Jack Russell puppy - behavioural quirks. Behaviour

Discussion in 'Jack Russell Terrier' started by Nick V, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. Nick V

    Nick V New Member

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    Jack Russell puppy - behavioural quirks.

    Hi everyone! Nick here, from De Rust, South Africa.

    My fiancee and I were recently lucky enough to integrate Nala - an eight-week-old short-legged female JRT - as part of our home, two weeks ago.

    However, as both of us are first-time dog owners with zero prior experience in raising a puppy, some of her behaviours are proving a little difficult to modify. I'm hoping to tap the knowledge base for suggestions.
    My fiancee and I agreed before we got Nala that we would co-operate together on a firm, but never cruel, regime of discipline. Nala may get talked to firmly ("No bite!" has become a perennial echo in our house), but she is never yelled at, and never hit.

    1. We've tried to create an association in her mind that she mustn't urinate in the house (her favourite spots seem to be the bedroom and lounge carpets, and the front doormat). Confusingly, even though she occasionally urinates in the house, she has never defecated inside. She sleeps in an inside kennel inside a 'puppy pen' at night, and she has never urinated there. At night, she's usually very good at letting us know she needs a bathroom break. Then, we take her outside, give her the time she needs, and bring her back in.
    So far, we've tried to train her by praising her whenever she gets it right (ie outside), and hustling her outside to urinate whenever we see - or can anticipate - her starting to squat.
    Thing is, it's not always easy to know when that time has arrived as she gives no warning, and neither of us can watch her 24/7.
    Since she doesn't do this at night, am I right in guessing that she may be feeling insecure or frustrated for some reason? And how can we train her to go outside for her bathroom breaks 100% of the time?

    2. Nala loves to bite and chew. Fingers and toes are her first love, especially when she's excited. But she'll also go after shoelaces, towels, bedsheets, carpets... You name it.
    I understand that puppies explore their new world by chewing it. But how best to persuade her that some things - like digits - are indispensable to humans, and that her rubber ball and plush bunny are perfectly acceptable substitutes?

    3. Nala has also turned out to be a bit of a nervous traveller.
    We don't yet have a puppy crate, and I understand they're recommended for car travel. But from the day we got her, she gets anxious if we have to take her on a car journey.
    A bit of background: both of us have pickup trucks ('Bakkies' in SA vernacular), so putting Nala in the backseat isn't an option. We also live on a farm, so bumpy gravel roads are a fact of life. But they seem to be her nemesis.
    With me driving, Nala usually spends the first 20 minutes of any car journey trying to claw her way up my fiancee's chest and onto her shoulders, and jam herself between head and headrest. Not the safest option for a pup, or us!
    Any ideas on what might be the matter with Nala, and how to work through the issues?

    All my best!

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  3. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    Chris B likes this.
    Puppy biting is normal, whatever method you choose, the more consistent you are the faster they will learn.
    She is still very young and expect to have accidents, I would clean the area were she has been going thoroughly with an enzyme-based product, vinegar or biological washing powder are also good to neutralize the smell.
    Close the bedroom door so she cannot get into other rooms, take her out at regular intervals wait till she has gone then give lots of praise, if she doesn’t look like going after a few minutes, back in again and watch her, as soon as she shows signs of going take her back outside again.
    You have to be consistent and patient but eventually she will learn.
  4. Craig Hill

    Craig Hill New Member

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    Oh, the puppy biting can get frustrating can't it? I know they are just trying to play but those little teeth are sharp and can get you just right sometimes.

    Mine is only a few weeks older than yours so I'm not much farther along in the jouney than you. I try to take her for several walks a day & play tug of war type games with her with a long plush toy. That all seems to wear her down & then she just wants to lay by my side, ha.

    GsdSlaves advice is something I need to be better at too. Consistency. I'm constantly saying "No Bite!" too. :)
  5. who owns who

    who owns who Member

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    @Nick V & @Craig Hill

    When your puppy nips you try saying ouch loudly in a way to let them know it hurts you. Also redirect them by giving them a toy to bite instead. I tought my dogs kisses (licks) as a redirection for biting, but now my younger dog is slightly obsessed with licking... it’s much better then biting though.

    When I have a puppy I’ll take them out every 2-3 hrs day and night and as they get bigger slowly add more time between going out, and always praise for going. You can teach them pee and poop (or whatever words you like) by saying it when they do it.

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