Why Does My JRT Always Touch Me?
(Los Angeles, CA)
Reader Question: Why Does My Jack Russell Always Touch Me?
She FREAKS out if she isn't close enough to me to be touching me. If she is in her crate for example and I walk in the room she will scream until I let her out (even if I walk out of the room) and will need to be touching me. She will do everything she can to try and climb in my arms or my lap. I've had her since she was born (her pregnant momma was my foster, so I had the whole litter :) and this is a new issue that is kind of driving me crazy (she is 7 mths now)! It's sweet that she likes to cuddle, but not so awesome when I need her to go to sleep and she is screaming in her crate--or elsewhere (backyard etc.) Insight?? Veterinarian Answers Reader Question Regarding A Too Attached Jack Russell
It sounds as if your dog is overly attached to you and has not yet learned to be self-reliant and calm when left alone. Since she has not developed these skills on her own, you will need to help her to do so if she is to become a calm and happy dog.
Your best option is to schedule a consultation with a veterinarian who specializes in behavior problems in dogs. He or she can evaluate the situation, come up with a behavioral modification plan to address it, and even prescribe anti-anxiety medication if those are warranted. Some basic recommendations for dealing with dogs that become anxious when people are not around include:
• Pretend to do leave your dog alone but then stay or walk out the door but immediately come back in. As your dog begins to learn that you always return after you leave, gradually extend the amount of time you are gone.
• When you enter the room where your dog is, ignore her until she is calm.
• Do not allow your dog to sleep in your bed.
• Ask someone else to do things with your dog that she really enjoys (e.g., taking her for a walk or snuggling).
• Give your dog special toys when you leave and put them away when you are home.
• Keep a television or radio on while you are gone
Some dogs with anxiety issues respond well to dog appeasing pheromones (DAP). A DAP collar
or another natural remedy might also be worth a try.
Jennifer Coates, DVM