Jack Russell Dog is Attacking My Other Dog

by S.R

My Jack Russell is attacking my other dog and making her bleed at the neck. What can Ii do to fix this? I've tried everything but they do not seem to resist and keep acting aggressive towards each other.

They've never done this before, only the once in a full moon thing, now its almost every time they're around each other. The Jack Russell is 6 years old and the dog which is a multi-poodle (Part Chihuahua Part Poodle)who is 8 years of age.

They've always gotten along before recently. Why is this happening? Thanks.

Vet Suggestion on Dogs that attack other dogs

Hello S.R.,

I can’t diagnose the reasons behind the change in your dog’s behavior without more information, but I can make a few suggestions for handling it.

Your first step should be to make an appointment for both dogs with your veterinarian. Sometimes, health concerns can underlie what appears to be a behavioral problem. If that is the case, directly addressing the medical problem should positively affect the interactions between your dogs.

If both dogs get a clean bill of health, then you can move on to implementing a behavioral modification plan to address the aggression. Exactly what that might entail depends on the cause of your dog’s behavior (fear, dominance, territoriality, etc.). Your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist is in the best position to diagnose what is going on between your dogs and develop an appropriate treatment plan. In the meantime, do whatever is needed to keep both dogs safe and prevent aggressive interactions. The more times the dogs are allowed to act in this way the more firmly entrenched the behavior becomes and difficult it is to treat. Feed the dogs separately and keep one crated while the other is allowed to roam the house; then switch their positions.

Keep in mind that anxiety is often an underlying cause of aggression in dogs and punishment (including yelling) will actually make the anxiety and aggression worse rather than better.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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