If your Jack Russell strikes you as being very aggressive, send him to the vet first, if only to rule out physical causes. For instance, if your Jack Russell is in great pain or discomfort, he may demonstrate this by being very mean or irritable. But before you get into figuring his behavior out, first determine that he is physically fit. The causes of aggression are many. So, it would be worthwhile for you to identify the cause of his aggression and then give him the relevant help. The next step is to give him obedience training—both to socialize him and to prevent aggression from occurring.
Kinds of aggression:
Dogs express their aggression in various ways. These are:
This is the combination of fear and territorial aggression as a result of chaining a Dog. New pet owners take in a Dog and then chain him up for long hours a day while he watches the rest of the family go about its business from where it lies chained. This builds up a feeling of anger and resentment in him and he expresses this by barking, jumping on those around him, particularly kids who enjoy this. They laugh at him and then go away, ignoring him once more. As time passes, he develops a territorial feeling about his space and no longer wants a game. He feels cheated by the fact that the very family who professed to love him ignores him now and is happy to leave him in chains. One day, when he can’t tolerate it any longer, he reaches out and bites the person closest to him. If you, as a pet owner, cannot have your Dog around the house, mingling with your family, then please don’t bring him home.
This happens when we make the mistake of going over to our pet while he’s eating. Your Dog probably interprets your presence as your coming over to take back his bowl of food—something he will never want to part with! This feeling stems from the basic fact that Dogs don’t share their things. Such a Dog usually guards his possessions—whether they are his food, toys or even his master. One way of overcoming this is to attack the problem while in puppy hood. Begin by giving him something and then taking it back. After a while, return it to him. From this he will learn that though someone may have what he wants, if he is patient, it will come back to him. To make it easier for him, teach him to respond to “give.”
You cage your pet for no reason for indiscriminately long periods. And what do you expect? First of all, anger. Then, the feeling in your Dog that the cage belongs to him. This feeling comes out of caging your pet and then forgetting all about him. This angers him and he flares up. Further, he feels trapped and immobile when the whole world is doing things and happily too! So, he stays in his cage and fights the way he knows best. Cage rage can also manifest itself as hyperactivity. This may just be a temporary reaction, which goes away the moment the Dog’s independence is restored to it. Click here for more about Aggression In Dogs