Aggression to Other Animals

Posted by luap34
Sep 27, 2007
I received a rescue Jack Russell 4 years old, 5 months ago and he is a lovely natured dog in the house and with people. On the lead he tends to pull but I am training him on this, but, as soon as he sees another animal walking in his street he goes crazy, wanting to fight with the other dog or cat and it seems as if nothing I say could stop him attacking if he could as he is pulling very hard on the lead to get free. Any advise on what to do in this situation would be welcome..thanks in advance
Posted by eyeluvdogs
Oct 5, 2007
Hi sounds as though you have a bit of a Jekyl and Hyde situation on your hands. It sounds as though your newly adopted Jack Russell was not really socialized when he was younger, which has unfortunately resulted in this aggressive behavior upon seeing other animals.

I think that you should be able to successfully train your dog into at least tolerating the presence of other animals, however it will take lots of work, and will probably be a little frustrating to begin with. But, he sounds like a very nice dog (when he is indoors) and so is worth the effort!

Firstly, perhaps you could try using a Gentle Leader or Halti with your dog. This may help with the pulling, but it will also mean that if he does strain on the leash he is not damaging his neck. Many people have said that these head halters give them better control over their dog if they pull or misbehave.

When you are out on your walk and you come across another dog, speak to your dog in a confident and encouraging voice to show him that there is nothing to be worried about. If he starts to get aggressive, issue a short sharp noise and quickly turn around and walk back 5 paces. Turn around and ask him to sit. After a few seconds move forward again. If he is aggressive again, repeat the same process. If you continue to do this (it may take some time) hopefully your dog will start to get the idea that his aggressive behavior is not appropriate and he will learn to start ignoring the other dogs/animals. If you manage to walk your dog past another animal without him reacting, praise and reward him with a yummy treat (one that you know he is particularly fond of!).

You should also ensure that he knows you are the Alpha of the household, and that he is your subordinate. Dog's will look to their superiors for guidance in certain situations, and if he sees that you are not bothered by the presence of another animal, hopefully he will start to feel more relaxed also. Try not to tighten your hold on his leash if you see another dog as this will send him a signal that you are nervous, which will in turn cause him to become aggressive again.

I hope this helps. Good luck