Bad Behavior Jack russells

Posted by cherie72
Mar 25, 2008
Hi Everyone, I have just joined Kingdom of pets dog forum, I have 3 x Naughty jack russells, The oldest is amber 4 years and Jack is 3 years and last one is their puppy Holly 1 year . She has been attacking the mother really nasty the last few days, and I need some advice on seperating fighting dogs and why she has decided that she wishes to kill her mother suddenly. They used to be best friends. The vet said something about her being the alpha dog, I havnt read the online books yet? Just getting started. My boy dog Jack is fairly good behavioured except for strangers (people & dogs) he wishes to eat them. Amber the older one, barks constantly at strangers. And the baby is just naughty as they come. I did 3 years dog obedience with a border collie earlier in my life, so I know a little... Not a lot? LOL These Jack russells are a real hand full. I am in Australia victoria. I better start reading my books i think. Just thought I would say hello to everyone first, cherie
Posted by Todd
Mar 26, 2008
HI there Cherie.

I think this may be an issue with Australian dogs because here in New Zealand we don't have these problems just kidding.

Sounds like quite the troublesome trio. Keep reading the books and i will give you some help.

AS always i start with alpha advice

The first advice i would give you is to ensure you and your family members have read and understand the techniques in the bonus book "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog". These are great techniques for maintaining or establishing your position at the head of the household. No matter what the problem is all dogs need to know where the stand in the house for both yours and their peace and comfort.

Here are some ways to reinforce your position-

1) If you come across your dogs while they are sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making them move so that you can pass by.

2) Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dogs around the house on the leash, making your dogs wait while you walk through doorways first.

3) At mealtimes make sure that your dogs eat after all of the humans have.

4) Do not feed your dogs tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.

5) Do not greet your dogs straightaway when you arrive home. Make it wait until you are ready and then call it to you.

6) Whenever your dogs want attention or anything wait till they are sitting and being well behaved.

7) When you give a command make sure that you are in a position to enforce the action that you require from your dog, especially in the initial stages of Alpha Dog training. Also, use the Alarm-No-Command technique as described in the Alpha Dog bonus book to reprimand your dog if it does not obey your command.

And after this i go to the obedience and exercise issues.

The next advice i would give you is to ensure that the trio are very obedient. Work with them twice a day for 10 minutes each time separately. Take them to a quiet area and work on the commands sit, stay and come as mentioned in SitStayFetch. The more obedient your dogs are the more they will listen to you and the more likely you are to have control in the problem situations you mentioned. Training them will take time and patience.

The alpha and obedience training will go along way to helping you control these situation. But here is some specific advice to help you.

[B]Holly -[/B]
Is Holly speyed? If not now is a great time. Hormones can play a large part in these issues.
Her aggression could be based around her trying to find her place in the hierachy. I think because there are 3 of them it will be better to teach them all to get along and not to reinforce one as the alpha etc.

1. Firstly muzzle get Holly and her mother together, then put both dogs in a sit near you. Pet one, and then feed that one. Then, feed the other one for tolerating your interactions with the first one. At first, this is best done with a second handler, but after the dogs become better at self-restraint, you can do this alone.

2. Sit on the sofa and call the dogs over. Ask one dog to sit or lie down. Make a fuss over Dog 2. Reward the sitting/downed Dog 1 for tolerance and remaining in place. Then reverse this: put Dog 2 in a sit or down position and make a big fuss over Dog 1. Reward Dog 2 for tolerance and staying. Again, you can do this by yourself if you have confidence that a brawl won't break out. Otherwise use a second handler to keep an eye on the sitting/downed dog. This exercise is best practiced on leash.

3. Remember that if you take one dog for a walk, leave the other one behind and kennel the walked dog on return. When things are calm for 5 – 15 minutes, get both dogs out and put them in sit and down together for a treat (never facing each other). Then allow them to interact, if you think that it is safe to do so at this point in training. Follow this advice when you work the dogs as well. Kennel one dog, and work the other dog. Then trade, kenneling one and getting the other out to work. After a 5 – 15 minute rest period, get the dogs out and carefully work them together. You may need two handlers for this also.

When it comes to meal time you should encourage the two dogs to eat at the same time near each other. Do not put their food bowls down until they are both sitting, listening and behaving. Be prepared for them to show some aggression, if one dog moves towards the others food or growls, reprimand them. The methods above are great for reprimanding the dogs. You really want to reinforce that food aggression is not acceptable. If at any stage one of the dogs misbehaves take its food away and put it into a quiet room. Wait ten minutes and then try again with that dog.

Over the next few weeks you can slowly move the dogs food bowls together. Do this slowly and always watch them. If they misbehave go back to the step where they tolerated each other. You should over time get them to the point where they can eat side by side.

Feeding the dogs side by side from your hand is a great way to reinforce their friendship but be very careful and only do this when you fully trust them. It will take you weeks to get to this stage.

Make sure both dogs get heaps of toys when they are learning to behave. Make sure you teach them to play together and again reinforce good behaviour. Once they will play together then you can try and leave them with the toys, but always keep an eye on them.

It seems like Jack is fine so you can leave him out of this program unless issues start there.

Jack -
Jack needs to be more socialised and i thinks the others would benefit from this too. Take him for walks around your neighbourhood. When you see another dog approaching make Jack sit and relax.
This will require him to be very obedient. Let the other dog come to you. Jck should be relaxed and sitting at all times. If at any stage he stands or growls reprimand him and make him sit. He must realise that you are the boss and what you say goes. Once he begins to behave again make him sit and give him plenty of praise. You must work on reinforcing they behaviours you want and reprimanding the inappropriate ones. Once he begins to behave in these situations you may want to try socialising him at other places like dog parks.

As with the strangers........
Posted by Todd
Mar 26, 2008
Practice his behaviour with other people.

*Get an adult friend to come and visit (make sure that you tell them what is happening!).
*As your friend knocks on the door or rings the doorbell, make your dog sit and give it a treat. Then put your dogs collar on and take it to either a crate or a secure room. If your dog is too much of a handful at even this stage then you will have to put your dog away before your visitor gets to the door.

*Sit your friend down in a room that is not often use by your dog. Give you friend some treats so that they can give them to your dog.

*Go to your dog and make it sit. Put a halti or muzzle as well as the choke collar on. Get your dog to heel then take it into the room that your friend is in. Make sure that your friend does not give any eye contact. Act as happy as you can while petting your dog.

*If your dog growls or disobeys your commands at ANY TIME then squirt it with water or shake a pebble filled can to startle it. Have the water pistol or can in your dogs view at all times.

*Make your dog sit quite a long way from your guest, perhaps in the doorway of the room. When your dog is calm get it to heel and move it closer, then get your dog to sit again. Praise your dog when it sits and heels properly.

*When your dog is calm and you have moved it and made it sit within 5 feet of the guest then get the guest to give your dog a treat. Make sure that the guest does not look your dog in the eyes.

This will need to be continued for a few weeks. Once he is well behaved you can try the same sort of thing in an outdoor situation. Once he is behaved here try and get a friend to practice walking away (they will need thick leather jeans or something to avoid getting hurt). Get them to walk away while Murphy is sitting beside you. If at any stage he stands up growl and make him sit again. If he runs at them get them to turn and make a grrr or ahhh noise while you say NO. You may want a hose also as these are great reinforcer's of poor behaviour.

This will take a great deal of time and patience.

Once he behaves well with people try socialising him with dogs on your property. Do the same as above and let him walk a metre closer then sit. If he doesn't sit or he growls at all tell him off. Never let the two dogs meet on the first occasion. They may meet after 3-4 sessions. From here you can try him when he is out walking.
When he is out walking he should be under your control at all times, when you say sit he should always sit, so keep on with the obedience training. When a strange dog approaches make him sit and wait (keep a tight lead). Once they get closer make sure he is under control. At any stage if he growls or stands up reprimand him firmly as above and make him sit again. This reinforces that his behaviour is bad and that you are in control.

As for Amber -

She needs the same treatment as Jack with strangers but make sure to spray her with a water pistol and reprimand her when she barks.

Now how to break up a dog fight

The safest way to break up a fight is to grab the most aggressive dog by the hind legs and pick its rear up like you are holding a "wheel barrow". Then you back up pulling the dog with you. Since the dog is now supporting itself on two feet only, it is not likely to want to continue fighting, and it is very difficult for it to turn to try and bite you.

Then get it out of the room, behind a door, or where ever handy as fast as you can so it is separated from the other dog. If two people are present, each can grab a different dog and wheel him backwards. Please remember that there is NO 100% safe way to break up a dog fight. If you do not feel confident and are not willing to risk a bite try a different method.

This issue will take a long time to fix so please let me know how things go and if i can help anymore