10 Easy steps to toilet training a Jack Russell puppy

Toilet training a Jack Russell pup can be hard work. It won’t happen overnight, but if you stay consistent and use the right techniques, Jack Russell toilet training can be a breeze. These dogs are smart, and work things out pretty quick when given the right incentives.

This post may contain affiliate links: Read more here.

Read these Jack Russell puppy toilet training tips to get on the right track from the start.

How to toilet train a Jack Russell puppy

House training a Jack Russell puppy comes down to three main things. Consistency, supervision, and above all else, patience.

Puppies don’t just magically know where they should go or what they should do. They’re just babies and we need to teach them absolutely everything. The more time you can spend with your pup at this stage the better.

Rinse and repeat

They need a consistent approach to toilet training, so everyone in the house should be on the same page, and repeat again and again.

Watch for the signs

Jack Russell house training also requires close supervision. When you notice they are about to go inside, use a loud noise like a clap to distract them (called a “disrupter”).

Then pop them outside and say your marker word eg. “wee, wee”. And treat, treat, treat when they go outdoors.

And breathe!

Patience is key. Never get angry or shout at your pup for relieving themselves. It will only confuse them and damage your relationship in these vital early stages.

Of course it can be frustrating sometimes, but the last thing you want is to have a scared pup that is hiding behaviours from you (like peeing under the sofa)!

How to toilet rain a Jack Russell puppy

10 Steps to toilet training a Jack Russell

  1. Set up a splash zone, a contained area (with hard flooring if possible) where it doesn’t matter if your puppy goes to the toilet.
  2. Use training pads to encourage your puppy to go in the same spot in the house, reward when they do.
  3. Clean up any accidents with an enzyme cleaner, to avoid any confusion and repeated mistakes.
  4. Learn the signs to look for, including whining, circling, sniffing, barking, or any sudden behaviour change.
  5. Start taking them outside when they wake up, after they eat/ drink and anytime you think they need to go to the toilet.
  6. Reward using a unique treat. When they go to the toilet outside praise
    and give them a special treat they don’t usually have.
  7. Never shout or tell them off for going inside. This will just encourage them to hide the behaviour, and wind you up too!
  8. Once they get the hang of it, make a loud noise like a clap
    to interrupt any inside toilet attempts. Then take them outside and encourage them to go for a “wee wee”.
  9. Pick a certain area outside and let it get stinky, take them to it each time so they know why they’re outside – puppies are easily distracted!
  10. The next step is getting them to toilet out on walks. Yes, they will need to learn this too. Remember lots of praise straight away and a treat never hurts!

Best puppy potty training spray UK

Make sure to thoroughly clean up any accidents inside to avoid the smell lingering, as it may encourage more frequent toileting. A puppies sense of smell is a lot better than ours.

Get an enzymatic cleaning spray that breaks down the smell at the source rather than just masking it with perfumes.

Simple Solution Stain & Odour Remover is the leading brand in the UK, it works by creating Pro-Bacteria producing enzymes that prevent any scent remaining.

For a more natural DIY method, you can also use a solution of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle to counteract the smell of ammonia. Baking soda will also get up any excess liquid, but make sure your pup is secured away from this area.

House training a Jack Russell terrier common issues

Sometimes when we rush to clean up a mess with a spray and cloth, or a mop, it can seem like a fun game! It may actually lead to more accidents, as it could result in more playtime (in a JR’s brain anyway).

If you can, ignore the mistake, take them outside then clean up the mess. Many sprays will need to fully dry before it’s safe for your puppy to walk on again anyway.

House training Jack Russell terriers can take time. Some pups will nail it in a couple of weeks, but most have accidents now and then. It’s important to stick to your methods, and all will be well in the end.

How to house train a Jack Russell puppy – Top Tips

  • Be proactive, watch for signs and take them outside regularly.
  • Reward good behaviour with special treats they only get when they wee outside.
  • Set up “splash zones” to reduce damage inside and leave scent on outdoor toilet zones.
  • Interrupt any inside toileting and clean up thoroughly.
  • Stay calm and consistent.

How to house train a Jack Russell not to wee in a crate

Puppies naturally won’t want to soil their bedding. It’s embedded in most animals not to toilet where they eat or sleep. If you’re pup is wetting in the crate, it may be because they are not being let out enough.

Set an alarm at night time (around 2am, then again at 5am) to let them outside for the toilet. In a few weeks their bladders will be a lot bigger and able to hold on for longer, but for now they will need regular toilet breaks.

They will usually let you know if they need to go out in the night. If you have to leave them in the day they will need checking in on more regularly as they will be eating and drinking more. It’s best not to leave them alone for more than an hour or two. Read our full guide on crate training a Jack Russell.

Jack Russell terrier house training facts to remember

Young puppies may need to go every 20 minutes or so, so take them outside regularly especially after drinking. Also take them out right after meals as their digestive system is fast acting!

Signs that they need to go to the toilet include whining, circling, sniffing, barking, or any sudden behaviour change. When you see any of these signs, take them outside.

Use this guide to toilet training a Jack Russell puppy and they’ll be a pro in no time. Make sure to head to our puppy pages for more helpful tips and advice.


Get our eBook
How to train a Jack Russell puppy eBook
Check it out here



Leave a comment