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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19590
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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Caring for an dumped jack russel about 14 months old. He is

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Caring for an dumped jack russel about 14 months old. He is a lovely littler fellow most of the time but can suddenly get aggressive start growling and even snap. Find it is best to talk him out of it but not sure if this is best. He cannot be rehomed like this
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,
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My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
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There are some medical conditions that can cause sudden aggression and those may be a factor. Unfortunately, these would not be able to be ruled out without testing.
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/medical-causes-of-aggression-in-dogs/page1.aspx
http://www.apdt.com/veterinary/assets/pdf/Dodman_MA10.pdf
It sounds like your dog may be having issues with dominance aggression. I would not say he was beaten from your description. Many dominant dogs are described as well behaved until you try to get them to do something they do not want to do, and then they reprimand you either with a growl or bite if you don't heed the growl. Things like taking away something they want, making them move when they don't want to, waking them up, etc can cause them to reprimand (bite) you.
Dogs that are allowed on furniture (even if put on the furniture) tend to feel that since they are elevated to your level or higher if on your lap, they mentally feel elevated as well in the pack order and thus are the boss. Keeping them on the floor can help lower them mentally back to a submissive position in the pack. So the first thing is to not allow him higher that the humans or even on the same level. So keep him on the floor like you are trying to do. Attach a leash and use it to remove him from the furniture. Give a correction in the form of a quick tug and firm "NO" when he attempts to get on and a treat when he starts not trying to get on the furniture. Thus you are providing negative reinforcement for the getting on the furniture and positive reinforcement for the desired behavior (not attempting to get on the furniture).
There are other ways to regain the dominant position in the house as well. The best way is to start obedience training. While a formal training class is great, you can start obedience training without a formal class. Before you can get into classes, I am including links to a couple of other sites that teach some good methods of training. Be sure and read both.
http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-articles/teaching-your-dog-to-sit
http://www.luckydogs.info/pdf/Teaching-the-basic-commands.pdf
The following site is helpful. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
You will also want to keep a leash on him at all times initially to grab if he should disobey. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well your dog does with training. Dogs like knowing what is expected of them and they love the little paper thin slices of hotdogs that I use for treats while training. Give this a try and see how it works for you.
Additionally, I would suggest you get a basket muzzle and make him wear it anytime children are around or visitors are there. Be sure to use the leash to make him obey you. If he growls give a short tug to get his attention and a firm "NO" to let him know, you are not going to allow his aggression. If he is sleeping, give a little tug to let him know that someone is there so he isn't startled when being woken up. .
In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques on the previous website, you may have to consult a professional behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.
In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques I describe, you may have to consult a professional behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.
http://www.apdt.co.uk/dog-owners/local-dog-trainers
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is it ok to still use showing him the water squirt if I need to
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Betty,
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It won't hurt him. I use a squirt gun for my cats. I don't on the dogs because I don't want them to be worried about baths. It isn't really a physical punishment but more of a deterrent. I'd try and keep the leash on and use that to get his attention and give the verbal reprimand, but a squirt of water when he is at a distance may provide the reprimand quickly which is what you do want.

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