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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I grew up with dogs. My mom is a certified dog trainer. I always thought I would grow up and have dogs.
Then I got married and had children and got cats. I wanted a dog but wanted to wait until my kids got a little older.
So I waited. My youngest (and for sure last) child is 5.5 other two are 7.5 and almost 9.
I have 3 cats (with claws) two of them are 4 years old and one just turned 1.
I wanted a small dog that is good with children and cats and could walk a mile or two a day on nice days or 5 days a week (if not 7) but would be a good companion and house dog. I am a stay at home mom.
The problem is I made an impulse decision. I wanted an adult rescue dog proven with children and cats. On impulse I adopted (from a giveaway add) an 11 week old jack Russell terrier.
Pete is very smart. He rarely has an Accident in the house, I take him out every 2 to 3 hours during the day. He knows the sit command (both spoken and by signal) and he has learned "leave it". He chases the youngest cat but the older 2 stand their ground. he also loves to play fetch.

He is protective of his bones.

We have worked a lot on socialization. Both people and dogs. He loves people. We have had Bi-weekly lessons with my mom the dog trainer.

Pete is now 14 weeks old. He has started to show signs of aggression, growling at the children. For no apparent reason.

He sleeps in a crate and is crate trained.

From what I have read after the fact jack Russell terriers are not a good first time dog. I also read they should never be trusted with cats.
He is very smart but my mom is worried that the aggression is too much a part of his personality and his breed and is urging me to think of rehoming before he is too much older.

Help me please

292 Posts
I am not up on the traits af Jack Russels but do know a few from our agilitygroups and they are awsome dogs and none are in the least aggressive with either dogs or kids.

How much socialising have you done? Have you been and stood outside busy shopping centres, outside school yard gates, at dog clubs?

I think rehoming at this stage would be a bit harsh but on the other hand, if you are having second thoughts at this early stage of your relationship, is it the right dog for you? A dog is for life.

If you are going to persevere I would have your children start feeding the dog by hand. Not literally but you could have them place a spoon at a time in his dish held by one of the other kids.

Keep a close eye on when he is growling. Is it at feeding time or when chewing a bone or when playing with a toy or just sort of random? Is the growling genuine or just talking? Some dogs growl when they tug.

If he is growling randomly then there may be an issue with his health. His teeth may be hurting or he may have a sore toe.

Watch, observe and act to distract him and get him focusing on something more rewarding when he does growl. Do not discipline him when he growls, just use a loud uh uh and redirect his focus.
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