How do I train my Jack Russell to walk on the lead properly?

| November 19, 2013 | 9 Comments

Question by Joe S: How do I train my Jack Russell to walk on the lead properly?
I have a Jack Russell Terrier who is now two years old. He is very excitable but generally behaves himself! It took us a good year to get him toilet trained and although he will sit, lie, roll over etc when we give him treats, he is otherwise not in the least bit interested.

There is no way we can let him off the lead as he just bolts for it, but when it comes to taking him for a walk on the lead, he can really act up. He will tend to get very excitable, jump up and down, try and grab the lead in his mouth to pull us along (I know this is a gesture of dominence but no amount of chastising seems to make any difference!) and will pull so hard he literally chokes himself (coughing and wheezing because of the collar pulling him) but he just continues to pull. Recently we bought him a harness to use but it hasn’t made a massive amount of difference.


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Answer by Ashley J
talk to the dog whisper

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  1. ME569 says:

    That is just normal for a Jack Russel, they are just all around excitable dogs. I have one also and i have had him for 3 years and i have the same problem, he probably just see’s something that he is just interested in and he will not stop pulling until he gets to it.

  2. lovingclementine says:

    Try walking him with a Gentle Leader dog harness. It attaches to the dogs head and gentle guides him in the right direction. If he resists or pulls he wont be able to walk – the harness will point his snout to the ground. It works on the strongest and most massive dogs – so it’s sure to work on yours.
    Good Luck!

  3. RT(R) says:

    its not the harness, its your attitude when you walk. before you even take him outside, make sure he is calm before you open the door. wait him out. and doing commands will not change his behavior. and a harness is the least helpful tool you can use when trying to get your dog to behave. this give hiim more center of gravity and more power and its harder to control him with a harness. you need a regular collar, one that tightens when he pulls.
    ok..when you walk him dont pay hiim much attention. just keep walking. you need to correct him before he gets too excited or fixated. soon as you see him or feel him do this, a quick tug on the leash an a ‘ah’ will do. but its mostly about your attitude. if you get frustrated, he’ll get more excited. you need to be calm at all times, and assertive. ya just like the dog whisperer. he helped me with my dogs. and they walk perfectly on leads now. watch his show and read his book. it’ll help.

  4. cbella06 says:

    I have a jack russel and I used the harness it will make a huge difference! These dogs as you stated are very excited! My dog bolts too! What I did when I was unable to control the leash because she shows dominance over me by going where ever she wants and pulling so I put out a stake in the yard and attached a 30ft chain and it attaches to her collar so she can go out in the yard because it isn’t fenced and she can go wherever she wants to and I don’t really have to physically walk her or watch her if I’m in the middle of something! That is what worked for me because even with the 30ft chain she still bolts and has fun! If you are more into walking with the dog than the harness is the only way really to solve the problem because jack russels are like jack rabbits they are just soooo Hyper and the harness will help! Good Luck

  5. heysanj75 says:

    Good question. Harnesses actually can make them pull harder. They are great for little dogs like yorkies or poms, But as for your big bundle of energy I would suggest a Halti. This amazing Headpiece works kinda like a horses harness. Goes around his muzzle and wraps up behind his ears. The leash attaches to a ring underneath his chin. So if he tries to pull, his head will turn to the side which means his body has to follow. His pulling will stop the second you put this on. People might say ” Oh hes got a muzzle on” Dont worry, He can still eat, drink, bark, and bite with this on.
    Go to your nearest PetSmart and see if the trainer is available to help you fit one for your baby. If not, There will be an associate who can help you. You will be amazed at this. Hes not gonna be very fond of it at first, but they do get used to it. Do not allow him to scrape at it with his paws. When he does this, just gently lift the leash up and use a harsh EH EH!!! Good luck.
    Sandra S. Boise Dog trainer

  6. Snowhiker says:

    I have a 12 week old Lab puppy and we are trying to leash train her. We bought a harness and that is better than a collar. I know what you mean about the chocking!! There is a head collar but I don’t like it!

    I have been told to put the leash on my puppy and walk around the house with her. You might try that! Then after walking around the house for a few mins. then try to go out side. I have had dogs as soon as they see the leash they start to jump and becomes more excited.

    I have been told to take one of the dog’s toys she likes and walk with the toy in front of her so she can see it. Let her have the toy ever so often to give him encouragement.

    I have been told to walk with a treat in front of her while we walk. Give him one ever so often.

    My puppy does better with the treats.

    I have been told a dog has to be at least 8 months old to walk well on a leash.

    If you are just now trying to walk the dog on a leash at this age he has learned a lot of bad habits that need to be fixed.

    I have been told if we keep trying and have lots of patience
    the dog will learn.

    Good Luck!!!

  7. WRF says:

    You have a typical JR! they don’t start to calm down any until they are around 3 years old.They are wonderful dogs and good friends. They are always hunting something, running everywhere or wanting to play! All JR’s that we have had seem to be choking themselves on the leash. We went to harness as well. He will eventually get a bit better, patience is the best advise for a Jack Russell owner. Enjoy him.

  8. Camo man says:

    Im training my poodle to do the same, but your dog is too old (if you mean human years) and is very difficult to teach an old dog, the age at which they learn better is at 6 months.
    But try buying a punish lead, it doesnt hurt them, will be the same that the normal lead, instead that the dog will understand what to do.
    Or, if you dont want this lead, continue with the harness, but show your dog some biscuits at the time that you are walking, and at least each two corners hive your dog biscuit.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!

  9. TONIA S says:

    good luck I have been trying for 10 years and my jrt still takes me for a walk, and pretty much chokes himself the whole time

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