Congratulations on the bundle of fur that you brought home from the shelter or breeder, or wherever you visited. A pet is a great addition to the home. However, it’s also very important to make sure that you properly train your dog so that he is a well behaved dog and both him and you are very happy living together.
Like children, dogs need rules and boundaries in order to understand their role in the household. This doesn’t make you cruel or mean, it just makes you a good pet-parent. Here are some tips when looking to raise a Jack Russell Terrier puppy.
1. Start training him immediately
In order to make sure that your puppy has the best habits possible, it’s best to start training him as early as possible. Start with critical skills that you want him to learn, like house training and “stop biting”.
These are big chores to accomplish, but they can be done easily and quickly, giving your puppy a good basis for understanding what rules are and making sure that he follows them. Don’t wait for months to pass as he grows older. Start early, and you’ll see best results. Puppies – especially Jack Russell’s – learn very quickly.
2. Try positive training (clicker, treats)
Positive training is always the best option when looking at how you can train your puppy. If you use a clicker as another form of positive training (treats), they will learn when they’ve done something right. The click will associate with good, meaning they will listen to it in a more responsible way. Even as puppies, dogs will want to get praise, not yelling or confinement.
3. Don’t hit or punish by pain
Punishing your dog when he does something wrong by hitting him or yelling at him is a bad thing that will cause a bad connection between him and you that could very well last your dog’s lifetime if it’s done often and hard enough.
Instead of yelling when he does something wrong, stop the behavior with calm “No”, redirect him to the behavior you like and praise him with cuddles and a treat (or click) when he does something right. He’ll understand that he has done something right and learn from it on his own.
4. Remember your puppy’s limits
While puppies are easier to train than adult dogs, and Jack Russell puppies are some of the smartest out there, you’re going to find that your puppy will have a limit to how fast and how much he can learn.
This isn’t to say that you have to choose only a handful of tricks, you just need to make sure that you take your time with the training to make sure that you don’t overload him. Doing this could mean that he’ll go backwards and won’t understand what he’s been taught thus far. Be patient with your puppy.
5. Keep the rules consistent
Dogs do not understand the idea of “sometimes” or “maybe”, they need to have rules about what they are allowed to do, and what they aren’t. If you don’t want them on the couch, make sure you never let them on the couch.
Don’t allow it Monday and not allow it Tuesday, it’ll just confuse your poor puppy until he doesn’t know what rules are anymore, meaning all sorts of frustration and anger for you. Be consistent, and your puppy will profit.
6. Maintain control
If you find your puppy is rambunctious and wild no matter what you say to him, keep yourself in control. Don’t panic or scream at him. Don’t lock him away for a day because you don’t know what else to do. Distract him from chewing by giving him toys. Take him for a walk when he gets too wild and crazy, maintain your control.
Keep your calm and he’ll learn to respect you and your rules.
7. Learn about training from a professional
If you feel like you’re really stuck and need help in training him, there are tonnes of professionals out there who will be able to help you out to make sure that you and him are doing well together. You can always trust your own dog-instincts, but bring in a professional or trusted friend with dogs to help you if you are uncertain.
Puppies are smart, sneaky, innovative and a lot of fun to have in the house. If you train them properly, they’ll respond to you and make your life better with their influence. If you don’t train and raise them properly, they’ll be a burden and neither him or you will be as happy.
These tips should get you started for a great life together.