How to prevent two female Jack Russell Terriers from fighting?

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new name: How or what can you do to prevent two female Jack Russell Terriers from fighting?
Sometimes our 3 female Jack Russell Terriers fight over stuff ,people or space.Mostly it’s a two dog fight but sometimes it’s 3. The dogs are 3-4 years old, 2-3 years and 8 months old.

Is there anything we can do to stop them from fighting and drawing blood on their beautiful coats and faces? How do people stop them from fighting? Can anyone please help out here?

russel terriers photo
Photo Credit: FastPhive/Flickr
Answers and Views:

Answer by JERILYN D
Unfortuntely, any time you get dogs of the same sex together they want to fight for dominance, unless one is clearly the alpha. And if they’re fighting seriously enough to draw blood, then you have a pretty serious problem. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…

Answer by jnm5575
You can get some good books on training, but your best bet is to work with a dog trainer. A behaviorist would be best. Any good dog trainer will give you a free consultation. You have some serious dominance issues going on, if you handle it the wrong way you’ll make the issues worse. There are lots of training styles, but look for someone that uses positive training techniques. Remember that you control the food and affection these are keys to getting your dogs under control. A good trainer will teach you “settling” you lay your dog down on it’s side and hold them down until they calm down. It teaches them that you’re in control and won’t hurt them. You should practice this with each dog twenty minutes a day for a couple weeks. Then just with the instigate when there is issues. Avoid trainers that use collar correction. Since you’re dealing with aggression issues, this will make the problems worse. PetSmart have a very good training program that can help with these issues.
Good Luck

Answer by Beano
One of the dogs is the instigator, it could be a look, growl or even a hip bump. It is your job to see the “tell” b-4 the fight. What you should do is, if one of the three is submissive then make that dog your 2nd in command. Don’t always feed the “alpha” of the three first, That would be a mistake, feed the calm dog first. I don’t know why some people think you always feed “alpha” first. You want a calm home, when the dogs are playing nice all is fine but once the “instigator” starts you need to “re-direct” her energy immediately. If you miss the tell and a fight starts separate the dogs and MAKE them lay down till calmness has been re-stored.

The main reason why these dogs are fighting; is not because you have 3 females, it’s because they have pent up energy that must be released. JT’s are known for their high energy, it’s your job to drain this energy daily. My 2 males dogs (ESS and Chow/mix) take 2 walks daily 45 minutes each plus the ESS is on a treadmill for 20 minutes daily. It’s allot of work but the peace in the house is worth it all. Plus my g/f and I make the time and it helps our health. It’s win, win if you work had in draining that energy. Good Luck

Read all the answers in the comments.  What do you think?

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  1. brianna says

    we have 2 jack russells that are both females and in the last two days they have been fighting and have drawn blood to each other can you guys please email us what to do to help prevent the fighting

  2. luvmyjacks says

    Here we go again with the JRT bashing.
    They are NOT all hyper and crazy!!!!
    I am a Jack Russell Terrier breeder and owner
    I have three female Jacks that all live together peacefully.
    You, as the pack leader, CAN'T let them fight. You have to stop it before it gets to the point where blood is drawn.
    The SECOND one of them starts with the growl or aggression, you have to step in and change their train of thought immediately. A verbal correction with a firm touch on the shoulder should send an immediate signal to the aggressor but it has to be done almost as fast as it begins.
    A spray water bottle can help too if you are not right next to them when it happens. Squirt it right in the muzzle and startle the dog out of its aggressive mode.
    Exercise is extremely important. You should take them all out and get them good and tired. They are much less likely to "argue" when their energy is expended.
    Treat them all equally, don't favor one over the other and give them some alone quality time with you when you can.
    The Jack Russell breed is loving, affectionate, calm, and very loyal. Yes, they are energetic but the "crazy" "hyper" labels only come from uninformed people who buy into reputations, or have no dog training experience.

    • Kathy says

      I now have three female Jack Russell's. 1-15, 1-7 and 1-10 mo. The last two weeks have been hell in our house with the younger two getting into fights. No blood from them upon each other, but the youngest has drawn it on me and my daughter as we have had to separate them. She is not trying to bite us – we just get caught in the cross fire when we pick her up and she is biting at the air as the other continues to growl and bark. We are at a loss. The house has been a happy and playful one up until then. The youngest has yet to be spayed. Could that be the problem and if so, when we get her spayed, do you think the problem will be resolved?

    • brianna says

      they are some really good tips it’s helping me with my pain ful puppies the wont stop fighting ifyou have anymore tips on how to keep them from fighting that would be nice thanks

  3. Lesley R says

    Females are normally very jealous dogs especially when it comes to their owner etc. The best thing to do as I was once advised by my vet was to have the dogs fixed. It reduces some hormonal balance and they become alot less calm.

    But if that doesn't work for you like it did me, I suggest you keep the dogs separate so this doesn't happen frequently. But Jack Russells are very feisty dogs and Territorial, but may you should also gradually get them used to eat other, don't feed them together obviously they will fight.

    I hope you manage to sort out your problem.

  4. debdeb3118 says

    I would suggest giving the the dogs time out from each other. When they start to fight separate them, showing them fighting is not acceptable. When they are playing well together say "yes" and give them a treat (dried liver, smacko's). This show them that when they play well together good things happen. Totally remove the object they are fighting over. Do you really need to keep it? Call a dog behaviourist for specific advise. They will always fight over who's top dog!!!!!!!

  5. Kosmo's owner says

    Have you tried training the dogs? I've always heard that if the dogs have a job to do it helps keep order in the house. There will always be one that is the alpha dog amongst the dogs, but training will help them all know their role in the family and that you are the true alpha. By training them also, you will be able to stop them from fighting with just a command and not have to pull them apart. This is especially crucial for your 8 month old puppy. You don't want her learning a bad behavior from the older dogs which seems to be happening.

    We've always had males and even though neutering them is supposed to make them not as aggressive, if they are young they still are aggressive enough. We have found with our dogs that training is the best way to go is modifying aggressive behavior.

  6. Dotr says

    My Mom has 3 JR's 2 f 1m they occasionally fite but it all seems to be for her attension. She is able to shout at them to stop. Many ppl tell u to sp/ntr but not always works with this breed as far as calming them down!!

  7. Shel says

    Three female JRTs. Are you crazy? Who sold you two females? Then three? Did you not know that they will always fight?

    My only suggestion would be is to get a male to get things in line the females will always go at it. I would suggest placing one of the females with another loving home or back to the breeder if they are willing to admit their huge mistake and yours. Add a male to the mix if you can handle this.

    The rule is never ever 2 female terriers. Always a male and a female or 2 males. Who knows why no one told you 3 female JRTs would be a big big problem.

    These three bitches will never stop fighting please separate them it will be death for one of them when it gets serious and it will. I am sorry to tell you this. Either separate them or you will suffer much heart ache.

    • mary says


      I like what you said re: the 2 females..I have 2, a JR cross(9) and a Welsh terrier. (10) I live on 6 acres with horses..and they are out and about all day. They occasionally (like today) get in a big fight. The WT starts it, but is no match for the JR cross. I do not know WHO exactly starts it..they were both eating horse manure today in the pasture when it started. They usually have one twice a year..and when I try to break it gets worse b/c no one wants to let go. Would getting a low drive a great Pyranneas help balance their problem…? Please and thank you for your help..!!

  8. wrong place wrong ti says

    Warren D is hopefully not a owner of a pet and should not respond with ignorance.The answer is the alpha.This is a dominant trait in all breeds.The eldest is fighting to keep her title if she looses it she will be attacked all the time by the others.You need to separate them because you will not enjoy the outcome.Having all the same sex causes problems the strongest always wins with either death or horrible outcome and you dont want this.

  9. Rufus says

    Let them fight a little, soon they will let one be in charge. If they dont stop try keeping them away from eachother. You can allways watch "Dog Whisperer" on TV, Ceasar has GREAT tips on these things!! :D

  10. walkinglady says

    Your first problem is that you've got a fairly aggressive, very hyper breed. The second is that you have 3 females and when dogs fight, females are worse than males. Having them all spayed may help some but what they really need is some tough discipline and obedience training. You'd be best off separating them while you'er training them.

    It would also help if you determined which of the 3 is the alpha and you reinforce that – she gets fed first, greeted first, etc. Then you need to make sure that she (and the other 2) know that you are top dog over all of them and make them behave.

  11. Sandy B says

    Alot of times they are jealous of each other and don't want the other one to get any attention from you. Try playing with them both at the same time and treats are always a great way of getting then to sit and wait their turn but at the same time getting your attention at the same level… Good luck getting them to stop isn't easy

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