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Re: JRT and baby

Posted by:  Carol Pierce
Posted on:  November 15, 2002 at 13:56:20

In Reply to: JRT and baby
Category:   Behavior Problems
Posted by:  Amy Spears
Posted on:  November 14, 2002 at 19:14:12

Question:

: We have a 7 year old male Jack Russell Terrier that is obsessed with our two week old baby. He needs to be around the baby constantly and refuses to go outside to play. He whines constantly and jumps up when the baby is in a high location, such as a changing table. He also somtimes whines when the baby cries on my lap. When the baby is on his level (such as in a swing), he must be close by and tends to lunge towards him making me very nervous. However, when we let him get close to the baby in a supervised setting, he licks the baby. Please help me! What do I need to do to curb this extremely annoying behavior? Will he just get better with time- and how long will that take? My 8 year old female JRT just ignores the baby. Unfortunately, I did not follow any of the "before the baby" tricks that are mentioned on this site.


Response:

Hi Amy,

Congrats on the birth of the baby! It goes without saying that your first concern is the total safety of your baby. For some reason, this JR "thinks" the new creature is his property and responsibility. Immediately, demand that he give you total obedience. Give him commands like Down-Stay, and never let him get away without 100% compliance. I sure hope he has been to basic obedience school. You need it now, big time. I was always a little on the fence about my own JR's attitude toward my grandson, when he was "new". Such intense curiosity, and when baby made those noises, my Jack just exploded, wanting to get in baby's face. Of course, you can't have that. Err on the side of safety, and make your JR obey a sit, or down every time he starts to get worked up.

BTW, I'd keep an eye on the female, too. She may seem unconcerned, but sudden movements or cries could trigger an attitude change in her, too.

Establish the rank of the family, including dogs, right now.

You're not being mean to the dogs, its just sensible and safer this way.