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Aggressive on Leash 4 Year Old Jack Russell

by Cindy
(Allen, TX)

I have a 4 year old Jack Russell that is extremely aggressive when he sees another dog while we are walking. He will attempt to get to the other dog and attempts to bite his leash, whoever is walking him or our other dog to in frustration at not being able to get to the other dog! He has even bitten a shrub!
What is the best approach? We've tried stopping and letting the other dogs pass. We cross to the other side of the street to keep our distance. We thought just walking him twice daily that it would desensitize him to it all and it would cause such terrible behavior but that is not the case.

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Jun 10, 2020
Jack Russell Terrier is Aggressive on a Leash
by: julie

Desensitizing your Jack Russell Terrier to a perceived threat, such as an approaching dog, may happen very quickly, or it could take a long time.
It's important to go at your dog's pace. To teach your dog to be comfortable with other dogs passing by, start by having a friend or trainer bring their calm, non-reactive dog to help you. Begin the training by having them stand at a distance where your dog is comfortable and can focus on other things. Play a game your dog enjoys, give him his favorite toy or feed him some delicious food. If your dog shows no signs of discomfort, ask your helper to bring their dog a little closer. Continue to play or feed your dog and give plenty of praise.If at any time your dog reacts negatively, simply turn around and walk away from the situation until he calms down enough to play again or accept food. If your dog is reacting negatively, you have decreased the distance too quickly. Move the helper dog back to a distance where your dog can relax and repeat the process. raining might take time depending on your dog’s level of discomfort, but do not give up, as this training technique has an impressive success rate. Stay calm and relaxed yourself throughout the process and gradually work up to the point where the other dog is able to walk past as your dog focuses on you or stays calmly by your side.

When you get to the point where you can walk past other dogs with no reaction at all, your dog might be ready to experience his first greeting.
Do not allow unconfident dogs to greet face to face to begin with as it can be too much pressure, so practice following the other dog or walking parallel with each other until both dogs are comfortable. If your dog is relaxed, then you can both walk in an arc towards each other, have your dogs greet for a few seconds face to face and then happily draw them away from each other, rewarding them for making this huge step. When it is appropriate, try going for regular walks with your dog’s new friend and begin adding other dogs to the mix until you can get a regular walking group together. Simply experiencing the joys of a walk with other dogs will help your dog feel more comfortable around them..

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