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So we adopted a lab mix puppy from the shelter a little over 2 months ago. She has been so sweet for the most part (does puppy biting when she gets excited, etc...) but for a while was a little aggressive with our youngest (9 year old). She would growl at him almost like a warning. He shows a lot of fear of her in the beginning and stayed away from her (before she ever growled). But now all is great with all 4 of our kids (ages 9, 11, 15 and 17). Our house stays pretty chaotic with 4 kids so she is used to noise, kids running, etc.. So thing were great until a few weeks ago. We had a young man stay with our kids while we went out of town. The second he walked in the door she kind of attacked, snapping at him. I put her in her crate but each time she came out she would jump and bite, but not really snapping more like when she play bites but more insistent (not sure if that makes sense). She ended up during our trip while we were gone, staying in her crate and outside a lot. NOW, she is like that with anyone that comes over. She will jump on them, nipping like crazy but not like she did before. Now it seems like an aggressive behavior. I am not sure what to do. We push her down and tell her No, Down but that seems to only make her worse. Our only options is to remove her from the situation by taking her outside or in her crate. Tonight she growled at another 11 year old that is over and if allowed in the same room will not leave him alone and I am scared she might really bite him. So we have her blocked from the room the kids are in for now with us watching her.

Now she jumps on us playing all the time and we push her down telling her No, down and she sort of listens (about like any puppy) and she play bites us but never aggressively.

I am at a loss for what to so. We can't have a dog that might be another child but now my kids are so attached to her. We have tried having the other person feed her treats but it doesn't seem to matter. She doesn't want anyone in our house now.

Help...
 

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So we adopted a lab mix puppy from the shelter a little over 2 months ago. She has been so sweet for the most part (does puppy biting when she gets excited, etc...) but for a while was a little aggressive with our youngest (9 year old). She would growl at him almost like a warning. He shows a lot of fear of her in the beginning and stayed away from her (before she ever growled). But now all is great with all 4 of our kids (ages 9, 11, 15 and 17). Our house stays pretty chaotic with 4 kids so she is used to noise, kids running, etc.. So thing were great until a few weeks ago. We had a young man stay with our kids while we went out of town. The second he walked in the door she kind of attacked, snapping at him. I put her in her crate but each time she came out she would jump and bite, but not really snapping more like when she play bites but more insistent (not sure if that makes sense). She ended up during our trip while we were gone, staying in her crate and outside a lot. NOW, she is like that with anyone that comes over. She will jump on them, nipping like crazy but not like she did before. Now it seems like an aggressive behavior. I am not sure what to do. We push her down and tell her No, Down but that seems to only make her worse. Our only options is to remove her from the situation by taking her outside or in her crate. Tonight she growled at another 11 year old that is over and if allowed in the same room will not leave him alone and I am scared she might really bite him. So we have her blocked from the room the kids are in for now with us watching her.

Now she jumps on us playing all the time and we push her down telling her No, down and she sort of listens (about like any puppy) and she play bites us but never aggressively.

I am at a loss for what to so. We can't have a dog that might be another child but now my kids are so attached to her. We have tried having the other person feed her treats but it doesn't seem to matter. She doesn't want anyone in our house now.

Help...
I agree about finding a trainer. I have an 80 pound lab puppy with similar issues but in her case it's not aggression - it's play and excitement. Everything is a toy and everything is a game - she just can't handle life sometimes. She's in obedience school.

Just a couple of suggestions - don't push her down and say no. If possible - don't respond to her at all. Turn your back to her, don't make eye contact, don't talk to her, and walk away. It's very likely that her behavior is attention seeking and any attention reinforces that negative behavior. She probably sees being pushed as a game. The few times that I've pushed my puppy she gets so excited to play.

If it makes you feel better the liklihood that a puppy has true aggression is pretty slim. Some older puppies go through a fear stage. And as I said - her behavior is likely play and attention seeking.

Is she getting enough exercise?
 

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If it makes you feel better the liklihood that a puppy has true aggression is pretty slim. Some older puppies go through a fear stage. And as I said - her behavior is likely play and attention seeking.
I'm curious why you say the likelihood that a puppy has true aggression is slim? Is it really? My 7 month old has been showing severe aggression for several months now and I've heard mixed things about whether this is particularly unusual or not. In any case, @albrst, in my experience it's fairly easy to tell the difference between overexcited/play biting and actually aggressive biting, but if you're worried, a private consultation with a trainer will help you get your bearings and figure out where you're at and what to do. My tip is to try and get some of the behaviour on video if you're able. I did that and it gave my trainer some more insight into what was happening.
 

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I would disagree that this dog is any more unlikely to be showing actual aggression than any other dog. Yes, it is true that actual aggression in puppies is uncommon, but at 10 months this dog is really an adolescent, not a puppy, and at an age where I'd expect avoidance to move towards aggression. When people say "puppies are rarely really aggressive", they're talking about preadolescence puppies- puppies 5 months and under.

From what you describe, it doesn't sound like the dog has been effectively taught that jumping up on people and nipping them was not OK. She could be an overly aroused, mouthy lab puppy who is greeting people inappropriately. Should could also be a puppy who does not trust strangers in her house and is communicating to the strangers she doesn't feel comfortable with them there, and is working up to being an actual bite risk. It's not a call that can be made over a short description of her behavior over the internet- distinguishing between those possibilities would require in person evaluation of the dog.

I would recommend getting in touch with a professional trainer or behaviorist to have her evaluated and talk about training on this issue. Someone who is a member of APDT, is a CPDT-KA, and/or is acceddited as a CDBC through IAABC are good starting points.

It is definitely a good idea to try to get the behavior on video.
 

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I'm curious why you say the likelihood that a puppy has true aggression is slim? Is it really? My 7 month old has been showing severe aggression for several months now and I've heard mixed things about whether this is particularly unusual or not. In any case, @albrst, in my experience it's fairly easy to tell the difference between overexcited/play biting and actually aggressive biting, but if you're worried, a private consultation with a trainer will help you get your bearings and figure out where you're at and what to do. My tip is to try and get some of the behaviour on video if you're able. I did that and it gave my trainer some more insight into what was happening.
My puppy is reactive and when I adopted her I was concerned it was aggression or would manifest into aggression. Two vets and three trainers all said that's it's unlikely that my 8-9 month old puppy is truly aggressive. They all said that before even meeting her. And she's not aggressive - but some of her behavior sounds like what this person is describing. Given that our dogs are the same breed and age - I added advice based on my own experience.
 

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I agree that this should be seen to fully understand and help - and I think that taking videos will help you your self become wiser as well.

When my Atlas was about same age, he began showing aggression towards other dogs. Here comes a lot of puppies as I'm training obedience classes, and this made him insecure.
To stop this I took him to a lot of places with many people and dogs and gave him treats whenever we came close to other dogs. Eventually he startet seeing other dogs as a good thing, as a way to get treats. It has taken a lot of work though, but it's worth it.

A piece of advice; When my puppies jump up, I take them by the collar and hold them away from me, to the side. This is stopping the jumping and at the same time not giving them attention, as I do not speak to them or look at them. When I let them go after a short while, I praise them, if they keep their feet on the ground, if not I repeat.

I hope you can use some of this in your future work with your dog - good luck!
 
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