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Re: behaviour

Posted by:  Leslie Hemsing
Posted on:  November 20, 2002 at 00:47:36

In Reply to: behaviour
Category:   Behavior Problems
Posted by:  Paul
Posted on:  November 19, 2002 at 06:34:55

Question:

: Hello,
: Our 2 jr old neutered male JRT named Boris is the perfect companion for us. He has done obedience school
: He (or we)has only one problem. When he is sitting with me and my wife wants to pet him (or the other way around), he will growln and sometimes show his teeth.
: Just like he is feeling scared or attacted. Normally while playing, we can do anything with him without him grownling. How should our reaction be ? If we keep petting him and saying nice things he stops grownling but he doesn't seem to feel confident. If we send him to his crate, he reacts very quilty. You will probably know that quilty JRT look. Or should we just stop petting him while sitting with us. I'm trying to find a methode so he starts feeling happy like always.
: Thanks in advance
: Paul


Response:

Dear Paul,

You're correct that a confident terrier is a happy terrier. For a dog, confidence comes from absolutely knowing it's place in the household...humans first, dog last. This is not a "bad" thing as dogs need order in their lives to feel secure.

In my opinion, Boris does not fully understand his role in your household...his growling, showing his teeth is a show of dominance. What you think is a lack of confidence is actually confusion...he acted badly and you reward him with petting, etc.

Instead of sending him to his crate, I suggest you keep him off the furniture for a while. It's OK if he hangs out at your feet but it's not OK if he growls if you move your feet so he gets a time out away from you. There are levels of discipline; our job is to find the one that works best for our dogs...

Best of luck,
Leslie