How to Potty Train a Jack Russell Terrier

How to Potty Train a Jack Russell Terrier
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-4 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

Introduction

You’ve barely had a minute to stop and take a breath since you brought your Jack Russel Terrier home. He’s certainly lived up to their reputation for being energetic, fearless and intelligent. It’s fair to say he loves charging around the house and playing with you all. In fact, he loves it so much he doesn’t even want to leave to go to the toilet. Now you knew toilet training him was going to have to take place, but you didn’t realise quite how many accidents you would have to clean up in the meantime. 

Potty training your Jack Russel Terrier is essential. Firstly, you don’t want to have gingerly take your first few steps into the kitchen each morning in case you’re going to step in an accident. You also don’t want your young children or other pets coming into contact with any harmful bacteria.

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Defining Tasks

Fortunately, potty training your Jack Russel is relatively straightforward, it just takes persistence. The first thing you need to do is get him into a consistent routine. Once you have done that, you just need to reinforce training with incentives. Like most dogs, Jack Russel Terriers have a soft spot for anything they can eat. So food will play an important role in training.

If he’s a puppy he should be a fast learner and eager to please. As a result, you could see progress in just a few days to a week. However, if he’s older and had years of going to the toilet wherever he wants, then you may have your work cut out for you. It could be several weeks until training is complete. Get this training right, however, and you won’t have to worry about taking him to friends' and families' houses again.

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Getting Started

Before you can start training, you will need to collect a few bits. The first thing to do is find a close-by potty spot. You need to be able to get there easily throughout the day.

Then you will need to stock up on tasty treats or break his favorite food into small pieces. A clicker will also be required for one of the methods below.

Once you have all that, just bring patience and some antibacterial spray, then work can begin!

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The Routine Method

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1

Meal times

You need to feed him his meals at the same times each day. This will get his body clock into a regular routine. You can then predict when he is likely to need the toilet and take him out accordingly.

2

Keep his water topped up

It is also important you keep his water bowl topped up. Just like the step above, this will help get him into a regular routine of going for a pee. If he’s dehydrated his toilet habits will be unpredictable.

3

Morning toilet

As soon as he's up in the morning, head outside to the potty location with your Jack Russel. Then, once you have fed him his breakfast, secure him to a leash and take him out again. If he is always outside when he needs to go, he will naturally get into the habit of going to the toilet outside. If he knows he will get to go each morning, he will also find it easier to hold it at night.

4

Lunch time potty visit

When lunch time comes, secure him to a leash and take him back to the potty. If he knows he will get to go each lunch time, holding it in the morning will be much easier.

5

Evening potty time

Once he has had dinner, wait 15 to 20 minutes or so and then take him out to the toilet again. You may also want to take him out again before bed. In fact, if he’s a puppy he may need to go out at several other points throughout the day. The logic to this technique is straightforward, if he’s always at the potty when he needs to go, he will quickly get into a habit of only going there.

The Verbal Cue Method

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‘Potty time’

Take him out to the potty regularly each day. Wait until he’s just about to go or going and then give a ‘potty time’ command. Jack Russel Terriers can learn hundreds of different commands, so you can use any word or phrase you like. Give the instruction in a playful, upbeat tone.

2

Turn around

When he’s going about his business, try not to stare. This will only make him feel uncomfortable, so turn away and try to give him some privacy.

3

Reward

As soon as he’s finished his business, go over and give him a generous reward. You can give him treats, verbal praise and even play with a toy. The happier he feels, the more likely he is to repeat the behavior again.

4

Click

A clicker is a fantastic way to communicate with your Jack Russel Terrier. Simply click whenever he behaves correctly or performs a trick as you would like, then offer him a treat. Used correctly, this can speed up the learning process. So click and treat once he’s been to the potty.

5

Consistency

Now practice using your command every time you take him out to the potty. After a while, your instruction will be a trigger that automatically makes him need the toilet. You can then use it whenever you want to take him out or need him to go. Then once he’s fully got the hang of it, you can gradually phase out the treats.

The Attractive Potty Method

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Same spot

Make sure you take him to the same spot each day. If he’s been there before he will feel more relaxed and likely to go there again. Also, try and choose somewhere that is relatively close and not too busy.

2

Yesterday’s potty

If he seems nervous and unsure about going, wipe some of yesterday’s toilet visit down in your chosen potty spot. If he can smell he’s already been there, he’s much more likely to go there again.

3

Privacy

Make sure you look away and give him some privacy when he is going about his business. Jack Russell Terriers may seem confident, but just like humans they like having some privacy during such moments.

4

Reward

Make sure he always gets a generous reward when he’s gone to the toilet where you want him to. Do this consistently and he will begin to associate going to the potty outside with positive consequences. This is precisely the incentive he needs to make it habit.

5

Clean up accidents

It is important you clean up any accidents thoroughly. In fact, use antibacterial spray. If he can smell he’s used that spot as a toilet before he’s more likely to have another accident there again.

By James Barra

Published: 02/20/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Copper

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Jack Russell Terrier and Yorkie

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Four Months

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Question

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I lay potty pads down and keep him in one room at night. He first started learning to pee and poop on potty pads. I started taking him outside and he is learning to potty. It takes time and they are very trainable.

Aug. 23, 2022

Copper's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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Hello, So glad to hear that you are making progress with potty training! Did you have any specific question about potty training you were looking for help with? Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Aug. 24, 2022

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Veeru

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Jack Russell Terrier

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4 Months

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HI, WE HAVE BEEN HAVING TROUBLE POTTY TRAINING VEERU. HE HAS BEEN GREAT WITH GOING TO HIS SPOT WHEN HE HAS TO POOP. BUT WITH PEEING IT SEEMS LIKE WHENEVER HE IS EXCITED/ANGRY HE PEES ON THE SPOT; HOWEVER, HE ALSO DOES PEE WHEN WE TAKE HIM OUT BUT IT SEEMS LIKE HE PEES OUT OF EMOTION AND WE ARE STRUGGLING WITH TRAINING HIM

March 2, 2022

Veeru's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Submissive and excited peeing are both common with puppies. Often this improves with age, but there are some things you can do to minimize it until pup is older. The more you minimize how often it happens the better pup's chances for out growing it is. Submissive peeing: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-submissive-peeing Excited peeing: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-pee-when-excited https://wagwalking.com/condition/submissive-and-excitement-urination I would also take pup outside at least every 2 hours unless pup is crated while you are away, not waiting until pup is desperate to go potty. I would keep a drag leash on pup while you are home so you can calmly enforce obedience commands and rules without as much direct confrontation from touching and grabbing pup with your hands - which often triggers the peeing. Keep commands, praise, and even reprimands calm. Discipline should be calm, with follow through on expectations still but no shouting or physically harsh punishment. For example, if you tell pup to come and they don't, instead or yelling or spanking pup, keep a drag leash on pup, pick up the end of the leash, calmly lead pup over to where you originally called them from and command Sit, waiting until they do so - even if it takes 10 minutes, then releasing pup after they obey with "Okay" and dropping the end of the leash. Once pup walks away, call pup to you again and repeat reeling pup in if pup doesn't obey. Repeat this process until pup is coming willingly, then move on from that lesson for then. This is discipline that teaches pup that obedience isn't optional but it's calm and not scary. Praise should be genuine but not high pitched to help with excited peeing. Greetings should be calm or ignore pup for 5-10 minutes after you first get home to allow pup to calm down first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

March 2, 2022


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