Help my Jack Russell Terrier

Hi There..

I hope that you can help me with my 7 year old JRT. Mickey. He was bought from a breeder in Carmel NY in May of 2001. I have to admit that 2 weeks prior to purchasing this terrier, we had to put down our beloved Golden Retriever, which we had for 11 years. I feel as if the terrier purchase was rushed, and we didn't do our homework on the breed. The breeder where we purchased this dog, housed a lot of JRT's out in a pen. I feel that they were not socialized enough. They were never allowed into the house, nor were they allowed to visit anyone else other than their owners, and certainly they were not socialized with other dogs. I feel that part of the problem lies with me. I really didn't socialize this dog with people nor with any other animals. Herein lies the problem. Mickey doesn't really like to be handled. Petted or picked up etc. That's the whole point in having a pet, is too love and hold him. He also has food issues. You can not go near him when he is eating..gets very very aggressive. He has bitten all of us . There are 3 people in the household. My dad has been bitten the worst. Broken skin, very messy. The thing with my dad is..he is very passive, and he lets the dog run all over him. Now my mom is becoming like him. I am the only dominant one, but he still gives me problems. We also have a 1 year old cat, who stands up too Mickey, so that's not a problem. If we are all sitting in the living room, and Mickey is lying on the recliner, and you just look in his direction he starts growling and snarling. Plus when I get home from work, or wherever...he snarls and growls. I am used to loving animals..and when you can't even pet the animal..or only being allowed to pet the animal on it's terms.. I'm not used to that. Mickey hasn't been bathed in 7 years, because we are afraid to. I don't know what else to do. The barking the growling the biting is all to much for me. I am the biggest animal lover you will ever meet, but I feel defeated. Anything that you can do for me ..would be much appreciated.
Mickey has just bitten my mother on the foot while we were eating because I came too close to my mom..he is now in my room locked up..PLEASE HELP

Robert Bell

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May 02, 2008
by: Harborview Jrts

Trisha, good recommendations. I'll add mine now. As far as the food aggression goes, start feeding this dog a kibble at a time from your hand. He must sit prior to getting a kibble. If he knows he must obey you and do something in order to get his food directly from you, he will stop the food aggression. He has everyone in that house under his command and he is not happy. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise, walk this dog at least 3 times a day, and put a pack on him with water bottles to make this walk more productive. he needs to get tired doing something other than commanding everyone. he needs a leader in order to be a dog. No furniture anymore, give him "his" space. a bed or an open crate. that is where he gets his treats. make it "his safe place". I also recommend a spray bottle filled with 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water. when he is doing something you don't agree with, squirt him 'NOT IN THE FACE", BUT ON THE BODY" and give him a stern sound, Arghhhh or no. They don't like the smell of vinegar, again DO NOT GET HIM IN THE FACE". you need to get into the position of leader and your dog will be so much happier and as Trisha said, if all else fails, call Cesar Milan. He is amazing.


Harborview JRTS

Feb 08, 2008
Help is much needed, yes
by: Pics & Tics

Hi Robert,

My goodness this sounds like a case for Cesar Milan. Are you familiar with his TV show The Dog Whisperer? This sounds just like dogs I've watched him train.

It appears he is the dominant ruler of your household and he must learn that YOU are, as Cesar puts it, the pack leader.

You MUST address this vicious behavior the instant it happens. For instance, when he goes to bite, or even snarls about getting too close to his space, make sure you make yourself a calm but formidable presence. Stand in his space, move him from the recliner and if he goes at you, which I expect he will, you must gently, but firmly hold him to the floor. Let him have the tantrum until he gives out and be sure to keep those teeth away from your grasp. Stay your ground and if he goes at you again, you repeat the holding. There's no need whatever to hurt him, just hold him until he realizes you're not going to quit until he does.

Now, when he does, and it may take quite a few of these episodes before he relents, when you see he has assumed another attitude, reward him with affection.

Others in the household must also not give in to this dog's dominance or he will return to the throne very quickly.

This dog is probably miserable being such a toot. He'll be so much happier when you become his pack leader and he can relax from being always on the defense of his kingdom.

I wish you the best luck and I hope you won't give up on this dog. He's just waiting for reformation and redemption.

Kindest regards.

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