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Old 08-11-2009, 12:37 AM
Location: Las Vegas
3,557 posts, read 5,686,926 times
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I adopted an 8 month old dog (Jack Russell/sheltie & ??? mix) from the city shelter about 3 months ago. All I know about his history is he was at the shelter 17 days, adopted, returned after two weeks because they "had a baby", adopted again, returned again...this time for "submissive peeing", I adopted him a day later. He has proven to be a wonderful well behaved little guy much more so than I had expected given his track record. All I can imagine is that the people who returned him in both cases simply were not ready for ANY dog because he is a gem.

The only issue we are having is his manic antics in the yard. When I am home I like to leave my patio door open so that my dogs may have free access to the outdoors. Unfortunately I am no longer able to do this due to his interest in the neighboring dogs behind me. First, it was endless bouncing in attempt to see over the 5 foot wall. He was nearly able to clear it so I put some items out to keep him away from that area. Now he just runs in circles and barks constantly whenever he is outside. The area he circles on is concrete (patio) and I am concerned about joint damage...twice I have brought him in limping. Heat is another concern because we live in the desert...he seems to lack the common sense of my other two dogs in that respect. I think he would run until he dropped if allowed to do so.
I don't think its related to a lack of exercise because when he is inside he is VERY mellow. I also have him at work with me during the day and he's calm there as well. We have tried the dog park and while he is very social he doesn't seem all that interested in exercising with dogs on his side of the fence its always the dogs on the other side that he wants to meet and becomes obsessed with
I hate having to keep him inside and my other dogs aren't thrilled with the situation either. Does anyone happen to have any suggestions on what might help to solve this?
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:54 AM
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 10,794,768 times
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A JRT/Sheltie mix is ummm quite a mix...LOL (love to see photos) Since I have both breeds I'll try to help.

First both breeds have really really HIGH DRIVES, a JRT can jump a 5' fence or DIG under it! Both breeds can have obsessive behavior if not exercised A LOT.

The good news is both breeds are highly intelligent and easy to train.

You really haven't had him long so I'd make sure all backyard excursions are supervised for right now. The trick is to stop the the fence running, jumping and barking i.e. obsessive behaviors. I have several suggestions...keep him entertained while in the backyard, right now he's entertaining himself...LOL and not the way you want. Keep him on a long leash (flexi), get a really good squirt gun and nail him when he starts the fence thing with a loud NO or another negative verbal. I even have one in my house as I'm training a Sheltie puppy and I'm not as quick as I used to be and it's a great way to harmlessly break the cycle before it gets obsessive.

His "lack of common sense" as you put it is just that high drive kicking in. Both breeds will work until they drop, so you do need to monitor him for a while until he "un-learns" the behaviors he's gotten into.

I'd also spend some one on one time with him outside away from the backyard and other dogs. When you can't be with him in the backyard set up an ex-pen (you can get a cover so they can't jump out) for him not in the backyard.

You might also have to bag the dog park with him for a while until you can train the no fence running to a point where he will behave for you.

I'd also consider investing in a treadmill (you can get used) make sure it's long enough for the dog. You can train him to get on and exercise himself and you won't mind this behavior if it gets a little obsessive...LOL. These breeds need lots and lots of exercise, more than most dogs especially the JRT side of the mix.

Keep in mind that dogs with high drives can turn a behavior to an obsession quickly through out their lives. Also, this little guy has had a rocky start and will need plenty of time to figure out what is ok and what is not. It will take time, but it sounds like he can become a great pet. Just be prepaired to nip unwanted behaviors quickly...carry several squirt guns...LOL.

Also, a dog with such high drive could make a great obedience/agility dog if your interested - a fun activity for you both. The UKC will accept mixed breeds.

Please feel free to PM me for any questions, my beloved and now elderly JRT who is laying at my feet as I type this can and still does pull stinker moves on occasion, he was a young adult rescue so many of his behaviors were pretty ingrained. I wish you the best of luck with your little guy and will love to hear updates.

Last edited by ReturningWest; 08-11-2009 at 06:14 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:08 AM
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 10,794,768 times
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OH and I forgot...LOL at 8 months they are going thru the "terrible twos" and I feel for you as my Sheltie is now 7 months old and he's getting major naughty and testing me. He had a wonderful off leash come/return now it's in one ear and out the other...LOL...back on leash when walking my property.

BTW I do have a fence area for off leash but it's too expensive to fence 10 acres...LOL.

Grampa Gator and the munchkin Oz when Oz was about 15 weeks old

Pup now getting bigger than the JRT
http://inlinethumb04.webshots.com/18243/2395480940080256443S500x500Q85.jpg (broken link)
Pup pestering and chewing on Gator the JRT...my Sheltie Oz, is now even bigger and poor long suffering Gator puts up with a lot
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:33 AM
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
4,585 posts, read 10,794,768 times
Reputation: 6615
Default OH and a 'nother thing

OK chock it up to old timer

If your dog is not too old teach him to fetch, chase, tug with toys...just make sure they don't get too obsessive stop the play when you want...it another way of learning acceptable behaviors. My JRT was too old when I got him...he'll only chase live things.

But with my Sheltie puppy, he'll fetch toys, I also have a soccer ball (cheap one) that I kick around and he chases and I have tug toys. But I do stop play before he gets obsessed and put them up. These really help with stopping obsessive behavior training.
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:44 AM
Location: Georgia
399 posts, read 1,955,383 times
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Get your dog into flyball!!! And in the backyard carrying a ball all of the time 1) can't bark as loudly 2) loves balls more than other dogs. As a JRT/sheltie your dog ought to be awesome at that! I had a catahoula mix that loooooooved barking outside and she would get reprimanded for barking constantly....until she was smart enough to figure out if she had a ball in her mouth she was allowed to bark. She was so happy with her ball and I guess happy to bark at the same lovely neighbor that we had always had that wasn't doing a thing wrong.
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:54 PM
56 posts, read 147,264 times
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ok i agree with Returningwest 100 percent
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:31 PM
Location: Las Vegas
3,557 posts, read 5,686,926 times
Reputation: 4206
Thank you both for the suggestions. LOL, I use the ball in the mouth trick with my Border Collie when we go to the lake...no idea why I never thought to try it with this dog. He's not really into toys but we can work on that The ex-pen is a great idea for times when I cannot supervise him closely. I will have to try using the flexi lead and squirt gun as well.
I have considered doing agility with both him and my BC...as soon as I move and get settled I will look into what is available. I have done a bit of herding with my two older dogs and am interested in other activities as well.
ReturningWest your dogs are both very cute...I have to admit your sheltie doesn't look like he would ever think of being naughty LOL. I'll have to try to get some pictures up at some point with my move in progress I can't even tell you where my camera is. Thanks for sharing.
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