JRT rescue, one step forward, 2 steps vack(10 Posts)
We've had Milo six months, a gorgeous clever funny loving energetic little lad that we are having huge problems with. His issues are aggression, growling nipping and (minor) biting. Often due to high anxiety. And just when we think we have got somewhere with him he confounds us by being as bad as ever. We are getting a behaviourist to help us, and will never give up, but just wondering if anyone else has this one step forward and one back experience? Be good to hear from other s who've rescued a JRT. Here is Milo
Milo is gorgeous
I have an 8 month old whippet with anxiety. His is mostly separation anxiety and luckily no agression issues. It's hard and my poor back balance is also looking very sad at the moment I went down the route of seeing a specialist behaviour vet and my boy is on medication. It's not a magic cure but it has made a difference. I'd say without my vet's help I wouldn't have been able to keep my pup as I had neighbours complaining about his crying when I left him alone.
It's hard to know sometimes what us just 'normal' naughty dog behaviour and what is an issue.
We had out jrt all his life, so not a rescue, but he was very sharp and pretty aggressive until he got old. I think a lot of people would have given up on him. Everything was his way, and any form of correction would always result in a lip curl and growl. Things like telling him to get off the sofa, move out of your way etc, he was like a spoilt child, yet we didn't spoil him. I think it can be their nature, and some jacks are just like this, but not all I know. He came from a farming line of tough ratters, and he was a formidable hunter, nothing small and furry that ran was safe.
We dealt with it by ignoring the face pulling, and quietly insisting he did as he was asked. No raised voices or retribution for misdemeanors. We also used distraction techniques, as he was obsessed with balls. He was never safe around dogs he didn't know well (although he lived happily with a yorkie). He was wonderful with children funnily enough. He was always a difficult dog though, even though he was very much loved. Plenty of excersise was also the key, he was much better tempered when he was knackered!
I had a rescued JRT for fifteen years. He wasn't aggressive, but very smart and didn't suffer fools gladly. The first six months he was really difficult and had me in tears on a few occasions. I saw a couple of trainers who didn't get anywhere either, and then one who said that you don't tell a JRT what to do so much as negotiate. Tell a collie to jump and it will ask how high, tell a JRT and it will ask why and what's in it for him.
Once I started thinking like that, I found a particular treat he really liked and worked 'backwards'. So if he sat, I said 'sit' and produced the special treat. After a few days it was like a switch had been turned on and he really started to work with me.
He went on to do agility, flyball, racing, showing and pretty much anything I asked him to do and was my little star. I still miss him.
Don't give up, they are worth it. Find the key to him and you'll do fine.
Thank so much for your responses, it's very heartening to hear from other JRT owners who echo my feelings and growing understanding about Milo. The lip curl and growl when he is asked to do something, and also the 'why should I do that, what's in it for me' are very familiar. I too think that we still need to find the key with him. And that he's way smarter than we realise. I've recently been teaching him 'leave it's to get him to leave, in particular, his tennis ball so I can pick it up and throw it. He's been quite resistant (really ball obsessed). This morning we were playing an exciting fast game of football tackling, and he nipped my ankle. I yelped and gave him a very firm 'no!' Whereupon he backed off and sat down looking sheepish, waiting for me to resume play. When we started playing again every time I said 'leave it' he did so perfectly.
A little trick to get him to let go of their ball (learnt from my flyball days!): just hold his collar. Don't say anything or do anything, don't even make eye contact. Don't use any pressure or resistance. Just hold the collar and be still.
After a few moments he'll get puzzled and drop the ball. Usually they 'fiddle' with it just beforehand, perhaps turning it round in their mouths or chewing slightly. When you see this signal, be ready to use your 'drop' or 'leave' command as soon as he does, praise him and either 'swap' a treat for the ball or throw it again, depending which motivates him more.
I got in a behaviourist to help with my terrier. It was amazing - just one session and it revolutionised the way I train my dog.
It also gives you confidence as an owner.
Love to Milo he looks super handsome. I have a JRT who I now love to bits and cannot imagine life without. It has been a struggle, like the other posters I have had lip curling and growling and attempts to be boss. I dealt with it wrongly to start with, I would give repeat firm commands and tell him "no" which just resulted in a power struggle. I raided the library's collection of dog psychology books and instead swapped tactics to responding to growling and face pulling with humour and distraction from squeaky toys which he is obsessed with. Now if he forgets and starts grumbling when asked to do something I just have to say something silly like "oh no Mr Growly is back" in a playful and upbeat voice and facial expression and he is back to tail wagging. Like you said It is finding that secret JRT key, they are such super smart dogs. Good luck to you and Milo
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