What to Train a Jack Russell Puppy


The Jack Russell is a very fun breed to choose.  They puppies are adorable of course, but the Jack Russell adult can be an incredible companion.  If you just purchased a Jack Russell Terrier puppy, you’ve come to the right place. For information on what to train for all puppy breeds, click here.

This blog contains information on the reasons to train a Jack Russell puppy and what to train a Jack Russell puppy.

Why Should You Train a Jack Russell Puppy

Jack Russells are a member of the terrier group of dogs.  They are very independent and most think they’re in charge.  If you don’t train them that they’re not in charge, they will be terrors.  The Jack Russell puppy needs to learn that they can’t always have their way.

Puppies have a way of convincing people to give them attention and Jack Russells are not different.  If they figure out that they can do one thing and then get what they’re after, you have a long road ahead of you.  This is why they need to be trained early.  If you don’t start early, and with them being incredibly sharp, they will figure out how much they can get away with and what they need to do to get their way.

What’s the Best Time You Should Train a Jack Russell Puppy?

The best time to begin training a Jack Russell Puppy is now.  I would say yesterday if it was possible.  If you have a Jack Russell puppy already, begin training immediately.  Jack Russells are a breed that will find a way to occupy themselves and will most likely get into some sort of trouble.

How to Train a Jack Russell Puppy

Jack Russells puppies need to be motivated to learn.  Fortunately, most Jack Russells LOVE treats.  Or anything edible for that matter.  They don’t need much as a reward for good behavior.  I recommend very small treats.  They go a long way.  You want the bulk of the puppy’s nutrition to come from food so be mindful of the amount of treats you give each day.

When you work on training your puppy, you want to make it happy and fun.  If it’s not fun, the puppy may lose interest.  Terriers in general are hard headed and the Jack Russell is not exception.  It’s best to start training in 15-20 minute increments.  It could be even less based on your puppy’s attention.

Always be positive and reward the good behavior with verbal praise and a treat.  Like most puppies, a Jack Russell puppy responds best to positive reinforcement training.  They also react well to removal of something they want (even your attention).  This is considered Negative Punishment in Operant Conditioning.  It replaces Positive Punishment and is part of Modern Training methods.  Taking away a good thing is the punishment.

The First Thing to Train a Jack Russell Puppy

There are really two things you need to teach you Jack right away.  The first one that needs to be addressed is often overlooked.

Their Name.  Assuming you changed the name the puppy had before they went home with you, you’ll need to say the puppy’s name.  A lot.  They need to learn that their name is an important word in their world.  Even if you are just snuggling with them, say their name.  Say their name multiple times each day.

Potty Training

The is the first thing most people want to train their puppy.  Did I mention Jacks are pretty smart dog?  If you want to train a Jack Russell puppy potty training, you need to be able to pay attention and able to take the puppy outside on a regular schedule.  If you are unable to pay attention at the moment, I recommend putting the puppy in a crate.  It will only take a few times for a Jack Russell puppy to learn to not do their business inside a crate.  You’ll need a crate that is either adjustable or small enough that the puppy won’t be able to go to the other side.

What Are the Basic Commands to Teach a Puppy?

In general, all puppies need to learn the same basic commands.  The top five are sit, stay, lay down, come, and leave it or drop it.

You can see more about the 5 basic commands by clicking here to go to the all puppy training guide.

The only difference to keep in mind when dealing with a Jack Russell puppy, is that they learn fast and they get bored easily.  Keep it happy and try and make it fun for you and your puppy.  You’ll have a well trained puppy in no time.


What Else Should You Train

There are other important commands that were not included in the basic commands.  They include leash training, heel, off, no, and go potty.

Leash Training

Leash Training is actually one of the first things you should train you Jack Russell puppy.  It is used in training the basic commands.  Many puppies fight wearing a collar and fight the leash as soon as it gets clipped on to their collar.  There are a lot of tips for leash training.  One is to leave the leash on while inside at home.  The puppy gets used to the leash as an extension of the collar.  Keep your eyes on the puppy thought.  If they start chewing on it, don’t use this tip.


It’s always nice when you can go for a walk and your pup is right there by your side walking at the same speed as you.  This is called heeling.  It can be taught, but it will take discipline with a Jack Russell puppy.  You’ll need to do the training for this in short sessions.


“Off” is a different command than “down.”  When you tell the puppy “down” they should lay down.  When you tell the puppy “off” it is to get off of where they are.  If your puppy is on the couch, you would use the word “off.”


“No” is a very commonly used word when you have a Jack Russell puppy.  A lot of the time the puppy doesn’t understand other than there was something bad.  Whenever possible, use the command “leave it” when they are taking something or chewing on something.  This will minimize some of the confusion with the command “no.”

Go Potty

When you are potty training it is beneficial to include the phrase “go potty” or “do your business” or another phrase that means the same thing.  You’ll say it every time you are taking them outside for this purpose.  When they have done the desired behavior make a big deal about it and give them a treat.

What’s After the Basic Commands

When you’ve taught you Jack Russell puppy all of the basic commands, you should  have a well mannered Jack Russell puppy.  Don’t stop there though.  It is so important to keep working with a Jack Russell and teaching them new things.  They love to have fun and there are a few options to take your puppy’s training further.  It can be as simple as tricks or as advanced as professional agility.  Whichever you choose, always make sure your Jack Russell is thinking on a daily basis.  They have a lot of energy to burn so take them out regularly or take them on a walk.  Just remember to play with them as much as possible.

What was the first thing you taught your pet other than their name and housebreaking?

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