How To House Train Your Jack Russell

how to house train your jack russell

Jack Russell terriers were bred to hunt small rodents and other creatures in rugged terrain, and the terrain of your home presents a challenge, too.

Potty training takes patience, but Jack Russells can be house-trained if you start early and use an approach that fits with their natural instincts.

How to Potty Train your Jack Russel

Of all dogs, the Jack Russell is a breed known to be difficult to house train. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. It does require patience and consistency from you as your dog learns what is expected of her.

House training a Jack Russell puppy successfully takes time and patience but with consistent puppy house training, you can do it!

Here are some tips for how to potty train your Jack Russell terrier.

1. Feed him meals at the same time each day

Try to feed your dog at the same time every day to help your dog learn to predict when it’s toilet time.  The time when you feed your pet will vary depending on the size of the dog and the type of food you’re feeding, but it’s a good general rule.

By starting with meals at certain times, you create familiarity for your Jack Russell that can help him associate eating with toilet time.

2. Set a Routine

When you first start house training your dog, you may want to set aside a few minutes of every day and just show the dog where the toilet is. If you like, you can train your dog to respond to cues from you.

For example, if you hold up your index finger and say “potty” in a high-pitched tone, then your Jack Russell will know what’s expected of him when he gets to the toilet.

3. Encourage and Praise

It’s important to take your dog outside to the toilet area and then quickly bring him back inside. While there, encourage him to use the toilet by clapping your hands or calling his name.

If he uses the bathroom, praise him lavishly and give him a treat as an incentive for good behavior.

If he eliminates outside, praise and reward immediately. This kind of response from you is very important for how to house train your Jack Russell terrier.

4. Take your dog out frequently in short intervals throughout the day

Your dog might need to go to the toilet every 30 minutes or so at first.  Be aware that mistakes are going to happen, so be prepared for accidents and clean them up quickly and thoroughly.

Some people recommend using a squirt bottle trained on the dog’s behind as a way to discourage inappropriate behavior.

5. Introduce your dog to the leash slowly

Jack Russells are notorious for their stubbornness and unwillingness to accept training at first, so you may have trouble when you first try to put a leash on your dog when taking him outside.

To house-train a Jack Russell terrier successfully, you’ll need to introduce the idea of a leash gradually so he can get used to it. Hold it in your hand and give him treats while he chews on it or investigate it.

6. Make it a habit

Once your dog gets used to the idea of a leash, you can start taking him on short walks. Be consistent and gradual, training your dog at first when he’s still in the house.

When you go for a walk, make sure to take him out to do his business before returning home (or at least within ten minutes of returning home).

7. Stay calm

Your Jack Russell will pick up on your emotions, and if you’re stressed out or anxious about the house training process, he’ll just learn to be stressed out and anxious, too.

Stay calm and try to remain relaxed as you take him outside; this is a good way to house train a Jack Russell terrier.

8. Praise your dog when he does it right

Don’t forget, your Jack Russell needs praise every time he does it right. Praising and rewarding him for proper behavior will reinforce good behavior in the future.

With a little bit of luck, this positive reinforcement will soon become a habit that your Jack Russell terrier will learn to associate with potty time.

How long does it take to house train a Jack Russell puppy?

There is no standard time frame for how long it takes to house-train a pup. The only thing you can do at first is stick with your routine and be consistent.

Make sure that he never goes longer than four hours without doing his business; otherwise, he’ll learn that he doesn’t have to go after four hours.

If you have scheduled walks, then take him out according to those times; this way, he’ll know what’s expected of him when it comes to house training.

Are Jack Russells easy to potty train?

Like most dogs, Jack Russell Terriers are easy to train if you start young and use the right training methods. If you stop using behavior that doesn’t work or change your dog’s environment, he might not be as eager to learn.

In most cases, it does not take much time to teach them how to eliminate in the right places.


Many novice Jack Russell owners allow their pups to make a mess in the house and then punish them. This approach is not only ineffective but also counterproductive since it teaches your pups that the house may be hostile ground.

It’s best if you can train your Jack Russell to obey basic commands such as “sit” or “lie down” so he doesn’t romp around until he has an accident.

However, with proper training, you can train your pup to use the bathroom only when outside by rewarding good potty habits with treats or affection and keeping up a consistent schedule.


  • Jan Pretorius

    Meet Jan Pretorius, the passionate dog lover and proud owner of the popular canine haven, Born and raised in a small town known for its love of animals, Jan’s journey into the world of dogs began at a young age, fueled by an innate connection with our four-legged companions.