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Thread: Growling Puppy

  1. #1

    Default Growling Puppy

    I got a new 8 week old puppy that has progressively gotten worse the last couple of days with growling. She has started attacking pant legs. When we correct her with a grip on the back of the neck and a firm no she is growling and raising heck. She also likes to bit hands and anything else that moves. She is currently attacking her play rope shaking it, growling, and trying to destroy it. She has just started this the last 3 days or so. First 3 or 4 days were great. We thought we had a nice laid back puppy. But she is very aggressive and seems to be a dominant female. Her crate training went very easy and she sleeps through the night and never raises cain in her crate. But she is a fire ball and tends to make a lot of growls when playing.

    Just wondering what is the best method to correct this before it really becomes an issue. My kids are high school age and they are losing interest in the sweet little puppy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Erin Lynes's Avatar
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    Without seeing your puppy in person, I would say it sounds like normal wild puppy play to me, not true aggression. Have you ever had the chance to watch puppies play with their littermates at that age? They growl, wrestle, bit each other, run around, growl some more, sneak attack, play tug of war with toys, etc. They are rough little creatures! But they do have built in 'bite inhibition' training, if the puppy hasn't been removed from their littermates too early.

    When one puppy bites another puppy, the victim "YIPES" and the play stops, and the instigator lets go. You can mimic this in order to get your puppy to stop biting. The trick is to not pull away when she bites- go motionless and yipe until she lets go. Then you can resume gentle play. Do this ever time she bites at you, your skin or clothes. Gradually the pressure of the biting goes away, and then stops, if you are consistent.

    Hope that helps. Usually when you make a physical correction with a little puppy like scruff shaking, they interpret it like you are rough-housing with them and agree to rough play.
    Erin Lynes
    Eromit Labrador Retrievers

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  3. #3
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    If she is starting to get vocal I would focus on that training before anything. No more toys. As soon as she growls tell her firmly to be quite and as soon as she stops give her a positive reward, something very high reward like a small piece of hotdog or cheese. She needs to understand what she is doing wrong and be rewarded with something great when she is doing good. Another method is taking pennies in an empty soda can, tape it up and as soon as she makes the noises you dont like, shake it and give her the quite command, when she stops, remember to reward again. You cant tell a dog "no".... they need to know what is wrong..."no what?" Hence why I said the "quite" command. This is something that must get curbed immediately or she could end up being vocal on the line. Throw her on her back until she becomes submissive to you. This is a good tool as well. Take your fingernail and pinch her inner lip and tell her quite or no bite (another tool). Always remember with obedience you MUST give a positve reward immediately when you get the correct behavior. Hope this all helps ya out.

  4. #4

    Default

    Its not an all day thing. Just seems like there is a 20 minute period about twice a day where she just goes crazy. Other than that, everything is very positive. I have never had a puppy crate train so easy. She is loving to retrieve, loves to come when called, and has been introduced to birds. Actually she understand sit already and seems highly intelligent. I just don't think she is going to be for the timid trainer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Erin Lynes's Avatar
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    Oh my gawd, this is an 8 week old puppy! Please do not 'throw her on her back'. I don't think there is any correlation between play growling, even really intense play growling, and being vocal on the line. Like I said, normal puppy behavior, just work on the biting as it comes up, and enjoy her the rest of the time! Teaching her basic stuff at this age, like 'sit', 'down', etc, is great, they really are wired for learning as babies. I do agree with Waterfowler's tip to use rewards immediately after a good behavior. That is a good tip.

    That said, I reject the theory of using loud noises like a can of coins to curb behavior issues at this age. Shortly you will be asking her to be brave around gun shots, don't use noise as punishment/scare tactic now and then expect her to be excited about it in a few weeks. A bold, curious puppy is a wonderful thing and that sounds like what you've got!

    r.
    Erin Lynes
    Eromit Labrador Retrievers

    Home of:
    Twig AGDC, Ruger JH ADC MGDC SGDC CRNCL, Winchester SGDC CRNCL, Shelby SGDC CRNCL, Spider, Kimber, Verona, Missie, Jackie, Victor CRNCL, Jet and Glitzy CRNMCL
    ..........gone but never forgotten, the gal who started it all: Spider's Sunshine MSDC MSCDC AADC AGDC NAC NGC NJC (Nestle) ...........

  6. #6
    Senior Member Scum Frog's Avatar
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    It takes time and keep at it. Simply, biting is not acceptable and stick with whatever reaction you decide to any biting she does...she will soon get the message. I also agree with Waterfowler's tip to use rewards immediately after a good behavior. Turn her "20 min crazy time" into OB training sessions and keep her focused on that. Free time is when they tend to get themselves into trouble LOL
    Labrador Retriever, a 20g & grouse...is there a better combination?

  7. #7
    Member JimB's Avatar
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    I agree with Erin, it is just the way they play at that age. If he bites at you (even softly), just say 'Owww' loudly and they will probably stop right away. When my young guy was that age I thought I had an agressive pup with how hard he played with my older Golden and was concerned about him being an aggressive dog. She is very tolerant and would not put him in his place at all not matter how rough he got. If I thought it got too rough, I just gave him a 5 or 10 minute time out (either holding him on leash or in the kennel for a few minutes until he calmed down). He learned very quickly what level of play was acceptable and does not show any signs of aggression now.

  8. #8
    Senior Member yellow machine's Avatar
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    I agree with Erin 100%. When you purchase a puppy understand that it is just that, a puppy. Be patient it takes time for them to mature. First word to teach is NO!
    A cold nose feels good on a hot day.....
    Majestic Oaks Liberty Belle JH

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for the replies. She understands "No" and will generally stop whatever undesired behavior is taking place. She is sassy and vocal. Problem generally arises when she sees pant legs. We thought of changing her name to "Dinky" (AKA the movie Vacation"). When you unpry the teeth she then is growling and attacking hands.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    I agree with Erin. Pup is too young for the suggestion made to throw her on her back. Let the puppy be a puppy for a while. The loud "OUCH" worked for my Rowdy and he stopped the biting. Growling and playing rough with toys for a while is just normal puppy play.

    Hank would growl at a pigeon and duck when we first introduced them at a very young age.
    Wayne Nutt
    Go Nutts with dog training

    HRCH Patton's Parker Co. Shadow "Shadow"
    HRCH Clineline Hijacker "Jack"
    HRCH Marks a Lot Midnight Hudson, SH "Hudson"-retired
    Castile Creek's Rawhide, SH "Rowdy"

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