Some dogs seem to be perfectly trained and obedient from birth. A Jack Russell is a smart attractive dog, but it does need to be properly trained. Jacques knew that, so he got to work at once, while his dog was still a puppy. We chat about it during a walk in the woods.
Jacques knew that his Jack is a hunting dog by nature, and so he likes to dominate. If you give a Jack Russell his head, he’ll search out your boundaries without you noticing, and then he’ll cross them. “So how did I train him? Partly by giving him more clear direction. For instance, I eat first, so that he knows that I’m higher up the hierarchy. I don’t give him a reward because he looks cute, but because he’s doing what I ask. And that means I reward good behaviour; I don’t punish bad behaviour.
Through this approach, Jack in fact became a very obedient dog. “He listens so well that early on my neighbour asked me if Jack and I wanted to go to dog training classes. That was all of five years ago. Since then Jack has earned lots of treats for lots of good behaviour,” laughs Jacques. “But not too many, of course, so he stays in top form.”