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Canine Behavior/JRT has no interest on other dogs


My JRT  
I adopted a Jack Russel terrier as companion to my Doxle one year ago. He was aggressive at the beginning but I made clear he is not allowed to be the Alpha. He has improved, became friendly to people. He's very clingy to me. But he doesn't want to have anything to do with my Doxle or other dogs except once he seemed enjoy racing with a dog we met in the trail. How can I make him like other dogs at least my Doxle?

Easy answer: you can't.

Dogs need to be socialized to other dogs from early puppyhood through the first years of adult life.  Once a puppy passes a certain developmental stage, give or take about fourteen weeks of age, socialization is no longer what is possible.  Rehabilitation or remediation is what must be done.

Dogs don't "need" a "friend" to be happy.  There are many one dog households.  People, out of kindness and anthropomorphizing, want to make their "only" dog happier by providing a companion.  This often fails miserably.  If your "only" dog has been properly socialized, s/he will accept (albeit reluctantly perhaps, at first) another dog in the home; if not, then all hell can break loose!

The only way to make the JRT (a very tough little breed that requires a knowledgeable owner: this is not a cuddle bug) feel less ill at ease with the Doxie is to associate the Doxie's presence with reward.  To do this, you need to be able to read the body language of both dogs.  You want to know you're rewarding the "right" thing: thought, body language, etc.

I suggest you begin the process of learning by reading Turid Rugaas' "Calming Signals: On Talking Terms with Dogs":

While you are studying this material, observe your dogs together.  Keep notes.  Do not interfere (unless of course aggression is shown in which case you report back).  After you have a reasonable working knowledge of what you're seeing, use followup feature to report back what you have observed.  The JRT can be conditioned to a clicker (Karen Pryor is the sole source of reliable information on the use of the clicker, we'll go into that later) and then rewarded for the subtle signals he gives toward the Doxie of affiliation, subdominance, etc.  If such reward is consistent, he will learn to relax and may slowly desensitize and begin to accept the Doxie's presence as rewarding.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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