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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone. I am new to this forum and new to owning a Jack Russell. We adopted a beautiful Parson Jack Russell a week ago and I have thoroughly embraced her personality. Her name is Molly. My dilemma is, are we spoiling her??? I just love how affectionate she is. Molly loves sitting with us and getting stroked. For example, as I write this, she is on the back of the couch, half sitting on my shoulder, fast asleep. I am so in love with her and find it really cute that she wants to do this. This is why I joined this forum.

I feed her last, she sits on her bed while we eat, she waits til last to leave or enter anywhere, she sits before I'll stroke her, she doesn't chew anything in the house, or excessive bark, she doesn't show dominant traits on walks and is very obedient. My worry is, will she see herself above us if we continue to let her sit on us etc and will this lead to issues in other areas????
 

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You're not spoiling your dog by showing affection.

If you're concerned that your dog will become dominant and try to take over your home, don't worry about that. Dominance between dogs and humans doesn't exist: Dominance in dogs

Basically, things like eating and going through doors first, sitting on the "best" chairs, and positioning yourself in a higher spot don't really mean anything to a dog. You do need your dog to be able to live in polite society, so you may want her to relax away from the table while you eat, sit when greeting people, or walk nicely on a leash. Decide what type of behavior you want from her, and train for it. Here's a nice article about how and why to set boundaries: Should You Always Eat Before Your Dog?

You might also want to check out Ian Dunbar's Before and After You Get Your Puppy; they're free, but you may need to register. Dunbar has tons of very good information on his site.
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/dominance-dogs-4076/
 

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Louiee, no offence, please but you've quite obviously been reading too much dominance based propaganda. Dogs are NOT I repeat NOT out to usurp our dominance. To me she sounds like just a well loved, well adjusted little JRT. So what is she's a little spoilt? A lot of very good dogs out there are. Relax, stop worrying it'll be fine. Train her with kindness, love on her as much as you want to. I'll see if I can find the link to that wonderful article I read recently (I"m on my Ipad and it's on my laptop) about what leadership really is.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks cookieface, I feel so much more relaxed after reading 'should you always eat before your dog'. I feel confident that she will obey me, so now I can enjoy her company and stop worrying. She is sooooo sweet and loving. I will register with Ian Dunbar too. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am not offended Bordercollie, I have only read what google found me when I asked about affection. All I want is to enjoy my beautiful JRT fully and not ruin her lovely personality. Thank you and if you can post a link, I will happily read and learn a better way. :)
 

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Thanks cookieface, I feel so much more relaxed after reading 'should you always eat before your dog'. I feel confident that she will obey me, so now I can enjoy her company and stop worrying. She is sooooo sweet and loving. I will register with Ian Dunbar too. Thanks again.
That's great! Check out the Training and Behavior section - especially the Stickies - for tons of information.

Keep in mind that dogs need many, many repetitions in a variety of situations to really understand what you ask of them. So, your pup might know "sit" in the living room, but not on the front porch.

For more training information, look for Kikopup, Karen Pryor, and Sophia Yin. There are many others, but these folks will get you started. There's a nice video on dog body language that I can't find right now. It may be in the sticky on helpful videos and articles.

Ask questions! The regulars here are knowledgeable, helpful, and truly want what is best for you and your dog. :)
 

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I'm no trainer or behaviourist, but it sounds like you are just loving Molly for her beautiful personality! She obviously finds comfort with you and wants to be close (like right on your shoulder close!). Don't worry, you will make mistakes, we all do. But shower her with love, kindness, positive training and tons of praise and she'll be just fine!
 

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Cookieface, thanks the lady has some interesting stuff on her blog. Just read her Feeding for health and longevity. Thought provoking.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Feeling really happy now. It is so upsetting to read some of the things about being 'top dog' that it takes the joy out of having a canine companion. I feel really blessed to have found Molly and I will just enjoy her boundless affection from now on. She is so obedient without really having to try and everyone I've introduced her to thinks she's a great dog. Thanks guys for responding with your positive comments and great links. I knew I'd made a good decision to join the forum. Any problems or queries I may have in the future, I know where to come. Bless you all :)
 

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I love JRT's! I have a mix myself, and up until a few weeks ago our family had another one as well. They are incredible dogs, they come packed with personality!

Good luck with Molly, and welcome to the forum!
You two sound like a perfect match! :)
 

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I love JTRs too and miss mine terribly. They are incredibly sweet dogs and don't respond well to punishment or dominance theory treatment.

Thanks for adopting Molly and I hope you enjoy many years with her.
 

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She sounds like a wonderful little dog! You're doing the right thing by treating her with love. It sounds like she's very respectful and loving, and totally unconcerned with status. There are dogs who are status seeking but they're far more rare than many trainers would have you believe.

Enjoy your dog. Reward and reinforce behaviour you like, and avoid rewarding and reinforcing behaviour you don't want. If you need help, just ask. No one here will tell you to bully or intimidate your dog. No one will frame the dialogue in terms of "human vs. dog: who will win the power." It's just so unnecessary.
 
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