Good question. How to house train a Jack Russell puppy is one of the most daunting tasks you will face as a dog owner. However, because Jack Russells are so intelligent, house training a Jack Russell puppy can be accomplished quickly and easily if a few basic guidelines are followed.
Puppies 8-10 weeks old
Depending on the age of your puppy, you may be waiting too long. If your puppy is too small, physically, he may not be able to contain his intestines. Most dogs arrive in their new homes between 8 and 10 weeks of age. At this stage, they cannot hold the bladder overnight and must be removed every few hours.
If your JRT is less than 6 months old, be prepared for less than perfect compliance with in-home training and you will sometimes have accidents. Be patient and be positive.
First and foremost, if you really want to learn how to house train a Jack Russell puppy, you must be willing to take at least 2 weeks off. Why? Because you will have to watch your puppy very carefully so that you can sense when he has to urinate and then intercede.
Designate your own space
Designate a space just for your JRT. Make it a space where the floor is easy to clean. This will be your play and rest area. It should be an area that can be closed easily and small enough to be manageable.
This will be your terrier’s “room” until house training begins and the cage is presented. Get her a blanket, preferably one with her scent, a bowl of water, and some toys, and store it in her new “room.”
Don’t let your home roam free
If you are serious about house training a Jack Russell puppy and want quick results, your Jack Russell cannot have free access to the house until he is fully trained.
I know it sounds cruel, but there is good reason for this kind of rigid restriction at first. If you give your dog the reins of the house, he will pee all over the place. You will not have the opportunity to intercept it and take it to the appropriate place that you want it to eliminate, which is outside.
When you learn to house train a Jack Russell puppy, you will be asked to do many things that at first seem cruel to your dog. But you have to trust the process and do what they ask of you if you want results.
Keep your eyes on him every minute
Your job is to keep an eye on your cub like a hawk. If you have to wash dishes, tie him up with a leash, this way he can only go so far and you can still catch him in the act if he starts using the bathroom.
During Jack Russell house training, it’s important that you catch your dog in the act, pick him up, and take him outside to associate grass, dirt, and concrete with going to the bathroom.
Be prepared for lots of trips to the bathroom
If you can’t stay home with your puppy for two weeks, find someone who can. The more you can catch your dog in the act and pick him up and carry him outside when he has to urinate or defecate, the faster he will train in the house.
Buy a box
I know you think it’s cruel to put a dog in a cage. But really, dogs love the idea of having a burrow. They like to snuggle in corners and hide. It comforts them. For them, a box is like their own home.
The purpose of the box
The purpose of the crate is to teach your dog that it is his safe haven and that he should not get dirty in it. So how does this help with training at home?
Dogs hate sleeping where they poop.
So when your dog is in his crate at night and he starts whining, it’s a sign that he needs to go to the bathroom. Immediately take him to the backyard and let him do his business. Then praise him, even if it’s 2:00 am!
By the way, if you are in the house but you cannot take care of your puppy, you can put it in the cage. But just leave it there 2-3 hours. Then take him out to go to the bathroom.
What box size should you get?
Your crate should not be so large that your puppy has a lot of room to move. If that happens, he will just go to the extreme and use it as his bathroom. We want to avoid that. Get a box that is large enough for it to stretch and stand.
Don’t leave him in his cage overnight without being able to relieve himself! Remember, if you are less than 6 months old, you have not yet developed strong bladder muscles.
When should I go to the bathroom?
There are three times when one more puppy needs to relieve himself:
1. When you first wake up
2. After eating.
3. After a vigorous game
If you pay close attention to your puppy, you will sense when he has to go to the bathroom and you will start to take it before he shows symptoms.
Your Jack Russell will also need to go to the bathroom just before bed and a couple of times during the night.
Remember, your puppy is still learning and doing the best he can. When he has accidents, and he will, don’t yell at him, rub his nose (that doesn’t work), or hit him. You will only scare him. Congratulate him on the great job he does when he goes to the bathroom in the right place!