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Thread: Jack Russell And Small animals? Help!

  1. #1

    Default Jack Russell And Small animals? Help!

    Hey I have a beautiful 10 year old female jack russell terrier named Cassie. Like any typical Jack she loves chasing things like birds and mice. I currently have a budgie living in my room and I've managed to train Cass to leave the bird alone. the budgie is always in it's cage when Cassie is around. However I'm now considering getting a small animal like maybe rats or mice as pets, and I'm concerned I won't be able to train cassie not to attack them because of how they will smell and the movement she will see. Do you guys think this is possible? Despite the fact that she's an older dog, Cassie is still very intelligent and I'm always teaching her new things. Does anyone have any experience with this? thanks.

  2. #2
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    I know of at least one jack Russell that died because it could not leave snakes alone...

    I don't think it would be easy to train a JRT to go against her natural instincts. Especially an older one. I'd never trust her alone with small critters like mice.

    If you do try it - it would be something you would have to work on nearly every day - refresher courses in leaving mice alone. Otherwise the natural instinct will take over.

    PS the name of this is called "instinctive drift" if you want to do a search for more info.

  3. #3
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    It is possible to train such behaviours, but it would take a LOT of work! There is a lot of instinct driving that little dog, and it would take every ounce of her to ignore those instincts!

    Personally, I'd just keep them separated, keep the rats/mice in a very secure cage when the dog is around, and only let them out when the dog isn't around. I keep my ferrets away from my dogs. My dogs don't have an extremely strong hunting instinct, but that doesn't mean I trust them to not suddenly follow their instincts. Better safe than sorry in my mind.
    Last edited by maddogdodge; 09-22-2014 at 10:09 PM.

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    I had pet mice once and wouldn't do it again with dogs/cats in the house. There were fatalities.

    I would never trust on training in those situations. It takes 1 second for a dog to kill a mouse.

    Budgies can fly away, but tame pet mice forget their instincts when it comes to avoiding predators. Not sure about rats...

    You'll have to separate them, is my advice.

  5. #5

    Default thanks

    Thanks guys for all your messages. I understand that It will take a lot of hard work. When I first brought sky home, Cassie was about ready to rip her to shreds and I had to leave her outside while she went absoloutly nuts. I understand the whole thing with instinct and that she is an older dog, but after reviewing my situation and your comments, I do think it is possible, considering that I've been able to go from having cassie go absoloutly crazy when ever she saw the budgie, to having both of them sleep in my room at night.
    Last edited by Lia and Cassie; 09-22-2014 at 11:22 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by maddogdodge View Post
    It is possible to train such behaviours, but it would take a LOT of work! There is a lot of instinct driving that little dog, and it would take every ounce of her to ignore those instincts!

    Personally, I'd just keep them separated, keep the rats/mice in a very secure cage when the dog is around, and only let them out when the dog isn't around. I keep my ferrets away from my dogs. My dogs don't have an extremely strong hunting instinct, but that doesn't mean I trust them to not suddenly follow their instincts. Better safe than sorry in my mind.

    I never intended to have my animals out of the cage while cassie is around. I simply want to be able to have the animal cage in the same room as Cassie, which I thought was almost impossible when I first introduced sky. I know that Cassie can easily kill, she still hunts down mice and kills birds, but she knows that the bird cage is off limits.

  7. #7
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    JTR's were bred to kill mice and rats, it is hardwired into them (earthdogs), From puppy it might be OK to teach as you would socialise them from ealy on. i have retrained some of my Rescue dogs to not kill our chickens and ducks, would I trust them if i left them alone withthem...never....... So with us it is chickens locked up dogs out or dogs locked up, chickens out. Unless I am right there to supervise. And even then i would not let the pack of six out at once as my Rescues have high prey drive and I could possibly loose control. it can be done, but i would always be there, never alone
    Pets are forever

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