Jack Russell Hurdle Training

Updated: 6/4/20242-4 minutes
Two Jack Russel Terriers jumping over a hurdle during Jack Russel Races

Sometimes, it’s all about being the fastest thing on four (short) legs. Jack Russell Hurdle Racing tests the running and jumping prowess of some of the feistiest dogs out there.

At the Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge®, competitors race one another in fast-paced heats to crown the top dog – but practicing hurdles at home can be just as exciting.

Event Basics

During the Jack Russell Hurdle Race at the Incredible Dog Challenge Jack Russell Terriers must leap over three equally spaced hurdles while chasing a lure.

The dog who can sprint and clear all three hurdles and make it into the finish pad the fastest advance to the next level of competition.

What You Need

Here’s what you need to train for the Jack Russell Hurdle Races:

  • A healthy and active Jack Russell terrier
  • 3 padded hurdles
  • A clean outdoor area with even ground and no large obstacles
  • Treats or a toy for motivation

How to Train

If you have an outdoor area with enough space, you can get your Jack Russell Terrier started on his own. Though it can be difficult to replicate the conditions of competition at home, there are a few ways to get started.

The first step is to get your dog use to running and jumping over hurdles. Buy a set of hurdles online, or build some yourself, and practice leading your dog over the hurdles. Start slowly and gradually increase the speed. Then, if you have a fenced-in area, work with a partner so that one of you holds your dog at the starting line while the other person calls your dog from the finish line (and offers him a treat when he makes it across). Before long, your dog will probably love practicing hurdles.

What’s Next

After you’ve got the basics, find and contact a local Jack Russell Terrier racing group to get involved with and practice under competition conditions – there are clubs and dog gyms all over the country with facilities and knowledgeable staff. Just do a quick search online to locate one near you.

Another great place to begin is by networking through your local breed-affiliated club. Many Jack Russell breed organizations will know where to point you to learn more about hurdle racing. 

There aren’t many dog events faster than Jack Russell Hurdle Racing. It’s a great way for these incredible little dogs to focus their energy and wow the crowd. But even if you don’t end up with a dog competitor, Jack Russell Hurdle Racing gives you the chance to spend time with your dog in a way you’ll both enjoy.

Before getting started, remember that you should always consult your veterinarian to ensure your dog is fit for exercise. And make sure to fuel your incredible dog with advanced nutrition that will help them be their best. Find your dog’s formula.

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