Re: trainingPosted by: Leslie Hemsing
Posted on: November 04, 2002 at 23:12:21
In Reply to: training
: My husband and I own a 14-month-old male JRT who has already been neutered. He is so aggressive that his vet claims "he must have a hidden set of testicles." He regularly starts fights with dogs on the street. In addition, HE walks US, by pulling on the leash in the direction he wants to go. Often times my wrist becomes bruised from this. To make matters worse, my husband has allowed him to drink from glasses and take over our bed so that he can sleep in between us wherever he likes. What worries me most is that our lack of control over him could cause a premature death; I have heard horrible stories about JRT's dying because they got off of their leashes and ran in front of cars, not obeying their owners. I hired an obedience trainer last week in the hopes that we could finally walk him down the street without our neighbors being scared to walk on the same side of the street. The trainer was pretty harsh in her technique; she made him wince more than a couple of times as she pulled his harness when he wouldn't listen to her commands. Interestingly, after only an hour or so, he began to listen. Once my husband saw this "mean training" he put a stop to it. He says that it is unneccesarily cruel and that he'd rather get the dog to listen with positive reinforcement. In the meantime, nothing has changed and my dog is a holy terror. What do you suggest?
First let me say that you and your husband are BOTH right; you are correct that your lack of control over your terrier could lead to his death and your husband is correct that it is better to teach your terrier with positive reinforcement. :-)
Aggression toward other dogs generally means that the terrier was not properly socialized with other dogs or that the terrier feels the need to protect it's humans...or a combination of both. As I am not sure which issue your little guy is dealing with, I suggest your best course of action is to find a training school that teachs with positive reinforcement. By attending classes, you and your husband will learn how to properly train him and your terrier will have the opportunity to socialize with other dogs.
Unfortunately, the flaw in this idea is your terrier's aggression toward other dogs. Fortunately, most PR training schools offer classes specifically designed to deal with this type of aggression while still teaching owners how to train their dogs. If you are unable to find such a program, then the training school folks should be able to recommend a trainer who can give you and your husband private lessons on how to teach your terrier to behave.
Please take care of this situation now; the longer the behavior goes on, the harder it will be to correct it. I encourage you to take advantage of our FAQs (links below) and search engine to learn more about aggression and dominate behavior.