Jack Russell Acting Aggressively Towards Other Dogs

by Leisa Smith
(N.S.W, Austrilla)

Reader Question: Why Is Jack Russell Acting Aggressively?

I have two Jack Russells and one of them if he comes across other dogs on our walks he will start growling at the dog and then tries to attack them our other jack doesn’t do this we have tried using treat when he doesn’t do it but he starts doing it again when we stop the treats for a while

Vet Suggestions For Aggressive Jack Russells


Your Jack Russell could be acting aggressively towards other dogs while on walks for a number of reasons: fear, dominance, leash-based aggression, etc. If you don’t understand the underlying reason for the behavior and therefore react in the wrong way, you can inadvertently make the situation worse rather than better.

Your best option is to make an appointment with a veterinarian who specializes in behavior. He or she can diagnose exactly what is going on with your dog, come up with a behavioral modification plan to deal with it, and in some circumstances even prescribe medications that would make him more receptive to training.

In the meantime, do everything in your power to avoid situations that incite aggression (e.g., only walking him in areas or at times when you can be reasonably sure you won’t run into other dogs). The more he repeats this behavior the harder it will be to alter it. Continue to praise and/or reward him whenever he acts appropriately.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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