Are Jack Russell Terriers Hard to Train? Tips and Guidance

Are Jack Russell Terriers Hard to Train? Tips & Guide

Jack Russell Terriers are small, energetic, adventurous, and independent dogs known as Parson Russell Terriers. They were hunting dogs, who are famous for killing rodents, rabbits, and squirrels. JRTs are full of energy, and they are workaholics. 

They always need to be active, and without activities, they become stressed with no way to release energy. Therefore, they need proper training and exercise. 

So, Are Jack Russell Terriers hard to train? No, Jack Russells are easy to train because of their high intelligence and the curiosity to learn new things. Some common challenges in training a JRT include less concentration, an extremely playful attitude, and suddenly losing enthusiasm. You can use simple tips to keep your Jack Russell on the consistent training such as early age training, socialization, praise or rewards, and attention.

As an owner of two Jack Russell Terriers, I have experienced many obstacles when training my dogs. But with the constant training, they became loving and affectionate pets. 

Training is the most necessary facet of raising a JRT. You need to understand and be aware of several facts within that process. Most people think that it is hard to train Jack Russell Terriers, and it is a challenging situation.

Once you finish reading this post, you will have a clear idea of Jack’s training, challenges, mistakes when training, and some valuable tips to train your JRT easily.

Therefore, this will be a comprehensive post that covers all the relevant information. I have listed the topics I discuss below for your easy reference. Please, feel free to jump straight to the section you want by clicking on the topic.

Let’s get started!

Are Jack Russell Terriers hard to train?

No, Jack Russell Terriers are not hard to train. They are intelligent and brave enough to grab things well. But the owner should contribute his effort genuinely to train JRTs. They take time to socialize and be familiar with you.

JRTs need well-planned and organized training, unlike other dogs. The training is an essential part of the adoption of a Jack as your pet. Proper training can reduce our four-legged friend’s destructive behaviors.

My Jack Russells used to bark a lot, bite, and run all over the house in the first few days. However, after providing them with proper training, now they are well-disciplined and obedient.

You’ll find it fun training a JRT with the time spent with him. I have used several training techniques, and I will describe them below. 

When answering the question, are Jack Russell Terriers hard to train? You indeed need to work hard and spend more time on your JRT during the first few days since he starts to adapt to you and the environment.

Until then, the training will be somewhat hard since it’s challenging to make them obey commands. So if you are willing to adopt a Jack Russell, you need to have time, energy, understanding, and encouraging effort to train them properly.

If not, it will be precisely a challenging time ahead with your Jack Russell Terrier.

Jack Russell Terriers training challenges

Are Jack Russell Terriers hard to train, and what are the challenges faced in training them? Jack Russell Terriers are highly intelligent dogs with a lot of energy.

Since training is the major part of their adoption procedure, JRTs are not recommended to first-time dog owners. 

JRT owners must have patience and proper knowledge on the training of their pets, and they need to stay a few more steps ahead than others.

Therefore, you may face several challenges while training a Jack. Here are some challenges which I experienced as a Jack Russell owner.

  • The owner needs so much energy to interact with JRTs
  • They bite first before concerning backgrounds
  • It takes a long period to train them properly
  • JRTs get bored easily
  • Can act aggressively in first few days
  • JRTs are full of energy, and they get stressed when the training provides no space for energy-releasing
  • Digging, barking, chewing, and biting will make them difficult to train

What are the mistakes owners make while training Jack Russell Terriers?

While concerning the matter, are Jack Russell Terriers hard to train, it’s clear that JRTs need proper training than other dogs. Therefore, if you are a JRT owner, you have a huge responsibility regarding training him.

The owner needs to identify training techniques and ways according to the energy package of JRT and if the training goes wrong, believe me, you will have an annoying pet indeed.

So, let’s identify the common mistakes made by owners while training Jack Russell Terriers.

1. Do not cause pain to your JRT

When your Jack has done something wrong, don’t punish him by hitting or yelling. It may cause pain as well as strain the relationship between you and your pet.

Therefore, do not cause pain to your dog and try to avoid misbehavior by the word ‘No’ in a loud voice. Then he will understand that he has done something wrong and learn to avoid it.

2. Do not lose your control and patience

Most of the owners lose their control while training a JRT when the dogs act wild and rude. The owners lose their control and then start to panic and scream at the dog.

When there is nothing, the owners lock the dog away and punish. But these things are not suitable when training a JRT. As their owner, you need to have patience and excellent control over yourself.

3. Don’t let your JRT feel dominant

Since JRTs are hunting dogs, they are very proud and independent. Do not let him practice the habit of standing with his paws on your chest. Through that, they will feel dominant and quickly begin to consider themselves as the boss.

It will make it difficult to train and control him. Therefore always try to maintain dominance over your dog and assure them that you are the boss.

4. Don’t let your JRT sleep outside his Kennel

If you allow your JRT to sleep outside their kennel, then you’ll have a hard time taking him back to the kennel.

I made this mistake with my JRT, and then it began irritating since he needed to sleep in my bed permanently. So, no matter how much he whines, train them to sleep at their kennel.

5. Don’t allow them to use your furniture often

If you allow JRT to use your furniture, he will begin to use your sofa as his property, and then you won’t even have a chance to sit on it.

So train them to use your furniture with your permission and behave under your command. If not, you, your family, or your visitors may not have a place to sit in your house.

6. Do not forget that your JRT is not a human

One of the major mistakes made by pet parents is that they are going to treat their dog as human. Loving him is good, but always remember that he is a dog, not a human.

When it comes to the matter of Jack Russells, if you treat them as human, they will begin to dominate over you and feel like a human. So treat your JRT as a family member, but always try to remember he is a dog and use rules and control on him.

Tips for training Jack Russell Terriers

As we all discussed the matter, Are Jack Russell Terriers hard to train, we know that training takes a significant place in adopting a JRT as a pet. As an owner of two JRTs, I have tried several training techniques to make my JRT a well-disciplined dog.

However, training ways and techniques may differ from dog to dog as well as according to the ability of the owner. Therefore, the training tips I’m sharing here are my experiences with the training of my Jack Russells, Shaggy, and Lenny.

They worked marvelously with my JRTs, and therefore worth you to try out with your Jacks too. And try to understand the nature of your dog and adapt these tips and techniques according to him.

1. Early training

Start the training process of your JRT from the very first day you adopt them. They need to be trained from the age of puppies, and if not, it is somewhat difficult to control them.

So, start the training as soon as possible and don’t waste time. If you need a loving pet, you need to start early and work hard to train him.

2. Socialization with others

Socialization is an essential part of the Jack Russell Terrier training. It would be best to socialize them with your family members, friends, neighbors, and other animals.

Most of the time, without proper training, they are aggressive at strangers. You, as his owner, need to introduce others to him and help to make friends.

Provide the chance to interact with other dogs. For example, my JRTs are friendly with other dogs of my friends, and they love playing with them.

3. Enough exercises

Jack Russell Terriers are dogs with excessive energy even though they are small in size. So, they need a chance to release their energy, and if not, they get stressed and act aggressively.

Regular exercises are a necessary part of training a JRT. You can use morning walks, running, cycling, swimming, and playing in the garden with him.

JRTs always need to stay active as they are very energetic. Therefore, exercise is necessary for the well-being of their physical as well as mental behaviors.

4. Set rules and boundaries

One of the main things you should follow in training a Jack Russell is the rules and boundaries. Make sure to set rules and control them. Don’t let your dog dominate you.

Make him understand what the things he should do and should not are. Use your ways of commanding him to feel that he is doing something wrong. You need to train your JRT to follow your rules and boundaries.

5. Praise and rewards

Praise and rewards are a better training method to work with Jack Russell Terriers. Punishments will strain the relationship between you and your dog. Instead, try out praising and giving rewards to your dog to encourage his positive behavior.

The dogs don’t know what the things they should follow are or not. With your rewards and praise, they begin to understand the way they should behave.

I used rubbing his head and providing a cookie when he acts positively, following my training rules.

6. Consistency

JRTs are smart dogs, and they can learn things quickly. But the matter is you should identify how to train them properly. Consistency is a key to this path.

You must follow consistency in training the behaviors you are willing to practice, rewarding good behavior, and practicing disciplines.

If you are consistent in your training, they will begin to follow your orders and change into the dog you need him to be.

7. Always pay attention and love

JRTs are constantly seeking the attention and love of their owners. Try to feel that you are always paying attention to them and they are secure.

And they need to feel your love and affection while they are eager to be loved. If you train them with love and caring, they’ll quickly begin to follow you. 

Conclusion – Are Jack Russells hard to train?

Throughout this text, I have observed the matter, “are Jack Russell Terriers hard to train?” and provided tips and guidance to train them. As a proud owner of two well-behaved Jack Russell Terriers, I think I have the right and knowledge to describe the matter.

I hereby shared my experiences with you on challenges and mistakes you may make in the training of a JRT. Then, I have stated tips you can follow in training your JRT, which were brilliantly worked with my pet.

So, try to explore new ways in addition to them, and Jack Russell Terriers are not hard to train if you identify the proper methods. It’s on your hands to mold your dog into a loving and better pet for your family.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about our four-legged friends.

Cheers from Shaggy and Lenny!


  • George Brown

    George B. is the founder of the JRO Organization. He believes in creating a better world for domestic animals. He believes domestic animals are more vulnerable than other animals, especially dogs, since they have been used to depending on their owners for generations. So, he started JRO to share his ideas and insights while helping vulnerable dogs worldwide. George runs multiple projects on street dogs in developing countries, especially Sri Lanka.

    [email protected]

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