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Strange Behaviour

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  • Strange Behaviour

    I have a 2 year old Jack Russell Terrier named Rainy, and she hates meeting new people whenever someone tries to pat her she backs away and sometimes snips never biting though. Recently we had company over and she kept licking their feet! I don't know if she is trying to claim them as her territory or is just trying to calm herself down because shes never met them before? She did snip at them when they first tried to pat her then licked their feet for the rest of their visit, anyone have any suggestions on why she might be doing this :?

  • #2
    Rainy has what is known as fear aggression. Licking the feet is symbolic of a dog licking another one's mouth or teeth. It is saying "OK, OK, you are the boss, you are the boss, please don't hurt me, I won't hurt you, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, you are the boss" and so on and so forth. It is very submissive behavior. The fact that she snips yet backs away indicates fear aggression. Unless you deal with this, it could graduate to actual snapping and lunging, especially as your dog gets older.

    You need to deal with the issues one at a time. First - don't ever let anyone pet your dog until you get this under control. Allow someone to come over and tell them to IGNORE Rainy. Totally ignore her - do NOT LOOK AT HER, do not touch her, do not apporach her. Make sure you do not have Rainy restrained.

    Then sit your guest down and have a conversation with them, both of you ignoring Rainy. When Rainy starts to get her excitement under control and goes to lay down or calm down, have your friend offer out a hand and invite her to come sniff it. AT THIS POINT DO NOT ALLOW YOUR FRIEND TO TOUCH RAINY. Allow Rainy to come to them and sniff their hand. If she does and backs up and barks, go back to ignoring her. Do not react to it, do not scold or reprimand her.

    If she sniffs the hand and comes closer, then have him turn his palm UP now and see what her reaction is. Gradually in this manner he can start to touch her but not STRETCH to touch her. When she is comfortable she will come close enough to be touched and that is the signal that it is ok.

    Once you do this a number of times, Rainy will stop fearing strangers that keep trying to touch her.

    Keep us posted.


    • #3

      Thanks i'll be sure to follow those instructions and hopefully Rainy will respond better to strangers then before


      • #4
        Let us know how it all goes!


        • #5
          Getting Better

          Rainy has been getting better and better when she meets people, she is still a little wary of adults but she is way better with kids! The only reason she is wary of adults is becasue the our neighbours on either side of us have been teasing her and blowing a silent dog whistle we've seen them at it! Hopefully she'll learn that not all adults are bad. I'll keep you posted on her progress!


          • #6
            Thanks for the update Morgan! Great news!