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Behavior Problems

by Julia
(Orlando, FL, USA)



Do you treat behavior problems? My dog Chester is a 2 year old male Jack Russell Terrier. He is very friendly and very active, but seems to become 'overly' excitable and hyperactive when around other dogs, children, or if I have a group of people at the house.

He seems to forget all of his discipline training, and runs around like a 'crazy dog'. He does not seem aggressive. I am feeding him an Organic diet part canned and part dry. His vaccinations are current, and it is possible that this problem became worse after he had his Rabies booster.

He spends most of his time inside while my husband and I are at work all day. Do you have any suggestions that might help? He is driving us crazy!

Comments for Behavior Problems

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Jul 14, 2009
My Online Vet Response
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Dear Julia, Behavior can be very gratifying to correct, but it does take time and patience for it to be successful.

Breed, sex, vaccinations, and diet, will all be a factor.

BREED. The Jack Russell, is very active, and tenacious. They were bred to burrow down the hole of a badger or other 'varmint', wearing a harness and leash, bite onto the prey, and then allow themselves to be pulled backwards out of the hole, with the creature clamped in their jaws! Therefore, they need a lot of exercise! You will need to take Chester out for a walk before you go to work in the morning, and when you get home. Consider having someone come by to walk him at the lunch hour. There are a variety of 'puzzle' type toys, that will keep a dogs' interest, and periodically give them a reward. Buster Cubes are an example. Some behaviorists will suggest adopting another dog, of similar size as a 'playmate' since dogs are pack animals.

You did not mention if Chester was neutered. Neutering him, and improving his discipline level,will help him become more calm. To improve his discipline level, you need to use a treat that is his most favorite food. Ask a friend to help you out. You should plan to spend 2-3 hours once or twice per week for at least 6 weeks, to 'train' Chester. They can come over and ring the doorbell. When Chester goes crazy barking and running to the door, have his favorite treat ready, and place a 'bed' or mat near the door. Make him lay down or sit on his 'bed', then give a 'shush' or be quiet command, and if he obeys he gets a treat. If he does not obey, tell your friend to walk away, and come back in about 5 minutes. Of course, the first 3-4 times your friend rings the doorbell, Chester will probably be too excited to even listen to you, in which case he does not get a treat, and he does not get to see who is at the door! The goal is to make Chester pay attention to you, whether it is inside the house or outside on a trail. For more behavior advice, see Dr. Ian Dunbar's website or just Google "Dr. Ian Dunbar".

VACCINATIONS are being blamed for Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity in children. Veterinary medicine is similar. Therefore, make sure that he does not receive any more vaccinations, and find a holistic or homeopathic veterinarian to guide you on the best plan for him, until he is 100% back to normal. Even then, it is not unusual to have the problem return after receiving another vaccination, especially for Rabies. Check into obtaining Antibody titers for Rabies, Distemper and Parvo.

(continued in next post below)

Jan 19, 2010
(continued from above)
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DIET is also important. Feeding an organic diet and avoiding artificial colors and preservatives is a good start. Consultation with a holistic vet will help in finding the best diet.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,

Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Anxiety,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Behavioral Issues Section

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