Aggressive Dog Behavior When I Leave
by Reader Question
My JRT Bandit is 3 years old and has become a nightmare for anyone (except my husband) leaving the house. He barks, jumps and bites when we try to get out of the door. It is becoming a real problem since there are young children at the house a lot. He has bitten me several times and my daughter also.
HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Suggestion From Our Veterinarian
I’m sorry to hear about the problems you are having with Bandit. It’s hard for me to say what might be going on without having a chance to evaluate his health and behavior first hand, but it sounds as if a combination of separation anxiety and some sort of aggression (possessive, territorial, etc.) could be to blame. Having him evaluated by a veterinarian who specializes in behavior would be your best option for getting to the bottom of the problem. Your primary care veterinarian should be able to refer you to such a specialist, or you can find one yourself by using the American College of Veterinary Behaviorist’s search tool.
In the meantime, you certainly want to protect your daughter and yourself from getting bitten. The simplest way to do so would be to put Bandit in a comfortable crate before you leave the house. Make this a pleasant spot for him by lining it with bedding, have a few chew toys available, and give him a treat inside before you leave.
Best of luck,
Jennifer Coates, DVM