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Any advice on helping our dominant JRT accept a new JRT pup successfully

by Candice
(South Africa)

Hi there!

Loki is our 8 month old male pedigree JRT. He has always been the dominant dog among others. For example, the first day we brought him home at 8 weeks, he dominated over a fully grown female Great Dane and now they are great friends (no pun intended). He most definately is a Jack Russell - when he looks in the mirror he sees a lion, not a little dog. :) At the dog park he always tries to, and usually gets other dogs to submit to him. He is well socialised, loves running and sharing his toys with other dogs and rarely gets into "arguments" with other dogs. He is obedient and although he gets up to mischief, his intelligence and adorable and loving nature have us believing that he is the best dog that anyone could ever own. We love him to bits and he returns that love tenfold :). We want to get a female JRT pup with the eye on breeding when she is old enough. Our concern is that Loki may not allow her into our pack and that they may not get along well as a result. I have read/heard that JRT's do not take well to multiple JRT's in a pack due to their dominant natures. We are alsokeeping in mind that the possibility that the new pup may have a similar temperament. We also would like some advice on when we should get the new pup (we are very eager to get her) and how best to prepare Loki for his new "wife". We realise that it is possible, we just want to do it in the best way. The reasons for our concerns are multiple:

1. Loki is very attached and protective toward us as his human "parents". Although he loves other dogs, he has attacked a large dog who attempted to sit on my lap at the dog park - clearly he has strict boundries regarding his pack.

2. We live on the same property as another family who own the Great Dane previously mentioned and a Miniature Yorkshire Terrier. The Yorkie arrived after Loki was already with us. They get along well, but scuffles arise whenever we give the other dogs attention. He does not attack them, but imediately dominates them by tackling the Yorkie onto her back and mouthing her neck. He tugs at the Great Dane's legs and also mouths her neck when he is able to get up there. They can get quite rough at times with the Yorkie often yelping in this scenario. His behaviour seems to me to have its root in jealousy. Loki eats and sleeps separately from the other dogs and clearly knows that they aren't part of our pack. Our concern with regard to this issue is that a) this unpleasantness will be a lifelong struggle with a new pup who will become a part of our pack and also get loads of attention and b) that the new pup gets hurt when we can't supervise.

3. At approximately 6 months of age, Loki was attacked at a family member's house by their large dog. The two were initially OK together, but excitement ensued and the other dog got hold of Loki by his throat and flung him around before we could break the fight up. This dog has a reputation for being vicious around other dogs (she was raised as a guard dog and has a fiery temperament). He was not seriously hurt, but was a bit stiff and not quite himself for a day or two. He has been more aggressive in his play with other dogs since then. This has also coincided with the onset of puberty as well as the environment on the property becoming more chaotic with the introduction of 5 year old twins and more family members in the main house. This has probably also attributed to this increase in aggression.

4. We (the two of us and Loki) are moving to a new house in the beginning of 2012 and will then no longer be sharing a yard with other dogs. Loki's territory will then be completely his, as opposed to the shared territory at the moment. We are debating whether we should get the pup whilst at our current residence or once we have moved to the new place. The current residence has recently become quite chaotic and ideally we would like to raise the new pup in the new quieter environment, but we wonder whether Loki wouldn't be more protective of his territory when it isn't shared.

I hope that all this information helps to provide a better insight into the situation. Thank you in advance for your advice!

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Jun 30, 2011
Thank you
by: Candice

Thank you for that input. He does accept his "daddy" as dominant that we know for sure, but there has been rare occassions when he has tested my dominance. I will evaluate my status in the pack again and go from there.

Jun 28, 2011
Dominant Jack Russell
by: Anonymous

It sounds like there is a lot going on with where you are. Even though Loki is well socialized, he may be asserting dominance because he doesn't view you as pack leader. Also because he is not neutered this may contribute to it as well. It may be a good idea to work on training and commands with him to establish dominance and from there work on gradually being able to pet other dogs in his presence (you will need to do this slowly, have treats available, be certain of his ability to follow commands and use those commands in the presence of the other dogs). Before you introduce another dog into the mix, it may be good for him to be able to tolerate this and also accept you as pack leader. Once you have that down, I'm sure introducing a new dog into the mix won't be as traumatic whether you do it in your current or new environment. Keep us posted on how he does!

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