Say it in the same tone of voice as you would when you were speaking to another person. You could even use a soft “please” before saying it so it sounds more like an apology than just giving him an order.

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Once your dog has mastered the sit, he needs to be able to go back from a sit to a stand. Sometimes just taking a step backward will make your dog stand up, because he wants to follow you. Then you can add in the ‘stand’ command and repeat.


This is an easy one, but you must insist on the dog always coming to you when called to do so. This exercise is the closest thing to having a playtime that your dog will be getting when out of his crate from home. Make sure you get him engaged with you and tell him what a good job he did after your play time together.

Jack Russell Terrier Obedience Training Methods

There are several types of Jack Russell Terrier obedience training methods. The two most common are clicker training and positive reinforcement. Both are effective in teaching your terrier to obey, however, it is important that you understand each method prior to training.

Clicker Training

Clicker training uses a small plastic box with a metal tongue that makes a clicking sound when you push the button. You can purchase this at most pet stores or online. The trainer uses the clicker as a reward for the dog performing a specific act or trick correctly. This method is effective because the dog and trainer can easily communicate with one another. Other methods of clicker training include, targeting and shaping. Targeting involves using a flat object held in front of a dog’s nose to teach the dog to touch his nose on a mark. Shaping uses the trainer using food or a toy to entice the dog into performing acts that they desire, such as lying down or sitting on command.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement involves giving the dog a treat when it performs an act correctly. The trainer will offer the treat and give it to the dog when they are performing right. The dog will naturally learn to perform an action by achieving a higher goal or reward. Positive reinforcement is a good method of training for younger dogs as it does not force them to perform a certain action, but rather rewards them for knowing how to do something through positive reinforcement.

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