Jack Russell's as a rule are a fantastic companion or family dog. They are friendly loyal and energetic without being overwhelming for little children.
But sometimes these little guys can get a bit bitey, which can be a huge problem for families and elderly owners of Jack Russells. What can you do? Well there are a few things to consider when discouraging biting in Jack Russells.
Why do Jack Russell's Bite?
As terriers Jack Russells can be naturally defensive and sometimes even aggressive in nature. This can stem from dominance issues but more commonly Jack Russells bite in 2 scenarios; When giving chase or when playing. If we take some time to understand these behaviours then we can deal with them much more effectively.
What is the Difference Between Play-biting and Attack Biting?
Dogs can become overstimulated and over excited very quickly while playing and in this type of situation biting or nipping is generally just a sign that your pup is getting a little too carried away, whereas attack biting tends to be less provoked and tends to follow aggressive signs baring teeth and low growling.
Why do Jack Russells Bite and Give Chase?
Unfortunately this is a bit of a left over instinct from a wild dog or hunting dog's catch and kill mentality. While no where near as severe and usually with no malicious intent, terriers are genetically hard wired to chase and some times their enthusiasm gets the better of them resulting in biting or nipping.
How can I stop Jack Russell biting?
To stop Jack Russell biting your best techniques are preventative ones, remember unless your dog is display aggression and dominance issues, then your dog's behaviour is largely situational. However if your dog is showing aggressive behaviour out of the context of these overstimulating situations then you should see your vet or a professional dog trainer for advice.
Stop Jack Russell Biting in the Early Months
There are two main approaches to stop Jack Russells biting at a very young age.
1) Pack behaviour; if your pup bites then react the same way that it's mother or siblings would, with a light tug on the back of the neck or a whining cry when hurt.
2) Replacement; if your pup bites your hand give them something appropriate such as a toy to gnaw on.
Stop Jack Russell Biting in the First to Second Year
If your Jack Russell is still biting at one year this then becomes a dominance issue, they are trying to put themselves at the head of the house by giving out a quick nip here and there. You should establish your dominance, maybe by using a contained enclosed fence or something similar as a ‘time out' spot that your Jack Russell is sent to for a brief period after biting.
Stop Jack Russell Biting as an Adult
If your Jack Russell is still biting as an adult then it's time to seek professional help, other wise you could end up with a huge behavioral issue that could have repercussions on you and your dog.
Preventing Aggressive Behavior- No More Rough Play
Choosing non confrontational play such as fetch can go a long way to preventing aggressive behavior, whilst it's great fund to rough house with your Jack Russell, ultimately the resulting behavioral issues tend not to be worth it for you or your dog.