Random aggression Behaviour

Discussion in 'Jack Russell Terrier' started by Jess&woof, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Jess&woof

    Jess&woof New Member

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    Random aggression

    Hi, I'm jess.
    We have a 7 month old Jack x Lakeland puppy. We picked him up when he was 7/8 weeks old and since we brought him home he has always been very attached to me and gets very anxious if he can get to me ie. when he's shut in the kitchen (at meal times etc) but can see me in the living room, or when I go upstairs. He's always been quite a nibble puppy, but this is something we have tried to discourage by distraction and giving him a toy, yelping and turning away etc but it never seems to make much difference.
    We have 2 boys (7&3) my eldest is quite weary of dogs and my 3yr old is pretty dog with him (doesn't pull him around etc). However this morning woof was sat on my lap and my 3yr old came up and stood in front of me and the puppy suddenly (for no apparent reason) went for him and bit his face. He's got a a couple of scab/scratches but it wasn't too bad. This time!
    And thats my worry, what can I do to stop this happening again?
    How can I stop Woof being so attached to me?

    Any help or advise would be really gratefully recieved.
    Thanks in advance
    Jess xx
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  3. Jcarpentier

    Jcarpentier Member

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    I was told by a breeder to allow a dog quiet time by themselves such as on a runner or in his kennel with a few toys. Also, each person in your household should be able to give commands and have the dog follow them. Have your significant other issue commands as well as your children. The dog needs to know humans are in charge. Is the dog walked every day? This is also something that needs to be done as dogs have an instinct to migrate.

    As for the nipping, have you tried putting your hand on and closing his muzzle and yelping or saying no firmly? I am not sure if this will be as effective with an older puppy but you could try it.
  4. Malka

    Malka Member

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    You say that the puppy is very attached to you and that he went for your little boy while he was sitting on your lap and your son came up to you.

    My suggestion, for what it is worth, is to stop showing so much affection to the puppy, ie having him on your lap and giving in to him because he wants to be with you.

    Nipping is normal puppy behaviour but going for a young child's face when the child is just standing in front of you and the puppy, is something that needs to be dealt with, and is not something to be put up with. Scabs and scratches are one thing, although not on the face. Supposing the puppy had gone for the child's eyes?

    Have you considered consulting a qualified trainer/behaviourist, because it seems like "oh it was only a few scabs and scratches" do not seem that important to you.
  5. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    CaroleC and Jess&woof like this.
    What a horrible situation you have found yourself in
    Woof has found himself “ in charge “ I think, he needs to learn he is not
    It’s probably going to be hard for you, but, for the sake of your children and the happiness of Woof, for now he needs to be on the floor, off the sofa and any other “ human type “ behaviour he is allowed at the moment
    I think he was either jealous or trying to protect you from your son, which we know doesn’t need to happen
    If you can get into the dogs mind, he is a pack animal and you are his world
    He won’t love you any less if you give him some boundaries and as @Jcarpentier mentined....time out
    I know it doesn’t suit everyone, but, we chose to “ crate train “ our puppy and it worked out perfectly, it’s maybe something for you to look into
    Also, with a tiny little puppy it’s so tempting to pick them up and cuddle them, have them on the sofa and on your bed. That may work after you have taught the pup that they are not in charge
    Keep us posted on how things go
    I’m not an expert, so, I’m interested to hear any one else’s advice
  6. Jess&woof

    Jess&woof New Member

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    It is very important to me that he attacked my child, please don’t misunderstand what I said! I came on here and a few other site to see if anyone had any advice I could put in place while I wait for our appointment with the behaviourist. Woof is part of our family and as his behaviour is likely a response to something we are or are not doing I will do everything I can to fix whatever is wrong, I am not one of these people who gets a puppy and gets rid of it at the first sign of problems.
  7. Jess&woof

    Jess&woof New Member

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    Thank you xx
  8. Malka

    Malka Member

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    I did not misunderstand what you said and I have every sympathy for your predicament, and I gave you the same advice I would give anyone in your/Woof's position, that is to stop showing him so much affection and giving in to him by having him on your lap because he wants to be with you all the time.

    He can still be next to you if you put him on the floor. :)
  9. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    This type of behaviour does tend to happen when the dog is off the floor, and is guarding what he sees as his position with the primary care giver. I think he needs to realise that his place is on the floor. Without making him feel he is being pushed away, I would be inclined to loosen his clinginess by encouraging him to spend some time on his own, maybe in a crate or behind a baby gate, while you are doing chores or dealing with the children. He could have something like a stuffed Kong or a long lasting chew to keep him occupied, but I would steer clear of giving any animal bones for now.
    He has arrived at a teenage phase, and to make sure that your young children stay safe, you are going to have to set clear boundaries for both their and your puppy's behaviour. It isn't easy, but it will be worth it in the long run. You may want to consider joining a reward based puppy training class for help with handling events like these.
    Good luck.
  10. Tyson Ahmed

    Tyson Ahmed New Member

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    Jess&woof likes this.
    My dog is also very attached to me goes everywere with me hes closer to me than any1 however he knows i would never allow that behaviour i think you should try put sum strict rules down like with an unruly child not be horrible but assertive im not familiar with the breed but done wonders with tyson he was crackers as a pup lol
  11. LokitheJRT

    LokitheJRT New Member

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    It sounds like he doesn't know his place in the family. Play biting is to be expected, but if he did it aggressively, it should be met with an immediate consequence. Timeouts are a must. Be tough, but fair. A timeout is isolating from anything he likes / attention for anywhere from 30 sec to 5 min depending on the severity of the crime. He needs to know who you are in charge. Start giving him less attention and don't give him attention when he wants it. Take away his food / toys and make sure he shows no signs of aggression.
  12. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Actually I don't agree with removing food from a dog - especially one with has aggression problems. I would rather feed a dog like this in a quiet corner on his own - and what is in his dish is his. A dog who feels his food might be removed is likely to want to guard it all the more.
    To encourage him to relax in the presence of food, I would use hand feeding, and work towards being able to add food to his dish while he is eating.
  13. LokitheJRT

    LokitheJRT New Member

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    I agree that hand feeding is definitely the way to go, in order to teach patience, commands and a soft bite. It's a great training opportunity. However a dog that doesn't let you remove it's food / toy is a dog that is likely to be aggressive in other situations. That type of behavior cannot be tolerated. I disagree with letting the dog have his way through letting him have the food because that means his aggression worked. It got him his way so he will keep doing it and it has weakened your position as a leader. I'd instead take the food away so the dog sees that aggression gets him no where and does not get him his way, then reward him with the food only after he's sat and calmed down. With the food removed, there's nothing to fight over anymore.
  14. Malka

    Malka Member

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    My 2½ year old small dog is a mouther but she has a very soft bite and with her it is a sign of affection - she is not a licky dog - and she learned the soft bite with the word "gently". And she will stop when I ask her to, even if we are in the middle of a game on the floor. She could easily hurt me as she is a cross DachshundMinpin with very strong Dachshund jaws and teeth, but even though I have very thin skin her mouthing does not even leave a mark, let alone a bruise.

    She is also very attached to me as I am single and have been her sole carer since she was very very young, although she adores people she knows who come in for any reason. But she does not give anyone an affectionate mouthy because she seems to know that she should not.

    I would not take her toys away when she is happily playing with them, although when she walks about with a squeaking one in her mouth, squeak squeak squeak, I would sometimes like to, but she will give me a toy she is playing with if I ask her to. But I would never ever take her food away from her.
  15. LokitheJRT

    LokitheJRT New Member

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    I have a big food bowl that my dog has occasionally put his foot in occasionally. The food can be hard to reach at times. That's an instance where i have to take his food away to adjust it. He also has a toy tree log stuffed with squeaky squirrels. Once he's gotten them out of the tree trunk, I take them away after he's squeaked them for few moments and stuff them back in the trunk so that he can start the fun over and continue to be stimulated through "hunting" the squirrel. That's an instance where I have to take his toy away.

    It's one thing to not want to take away food / toys from your pet, but it's another to not be able to. My dog is especially fond of his squirrel toy and the first time I took it away, he growled. He went STRAIGHT TO TIME OUT. He never did it again. Just the mention of timeout and he usually straightens out. The dog is not supposed to be in control of the household and needs to be obedient. If you taking something from them starts a confrontation, you need to address that immediately cause they think they're running the show. I've also used timeouts to successfully curb puppy nipping.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017

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