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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this true in your experience? How or why are small dogs snappy if larger ones aren't?<br><br>
I dont quite understand this saying, but I need to know about it. We are having some issues with our 9 month old, chihuaha cross jack russell terrier female.
 

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In my experience, yes.<br><br>
I do not care for most smaller breed dogs because I find that (most) of them are yappy with a high pitch bark that stimulates some buried part of my brain that gives me violent thoughts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">. Or they are prone to bite. With some, it seems almost like a Napoleon Complex, in that they THINK they are the biggest-most-in-charge-person that has ever lived, for others, I think it is fear that makes them bite, because they are so small, they feel the need to make it known that they CAN defend themselves and are not afraid to do so.<br><br>
Regardless, IME, I have found both most chihuahuas to be "nippy" dogs, and again, IME, I have found ALLLLLL jack russells that I have ever ever ever met to be wound tighter than a pocket watch. Spirited would be the nicest way I could put my encounters.<br><br>
I'm just a bigger dog person I guess.<br><br>
Good luck with her. Your new "doggie parenting" seems to be quite an adjustment for you<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">!
 

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I have an australian terrier female who is 14 years old. She weighs 8 pounds, although the breed standard I think it closer to 12-14. She's bigger than a yorkie, but about half the size of something like a cairn.<br><a href="http://www.dogbreedz.com/breeds/australian_terrier.cfm" target="_blank">http://www.dogbreedz.com/breeds/australian_terrier.cfm</a><br><br>
Her whole life, she has been a loving, easy companion around my hyper 2 little ones. She never bit anyone. Sure she barks when someone comes to the door, but not for any other reason.<br><br>
Now that she is 14 years old with kidney disease and some joint issues from a bought with lyme disease and rocky mountain spotted fever, she is very sensitive to being touched. She'll snarl, but still has never snapped or bitten even my 3 year old. But I really give the old lady a lot of credit for surviving the toddlerhood of two active boys being the smaller than a cat thing that she is.
 

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A small dog is more likely to be babyed or spoiled than a big dog. A babyed or spoiled dog is more likely to be nippy or have any other behavior problems than a well trained dog. My Princess is an American Eskimo. I've been told, that American Eskimos are a nippy breed. I have not seen it. I am guilty of babying her sometimes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">, but I've also worked all her life to make sure she recognizes me as her Alpha and that she is obedient to me.
 

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Yeah, people are less likely to train small dogs because their so "wittle." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"> and they think rigorous training is for big dogs. It drives me crazy.<br><br>
That said, I have a pug and have spent a lot of time in the small dog section of various dog parks and I have met plenty of non-snappy small dogs.<br><br>
My dog is not snappy or mouthy, but he barks like crazy at the cats. We're working on this.<br><br>
ETA: Jack Russells are very high maintenance, even when trained. They need space and tasks to keep them occupied. They are terriers, which are working dogs.
 

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No small dogs don't equal snappy anymore than big dog equals viscious. The stereotyping goes both ways.<br><br>
Eh I've seen MORE than my fair share of babied big dogs.
 

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We have two Miniature American Eskimos. The male is less tolerant than the female is. I really think it has to do with them feeling so powerless. It's almost as if they are smaller and have something to prove to the world. The yippiness and barking bother me, but what I love about small dogs is their portability, my dogs don't ever have that "wet dog" smell, and they are definitely lap dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, here are the issues:<br><br>
Shes always been snappy at my son. I wish she would walk away when he teases her, (typical boy but hes told not to), but she snaps at his fingers and has snapped at his face a few times. I yell "NO" at her and smack her nose most times she snaps at him, and I thought she would have learnt by 9 months old not to do it, but she hasnt.<br><br>
Then today for the first time, she actually snapped at ME! I was really shocked. She bit into my hand several times.<br><br>
She has too much energy, like she'll bark at me and run about if she wants me to play with her but im busy with something...and its like "just shut up! im not taking you for a walk right now". I do walk her daily though.<br><br>
She barks when she wants her food, even if its not at the right time of day she will bark like to try and demand her food -I never give it to her during the time she does that, I tell her "NO" to stop her barking, but unless I physically remove her from the kitchen and lock her out she continues to do it.<br><br>
She barks when she gets up before me in the mornings and even if I give her breakfast, she continues to bark until I GET UP!<br><br>
Also she barks a lot which makes me jump out my skin and scares my son, I yell at her "NO" in a deep voice every time and send her to her "naughty corner" type place, but she still does it.<br><br>
Also she has this bad habit of "humping" me at night time. Ive mentioned it on here before and was told its a sign of her trying to be dominant over me. But Ive done the training to make her know Im the boss of the house not her. Like I force her to lay down on her side and place my hand on her neck and hold her there for a minute..daily. I hold her up under her armpits everyday a few times because again its a way of showing you are in charge not the dog. I also make her give me her paw and sit and stay before I give her food EVERY TIME.<br><br>
I really feel today that I got the wrong breed of dog. Terriers are dominant, loud, snappy. I dont know much about chihuaha's. But I thought since she was only half terrier, that she wouldnt have those traits too strongly...looks like I was wrong to assume that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>female18-</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9891537"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I really feel today that I got the wrong breed of dog. Terriers are dominant, loud, snappy. I dont know much about chihuaha's. But I thought since she was only half terrier, that she wouldnt have those traits too strongly...looks like I was wrong to assume that.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Never assume anything with an animal. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> It sounds to me like you have some major Alpha problems, although it sounds like you're on the right track for teaching her that you're the boss. It should be helping. Would a professional dog trainer or classes be an option for you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No a trainer and classes are too expensive for us.<br><br>
Yes you would think im on the right track to sorting out the issues but clearly it isnt working because ive been doing these these things for MONTHS with no success:<br><br>
Other things ive tried to make her know im the boss, im the dominant one:<br>
*make her give me her paw and sit/stay before she gets EVERY meal<br>
*I hold her up under her front leg "arm-pits" for about a minute, several times a day and stare into her eyes -I was told thats a way to show your dominance over a dog.<br>
*I make her lay on her side, put my hand on her neck and make her stay there for a minute, again several times a day because I was told and read its another way to show my dominance over her.<br>
*I make her walk next to me not infront when we go for a walk, except for once we reach the fields where I let her run ahead of me wherever because she gets to run.<br><br>
Am I not doing something here that I should be, something else? Im coming to the end of my rope with her, especially with her snappiness towards ds.
 

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I would suggest crate training so she has a place to go to where she feels safe. A book that I found helpful on training is <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHow-Your-Dogs-Best-Friend%2Fdp%2F0316610003%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_2%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1196693367%26sr%3D8-2" target="_blank">How to be your Dog's Best Friend</a>. It has step by step guides, might be useful since you can't afford training.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>female18-</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9891537"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks, here are the issues:<br><br>
Shes always been snappy at my son. I wish she would walk away when he teases her, (typical boy but hes told not to), but she snaps at his fingers and has snapped at his face a few times. I yell "NO" at her and smack her nose most times she snaps at him, and I thought she would have learnt by 9 months old not to do it, but she hasnt.</div>
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If your son isn't able to quit teasing her, then they should never be together unsupervised. And by that I mean you need to be right there with them and stop his behavior as soon as it starts. Sorry, but punishing the dog for your son's misbehavior isn't right. She's defending herself against his maltreatment of her.<br><br>
Yes on the crate training (and make sure your son knows that he is NOT to approach the dog when she's in it), and look into training classes offered by your town's rec center - they are usually very reasonable and will at least get you on the right track.
 

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I think a lot of your issues are due to the fact that she's acting like a very normal terrier. She's quick to use her teeth, quick to bark, demanding, etc.<br><br>
Read this link: <a href="http://www.terrier.com/breed/baddog.php4" target="_blank">http://www.terrier.com/breed/baddog.php4</a><br><br>
She sounds like she's displaying many of those behaviours, which is natural and appropriate for her breed.<br><br>
I also wouldn't be letting your son play with her without your direct supervision to make sure he isn't harassing her and to make sure that she doesn't take advantage of his age and size by jumping, barking, snapping, nipping, etc.<br><br>
If you can't afford a trainer, I would suggest getting some training books from the library and working with her yourself. Some of your problems sound dominance related, but could probably go away with time if she gets LOTS of exercise and consistent discipline. Really, I think what you have is a management issue. How do you manage her natural instincts to live best in your family?<br><br>
~Julia
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>female18-</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9897237"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">:<br>
*I hold her up under her front leg "arm-pits" for about a minute, several times a day and stare into her eyes -I was told thats a way to show your dominance over a dog.</div>
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I'm not a trainer by any means but this sounds like an invitation to get bit in the face.<br><br>
I think you are on the right track with the NILIF stuff and walking method. I agree with the pp, if DS can't follow the rules he shouldn't be with her w/o you right there.<br><br>
She's also still a puppy right? Perhaps this is also her puppy 'terrible twos'?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes that link describing jack russell terriers pretty much sums up how she is.<br><br>
Shes definately not the right breed of dog for us. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Im feeling quite sure that we should find her a new home to be honest.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>female18-</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9891537"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Shes always been snappy at my son. I wish she would walk away when he teases her, (typical boy but hes told not to), but she snaps at his fingers and has snapped at his face a few times. I yell "NO" at her and smack her nose most times she snaps at him, and I thought she would have learnt by 9 months old not to do it, but she hasnt.<br><br>
Then today for the first time, she actually snapped at ME! I was really shocked. She bit into my hand several times.<br><br>
She has too much energy, like she'll bark at me and run about if she wants me to play with her but im busy with something...and its like "just shut up! im not taking you for a walk right now". I do walk her daily though.<br><br>
She barks when she wants her food, even if its not at the right time of day she will bark like to try and demand her food -I never give it to her during the time she does that, I tell her "NO" to stop her barking, but unless I physically remove her from the kitchen and lock her out she continues to do it.<br><br>
She barks when she gets up before me in the mornings and even if I give her breakfast, she continues to bark until I GET UP!</div>
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Our elderly rescued Jack Russell, Mac, does a lot of these same things. He snapped at me a few times when I had to apply ointment to his eye and when I persist in getting stolen food back from him. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: All I knew to do was say "NO!" sternly and put him in his crate for a while. Sometimes I just need a break from the bossy demands! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Our situation is different in that we found Mac as a stray and he's older (10 or so.) He's definitely staying with us and we love him, but I have to admit that we wouldn't <i>choose</i> a Jack Russell if we were searching for a dog to adopt. I've found that terriers really aren't my style, no matter how cute they are! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I feel guilty for saying that, because we really do love Mac. It's just that our preferred dog personality is sweet, people-pleasing, even a little goofy (which is why I like labs and lab mixes!)
 

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To answer the original question: it's not always wise to generalize based on breed. This has gotten a lot of breeds in trouble. That being said, I'm going to generalize. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
I'm a licensed vet tech and I've been working in the field for almost 8 years (two of those years as an unlicensed assistant). IME, the big dogs are much nicer and the little ones are most likey to bite. Now, one should always be cautious when handling any animal because even the most docile pet, no matter the breed, can snap if they are threatened or in pain. I can tell you that I am much more leery with the smaller dogs than with the big ones. For every one nasty Rotti, I can give you about 10 nasty JRTs or poodles. These newer crosses, yorkie-poos, cockapoos, jugs, bugs....all the little mixes have seemed to be especially problematic. There is a large demand for these smaller crosses (and people will pay upwards to $2000 or even morefor them) which leads to overbreeding, poor breeding and puppy mill situations. The small breeds are usually more difficult and "dangerous" to work than the large breeds. Personally, a JRT and a chi would be a nightmare mix. Talking with my co-workers, most would prefer to work with the larger dogs than the smaller. Of course, my brother has a chihuahua and she is sweet as pie. He also has a pit bull who is a doll.<br>
As for your dog, I wouldn't hit her on the nose when she does anything wrong. I also wouldn't hold her up under the arms and stare. I agree with another poster who said that would be asking for trouble. JRTs and Chihuahua's are yappy breeds and bark a lot by nature. I noticed you said you couldn't afford a class. Have you checked with local shelters? A lot of our local shelters offer classes a little to no cost. Perhaps that would be an option if you haven't tried it. I'm not a behavior specialist so I'm not going to try to give you any major advice. I hope everything works out for you and your doggie. Good luck. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>female18-</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9897237"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">*I hold her up under her front leg "arm-pits" for about a minute, several times a day and stare into her eyes -I was told thats a way to show your dominance over a dog.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WaitingForKiddos</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9899176"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm not a trainer by any means but this sounds like an invitation to get bit in the face.</div>
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Yeah, that's an accident waiting to happen. I wouldn't ask for advice from who ever told you to do that. Yikes.<br><br>
I am a trainer AND I own two jack russells AND I have a toddler. It can be done. It takes time and patience, but they can be good dogs. I don't believe that small = snappy (distinctly different from yappy, but I'll get to that in a minute). I think it stems from the fact that people treat smaller dogs differently. They're viewed as delicate and fragile. People tend to help them by picking them up, or giving allowances that large dogs wouldn't get, like over looking the fact that they jump on you, etc. If the dog was 100 pounds you'd definitely know it, and you'd definitely do something about it. When they're only 12 pounds it's easy to shrug them off and keep going. They never learn that jumping is inappropriate, and if jumping on you is Ok, then jumping on furture must be Ok too, and so on and so forth, until the dog thinks that snapping is Ok.<br><br>
Taking a jack russell for a walk is simply inappropriate, typically. I have one who would be happy to hold the sofa down, and I have another who runs circles around me all day long. However, both of them need consistant exercise and training on a daily basis. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - a tired dog is a good dog. For jack russells that can mean 45 minutes of hard fetch, a few runs through an agility course, up down the stairs, etc.. SEVERAL times a day. Going for a walk around the block and letting the dog run for a few minutes on a leash is just not going to cut it. I'm lucky to have a large enough fenced yard that I can get the chuck-it out and run their little butts into the grass every morning. I literally run them until they are taking the ball and sitting in the grass taking a break. Then I do it again after lunch. Then I do it again after dinner. In between they are crated when I cannot supervise them, and through out the day I am turning simple tasks into games and lessons. We frequently hide toys and have them search them out. They need mental stimulation as well as physical stimulation. They ARE working dogs, after all.<br><br>
And I have involved my daughter with the dogs as soon as physically possible. When she started walking I put the dogs on leashes and had her "help" me walk them. Now that she's talking we are working on commands. She helps me feed them, and she is the one to give the "sit" and "ok" commands. It's very important for them to see her as an alpha food source, otherwise it becomes pack mentality to pick off the weakest members because they're viewed as competition (which is what it sounds like is happening with your son).<br><br>
Lastly, my daughter and the dogs are <b>NEVER</b> alone together. Not for a minute. If your dog is routinely picked on by your son, it's no wonder she is snappy. You cannot expect a dog to walk away from confrontation. You need to stop that before she associates that with all humans, instead of just children. Her interactions with everyone should be calm, gentle, and caring. It's only fair.<br><br>
I also second the crate training, if you haven't already.<br><br>
Google alpha training and NILF training (nothing in life is free). Both will give you hundreds of hits on what to do, and what to do. If you are not experienced with training dogs, especially terriers, I do not recommend holding them up and having staring competitions or pinning them down. Alpha/nilf training can be accomplished by never even touching the dog.<br><br>
I would start with more exercise and stimulation. If you can't get outside more, google scent recognition. It's a good way to get your son involved in dog training, and it will keep both of them occupied and engaged, and you can use items around the house to start with, making it very cost effective.
 
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