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Hi everyone.. I'm really hoping this forum can help me.
We are a family of 5, and just got a new puppy - English springer spaniel.

We have had him for 3 weeks and I won't lie and say the first week was a challenge. My children have asked for a puppy for years.. Like 10+ years.
I finally broke down and said yes, now that they are old enough to help contribute to raising him. It's way harder than i thought :( and I have so many questions but my #1 priority is this... Our little 11 week old Bo seems to get extremely (not trying to be dramatic) aggressive with me... ONLY me.

He does the typical biting and pulling at pant legs, or nipping at toes and hands (at least I think that's typical) however, at times he gets very growly, loud barks, and lunges at me. He bites my pant legs, my legs, he nips, and won't let go. I think it's aggressive. He doesn't act like that much with any of the other family members, (my two daughters, my husband, or my daughters boyfriend).
Again, not trying to be dramatic - but to me, it's aggressive.

Does anyone know why he would do this.? My husband is home days with him and I'm home nights. We both work different shifts during the week and are both with him on the weekends along with the kids coming and going all the time. I would say we behave pretty much the same way, we've agree upon verbal cues, potty and crate stuff - since we want to be as consistent as possible.

Sorry for the long message - but I'm at my wits end. I've tried everything I could find 'online' and hoping perhaps this last ditch effort of finding this forum will help.

I'll go read what I can on here - but I'm begging for ideas and answers.... Please help.! Thank you so much in advance.
 

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Omg - thank you SO much for relying so quick. I love him, but I'm frustrated and he did draw blood three times when he bit my arm, calf, and hand.
I'm not a loud or angry person either. Just so frustrated. It's only me... No one else.

Honestly I've tried everything - from what I read online over the past 2 weeks.
I'll try to list.

I've tried 'yelping' like a dog.
I've tried sternly saying 'no'!
I've tried giving him a chew toy
I've ignored him
I've tried passively going about my business.
I've tried grabbing his scruff.

Maybe I'm not consistent but just don't know what the 'right, thing to do is..
None of the above have phased him or even made him stop. He seems to stop when he's done, and then sometimes does it again. I have even had to leave the room.

Thank you again so much.. And I'll keep reading all these posts.
 

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I just got an 8 week old English Springer Spaniel!
It's not that he doesn't like you. I've talked to lots of springer owners. They're awesome, but they're weird! They get these strange personality glitches that have to be worked through. Have you tried yelping and walking away? Even into another room?
Don't scruff him or yell at him, that will just rile him up and improve the "game."
Who feeds him? Maybe some positive associations around you would cool him down? Try to spend time with him when he's tired/relaxed just petting him quietly.
 

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Try tethering him to something in the house and interact with him. Whenever he starts biting, step out of his reach. You could also just put him in another room as soon as he starts doing it, wait ten seconds, and let him out to see if he goes back to it. If he keeps at it, he might just be over-tired and needs a nap! Puppies are like toddlers -- cranky when tired, but usually won't go to bed of their own accord. ;)
 

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Welcome to Dog Forum! Pictures of your new pup are a must!
@Rennajade gave good advice. When he bites, make a sound (some dogs will pause for a "yelp," others get more worked up so an "ouch" or "ow" works better), offer an appropriate chew toy, and stop interacting with him. Don't do anything harsh (e.g., yelling, grabbing, pushing his lips against his teeth) as that can be detrimental.

Maybe I'm not consistent but just don't know what the 'right, thing to do is..
Consistency is key! Dogs explore the world with their mouths and chewing comes naturally. It's up to you to channel that innate desire to chew into an appropriate behavior. BUT, it will take time - weeks! And then just when it seems to slow down, it will start again full force when he starts teething. The upside is that you'll have an adult dog who understands how to use his mouth appropriately.

Check out Kikopup and Ian Dunbar (video) for more advice. I recommend checking out more from both: Kikopup's youtube channel and Dunbar's Dog Star Daily (you may need to register, but it's free). Plus the stickies in the puppy, house training, and behavior and training section of the forum are fabulous.
 

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All good advice! My Springer is almost 7 months old. I have had 2 previous Field Bred Springers. I do remember the first one being very nippy, but my present pup takes the cake. She would never willingly sleep for the first 7 weeks, so we were constantly playing or training. She was a land shark. My hands & wrists had marks for months. Yelping didn't help with her, but redirecting with a toy eventually calmed her. After she got her adult teeth she went through a couple weeks of again trying to grab my hands or arms at certain times. Instead of blood, there was bruises from her clamping down (I bruise with a touch). She has calmed quite a bit now. During this later phase I simply grabbed her & put her in her kennel for a few minutes to calm down (not everyone would agree with this). While she did bite the others in my family, she mostly hit on me, because I was with her 24/7. Just keep trying to redirect with a toy or whatever & eventually he will catch on. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks.

Thanks everyone. All great advice, and I've tried it all.. but I will keep trying I guess.
Just a few min ago he did it again, and now to my husband.
I feel like he's trying to tell me something but I don't know what. I tried redirecting Him, it didn't work. I tried to walk away - didn't work. He got more mad and really chomped. Hard... Not only did it hurt incredibly, I'm bleeding. He chomped hard, and growled. I don't know why he randomly does this.
I nap with him, feed him, walk him, play with him, give him treats, etc. 80% of the time he's fine. He cuddles with me on his own accord. I don't get it. I'm so frustrated. It seems more than testing... But You all are the experts. He acts very angry and aggressive.
p.s. I've tried to upload a picture - but not quite sure it worked? :(
 

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Sleeping puppies are the only behaving puppies, lol!

He's not trying to say anything. You have children, remember when they were babies and in that biting/pulling phase? It's totally natural, it doesn't mean anything, and you just gently redirect until they grow out of it. Same thing with puppies. They have a biting/lunging/crazy phase, you gently redirect (or leave) and they eventually grow out of it.

My youngest niece at 6 months grabbed my thumb and chewed on it while staring me dead in the eyes and growling. Trust me, human babies can be just as weird as dog babies, the only difference is humans instinctively find all that cute in human babies.
 

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There's a difference between play arousal, fear, and actual aggression.

Play arousal can definitely sound angry and look angry. Hackling, bouncing, very hard biting if they haven't learned otherwise. It's usually accompanied by a lot of play activity, body slamming, pawing, body blocking, spinning, and a body that is largely relaxed or ready to spring away for a game of chase.

Fear often involves some crouching or fairly backwards body orientation, 'long' lips, eyes where a lot of white is showing, possibly drooling, and growling and snaps as a warning.

Here is a common stance for fearful dogs:



And here is an example of the long lips and a large eye with lots of white before a bite:



Outright puppy aggression is blood-chillingly frightening. Hard, staring eyes, rigid stance, lips drawn very forward before a bite, and this is often very, very quiet.

This is the aggressive forward lips I am talking about:



And here's the hard eye, and again the forward mouth:



And another rigid stance, hard stare:



What does your puppy most look like?
 

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This doesn't sound like aggression. Sounds like he is being a puppy that is trying to learn his boundries. He needs to learn that everytime he does his 'mad dog' stuff he loses you. So if you are sitting on the floor and he STARTS to get out of hand, stand up and walk away. Get on the couch and pull your feet up and ignore him. Have everyone else ignore him too, but just for a few minutes. Then when he has started to calm down, grab a treat from a stratigically placed bag in your house, ask him to do something for you (sit, watch, lay down, leave it, etc) reward him and return to the game, whatever it was before. You may have to get up and down a few times, but I believe asking them to do something for you and rewarding them for it will help refocus them.

Good luck. He is very cute!
 
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Thanks BarkyMalsrky.. :) I guess you are right.. By looking at those pictures, he is not really aggressive. Though - it is a little scary when he lunges and nips.

I think based on the last few days of reading a lot on the forum and listening to all you, it appears he gets over tired and just acts up and won't nap.

Once we get him to calm down after a crazy growly nippy barky episode he instantly falls asleep. It's bizarre. I've been OCD with documenting his schedule, pee, poop, play time, eat, drink, etc.. It's been SO helpful to figure out when he needs a nap (I know it sounds weird).. But believe it or not - it's helped us not get frustrated and to look at his last few hours and explain - that he's just tired since he's been playing and not had a nap all afternoon.
Thanks to everyone. I hope some day I can offer advice to others and help them like you have all helped me. ❤
 

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Yup, puppies get over tired very easily at which point they have absolutely no self control. The more tired they are, the more activated and aroused they get. They turn into a "landshark" and there is no reasoning with them. Its simply time for a nap.

The cure is to put pup into his crate with a nice treat (to keep the crate a happy association), tell him night-night and then ignore any fussing he does. Soon enough he should pass out ;)

This routine is completely normal for puppies. We've raised 4 puppies in the last 15 years and every one of them would have these intolerable episodes of craziness. Don't take it personally. Its just puppyhood and they do outgrow this stage eventually! :)
 

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Lila is very well behaved (for a pup) unless she gets over-tired. Then she is a terror! Just a barking piranha who won't listen to a thing I say (especially if I'm saying "ouch").
You and your little fellow will be just fine!
 

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Just stick to what youre doing now, It will take patience but youll see progress. Also, puppy classes never hurt even uf its just to get some of that mental crazy puppy brain energy out :)

Good luck with the little guy !


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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My almost 5 month old puppy does this to me (and only me!) as well. I find it best to yelp once, and if he does it again put him or myself in another room for a couple of minutes. Patience and consistency is the key. I know how frustrating it can be, believe me! I've had blood drawn to some degree every day for the last week!
 
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