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older dog- jack russell terrier training

by hollie

hi all ive got a 6yr old femail jack Russell cross and iv had her since a small pup we have never had a problem with her she is an excellent family dog and well trained apart from when she see's a wild critter and small pets ie rabbits and my daughters hamster! well this is more about the hamster than wild rabbits but would like a happy medium as she managed to get at the hamster and subsequently killed it for pleasure (the poor thing) now i know its in there nature to hunt small rodents and rabbits but is there a way i can get her attention off of this habbit so we can all live together peacefully! iv tried training her with a punishment noise but this hasn't worked and with a water squirter but even that didn't work she wont even take her attention of it untill its either out of sight or in the hamsters case killed it! please help as my daugter is asking for anther small pet and i dont want this to happen again many thanks and of cause im willing to try anything (within reason) xxx

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Oct 29, 2011
older dog- jack russell terrier training
by: Robbin's Rescued Russells

What you have in your Jack is called “high prey drive”. This is something that those of us that compete with or hunt our Jacks look for and consider it to be an asset. To us the higher the prey drive (the desire to hunt) the better. Since this “prey drive” is something that is part of a Jack’s genetic makeup you will never, in my opinion based on over ten years of living with, training, competing and rescuing Jack Russells, be able to trust her completely. Their instinct takes over and will “naturally” over ride any training you have done. When she gets “fixated” on what she considers as “prey” there is little to nothing you can do to stop it. These are tough and tenacious little white dogs and are bred to make decisions on their own because when they are underground with the quarry there is no one there to give directions.
The safest thing would be not to have any small animals (hamsters, rats, etc) in your home. But if you decide to again bring a hamster into your home I suggest keeping it in a safe place where she and the hamster will not have any interaction. This is going to be tough because if you bring it into your home she will smell it and through her tenacity do her best to find it. She will probably be very creative in figuring out a way to have contact with the hamster even if you kept it on a very high shelf or in a room behind a closed door.
Robbin Grabowski

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