How To Get Your Jack Russell to Listen [The Easiest Approach] is reader-supported. If you buy a product through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

One of the most frustrating things you can deal with when you adopt a new Jack Russell Terrier is getting this dog breed to respond to you and to respond to training.

It takes patience and an owner willing to battle through some tough initial weeks to unlock the true potential of this dog breed.

While a Jack Russell Terrier can quickly become one of the best dogs you can adopt, it can also be highly challenging in the beginning after you first adopt your JRT.

I went through this personally when I adopted my Jack Russell Terrier 4 years ago.

It took me weeks, even months, to reach a point where my Jack Russell was behaving accordingly.

The rest of this brief discussion will be geared toward making sure you don’t deal with the same frustrations that I did.

We will cover how to get your Jack Russell Terrier to listen to you and how you can expedite the entire process to ultimately have the dog breed you desire that’s well behaved and obedient.

Let’s kick it off with some of the basics.

Jack Russells Can Be Difficult to Train Without Preparation

As mentioned, a moment ago, when we opened this discussion, it’s essential to understand that Jack Russells can sometimes be difficult to get into training mode.

Sometimes, as the owner, getting this dog to focus and listen to commands can be challenging.

A lot of this is due to the energy this dog has, and a lot of it comes down to owner error.

The rest of this discussion will cover the essential tips I would implement with your Jack Russell for the best results and to get this dog breed to listen to you and respond accordingly.

5 Keys to Effectively Communicating with a Jack Russell Terrier

Your training style, dog ownership experience, and overall patience will determine how well you ultimately do when training a Jack Russell Terrier.

It takes time, and it certainly takes patience and effort.

However, below, I have listed 5 essential tips for getting this dog breed to listen to you effectively.

None should be ignored, and all of them should be implemented regardless of your style.

If you do so, you are setting yourself up for great success.

Not to mention, a much shorter turnaround time with a new Jack Russell Terrier becoming a well-trained and well-behaved dog that will listen to your every command.

Let’s kick it off with number 1.

1.) Start The Training Process Early

Starting the process early is arguably the best tip I can give anyone adopting a Jack Russell Terrier.

If you want this dog to listen to you, you need to begin communicating with your dog right away.

Jack Russell Terrier puppy

Allow them to socialize, familiarize themselves with their surroundings, and begin a routine.

Begin a plan that can remain consistent and start working on basic training right away.

As a puppy, this won’t necessarily mean you begin with commands.

You will start focusing on potty training immediately and even crate training.

Crate training immediately will help with issues such as separation anxiety, while potty training is imperative for obvious reasons.

Get the process started early and remain as consistent as possible.

2.) Lean Heavily on Praise and Rewards

Jack Russells loves attention and praise. They love attention and praise perhaps more than anything else you can offer.

Don’t focus on scolding or getting angry when you fail to get your Jack Russell to listen to you.

Jack Russell Terrier Potty Training

Instead, start immediately with praise and rewards when they listen to you or do a behavior or action you desire.

Keep treats on hand and shower them with love when they do things correctly and as instructed.

This is an intelligent dog breed, and they quickly pick up on things like this.

Give praise and rewards to your Jack Russell and remain consistent with your efforts.

You will be shocked at how quickly they learn and begin listening to everything you instruct them to do.

3.) Be Unwavering with Consistency and Effort

This may seem obvious, but you would probably be surprised how many dog owners fail because of a lack of consistency.

Sometimes it’s a life schedule or work schedule that interferes, and sometimes it’s just a lack of effort.

With a Jack Russell Terrier, if you want them to respond to training and begin listening to commands every time, you need to be consistent with your efforts.

Be consistent with the praise and treats you provide.

Be consistent with the words and language you use for commands and even the words you choose to show praise.

The more consistent you are with a Jack Russell Terrier, the faster they learn and become incredibly trainable.

Woman playing outside with Jack Russell Terrier dog

4.) Make Sure Your Jack Russell Burns Off Energy

Jack Russells really struggle to listen when they haven’t had the opportunity to burn off energy.

They need to release some of the energy they have.

Provide exercise daily in some fashion.

Hold off on training sessions until after exercise has been completed or until you know your Jack Russell has used some of its pent-up energy.

Trust me, A Jack Russell that is a little tuckered out is much easier to get on the same page with when it comes to listening and training.

Jack Russell Terrier dog playing in the fall leaves

On the flip side, a Jack Russell that hasn’t done anything that day and is nothing except excited and hyper is extremely difficult to get on the same page with.

They will struggle to listen or take training commands seriously and effectively.

5.) Understand When the Right Time Is

This tip plays back into what I previously discussed when it comes to exercise.

However, it does apply to other scenarios as well.

You need to realize when it makes sense to train and work with your dog and when it doesn’t make sense.

Suppose your Jack Russell is already mentally occupied doing something, such as playing with another pet in the house.

In that case, they won’t be receptive to commands and won’t listen very well.

Pick your times to work on these days and times that are the most beneficial for you and your Jack Russell Terrier.

The Takeaway

It may seem daunting in the beginning to get a Jack Russell Terrier to listen to you and respect your commands.

Trust me, I’ve been there, but I can tell you that it does happen.

This dog becomes extraordinarily trainable and highly intelligent if you remain patient.

Keep your consistency and efforts consistent after the adoption, and you will be in great shape.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russell Terriers and the journey ahead of you.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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