Adopted Jack Russell - Very Aggressive Towards Men and Sudden Movements

by Tina
(Chicago)

About a month ago, I adopted a 5 year old Jack Russell Terrier. She was found as a stray last December and had been in the adoption center since. During this time, she stayed with two foster families and one of the families had a incident where the dog bit someone. I was told all of this before the adoption but according to the foster family, they believed it was the dog reacting to the person aggressively playing with her. Since I've brought her home, she has almost been a perfect dog. She's had no accidents. Hasn't destroyed anything and overall been such a pleasure to have. The only problem there was, was walking. She doesn't like when she doesn't see something coming and she's barks when a bike comes by suddenly or we turn a corner and there is someone there, just as examples. But lately, the problems have escalated. I don't have that many visitors but in the last month I have had friends over and she absolutely reacts aggressively when I have men in my apartment. Two days ago, I had a date come back to my apartment to use the bathroom. I told him before hand that she doesn't like new people and she was going to bark so just be ready. I entered the apartment with him, Robin (my dog) did bark but I picked her up and went into the other room while he used the bathroom. I then put her on a lease and we walk downstairs to take her out. We were outside and he bent down to pet her and she freaked out and bit his nose. I didn't know what to do. We went back up to my apartment. I put her in my room and helped him because he was bleeding quite a bit. She has all her shots and I apologized over and over but what do I do with the dog? This was an extreme situation which I could have put behind me until yesterday. When I had another friend come to the apartment. Even before the bite incident, I try to introduce any person to Robin in a controlled situation when I am home and I'm letting someone in. I put Robin on her lease and then go down stairs with her to let the person in. After the biting incident on Friday, I was really cautious yesterday. My friend simply held his hand out for Robin to sniff, she did bark when he came in the door but calmed down and my friend again let her sniff him before moving into my apartment. He put his stuff down and moved further into my kitchen and Robin snapped at him. I still had her on her leash so she missed him but what do I do? I can't have a dog that bites people. I don't understand because she's never been aggressive towards me and I've had her in other situations with other people and she has barked but hasn't snapped or actually bit someone. Any advise someone can give me, I'd really appreciate it. Is this a Jack Russell trait? Is it more likely she was abused? What can I do help this problem? I love my dog and she is so sweet usually but this has become a serious problem?

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Feb 14, 2012
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my dog did the same thing
by: daniela

Hi there,
I rescued a badly abused JR who did exactly the same things you did. He also went crazy with strollers, babies and kids - trying to jump at them and growling.. I have a harness and when he would act up, I'd pull him in towards me and say, "hey" in a low serious voice. He looked up at me and I made sure to look at him in the eye. I went to the park and sat on the bench and worked with him there - since everything he didn't like was there in abundance. It took a long time and alot of patience but he is now fine. If you have a dog run or dog park, I suggest that - the social time / play time with other dogs really mellowed my guy out. All I can say is that in time and lots of patience it will get better. It's been 11 months and he's so much better.. Still not where I would like him to be but much better.

Dec 28, 2011
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another idea
by: Anonymous

You could also have the visitors throw treats to your pup so she begins to associate new people with good things! Good luck! Training and learning about a new rescued pup can be a journey but one worth traveling! :-)

Dec 07, 2011
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by: Anonymous

Thanks for the advise! I've only had her a little over a month do I'm just trying to figure her personality out. But holding her is probably a good idea because she's never snapped or been aggressive with me. I'm sure time will help too. Thanks!

Dec 07, 2011
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Robin
by: aj

Hi there, it sounds to me that your dog obviously gets startled quite easily and is very cautious or jealous of your attention from other people. She seems to be protective over you. I think maybe there was abuse in her life. Have you tried to constantly talk to her and tell her it was ok and for her to be nice. Instead of leashing her when your male friends come over hold her close to you and say Robin, be nice and mommy give you treat. This works for my jack whenever I want him to do something.

I hsve a 15 month old Jack, he was very aggressive out on walks wanting to attack every dog or squirrel.That was the most embarrassing thing to ever have to deal with. The dog thing has greatly improved but I think the sqirrel chase will never unfortunatly. He loves people jumps and licks them silly, he will play bite gently with my husband and brother because they let him. As soon as I tell him to stop he does.

How long have you had your dog, perhaps it'll take time but i think you should hold her when guests arrive, have treats ready. Perhaps they can if she's calm give her a treat. Good luck, hope you sort things out.


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