HOW TO TRAIN YOUR STUBBORN TERRIER
Whether it’s a Jack Russell or not, terriers are notoriously difficult. They are loyal companions and always up for an adventure, but when your terrier doesn’t want to do something, he will stick resist with every thing he has. Here’s how to get your dog to obey your commands, and like it.
Starting young is ideal, but older terriers still posses the energy and enthusiasm to learn commands. Figure out what motivates your dog. Food-motivated dogs tend to be easier to handle during training, but can become accustomed to the treats and stop responding when they are no longer being supplied. Dogs who are motivated by their owner’s attention may take a longer time learning tricks, but will remember and respond outside of training sessions just as well.
A combination of praise and treats are what good training is all about. When doing commands like sit, stay, lie down, etc., you’ll want to start by rewarding your dog with treats when the commands are new. Once you feel a command has been mastered, give your dog a treat less often. Reward him when he sits for a longer period of time or after he has rolled over a certain number of times. Make simple commands more fun by making the requirements for rewards more challenging.
It is imperative that your dog masters the commands Sit and Stay at a young age. These commands, along with Wait and Come, are the most important for outdoor safety. If anything should happen, you need to know that your dog will respond immediately to your voice.
A good example of when this would be most useful is if your dog manages to escape through the front door without a leash. If your dog responds immediately to commands, that could be the difference between life and death. You can prevent your dog from running into the road or approaching dangerous situations with only the sound of your voice.
To practice getting you dog’s attention immediately, regardless of his surroundings, call your dog’s name on walks. While he smells plants or interested in a bird overhead, call your dog’s name in the same tone you give commands. Make sure it is clear and sharp. As soon as your dog’s eyes meet yours, tell him “yes” and reward him generously for it.
You want your dog to always be excited to hear your voice. You want him to stop everything he is doing whenever you call. Try this indoors, too. Every ten to twenty minutes, while your dog is distracted, call their name with the same tone as a command. Coming when called is one of the most important tricks your dog can know, and can save your dog’s life.
Not all dogs are the same, and your dog won’t be the same every day. Just like us humans, dogs have emotional ups and downs. So it is important to make sure you understand how your dog is feeling and adjust your training accordingly.
When your dog just does not want to cooperate, take a five-minute break. The two of you could sit there for an hour staring at each other and nothing would get done.
Terriers have a lot of energy, so long training sessions can get boring and tedious. Make training sessions short and frequent to keep your dog interested. You’ll get more done with ten five minute sessions than with a full hour straight.
When your dog has too much energy, they have to do something to release it. If your dog is getting over stimulated by his environment and can’t seem to focus on the task as hand, take him for a walk. Take that energy outside and away from the area where you are trying to train. If you try to train while your dog is hyper, it will only cause both of you to become frustrated.
Lastly, if your dog loses interest in your training sessions, stop what you are doing and reevaluate. Are you doing the same thing over and over again each session? When was the last time you tried new tricks? Are your tricks challenging enough? Rework your training schedule frequently. Change up the times so that sessions are always a surprise for your dog. Do old tricks and new ones in new and interesting combinations.
Your terrier is highly intelligent. He will always be ready to learn something new. Make sure that you are patient and work his energy in the best possible way. Together, the two of you can create a bond and trust that will last you for your entire time together.