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Jack Russell Aggression


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I have an 8 month year old desexed male dog who is great 95% of the time. But on the odd occasion he savagely has a "go" at me.  Examples of this would be when I am trying to cover up cat poo he is eating, trying to shut the dishwasher door when he was licking a plate, trying to take a cricket or beetle off him or recently even a plastic peg. He is now doing it more often like when I tried to pick him up to put him in the car this week and when I tried to get him to get off the lounge.  I don't have broken skin but it is frightening for me and I have become scared of him. 

 

When he is doing the wrong thing I am too scared to try to put him in the cage or isolate him outside as I feel if I reach for him he is going to bite me.   I am thinking I am going to have to rehouse him as I think the breed was the wrong choice for a first time dog owner. 

 

Any guidance would be appreciated. Anyone looking for a dog could contact me. I am in the Maitland NSW area. 

 

We went to puppy school and he was nicknamed the "ratbag" and the teacher said I had chosen the wrong breed. 

 

 

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It sounds like you've pretty much made up your mind that he's not a fit for your family/lifestyle... bet he was the cutest puppy though...

 

If you are willing to put in some work to regain his respect for you as the caregiver / food supplier, it sounds like his behaviour can be corrected, but there is no quick fix.

 

Look up NILIF training methods... here's a decent starting guide...  http://www.greatdanerescue.com.au/Docs/nilif.pdf

 

It sounds like your little man has decided that he runs things, and he just needs to understand that he can't always get what he wants when he wants. It can be done...

 

T.

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Oh! One teenager is rebelling ! You just have to  be a firm parent - NOT a 'punisher" ..and many many people have terriers as a first dog :) I did , at age 7  :)  best and most faithful little dog , but feisty as all getout! :) 
As Tierdix said, there are things you can do  to reinstate your leadership status. being threatened by a dog IS scary - and they know it . The trick is to take detours- to not let things get to that stage - to learn more of WHY dogs do it ! 

I think you are taking the easy decision - to rehome. It is not the most responsible decision - rehoming an apparently aggressive dog :( I can understand WHY you think it's the best decision for you - but is it, really ? What will your next dog be? How will you train it differently ?Passing on problems to someone else? Hmmmm.
We have a few 'ratbag' dogsin our pack  - it usually means they have a good brain, and know how to use them! Ratbags are the ones who are good at learning tricks - the ones who learn to read their humans well, and who respond amazingly to the right training :)

NILIF is brilliant - takes a bit of thought, but boy, does it pay off- as the dog WANTS to do the preferred thing :)
for the "resource guarding" (pegs/cat poo, etc )  have read of this  https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/resource-guarding-treatment-and-prevention

I would also strongly advise ONE - just one, consult with a reputable trainer ( not a flashy franchise) to talk about the problems ...then make your decision. Remember- rehoming an aggressive dog is not a terribly responsible decision . 

I wish you the best , whichever path you choose,,,


 

Edited by persephone
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13 hours ago, LisaMuz said:

I don't have broken skin but it is frightening for me and I have become scared of him. 

You definitely need help to overcome your fears.  Your dog is well aware that he has become the boss and, if you don’t take steps now to address this for the happiness of both of you, the outcome is not going to be good.  

 

If you decide the best action for both of you is to rehome him, there is a Jack Russell Rescue organisation run by  Jill on 0408 491 542.  Good luck.  Dominant dogs can be very daunting and even more so when you are a first time dog owner.   

 

 

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I don’t like to sugar coat things .

If you fell the dog is the wrong fit please rehome smartly sooner than later .

At 8 months the dog can be retrained with the right people ,


 

I don’t think it’s the wrong breed any dog can do this when an owner is not confident around dogs .

It doesn’t mean this dog is dominant it maybe reacting to your lack off confidence and it not knowing where it fits and how it’s meant to behave / react 

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Some great information above.   

 

In regarding rehoming - there are two sides to the coin.  The issue with you keeping him is that it will require work to fix.  You are going to need to find the right solution, do research and stick to a plan.  It is highly likely he is not 'nasty' per se - but he has your measure at the moment and has no hesitation in putting you in (what he thinks is) 'your place'    If you are not willing/able to put in the work, stick to the plan and become the grown up in the relationship, then issues will occur.  And unfortunately that often results in a dog being stuck in the back yard without interacting with anyone.  The relationship spirals downward and the dog suffers.  In those cases another (right)home is kindest.

 

But - dog ownership is work.  And no breed is 'easy' (yes, some are easier than others, but it is relative).   They require education, support, training and love to become good citizens.  And the most laidback animal will take advantage.  I have seen the most mature, sweet, well mannered dog take advantage and develop bad habits if given the opportunity (not aggression).  My grandmothers dogs were always 'fussy eaters'.  People tried telling her she was the common factor, but nope :) she said it was each of the 4 dogs she had over a 45 year period.  Then when she was in her 80's she became dogless, and rather than get a pup, she took on an oldie.  Truffie was about 6 when she got him and would eat anything - a very good doer.  Within 6 months he would only eat rotisserie chicken and a certain brand/flavour of kibble.  He sure had grandma well trained :rofl:.

 

My one comment is - if you think this pup is not for you, and you rehome him - think long and hard before you get another dog.  One 'non match' does not mean you are a terrible owner, but I hope you don't think (or have people telling you) that if you get a different (easier) breed that it will be fine.  The current situation didn't happen overnight - so regardless of what breed/age/gender/size you get next time, you will have some homework on reading signs and understand what is going on in their head.

 

I hope this does not come across harsh - it is not meant to.  Just because this relationship may not work out, doesn't mean the next won't.  I am just trying to explain 'he is a terrier' and 'they called him a ratbag' doesn't explain everything

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Thank you for all the wonderful and valuable information. As I am 57 years old and a first time dog owner there was no way I would have considered another dog and my plan only was to rehouse with an experienced Jack Russell owner.  His welfare and happiness is the most important thing to me. I will let everyone know how things are going but at this stage we went to the vet on Friday and he has encouraged me to have a behaviouralist vet do a home visit. I am going to take this course of action for a few months. 

 

I didn't write it in the first post but Henry was attacked whilst we were walking last December. A woman had a cattle dog off the leash and she obviously couldn't control it as it came up to us and had a "go" at poor Henry who had been wagging his tail as he loves people and other dogs. This was very traumatizing for me;  the local council ranger has been wonderful trying to track down the offending dog and owner, to no avail.   No injuries thankfully.  This has also made me very nervous to walk him. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, LisaMuz said:

I didn't write it in the first post but Henry was attacked whilst we were walking last December.

You poor thing ! That is a scary experience, and your fearfulness does transmit to the dog ... people will NOT keep their dogs under control :( It is so sad  I am SO VERY GLAD you are getting a vet behaviourist out  :) Ask HEAPS of questions ..even those you think might be a bit silly . They more you know, the easier things will become , and the more you and Henry will understand each other. At present , you are sending each other the wrong messages  :(
Please keep us updated- I will send positive vibes!!!  :hug:   

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7 hours ago, LisaMuz said:

I will let everyone know how things are going but at this stage we went to the vet on Friday and he has encouraged me to have a behaviouralist vet do a home visit. I am going to take this course of action for a few months.


Fantastic news! Our chi terrier mix has generalised anxiety disorder (and ocd) and he has shown aggression in the past as part of that. Seeing a Behaviour Vet was one of the best things we’ve done for him and us. He is a much happier boy now and we are too, ‘cause it’s tough living with dogs with these behaviours.

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13 minutes ago, Papillon Kisses said:

it’s tough living with dogs with these behaviours.

yes! My gorgeous Mitchell had fearful aggression ....always had to be managed  , but he was fantastic for the most part :)

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I have a great dane cross who has on occasion pushed the limits with her behaviour. She is a large and powerful dog, but is extremely nervy and obstinate. She has tried to snap at me a few times when she hasn't liked something I was doing to her... and believe me, that is quite a scary prospect! On all such occasions, she has been told in a deep growly voice that her behaviour will not be tolerated, and so far, that has stopped her in her tracks and I've come out of the situation without injury.

 

You need to make Henry know that you won't be tolerating his naughty behaviour... not always easy when he's given you a fright, but it can be done...

 

T.

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