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Old 07-29-2009, 03:48 PM
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Default Aggression in 9 week old puppy?

I picked up a new foster pup on Saturday. The people that had her told me she is approximately 9 weeks old. Mom was a Rottie/Shepherd mix, that I met, very friendly and well behaved dog. They said they had no clue what dad was. I'm guessing Lab just cause she's black, fuzzy and there are lots of Labs around here, LOL.

Anyway, she is showing some alarming behaviors for such a young puppy. She gets along with the other dogs, but she will attack any of them if they come near food, toys, blankets, or where she *thinks* something was (like where I fed her, even though the bowl has been put away for 2 hours). This is not playful puppy growling, this is a full on attack. When I attempted to separate them, she turned on me. I've been bitten by her twice, hard enough to break the skin and bruise my leg through my pants.

I can stick my hand in her food bowl with no problems. And she shows no aggression towards people (other than the re-directed aggression when I am separating her). She is otherwise a healthy, happy, playful puppy that does play nicely with the other dogs when there isn't something she wants.

I've NEVER seen aggression in a puppy this young. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:34 PM
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Sounds like a job for Doc . . . or Bimmer
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:17 PM
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Sounds like a job for Doc . . . or Bimmer
LOL. What surprises me most is that Thunder doesn't even correct her. I guess he's getting soft in his older years.

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Originally Posted by bubbatd View Post
What a shame !!! Shows that she had no socialization at all and was probably taken away from the Mom too young . ( or did you get her from the litter ? ) I really feel for you ! Any pictures ??
She was still with mom when I got her, so she wasn't taken away too soon. She was still comfort nursing even. She was with mom and one other adult dog (male, Husky, neutered so not the father). All of her siblings had been adopted and she was destined for the kill shelter. The shelter is crazy full right now, and she's absolutely adorable and I figured she'd get adopted very quickly if I took her. But I need to figure out what's up with this behavior before I even think about trying to find a forever home for her.

I'll get some pictures up in a separate thread!
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:00 PM
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What a shame !!! Shows that she had no socialization at all and was probably taken away from the Mom too young . ( or did you get her from the litter ? ) I really feel for you ! Any pictures ??
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:25 PM
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Glad that you took her .....hopefully she'll come around . Keep us to date .
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:58 PM
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Glad that you took her .....hopefully she'll come around . Keep us to date .
I will definitely keep everyone updated on her!

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It sounds like that is just her temperament. It may prove difficult in a multi-dog house hold. That is awfully young and unusual to show that kind of thing so young, but it does happen. I guess the best thing is to try and reduce or eliminate things that trigger that behavior the best you can and reinforce her for "nice" behavior when the other dogs are present. You could make real exercises out of it for her. Other dogs near by (start out not too near by) and reinforce heavily. Kind of work it actively. It could be too, that once she learns the ropes of being a big girl and becomes more secure, she may simmer down a bit.
Thanks for the advice! I've started clicker training with her, one on one, out in the yard away from everyone else. I'm hoping that I'll be able to transfer that around the other dogs. She is SMART, and learns very quickly, so I still have high hopes for her!

Right now, she's laying next to one of the other dogs. She isn't completely anti-social with them (luckily!), and I'll try to keep any triggers away for now.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:10 PM
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It sounds like that is just her temperament. It may prove difficult in a multi-dog house hold. That is awfully young and unusual to show that kind of thing so young, but it does happen. I guess the best thing is to try and reduce or eliminate things that trigger that behavior the best you can and reinforce her for "nice" behavior when the other dogs are present. You could make real exercises out of it for her. Other dogs near by (start out not too near by) and reinforce heavily. Kind of work it actively. It could be too, that once she learns the ropes of being a big girl and becomes more secure, she may simmer down a bit.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Doberluv View Post
It sounds like that is just her temperament. It may prove difficult in a multi-dog house hold. That is awfully young and unusual to show that kind of thing so young, but it does happen. I guess the best thing is to try and reduce or eliminate things that trigger that behavior the best you can and reinforce her for "nice" behavior when the other dogs are present. You could make real exercises out of it for her. Other dogs near by (start out not too near by) and reinforce heavily. Kind of work it actively. It could be too, that once she learns the ropes of being a big girl and becomes more secure, she may simmer down a bit.
This is what I do.

I would keep treats on me at all times and then shower them whenever the dogs got near each other.




You can click the dog for looking at the trigger (the look at that! game from control unleashed) to countercondition the feelings the dog is having.

My hunch tho is that the dog is young and confused and anxiety is through the roof... Many of my dogs guarded things in the first week and then never again once they settled.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:45 PM
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I wanted to post on this earlier. I read a book by Patricia McConnell (whom I dearly love) and one of her stories was about a puppy that had very serious aggression issues.

The puppy did not react like a normal puppy when Dr. McConnell did some normal socialization exercises, such as putting the puppy on its back. It just kept attacking and was trying to go for Patricia's throat.

Eventually, she told the family to take the puppy back to the breeder, because it obviously was just not wired right.

I was surprised when I read that, because who would ever think of a puppy expressing true aggression? Other then that story, this is the 2nd time I've heard of an aggressive puppy. It still surprises me, but I want you to understand that even while I say that, I do believe you and I have faith that as a dog lover you know aggression when you see it.

Most posters here at Chaz seem to really know dogs.

I really don't have any advice for you, since the puppy isn't human aggressive, but dog aggressive. It is possible that if the pup came from a large litter, that maybe she's used to having to fight for her food.

I do know many people that have to feed their dogs completely separately from each other, because they fight. And these are show/working dogs that have to pull sleds together and they get along just fine while pulling a sled. It's only during meals that they get aggressive.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:57 AM
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I remember that story Sammgirl. It was in the book, For the Love of a Dog, wasn't it? Very interesting and yes....rare. The puppy very early on resisted any of the normal things the vast majority of puppies will tolerate easily.

I hope that it is not the case with this puppy after some good training. But it might be.
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