Jealous Jack Russell

by Louise
(Hong Kong)

How do I stop my Jack Russell from getting jealous?

I got my Labrador, Mario, nearly two years ago. I then got my Jack Russell, Moose a year later. Moose is now 10 months old. Both dogs have been very well socialized; I live near a park where there are lots of other dogs playing. Moose has started to get very jealous when Mario plays with other dogs, and is now barking, play-biting and growling at the dogs Mario is playing with, and is preventing Mario from playing with any other dogs.

More recently Moose's growling etc is becoming quite aggressive and I can see the owners of the other dogs looking uncomfortable so feel I have to put Moose on the lead, while Mario continues playing. Moose has never has a fight, nor instigated one. If a dog has ever been aggressive towards Moose he is very submissive and lies on his back.

I don't want to stop going to my local park, 2 minutes from my house, or stop letting Mario and Moose play with other dogs.

What is the best thing to do to stop this behavior?



Vet suggestions for coping with a jealous Jack Russell

Hi Louise,

You are in a tough situation in that you don’t have control over all the dogs at the dog park. The first thing you need to do is to stop these interactions from happening. The longer that Moose behaves in this manner, the harder it is going to be to stop him. Also, Moose is not yet fully grown, and I suspect that his behavioral issues will get worse as he matures.

I think your best short-term option is to let the dogs take turns playing at the park. First Moose plays while Mario is leashed, then vice-versa. Praise Moose and give him treats whenever he remains calm while Mario is playing. You can also work on basic training with Moose, so that if he ever starts acting inappropriately, no matter what the situation, he will come and sit by your side when you call.

If Moose’s behavior worsens, your best option is to see a veterinary behaviorist who can identify the cause behind what is going on, come up with an appropriate behavioral modification protocol, and maybe even prescribe medications to improve Moose’s receptiveness to training.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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