Vets4Pets chief practitioner Rudo Nikisi answers your questions.

If you have a question for Rudo, simply email and mark your email Ask Rudo. 

Hi Rudo, My Jack Russel is 3 years old and we recently got a Chihuahua and now my Jack Russel barks at every little noise. Is she being protective of the new puppy?


Dear Jodie Change in a pet’s behaviour can be caused by many varied factors including health or hormonal changes especially in unneutered pets and also maladaptive responsive to changes in the environment. Ultimately reliable recommendations can only be made on the back of a careful consultation and examination of all possible factors involved.

It however sounds like your little pooch has developed a mild form of territorial aggression. This is a fairly common behaviour in Jack Russel Terriers where any intrusion within a perceived boundary is deemed as a threat to herself or her social group. It is possible that this behaviour may have been triggered by introduction of the other dog as a protective behaviour towards her. However it may also be the case that the presence of the other dog has triggered ‘pack’ behaviour as often seen in dogs in groups as they ‘egg each other on’ to bark and respond to perceived threats.

As part of remedying this, it is important to institute a program of controlled exposure of both dogs to non-threatening social situations and avoiding interactions that can reinforce this behaviour. A consultation with an Animal Behaviourist may be of immense value in tailoring a suitable program for this. It is important to appropriately respond to these events as any excitement or deviation from normal on your part can reinforce the idea that the perceived threat is real and feed the behaviour.

I wish you all the best in resolving this issue.


If you have a question for Rudo, simply email and mark your email Ask Rudo. 

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