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Jack Russells/indoor and outdoor house training


Hi Carol,

We brought home our 11 week old jack russell puppy 4 days ago and I'm a little confused with the house training process as we live in an apartment and so can't get him outside quickly after an accident or during the night.

I would prefer to teach him to go outside and have been trying to do so but am having a few issues. For starters,  when he has an accident I can't scoop him up and run him to where I want him to go outside because by the time I get the leash on and get outside 5 minutes have gone by and he has no idea what we're outside for. I do take him outside regularly to preempt any accidents but this has proven more miss than hit.

I have also put papers down in the laundry room which is where I take him at night when he fusses in the crate but he doesn't go in there during the day if he has to go, he just pees or poops wherever.

My main question is whether or not it's possible/wise to try to teach him to go both outdoors when we take him and indoors for the nighttime/when taking him outside doesn't synch up with him needing to go? Will this confuse him? Is it even possible to train him to go outdoors if I can't rush him there when he has an accident? Should I just stick to indoor paper training?

If sticking to indoors is best, we come to the second part of my question which is whether or not I can paper train without crating during the day? He HATES being locked in his crate and will only just about tolerate it at night.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Hi Hannah -  

On the market now is a product called PUP-HEAD pottys for dogs.  It is basically a "grass" pad that can be used inside and very easily cleaned.  It has a specific scent (not smelly to humans) that attracts dogs to use it to eliminate on.   I would definitely continue to use both training methods, take him outside as much as possible to teach him to go OUT, (hang a bell on your doorknob and ring it every time you take him out to pee/poop) Teach him to ring it with his nose)  When he has to go out he will (eventually/hopefully) ring that bell to let you know he has to go out.  If he HAS to be inside, train him to go on the PUP-HEAD pad.
If he has an accident, scoop him up and put him on the grassy pad -  reinforcing that is where he is to go when inside.  
You can house train him outside of the crate during the day, but I would suggest baby gates in an area with the PUP-HEAD grass.  He hates the crate because he really shouldn't be locked inside there all day - they get bored and scared.  
I hope this helps!!!  
Here is a link to the PUP-HEAD grass so you can see what it looks like.  BEST OF LUCK!!
They make all different sizes you can choose from.  

Jack Russells

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Carol F


Questions on "Jack" Russell Terriers pertaining to their health, well being, general questions on breed, types, size, shape, health, personalities, behavior problems, genetics, so called standard, what to look for when purchasing, and if you would be a good match with this wonderful and unique dog. Too many times, people buy jack puppies because they are absolutely adorable, and then a few months down the road they own this dog that they know nothing about and haven't prepared or trained for. I love the breed and everything about them and hope to provide some help, education and advice to current and prospective owners. I am a veterinary technician, dog trainer and breeder of Jack Russells.


I own four Jack Russells and I have been working with dogs for 30 years. My personal interest is in helping educate people about the very special qualities of this breed. I advocate education and research of the breed before you buy one, they are wonderful pets if suited with the right person/family. Do your homework first! I can help you determine if you are a good match with this breed. I want people to know also that there are two types of Jack Russells, the Parson hunter with long legs and the Shortie or Russell Terrier and their very distinct differences. I also hope to allay fears about their CRAZY reputations - which is not always the case. ~*~*~*IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ*~*~*~ PLEASE NOTE: I DO NOT ENDORSE THE SALE OF ANY JACK RUSSELLS OR JACK RUSSELL PUPPIES THAT MAY BE ADVERTISED ON THIS PAGE. BEWARE OF PUPPY MILLS OR OTHER PLACES THAT SELL MANY DIFFERENT DOGS OVER THE INTERNET. ALSO I DO NOT ENDORSE ANY VIDEOS OR TRAINING TAPES THAT ARE ADVERTISED ON THIS PAGE. I WILL BE HAPPY TO HELP YOU PICK OUT A REPUTABLE TRAINER/VIDEO SERIES OR EVEN PUPPIES IF PRIVATELY ASKED. I DO NOT ENDORSE ANY SALES ADVERTISEMENTS ON THIS PAGE.

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Veterinary Technician - Newbury College 1982 - 1985

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