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dominance issues with my 10yr old jack russell

by emma stacey

i rescued my dog 8yrs ago,he is 10yrs old and he was beaten by a man and consequently was terrified of men.i was single then and hes got over his fears.he has health issues,colitis (is on a strict diet) and allergies-he has been on predrisorone for many yrs and its just started affecting his health more.he eats his feet to bits and scratches a lot (i have shampoo from the vets for him)he also has arthritis,esp in his back legs.he is decreipid yes,but hes happy and gets plenty of walks and main issue though is,he has recently started becoming a bit aggressive with other dogs.i have just met someone who has 2 bigger dogs and we have been taking them long walks together so they can get to know each other outside first which was going well,unitl today when we sat for a cup of tea and a bite to eat in the forrest.jake then went for one of the other dogs,and tried to several times after.i think it was partly a food issue,and partly dominancebut,how do i get him out of this as we are all going on holiday in march and would like some harmony?i was thinking of maybe trying a muzzle on him in close quarters until he realises the other dogs are good,but am not sure?he is pretty much a great dog apart from this.thankyou

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Jan 17, 2012
by: Julie

Sounds like your Jack has gone through a whole bunch of things, but is lucky to have found such a loving owner. If things were going well with the other two dogs up to this point, then maybe it really was a food issue. It couldn't hurt to work on basic commands with your Jack. Maybe in an obedience type program that combines learning commands with some socialization. Commands will help build confidence and can also help him navigate other dogs.
When you go on your walks, if there is food involved or treats, maybe the dogs need to be in separate areas (this is where the commands like sit and stay will come in handy)to receive them and they need to preform a few commands before getting them. Also keep toys separate as well because they could be sources of conflict.

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