Dear Crabby, Help me with my Jack Russell Terrier, please!

Dear Crabby,

We have a small Jack Russell Terrier and he is very hyper. He growls and barks at everyone, but does not actually bite anyone. I am afraid to leave him out when we have guests, but I feel worse locking him up every time. So far we have settled on not having guests over anymore. There must be a better way! What do you think?

Sincerely, Locked Up WitPup

Dear Locked Up WitPup,

Well I am one who firmly believes that the dog should not alter your lifestyle, but rather you should alter the dog’s behavior. I have also learned that dog training takes a lot of work and experience. I do know that hyper dogs and dogs that bark a lot are usually trying to get your attention. One trainer says, “By paying attention to the hyper dog during outbursts, you’re reinforcing the very dog problem behavior that you’re trying to eliminate. The next time your dog is jumping or nipping at you in an overexcited way, give this a try — no touch, no talk, no eye contact — and see how you fare. You might be surprised how quickly the dog settles down.” I have been at houses where the dog barks like crazy and the owners yell like crazy at the dog, and the result is a lot of noise, which the dog interprets as interaction. If you want them to be calm, I guess you need to be calm. If there is too much barking, then correct it with alternative options. IDearCrabby like to think about giving the dog something to do. Maybe give him a treat with some peanut butter. Stick the little treat in the middle of a glob of peanut butter and stick it to the roof of his mouth. It will take him a long time to lick it off. Another time-consuming trick is an Elk antler. They have become very popular and these little dogs will chew on them for hours. Of course, your little high-energy canine needs exercise. Before guests come over take a long walk with him and maybe play for a while. This may just tire him out. I think it really takes about two years for a puppy to adjust to family life and become that calm little dog you are looking for. In the meantime, consider him as you would an infant and train him up! If these tips do not work then there is always the glue factory option! Oh, come on. I always threaten these things but would never really do it. I just think if the dog is not making the adjustment to the family, the little fella may need to be moved to a new family somewhere else. Give it a try and let me know how you do.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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