Hi all. I am sitting here looking into the most soulful, sweet liquidy dark eyes. They aren't looking away and I have found myself in LOVE, not just puppy love but true, LOVE. The kind of love that makes ones heart feel as if it will beat out of the chest- yep, that kind of love. This lovebug comes to me with 4 legs, a short smooth white coat and brown markings and the cutest little black button of a nose. I'm in trouble... I haven't looked at a dog and felt this way in quite some time and part of me feels like I shouldn't love this way again nor this quickly. I feel, that somehow, I am being unloyal to my true first LOVE. Yet I can't help it... This little girl is a 2 year old Jack Russell. She has some baggage and I so dearly want to help her unpack these bags and confirm to her that she is HOME. She just doesn't understand that word and it breaks my heart into. She has had at least 3 litters of pups in her short life here which to me is sickening. She's just a baby herself. To others apparently a cash cow.... She happened into my possession completely by circumstance. I needed ferret supplies and went to the feeders supply store here and she was there. Her 'owners' were selling her and her eyes spoke volumes to me. I couldn't leave her. So here we are... I with an unplanned 'houseguest' (Yeah right). I am trying to fill myself to the brim with knowledge of her breed and find myself here. She can jump (Let me tell you). Boy can she jump. If she jumps against my legs though she immediately cowers and most of the time urinates herself too. She has alot of fearlessness in her for her dimunitive size but for all her courage she is somewhat afraid of my hand and this is killing me. My dogs never looked at my hands as weapons of war. My hands were always welcomed. She has war wounds on her, nothing big per say but their other dogs had attacked her a few times the past year and she has the marks. To be fair I don't know if she instigated the 'attacks' or not but in the end no one is responsible but her 'owners'. She deserved to be protected and to be safe. I want to bring her back, to show her that life isn't always what it has been for her. She has lived in this place her whole life and she needs to know that all of us aren't so bad. My concerns are this: I have 4 children and I do fear that when she becomes frightened that she may bite. I don't see agression with the children but that part of her that is scared of hands does worry me. What are some things I can do to combat this? Then how do I go about healing all the wounds, the ones I can see and the ones I can't see? I am not capable nor willing to brush off the commitment I have made to her. I know she should be motivated by toys but she has no idea what those are. Treats she does love and I am working on 'Easy' as she tends to snatch and then run with it, almost as if she is scared I will take it back or hit her. Can anyone please direct me in the right path to take with this wayward soul? She needs and deserves every bit of help I can give her. Thanks so much.
I have 4 children and I do fear that when she becomes frightened that she may bite. I don't see agression with the children but that part of her that is scared of hands does worry me. What are some things I can do to combat this?
How old are your children? I am sure they are very excited over their new dog but that excitement could inadvertently lead to problems. I would tell them they need to be very gentle around her. Have them sit on the floor and call her over. Extend their hands to her but don't try to pet her. Allow her to sniff their hands and if she seems unafraid, then they can scratch under her chin or along the side of her face gently. Have them refrain from trying to pet the top of her head because she may shy away from that or try to bite if she feels threatened. If they are old enough have them be responsible for a portion of her care. Giving treats, feeding, walking outside etc. If the kids are rambunctious when they play together maybe keep her in a seperate room while they play so their roughhousing does not intimidate her. As she get more acclimated to your home, and learns what to expect, she will come around. The main thing would be not to spoil her now. Don't let her get away with things because you feel bad for her right now. She is a terrier, one of the toughest of the terrier breeds, I am sure she will come around just fine with some time and patience and clear guidance =)
My children are 15 yrs, 13 yrs, 6 yrs, and 17 months. The 2 biggest concerns are my youngest. My daughter ( 17 months) loves to hug and kiss. She is gentle as can be but is truly an in face your face type of child- very loving and touchy feely. Then the 6 year old. He is good to pets and always has been but he is being tested for Aspbergers Syndrome. He is extremely active and very loud and repetiitive with noises and movements. He also has angry outbursts which can be very scary even for us adults whom know why he is behaving this. I am certain this is very unnerving for a new dog especially one with some baggage. He hasn't yet had an episode since she came to be here but I know it will happen. It's just knowing when and where. She has been doing fairly well with my daughter. I can tell when she is being pushed as she stiffens up so I intervene and am always right there when they are interacting. When I feel she has had enough or is getting the tiniest bit upset I remove her into the bedroom to give her a cooling off period. This seems to be working so far. I am hoping with time this can be done less and less. She is very food motivated I've found and has learned sit (most of the time) It's a work in progress but I'm not pushing too fast with anything as this change in her homelife has been drastic enough. She is doing GREAT with her housebreaking so far (knock on wood). I won't say she exactly know whats expected of her but she does go outside when I take her out regularly.
Jack Russels are high energy dogs that need alot of excercise and stimulation to do well and not become a nuisance.
I understand about your son, my grandson as well is going to be getting tested for this as well. If you are able and have the dedication to always keep an eye on the dog and never allow it to be with the children unattended. You could make it work.
If that is not feasible, than a dog may not be a good idea at this time until the kids are older. (younger ones that is)
You need to find a room in the house where he can find refuge (the dog) somewhere that is OFF Limits to the kids where the dog can relax, nap, chew his bones, etc without the kids disturbing him.
If he does not feel safe or is allowed to get overwhelmed around the kids, he will likely start to snap at them. It will not be the dogs fault, he simply needs a break sometimes and snapping is the only way they have to convey...'leave me alone'
Its alot to take on, I wish you luck in whatever you choose.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain.