Jack Russell Terrier - Canine Companion or Demon Dog (Chapter 3, page 1 of 22)


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Chapter 3

In the dog world, aggression is a very dirty word. This is something that many dog owners, even professional breeders not only come into contact with, but conflict on. In a nutshell most forms of aggression are one of the most natural traits and instincts that have been bred into your dog, and they will occur, its nature. However, this same instinct has been used as an excuse to surrender, abandon even euthanize, thousands of dogs if not more. Dogs have existed for thousands of years with their only tools of communication between each other to be biting and growling. Many inexperienced individuals often see this as aggression in the wrong situation. Dogs communicate to each other through body language. This often consists of growling as well as physical contact which includes mouthing and use of teeth. Bringing a dog into your home with the expectations of efficient training and the complete elimination of all forms of aggressive communication is almost as absurd as asking a person to become deaf and blind at will.

Over the centuries dog owners have bred into dogs the instincts of loyalty, companionship, and the enjoyment of being petted, touched, or even snuggling with humans. This is not a natural condition for any species of animal, but has been collectively imprinted upon the dog psyche and passed along from their ancestors. Of course being the descendant of a sociable dog doesn't mean that a dog will be equally sociable. Any dog must have firm training, supervisions and discipline in order to be compatible with any human family.

It wasn't too long ago, just a few hundred years really, that most breeds of dog would have lived in the wilderness, roamed wild, had no interest in humans, and enjoyed nothing more than chasing down and ripping apart any prey to be found. No matter what methods we use to train, those instincts will always and forever be a part of the mental make-up of your dog. Many breeds have adapted this behavior to physical play and rough housing with other dogs, playing with owners, and hunting chew toys. This type of activity is a much needed outlet for any dog, especially a Jack Russell in order to release pent up energy and stress. These dogs have adapted those hunter/killer instincts into something to do for fun without anyone getting hurt (most of the time). This "fun" is necessary for many breeds, especially the Jack Russell, in order to cope with the change in lifestyle and living conditions that their ancestors enjoyed. When you bring a Jack Russell into a home that demands no physical interaction, excitement, rough housing and above all physical communication, you are taking away the one tool that they have in order to deal with their unnatural surroundings; the lifestyle of being an obedient pet as opposed to a wild carnivorous beast.

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