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Re: My growling JRT

Posted by:  Marie Evans
Posted on:  March 21, 2002 at 17:39:09

In Reply to: My growling JRT
Category:   Aggression
Posted by:  Tracy Dreisch
Posted on:  March 19, 2002 at 08:11:55


: I have a nine week old male JRT named T-Bone. The first day or two he was an angel puppy. Now that he is comfortable with his new home he is going wild. He is constantly nipping and bitting everyone and everything, especially clothing, towels, rugs, etc. We have tried distractions and also pinning him down until he is calm. However, the minute we put him down he starts up again. We try praise when he is not bitting, but those times are rare. Now he is also growling. I think it is a play growl when he is excited. Is a play growl okay or should it be corrected? He has also growled at me a few times when I have held him down for bitting. I then held him down even more until he stopped. I feel like I am constantly correcting him. Help!

: Tracy Dreisch, Miami, Florida


Hi Tracy,

Welcome to the world of puppy rearing! It's a lot like having a human baby around, but the lucky thing about having a dog is they do grow up quicker and housebreak much faster ;)

Anyway it T-Bone sounds like a typical terrier pup just full of himself.

Nipping and biting is to be expected at this age, one of the ways you can deal with this is to make a time out place for him (preferably not his crate). Find a small room or area and puppy-proof it, turning it into "puppy prison" where you can put him when he gets a little too rambuncious. The key to any corrections, especially at this age is consistency. If you don't enforce the "rules" each and every time the dog learns quickly that you only mean it sometimes and this time might be the time that you don't.

I wouldn't necessarily alpha roll a pup of this age, try the time outs instead.

By sending T-Bone to puppy prison for a few minutes shows him that inappropriate biting and nipping immediately stops all interaction and fun with you.

As far as growling goes, many dogs play growl, this is just their nature. You will soon learn what's play growling and what's real aggression growling.

It would be highly un-natural to stop a dog from all growling because as mentioned some of it is just a healthy outlet. It will be up to you to determine what is acceptable and what isn't.

Although your life seems to be upside down right now, pretty soon T-Bone will be all grown up and you will be pulling out the puppy pictures and remembering all of the good times, and the bad times won't seem to be so bad ;)


Additional Reading: Nipping FAQ