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Re: Recently Aggressive

Posted by:  Marie Evans
Posted on:  April 05, 2002 at 09:48:52

In Reply to: Recently Aggressive
Category:   Aggression
Posted by:  John Crider
Posted on:  April 02, 2002 at 11:42:57

Question:

: I have a 6 year old JR. We got her when she was 8 weeks old and have loved her ever since. When she was a pup we worked very hard to get the "terror" out of the Terrier. One of her very bad habits was the defensive nature she took while on furniture. By constantly going to "bother" her, and placing her in a submissive position when she showed aggression we got her to act more family friendly. Until recently, the only time we had any problem was when she was josteled while sleeping (an understandable reaction).

: Sunday my niece came over to greet my JR while the JR was on the couch. There was a growl, and before the girls mom could get a word out, the dog bit my niece on the face (breaking skin). I have since instituted a "no furniture" policy for the dog. I go up to her while she rests and get no reaction, but my kids still get a growl. I have a squirt bottle ready, but I am afraid to have her around kids.

: I love my dog, but should I find a new home for her that is more suited to her temperment, or is there a way I can modify this behavior?

: John


Response:

Hi John,

If your children are old enough, get them involved in the care of the dog and have them start to do obedience work with her.

Your terrier has elevated her status in your "pack" and the kids she sees as beneath her in status. The best way to deal with this is to get the kids involved in feeding her, taking her out, and getting her to work for stuff. If your dog has a background in obedience then have the kids start to give her commands.

A growl is a dog's early warning signal and should be heeded by the children. I personally don't recommend trying to get a dog to stop growling as it may be the only way you know a bite can be the next thing coming. There is nothing worse than a silent biter.

Try the suggestions I have recommended and see if this can help. In the interim I would make sure that visiting children are kept clear of her for now. And continue to keep her off the furniture, she lost her privelege when she bit your niece.

Regards,
Marie