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"Puppy Biting/Puppy Aggression" If you have issues specific to "Puppy" aggression or biting, please post them in this forum.

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  #1  
Old 09-30-2008, 09:35 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: new orleans la usa
Question 6 month puppy aggression toward older dog

Hello,

I read the biting section of the Puppy forum, but I still have this question;
My girl is 6 months old, and really good in most ways, but when I give her play time with my older male dog, who is a mixed breed, labrador sized dog, and very gentle, if not timid- she really picks on him, mounting (from the side and front) and merclessly bitting him, mostly on ears and anywhere else she can reach.

I had hope the older dog would correct her, and she would learn that lesson, and just be that more socialized, but it seems the opposite is happening, and she is learning the opposite of what I want her to get.

The other dog did try to correct her at first, snaping and snarling, and biting back- but he is old and tired, and now has pretty much given up for the most part, and just takes it, so I do have to separate them.

It isnt so much that she is hurting him, though she bites pretty hard, I am mainly concerned about possibly causing socializetion and training problems down the road

Do you think I should separate them totally, and just never let them be together? Or is there a better approach to this?

I do have her in puppy class, and she is with me most of the time, as I am doing the training etc.

The rest of the time is in xpen or crate, or with hubby and other dog, Shorty.

I have tried separating and scolding when this happens, but she just goes right back to it when given the chance.
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2008, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: New Hampshire
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Re: 6 month puppy aggression toward older dog

It sounds like you have a fairly typical youngster who is just pestering the older dog. I wouln't classify this as aggression - just a young dog who hasn't been taught what is and is not acceptable.

Bottom line, your older dog isn't interested in teaching this puppy manners and deserves to live in peace. It's up to you to teach the puppy that she must leave the older dog alone. Leave a leash tab on her when she's in the house (a cheap leash cut off to 6 inches or so works well). The second she starts to pester the older dog, say "That's enough" (or whatever phrase you decide to use) in a stern voice and immediately move her away with the leash tab. Redirect her to a toy - remember, you need to show her appropriate ways to release that energy. Praise her when she plays with the toy or successfully redirects. You'll probably have to repeat this frequently at first - try to intercept her when you can tell she's headed for the older guy with mischief in her mind. You can even let her drag a full size leash behind her - when she heads for the older dog, step on it to stop her! If she's interacting appropriately with him, praise her and leave her be. But she needs to learn she cannot instigate rough play with him.

A few other things that might help:

First, make sure she's getting enough exercise and training time. If you tire her out enough, she shouldn't be pestering the old guy 24/7.

Second, make sure the old guy is getting enough attention too. Sometimes we let our older dogs fall by the wayside when we're focused on the puppies.

Third, tell your puppy class instructor about the problems. You want to be setting up play dates with other, appropriately behaved dogs, to develop socialization skills. In addition to puppy play dates, sometimes it is really helpful to introduce a puppy to a no-nonsense older bitch, who will teach that puppy in no uncertain terms that being rude is not acceptable. My deceased girl was great in that respect - she could put the fear of god into rude puppies without every disturbing a hair on them. Your instructor may be able to help you find such a dog.
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Jaime &


Pieka, CD-C, RL2, RL1X, RN, BH, CGC
Whiskey, CD, RN, CGC, TT
Louie, CGC, TDI
Sofia, CGC., TDI, TT, HIC, (1997-2008)
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2008, 02:26 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: new orleans la usa
Re: 6 month puppy aggression toward older dog

Thank you, that helps a lot. I certainly agree the old guy deserves his peace.

I will try the thing with the leash tab, I have an old woven cloth leash that is perfect for just that thing. I will also talk with the puppy instructor.

The older dog was adopted as a stray, and has never learned to play, no matter what we do. He doesn't relate to people that much except when there is a thunder storm. Sad, but he will not change, as I think his fears must have been imprined at a young age. He doesn't walk on a leash either- sort of panic mode all the time.
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  #4  
Old 09-30-2008, 03:20 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: New Hampshire
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Re: 6 month puppy aggression toward older dog

Awww, poor guy. He sounds very sweet, but rather special needs. Many of us have those dogs in the house, myself included.

Let us know how it goes. Just be patient - this will take awhile for the puppy to learn. If you are consistent, she'll get the picture. When you reach a point for the day when you absolutely cannot correct and redirect her one more time....time for a crate break.
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Jaime &


Pieka, CD-C, RL2, RL1X, RN, BH, CGC
Whiskey, CD, RN, CGC, TT
Louie, CGC, TDI
Sofia, CGC., TDI, TT, HIC, (1997-2008)
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