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Re: aggressive behavior

Posted by:  Leslie Hemsing
Posted on:  November 26, 2002 at 23:32:24

In Reply to: aggressive behavior
Category:   Aggression
Posted by:  Nicole Kiernan
Posted on:  November 26, 2002 at 17:11:39


: My beloved jr, Brody, adopted at 8 weeks, has always been the friendliest and most popular dog in the neighborhood with humans and dogs alike. He has several "friends" in the neighborhood, including large and small breeds, puppies and older dogs. Lately, (within the last 2 weeks or so) he has begun snarling, growling, and attempting to bite his friends (male and female alike). He is now two years old (and I should add that he is unaltered; my husband is against neutering after losing a dog this way). My question is whether or not this is normal behavior for a JRT (Brody is our first, and none of the books I have read address this problem)? Is he playing the aggressive male, or should I see the vet? He has not shown any aggression towards humans (still our same loving boy at home), but I would hate to have to stop letting him play when he used to love it so much. Any advice?


Dear Nicole,

No, this is not "normal" behavior for a Jack Russell Terrier. The fact that your terrier is not neutered may be contributing to the behavior but that still doesn't make his aggression any more acceptable.

Since your Brody's behavior is both recent and unusual, it's always a good idea to first rule out a medical condition. If he's healthy, then you need to consider what changed in his/your life within the last several weeks to make him "think" he should attack his friends.

I understand your husband's fear and guilt; losing a beloved pet during what is essentially "elective" surgery is tragic. While there will never be a guarantee that a pet who undergoes surgery will make it through, the advances in veterinary medicine (safer anesthesia, laser technology, etc) have vastly increased the odds. I hope you'll both talk to your vet about having your Brody neutered; it would be a shame if his "hormones" are the reason he's not able/willing to enjoy playing with his dog pals. :-)