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Oh boy, someone is turning into a teenager

1424 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  TheAdventureK9
Aayla gave me a bit of snark and bared her teeth at me today.

We had just gotten back from a hike where she had been in the mud and I was washing her. I was working on her blowing bubbles under water trick when she got too into digging at the drain, getting me and the bathroom soaked. I tried to call her off but she was having a blast and ignored me. So I just pushed up under the front of her chest to back her up and as I removed my hand she lifted one side of her lips at me. It was more of a tension and her just saying "I don't like that". She didn't growl, or do a full teeth bare. Just the corner of her lips twisting up. She also was offering appeasing behavior, avoiding eye contact and ears back. Not aggressive, but unhappy about being pushed.

I was shocked for sure. So I left her in the tub grabbed the clicker and treats and did a bunch of CCing with touching her chest and moved up into pushing her around in the tub when she seemed happy with the slow touching. Within the session I was able to do a fast hand movement and gently push her back with her giving me a soft body and waiting eagerly for a reward.

Still it was a surprise. I do a lot of handling exercises with her, push her around, restrain her, play with paws, lift lips and pull on ears. She has shown some dislike to being pushed, but mostly just with tension and resistance. I guess I have to up my game on working with that so she enjoys being pushed.

I feel like my heart hit my stomach when my sweet puppy did that. I have never had a dog I've owned lift its lips at me. Is this a teenage thing or something I may have to watch for as she becomes an adult? I'm willing to work a lot on it.
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When Tessa turned 5-6 months she started getting snarky too, she grew out of it with a little reinforcement training and love. It really does make you realize that the baby puppy you were raising is coming into their own which is kinda sad :( but kinda awesome too.
I'm glad to hear that Tessa grew out of it. I know Aayla is snarky when it comes to pushy puppies. She has been one of the only pups in our play group to do corrections to obnoxious puppies. I know I'm going to have to keep an eye on her because right now she spends time pestering Kota until he corrects her. Though normally his corrections are not appropriate (I try and separate them when she bothers him) he grabs onto her cheek and won't let go (he doesn't break skin though). So I noticed yesterday that when he did that she yelped trying to get away and then she actually snapped back at him and gave him the same small lip curl.

I feel like I'm going to have to confine her more to her playpen when she goes through this teenage phase...but I also feel like I'm overreacting.
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It sounds like you delt with it correctly. I wish I would of done a little bit more of this with Chester, during those young months. But I guess it's never to late, right? You probably will of not seen the last of the but it sounds like you are being very proactive and doing a great job. From what I here that type of behaviour can occur any where from 6 months to 18 months and can continue if not dealt with properly. You have my applaud for jumping on it right away with the correct response.
Jessie was more rebellious as in not doing as she was told, forgetting all her training, running off etc. She also wouldnt settle at parents and was really hard work :/ she also thought everything was a game including going for walks try put lead on her she wag tail and back away not come to me etc. her recall was terrible too she kept running round and round so i didnt get lead on her
Roxie is one of those types that, if you are looking, you can tell when she doesn't like something. She doesn't do it with me (she may have as a puppy but I do not remember) but she is not shy about correcting other dogs that are obnoxious or pushy. I always attributed it to being a female thing. She can get a little B*tchy.
@Jeru - I honestly had to take a moment to breathe which is why I decided to step back and grab treats. I was a little more emotionally hurt by it then I should have been. I had a whole 'you little...' moment before breathing. Haha
@crazy - That hasn't really happened yet. We are still making huge leaps forward in her training. I'm waiting and preparing myself mentally for her to get her teenage deaf ear but so far it hasn't happened. (Knock on wood) I hope by expecting it, I won't be shocked or frustrated when it happens.
@jclark343 - I can see her becoming like that honestly. When I went to pick her up from the breeder she told me that she had sass and stood up for herself. I just hope to keep it to a minimum and that she doesn't do it with any people.
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@ThatYellowDog glad to hear that! just remember we are all here for you :) and it does eventually get better i had no idea what to expect with such a character of a puppy esp a different breed to a lab so i was shocked and hurt when she went as she did on me.

if she starts backing away from harness and lead just turn away and ignore her Jessie soon comes to me lol
I think it might be a female dog thing. Heidi has no tolerance for pushy dogs, even if they are way bigger than her. If you're bugging her, she's going to let you know. She doesn't seem to do it with people (yet anyway, who knows) but she's not above putting any other dog (or puppy) in their place.
Tigger never really went through a teenage or rebellious stage. He only growled at me when I first got him from resource guarding, as he was fed in a big bowl with his siblings. Totally normal and it was easily dealt with through trading games and working on a good "leave it" and impulse control games in general.

I wonder if Aayla's thing may have been more of an issue with you disrupting her from doing what she wants to do rather than an issue with handling. Especially if you've really been on top of handling and touching. Also consider it may have been resource guarding. That was HER drain to dig at!
Is that a thing? My 11 month old still thinks he's a puppy, uncomfortable with his own size, tripping over stuff and tearing the house apart. No growling or snarkiness.

I guess it's more of a personality thing.
@crazy Thank you! =) She is actually starting to do better with the harness problem. I got a new one that is a bit more minimal in its design. She now has no reservations with it touching her head. (She actually puts her head through the harness on her own) Yes still does not like it touching her back. Yet she doesn't try to walk away and seems a lot happier than before. I even am getting a butt wiggle when I grab that and her leash.
@Shandula I have noticed that females are more nit picky about others being pushy than males. I've noticed that in a lot of dogs I walked. I always thought it was a lack of handling on their part more than a dogs preference. Pepper was never snarky, about ANYTHING. I wasn't the best child with handling dogs, in all honesty that dog should have bit me 10+ times. She was a saint. I wish my parents really would have monitored me as a child with her.
@TiggerBounce - I had not even thought about that. She has shown very little signs of resource guarding anything. She sometimes gets a little stiff when she has a full bowl of food, but I do a little work with that. She will trade bully sticks, meaty bones, dead lizards and her favorite toys. I think part of it has to do with the water. Even though I have never forced her into water she has always been a little worried about being pushed into standing water. She nearly knocked me off a small platform bridge when I was trying to move to the side for a jogger. She acted like I was going to throw her over, into the water. A few other times she has completely frozen and won't move. (Playing in a creek when I noticed a broken bottle that she was about to step on so I pushed her away from it, she pretty much locked down so I couldn't move her.)
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