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Re: Playing or Fighting?

Posted by:  Jane McClay
Posted on:  May 04, 2001 at 09:16:21

In Reply to: Playing or Fighting?
Posted by:  Joe Hurdler
Posted on:  May 03, 2001 at 23:27:59

Question:

: I have 2 JRT's. One that is a male, and 1 female. The male I got first and is about 2.5 years old. The female I got 1 year later and is a lil over 1 year.Initially when I first brought the female home, there was the expected friction and aggression projected towards the female by the male probably due to terroritorial and jealousy of attention issues. As time progressed, the dominant and aggressive behavior decreased. The aggression/acts of dominance were never severe. Just minor growling/grunting and biting of the mouth,ears, neck area. Now I'm not really concerned about it, because they've been together for 9 months now..and they seem to get along great. They seem to work cooperative when chasing rodents in the yard, and seem to be in each others presence in a peaceful manner throughout the day while lying in the yard. They even cuddle and sleep together at night on my bed. However, on occassion, theres the chasing, light biting, and even growling/grunting projected from the male to the female. It occurs especially after I've picked up and held the female for a lil bit. Also occurs on other occasions too. Then on occassions when either of them has a bone, and the other one has finished chewing theirs, the one that still has theirs will growl or bark and the other one when they come near it. So i was just wondering if this occasional aggression is just something that I should be concerned about? In other words, are they getting along well and enjoy each others company and these occasional acts of aggression are just minor friction similar to sibling's in a family arguing? Like I said, its never severe. I leave them together all day, and it never gets to the point I have to break them up.

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Hi, Joe,

I think you could really benefit from reading a book on canine behavior or two. Everything you've described is quite normal, except you should stay very alert for any more serious aggression. It sounds as though your male is the dominant dog, and feels the need to remind your female of it after you pick her up... so she doesn't get too sure of herself. This can increase in intensity, so watch closely.

It also helps if you do some basic obedience with the dogs so they realize that YOU are really the dominant one in the house. I'd hate to see your male taking things too far. When dogs don't have the kind of leadership they really need, they'll make it for themselves. This is often when people start seeing problem behavior. I had this problem myself for quite some time until I started seeing a trainer.

Good luck,
Jane

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