You always expect your dog to shower you with unconditional love and cuddles, but if your Jack Russell Terrier has developed a habit of growling at you, then how do you deal with it? Can you stop this behavior?
Well, you are not alone in this, and many people face the same issue. While Jack Russels are energetic and active dogs, they can get a bit aggressive and stubborn at times. However, these are highly intelligent dogs, and once trained properly, they will know better.
The good news is that you can solve this problem with proper socialization and training. But before getting into that, let’s look at the reasons why your dog might be growling at you.
Why Jack Russells growls and what it means
Growling is just one of the ways your Russell Terrier communicates with you. So what causes the growling? Although to find out the exact reason, it is advisable to visit the vet, here are some common reasons why your pet could be growling at you.
Fearful dogs can turn aggressive and growl in case they feel threatened by something or someone. Any past traumatic occurrence in the house can cause your Jack Russell Terrier to feel unsafe and anxious, resulting in growling. This is their way of saying “back off”.
Jack Russells are excellent at reading emotions, so they’ll pick up on your vibe and act accordingly. Therefore, if they feel any nervous energy around them, they might respond in a similar manner and become agitated.
Certain other situations such as noise phobias, separation anxiety, or an overreaction to a perceived threat (i.e., doorbells, other dogs walking by, the mailman, etc.) can make your dog anxious, which can lead to growling.
Cowering, lip licking, and baring teeth are some of the physical signs that might indicate their anxiety.
Possessive tendencies can develop as your Jack Russell Terrier transitions into an adult from a puppy. It may be possessive towards food, territory, or family members.
While this behavior is common, proper training and love is required to stop your dog’s growling if it is due to possessiveness.
Lack of exercise and boredom
As you might be familiar, Jack Russells are an active and intelligent breed, always eager for some action, and if they don’t get it, they become irritated. They always have an urge to explore and hunt.
If you own a Jack Russell, look forward to leading a busy and active lifestyle. If not taken care of through daily exercises and activities, your dog can be quite destructive.
How to stop the growling?
The key is to use positive reinforcement instead of constant punishments or violence. If you show aggression, it can make the situation even worse.
Create a calm atmosphere
If your furry friend growls because of fear, you can create a calm and relaxed environment for it. Ensure that it feels safe at your home with you and other family members. Include a lot of treats, affection, and praise so that it feels secure and content.
Incorporate exercise time
You should always make time for vigorous outdoor exercising with your Jack Russell Terrier (at least 1 hour). This keeps their mind occupied and gives them a sense of satisfaction. It’s a source of entertainment for them.
You can always get your JRT trained from a good dog trainer or an animal behaviorist. However, you must ensure that the trainer uses positive reinforcement and doesn’t adopt aggressive methods.
Visit the vet
A sudden behavioral change can also be a sign of an injury or illness. If you can’t find any reason for your Jack Russell’s growling, you must immediately contact your vet. Your dog might be in pain, and you don’t want to delay its recovery.
Your pet needs your time and attention to stop this behavior. Its growling simply means that it’s uncomfortable with something, and you must figure it out at the earliest. Giving your pet all the attention it deserves is crucial to eliminate this behavior. With your love and dedication, you can bring about a positive change and stop your dog’s growling.