How to stop Jack Russell's Aggression? Complete Guide

How To Stop Jack Russell’s Aggression? Complete Guide

The closest friend of man is the dog. Jack Russell is a type of small terrier which many people keep as their pets. What will happen if that close friend becomes aggressive? You may not expect such behavior from your pet dog. So, stopping Jack Russell’s aggression is significant to all who use Jack Russell as their pets. Therefore, this article is all about Jack Russell’s aggression.

So, how to stop Jack Russell’s aggression? It can be done by understanding your dog and the reasons for its aggression well. There you have to go through many things like; the occasions where Jack Russell becomes aggressive, the reasons for that, and finally decide what you can do to stop its aggression.

Accordingly, in this article, I have covered why has my Jack Russell become aggressive, why it is growling at me, what makes my Jack Russell aggressive, and finally, how to stop Jack Russell from being aggressive.

I have listed the topics below for your ease of reading. Feel free to jump straight to the topic you want by clicking on it.

Let’s get started!

Why has my Jack Russell become aggressive?

Aggression is not something that you expect from your Jack Russell. A dog that becomes aggressive once can become aggressive again. Then, it will be a problem not only for you but also for the outsiders.

If you need to know how to stop Jack Russell aggression, the first step of this is finding the reasons for its aggression.

Accordingly, there are many reasons behind their aggression. Mainly anxiety and stress become major causes for it due to negative or traumatic experiences they have experienced in the past.

Naturally, these types of dogs usually become aggressive with same-sex as well as other types of dogs. And their aggression falls mainly towards other dogs or people. Most of the time, their aggressive behavior is a reflection of your caring towards them.

The aggression of your Jack Russell towards other dogs is a common thing. It may be due to lack of socialization, traumatic experiences they have faced with other dogs in the past, or various medical conditions, and there may be many other reasons.

But if it becomes aggressive towards people, you should take action immediately because it is a very serious issue that affects your outsiders where your dog may attack them.

When you bring another dog for Jack Russell’s life, it will become aggressive. When your Jack Russell is the only dog that grows up being very protective under your family, it is not a good idea to introduce another dog to the family since it arouses the aggression of your Jack Russell.

Not only that, there are many other reasons for JRT’s aggression as;

  • Being overprotective
  • Poor breeding
  • Various environmental factors
  • Faulty training
  • Lack of exercise and discipline
  • Neglect
  • Boredom

So, before thinking about the ways to stop your dog’s aggression, identify; why has your Jack Russell become aggressive.

Why is my Jack Russell growling at me?

It is not a secret that growling is an unexpected behavior from your own Jack Russell. It is not uncommon to see that your dog growls at other dogs. But if it growls and is aggressive at you, it should be much considered.

There, you may first study the reasons behind its growling if you want to learn how to stop Jack Russell aggression.

Accordingly, you may see that there are many reasons for it as;

1. Fear

When the dog feels threatened by someone or something, they become aggressive and may growl. This may be because of feeling anxious or unsafe due to any of the past traumatic incidents at your house.

These dogs are fluent in reading emotions. So, they are picking up due to your vibes and tend to act according to your emotions. Accordingly, if they feel nervous, they may become bewildered.

Also, the incidents such as overreaction to a threat, anxiety of separation, noise phobias, etc., can arouse the anxiety of your dog, which leads it to growl.

2. Possessiveness flows with jealousy

There are various forms of possessiveness such as; food, family members, and territory. This is a feeling that the dog develops with its growth.

This is a common reason for your dog’s growling, and you can deal with it with love and proper training. This can be mainly seen due to the dog’s jealousy that arises when you introduce a new dog to the house.

3. Unspent energy and lack of exercise

Jack Russell gets irritated if they are not engaged in any action since these types of dogs are very active and intelligent. So, they are always eager to explore and hunt. Therefore, if you have a Jack Russell, you may keep it busy with something like exercises. If not, it will growl and even become destructive.   

4. Testing pack hierarchy

Dog’s place in the family is considered through the respect your family members give for it. There is a big deal with territory and family hierarchy for dogs.

And, there should be leading roles of you and your family members with your Jack Russell. That means not to punish it always but to give priority to positive reinforcement.

It means; when your dog growls at you, you may pay your attention to its behavior closely and note down the incident. Then, after the end of a few growling incidents, you can have a clear idea about the reasons for its growling. As examples;

  • Courting excessively at its territory; that means at its bed or its living place.
  • Picking up the dog and bringing it to the same height as others.
  • Lying down near the dog and playing with it roughly or courting it excessively.

So, those examples are best occasions to show how Jack Russell will be confused about his status within your family by offering the incompatibilities between the hierarchy, which is lower and higher.

Likewise, there are many reasons behind the growling of your Jack Russell at you.

What makes your Jack Russell aggressive?

When you consider; how to stop Jack Russell aggression, it is essential to know what makes them aggressive. Then you can treat the root cause of the aggressive behavior and stop it. It will be more successful and effective.

Accordingly, let’s see what makes your Jack Russell aggressive.

1. Domination over the dog

When you maintain an excessive leadership role in front of your Jack Russell and force it to do various things, it will make the dog more aggressive.

For example, suppose you force it to get down from your furniture when the dog refuses it. In that case, there is more probability of making it aggressive.

There, it will growl at you by refusing to get off. When you attach your dog to a collar, it may also make it aggressive as it loses its freedom of running and walking even in case of anxiety.

So, your excessive domination will create a reason for the aggressive behaviors of your Jack Russell.

2. Various illnesses or an injury

Various illnesses and injuries also make your Jack Russell aggressive. The pain caused by a specific medical condition can be the root cause here.

Sometimes, you may try to do exercises and various activities with the dog without knowing its pain so that it may become aggressive there, and even they may bite the family members.

So, it is better to identify the root cause for the aggression if it shows uncommon characteristics.

3. It’s role as your protector

The dog is the closest friend of humans and is very loyal to their family members. So, if they notice any outside threat towards you, they will become aggressive to protect you.

These types of dogs can understand your emotions, and as a result, they are very much emotionally bound to you. So, they think it is their primary duty to protect you.

4. Response to fear

Your Jack Russell will become more aggressive when they notice anything that made it fear in the past or something that it fears.

As a response to the fearsome feeling, it will show aggressive behaviors like; growling, barking, etc.

5. Response to Jealousy

If you bring another puppy to the house when there is your Jack Russell at home, it will make the dog show aggressive behaviors.

It will fill the dog with fear mixed with jealousy for losing the love and status in the house.

6. Experiences in the past

When Jack Russell faces a traumatic experience in the past, and when he notices the same happening or same objects that took part in the experience appear in front of it at present, suddenly it will show aggressive behaviors.

7. Your various body languages

It is the body language that we use to share our emotions with the dog. If you cannot convey to them that you love and care for them, it will make them more aggressive.

There, they will continuously bark, growl, jump at you, and show any other aggressive behavior.

How do I stop my Jack Russell from being aggressive?

How to stop Jack Russell’s aggression? Here, I will provide some tips to make this process easy for you.

1. Control of the food

This is the best way to make your dog respect the commands. A hungry dog respects any command if you give them food.

So, you can feed it by asking it to sit and feed by hand until all food gets finished, where the dog learns to work for its meals instead of putting them in a bowl to have them.

2. Control over barking of your Jack Russell

It is very noisy when Jack Russell barks. Although barking is a natural habit of dogs, it becomes a disturbance for you and your neighbors when your dog barks a lot.

So, it would be best if you controlled it. Here, first, you have to understand the reason for its barking. Most of the time, Jack Russell barks due to anxiety and boredom.

When it comes to boredom, it can be chase away from your Jack Russell by engaging it in work as an exercise or give it various chews to enjoy itself. It works out great when your hollow nylon chews are filled up with peanut butter.

When talking about anxiety, if you notice something that arouses your dog’s tension, like the dog of your neighbor, you can prevent it from the sight of your dog by putting a barrier in between them.

And suppose it gets anxious when it is separated from you. In that case, you have to practice being alone by leaving it alone and gradually increasing the time to be alone.

3. Control the over jumping up of your Jack Russell

This behavior makes people afraid, although Jack Russell is a small dog. Also, it becomes annoying for them. Jumping is a result of overexcitement.

So, here you may make the dog get its share of excitement through exercises and games throughout the day.

You can go for walks and teach your dog to work according to the commands. Also, you can play games with the dog.

4. Discourage the destructive behavior of the Jack Russell

Destructive behavior also may be the result of anxiety or boredom. You can keep your young dog in a puppy pen if you want to leave him alone.

If not, it will be destroyed when it becomes older, and you may see how it becomes destructive by giving you gifts like chewed shoes, bags, clothes, etc., on your return home.

Therefore, you should set boundaries for the dog through formal training. Also, you can drive away from its boredom through physical activities and games by giving a chance to play with new toys.

Providing different types of toys is significant for Jack Russell as it is an intelligent breed.

5. Teaching non-aggressive behaviors

Aggressive behaviors of your dog show the lack of socialization of the dog, and it is a common characteristic among various rescue dogs.

Sometimes, a friendly dog also may become aggressive due to an illness or an injury.

You may contact your vet if it is impulsive behavior. If it is an ongoing issue, you have to build a positive environment where it gets aggressive and convey slowly that there is nothing to become aggressive about it.

6. Stop the Jack Russell from biting

Generally, puppies bite at their early ages to fix their teeth and play, but sometimes we can see this in older dogs.

When your puppy is playfully biting, you may shut its mouth for a few seconds by saying not to do it and leave a toy or chewy treat in the mouth.

It conveys to the dog what is allowed to bite instead of people. And you can assist a professional trainer if your dog is old but still biting.

7. Keeping the dog from running away

Hunting and digging are the birth skills of Jack Russell. They are naturally inspired to go on finding a mate.

The tendency of going away to find a mate can be decreased to a great extent by spaying and neutering.

8. Solve the hyperactivity of the Jack Russell

These dogs are hyperactive at their birth and become excessive if the owner doesn’t help them release the energy.

If your dog is hyperactive excessively, you may give more exercise to your dog. There you can increase the number of walks and make them more challenging as well as extended.

Also, help it to learn swimming, and you may engage in more games with it. Playing with a ball while fetching your dog will make it more tired, and it is the best way to release its excessive energy.

9. Care about your body language

As owners, we are sending our emotions to the dog through the body language we use in cases of leading or commanding the dog.

So, it is significant to convey to the dog that you care about it and love it much through your body language.

Be confident and calm, holding the lead and control of emotions loosely. It will be helpful to stop the aggressive behaviors of your dog that arise due to your body language.

10. Have the help of a professional trainer

If your Jack Russell shows aggressive behaviors even after you try out the things like; controlling food, controlling the jump up, teaching non-aggressive behaviors, etc.

Then it would help if you had to involve a professional trainer to stop Jack Russell from being aggressive. It will be more effective.

Conclusion – How to stop Jack Russell’s Aggression?

We have discussed; how to stop Jack Russell aggression with more details and practical examples. I think this article will effectively work out for all who are looking forward to stopping the aggressive behaviors of their Jack Russell as I have discussed all the related information like; why has my Jack Russell become aggressive, why is my Jack Russell growling at me, what makes your Jack Russell aggressive and finally, how do I stop my Jack Russell from being aggressive.

Jack Russell is a commonly found dog type in houses as pets. But aggression is not expected by a pet. So, how to stop Jack Russell aggression? The first step is understanding the dog and the reasons behind its aggression.

If you recognize the root causes like; fear, lack of socialization, etc., you can treat them by using methods like; control of food, caring about your body language, control of their barking, etc. Then you can effectively stop the aggressive behaviors of your Jack Russell.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about our four-legged friends.

Cheers from Shaggy and Lenny!


  • George Brown

    George B. is the founder of the JRO Organization. He believes in creating a better world for domestic animals. He believes domestic animals are more vulnerable than other animals, especially dogs, since they have been used to depending on their owners for generations. So, he started JRO to share his ideas and insights while helping vulnerable dogs worldwide. George runs multiple projects on street dogs in developing countries, especially Sri Lanka.

Similar Posts