How Dog Obedience Training Backfired

How Dog Obedience Training Backfired

Dog Obedience Jack Russel Terrier

Molly, my Jack Russell Terrier, is going on 11 years of age. She has me trained quite well. I’ve decided lately, that I’m the one who needed obedience training, not her. Well, truthfully, I never did take Molly to obedience school, I guess because I thought myself quite able to train her. Or so I thought!


When Molly was a pup, house training her went fairly smoothly. But she acquired a nasty disposition when approached while sleeping or resting comfortably. Molly snarled, giving warning not to bother her. After nearly 11 years of trying to obedience train that out of her, I have given up. Now I find it humorous.

Another of Molly’s bad attributes is cat-hating. She literally hates cats, and if one comes near her fenced-in yard, it had better be a fast runner and a great climber. Besides barking at cats, Molly also barks at dogs, people, bicycles, skateboards, and vacuum cleaners. It’s difficult to vacuum the carpet when Molly is in the room, because she attacks the vacuum. She bits any piece of the vacuum that lets her sink her teeth into it. So that’s why I don’t vacuum as often as I should, or at least that’s my best excuse. You can also always use an electric dog fence. It can help contain your dog in your yard, if you got a big one and do not want to put up fencing all around. Read reviews from UpDogFence on electric fence for dogs.

But there is one behavior of Molly’s that I was successful in training. She used to deliberately ignore me when I called her to come inside the house. She ignored me any time she didn’t want to obey. That meant I used to have to go outside and use every tactic to coax her inside or to get her to obey me. She simply wouldn’t obey for praise, and getting upset with her failed to work either. Then I found the perfect technique.

The obedience technique that worked then and continues to work is to offer a jerky treat. I stand at the door and shake the jerky treat box. That’s all it takes and she comes running. Over the years, the jerky boxes have changed size and shape, the insides have changed ingredients, but the theory remains the same. Shake the box and Molly comes.

Now this sounds good in theory, but it has backfired. Molly now expects a jerky treat every time she comes inside, even if all she has done is follow me to the patio or the garage and back inside again. She even sits beside the jerky box when she is hungry, preferring its treats to her bowl of dog food. And she whines and sighs as she sits there waiting, imploring me to give her treats. Yes, I’ve created a jerky-treat monster. Thankfully, I’ve discovered cheap cereal works as well as the expensive jerky-treats to appease her majesty.

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