Jack Russell Biting Aggressively

by Vicki

Our Jack Russell keeps aggressively biting my family members when either told off, or trying to get him to go outside. We put a leash on him inside, but when we try to grab the leash--he lashes out.

Last week he bit my hand so hard, he punctured a tendon and the doctor said I was lucky that my finger was not paralyzed. Last night my husband tried to take the dog outside--and he bit him in the leg.

Now my husband has made a booking for next week with the Vet to have the 2-year-old put down. I love my dog--how can I stop this aggressive behavior?

Vet Suggestions Aggressive Dog Biting Behavior

Hello Vicki,

In the short term, you need to do whatever is necessary to keep you and your family members safe. Avoid any situations that bring about your dog’s aggression. Whenever he acts in that way, the behavior is reinforced and he is more likely to continue. If your dog does act aggressively, ignore the behavior. Do not yell, hit, or otherwise punish him. In many cases, a dog’s aggression is based in fear rather than assertiveness, and punishment only increases the fear.

Your dog’s aggression sounds severe enough that it should be handled by a veterinarian who specializes in behavior. He or she can diagnose the cause of your dog’s behavior and recommend an appropriate treatment plan, which may include medication in addition to training.

I’m afraid anything less than this is unlikely to be successful and may result in someone being seriously hurt and/or your dog being euthanized.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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