Seven Steps To Crate Training A Jack Russell Puppy to Save Your Sanity

We’ve heard all the horror stories about Jack Russell Terriers. They are stubborn, they have an abundance of energy, they jump, they dig, they chew, they can dominate cats, other dogs and your entire house. All of the above is entirely true……however, if you own one, you already know they can make the greatest most loving, playful, loyal canine companion. Jacks love to be with you, with the family in fact there will be times you’ll wonder if they don’t think they are human. Just like little humans, Jack’s need to be potty trained. Picking up random dog turds around the house from a pooch that isn’t fully potty trained is annoying and pretty disgusting and picking up pieces of your new couch isn’t fun either. In fact, Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer) cites that proper training is the number 1 reason why people get rid of their dog. There are a ton of ways to housebreak your new JRT pup but here are the 7 steps to do it gently and affectively.

Here is Where You Start and You Won’t Believe It…

Before we list the 7 steps we should clear up some misinformation about crates in general. Just like other breeds Jack Russell Terriers love to feel safe and there is no cruelty in crate training your dog. The crate becomes a safe little haven for your pup to unwind.


1.  Pick The Right Crate

Picking the right size crate is essential if you’re potty training your pup. If the crate is too large your dog can pick a potty spot and a sleeping spot. Buy it big enough to move around but small enough that it would be uncomfortable to stand or sleep where they go to the bathroom. 

2.  The Crate Has To Be Special

There cannot be any negative associations with your Jack’s crate. Place special chew toys, a favorite blanket or anything that brings comfort. You can even place a couple treats in the crate.

3.  Keep Crate Close To The Action

Your Jack wants to be with you 24/7. When you start the process keep the crate close to lessen the anxiety of being somewhere you’re not.

4.  Keep The Crate Open

We realize that the urge to close the crate’s gate is strong, especially after a with these little lumps of fire. Resist the temptation to close the crate at least for the first few weeks. Let your dog establish the crate as his or her base of operations. 

5.  Close The Crate And Reward

After several weeks begin to close the crate but reward your dog when you do. This disassociates the action as negative. You aren’t allowing the dog to enter the crate and slamming the gate closed and saying “Gotcha!”

6.  Keep The Crate Closed For Longer Periods of Time

This step is flexible. Increase the time your dog stays in the crate with the gate closed. If he or she expresses anxiety you can shorten until the desired results are achieved. 

7.  Move The Crate

Once all of the above milestones are completed you can move the crate to it's final location.  Make sure you check on your dog often to make sure everything is OK so they know you're watching.


The following are some things you want to avoid while crate training your Jack Russell Terrier:

  • Do not use the crate to punish

  • Don’t allow your kids to climb inside the crate. This is your dogs space and they know if someone else has been there.

  • Exercise your Jack before crate time. This will allow them to work out the zoomies. If you’ve been on our Facebook page you know what they are.

  • Don’t overuse the crate. This isn’t a default. No dog is meant to be crated all day.

Jack’s are one of best and most rewarding breeds to own. We hope the following guide helps you along your journey. Please enjoy the pictures of some of our cutest family members.