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Top 8 Jack Russell Training Tips

Updated on October 26, 2009

These are some of my top tips for Jack Russell training. Follow this advice and you'll be well on the way to training an obedient dog.

1. Train your dog before you feed it. A hungry dog is a lot more willing to respond to food rewards for good behavior than a dog with a full stomach. Utilize the fact that the majority of a dog's actions are motivated by food. Start your training sessions at least two hours since you last fed your dog. Try training your Jack Russell in the morning before breakfast.

2. Reward at the right time. Rewards should be given immediately after the dog shows the desired behavior. Too soon or too late and the dog won't be sure what it's being rewarded for. You need to associate the action with the reward very clearly.

3. Get the dog used to the action, then introduce the words. Physically encourage your dog to do what you want before you try to use a verbal command. For teaching a dog to Sit, for example, you can gently press the rear end down. A lot of Jack Russells will sit naturally to look up at you. After the dog is comfortable with the action, start using the verbal command.

4. Don't train too often. Too many training sessions can lead to an information overload for your Jack Russell, which could cause it to feel overwhelmed and build up a negative association to training. To avoid this, train the dog no more than five times a day.

5. Don't train for too long. As well as avoiding training too often, you need to make sure you're not trying to train your dog for too long in one go. A Jack Russell training session shouldn't be longer than about 15 minutes at a time. That's about all the average Jack Russell can tolerate without becoming bored or distracted. Training for too long can actually be counter-productive. The shorter the training session, the more likely the dog is to stay focused on commands and react the right way, and the more chances you have for positive reinforcement and rewarding when it does well.

6. Make training fun. Jack Russell training sessions don't have to be too formal. Make training part of a game - your dog's favorite toy is just as effective as a reward as food treats are. For example, through the course of the game of Fetch you have the chance to teach your dog to Fetch the object, Come back to you, Sit in front of you, and Drop the toy or ball. Experiment with using games as rewards as well as food, or in place of food altogether.

7. Integrate training into everyday activities. There are plenty of times during the course of a day where your dog will naturally do something that you want to associate with a verbal command. Keep some treats in your pocket and take advantage of these natural training opportunities.

8. End on a high note. Always try to end a Jack Russell training session with your dog succeeding and getting a big reward. This is part of the reason it's so important to keep training sessions short so the dog is focused. People learn by making mistakes - dogs don't. They learn by getting things right, so make sure the last thing you do in each training session is easily achievable for your dog and well-rewarded.

This advice is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to training and raising Jack Russells. Visit today for lots more FREE information on everything to do with Jack Russells.


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