Hello everyone. I am a new puppy owner, I adopted my lab/pit mix 4 days ago. She's the first dog I have owned (alone - I grew up around dogs), but training is proving to be SO MUCH harder than I thought. She is 3 months old (about 14 weeks)
My puppy, Lemon, was surrendered to the shelter as a newborn and never had an adult dog to teach her how to be a dog. All of her litter-mates got Parvo and didn't make it :,(, but because she was exposed to Parvo, she was held in isolation for 2 weeks, then when she returned to be with the other dogs in the shelter, she got distemper (spelling?) and was returned to isolation until the day I adopted her. Because of her life spent in isolation, I fear that she may not respond well to interacting with other dogs.
I cannot stand dog aggression as it terrifies me, so I REALLY want her to be okay in the future. Her pit mix is what frightens me, as I can tell that her personality is very dominant, whereas I am passive, and I know it's important for dogs to have a dominant leader. My DREAM would be to have a dog that I can take out and about with me to many different places, lakes, dog parks, restaurants, etc and have her behave and enjoy being out with me, and interact well with other people and dogs.
We encountered a retriever/spaniel mix yesterday who was much larger than her, and we tried to meet the fellow dog and dog owner, but she got very scared and started growling and barking. I did not force her to meet the dog, so we ended up going separate ways, but her aggressive behavior concerned me. I know she is only a puppy, but I don't know how much of her behavior is "puppy" or is actually aggression.
I've been trying my best to train her with positive reinforcement, etc, but even so, sometimes during play time, she will go crazy
and start attacking me playfully. I've tried to "nip" her neck as an older dog would to get her to submit, but it caused her to go MORE crazy and begin to do flips while jumping and attacking me. Her energy is exhausting, and I've been taking her on at LEAST 5 walks a day, but it seems that she never gets tired. In fact, she starts acting more hyper after a walk. I don't want to confine her in her crate all day, but I can't get any work done with her running lose.
I'm really worried that she is going to become aggressive, and I don't know how to handle that behavior. Please help, I've already considered giving her back to the shelter because I'm so exhausted and new to all of this. My boyfriend is encouraging me to keep her, but I've been anxious non-stop thinking about taking care of her. Part of me thinks I should have adopted a cat who would be much more calm and do its own thing.