Help with my Jack Russell

Our question this week was:

I have tried everything that I know about training dogs (I have trained many for friends family and self) on my sweet (not so innocent) jack Russell terrier, named Chloe.

We adopted her from a lady in our town because her older bigger dog did not like the younger little chloe. Well, this hyper little cutie is a freakin' nite mare at times. She "goes" on the floor…never ever asks to go out just goes. She will go on our girls' beds if the room is left open.

She will bark for hours if she sees someone walking. She will destroy anything if we forget to pick it up. And today she ate the curtain right off the window. Help!!! We love her or she would be ousted. I do have a crate and she is as crate trained as she will allow. I am not used to a dog acting so rudely.

Kelly Amirault

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Goodness. I don't envy your situation. It sounds like your dog is dominant and has several behavioral problems – barking, inappropriate elimination, destructive behaviors, and possibly separation anxiety? I'm glad to hear you have a crate and that she is crate trained.

There is no easy solution. I have found Jack Russell Terriers to be extremely smart, determined and dominant making them sometimes "difficult". I would definitely crate her when she is not being supervised. I'd also recommend making sure she gets plenty of exercise opportunities – lots and lots of play time. Allow her to wear herself out. I find this breed very high energy and demands a lot of play time and attention. They seem to be happier if they can really expend that energy. I'd also suggest spending time making sure she is obedience trained and understand that you are the pack leader in your home.

I'd give her lots and lots of positive reinforcement when she is demonstrating the behavior that you want (tons of praise and occasional treats). I think she is a handful and you'll need to be extremely patient to make this relationship work. I wish I could say there is a simple solution.

As another option to this frustrating problem, you can consider getting a second opinion of a veterinarian behaviorist.

Some articles that might be helpful to you is on our Petplace.com is "Barking", "Obedience Training", "Separation Anxiety" .

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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