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Old 03-02-2007, 05:32 PM
raz1221 raz1221 is offline
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Hello,

I need some assistance with a 10-12 week lab/golden retriever mix puppy from the shelter. I've had her for about a week, and she lives harmoniously with my other puppy (6 months of age). We go to the dog park daily so they can get some exercise, and I've noticed some aggression in this puppy. She's approx. 15 lbs. now and has started three not-so-playful fights with other puppies. She plays very well with dogs that are larger than her, and displays absolutely no aggression towards any people. Typically when she starts these fights, she approaches another puppy and then lunges and flips the other puppy, stands over it, and starts growling and biting. We've started basic obedience training, and she never displays this type of behavior at home. I don't know how to handle this--is this something she'll likely grow out of, or is this behavior indicative of the future? I'm looking for information on how to handle this when it occurs, and how to handle it for the future- should I stop taking her to the dog park? I know dogs need to be socialized with other dogs, but it's embarassing in the least, and dangerous at most. Thanks for reading...any insight would be greatly appreciated!

~Rachel
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Old 03-02-2007, 06:46 PM
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skyeboxer skyeboxer is offline
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I can't imagine a 12 week old puppy throwing and pinning and rabidly slavering over another dog to the point it was embarrasing.

In fact, your post made me smile because I remember those days from my own dog and how absolutely murderous she sounded as a puppy - even killing a sock.

How old was your other puppy when you got him/her? Did you not go through the same? The biggest mistake I made with Skye was over-protecting her and I guess that includes protecting myself from a bit of rough and tumble with other dogs. If your pup is being a pain in the arkie to the other dogs, they will let her know. If you don't let her find out how much play is too much and impolite at this stage, then you are robbing her of a communication tool she'll use for the rest of her life.

You'll get other answers, I'm sure, but from my own experience I can tell you your pup probably just needs to learn some doggy manners and that's not something you can teach her.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:56 PM
raz1221 raz1221 is offline
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It wasn't an evil oh-my-god-she's-killing-another-puppy fight LOL But it was enough to make the people who were standing nearby pick her up and pull her off and make comments about how she was snappy and vicious. I know calling a puppy vicious is completely ridiculous. And I know this is probably a "manners" thing....it wasn't her behavior so much that was embarrassing; dogs will be dogs. I could definitely do without opinionated owners' comments sometimes!
I didn't go through this with my other puppy because she sat on my feet and watched, if dogs got in her space, she laid on her back until they went away, and now she's got her friends she plays with or she'll go by herself and chew a stick. I thank you for your response... I know I might be getting a little too concerned with this, and I appreciate your making light of the situation (I know that sounds sarcastic, but i'm being sincere, I promise!) Thanks again
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:53 PM
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I would at this point say that she is echoing what the 6 month old does to her . If she's at all aggressive , it will show up in puppy class . You don't need to put her into those situations with smaller pups . Don't worry , be watchful and let us know !
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Old 03-03-2007, 06:45 AM
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It sounds like just really rough play and that she needs a dog to teach her some manners. As long as there is no blood and she does not seem to be or be putting another dog in pain or causing the other dog to be aggressive it would probably be best to let them continue so the other dog shows your dog how to play nicely and how rough is too rough. The problem is that other owners may not feel comfortable with your dog, so you must respect their wishes and remove your dog. I personally don't like dog parks and think one on one meetings with a dog you know are better and puppy classes are even better because the instructor will give you and the other dog owners instructions on how to handle the situation. Until you can get her into some puppy classes I would suggest if you invite a friend of yours that owns a dog to bring the dog to the park with you (not a dog park just a regular one that's fenced in if you know of one) or someones back yard that is fenced in. The only problem with going in someones back yard is that the dog may be territorial of it, so I recommend a park. Make sure you know the other persons dog is dog friendly and let them play together. This way you know the owner will not mind when your puppy gets rough and you know the other dogs temperament and can feel more secure that he will not become aggressive towards your puppy. Now you must also remember that at some point the other dog will tell your dog he is being too rough and may snap or even flip over your puppy. So long as nobody seems to be in pain and the other dog is not getting overly annoyed with the pup and snapping before he even does anything then let them work it out while you keep a close eye on them.

Truthfully I've never seen two dogs play in real life because my dog was dog aggressive, but what I said is from what I've heard on this site. I hope others can help you further. Good Luck!
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Old 03-03-2007, 07:58 AM
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SummerRiot SummerRiot is offline
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It sounds like she is a "rough player" type of puppy.

Have you been around large numbers of puppies before at all for an extended amount of time?

When I was babysitting the Sheltie kennel this past 2 weeks, they have 3 puppies- all males whom they were keeping for show... anyways they are all under 5 months old.
They all got into a really nasty SOUNDING fight... I go to see what they are up to in their EX pen and they were all in a little rumble with growls, barks, biting.. it was over within 5 minutes. If one of them yelped - the others would jump off of him and stare at him.. then go at it again.
It doesn't SOUND like play, but it really was.

When Riot, my Belgian Tervuren, was a puppy - he sounded SOO nasty he was very embarassing to bring places lol But I did, I just explained to the people that hes a "loud" player.. they seemed to understand as they continued to let their dog/puppy play with him.

It just takes patience, you can train behaviours, teach specific commands and they will follow up on it. Ex. Riot knows the command "OFF" which means basically stop what your doing.. its not good.

If hes rough housing with another dog and that dog gets a little scared of him(as this does happen with the way he plays and his size) I just have to tell him "Riot, Off" and he'll stop the playing and look at me like "what.. I was being gentle" lol

It'll come in time, but if it bothers you.. start teaching your puppy mannes.
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Old 03-10-2007, 05:34 PM
raz1221 raz1221 is offline
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Thank you everyone for your responses....her play does SOUND like fighting but I believe she just doesn't understand boundaries/manners yet. All of the other dogs she's gotten rough with displayed passive behaviors and didn't attempt to put my dog "in her place." I'm not afraid she's going to hurt another dog at this point...just a little embarrassed as Riot's owner mentioned, by how rough it appears to the other dog owners. I've spent time around puppies of various breeds (bulldogs, a couple mutts, and the others I see daily at the park) but really not enough to get a complete understanding of some of the more subtle expressions of their body language. Thanks again for the advice...I think for the time being, I'm going to do some leash walking and controlled meetings with other dogs, and some puppy classes!
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