Jug Dog Training

Interested in dog training? Jugs are very intelligent dogs which makes them relatively easy to train – this not to say the Jug will pick things up automatically and you will need to put as much effort to train the dog as the dog needs to put in to learn.

We believe there are four different kinds of training – obedience, behaviour, housebreaking and tricks. This page will break down these four sections and give handy tips on how to help your Jug master them all.

Before starting the article or training your Jug remember it takes time and effort to train your dog and the key is consistency! Keep at it and you’ll be amazed at what your Jug can do! If you’re getting or have a Jug pup it is strongly advised to begin training immediately as it is at this age they are a sponge for learning all about the world and what their owners expect of them.

Setting Boundaries

One of the most important things to teach your Jug is to make it clear where and what the boundaries are – this does not just mean the area of the house but also what behaviour is acceptable and what isn’t. Decide well in advance by yourself or with whoever will help care for the Jug what the boundaries will be – remember it’s up to you what the boundaries will be and to enforce them; if your Jug gets into bad habits and left to do it for a long enough time it will get much harder to suddenly impose boundaries upon it. Please bear this in mind.

Some boundaries to consider –

  • Will you want the Jug to be able to access all of the rooms in the house?
  • Do you want the Jug on the furniture?
  • Will your Jug be housebroken or learn to eliminate on puppy pads or an area in a crate?
  • Do you want your Jug to jump up at you or other people?
  • Do you want your Jug to eat scraps off the table? (Warning, I would advise against this)

Think about some of these and others you may think of and decide what is OK and what isn’t.


Obedience sounds like a harsh word or a word you’d use to describe a slave but in terms of your dog obedience improves their quality of life and keeps them safe from harm. Obedience training should serve as the base for all other training – if your dog doesn’t listen to you how can you expect him or her to behave, not wee or pee inside or perform tricks?

Saying “No!”

To teach our Jug what his boundaries are we used the ‘No!’ command and used time outs. This is also very important if you are to ever have off the lead dog walks.

How To: If your Jug is doing something you don’t want it to do, then as they are doing it say in a assertive voice “No!”- make sure to not shout angrily and scare the Jug; that’s not what we want to do. What we want is for the Jug to recognise the ‘No’ sound as something they shouldn’t do.

However, what you may find is saying ‘No’ again and again and the Jug carries on regardless – this is why we also use a three strike time out system. Find a place in your house which is away from everything but also safe. Leave the Jug in the timeout zone after three ‘No’s for 20-30 seconds and then let him or her out and ignore the dog. If he does it again lower it to two strikes, then one, and you’ll find the Jug associates that action with being taken away from the fun and they’ll soon stop doing it.

Don’t use your Jugs name before or after a “No!” – you don’t want the Jug to associate its name with bad behaviour as it may not want to respond when his name’s called.

If you don’t want to use “No” or timeouts there are products available to help including the pet corrector and the dog whistle. Further information can be found in the Jugs Book.

Responding To Name

Where do you start with training? We always start by getting the dog familiar with its name.

How To: Make sure to have some treats at the ready and when your Jug isn’t giving you attention or looking away call out its name, if they respond and come to you heap a LOT of praise and give him or her a treat!

If there’s two things in life Jugs love it’s treats and praise. By giving them both when they do something brilliant they will learn that its a good way for treats and praise and they will do it again and again for you!


Jeff sitting.

No surprises here but sit is the next natural step for a dog to learn. Sit as a command is not only useful to help with obedience but it can also make the dog a lot safer when in areas with dangers such as the side of the road. In time, your dog will learn to sit on command and even know to sit without being asked to do so in a certain situation.

How To: This can be tricky when they are a puppy and even as an adult. The first step is to wait until they naturally sit down (which they will at some point…be patient!) and then heap lots of praise and a treat while saying “Sit” – it sounds confusing but eventually they will associate the word sit with the act of sitting and of course the praise and treats! Your Jug should eventually sit on command and you should continue to treat and heap praise until it is completely mastered.

Keep your Jug sharp by doing random sit spot checks when and where they least expect it! This helps stop you and your Jug from getting complacent and keeps your Jug’s awareness up!


The stay command is one that goes perfectly once they know how to sit, this obedience command is also important to learn when in the outside world such as the park. The essence of stay is that they will sit still while you are able to move away from them. This can be quite a tricky one for a Jug as they can be a shadow and follow you around naturally which ironically makes it an even more important command to learn.

Jeff ‘staying’

How To: In our experience this one should be in stages of steps away and used alongside the ‘wait’ command. Get your Jug to sit using a treat then say out loud ‘stay’ take a step backwards, pause, and if your Jug has stayed in place call his name and heap praise alongside giving him or her a treat. If your Jug doesn’t stay where they are then do not praise or give a treat and simply start again. Increase the amount of steps away to get him or her better at stay – eventually you’ll be able to leave the room and your Jug will wait for your command!


Wait is a very similar obedience command to stay. Wait helps your Jug become patient which can come in handy in a number of potential situations – we find th

at wait is constant reminder to the Jug that we are in control and he needs to listen to our command if he is going to have treats, toys (see here for our list of dog toys for heavy chewers) or food.

How To: Get your Jug to sit and show him or her the treat without giving it to him or her. Then slowly place the treat on the floor at a distance that you can reach it faster than the Jug if he or she goes for it straight away all while saying ‘Wait!’ out loud. If your Jug jumps for the treat then take it away quickly and say ‘No!’. Repeat until the Jug is able to wait a couple of seconds and then come up with a phrase that signals it’s ok for the Jug to have the treat – ours is ‘Good Boy’ but you can use anything really.

Always remind the Jug who’s boss and use the wait command every time it’s dinner time, every time he or she gets a new toy and every time you need to wait for passing cars to cross a road. It’s a useful reminder for the Jug that patience can get rewards.

Crate Training

Are you looking for advice on starting to crate train your Jug? Are you in the middle of crate training and it doesn’t feel like it’s working? If you are asking yourself this question then you’re in the right place, we can share our successful experience of crate training our Jug, what we needed to do it and how we managed to get over some of the obstacles that we faced. As a quick note we recommend Ellie Bo dog crates for your jug, you can see our range here.

Note - Crate Training May Not Be For Everyone
Please take the time to assess your Jug and lifestyle situations to see if Crate training is the best solution for your problem of where the Jug will be when you’re away and for how long you’ll be away. There are many other training methods out there and crate training is just one of them.

What Is Crate Training?

As taken from the Humane Society – “Crate training uses a dog’s natural instincts as a den animal. A wild dog’s den is his home, a place to sleep, hide from danger, and raise a family. The crate becomes your dog’s den, an ideal spot to snooze or take refuge during a thunderstorm.”

Crate training is an effective way to keep your Jug dog secure when travelling, help with housebreaking and to give your Jug somewhere that is their own to sleep when you’re not around. A crate is NOT a tool to use for punishment or should be a tool that should be used too much or when unnecessary.

Essentially, crate training is the act of teaching your Jug that there is a place for them to go to if they need some alone time and it’s also a place for them to sleep in and feel safe when the owners have gone away. Crate training takes time and patience but it is very rewarding when it works and it’s great piece of mind for owners to know for sure that their Jug is safe and sound when you’re not around.

How To Begin Crate Training

Getting The Equipment Together


The first step is get the right crate for your Jug, generally people start crate training their puppies as soon as they’re home. We would recommend a small crate just big enough for the Jug to turn around comfortable and no more – if the crate is too big the Jug pup will eliminate inside the crate which is not only an awful scenario to be in but also damaging to housebreaking.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to have to get a bigger crate when the pup gets older you can get a full size crate now with a crate divider and simply move the crate divider from time to time (we did this and it saved on a lot of money).

Blankets or a Bed

You need to make it comfortable inside the crate for your Jug, you can put in a full fat dog bed in there or you can choose blankets. We’ve gone for blankets as it makes it easier to spread them out and to wash them regularly as we have spare blankets while the others are drying.

A Cover

Jugs are instinctively den animals and are comfortable being burrowed in and in the dark when they sleep. Because of this we cover our crate up with a blanket so it’s dark for him to sleep but we can also wrap it in a way so that it’s easy to get inside and out. Consider getting a massive blanket to go over the crate.

Being covered also lessens distractions and reduces the noise for an even better sleep.

Introduce the Jug to the crate

Place the crate with all the bedding somewhere appropriate in the house – if you’ve got children or tend to have a lot visitors <strong>don’t place it in the busiest part of the house! </strong>This can lead to disruption for your Jug especially if he or she is asleep. An ideal place is a place where the Jug is familiar with already; some suggestions are the room next to the living room, a bedroom, study or the kitchen.

Let your Jug pup get used the crate being in the house and that’s its a nice place to be and just a part of the furniture. Whatever you do don’t just put the Jug inside and lock it in straight away – this will make the dog start to harbour negative feelings towards to the crate which will make it all the harder for crate training to be successful.

From time to time you can place some of the dog’s toys in there and hide some treats inside – the dog will learn that nice things tend to be in there and it’ll make it want to go in there rather than no mind being put in there. If you find the Jug wandering in at the early stages let them know how happy you are with praise and maybe a treat. Don’t overdo it though as it might ‘abuse’ this by doing it just for the treat.

Getting The Jug In The Crate

Crate Training
My name’s Jeff and welcome to my crate

First and foremost <strong>never force your Jug into the crate</strong> unless it is absolutely vital to do so. This can be seen as a punishment and the crate is a jail; this is the last thing we want the Jug to think. To get our Jug in the crate during the early days we lead him in using treats and then he was given a treat once inside as a reward. Hidden treats inside the crate will keep him occupied for a few minutes as soon he’s in giving ample time to close the door (see below).

Feed Your Jug In The Crate

Dogs (especially Jugs) react very well to food based learning and is the basis of most training techniques. Although we didn’t feed our Jug in the crate it is still worth trying if you wish. If you feed the Jug in the crate is will associate eating (happy) with being in the crate and speed up the whole process. You may need a bigger crate for this to make sure there’s room to sleep and the eating area.

You can even get some crate specific dog bowls if you wish -view them here.

Closing The Door

When your Jug’s found itself in the crate and eating, resting or chewing a toy it’s time to try and close the door. Do not make a big deal of the act of closing the door, just close it casually and carry on doing whatever you were doing beforehand. Time how long the Jug stays in there calmly and then, again making no big deal of it, open the door.

If your dog is whining let them out, but the next time they’re in there and whining leave them in for a little bit longer and only let them out when they’re calm. One of the big problems with crate training can be with whining to get out, if you give in to the crying the dog will know that crying gets results. Teach your Jug that crying and whining does not get it what it wants, calm behaviour does.

Increasing Crate Time

The goal now is to increase the time that your Jug stays in the crate and not to all of a sudden leave them in there when the longest they’ve been inside so far is 5 minutes. Have your Jug stay in the crate in increment of 5 minutes until it’s 30 minutes total and then increase it by 15 minutes until they’ve been there for 1 hour and a half. Remember, Jug Pups can’t hold their wee and poo for too long so don’t increase the time to quickly, make sure to reduce the risk of eliminating in the crate when it’s young. As a rule of thumb a puppy can hold it’s bladder and bowels for 1 hour plus 1 hour for every month of age.

Never leave your puppy in the crate for more than 2 hours if it’s 2 months old or less and 3 for 3 months etc. As an adult you should never leave your Jug in the crate for more than 4-6 hours tops. Full stop. If you regularly need to leave your Jug for 6 hours stretches every day then perhaps a dog is not for you without coming home for your lunch or paying a dog walker.


Housebreaking is arguably the least anticipated aspect of dog ownership. It can seem very stressful and not leading anywhere for a lot of new owners, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Housebreaking can be something fun and not half as messy as it could be given proper conditioning, consistency and patience from both you and the puppy.

Jug Dog Book
31 Reviews
Jug Dog Book
  • Kenworthy, Alan (Author)

First of all, decide in advance where your Jug is able to eliminate – if you have a garden it can make it easier but if you live in a flat without a garden then you may want to invest and train your Jug to eliminate on training pads first, just remember your Jug will need to eliminate somewhere.

Puppy Training Pads
683 Reviews
Puppy Training Pads
  • Super Absorbent 6 layer pads

Once that’s decided it’s time for the training – housebreaking training should start immediately when the pup or dog is brought home, the sooner you start the sooner they’ll learn. As is the case with other training techniques consistency is key here. Always do it the same way and never give up!

How To: As easy as it is to say, the first thing you should find out are the signs your dog needs to eliminate, generally dogs may start to sniff a particular area, start walking in circles or even make their way to the designated area, whatever the sign is make sure you keep an eye on your Jug in the early days to find out what they are. When you spot the sign take the Jug straight away to the designated area – if you’ve made it there in time and they’ve begun to eliminate let them get on with and heap lots of praise as well as a treat. You can even say a codeword if you like such as “go potty”. Keep it consistent and in time your Jug will learn you love it when he or she eliminates outside and will do it for you every time.

Didn’t make it in time? Don’t punish the dog and don’t take it to the designated area if you’ve missed your chance. Your Jug won’t know why it’s taken outside and may even think it’s being punished. If your dog’s made a mess and you’ve missed your chance it’s best to clean it up ignore the dog and wait for another chance.

Housebreaking will get messy and as creatures of habit they tend to eliminate in the same spots every time – you can make this slightly easier for yourself by eliminating the odour using a spray such as the Johnson’s Clean N Safe.

How Long Does It Take To Housebreak A Jug?

Jugs are intelligent animals and learn things quickly – how long it takes to housebreak your depends on the individual Jug and the effort put in by the owner. However, it can take as little as 2 weeks from a pup. Our Jug, Jeff, was housebroken in 3 weeks using this method.

Understanding Your Puppy

It can make a world of difference to your mindset if you first understand your puppy, what they’re capable of in terms of digestive system and bladder control and what they can’t.

  • Their digestive system and bladder is not yet developed
  • They simply don’t know where they should be doing it
  • They can feel vulnerable as they go
  • When nature calls, they gotta go!

Digestive System

A Jug Puppy’s digestive system is not developed and won’t be for a few months, this means things can move fast and they won’t be able to control well. Typically, a pup

Housetraining Outside
Housetraining Outside

py will need to go between 5 to 30 minutes after eating (this can differ from dog to dog). This can help you know when you can take them out (or how long until it gets messy).


Just like human babies, puppy just don’t know where they should or shouldn’t go yet and you should expect them to simply ‘know’ to go outside. Be patient and don’t blame the puppy for making a mess it just doesn’t know any better (yet!).


For an animal, defecating or urinating leaves them vulnerable to predators and they will feel more comfortable to go potty where you want them to if you feel safe. With conditioning and getting used to your presence it will start to feel safer and you are there to watch over them.

When Nature Calls…

…they gotta go! Their bladder muscles are not yet strong and when the urge comes to go potty they simply can’t hold on to it for very long. In time they will be able to control it and hold it for hours if they need to.

Jug Dog Book
31 Reviews
Jug Dog Book
  • Kenworthy, Alan (Author)

Housebreaking Tips

Other than the odd cleaning products you will need three things to successfully housebreak your Jug –

  • Patience
  • Consistency
  • Positive Reinforcement

With these three things you shouldn’t have a problem with housebreaking or housetraining at all – almost all dogs respond exceptionally well to these three things not just with housebreaking but any sort of training.


Your pup will get things wrong from time and time and they will also cause a mess. When this happens you’ve got be patient, clean up and keep going. When your pup gets it right once it will make up for 10 times its got it wrong. Remember to see it from their side, they’re very young and they are trying their best!

Try and set a routine and make notes of when your Jug needs to go the toilet. First thing in the morning and last thing at night should always be a time when they are taken to the appropriate place to do their business.


Soon you’ll be comfortable with your Jug to be on any furniture

A routine is important, as the previous part covers; try and set a clear routine. Jug dogs react very positively to a consistent lifestyle – first thing in the morning and last thing at night they will know they have a chance to go outside. How about lunch time, too? This will help your Jug know when an opportunity arises to go potty and how long they can potentially hold it in for.

Consistency doesn’t just apply to the act of housebreaking, when they finally go to the toilet in the right place make sure to praise them and give them a treat…every time. They will remember and learn much quicker if they know there’s something in it for them.

Positive Reinforcement

It’s important to celebrate the triumphs every time with great fanfare, but when things go wrong please don’t scold or punish your dog. Remember, your Jug doesn’t want to mess up or make you angry it’s just a part of life!

If you make a big deal of when it gets it right you’ll soon find the housebreaking experience to go much quicker than if you constantly scolded your Jug.

Jug Dog Book
31 Reviews
Jug Dog Book
  • Kenworthy, Alan (Author)

Last update on 2020-04-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API