10 Week Old Puppy Growling/Bit Me

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10 Week Old Puppy Growling/Bit Me

This is a discussion on 10 Week Old Puppy Growling/Bit Me within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I am in contact with a local trainer, but I'm just looking for more advice. We purchased a 9 week old Rat Terrier, female, 9 ...

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Old 10-23-2017, 01:17 PM
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10 Week Old Puppy Growling/Bit Me

I am in contact with a local trainer, but I'm just looking for more advice.

We purchased a 9 week old Rat Terrier, female, 9 days ago. She was in a fish store. Probably not the smartest option, but our first dog a 7 year old fixed male shih tzu came from a fish store & has been an amazing dog to our family.

In an effort to keep this short. Puppy did great at home all week. Normal puppy behavior. We redirected with a toy or bone. No "aggression" at all. Saturday we were at my parents house - a 3 hour drive from our house. She did great in the car. She did great most of the day. Napped very little, lots of excitement. Saturday night someone dropped a paper towel, she got it & I went to get it from her, she growled, snarled & bit/scraped my finger. I yelped & set her down. When I went to pick her up again she growled again. I waited a few minutes, & removed her from the commotion & she fell right asleep. I picked her back up & she snuggled up & slept on me like she normally does. Came home Saturday night, no problems.

Hand fed her breakfast yesterday morning, swiped my fingers through her mouth, played toys. No issues. She took a small nap in the morning, but nothing very long. Around noon she got a piece of string, my daughter (12) picked her up, got the string & puppy growled at daughter. My daughter put her right down, we put puppy in her crate & she went right to sleep. Yesterday afternoon I went to put her leash on her to take her outside, same thing, growled & snarled at me. In her crate & she went right to sleep. She was fine the rest of the night.

This morning I got her up, hand fed her, swiped through her mouth, let her play. She isn't normally allowed in my bedroom - but to sleep - but I was running late & let her in. She got a shoe. Went to take the shoe from her & she growled at me. Put her in her bed & she slept from 7:30 to about 12:30. Now she is up playing, then sleeping, up playing, then sleeping.

She puppy plays with our dog, no aggression (he mostly avoids her). She pretty much avoided my parents dog, no aggression. She does not protect her toys or her food, her crate, or her beds/blankets. She is only allowed on the couch if one of us are holding her. She understands that when she wants to get fed she has to sit nice & she will. She sleeps in a crate with a 4/430 am potty break.

It seems to me when she gets overtired/overstimulated this is happening. However, she can't seem to calm down to go to sleep if people are around. Am i interpreting this right? In any case any advice you have would be great, like I said, I have been in touch with a local trainer for private in-home lessons. Our Shih-Tzu is my "son's dog" my daughter wanted her "own dog" & hence we have a cute little 2.5 Rat Terrier that I very much want to be a welcome addition to our home.

Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:59 PM
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Hi and welcome to the forum!
Puppies that young dont really show aggression......growling and biting is just how they play at that age. Its how puppies play with each other.
Pup needs to be taught that biting is against the rules with humans.
Try not to scold too much for it at this age, reward for playing nicely first. The pup is doing what comes naturally at that age, until he understands what is acceptable behaviour, he wont understand what he's getting scolded for.
Once he starts to understand whats acceptible, then you can let him know whats not.
Sounds like normal happy puppy to me!
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:02 PM
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Oh forgot to say, puppies can definately start acting up and get out of control when they need a nap, so you were already on the right track.....when he gets like that put him in his crate for some down time. Will also help him understand that when he gets out of control the fun stops.
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:02 PM
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I second everything @Sthelena said. If you want him to move the biting to something else give the puppy a toy it's always good to have one on hand. The biting and chewing on everything will slowly go away :-):-)
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:04 PM
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Seems like a couple of things are going on.

She's tired, cranky, and over stimulated and is growling and snapping. Sort of like a baby pitching a fit when they need a nap. Completely normal behavior and one that she'll likely outgrow without much help from you besides seeing that she gets regular naptimes.

I think she's also showing the beginnings of resource guarding which again is completely normal behavior, but one that she'll need help to overcome. What I'd be doing is teaching her three commands, Drop it, Leave it, and Trade.

Drop it she drops what's in her mouth. Trade she gives you whatever it is and you give her something better, ideally you let her have whatever it was back when you are practicing the cue. Leave it she cannot touch the item and is never going to have it.
https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/is...g_20951-1.html
https://positively.com/dog-behavior/...ke-it-drop-it/
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sthelena View Post
Hi and welcome to the forum!
Puppies that young dont really show aggression......growling and biting is just how they play at that age. Its how puppies play with each other.
Pup needs to be taught that biting is against the rules with humans.
Try not to scold too much for it at this age, reward for playing nicely first. The pup is doing what comes naturally at that age, until he understands what is acceptable behaviour, he wont understand what he's getting scolded for.
Once he starts to understand whats acceptible, then you can let him know whats not.
Sounds like normal happy puppy to me!
Thanks for your reply! I was just concerned because there seemed like there was some “meanness” towards us when she was super tired. She slept most of the day yesterday while we were at work/school & was much better behaved last night. Even took things from her that she snatched she shouldn’t have & it didn’t bother her. I know that biting is normal, it was the growling, then biting when I tried to take something fromher when she was tired that scared me. We will work on making her take naps on the weekend & not getting so tired.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sthelena View Post
Hi and welcome to the forum!
Puppies that young dont really show aggression......growling and biting is just how they play at that age. Its how puppies play with each other.
Pup needs to be taught that biting is against the rules with humans.
Try not to scold too much for it at this age, reward for playing nicely first. The pup is doing what comes naturally at that age, until he understands what is acceptable behaviour, he wont understand what he's getting scolded for.
Once he starts to understand whats acceptible, then you can let him know whats not.
Sounds like normal happy puppy to me!
Thanks for your reply! I was just concerned because there seemed like there was some “meanness” towards us when she was super tired. She slept most of the day yesterday while we were at work/school & was much better behaved last night. Even took things from her that she snatched she shouldn’t have & it didn’t bother her. I know that biting is normal, it was the growling, then biting when I tried to take something fromher when she was tired that scared me. We will work on making her take naps on the weekend & not getting so tired.
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:43 AM
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Hi @morac328
Welcome to the forum!

I think it's great that you already have a trainer for private lessons.

While aggression in puppies IS rare, it CAN occur.

While it might end up being nothing serious, your description is, as rain suggested, consistent with resource guarding type behavior. This can occur in dogs of any age, including very young puppies. It is also often exacerbated when a dog is tired or stressed.

Again, awesome that you have a trainer lined up. They should hopefully be able to assess your puppy's behavior (let you know if it's nothing or something needing addressed) and help with a management and training plan.

Do let us know how it goes and I'm sure members will be happy to offer additional support and tips along the way!
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