The Jack Russell jumping behaviour is a manifestation of its affectionate, energetic and excitable nature, which the owner must understand. While it may appear charming to have the dog jumping up in greeting, the behaviour can be dangerous especially for small children and frail individuals. Besides, there is also the hassle of always commanding the dog to get off the expensive couch.
Additionally, jumping on people is also a sign of aggression that must be curbed as early as possible before harm comes to either the human or the dog or both. Since the jumping action can be transferred into jumping onto other dogs, a Jack Russell can often be in trouble particularly as the breed is known for being fearless. After all, it was bred to hunt and flush foxes!
Contrary to popular opinion, training a Jack Russell to stop jumping up on people and on furniture can be made easy. The secret is in knowing the right tricks and techniques for stopping the Jack Russell jumping behaviour.
Of course, we must emphasize that training the Jack Russell requires plenty of patience, positive reinforcement and perseverance. Keep in mind that a dog’s instinct is to jump in excitement or aggression, which means that it is up to the owner to exercise the right kind of control as the alpha dog of the pack. Clear, consistent and firm commands are the key to success when training a Jack Russell terrier, be it in jumping, barking or biting.
Ignore the Dog
The first rule in Jack Russell jumping training is to use positive reinforcement. As experienced dog owners know, it means ignoring the bad behaviour while praising the good actions. It must be noted that most bad behaviour is rooted in the canine’s need for attention from its owner. Now, if you will provide the attention even when bad behaviour is being exhibited, your Jack Russell pet will associate bad behaviour with the reward of being attended to, even if it means being punished.
Instead, we recommend ignoring your Jack Russell when it wants to jump up, do the canine equivalent of the tango, and lick any available space on the face. An effective way to do so is to turn your back to the dog on the first instance of its jumping behaviour, ignore it and then walk away. There should be no eye contact, no touching on any part and no words spoken.
You may also prevent the Jack Russell jumping behaviour by moving down to its eye level. Kneel down, seek eye contact with the dog and say reassuring words. But remember to still be higher than the dog so as to still establish you’re alpha dog position.
Variation in Rewards
When your Jack Russell does not jump up on furniture and on people, modest praises must be provided. Remember the principle of positive reinforcement at any point of the training – reward for good, ignore for bad.
The emphasis is on modest rewards as you don’t want the Jack Russell to associate good behaviour with profuse rewards and then expect it always either. Your pet can become overexcited with the possibility of the reward coming its way and, thus, revert to its jumping behaviour.
Instead, when good results are gained during the Jack Russell jumping training, simple rewards like a pat on the head coupled with words like “Good boy” are sufficient for the purpose. The dog treats should still be given as just that – special treats, not constant rewards for good behaviour.
Issue the Appropriate Command
Of course, the appropriate commands must also be issued by the alpha dog in the pack – you. Don’t get frustrated when your Jack Russell cannot follow the commands at first simply because it is normal. When you give these commands in a consistent manner, your pet will be more than ready to follow them.
- The “Sit” command is used when the dog jumps up, which is then followed by the appropriate praise when it is obeyed.
- The “Off” command is stronger than the “sit” order, thus, its application when the Jack Russell continues to jump up on people. Basically, you kneel down, say “off” when the dog starts to jump up on you and then reward when the command is followed and ignore when disobeyed.
Ultimately, your efforts in Jack Russell jumping training will bear fruit. The small children and frail adults in the house can be protected from such an affectionate-slash-aggressive behaviour and your pet will be happier, too.