I'm new here and need some advice. I am a little leary of posting my question for fear of getting *bashed* but I need help.
I had a wonderful Jack Russell Terrier. Got her as a puppy, bred 2 litters with her then had her spayed. Kept one male puppy from her final litter. The puppy was the alpha male and often attacked his mama. They had to be fed seperately, or the male would go for blood with his mama. They couldn't have bones, toys, nothing without fighting over them. Fighting so severly that mama was often hurt.
We tried everything to avoid it. Sometimes *Moose* would just snap for no reason at all that we could discern and go after his mama. And she, being a Jack as well, refused to back down, but Moose was bigger and always won. I do believe he would have killed her had we never been there to intervene.
Moose does not get along well with any other animal. At all. He does however love my daughter to death as well as the rest of the family. But he is an aggressive little thing.
Well, at the time we were living in a very rural area. The dogs had a very large, fenced, wooded yard with a dog door so they could go in and out as they pleased. They spent hours hunting in the woods. Killing rodents, snakes, digging holes. They were the best of friends unless Moose was somehow provoked to demonstrate his dominance.
Well, we moved out of state about 7 months ago to a large metropolitan area. *Abby* the mama dog, developed a degenerative disk disease. It was very painful for her. We took her to the vet. He told us this type of thing usually comes on quickly and is common in small dogs. There was not much we could do for the poor thing. She could hardly walk and was in excrutiating pain. The vet recommended euthanasia. It was a sad thing. Abby was 9 years old. Young for a Jack, I had her since 9 weeks of age.
Now we have Moose. All alone. He went through some serious doggie depression after losing his mama. Here we moved, he lost his woods, lost his doggie door freedom, lost vermin to hunt, and lost his mama, all within the span of about 45 days.
The kids (ages 16 & 13) have so many friends now that come to the house, not to mention the family and friends we have in the area we returned to. Moose goes nuts, barking excessively, nipping at people. We have to restrain him when someone rings the doorbell and put a soft muzzle on him when we have company or the kids have friends over. He lays pitifullly whenever he is muzzled.
Now my conundrum. We love this little dog. He loves us. But this is not a good enviroment for a JRT and he is not good with visitors. What do I do? Risk a neighborhood kid getting nipped? We try our best, but kids are constantly in and out. He is not mean. Just alpha, and territorial.
My hope would be to find a wonderful farm for him to have his freedom again. But I feel sad at another disruption in his life and don't want to put him through that. He would sink into depression again without the only family he's ever known. He will be 7 years old in July. But equally, city suburban life is not the best for him nor do we want to risk an accidental nip to the wrong person. He actually did this when my son's friend came over before we even moved. This kid was over all the time but one day Moose got excited and jumped and nipped at him from behind. Tore a hole in his blue jeans and drew blood. Fortunately the boys parents were understanding. But is was after that that we purchased the soft muzzle.
Would it be terribly cruel of me to consider euthanasia as the best option for the dog? I would be embarrassed to even ask a vet to euthanize a young, healthy dog, but I can't see just giving him away to a shelter. He would be trying to attack the other animals, he would be depressed and scared and would end up being euthanized anyway after several days of confusion and hell.
I can't see another family wanting him even on a horse farm or something, because he would be too agressive with the other animals and people coming and going.
Can anyone give some advice? I'm at a loss. Sorry for the long message and thank you for any replies.
so sorry for the loss of abby. it is always painful to lose someone we loved so much even when we know we did all we could for them.
my personal opinion is that before something so final as euthanasia is decided in behavioral issues, you owe it to the dog to put forth every effort possible and exhaust all other options first. when people come over he is put in a different room so he has no access to them. you can also contact a behaviorist and set up a consultation with them to have moose evaluated and see if there is anything that can be done to improve his behavior. it may be that he just does not have enough to do with himself and his pent up energy is being exerted in inappropritae ways. jrt's are active little dogs, both physically and mentally. it sounds as if your previous situation satisfied both those needs. maybe now you need to look into alternate ways to satisfy them. jrt's excel at sports like flyball and agility. both are very stimulating for dogs. your kids are old enough also to participate in those sports with him, it doesnt have to be only you that does it.
i would try a few of these things first. agility and flyball are not only fun for the dog but fun for the humans too.=)
To me it sounds like hes not a good match for your family and families activities (ie kids friends in and out). Before considering putting him down I'd look into some local JRT rescues and they would temperment test him along with his background info you provide them and could find him his best suited home so everyones happy. Just a thought
I have the same problem with my Wiley. He was abused so no one but myself and my elderly parents can get near him.
I have to take the extra precautions to prevent bites. When anyone comes over he is put in a separate room or in his crate.
I have tried all the training and he has come a long ways but I will not trust him with people. Wiley can also be aggressive with other dogs but I put an e- collar on him to control that. I just tone him and he stops the aggression. Maybe try a e-collar and you have to understand how it works so you don't hurt them.
Sorry for your loss :( loosing a pet is never easy. As for Moose, I agree with Scout1. I would also suggest to try to take him to a dog park (when no other dog is there) and let him run. I know at our parks there are certain times of the day that no one is there and I don't take Cody then because he loves other dogs and that would not be good for him but for Moose, since you say he isn't real friendly with other animals that would be a great time to take him. Take him to obedience classes too and hopefully you can work this out , I would hate to see you have to give him up to a rescue or anything. I know you will try your best and make the right decision. Good luck and you are in my prayers.