Puppy snapping when picked up

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Puppy snapping when picked up

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Old 08-24-2017, 02:38 PM
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Puppy snapping when picked up

So things have been going great with my beagle puppy. She is 9 weeks old now. Within the past week she has started something I don't like AT ALL. When I pick her up to take her outside (I have to or she won't make it without an accident) she growls and snaps. She only does it sometimes, but it is NOT acceptable. I see different opinions on corrections for this. Some say don't pick her up. That just won't work. I will have situations where she must be picked up-she is a small breed. I also want her to understand that I am her leader and she must do as asked. I don't constantly pick her up, only when I have to. I have tried giving her a firm NO!, I have tried holding her muzzle shut-nothing is working. I believe she is a bit on the dominant side. I make her work for everything-the nothing is free approach. She is doing great with her learning and I have been pleasantly surprised at how quick she is. People say Beagles are hard to train, but I have not found that to be the case! We were doing so good and I hate this issue has cropped up. I just want a well behaved dog and I have been trying so hard with her. This has me very upset and frustrated. She does not have anything physical going on, so I don't suspect it is from any pain at all. I think she just wants it HER way and that is not going to fly. Any suggestions on what I can do? And one more thing, I am enjoying this forum, but I am having an issue with logging in. I am constantly having to reset my password because it says it is invalid. I reset it and can log in once with it and after that I get the same message. I sent an email about it but never got a response so I am curious to see if anyone else is having this problem.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:18 PM
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So things have been going great with my beagle puppy. She is 9 weeks old now. Within the past week she has started something I don't like AT ALL. When I pick her up to take her outside (I have to or she won't make it without an accident) she growls and snaps. She only does it sometimes, but it is NOT acceptable. I see different opinions on corrections for this. Some say don't pick her up. That just won't work. I will have situations where she must be picked up-she is a small breed. I also want her to understand that I am her leader and she must do as asked. I don't constantly pick her up, only when I have to. I have tried giving her a firm NO!, I have tried holding her muzzle shut-nothing is working. I believe she is a bit on the dominant side. I make her work for everything-the nothing is free approach. She is doing great with her learning and I have been pleasantly surprised at how quick she is. People say Beagles are hard to train, but I have not found that to be the case! We were doing so good and I hate this issue has cropped up. I just want a well behaved dog and I have been trying so hard with her. This has me very upset and frustrated. She does not have anything physical going on, so I don't suspect it is from any pain at all. I think she just wants it HER way and that is not going to fly. Any suggestions on what I can do? And one more thing, I am enjoying this forum, but I am having an issue with logging in. I am constantly having to reset my password because it says it is invalid. I reset it and can log in once with it and after that I get the same message. I sent an email about it but never got a response so I am curious to see if anyone else is having this problem.

O.K., she's 9 weeks old, she's essentially around the age of a 2 year old. She is not trying to take over your house. She's not out for world domination

All joking aside, thinking she's trying to dominate you is going to lead to nothing but frustration. https://www.dogforum.com/training-beh...nce-dogs-4076/

One of two things is likely going on. She may be entering a fear stage of development and picking her up is scaring her. If that's what's going on then your telling her No!, and/or holding her mouth closed is going to frighten her further and may lead to every worsening behavior. She may just not like being picked up and is trying to let you know. Again, if that's the case then correcting her is not a good idea, it's not going to teach her to like being picked up, and it may teach her to not growl so you end up with a dog that snaps without warning.

What you want to do is teach her that picking her up leads to great thing, that it's nothing to be frightened of, and it's something she wants to happen. Small bits of treats can work in that case. Pick her up an inch or two off the ground, put her down and give her a treat. Do that 5 times in a row, then stop. Next session, pick her up a little higher. Keep working like that till you can stand and hold her without her reacting. Once that happens start fading out the treats, give her treats only periodically.

Keep the treats hidden. Do not show her the treat then pick her up, if you do that then she'll likely start needing to see the treats in order to do anything and it's a trap you don't want to fall in!
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:35 PM
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Rain, that makes perfect sense! I guess I was jumping to conclusions too quick. I had a Miniature Schnauzer and when he was a puppy he was dominant and he had issues with snapping the entire 14 years I had him. He was an excellent dog though and I want so badly for Miss Anna to be a polite, well mannered girl. I just want to nip any issues in the bud now. I will try this approach. I will also add that most of the time the snapping happens when she is really hyper so I probably need to work on getting her calm before I pick her up as well.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cpht View Post
So things have been going great with my beagle puppy. She is 9 weeks old now. Within the past week she has started something I don't like AT ALL. When I pick her up to take her outside (I have to or she won't make it without an accident) she growls and snaps. She only does it sometimes, but it is NOT acceptable. I see different opinions on corrections for this. Some say don't pick her up. That just won't work. I will have situations where she must be picked up-she is a small breed. I also want her to understand that I am her leader and she must do as asked. I don't constantly pick her up, only when I have to. I have tried giving her a firm NO!, I have tried holding her muzzle shut-nothing is working. I believe she is a bit on the dominant side. I make her work for everything-the nothing is free approach. She is doing great with her learning and I have been pleasantly surprised at how quick she is. People say Beagles are hard to train, but I have not found that to be the case! We were doing so good and I hate this issue has cropped up. I just want a well behaved dog and I have been trying so hard with her. This has me very upset and frustrated. She does not have anything physical going on, so I don't suspect it is from any pain at all. I think she just wants it HER way and that is not going to fly. Any suggestions on what I can do? And one more thing, I am enjoying this forum, but I am having an issue with logging in. I am constantly having to reset my password because it says it is invalid. I reset it and can log in once with it and after that I get the same message. I sent an email about it but never got a response so I am curious to see if anyone else is having this problem.
Some of what you're saying (bolded in the quote) is raising warning flags in my head. Dominance theory in which the humans need to be alpha and dominant over their dogs in order for dogs to respect or obey has been debunked now. It used to be the default ideology and still is a commonly held belief, but is a mistaken one. Domestic dogs are not wolves and domestic dogs know the difference between humans and other dogs. And even dogs in packs with other dogs don't do the things humans do when trying to be alpha to their dog.

I found this Ian Dunbar video on dog social hierarchy very interesting. Dogs definitely have a social hierarchy, but it's one that's built on mutual respect and conflict avoidance, not on constant challenges for physical dominance over the other members of the pack.


As for things that might help your current situation:

Take her outside more often so that she can learn to walk the distance herself without having an accident on the way. At the very least, you don't want to set a precedent for the dog to expect you to always carry her when she needs to go out.

Then work on counter conditioning and desensitizing her to being touched and picked up. Here's a video of a Jack Russell Terrier being desensitized to having air being blown in his face. Different trigger, but same principle. Associate the undesirable (from the dog's perspective) action with something highly desirable.


Get her used to being handled and picked up gradually and calmly and patiently with lots of super yummy rewards so she learns that very good things happen if she lets her people touch her and pick her up. That way if you do have to pick her up in an emergency, it'll be no big deal to her. She'll have learned to trust you.

Your puppy is very very young. She's looking to you to teach her the right way to behave. Punishing her when she does the wrong thing (especially since she doesn't know it's wrong) doesn't teach her the desired behavior. The fact that you're finding her easy to train speaks to how much she wants to do the right thing and how much she wants to please you.

I'm far from an expert on dog behavior, but I'm willing to bet she's not growling and snapping out of spite or stubbornness or as a dominance challenge. It could be she's picking up on your frustration and is afraid. It could be she's just afraid of being picked up in general. That's a high distance for a little pup. It could be that picking her up when her bladder is full is uncomfortable or even painful.

(*wince* It makes me think of when I had to have an ultrasound with a full bladder. I wanted to punch the tech who kept pressing the scanner thing on my stomach. If I'd've been a puppy who didn't understand what was going on, I might've growled and snapped at him, too. )
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Old 08-24-2017, 04:20 PM
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You guys are great! I love the perspectives here and it all makes perfect sense! I have to learn to think more like a dog. There is so much misinformation out there and I have always followed the Cesar Milan mentality of being the leader. It has been so long since I have raised a puppy, I have forgotten a lot and see that things have changed so much.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:17 PM
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Red face Ugh - the Dawg Wrassler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpht View Post


... I have to learn to think more like a dog.

There is so much misinformation out there and I have always followed the Cesar Milan mentality of being the leader.

It's been so long since I've raised a pup, I've forgotten a lot & see that things have changed so much.
the sad truth is that CM/DW came along just as reward-based training was becoming the mainstream norm, & HE DERAILED the entire process.

Cesar was a blip in the history of animal-training & behavior; he's well-intentioned, but not knowledgeable, & often invents stuff out of whole cloth.
He didn't invent Alpha theory, "dogs as wolves", or the idea that dominance is the Law of the Wild, & dogs inherited it. However, it's all wrong, & has been KNOWN TO BE wrong since the early-1970s.
Cesar just never got the memo.

The relationship U want with Ur dog is trust - they trust U, U trust them, & they are to be taught what to do - not forced into it, & not punished into "doing the right thing", as that simply doesn't work.

Set up the dog for success:
make the wrong thing difficult to impossible to do, the right thing easy to inevitable, & then reward the dog for doing what U want.
Everybody's happy, the dog learns what TO DO vs 'what Not to Do' - which is a near-infinite list of possibilities - & the dog also learns to love training & learning. Plus!

here's a great resource for puppy owners:
Free downloads | Dog Star Daily

There are 2 free books ["Before..." & "After U get Ur pup"], & loads of specific articles.


- terry

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Last edited by leashedForLife; 08-25-2017 at 08:20 PM.
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