aggression with other dogs and visitors

by Sharon
(Newcastle upon Tyne)

we got our jack russell when he was 3 years old and is now 5 years old he has never liked other dogs but was fine with visitors however he is now wanting to bite other dogs and being very aggressive with visitors to our home what can I do? HELP!

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Dec 22, 2013
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Jack Russell getting aggressive
by: Greg

Aggression is born from anxiety and fear. Something unfamiliar appears—be it an object, person, or other animal--and your dog interprets it as threatening. Jack Russells tend to be more skittish then other breeds, by breeding is just one factor in the equation. Because you got your Jack at the age of 3, you don't know his past history and what his background was like. It's possible that your Jack was never probably socialized to be around other people. And you don't know if your Jack was ever abused.
If your dog displays aggressive behavior, guidance from an experienced dog behaviorist is crucial. Leaving the problem unchecked can only lead to trouble: one snap (not to mention an actual bite) from your dog can lead to strained relationships with friends, relatives, or strangers--none of whom, after all, know how lovable your dog may be when he's alone at home with you.

Desensitization is the method most often used to treat aggression. It begins with breaking down the triggers for your Jack's aggression into their most basic, discrete components. One small step at a time, you'll pair positive reinforcement (such as praise or treats) with the trigger stimulus, gradually establishing pleasant associations between the two. Successful desensitization takes time, patience, and know-how. I would definitely speak to a trained behaviorist to get detailed instruction before beginning. As well as then looking into a obedience class to work on commands which will lead to better behavior and a better bond between your Jack and your family.

Hope that helps!

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