Mother's Aggressive Dog


New Member
Hello everyone,

This is my first post. I would like to start off by saying I know I have made mistakes with this dog. I am looking for some advice please as this is a very stressful situation.

I live and work in Asia and my parents live in Europe. I visit home around once a year. My parents got a new, male Jack Russel around 3 years ago. I met the dog when he was 6 months old. They had not trained him. Within 6 weeks I had toilet trained him, trained him to walk on a lead, basic commands and basic behavior (no jumping up, no getting up on the table etc. etc.) We really bonded.
After 8 weeks together I returned to Asia and then visited home 14 months later. I thought the dog had remembered me, but I'm not sure. Anyway, while I was gone my parents had trained him on a shock collar to keep him inside our property (I was highly against this). They did this because we had lost another dog on the busy main road. I feel that this made the dog a bit unpredictable. My parents did not upkeep my training, they allowed him to jump on guests and get up on the table etc. etc. The dog did not like to be told what to do. He would snarl at my father when he tried to put him to bed.
When I returned I was not aware of the snarling or that my parents were not keeping up my behavior training. So when I saw the dog doing these behaviors I told him 'no'. The dog snarled at me numerous times, which really shocked me. I let him know with a stern voice that he was not to do this to me. Then he would see me later in the day and want to play fetch etc.
I came into the house quickly one night and I startled the dog. He became very aggressive and bit my leg (I was wearing thick boots so I wasn't hurt). This obviously really upset me and I felt unsafe in the house. I left to go to Asia the next day so this behavior was not corrected properly.
I returned the following year. The dog was so excited to see me (as he is with all guests). But the dog continued to snarl, growl, crouch down and bare teeth at me every time I came down the stairs or came near my mother quickly. He is very protective of her. I was afraid of him so we put the dog into a boarding kennel. I missed the dog, so on my last day we brought him back to our home. I collected him and he was so happy to see me. Back at the house I lifted up my mother's crutches and the dog became very aggressive again. He was afraid I was going to hurt him or my mother. I lowered the crutches and tried to talk to him in a calming and friendly voice. He was snarling, baring his teeth and wagging his tail at the same time.... this was very unusual to me. He would not stop and I ended up having a panic attack before I left for the airport.

I am returning to my parent's house in a few weeks for a month. I really want to get along with the dog. I understand that the dog is wary of me as I am practically a stranger to him. He was confused because I was giving him orders. I removed him from his home, which upset him further. However, he still snarls at my father when he tries to put him to bed. They have removed his shock collar thankfully. My family have kept and trained jack russels for over 20 years and this is the first time we have had an aggressive dog.

I am planning to not correct the dogs' behaviour (jumping on guests etc.) I will give him treats when I enter the kitchen area where he sleeps/lives so he is getting positive reinforcement when he sees me. What should I do when/if he is aggressive towards me? Is there anything my parents can do to prepare the dog for my return? All helpful advice is welcome. Thank you for reading my long post.