Roxy the Jack Russell Terrier: How do I get my temperamental cousin to like me?


Dear Bella and DiDi,

Very soon, I will be going to Spain for summer vacation. I will be meeting my cousin, Olivia, also a Jack Russell Terrier, for the first time. I am worried that she won’t like me or that she’ll growl and try to nip at me. I’ve heard the humans mention that Olivia sometimes has a “mean streak.” I am very friendly so you can see why I am worried that Olivia might try to bite me. What can I do to avoid this from happening?
Thank you for your help!

Roxy the Jack Russell Terrier

Howl Roxy,

We are so happy that you wrote to us about this situation. Unfortunately, we are used to dealing with unruly family members. We think every family has them. Or maybe it is just our family and we need an intervention? That is for another time.

The first time you meet Olivia, we suggest that you present her with a toy or a treat. Immediately, this will show her that you are happy to make her acquaintance and be in Spain. After this sweet gesture, we doubt she will growl or bite.

Next, when you are visiting Olivia in her house be sure to follow her lead. Let her know that you are an appreciative guest. If she wants you to wipe your paws before entering, then do it. If there is an “Olivia Only” section of the house then don’t go there.

Politely, suggest playing tug of war or going for a nice run around the house. If Olivia doesn’t want to participate, that is okay. At least you tried to inject some fun into the situation.

Know that the reason why Olivia is standoffish has nothing to do with you. If she tries to bite you, this is her acting out on something from her past. There could be any number of things that ignite Olivia’s “mean streak.” Maybe she is eating too much spicy Spanish food?

Try to enjoy your trip! If this advice doesn’t work then call us on our cell phone and we’ll come up with another plan.


Bella and DiDi

















© Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Margot Ahlquist and Paws to Talk with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

26 thoughts on “Roxy the Jack Russell Terrier: How do I get my temperamental cousin to like me?

  1. Oh Bella and Di Di, you girls are the best. One [or both] of my girls [cats] should send in a question about their situation! ;) :D

  2. We hope all works out with the visit…you all have given excellent advice as always. Nice of you to be on-call what great service! Hugs and nose kisses

  3. Bella and DiDi, you are super smart. These are good ideas about how to visit a new femily member. Getting nipped would not be fun. If somebody brought me a new toy and knew how to keep their nose out of my toybox, we’d be friends for life! Keep up the good work.

    Love and licks,

    • Hi Cupcake,

      Thanks for the comment. We agree with you! No guest noses in the toy basket unless given permission. We’re glad you like our advice. We just try our best. Talk to you soon!

      Bella and DiDi

  4. Wow, you are on duty 24/7 then. You gotta open that agency ASAP and make tons of money.
    I doubt Roxy will be up for much crazy play, it getting really hot in here and dogs don’t do much but to have a nice “siesta” all day long.

    • Doggy we’re working on the agency. Our human logistical help is lacking a bit right now though. Siestas may be a great help to Roxy and Olivia. Thanks for the comment! :)

  5. Bella & Didi, you always give such great advice. I’m glad to know that my friend Roxy now has some good tips to help her get along with her tempermental cousin. Nothing spoils a vacation like an argument with a relative. :)

  6. Bella and DiDi, thank you so much for your wonderful advice! Mom and I have read your post and I am clear on what I have to do. I think that with the pointers you’ve offered, I will be able to make friends with Olivia lickety split! I’m looking forward to spending time people watching with her on the terrace of granny’s beach apartment. We have an ocean view since the beach is across the street. I’m looking forward to spending time in the sun! I wish you ladies could join us! :)

  7. Bella and Didi, thank you so much for the wonderful advice you’ve given Roxy. She will chime in soon but I wanted to express my gratitude to you two beautiful ladies. I have taken note of your recommendations and Roxy and I have sat down and discussed what you’ve mentioned. I think giving Olivia a toy or treat is a wonderful idea! Tomorrow I shall go to the pet store and purchase one. I also think an invite to tour the house is a wonderful ice breaker. Thank you, ladies. I’m certain this will make our stay at grandma’s a lot more pleasant! :)

  8. Bella and DiDi, you have a cell phone? Yikes, please don’t tell Henry or he’s going to want one, too.

    Now, I recognize that picture of Roxy anywhere. The pink sweater is a dead giveaway. She’s the cutie patootie that belongs to another Bella, right? Well, that’s good advice you’re giving her. I sure hope that Olivia behaves and befriends Roxy. They’ll both have much more fun that way!

    • Hi Monica,

      We won’t tell Henry about our cell phone. :) Yes, that beautiful girl is indeed Bella’s Roxy! We hope Olivia is nice and that they both have a great trip!

      Talk to you soon! *kisses*

      Bella and DiDi

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