Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: "Naughty" JRT

  1. #1

    Default "Naughty" JRT

    Hi All,

    New to forum. We have an 8 year old Jack Russell who we rescued at 8 months of age. He is generally a well behaved dog but there are times when he is very strong willed (typical of the breed). Someone once described him "as someone who thinks he is important" - probably a very accurate description - particularly from a stranger at the dog park. He is also very social and loves cuddles and company. We have never had to seek advice for this boy in the past 7 years so I guess that it testament to his good behaviour.

    Lately he has been showing a huge intolerance to puppies - anything 12 months and under. This morning he hurt a puppy who is here for 10 days. I am not sure what happened as I was out of the room for one minute but I heard the jrt growl, the puppy yelping. On inspection the pup had a cut on his lip/mouth and had lost a tooth - it was actually lodged between two other teeth and I had to pull it out. The jrt went down to his bed without a word from me. This is where he is sent if he barks unnecessarily or when in trouble.

    I have grave concerns that the next incident could really hurt another dog - more so than what the poor little pup was subjected to this morning. I am feeling upset that my dog could be so awful and I am quite disappointed in him - in fact, there was a few minutes where I thought about re homing him (catastrophising - I know).

    As this is not the first time he has attacked a pup in the past 12 months I feel I need to take some sort of action. The four times there has been an incident I have not been in the room to witness what happened but believe my dog is at fault as he is the common denominator each time. My other dog (not a jrt) couldn't care less about who is here and what is happening - as long as she goes for a walk and has a full belly she is content. Do some dogs get intolerant as they get older? Any suggestions on how to handle this situation? I am currently keeping the jrt and pup separate. Do I need to rethink minding other people's dogs when the go away?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne VIC
    Posts
    607

    Default

    Hi Ratbag :P (hope it's ok I called you that )

    There could be many reasons for why your JRT is acting the way he is. Puppies can be very boisterous and it can be quite annoying to senior dogs. Normally I'd say to let your JRT assert his leadership over the puppy and it would sort itself out, however given you stated that he has done this 3 other times in the past 12 months (and more importantly, there have been injuries) means I'd advise otherwise.

    Do you remember much from the first incident? From what I'm reading it sounds like your JRT is normally a pretty good dog and that maybe on the first incident the dog/puppy involved was annoying your JRT and noone was around to protect your old boy so he resorted to protecting himself with his last possible defence, which is the bite. I'm making this assumption as you said you are never in the room (to protect him) when it happens. As this worked and the other dog stopped bothering him, he may now choose this as an earlier resolution (as it worked every other time).

    I'm not saying your dog did not injure the puppy, but I wouldn't be too concerned over the lost tooth. Most likely, being a puppy, it was a loose tooth ready to come out and it was just helped along. How long was the yelping going on for? If it was a short yelp and that your JRT went off to his bed, it is most likely a fear bite to protect himself. Fear bites involve a growl to try and scare/bluff the other dog away with their "big scary growl" (generally higher pitched that a dominant actual growl before an attack) followed by a quick nip and then a retreat.

    Advice on what to do next? I ask this...have they been on a walk together yet? Has the puppy been mentally/physically tired out to keep it a little calmer? Have either of them been crate trained? You said the JRT goes off to his bed. Is this his "safe place" or "Naughty corner"? If it's a naughty corner, does he have a safe place to go to get away from the puppy? If you are worried about your JRT injuring the puppy again, I'd suggest keeping them separated only when you are not around. This way the puppy won't annoy your JRT and your JRT can't hurt the puppy, but also keeping them together when you ARE around will make it easier to see who is doing what. If the puppy is bouncing around (particularly if it's a larger breed puppy) and getting in your JRT's face it would be very annoying for him, and that you can be there to keep the puppy calm or at least away from annoying your JRT.

    Another couple of things... What is your JRT's name? And can you post some pictures? We all love pictures !!
    Last edited by The Pawfectionist; 03-28-2012 at 09:54 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SE QLD
    Posts
    2,903

    Default

    First off to the forum!

    I think they do get intolerant. If he just wants to sleep or sit and the pup wants to play it can be annoying. Maybe the pup (who is still learning dog behavior) didnt listen to what you dog was saying. I suppose its kind of the same as how kids get annoying (except we don't bite them! Lol), I would keep them separate and since it is not the first time he has shown a dislike to puppies, only look after older dogs.

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    945

    Default

    Firstly I have to agree with the Pawfectionist... pics please!

    Did you think of taking your JRT to the vet? Perhaps he isn't feeling so well lately and therefore a bit short tempered. Or he has an ache somewhere and finds it painful if puppies try to climb all over him? It sounds as if you're minding a lot of dogs? Perhaps them coming and going is just getting a bit much for your JR. I think the idea of a safe haven for your JR, where only he can get access is a pretty good idea.

    Our Nero was snapped at by a bitch when he was a puppy. The bitch was getting tired of Nero behaving like a little brat playing with her tail. It hasn't changed their relationship tough. Perhaps Nero was a little more careful around her afterwards but he wasn't timid or scared of her or anything. How is the pup now? If it isn't scared of your JRT it might have been just a normal correction by the JR?

  5. #5

    Default

    Your comments have definitely got me thinking. I have calmed down and can now assess the situation without all that emotion clouding my judgement. I have only in the past hour allowed both dogs to be together and all is okay for the time being. God love the little pup - he was so pleased to see the jrt. You would never have known anything happened. Interestingly enough the pup does gravitate to my jrt as do all the pups he has had a run in with. They don't seem to even notice my other dog.

    Though what happened is far from ideal I guess my jrt could have really mauled the pup if he wanted to. Yes, I definitely think he gave a warning growl/bark before biting. Interestingly enough the owner of the pup told me she had concerns about her puppy's behaviour. When he approaches dogs he jumps with paws out on their back. The owner was told in dog training that other dogs can find this off putting (apparently so!!). On thinking about things it is the dogs who jump all over him that he finds annoying - mind you his tolerance level on a scale of 1 to 10 is a 2 (as in very intolerant). The jrt's first bad reaction was to two 10 week old labrador pups - and they were doing nothing (in my opinion) bar being friendly and curious. The pups all seem to want to play with him.

    As the jrt has now bitten 2 of the 4 pups and been very close to biting the other 2 I will keep him separate and well supervised if he is around young dogs. I am feeling grief stricken as I put so much time into my dogs being the best they can be and I feel a little like I have failed - no one wants the nasty, unsociable dog. At least I don't!

    The jrt does not have a quiet spot as such and this is something I will change. I have also decided to crate him overnight if I have any fears he could hurt anyone or sleep him seperately. He hasn't been crated before but I have no concerns it will be a problem for him.

    I have walked them together but the pup has no idea on how to walk properly on a lead and we spent half the time tangled which I think really annoyed my dog. As most jrt owners know this breed just wants to go and go now and go as far as they can and even then go a little further. I think I may take them to the dog park where pup can be on a lead and jrt can run. I just can't get my head around my jrt's inability to be nice to puppies. He is generally so good - he gets on well with other dog, kids, our pet blue tongue and the cat we introduced to the family 3 months ago - he is generally so laid back.

    I have noticed other changes in his behaviour as he gets older - scared of thunderstorms and barking at the front gate. I guess it is time I acknowledge he is getting older and has different needs to what he had several years back. He was recently vet checked and immunised - he got a gold star and vet has placed a bet on him reaching 15 years of age.

    Thank you for your help and I will post a pic once my teenager can navigate me through how to do it - I bet he says it is easy and I will look at him blankly !!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
    Posts
    3,082

    Default

    My elderly dog Mac, became increasingly intolerant of our other dogs. He began snapping, and punctured one of them. he had arthritis, and painful joints, and younger exuberant dogs kept knocking him.
    this was my fault, it was my first dog, and i kept him going far far too long before i PTS.
    A trip to vet, and a quiet "just mine" safe spot for the JRT till you work out with Vet that he's not in pain.
    NB. In england, JRT's live to be 20. that's 10 yrs of pain.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    ratbag jrt

    I think it may be a mix of bad behaviour and not enough protection for your JRT.

    Flying Dog Press - Suzanne Clothier - He Just Wants To Say "Hi!"

    If he's been hurt by other dogs or puppies in the past, he may develop the "I'll get them before they get me" as this is quite an effective way to keep other dogs and puppies away from you. If he's doing this all the time, when there really isn't a threat (nobody is bothering him or bumping into him), I'd look at some training.

    If he'd doing it occasionally because he's old and sore and puppies aren't very good at reading dog "go away leave me alone signals", then you need to protect him from puppies. If you have a new puppy in the house, make sure they are kept separate, ie they get separate crate time - ie he's in when the puppy is out and vice versa.

  8. #8

    Default

    Today pup and jrt were playing chasings - go figure! Poor pup though did yelp as jrt caught up to him. There was definitely no intent by the jrt but poor pup has been once bitten twice shy. They have been together most of today without any incident whatsoever - though supervision has been high and pup has been seperated from other dogs if I was unable to watch them properly. Apart from yelping at chasings pup does not seem to be holding a grudge and neither does jrt.

    Pup did dive into jrt's bowl at feed time (I forgot how fast those pups can move) and jrt did not even care (lucky for me - can't believe how silly that was of me - though generally I would not expect the jrt to react). Their behaviour is certainly confusing for me.

    Today though pup has spent most of his time annoying me rather than other dogs. He is nipping, jumping, chasing my ankles, ripping up paper, killing socks and wanting my undivided attention - as one would expect from a 4 month old pup! Jrt has worked out pup cannot get onto the lounge as he is still too tiny so jrt has plonked himself down there when he wants quiet time.

    I strongly believe jrt has no sore points on his body and I think he is just being cranky and badly behaved. I do acknowledge that I haven't protected him from the pups but I guess I have always thought my dogs behaviour was predicatable and never thought it was in him to be aggressive. I have decided to look into some appropriate training. But I do not want someone to tell me to crate or use separation as this would seem like commonsense to me. I never baulk at paying for a service but I do get annoyed if I feel I have been ripped off.

    I want someone who can tell me the body language to look out for if a situation is escalating and, god forbid, if there was another incident, how to best handle it immediately. I want someone who may be able to train me and my dog so that he will not bite or attempt to bite young pups again. I want someone who will empower us for the future (do I sound like I have been watching too much Oprah?)

    We have a lady who lives near us and minds dogs. One day she was patting my dogs and I got to talking to her and she gave me a business card. The card indicated that she is a dog therapist/psychologist. Out of interest I asked her about qualifications - she had none bar experience (no. of years experience changed 3 times through out the conversation). By this time I thought she was pretty dodgy and asked her if she had any references. No she didn't but she changes $180.00 for a consultation. I would never, ever use someone like her.

    Which leads me to the question - what qualifications and/or training should one have to be adequately able to handle a situation such as mine. Word of mouth would not work for me as no one I know has had a problem with their dog that requires intervention.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    945

    Default

    Tehehe... sorry. But I can see your JRT lazing on the lounge with a grin watching you being terrorised by the 4 months old: "Told ya... but now YOU deal with him!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    Hi Ratbag JRT

    I know what you mean by unpredictable...

    My dog has started being VERY protective of me. I'm not sure how much damage she'd really do - so far it's only been pinch nips for attention. Ie don't ignore the dog or she won't let you pass. And there have been a bunch of things I've done to calm her down, which works but may also encourage the initial behaviour. It's finding the balance between encouraging good behaviour without encouraging the bad. And just when I think she's all cool - she nips or lunges anyway. Erm. So I'm thinking about having a behavourist consult too because it only takes one bad event for that to be the end of your dog and I don't want to be one of those people who say "She never did anything like that before" when I am getting warning signs now.

    All I can say for my dog is most of the time she's perfectly behaved and every now and again she's rude (and scary). Or tells some other dog or person off for being rude.

    For your behavourist / trainer search - if I knew what state you're in, there's a bunch who come in here to post from time to time. If you relate to one better than the others try contacting them....

    There's Nekhbet in Geelong / Vic. There's Steve Courtney at K9pro.com.au in the Hawksbury area, he can recommend someone anywhere you might be. There is Mark Singer in Adelaide. Heike in ACT...

    When you first contact a potential trainer, have a clear (ideally written) idea of what your problem is, and what you want to be happening instead. This may be adjusted once the trainer evaluates the situation but will give the trainer a good idea of where you're at.

    How to choose a dog trainer
    Choosing a Dog Trainer?

    What K9pro offers
    Do I need to see a Dog Behaviourist? | Steve Courtney Dog Training
    most importantly - they talk you through any method they want to use and why, so if there are some you're not comfortable using, they will find another way for you.

    As for experience and qualifications, the NDTF (National Dog Trainers Certification) is a good start. A Uni degree in Animal Behaviour might be helpful. A good understanding of all the quadrants of "operant conditioning" is important, and why and when you should use each one. Or not use. Ie I'm not much for "positive punishment" for non-professionals with a normal dog. Maybe for a very experienced professional with a bonkers dog. But timing is crucial. And "positive punishment" is a technical term for using things the dog finds unpleasant to decrease (stop) a behaviour. Eg hitting a dog is postive punishment, but so is verbally reprimanding it - if that stops the behaviour - there's degrees of "severity" too.

    And I'd be looking for someone with years of expeirence with lots of different dogs, not just a series of their own pets they've trained up, because every dog is different and has different motivations and life experiences and hence requires different strategies for changing behaviours. And I'd be looking for someone with almost as good people skills as their dog training skills, cos if they can't teach you what to do, there's not a lot of point.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •