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Jack’s Little Problem

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Meet “Jack Too” – an adorable Jack Russell Terrier.

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Jack had been living at the shelter with another dog named Look at me (a.k.a. Atomi), but they weren’t getting along as well as expected. At first, it seemed that Jack and Atomi would become good playmates, but Atomi never really accepted Jack, and Jack even became a little scared of Atomi. So because Jack was about the same size as some playful puppies at the shelter, he was put in with them.

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Jack loves playing in the water. He’s had lots of fun splashing around in the river, chasing other puppies, and trotting around with a ball. (Yes, it was smart of us to change around your living companion, wasn’t it?)

So that’s Jack. But, he does have one small problem – he chases his tail. He’ll spin around and around, chasing his tail and barking. Like this... See what I mean?

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When we first took Jack in, he spun around chasing and biting his tail so violently that he actually drew blood. The Jack Russell Terrier is a breed that requires plenty of exercise. Without such exercise, stress builds up and certain behavioral problems can develop. In Jack’s case, this accumulation of stress manifested itself as a tail-chasing problem.

Because Jack was damaging his tail by biting it so much, we began his rehabilitation by cropping what was left of his tail so that his mouth could not quite reach it.

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Unfortunately, even after four years, his problem still remains. It’s just not something that can be eliminated so easily. However, using certain remedies and clicker training, there have been some positive results. Most recently, the speed of his spinning has slowed down, and he will only spin around two or three times. He has also learned to stop by himself.

Before starting to spin, Jack always shows some easily noticeable signs, particularly his facial expression and a change in behavior. Thus with only a little distraction, his spinning can be stopped preemptively. Thankfully Jack’s signs of stress are so easy to see that they are quite simple to respond to.

One thing we’ve had to be careful of is not making loud noises or shouting while Jack is spinning around, as it only excites him further.

There’s another tactic we’ve been using: after Jack stops spinning around, we tell him to sit in a quiet voice and then praise him or give him a treat as a reward.

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So this is about as much as ARK can do to help Jack. The only thing missing that’s necessary for Jack to get better is a kind family to watch over him, and that he can build a trusting relationship with.

Jack’s a very active dog who needs the same amount of exercise as any large-size dog would. But he also loves being held and snuggling up with people. When we first took him in, he was not used to being touched, so he would feel threatened and nervous, and start up his spinning routine. Now you can touch him anywhere and he’ll be completely indifferent about it. It also appears that Jack likes cars.

Isn’t there someone out there who can take in this little boy, and give him the active, fun-filled life he’s been waiting for?




| Dog | 18:11 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑

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