Dog Is Aggressive Towards My New Dogs

I have had my Jack Russell Terrier since she was a couple of months old and she's 3 now and very aggressive for no reason. If anyone goes near her bones or toys, she snaps. If anyone tries to move her off the bed, she snaps. I had another dog a few months back that I had to get rid of since my Jack Russell kept attacking my other dog and I felt it wasn't fair to my other dog. I have had to get rid of 2 dogs because of my Jack Russell so far.

She even bit me one time and I have scars on my hand from her. I recently got a new puppy as well who is 5 months old and anytime he tries to play with toys or touch bones, she snaps on him bad. Every dog I get I seem to have to get rid of because she won't stop attacking them and I just don't know what to do anymore. People have told me maybe she needs to be euthanized now since she's so out of control anymore.

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Earlier today I had both of my dogs outside and she found a stick she was chewing and my other dog went to smell it and she attacked him yet again. I just don't know what to do anymore. She is my baby but I don't want to have to keep getting rid of every pet I get because of her. What should I do?

Jessica from PA

May 5, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

It sounds like she is jealous of the dogs you are bringing home. Euthanizing her would not be a very fair option in my opinion. Maybe it is her that would be happier in a new home. It seems like she would be best kept as the only dog.

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May 6, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

You have a serious problem here and it's only a matter of time before your dog bites a human and then you are ordered to euthanize her.

I am a dog trainer, and I see this problem a lot. First off, you need to educate yourself about pack order and canine body language. (Stanley Coren is a respected author on this to get you started.) You (and others in your pack) are giving her signals that she is the pack leader, and as the pack leader, she is merely correcting behaviour that she sees as being out of line. She's acting as any dominant dog will.

I'll give you some tips to get you started in communicating consistent messages to your dog.

You need to let her know that she is NOT the pack leader. You (and all other humans) are above her in the pack order. Let the dogs sort it out between them with you standing by to correct aggressive and other behaviours you will not tolerate.

Begin by understanding this basic concept: The pack leader is in control of all of the resources. This includes food, toys, treats, the best places to sit and sleep, playtime, access to outside, the direction and pace of a walk, etc. All resources. Remember this.

Here are some helpful tips:

1) DO NOT free feed. (free feed means to leave food in dish and refill when empty.) Feed your dog at times YOU decide and leave the dish on the floor for 10 minutes. Anything not eaten by then is picked up and she'll have to wait until the next feeding time. You are not starving her. You are merely communicating to her that YOU are the leader in control of the food -- how much and when -- not the magical bowl on the floor that refills itself whenever it's empty. If you already feed her this way, good.

2) Insist she says please before getting any resource (see above) by making her sit first. Sit before you feed her. Sit before a treat, toy, a pet, etc. Sit is the please and thank you in the dog world.

3) Do not let her sleep on the bed with humans. The pack leader gets the best place to sleep. She's already showing that she is dominant, so you need to be clear and consistent in your messages to her. Don't confuse her by letting her sleep on the bed. This may be hard if she's used to it, but be firm. If you are consistent with all the other messages you send her, then she'll resist this change less. Also, don't let her on the couch when humans are sitting on it. She'll see herself as an equal. You aren't being mean. Get her a nice blanket or a cushy dog bed. That will be her bed to sit and sleep on. Make it enticing by giving her treats and toys there.

4) Remove any toys laying around the house and keep them in a box that humans have access to but not the dogs. Then give her a toy (after she sits). One toy. You are not taking away her toys; you are just controlling her access to them. Then, when you want to put the toy away to clean up or to exchange it, have a treat in your hand and trade her a treat for the toy. You'll be rewarding her for giving up the toy. NOTE: if she doesn't want to give up the toy, then make sure you have something awesome to trade with. It can be a walk or a favourite game instead of a treat. Just something to get her give up that toy. You don't want to lose this battle.

5) The walk is very important to establishing pack order and the exercise is good for her mind. You need to do this right, though, or you'll be sending her mixed messages. YOU are the one in control of the direction and the pace of the walk. Begin when you hook up the leash. Make sure she sits and holds it on her own. If she breaks the sit, stop attaching the leash, make sure she sits, and try again. Be patient and don't let her boss you around. She'll get what she wants when she gives you the behaviour you want. VERY IMPORTANT: when exiting the house, make sure all people exit BEFORE the dog. In the canine world, leaders and higher members exit and lead, with the lower members in the pack following. It's best to also put her in a sit/stay and then when you command her to exit let her exit. But don't let her exit before you. Again, if she breaks the stay and exits before a person and/or before you've given the command, stop, take her back in (along with anyone in the pack she exited before) and do it again and again until she gets it right. No need for treats. The reward is the walk. When walking, if she pulls, stop, call her to you, and walk backward until she comes to your side, of her own accord. You'll know this because the leash will get slack. When this happens, praise her and continue in the direction she was heading. This will result in a lot of back and forth, but she'll get it quickly if you are consistent. If you let her pull on the leash, she'll think she's walking you and that is NOT what you want.

You don't have a bad dog. You have a dominant dog and she's taken over the leadership role because the pack members have let her. She'll probably always try to move up in rank, so you have to be consistent and firm with the rules. Never break them because she'll just take it to the next level.

I hope this helps. Again, educate yourself and try to use positive-reinforcement training methods rather than punishment-based. You never want to have a physical altercation with your dog. All aggression should be forbidden, including human aggression to dogs. CAUTION: you may find some trainers recommending the alpha roll with your dog. This is where they tell you to take your dog and roll her on her back. Do not do this. This is how the alpha dog will correct another dog, and if the dog resists, there will be biting. This is how they handle it. You do not want your dog to think it's okay to have a physical altercation with a human. If your dog challenges you, you will be bitten. Maybe not the first time, but sometime.

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May 5, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with Laurel, instead of getting rid of any new dogs, I suggest giving the Jack' away, and see if she wouldn't behave better in a new environment. It will be hard to give her up, but it is best for you and the animal.

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May 5, 20080 found this helpful

I understand what everyone is saying, but my Jack Russell started getting this aggression before I brought any new animals home. I'm scared to give her away because if she snaps out on whoever I give her to. I'm scared of what someone will do to her. I have the patience for her as much as I can and I'm scared someone else will not. I read aggressive dogs should be euthanized for everyones safety.This is a tough choice for me to have to give her away since I have had her since she was so young. Thank you so much for all the advice I received.

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May 6, 20080 found this helpful

So, why do you keep getting dogs if you know your jack russell is like this? And why is she like this? Because you let her be like this! You need to let her understand the word 'NO' and put put her in time out (some place alone) for a few minutes when she misbehaves. Does your dog get enough exercise like long walks which are good for both of you every day? It doesn't sound like it. When she behaves properly, reward her with lavish praise and a treat. Never give in to this behavior. This dog believes it is the boss. This is never a good idea. What if your dog went after a large breed dog who will attack back. That would be the end of your dog. There are so many reasons to get this dog's behavior under control and you are the one responsible to do it. Believe me, with consistency and a little hard work, it can be done. Good luck!

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May 6, 20080 found this helpful

We have a Jack Russell and he started acting aggressive when I have him a bone - even toward us. The vet said to not give him a bone anymore and we don't. Also, when he acts this way, he gets reprimanded good! I will not put up with a dog that thinks it runs the house! It's just a dog! not a doll.

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May 6, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, Are you bringing the new dogs to your house to meet your dog? They need to meet at a neutral spot, away from home. Then after they meet each other, bring them home. If they meeet at home, the original dog will be territorial. Loretta

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May 6, 20080 found this helpful

My neighbor has an aggressive Jack Russell, and it use to come over and "visit us". It would wind up killing one of my kid's kittens. I am not an aggressive person, but, I felt that aggressive dog had no right. What I'm saying, you may be the one suffering now for an aggressive dog, but, one day it will be other folks. My daughter had to watch the Jack Russell kill her kitten, because she was trying to rescue it. It's a miracle she didn't get attacked. I got out there in time to get my daughter back at least, but, not in enough time for the kitten.

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May 7, 20080 found this helpful

She has bitten people, just no one outside of the house.

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May 7, 20080 found this helpful

Wow, I really liked what Oberhund had to say! Jessica, I have no advice to offer since I've never dealt with a situation like this, but I do feel for you. I just want to offer you encouragement and to trust your instincts. I'd have a hard time giving my baby up, too. I am going to try Oberhund's advice with my dog who thinks she's the alpha over two cats. Best of luck to you!

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May 7, 20080 found this helpful

My brother has a jack russell that's very aggressive when he's in the same room. But when my brother isn't in the same room as the dog is, the dog is the sweetest thing ever. I hope this helps, good luck

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May 7, 20080 found this helpful

I have a 21 month old female Jack Russel named Jessie and a 16 year old female mini pincher Biddy. They both got along fine when the Jessie was little but now she is attacking Biddy's neck drawing blood and dragging her on the floor. We literally have to yank Jessie off of Biddy. She also is constantly licking and smelling Biddy's wounded neck. Yesterday Jessie had to be yanked off Biddy and my boyfriend put her in the 'alpha roll' and he got bit by Jessie. I'm reading now the 'alpha roll' is not the thing to do. Anyways, I have another 3 month old Parson Russell and Jessie hasn't shown that behavior with her yet but wondering if she will start. I hate to give her up but can't have her attacking Biddy at the same time. I'm going to see if a behaviorist can help us if not I'm going to have to give her up

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May 8, 20080 found this helpful

Use "The Shake Can" the ultimate training tool. goto www.theshakecan.com for further instructions. It's the only thing I have found that works with my JRT. She's 8 years old now and all I have to do is say "I'm going to get that can," and then she is obedient. I had the same kinds of problems you're having and believe me, the can really works. Please give it a go. best,

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May 29, 20080 found this helpful

We had problems with our dogs and dominance between the two of them. I searched the internet and came up with an article on dealing with this. You have to decide which dog is "naturally" dominant. Not the dog you want to be dominant. Then you must ignore the subordinate dog. Just feed it...no touching, no eye contact, no petting. Be sure to feed the dominant dog first and make the other wait. This could take from 4 to 12 weeks. But, you will notice a remarkable change in your dogs! You can begin petting the subordinate dog when it is totally calm. Totally meaning - sitting or lying down with not movement at all - no tail wagging. You may have to catch it quickly at first. But, it doesn't take long for the dog to know it only gets attention when it is calm. Only pet the dominate dog when it is calm, also. But, you do not have to ignore the dominate dog. Give this a try. You can go to www.geocities.com/Augusta/2525/multidogs.htm to read the article. Also, a great book to help with showing your dog you are the leader is "The Dog Listener" by Jan Fennell. It's available at Amazon. It is a great book with lots of advice. Good luck. This can be corrected. It took us about two months. Now we have two very lovable dogs that get along wonderfully.

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June 13, 20080 found this helpful

With her history of not liking new pets, I am surprised you brought a puppy home. The Jack probably feels threatened for your attention and time. Some dogs of all breeds are just "one dog per family" types. Maybe she felt she lost your attention to the new ones and since you

kept getting rid of the new ones she found a way that is proven she is mean to newbie then newbie is gone.

I have a Jack who was left in a kennel in an empty apt for over 3 weeks and weighed six pounds of bones. She was one year old at the time. Now she is about 4ish and is the best doggie ever. We got a puppy couple of years ago it is a yappy spoiled AKC (a gift) YORKIE and the Jack put up with the pup we made a big deal to include her

when pup was oh'ed and awe'd over. She grew to love and mother the Yorkie. Now the Yorkie bosses the Jack around. Once when taking a photo of the Jack alone, at the last minute the yorkie slipped in on its own. Well good luck.

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June 17, 20080 found this helpful

Hi I remember watching on tv about this lady animal trainer and when the dog got aggressive she put it down on the floor and gave no eye contact. It is true on what the animal trainer said about you being the top dog of the pack. When your dog acts up put him or her in a place where he/she can not get out. No dog on the bed and you have to keep putting your foot down a lot it is a lot of hard work. When bad no eye contact and place her/him in a certain spot does it again do the same. You have to show the dog you mean business. The lady dog trainer was in a british woman. Hope this helps

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September 12, 20080 found this helpful

I know it's been said before, but you made a lifetime commitment to your dog for her lifetime, not just for when things are going well. You know she doesn't get along with other animals so you just cannot bring any other animals into your home. It's really not fair to the new dogs you're bringing in to have them get used to you and your home and then have to give them to someone else. And it's not right for you to subject them to injury by your dog. Face it, your dog needs to be an only dog. Right now you should concentrate on training her. You need to be the pack leader. That doesn't mean disciplining her in a bad way, you just need to learn how to correct the bad behavior. Please seek a professional trainer.

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October 6, 20130 found this helpful

With no disrespect but why do you keep bringing new Dogs in to your home when clearly the resident animal is a one owner Dog.

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