Bitting jack russel terrier puppy

South Africa
June 9, 2010 4:52am CST
We recently acquired a jack russel terrier puppy. I think she has mixed blood, most probably fox terrier as she has very long legs. I read somewhere that the original jack russel terriers had long legs but not as long as our puppy, I think. Of course, like all puppies, she is untrained, so we have a problem in that she chews everything. And that includes me. She can jump up onto the couch and then she will bite my arm or she sticks her nose under my armpit and nips me. The more I push her away and offer her something else to chew, the more she nips and bits me and gets aggressive. Can someone tell me how to teach her not to do this?
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2 responses
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
15 Jun 10
When we got our chihuahua mix puppy (she's 9 now) we had the very same problem and this is how we solved it: When she gets in the mood to nip, find her a toy and stick it in her mouth. If she won't take the toy willingly, shove it in her mouth (gently, of course) and push her jaws together. Make a fuss over her when she actually plays with it of her own free will. Praise her for playing with the toy. Do this consistently and NEVER let her bite you in play. If she bites, play time is over. Ignore her. Don't push her away with your hands or she will think it's a game; use your body language to let her know you don't want to play; push her away with your elbow and turn away from her. If she continues to come at you, put her in confinement for several minutes. Eventually she will learn that if she bites humans, they won't play with her, and that when she wants to bite and chew that she must find her toy. Also, if you decide to play tug-of-war with this dog, don't let her win. She sounds like she has a dominant personality, and tug of war can actually increase the aggressive behavior in dominant dogs. Teach her to play fetch instead. Dogs with dominant personalities need firm and consistent training to keep them in line. I'd suggest that you do some research on dominant dog personalities and the best training methods for them so your rowdy little puppy becomes a polite and well-mannered adult.
• South Africa
15 Jun 10
Hi jillbeth, do you know my puppy? No really, she is exactly as you described. I will from now on play fetch with her, rather than tug of war. I already turn my back on her when she starts biting but it isn't always that easy, but I guess it will take time for her to learn. We also set her out in the garden if she gets to rowdy, naturally the garden is paying for it. Thanks for the advice.
• Philippines
9 Jun 10
hi elmare, I have a Jack Russel Mix with Japanese Spitz she also like to bite my toes or my arm but in a playful manner. However since I do not tolerate this I let her know that this is not acceptable to me. She is feisty and yes she gets even with us when we scold her. She destroyed 3 pairs of footwear and it made me mad one time. They say there is this kind of spray you can spray on surfaces to deter your pup from chewing or biting. You can find it at the pet store. Unfortunately for me I cannot find it at any pet store in my place.
• South Africa
14 Jun 10
Thanks, Candy, I'll pay our pet shop a visit and find out if they have such a spray, because we are going to need it. My brother just told me that our dog has now started biting the books in the bookcases and we have three bookcases full of books.