Jack Russell Story

Story Name: Taming the Vacuum Killer
From: Leslie Gorton

My Jack Russell Story:

My 3-year old JRT, Cody, like many (if not all) JR's goes berserk when I pull out the vacuum cleaner and commences to do battle with it the whole time I am trying to clean the house. I'm sure you get the picture. It got so annoying that I would bring him to a friend's house so I could vacuum in peace.

Recently, I saw a TV program with animal behaviorist Paul Loeb demonstrating the "throwing" method of training dogs. I was intrigued by this method for I happened to use just such a method to train Cody at an early age NOT to bark at the window. I would throw the TV Guide at him from across the room whenever he started to bark, startling him and making him stop. It worked like a charm, and consequently he is not an incessant barker like some terriers are. Little did I know that this was a recommended training tool!

I decided to try the throwing method to correct Cody's vacuum obsession. I wish I had thought of it 2 years ago! With the TV Guide tucked under my arm, I started the vacuum cleaner. The minute he went to attack it, I threw the booklet down near him (not on him) enough to startle him. It took only 3 times before he backed off. It's like a miracle has happened! I can now vacuum with him staying well away, of course watching the whole thing, but not attempting to attack it anymore. Please note that the objective of the "throwing method" is to startle the dog and confuse him as to where that thing came from, NOT to hit him with it. A soft object is recommended. Paul Loeb has written a book out titled "Smarter Than You Think", which details this and other training methods he advocates, many contrary to other longstanding conventional training methods. I have not read the whole book, but I certainly can testify that his throwing method worked on my Jack Russell Terrier.

I am preparing to use this method to try and correct some other negative behaviors, although I have to say my JRT is a pretty obedient guy. However, there is still the issue with the hair dryer, loud diesel trucks and buses, and the mail slot.....

Next Story

Return to List of Jack Russell Stories