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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 09-13-2011, 01:44 PM
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Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

Hello - I made one other post in the past about when my Rott was a very small puppie that she had a nipping issue - well it has gotten much much worse - first some background
http://www.rottweiler.net/forums/pup...ht-things.html

My wife and I both have had many dogs in the past. We had lost our latest dog this year - a German mix at 13 years old. We decided after alot of consideration to purchase another dog. We have always love large dogs and after reading many books we decided on a Rottweiler for a number of reasons.
Almost all books stated that their agressive behavor is over blown and they are very friendly loyal dogs. Only when miss treated they are an issue.


This is our first puppy with children in our home. We have a 5 year old girl and a 8 year old boy. The puppy is a pure breed that was flown to us from KY. She was 8 weeks old when she arrived. She was healthy but a little under weight according to our vet.
She was purchased threw *breeder name removed by Admin* and I did talk to the breeder before she was shipped - he stated she was very friendly and non agressive at that point in time.



Almost immediately she started biting. We thought this was just her being puppy and exploring her new home. We where told by our vet and many message boards on line to use the distraction method. We did this constantly and found it did not work for our new puppy at all. She was intent on biting everyone in the house every time she was close to us.



She was especially fascinated with my children. No matter how much the children would distract her she would turn and nip their feet, arms, or what ever she could get a hold of.



We tried to modify the distraction method after 4 weeks to also use the ignore method. This seemed to make things worse. We would try and ignore her and she would continue to nip, bite harder and harder untill she got a reaction.



We increased her exersise schedule thinking that maybe she was board or needed to burn off some energy. We take 2 to 3 long walks a day. And she does not get feed untill she has her walk.



At this point she was about 3 months old and was house broken, knew her name, knew the come command, knew the sit command, and will walk on a leash corrrectly. We started working on other commands like (down, off, place, stay)



But things where not changing with the nipping and was turning into real hard biting and charging after my children. At this time we started to look at books and message boards that had this kind of breed and issue.



We found that the Cesar Millan method of the "claw" and hold till she relaxed. We have been doing this constantly for 3 + weeks with no sign of improvement. In fact she is getting more aggressive. Once you release her from the "claw" when she seems to have calmed down she gets up in a full attack mode - teeth out and jumping. Now now only does she jump and challenge my children but she has started to do this behavior with myself and my wife.



She just went to the vet for her 4 month check up and the vet told us that she needs something very soon. She raised her lips at the vet and was very aggressive and loud toward the vet.



Its getting to a breaking point. She is adding more stress then we have ever had in our home. And we recently have had some heath issues with my side of the family that are still going on and adding even more stress.

You can NOT pet her with out her putting her teeth on you. My son hides on the couch with a pillow in front of him when she is awake and not in the crate. My daughter said to me today "I don't want this dog any more". This is a horrible situation.

We love her but as I stated we can not live with this behavior - and are at a loss on how to change it. All other training has stopped because we are so frustrated with this aggressiveness.



Outside the home we have not seen this kind of aggression - but she has not had a lot of interaction because she did not yet have all her shots. But she will nip and bite my children if they walk her.



We have spent over 3500.00 on her and it would be a shame to get rid of her. I just recently consulted a trainer/behavorist and explain to him this situation. He said it sounds like we have an ALPHA female on our hands. He needs to review her in the house for 2 1hour sessions. He said that from what I have told him at this point its not about our behavor - but the puppies - and he has to see if she can be adjusted. Also he mentioned he wants to check to see if she is mentaly stable. He said that he will tells us straight foward if she is not the right rott for us or anyone else.


If we are not the right family for this puppy because of our behavior or enviroment I need to know now before anyone gets hurt and to give me time to find the proper owner for this kind of dog.

It sucks being out all this money but I just want whats right for her and my family.

So if you all have any information on this kind of situation please let me know. I guess at this point I am just venting also - its been so frustrating

Thank you

Last edited by Vista; 09-13-2011 at 02:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2011, 02:19 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

What does your breeder have to say about your puppy and concerns?

Can you return this puppy to the breeder?

I know you are venting - but my recommendation is to return her to her breeder. Regardless of any potential refund or not, from him/her.....

The longer the puppy remains in a home where it's not working out for the family....additional days are 'wasted' if you will, that cannot be recovered...

I don't know if you have an alpha female or not - because to me - what you write sounds so typical of most puppy antics in strong working breeds of dogs....and this behavior goes on for MONTHS during consistent efforts on the owners part to train wanted behaviors and just 'weather' the puppy stages....not days.....not weeks.......MONTHS AND MONTHS......and I realize the stress it can cause if you aren't prepared for what you got.....

Good luck....contact your breeder ASAP....
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2011, 02:32 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

Yes contact the breeder and get her evaluated. Have to say though, some Rottie pups are more strong willed, stubborn, hard headed, assertive than others. I've had a couple of these and it sounds like your pup could be the same. Sara was a therapy dog, but I called her the puppy from hell. She was a real handful. Morgen is the male version. I have a lot of Rottie experience and this guy pushes me to the limit still some days. Keep in mind these dogs are not mentally mature until 3 years old.

Nothing wrong with the dogs, it's their nature. They require a LOT of work and unfortunately most people don't have a clue how to handle them. Sara was a therapy dog, but in the wrong hands, trained and handled incorrectly, she could have been dangerous.

Be wary of 'trainers' who use physical methods. They can ruin certain type dogs to the point of making them dangerous. I know without doubt that Sara would have been a dangerous dog if handled like this. Find a trainer who uses positive methods, but strong methods. You have to be a strong, benevolent leader to a dog like this.
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2011, 03:43 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

I have to agree, your house is not right for this puppy, return her to the breeder.

In reading your post it sounds like life with my 4 month old bulldog puppy, who because is not a vicious, man-eating breed no one seems concerned that she may eat me in my sleep. I walk around armed with tug toys, chew toys and time outs in her crate if she is too riled up. She nips to get attention, to try to get you to play, if you ignore her she escalates to try even harder to get you to play. If you squeal, or move she gets really excited... what's more fun than a squealing, moving play toy? Guess what? It's all normal puppy behaviour.

I do use the re-direction method, but what most people don't realize is YOU are animated, you can't just put a dead toy in her mouth and expect her to play with it! You have to animate it and make it fun, and if one toy doesn't work, grab another. I am a big fan of doing some quick and fun obedience/trick drills to work that little brain? I see you are exercising her physically, what about mentally? Are you in classes? Find a positive reinforcement class and go work that brain. When Justice was two years old I could do nothing to wear him out physically, I had to focus on the mental aspect. The trainer that needs to see if she 'needs to be adjusted' scares the crap out of me, certainly wouldn't be going near my impressionable puppy.

Sometimes my new puppy gets really wound up, where re-direction doesn't work, she is calmly put in her crate and once calm gets to come out to play again.

As for 'the claw' you are getting what you are putting in...

Aggression begets Aggression

Think of it from her perspective, she is trying to engage you in play (or so it sounds over the internet), instead of playing with her, you are pinning her to the floor, that has to be scary and overwhelming. I don't imagine if someone grabbed and pinned you to the floor you'd lay there quietly and think about what you just did. I would certainly be fighting back and if you let go I'd be lunging and coming after you.

She very well may be an "Alpha" (I hate that word) puppy that has great self confidence, she very well may be a handful of a puppy, obviously you are not a good fit for meeting her needs so I vote return her. You deserve a house where your kids don't hide and you don't live in stress (cause trust me she knows that too). She deserves a fair shot at a good life. Forget about your money, take it as an expensive lesson learned.
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2011, 04:05 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

I think I would also agree with the other posters about returning your puppy to your breeder. I have to say along with the others that you should be in contact with you breeder and asking them these questions you have about the mouthiness of your pup. For the amount of money you spent on her, they should have 24/7 customer service available to you. I have never felt that I couldn't call my breeder with questions. I have contacted her more than my fair share of times and she has always welcomed my phone calls or emails - good, bad, dumb, or shining moments.

I did not have Sam as a puppy and Lars was my first puppy for me as an adult. He earned the name "The Piranha" and was (and still is) a pistol. We used the redirection method for months. I also learned when I was dealing with an overtired puppy who was frustrated and decided the best way to deal with what he was feeling was with his teeth. At that point, he was placed in his x-pen or crate to chill out. That point, he would fall asleep after having a hissy fit for a couple of minutes.

Whether or not she's an "alpha" I don't know...I have to agree that she just may be one sassy dog. My dog is a sassy dog and I'm not sure how he would fit into just anyone's home. I have always said that Lars would not be a good fit for a non-working, pet home. His NEED to do something would drive an average dog owner nuts. LOL Maybe that's what you have...a whole lotta dog in a small package and in that case, take her back to the breeder. Now you know what you don't want...and see if your breeder can give you a dog with a more mellow personality.

What are your dog's parent's names?? Maybe we know something about them like if they come from high drive, working lines.
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2011, 04:21 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

I can honestly say that if we would have had children around when Niko was a puppy, he would have been returned to the breeder. He too was a "puppy from Hell". My arms and legs were shredded. I did not go out in public wearing a short sleeve shirt until he was close to 5 months old. He still plays hard and if I am not careful will sink a tooth into my hand when going for the tug.

My husband and I often asked if we honestly thought we could work through his shark months. I remember holding him on lead at arms length while he fought hard to bite my ankles. He seemed to focus and attack relentlessly.

Even with toys to shake in his face, I was often on the receiving end of his teeth. He is much calmer now, but I do not see him fitting in in a household with small children. The high drive is still too much for him. If a child were to run past him shrieking, I do not doubt that he would be hell-bent on catching him/her.

If you have these doubts, please rehome your pup. There are puppies that are much better suited to families with children. My female pup (Monie) is SOOOO much calmer. She still has puppy crazy moments and has nipped and played hard, but never to the extreme of Niko.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2011, 04:28 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

This pretty much describes my little ball of fire. She's a pain in the azz but an awesome little pup. We don't have kids so that makes a big difference. As I mentioned in another thread somewhere we've joked about changing her name to anything from Buzzsaw to Termite and several other names in between. She's on the small size physically but a big dog on the inside. She came from a Schutzhund heavy bloodline on both sides but that's what I wanted so we're just having to deal with it.

She's cute as a button and I've fallen in love with her.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2011, 04:37 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

Quote:
Originally Posted by NikoJ View Post
I remember holding him on lead at arms length while he fought hard to bite my ankles. He seemed to focus and attack relentlessly.
Ah, yes...I remember doing exactly this. Or holding Lars at arm's length up in the air under his forelimbs...with him thrashing around trying to grab sleeves, hair, or whatever he could get his teeth on.

I have to laugh, as I was reading replies...the mailman just placed mail in our box on the house. You have to listen hard for the box closing. But Lars hears it and before I can finish yelling "Lars", he's up those stairs like he's shot out of a cannon. Then he takes one stride, flies at the couch like freakin' superman all the while roaring like he is some hell hound from the fiery depths below. Yup, that's my boy. So, the moral of this story is sometimes those pistols as puppies stay pistols as adults. And, I wouldn't have it any other way!
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2011, 04:44 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

Just a query - is "The Claw" another term for Alpha Roll ?
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2011, 04:49 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

Yeah....pretty much the same thing.
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2011, 07:10 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

I don't know what was in your puppy contract, but your breeder may have misinterpreted your family's needs when selecting a puppy that would be right for your home. Send her back to the breeder. Since I don't know about your contract, I'll have to assume that there should be some type of replacement policy that they have in place for just these types of situations. Your children deserve to feel safe in their home, and that's not happening. I hope things work out well. Please, let us know how things turn out.
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2011, 09:35 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

I have a 4 month old puppy as well. I LOVE him to death, but having him as a puppy is not sunshine and roses! Jackson is WORK! Just the other day I told a friend that it would be a miracle if I made it through Jackson’s puppyhood. Land shark, piranha, fur lined crocodile, Cujo, Damien, Jaws…yeah, they all fit at sometime. He has NOT stopped trying to bite me or my things since he walked through my door. My clothes have holes; my hands feel like I have been sliced with razor blades, I have bruises on my arms, cuts on my legs. There isn’t a day that goes by that I do not redirect his jaws with toys…I do it from sun up until sun down.

You think he is a cuddle bunny that wants to sit on my lap, lick my face and get loved on? Forget about it! As a matter of fact, I don’t even LET his face near mine, been there done that! Jackson tries to bite my hands when I reach for him too. Kikopup on YouTube has a clicker training session on puppy biting, you might check those out.

People usually talk about the joys of owning a puppy, and tend to leave out how hard it really is. There have been times where my life has been so overwhelming already, that the added stress from him has made me want to break down in tears. When I start to get overwhelmed I give myself a time out by putting him in his crate, it calms him down, and it calms me down, than we start all over again! Jackson is a hellion and he is a handful, but he certainly isn’t aggressive. I think people are intimated by the breed and confuse aggressiveness for puppy antics because they are looking so hard.

Keeping a leash on your girl when she is out of her crate is the best advice I can give you. Do not give her the opportunity to go after your kids. Her leash should be attached to your body at all times while she is out of her crate until she is through teething and has learned some manners. Redirect, redirect, redirect her teeth with a toy…this is not something that goes away with a few redirections. I have been doing it non-stop for 10 weeks, and have made little progress in that department. My pup is just like yours, and while I am at my wits end at times…at the end of the night I would not trade him for anything!

If you are willing to step up and put in the work, I think that you will find it to be rewarding in the end. It is work though; there is no easy way around it. I am the type of person that refuses to give up, I feel like if you have a dog it is your dog for life…you have to man up, put on the big boy/girl pants, and just do it! In your case, it sounds like this breed is a mismatch for you, your family, and the commitment level that they require. Rottweilers are NOT for everyone. Anyone can acquire one, but it doesn’t mean that a rottie will thrive in every household…they require strong leadership and lifelong training. Rottweilers are a working breed; they need to be stimulated both mentally and physically, they need a job to do, and because they are so smart they will get into trouble with passive leadership. Their strong mind requires an owner that will ensure proper training.

I guess what I am trying to say is that you are not alone! There is absolutely nothing “wrong” with your puppy from what you have mentioned in your post. These behaviors are typical, albeit exhausting, stressful, and frustrating. You CAN do it if you have the determination to do so! Sadly, it sounds like this isn’t a good time in your life to have a dog that requires so much work. There are other large breeds that require less work than a Rottweiler or German Shepherd.

Your puppy is young enough to thrive in a home that is ready to meet her needs if you cannot. Please do not wait until she truly becomes out of control because of a lack of strong leadership, training, and physical and mental stimulation. You have to be honest with yourself, are you willing and able to step up to the plate, or is this pup really more than you and your family can handle right now? I wish you the best of luck with the decision you are faced with!

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  #13  
Old 09-13-2011, 10:11 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

What you are describing is typical rottie puppy behavior. I myself along with my friend have two almost 4 month old puppies and they sound very much like your puppy. They get frustrated when they don't get their ways and will try to bite (not in a friendly way either). I find that this behavior usually last until about 6 months of age, with correction it does it better. Also how much exercise does your puppy get because if a puppy or dog doesn't get enough exercise they act out too.
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Last edited by Terri Lambert; 09-13-2011 at 10:12 PM. Reason: forgot word
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:18 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

I've noticed a huge difference with Ziggy in regards to his biting since I added more classes for him to attend during the week. Between the classes, daily homework training and working daily with his mental exercises in the form of the interactive games I purchased, he seems to go after the hands, ankles and moving objects attached to me far less.

Perhaps if you enrolled her in more classes than just the puppy classes along with the mental stimulation, you would find her more calm as she would be tired a bit easier. My pup is 3 mos and 13 days old and attends 3 different classes a week. It sure made a world of difference in this house.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:33 PM
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Re: Aggressive 4 month old Rottweiler - Alpha Female

Sounds just like Ramz when he was that age. My daughter did not have any pants left without holes! Pajama pants, jeans, school pants, shorts - all have reminders of that "wonderful puppyhood"! People used to ask me if I had to break a cat fight...
Your pup seems to be bored to death. Start doing something with her - she needs mental stimulation not an alpha roll. And stop watching that show. That person should not even be on TV. As far as alpha term - it is very fluid. Most dogs don't want to be alpha, too much pressure and responsibilities. At four months old I would not even think about this. Mentally unstable, may be. But in this case your breeder should have known better.
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