Aggressive 12 week old puppy

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Aggressive 12 week old puppy

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Old 06-22-2010, 07:44 PM
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Aggressive 12 week old puppy

Excuse the novel:

I rescued two puppies at 2.5 weeks of age. I nurse them back to health and they're now two beautiful (and 20 pound) 12 week old puppies. We have a small problem, however. Theia has a cataract in her right eye and can hardly see because of it. The problem is not this, rather that Theia can be incredibly aggressive at times and this began as early as 3 weeks.

The aggression is not during feeding. There is no food aggression between the dogs or with me if I try to take their food away. Theia will let you know (beginning with a small growl) when she does not want to be messed with. And if you persist, she will snap and you growl awfully and make all sorts of other bizarre puppy noises while trying to bite you. She's drawn blood on a number of occasions.

When the warning signals start Theia is generally tired, resting, or incredibly involved in an activity that she doesn't want to be interuppted form. again.. there is ALWAYS warning.. but other than just not wanting to be disturbed, there is really no pattern to her aggression.

I realize that in a few monthes, and even now as she's drawn blood, this will be a huge problem. She is going to be a large dog ( I'd guess around 70 pounds). I have tried everything under the SUN that I can think of.

I have showed her I am dominate female, first by holding her at arms length and repeatedly telling her no until she averted her eyes.. I did this until about 6 weeks when i began putting Theia on her back side with my hand holding her down until she stopped wiggling and growling. I give her small wacks under the chin, isolate her form our "pack" and ignore her... but nothing seems to work.

I'm looking for ANY advice you have to give me. She is beginning obedience training in a few weeks after our rabies/kennel cough and after she's been spayed. I'm worried that this is going to persist and end in heartache for Theia and us.. I just want her to live a long and happy life. I'm also concerned with the behavior rubbing off on Jinta, her sister, who shows absolutely NO signs of aggression and is the dominant female between the two.

PLEASE HELP : (
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:54 PM
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I rescued two puppies at 2.5 weeks of age
This could be part of the reason she has any behavioral issues, puppies who are not with mom and litter mates until 8-12 weeks do not learn proper puppy manners.

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Theia will let you know (beginning with a small growl) when she does not want to be messed with. And if you persist, she will snap and you growl awfully and make all sorts of other bizarre puppy noises while trying to bite you.
Sounds like she is not accepting of human touch? That or if she growls you should let her be. Has she been checked by a vet for her eye issue and possibly other health problems?

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She's drawn blood on a number of occasions.
I would recommend you do not push her to the point of biting, rather dont touch her once she has growled.

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first by holding her at arms length and repeatedly telling her no until she averted her eyes
This is not going to help the problem, rather build up more issues..you are instilling fear into her when you need to be teaching her proper behavior.

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I did this until about 6 weeks when i began putting Theia on her back side with my hand holding her down until she stopped wiggling and growling
I hate to say it, but I think you were mistaking typical puppy behavior as aggression and actually caused her to be aggressive and fearful....

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after she's been spayed.
I would hold of on spaying her until you deal with some of her problems.

As for what to do, there are many educated people on this forum who can give advice on where to go from here. I have a reactive dog (tho he never acted this way so young) who I am having to start over with, staying calm, no punishments, etc.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:57 PM
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I don't know if you will like what Iam going to say, so I appoliogize if I come off a bit harsh.

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I have showed her I am dominate female, first by holding her at arms length and repeatedly telling her no until she averted her eyes.. I did this until about 6 weeks when i began putting Theia on her back side with my hand holding her down until she stopped wiggling and growling. I give her small wacks under the chin, isolate her form our "pack" and ignore her... but nothing seems to work.
stop doing this. All of it. YOU are making her aggressive doing this. Shes an infant, shes not interested in being dominant.

Quote:
Theia will let you know (beginning with a small growl) when she does not want to be messed with. And if you persist, she will snap and you growl awfully and make all sorts of other bizarre puppy noises while trying to bite you. She's drawn blood on a number of occasions.
why are you persisting? The puppy is telling you "that scares me" or "iam uncomfortable with that" ....this is the equivalant of a human toddler saying "mommy stop I don't like that"....


Growling is good. NEVER punish it.

Som' reading for you.

FEARFUL GROWLING | Dog Star Daily

4 Paws University Sacramento Dog Obedience Training

These will help.

Last edited by Criosphynx; 06-22-2010 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:20 PM
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The behavior is only 'antagonized' when absolutely necessary.. ie.. Theia is chewing a bone and it's time for bed.. or Theia doesn't want to go inside and it's time to go inside.. I don't understand how to let Theia know that she needs to listen and behave when requested to do so. I understand that she's an infant, but her littermate does not display any of the same characteristics..

After doing the reading I will stop doing any dominant techniques and attempt some things suggested.. i.e. when Theia growls retreat.. let her be..

I just don't understand when to attempt to curb the growling. I need to be able to take Theia inside, to wake her up if she's sleeping.. or snuggle up to her. I can understand how speaking sternly with her and putting her on her back would frighten her even more though..


more advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:30 PM
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I understand.

Resource guarding is generally GENETIC. And just like my sister and I don't behave the same, sibbling puppies may not. One puppy inherited the genetic predisposition for it, and the other got lucky Thats why even tho they are raised the same, one does it, and the other doesn't. It can also be an insecurity thing, puppies that aren't confident tend to guard

Trading Trading is your new best friend

this goes into it a bit, it also talks about how resource guarding is actually a normal dog behavior.

Dog Resource Guarding

basically, lets say the dog has a piece of trash hes swiped, or a toy. In the begining you would put a stinky treat up to his nose and say "drop it". When he drops the toy...take the item and give the treat. Then give the item back to the dog. Practice this over and over.

Very soon, you will notice the dog dropping the item before you even get to them, or show them the treat, this is good and what you want.

Basically, the puppy has learned that when he has som'thing really cool, you take it away and don't give it back to him. So he tries harder and harder to keep it. When you trade him for a treat AND give him his item back, he learns its awesome you touch his stuff. If you can't give the item back thats OK. That will happen. Just trade him a treat. If you practice enough in other contexts, he wont care.

Eventually, the dog doesn't even need the trade at all. But this is a way away.
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:41 PM
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wow... i can see what a difficult place you are in... it is really tuff to have cared for these little puppies for so long, only to have this be happening... i know that it is stressful...

unfortunately, like crios, and pawz said, the methods you have been trying are only going to make the problem worse...

to start with, have you had a complete health check on her? this type of issue can often be medical.

after ruling out any medical issues, you can start to address the behavioral ones...as the others have suggested, stop trying to push your point with her... it sounds like she is afraid of you and trying to let you know it. it also sounds like she lacks in confidence... you are going to want to think of her behavior differently then you have been, this is a bit tricky to do, but it will help you to figure out how to address it...

1st...think about things that you know she likes and start using them as rewards, favorite toys and treats or activities...

2nd...start rewarding the heck out of her for every possible thing you can find that she is doing that you like... if she is sitting patiently, if she allows you to touch her...again, don't push anything with her, touching her once and rewarding her without her getting upset is more valuable than touching her 5 times successfully and having her react on the 6th

3rd...start thinking about what exactly you want her to do instead of what you don't want her to do and focus on taking tiny steps toward your goal instead of big leaps...

if you can list off specific instances, we can help you to come up with ways of dealing with her...more easily, for instance you could try training a positive interrupter
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvPaqMZyo8
then you can teach her some easy behaviors that she likes to do instead...

Last edited by fawkese1; 06-22-2010 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:11 PM
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I agree with everything that has already been posted.
Out of curiosity, where did you learn to give chin whacks and alpha rolls to a baby?
I know that Crio already advised you to stop this type of behavior, but let me take it a step further.
If you saw the mother of 16 months old child beat her baby with a belt because the baby cried when the mom tried to take away the babe’s pacifier, would you find that abusive? Do you think the baby would be thinking or learning “this lady is the dominant female” while she was getting beat, or do you think she would be crying even more and thinking that her mom was a bully?
This is the same thing that is going on between you and your puppy. You’re giving punishments that are too harsh for even a grown dog let alone a baby animal!
Are there any dog trainers in the area that you can speak with about your dog? I really think you need to see if she’s too aggressive to put into a puppy class, because you’re dog needs to learn socialization along with basic obedience commands. See if you can find a dog trainer that can find you good, effective, gentle methods with your pups, but also offer some type of program for getting the dog socialized too.
You owe it to both you and your dog to nip this in the bud NOW! Posting and asking for help and advice is a good start, but the most important part is the follow through. Please, please, please find a good trainer that you can work with and see what type of programs you can get your pup enrolled in.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by pawsitiveside View Post
I agree with everything that has already been posted.
Out of curiosity, where did you learn to give chin whacks and alpha rolls to a baby?
I know that Crio already advised you to stop this type of behavior, but let me take it a step further.
If you saw the mother of 16 months old child beat her baby with a belt because the baby cried when the mom tried to take away the babe’s pacifier, would you find that abusive? Do you think the baby would be thinking or learning “this lady is the dominant female” while she was getting beat, or do you think she would be crying even more and thinking that her mom was a bully?
This is the same thing that is going on between you and your puppy. You’re giving punishments that are too harsh for even a grown dog let alone a baby animal!
Are there any dog trainers in the area that you can speak with about your dog? I really think you need to see if she’s too aggressive to put into a puppy class, because you’re dog needs to learn socialization along with basic obedience commands. See if you can find a dog trainer that can find you good, effective, gentle methods with your pups, but also offer some type of program for getting the dog socialized too.
You owe it to both you and your dog to nip this in the bud NOW! Posting and asking for help and advice is a good start, but the most important part is the follow through. Please, please, please find a good trainer that you can work with and see what type of programs you can get your pup enrolled in.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:49 PM
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I agree with what you're saying and appreciate the good advice. I've contacted a dog trainer and me and the girls are starting puppy kindergarten next Tuesday. I've quit with any dominance techniques and have been reawarding rewarding rewarding. I'm working on building confidence with Theia and Jinta and they're responding marvelously. We haven't had an issue with Theia because with warning growls we now leave her alone.. get a treeat and invite her to come to us. I sincerely appreciate all of the advice and am working to learn new techniques with my dogs. Any more advice is greatly appreciated! I've enjoyed the websites and new readings and I'm interested in any more you have to offer!
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jintaNtheia View Post
I agree with what you're saying and appreciate the good advice. I've contacted a dog trainer and me and the girls are starting puppy kindergarten next Tuesday. I've quit with any dominance techniques and have been reawarding rewarding rewarding. I'm working on building confidence with Theia and Jinta and they're responding marvelously. We haven't had an issue with Theia because with warning growls we now leave her alone.. get a treeat and invite her to come to us. I sincerely appreciate all of the advice and am working to learn new techniques with my dogs. Any more advice is greatly appreciated! I've enjoyed the websites and new readings and I'm interested in any more you have to offer!
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i just want to tell you that i think what you are now doing is really great seriously... good job... AND i think you are being a great sport (for lack of better wording) about taking criticism on this...

i think that a trainer would be really helpful to you for sure, there are also some really good books on dog training that you might find handy, and some great channels on youtube with how to videos...

one thing i want to caution you on, based on this last post:
Quote:
Theia because with warning growls we now leave her alone.. get a treeat and invite her to come to us.
tho this is a way better approach then what you had been doing, my caution is that you may be creating a behavior chain here that will ultimately reward her for growling... i know, we all sorta told you to do this, but now that you are seeing how much better things are going when you use positive stuff, it is important to be aware of timing of reinforcements... you may want to try calling her to you and offering her a treat, then doing what you want to do with her, and offering a treat, thus you avoid the growl in the first place... i hope that makes sense...
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