Sirius is seven months old. He’s an absolutely wonderful dog-- sweet, snuggly, super-obedient and loving. He’s been a delightful addition to our family.
He was given to us in October by a fellow my husband works with who breeds Jack Russell Terriers. He had been sold once to another family. I don’t know the full details of that situation, but the breeder offered to buy the dog back from the family because he was concerned they were mistreating him. Given Sirius’ temperment, I would say it was likely he was abused by them.
He’s extremely timid. I have to carry him everywhere when we leave the house. He trembles when he’s in new places or meeting new people. I take him everywhere I go because I want to get him socialized as well as I can, but his terror saddens me.
He’s ultra-placid. My vet says she’s never seen a calmer dog, let alone a JRT (who are often nicknamed Jack Russell Terrorists because of their high-energy temperment.) He spends most of his time curled up on my lap.
I have to be extremely careful when I correct him. A sharp “No!” will send him into a cower and he frantically tries to appease me. The only way I can correct him, if, say, he’s chewing on something that doesn’t belong to him, and not scare him to death is to say very gently, “Oh, no, puppy!”
He runs from me whenever I try to pick him up, though I’ve done everything I can to assure him that I won’t hurt him. Once he’s in my arms, he snuggles into my neck and kisses me. He seems to fear me looming over him-- once he’s in my arms, he’s fine.
He’s completely normal with other dogs, playful and friendly. He was raised with brothers and sisters and is well-socialized with other dogs.
I know he’ll probably never be a completely “normal” dog, since he may have had a lot of trauma in his early life. Is there anything else I should be doing to try to help him? Will he eventually stop fearing me?