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14 Year Old becoming a biter

I love my dog. I mean he's been my best friend for a long time now. He's adorable in the mornings. Loves to wake me up and is easy to pet etc. But at night. He becomes a whole other animal. He will growl at you as he gets into his bed. Has snapped at me once or twice. He's bitten a few friends usually related to them trying to give him food and he accidentally gets em. He's got very sharp teeth.

My vet put him on Prozac about 5 years ago and his anxiety certainly is better but still, if you are anywhere near him eating or if he's just grumpy. Watch out. I was wiping an ant off of him yesterday as he was eating a treat outside and he bit my finger. Pretty badly.

As I said. I love my dog. But I can't deal with the biting and I'm not sure how best to go about how to solve this problem. He has some arthritis, and I know thats probably worse at night. Perhaps he thinks I'm hurting him? But I stay away from petting him (kills me) at night because he's just to unpredictable.

When friends are over I'm usually on pins and needles afraid he's going to just strike.


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Jan 30, 2013
dominance down
by: JohndeSD

It might be time to remind your JRT who's in charge. When he snaps or growls, immediately put him into dominance down. Hold him down until he ceases the growling and then release him. Repeat the procedure immediately if he starts up again.

As for worrying about him biting friends and family, you could slip on a soft racing muzzle when they come to visit. Tell your guests that your JRT has become a little senile and sometimes nips, hence the precaution.

Nov 03, 2012
14 year old Jack Russell biting
by: Frances

So sorry to hear about your Jack. Sometimes when dogs get older they get grumpier and snappish for a few reasons. A big one is arthritis. That can cause a bit of pain for them and makes them unhappy and uncomfortable. Another things is that as dogs get older they start to lose their hearing and vision. When they can't hear or see well it seems like people are sneaking up on them and they react to that. Putting jingly bells on the doors might be a good way of alerting your Jack that someone is coming. Friends and family should be warned in advance that he can bite especially when he is eating and maybe food should be just put in front of him instead of giving him treats directly. And that if you want to pet him you should put yourself in front of him and let him sniff you first.
I would also take him to the vet to make sure that nothing else more seriously is going on. And see if there is some kind of anti inflamatory medicine that he can take for the arthritis. And see if he needs a bed that is more padded as well.
Hope this helps! It's so hard to watch our pups grow older as ours went through something similar to what your is going through.

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