Why Does My Dog: Get So Boisterous?

Q            My puppy Jack Russell is very boisterous and goes mad when I put a collar and lead on her. She’s ten weeks old and bites me when I pick her up. Perhaps I got the wrong breed? Will she always be so aggressive?


A            Our approach to puppies of any breed is generally the cause of them biting us. They’re cute and cuddly, so we want to show our affection and give them everything we think they need to make them happy and love us. It’s a sad situation when puppies bite their adoring owners, but all is not lost. I would suggest that you take a step back and let her see that biting you won’t work. It’s her way of trying to control you, just as she would have done with her siblings in the litter. Handling/touching a dog is reward in itself; it is in fact our primary means of giving acknowledgement, praise and affection. It’s really high value to a dog and if we give attention that is not earned we are falling into the trap of reducing our status in the dog’s mind. Expect your puppy to earn everything: her meals, cuddles, playtime etc. Ask her to “sit”, “come” or give you her immediate attention. That will put a higher value on you and what you give her.

Essex Dog Academy offers a puppy home visit that will help you solve any problems you may be experiencing with your puppy, so call Sue today to book – it will make a world of difference to you and your puppy! 

Why does my puppy Jack Russell chase her tail?


Tail chasing is quite common in puppies; some seem to not realise that it is actually attached to their body! It can be a way of expending energy or an expression of boredom. Most puppies tend to grow out of the habit, but not all. When people laugh at the dog, they are actually fulfilling the dog’s attempt to get attention.

Terriers as a breed are prone to tail chasing, more than others, so it may be in their genes, but it can become a compulsive disorder – the result of confinement for long periods, trauma, physical abuse or separation anxiety, for example. When the dog catches its tail it can cause quite serious damage and injury. When you see your dog about to start an episode of chasing her tail, try to distract her; use some of her energy up by exercising her or doing some training.

It is always wise to have her checked by a vet if her compulsion often occurs and certainly if she is harming herself.