With a Jack Russell terrier, you’re never short on entertainment. They’re clever, they’re mischievous and, most of all, they’re incredibly energetic. And, if you’ve got a Jack Russell, you’ll know all too well that they’re very intelligent animals and easy to train.
So, to help you out with your own Jack Russell training, here are some of the best tricks I’ve been teaching my Jack Russells.
Often, if you want to teach your dog a trick, repetition is key. You don’t want to be teaching your puppy a new trick every day. Weeks should go by before you teach them another one so that they can remember the one before and how the next step is supposed to happen.
1.) Roll Over
This is a fun trick to teach your Jack Russell. First, make sure that your furry friend is lying down on his tummy. Then, put a treat in your hand and move your hand slowly behind his neck so that he turns his head backward.
If he tries to stand up, move your hand away and make sure that he lies down, and then move your hand behind his neck again.
If all goes well, he will remain in the down position and his head will reach back to sniff the treat. When this happens, gently roll the treat over and your furry friend should roll over as well. When he does this, praise him and give him the treat.
Repeat this process for up to 10 minutes and make sure to say “roll” when you roll the treat over so that he can associate the command with the process of rolling over.
2.) Shaking Hands
This is my favorite trick to teach, and it is so rewarding for both you and your Jack Russell when he lands the handshake.
Make sure that your pup is sitting down. Grab his favorite treat in your hand and move it closer to his paw. If all goes well, your dog will start to raise his paw. When he does this, say the command “shake” and then give him the treat.
Repeat this process again, but this time move the treat a bit higher up from the ground in an effort to get your Jack Russell to lift his paw higher. Repeat this process until your dog lifts his paw up to chest height, and keep rewarding him when he does this.
Do this process for up to 10 minutes at a time and once he lifts his paw upon using the “shake” command, you can eliminate the treat from this process. Be sure though to reward him every time he performs the handshake.
3.) The High Five
Another great trick to teach your pup. I recommend teaching him this trick once he’s managed to accomplish the handshake trick.
First, use the “shake” command, but this time, make sure your palm is facing out and lift your hand a bit higher than when doing the handshake. Your dog should lift up his paw and hit your palm. As soon as he does this, use the “high five” command and reward him with a treat.
Repeat this process for up to 10 minutes at a time.
This is a very powerful trick to teach your Jack Russell. I often use it with my Jack Russells especially when they start to jump up against me.
Once again, grab one of your pup’s favorite treats and stand in front of him. Make sure that he sees the treat in your hand, and wait for him to sit down. Once he does this, say “yes” and give him the treat.
Repeat this process, but this time, when he sits, use the “sit” command so that he associates it with sitting down.
How to teach your dog tricks
1.) Repetition is key
As with any training, repetition is important. If your dog is new to a trick, then you’ll need to teach them on a daily basis until he masters the trick.
2.) Start slowly
You don’t want to be teaching your puppy a new trick every day. Weeks should go by before you teach them another one so that they can remember the one before and how the next step is supposed to happen.
3.) Be calm and have fun
It is important for you to stay calm, and not to get frustrated if your pup does not respond immediately. It’s easier for your dog to learn if you stay calm and maintain a sense of fun.
4.) Reward them properly
Don’t forget to give your dog a treat, or positive reinforcement as a reward. This will encourage him and he will understand that he’s done something right. Jack Russells love to please their owners, and it is important that you make him aware that you are happy with what he has done.
5.) Don’t use treats every time
My last tip is to mix up the reward system by not using treats every time your pup performs a trick. Jack Russells love to earn treats, and it will keep them motivated to learn more. But treats should mainly be used during the training process. Rather give him a belly rub or gently pat him on his head.
These five simple steps will have you and your dog mastering some fun tricks in no time. Be sure to give yourself time and patience as you teach your pup how to do some great new tricks.
The only thing that you need is a lot of patience and time to train your dog. They are smart creatures and you can teach them how to do a whole host of tricks. The more you practice with them, the more they’ll pick up on what you’re trying to teach them.
They are very intelligent dogs but don’t expect them to figure it all out right away. Be calm, have fun with your pup and try to make training an enjoyable experience for you both.