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As a bit of a background, our puppy Yona was left on our front doorstep and we decided to take her in. The vet said she was about 4-5 weeks old at the time, as she was still trying to nurse. I formula fed her, weaned her, walked her, and house-trained her as well as a young puppy could be house-trained. Everything was awesome.

Soon I noticed she was scratching a lot and thought it was fleas. I did puppy-safe flea removal on a regular basis, but she still scratched. Soon, things started going sour.

Yona started acting more like the crazy hyper-puppies no one likes to deal with. She was jumping on everyone, including my two-year-old daughter, and still biting pretty hard, despite all of my attempts to teach her to ease up on her biting.

Last week we took her to the vet for her shots and to see what we could do about the itching. Turns out she has mange -- the highly contagious kind. We got some medicine for her and I have been doing everything possible to ease her itching while we wait for the medicine to do its job, and I am hoping that she will ease up once she is no longer feeling uncomfortable.

With that said, I have been practicing the "ignore bad puppy, reward good puppy," but when I'm at work and the family has to do it I don't know if they always follow what I have told them. I know they yell at her to "stop" and "no" even though I tell them the commands she understands are "down," "drop," and "give."

At the park a few nights ago she began to act out. I usually keep her at my side or behind me, but she started trying to drive. I stopped and refused to move until she followed my command to "sit." It was difficult because she began to flail around and run away, then started jumping on my leg and, er, "asserting her dominance." Each time Yona jumped on me, I turned away and didn't acknowledge her, and when she finally sat and looked at me I praised her and we moved forward. Not long after she did it again. It started to get late, so I decided I would try to wear her out by running home. I made sure I kept ahead of her the entire time, but it wasn't by much. When we got home she acted a little better after burning the energy, but she still wanted to jump on me.

What drove me to join this forum is this: Right before I logged-in, my daughter threw an orange slice on the ground for Yona. I ran to get it, but Yona beat me to it. When I tried to take it and said "Give," she growled at me. I told her more firmly to "give," and she turned and bit me! I hand-feed her and make her follow commands for her regular food and treats, so I was a little shocked.

I really need some help because if I can't get her under control I am going to have to find another home for her. Unfortunately, it will probably be the local no-kill shelter.

If there are any questions I need to answer to get a better idea of what to do, please let me know. Thanks!
 

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Ok without seeing the behaviours myself I would say she is just testing to see just how much she can get away with & on top of that has some resource guarding issues.
I will leave others to tell you how to deal with that though. Just know it is quite normal you have a teenager who missed out on having the socialisation of mum & litter mates at the most crucial time of her temperament development stage.
 

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You don't say how old the puppy is now. As the above poster said, this pup missed out on some important socialization that would have helped with bite inhibition. Editing to say that you should have paid attention when she growled at you. She tried to warn you not to take the orange. This is actually a good thing because she does have an early warning.

The biting would concern me because you have a toddler around. What would have happened if the pup decided to bite your toddler, if the child reached for food the pup was wanting? Teach your toddler how to behave around a puppy ( as much as she can comprehend at her age) and limit their interactions now that you've seen the pup will bite if she feels she's going to lose something she wants.

You told the puppy to "give" but I don't know if you have actually taught this command. Resource guarding is pretty normal dog behavior. Dogs can be taught to have more polite manners around resources but it doesn't necessarily come naturally.

It's too bad you feel you will have to give up the puppy but it might be the best decision for everyone. Especially since it doesn't seem the family is on board with training and being consistent. Working and having a toddler means you don't have a lot of time either. Do what is best for the puppy while she's still young.
 

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I meant to mention her age, but got distracted. She's about 9 weeks old now.

Thanks for the advice. I have been pressing the matter with my family about how to handle her, but I really don't plan on living with them past January. I would hate to have to give Yona up just to finally have a better environment a few weeks later. I want to completely exhaust my resources before it comes to that.

My husband has stepped up to help, but the in-laws can be overbearing.

I'm not sure what it is about people food, but it's the only thing she gets aggressive about. I can take her toys, chew bones, and food bowl away, reward her for good behavior, and give it back no problem. It's the human food that drops or she gets out of the trash someone left out that I can't get to.
 

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It's great that you've done so much for Yona already. Not everyone would put so much time and effort into an abandoned pup. Do you have pictures?

At 9 weeks she is still a tiny baby puppy. She may seem to know certain cues, but I highly doubt that she knows them in multiple environments and with multiple distractions. And, if you've taught her the cues, she may not recognize them when someone else gives them. Those things come with time, lots and lots of practice in many different situations, and maturity.

Reinforce the good and ignore the bad works for many behaviors; ignoring can be especially good for attention-seeking and inappropriate play behaviors like nipping, jumping, and barking.

Two additional keys for training good manners are teaching an incompatible behavior to replace an undesired one and managing the environment to prevent practicing undesired behaviors. For example, if you know your puppy jumps on guests, you can manage the environment by putting her on a leash before guests arrive and prevent jumping that way. With time, you can teach her to sit or bow or do some other cute behavior when guests arrive that will give her an appropriate outlet for her excitement (and prevent jumping).

Her behavior at the park sounds like either an energetic pup or an overtired, overstimulated puppy. If you have a safe place to allow her to run, let her get her energy out by running a bit. If she's adequately exercised, you might find that she get the zoomies at certain times. Plan for them by having something for to do (e.g., chew toy, stuffed kong) and, if necessary, put her in her crate to rest.

Two additional points about the park: First, she's likely too young to have full immunity to puppy diseases, so you may want to check with your vet about taking her to public places. Second, there's no reason for you to stay ahead of her while walking / running. Certainly teach her proper leash manners, but there's no reason she can't lead. Personally, I like my dog to walk in front of me so I can keep an eye on what she's doing.

For the resource guarding, for now, keep Yona and your daughter separated when there is food or chew toys or anything else Yona might guard. Also, take a look at his blog post: Resource Guarding: Prevention and Treatment. McConnell is a respected behaviorist with excellent advice. You may also want to work on teaching a default "
" and "it's yer choice" as well as keeping garbage out of reach.

Also, for general training, check out Ian Dunbar's Before and After You Get Your Puppy. You may have to register for the site, but it's free and very much worthwhile. Dunbar is another respected behaviorist with excellent advice.

Yona is very young, so it's going to take time to train her. For now, you need to work on making sure she is safe and limit opportunities to make the wrong choice.
Resource Guarding: Treatment and Prevention
Resource Guarding: Treatment and Prevention
 

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Another thing that may be happening on walks is that at first she was slightly afraid so she stayed close to you her source of security and safety. Now that she's learned that there's nothing to fear on walks she wants to explore all the new sights and smells, and she wants to play. She's not learned leash manners yet.

I agree with Cookieface, as long as my dog was keeping slack on the leash I didn't care if they went ahead of me. What I taught was that pulling me caused them to have to wait to get to that exciting smell or sight. Two ways to accomplish that is every time there's tension on the leash stop walking till the dog stops pulling, and every time there's tension give a cue like uh-oh or no pull and turn around and walk a few feet in the opposite direction till the dog stops pulling and gets to your side then turn and go back in the original direction. You may stand still or walk in circles for most of the first few days or weeks but with consistancy the puppy / dog learns that pulling gets them nowhere, but keeping a loose leash does.

It's great that you are teaching her give, but how are you doing so? Do you play the trading game? Using that game to teach drop it or give helps show the pup that you aren't out to steal their treasure. If you give back the thing you made them give 90% of the time the pup should be happy to give you it's treasure since it usually gets something even better in return. You do have to start teaching it with items that they aren't really interested in guarding and work up to higher value items. Also make sure to keep upping the value of the treat as you up the value of the item and practice all over the house, then yard, then on walks. Except when first teaching the command don't show the dog the treat, you don't want a dog that will only give it it sees that you have a treat.
 

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Alright, the past couple of days have been better. At the park I gave Yona more leeway as far as where she could go. I got some bitter cherry spray and sprayed it on our pants so when she jumps and bites on us she gets an unpleasant taste. I've also been working with my daughter on how to behave around her. So far, so good, but my daughter believes she is queen bee, so I need to work on her possession, too :)

I've been doing the trading game with her, and though it hasn't totally stuck yet she is doing better. I've also been working on her doing tricks for company instead of jumping on them. Yona seemed really pleased about that :)

As far as pictures, I will figure it out and post some :) thanks for all the help!
 
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