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Need JRT Help!

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  • Need JRT Help!

    Just over a year ago we adopted a lovely houndX from the SPCA. She is goofy, sweet, and very good with our kids, aged 6 and 2.

    A month ago we adopted a JRT pup from the same SPCA. I had terriers (though not Jack Russells) growing up and had been on the lookout for a terrier or terrierX for awhile. I was so careful about not rushing into getting one, and when I came across this litter at the SPCA, I chose the most submissive/tolerant pup. I also had a meet-n-greet with our current dog.

    The puppy came home and is a total hoot. We adore her! She is sweet and sassy and a complete snuggle bug and lap dog. She has tons of personality and hubby and I are smitten.

    She is incredibly smart, has housebroken easily, crates great, and is generally wonderful. The problem, is she is not terribly tolerant of the kids even existing! She will often take offense if they just walk into a room or try to get on a couch upon which she is sitting. The kids, to be honest, don't bother with her much. My kids are animal savvy and not the type to harass the pets, so it isn't like they are in her face at all.

    Up to this point it has just been a lot of barking/growling (I remove her from the situation when she does it) but this morning she launched herself at my son. If I had not been there to grab her, she would have connected with his face. He was just trying to get on the couch, on the opposite end from where she was.

    I'm definitely concerned that longterm, she may not be a dog that can coexist with kids. She is also particularly possessive of me, which is not the best thing with small children who want to sit on my lap, hug me, etc.

    If anyone has any advice or insight, I'd appreciate it. I know there are a lot of JRT lovers around here so hoping to get some input. At this point I'm wondering if it is kinder to the dog, and safer for the kids, to re-home her to a situation where she will not be around small children.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

  • #2
    Are you familiar with clicker training? If not, learn. It's the easiest way for kids to help put training on a dog. If the kids can take part in caring for the dog, which makes them more valuable to her, that will help. Even a 3 or 4 year old, can help by feeding the dog, and requiring the dog to sit before putting the dish down. If this were me, I'd start with handling the clicker, but asking the kids to require the behavior and hand over the treat (make them more valuable), and if the dog starts mugging, YOU can step between the kid and the dog.

    I'd start my training with Sue Ailsby's Training Levels work, as that is easy, clear and will teach some self restraint to the dog.

    Comment


    • #3
      It doesn't matter the breed.

      You obviously have a child-intolarant dog.

      It needs to go to a childless home.

      Comment


      • #4
        Can the kids feed and walk her? Also drop treats for her when they go past her just going about their business?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
          Up to this point it has just been a lot of barking/growling (I remove her from the situation when she does it) but this morning she launched herself at my son. If I had not been there to grab her, she would have connected with his face. He was just trying to get on the couch, on the opposite end from where she was.

          I'm definitely concerned that longterm, she may not be a dog that can coexist with kids. She is also particularly possessive of me, which is not the best thing with small children who want to sit on my lap, hug me, etc.

          If anyone has any advice or insight, I'd appreciate it. I know there are a lot of JRT lovers around here so hoping to get some input. At this point I'm wondering if it is kinder to the dog, and safer for the kids, to re-home her to a situation where she will not be around small children.
          At the moment this pup perceives life as:
          you & hubby
          (other dog - somewhere)
          herself
          -
          -
          -
          -
          your kids


          You can fix this BUT the fact that it has happened, makes me want to say, just let her go: she's still a pup & easy to place; you already have ALOT on your plate so stick with easy when it comes to your dogs. This pup has already shown that she is NOT going to fall into his category - I do know some small dogs that are wonderful with kids, but as a (huge) generalization, they would never be 1st on my list (especially when you don't know the familial history) for a busy young family.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by alto View Post
            At the moment this pup perceives life as:
            you & hubby
            (other dog - somewhere)
            herself
            -
            -
            -
            -
            your kids
            This is totally true! And while I think more training could help, I don't think she's the type of temperament I would ever trust alone in a room with my kids-- I wouldn't trust her even if I was sitting in between them (as demonstrated today.)

            My daughter has been feeding her and walking her and has helped with much of the training. The larger problem is the 2 year old, who in typical 2 year old boy fashion, does things like runs through the house and climbs on furniture and zooms cars on the floor and whatever. He is gregarious and I think it puts the dog on the defense, even though he is not directly interacting with her. Also my daughter has seen her outbursts and it has now made her nervous-- which I am sure the dog picks up on.

            She's a totally FANTASTIC dog and has so many awesome qualities, I fear that one unfortunate incident would overshadow all her great aspects. God forbid she made contact with one of my kids, it would be reported by any doctor, and she'd be toast.

            She is totally *my* dog and is the kind of dog I always wanted-- sweet, SMART, independent, active, but also cuddly and very attached to me! And don't tell the hound dog but I prefer the JRT's personality! However the reality of the situation is that she is not safe for my kids, and as I have thought through this today, I've realized it is probably more fair to the dog to re-home her to an experienced, childless household. As much as it totally and completely sucks for me. It would suck a lot more if I kept her and someone got hurt.
            We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

            Comment


            • #7
              Flash, as sad as it is, your last post makes the most sense. Re-homing her would be fairest and safest for all.

              There could be a JRT in your future life. Just not right now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                This is totally true! And while I think more training could help, I don't think she's the type of temperament I would ever trust alone in a room with my kids-- I wouldn't trust her even if I was sitting in between them (as demonstrated today.)
                how old are the kids?

                My daughter has been feeding her and walking her and has helped with much of the training. The larger problem is the 2 year old, who in typical 2 year old boy fashion, does things like runs through the house and climbs on furniture and zooms cars on the floor and whatever. He is gregarious and I think it puts the dog on the defense, even though he is not directly interacting with her. Also my daughter has seen her outbursts and it has now made her nervous-- which I am sure the dog picks up on.
                what the dog needs is self control, but it would be something that you have to train in, and from what you've written here, do you want to? How badly do you want to keep the dog?

                She is totally *my* dog and is the kind of dog I always wanted-- sweet, SMART, independent, active, but also cuddly and very attached to me! And don't tell the hound dog but I prefer the JRT's personality! However the reality of the situation is that she is not safe for my kids, and as I have thought through this today, I've realized it is probably more fair to the dog to re-home her to an experienced, childless household. As much as it totally and completely sucks for me. It would suck a lot more if I kept her and someone got hurt.
                good luck.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Where are you? If possible, connect with either Russell Rescue in your state or Russell Refuge in NY. Ask them to list your pup as a courtesy listing. Be honest about her good points and how much you'll miss her, but stress you do not have the time or experience to train her to accept children. Offer to keep her until a new home is found (I know Russell Refuge is full, but they have expanded their courtesy listings for that reason).

                  Some young JRTs ARE good with small children, but likely your pup was not socialized with children. It's one of the reasons why the JRTCA doesn't recommend JRTs for homes with kids <10. However, go to any trial and you'll see a bunch of toddlers showing their dogs and sitting amongst them.

                  While you're on the phone with the Rescue organizations, you might ask if they have any kid friendly dogs, since it appears you have a terrier mindset.

                  PLEASE do NOT return her to the shelter! If you don't have a crate, get a large one and put it in a corner of the family room so that she can be a part of the family but no danger to the kids until she can find a new home. Do NOT put her on Craigslist! Too many JRTs are used for bait for Pit Bulls because they are so tenacious.
                  ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                  Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                  "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would not trust any dog alone with young children, but I do agree that this dog's reaction seems excessive as you describe it. Rehoming her in a child-free situation definitely sounds like the safest option - for her as well as for any kids involved. I am sure that the behavior can be worked with, but living in your home she would have to be around young children all of the time. She clearly doesn't like them, so I agree with the suggestion to contact a breed rescue.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There is not a dog on the planet worth the safety of a child, and this includes "just" biting. Some dogs for whatever reason do not like nor tolerate children. Find her a home without children or take her back to the shelter. There are plenty of dogs, terriers included,, that like children. No reason to fool with one who does not in your situation.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Kryswyn, we are in NY. Thank you for the information regarding the breed rescue. It is definitely something I am going to explore. I would like to see her in a home that is adept at dealing with the breed traits/characteristics.

                        Some people I have spoken with have recommended returning her to the SPCA, but I am very reluctant as I truly don't think they will heed my warnings regarding kids. I don't want to see her adopted out to another family. She WILL end up tangling with a kid and it is NOT fair to her, nor the child of course. I do need to check my adoption paperwork though to see if there is anything binding saying she has to be returned to them as opposed to re-homed.

                        I'm no pro but I do think I have a pretty good handle on how to introduce a dog into a home, how to set rules and boundaries, etc. and we've done everything we can to assimilate the pup into our household. I'm not a dog trainer, though have had dogs all my life, and worked for four years as a vet assistant at a small animal clinic. So as someone who has had to restrain dogs, care for sick and post-op animals, etc. I've seen a lot of dog temperaments. I am 100% certain this dog will be MUCH happier in a home without kids.

                        I love her to bits.... but I know the traits that are very inherent to her, while they can be controlled/trained, will always be there. It's too risky, where my kids are involved.

                        Thanks everyone for the support, ideas, and thoughtful responses--- I have really appreciated every single reply. This hasn't been an easy decision and I truly want what is best for her, and what will help her succeed. She is a young dog, with a long life ahead.
                        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Flash...sent you a pm.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I adore JRT's but yes, they can be difficult unless they get SOLID training. They need to respect your kids - are they old enough to correct the dog for these behaviours?

                            I know this sounds awful, but when I adopted my JRT and he went to bite me, he got scruffed, held off me and I yelled loud "NOOO" at him. Enough to the point where he was a little nervous to come sit by me. Now, I never had to do this again and he did become an incredibly loyal good dog - with kids, babies, adults, cats, other dogs, rabbits etc. I worked him, meaning required him to do something for ME in order to get food from me. He had to sit, lay down, fetch something etc. in order to get his meals. I would also insist that whenever we left a room and went into another, that he backed down and let me go first.

                            Not sure if this is possible for your kids, but maybe they can be the ones to feed him, walk him and become his leader. It may help... hopefully!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This is why shelters SHOULD give dogs up to breed rescues, if at all possible. The breed rescues are more able to thoroughly vet and inform a new owner of the breed traits and suitability.

                              Please, please, don't return her to the shelter. If she needs to go immediately, spend some time contacting various JRT rescues to try to place her in rescue.

                              As a side note, the most submissive can easily become fear aggressive. The most submissive dog is not always a good choice, unless you know what you're doing, training wise.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Laura I do agree, that working through a breed rescue would certainly be best for the dog. Maunder very kindly gave me a good local contact, whom I have e-mailed, and the NY rescue referenced earlier in this thread looks like they may be helpful also.

                                In the meantime we are continuing to work with her. She does love clicker training and today I tried to get both kids in on the act. I've also made it clear to my husband that she cannot be babied, and that everything we do with her is instilling good and bad behaviors in her. She's a LOT smarter and more dominant than the hound, so a different personality for hubby and the kids to understand. (and my two year old, obviously *can't* understand!)

                                I will keep on working with her until we find an appropriate home for her. On the upside, I am glad I ended up with her, because I do adore her and I can get some training into her. She will go to a new home with all her shots, spay, housebroken, crate trained, and with basic obedience.... so hopefully in the right environment/household she will then thrive.

                                I wonder what has happened to her 3 littermates. I hope they went to homes that can handle them appropriately.
                                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The other three pups might have turned out very different when they grew also. Personality at the shelter isn't also a good reflection of what they'll become. My quiet, laid back Min. Schnauzer boy turned out very lively and vocal once he was wormed (he had a load of hook worms), realized he was home, and found out that it was his property to protect (no squirrels ever stayed on my property once he came to live there).

                                  I think rehoming her yourself, or through a rescue courtesy listing is a good way to go. And I wouldn't even look at the contract. I bet you'll never hear from the shelter again, and I would just ignore them. You are right that they might either put her down, or adopt her to anyone. After your first encounter with their so-called behaviorialist, I wouldn't trust them for a second to do the right thing for the dog, or a potential adoptive family.
                                  You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    FlashGordon, I feel you are doing the right thing by rehoming your JRT.
                                    My daughter has a JRT and while I like him, I would say he is not a good breed for kids. The farm he came from had a few running around and they are not the nicest dogs around.

                                    I'm sorry you have to go thru this.

                                    and I probably will get flamed for saying what I said above, but some dogs and breeds are not suitable for all kinds of interaction.
                                    JRT's are working dogs and as such have different temperments.

                                    good luck!

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Just wanted to say thanks again for all the advice. I spoke with a few local JRT people yesterday, as well as a trusted vet tech friend who also has experience working with rescues. My husband and I have decided it is best to actively pursue a new home for her.

                                      I am sure her person is out there--- she is the coolest dog, just not for little people!

                                      Thanks again for all the advice. I'm amazed at how passionate JRT people are and I appreciate all the input I've gotten both here and elsewhere from folks who love the breed.
                                      We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        We have a JRT, and she's my love. She had a hard time with the baby, however, not at the length that you describe and she did get over it once she settled into the house, and we got it established that Mom is the boss and she says no grumbling at the baby.

                                        I think that you are doing the right thing by this girl! Maybe she'll see the light and come to her senses. JRTs are great dogs.

                                        Comment

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