POTTY TRAINING YOUR JACK RUSSELL TERRIER
So, you have your JRT puppy and it is a bundle of love and excitement. Cute, cuddly, and sweet. But do not forget that a puppy is also a large commitment. With a JRT more so than most. And one of the more difficult aspects of owning a JRT is the most dreaded...potty training.
When I potty trained the girls the first time around, I chose to go the positive reinforcement route. This worked really well for me, as they did train in no time. But in addition to the reinforcement, there were steps that needed to be followed on my side as well
The most crucial thing to keep in mind about potty training is consistency. JRT's, more so than other breeds require a regular routine. This is best started and established from day one. If you start from day one with getting up at 7am, and having your puppy out to walk at 705am, keep to that schedule all week, every day of the week. This will establish a time line for the puppy to understand that it will get to relieve itself at a certain time each morning.
If you work from home, or are a homemaker, then establish a time mid-way through the day so that the puppy will also understand that routine as well.
If you work out of the home, and are gone during the day, one of two ways to help with their potty training are puppy pads (if you chose to keep the puppy isolated in a specific area or room), or crate training. It is pretty much a given fact that a puppy will not soil where it sleeps, so a crate is a great technique for training as well.
In my second go around with the girls, I was working out of the home, so I went the crate training method. Although I was hesitant at first, this method proved to be faster, and more effective for them. The one thing I did not want to do was have them see the crate as a form of punishment. So the only time they are in the crate is when I am gone from the house, working, or at night when they sleep.
You should walk the puppy when you get up and then again right before leaving the house. You would then put the puppy in the crate, and leave for the day. Upon returning, you would immediately remove the puppy from the crate, and allow it to go outside. When the puppy is finished, and you have praised it for its good deeds, you may bring it back in and allow it to move about the house, interacting with the family.
It is essential that the puppy knows that when it does its business outside, and not inside, that it has done good. Praises such as sweet talking, hugging, and loving the puppy are great positive reinforcements. In the case of my girls, these positive reinforcements worked. Some JRT's require a little more incentive, and that is where using tiny nibbles of treats might work well. Either way, positive reinforcement will get you a better result than negative.