We have a big family at home, due to my mother taking foster children. However when she (my mother) or my sister go on holiday or my sister to a sleepover the dog gets very "protective" and even kind of aggressive. She will guard for example, my sister’s bag.

The problem is signifact when we go to bed: She has to go to her (kennel / cage?) where she sleeps everyday. However without them present she doesn't obey at that point and trying to pick her up has a high chance of getting bitten. Signs are that her ears go flat en her tail is between her legs.

The dog is part Jack Russel and part something else.

When everybody is home, she is the sweetest dog there is.

  • 1
    This is a guess but: It's your mom and your sister who walk the dog, feed the dog, and, above all, train the dog? Or is anyone else involved in actually telling the dog what to do, and when?
    – Layna
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 12:28
  • @Layna You are absolutly right!
    – Thomas
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 12:29

1 Answer 1


To amplify Layna’s point, when your mum and sister have gone away, the leaders have left and dogs without leaders are lost.

They are also in need of a leader to fill the void. They will therefore try to be the leader.... but unfortunately it takes a very strong dog to be able to do that.

Think how hard it is to be a good leader in the human world and how much responsibilities and stress it brings. The dog clearly can’t cop hence the behaviour you describe.

You need to step up and be a the leader when your mum and sister have gone. The problem will then disappear.

Here’s some information and advice:

Pack leading help

  • Thank you, this gives some insight. However: how would I pick her up for example when she would bite me. Should I endure it?
    – Thomas
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 20:04
  • I wouldn’t pick her up. It’s not dog behaviour. You touch her just on her side between the top of the leg and her tummy. Be calm assertive and fast, you don’t want to hurt her. Surprising her is also great when doing it. Basically, this simulate a mediator dog coming from the side telling her off. See Cesar Milan’s advice.
    – user33232
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 20:10

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