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Thread: Dog Agression in 9/10 Week Old Puppy

  1. #1
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    Default Dog Agression in 9/10 Week Old Puppy

    Hi all,

    We rescued a pup from up north of WA over a week ago - see pics here (http://www.dogforum.com.au/general-d...es-breeds.html). The first week she showed some typical dominant signs (barging through the door first, growling when we told her off etc.) but we did a lot of research and changed our training and behaviour towards her and she's come a long way in a week and now we think she knows her place in our "pack" (i.e. very loved but at the bottom).

    While she's very good with humans and runs up to them for kisses and licks at the park, she's very agressive towards other dogs (of all sizes but mainly small ones of course). This was confirmed last night at puppy pre-school by the trainer who said she was showing fear-agression. She growls, barks and snaps at other dogs, and doesn't know how to play with them (SAFE separated the puppies from their litter at a very young age to foster them out), so she hasn't leaned typical puppy behaviour and play.

    She's fine with my parents labrador although she snaps occasionally and pushes him off his bed and takes his food, and he's too nice and polite to do anything about it (we tell her off and put her outside or in the "naughty room"). I don't want to take her near a stronger more fiesty dog though in case she becomes even mroe scared. Should I keep her around the friendly lab until they learn to get along and she learns he won't harm/fight her?

    We will be taking her to further dog training and obedience once puppy school is over, but does anyone have any suggestions of what else we can do? We take treats to the park and reward her when she just sniffs other dogs.

    Alternatively, does anyone know or can recommend any good behaviour trainers in Perth?

    I want to make sure this dog agression gets controlled NOW, and before she grows into a full-sized dog. I just hope it can be controlled and I know it's up to us. Don't want to have to send her away once we have kids because we didn't master it when she was a puppy.

    Thanks, sorry for long post.

    Lauren (and Ralley - kelpie x heeler x dingo x ???)

  2. #2
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    Oct 2009
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    Brisbane Queensland Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralley_girl View Post
    Hi all,

    We rescued a pup from up north of WA over a week ago - see pics here (http://www.dogforum.com.au/general-d...es-breeds.html). The first week she showed some typical dominant signs (barging through the door first, growling when we told her off etc.) but we did a lot of research and changed our training and behaviour towards her and she's come a long way in a week and now we think she knows her place in our "pack" (i.e. very loved but at the bottom).

    While she's very good with humans and runs up to them for kisses and licks at the park, she's very agressive towards other dogs (of all sizes but mainly small ones of course). This was confirmed last night at puppy pre-school by the trainer who said she was showing fear-agression. She growls, barks and snaps at other dogs, and doesn't know how to play with them (SAFE separated the puppies from their litter at a very young age to foster them out), so she hasn't leaned typical puppy behaviour and play.

    She's fine with my parents labrador although she snaps occasionally and pushes him off his bed and takes his food, and he's too nice and polite to do anything about it (we tell her off and put her outside or in the "naughty room"). I don't want to take her near a stronger more fiesty dog though in case she becomes even mroe scared. Should I keep her around the friendly lab until they learn to get along and she learns he won't harm/fight her?

    We will be taking her to further dog training and obedience once puppy school is over, but does anyone have any suggestions of what else we can do? We take treats to the park and reward her when she just sniffs other dogs.

    Alternatively, does anyone know or can recommend any good behaviour trainers in Perth?

    I want to make sure this dog agression gets controlled NOW, and before she grows into a full-sized dog. I just hope it can be controlled and I know it's up to us. Don't want to have to send her away once we have kids because we didn't master it when she was a puppy.

    Thanks, sorry for long post.

    Lauren (and Ralley - kelpie x heeler x dingo x ???)
    Hi Ralley_girl

    My 20wk old malinois was like that. She would bite and snap out of fear. We weekend home stayed her for the RAAF and she failed the standard requirements for a patrol dog so we ended up keeping her.

    She hasn't displayed any more fear agression but she is skittish around new sounds and new people.

    I would be interested in any reply's yiu get regarding this because it might give me more of an insight.
    1 Siberian Husky Diesel
    1 Belgian Malinois Gypsy
    1 Kitty Porsche

  3. #3

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    Hello there,

    I definitely can relate to your situation. When I got married 7 years ago, I was desperate for a puppy and so we went to the shelter and rescued an 8wk old Kelpie x. At the time we thought he was husky also. When he reached around 4 months it became very apparent that he was also part Dingo and he also showed very early signs of fear aggression. He was particularily fearful of children, sounds, people wearing hats and sunglasses and dogs and strangers and could never be in a crowd.

    I was very stupid and I decided that it would be in his best interest to not go to obedience as he was so fearful and reactive and instead we had him privately trained.

    Obedience wise, he was like a soldier and had a recall like I've never seen, but he could never shake this fear aggression.

    Of course we had children a few years later and when my oldest child started walking, Diesel was feeling himself going down the pack, he started peeing in the house again at 4 years old. He hated walking near the pram and would walk very stiffly he didn't want to go near the children and never kissed them or played fetch with them.

    To cut a long story short, Diesel was PTS 2 years ago after attacking my 2 and a half year old daughter. The attack was completely unprovoked and happened right at my feet during one of the only times that they were ever in the same room together.

    I know it's dramatic and I'm not saying that this will happen to you, but my warning to you is that no matter how hard it is for you, you must take him to obedience and work your guts out to help this dog.

    Truly fearful dogs will probably always be fearful but they can be desensitised to a certain extent and improve their quality of life.

    I regard fear aggression as a mental illness in dogs, it's not their fault and they may look healthy but their brain is not.

    Maybe some of you can understand why on earth I got a Pugalier this time round! Quite cheeky but guaranteed to love everyone!!

    I also am now a firm believer that young couples should not get a dog until they have had children. Diesel probably would have been a great companion for us all had he have been brought into our home now and learned to live with the chaos of kids and school pick-ups and playdates and bike riding in the backyard.

    Sorry to be so grim, but I have had too much experience with this and would not want anyone else to go through what I went through.

    All the best and look forward to hearing your progress.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Near Newcastle, NSW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie's mum View Post
    Hello there,

    I definitely can relate to your situation. When I got married 7 years ago, I was desperate for a puppy and so we went to the shelter and rescued an 8wk old Kelpie x. At the time we thought he was husky also. When he reached around 4 months it became very apparent that he was also part Dingo and he also showed very early signs of fear aggression. He was particularily fearful of children, sounds, people wearing hats and sunglasses and dogs and strangers and could never be in a crowd.

    I was very stupid and I decided that it would be in his best interest to not go to obedience as he was so fearful and reactive and instead we had him privately trained.

    Obedience wise, he was like a soldier and had a recall like I've never seen, but he could never shake this fear aggression.

    Of course we had children a few years later and when my oldest child started walking, Diesel was feeling himself going down the pack, he started peeing in the house again at 4 years old. He hated walking near the pram and would walk very stiffly he didn't want to go near the children and never kissed them or played fetch with them.

    To cut a long story short, Diesel was PTS 2 years ago after attacking my 2 and a half year old daughter. The attack was completely unprovoked and happened right at my feet during one of the only times that they were ever in the same room together.

    I know it's dramatic and I'm not saying that this will happen to you, but my warning to you is that no matter how hard it is for you, you must take him to obedience and work your guts out to help this dog.

    Truly fearful dogs will probably always be fearful but they can be desensitised to a certain extent and improve their quality of life.

    I regard fear aggression as a mental illness in dogs, it's not their fault and they may look healthy but their brain is not.

    Maybe some of you can understand why on earth I got a Pugalier this time round! Quite cheeky but guaranteed to love everyone!!

    I also am now a firm believer that young couples should not get a dog until they have had children. Diesel probably would have been a great companion for us all had he have been brought into our home now and learned to live with the chaos of kids and school pick-ups and playdates and bike riding in the backyard.

    Sorry to be so grim, but I have had too much experience with this and would not want anyone else to go through what I went through.

    All the best and look forward to hearing your progress.
    Good informative post

  5. #5
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    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    What Rosies Mum said.

    I have seen big dog after big dog have no idea how to play nicely and when they're big it is difficult to impossible to teach them. Loads of owners quit when their dog behaves badly or gets stressed out as a puppy.

    You need to take your puppy to as many places to meet as many dogs and people as you can in a safe environment, ideally every day, maybe a couple of times a day.

    There are different strategies to approaching it and it will depend a bit on how other owners cope. But do not let your dog attack other dogs, walk her away. Return when she's calm, repeat lots. Try "bar open" ie go to a place where there are lots of dogs, and feed your puppy - hand over hand, little bits of roast chicken (she won't need her dinner after that). Lots of dogs are good things ie she will start to associate the pleasure of chicken with lots of dogs. At this point, it is a good idea to stay separate to the lots of other dogs, but where they can be seen. If they all come in for the treats, you'll have to stop. Do not feed other people's dogs or they will separate you from your puppy dog. That's a PITA. Its a PITA even when you don't feed other dogs and they know you have treats.

    I find it is best to start with if other dogs are not allowed to approach your puppy if she's fearful and agressive. It's best if you approach and walk away - so you will need the help of other dog owners. And until she's calm, and not showing signs of aggression - keep a safe separate distance. Do not believe owners that say their lunging barking dog is "Only playful and boisterous". Allowing your dog contact with these no matter how well meaning is going to be traumatic.

    If you get a trainer / behaviourist, make sure they work with you and the puppy with lots of other dogs. Otherwise - what's the point? Ask your friends, people you see with well behaved dogs, your vet, your dog training club, and the RSPCA or AWL to recommend people who can help.

    Do not quit now - or you will have a dog that is no good with most other dogs. And going for walks will be unpleasant.

    This link might help
    Teaching Bite Inhibition | Dog Star Daily
    and
    Digital Dog Training Textbook | Dog Star Daily
    and before you give up
    Common Excuses For Not Socializing Your Puppy | Dog Star Daily

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Perth, WA
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie's mum View Post
    Hello there,

    I definitely can relate to your situation. When I got married 7 years ago, I was desperate for a puppy and so we went to the shelter and rescued an 8wk old Kelpie x. At the time we thought he was husky also. When he reached around 4 months it became very apparent that he was also part Dingo and he also showed very early signs of fear aggression. He was particularily fearful of children, sounds, people wearing hats and sunglasses and dogs and strangers and could never be in a crowd.

    I was very stupid and I decided that it would be in his best interest to not go to obedience as he was so fearful and reactive and instead we had him privately trained.

    Obedience wise, he was like a soldier and had a recall like I've never seen, but he could never shake this fear aggression.

    Of course we had children a few years later and when my oldest child started walking, Diesel was feeling himself going down the pack, he started peeing in the house again at 4 years old. He hated walking near the pram and would walk very stiffly he didn't want to go near the children and never kissed them or played fetch with them.

    To cut a long story short, Diesel was PTS 2 years ago after attacking my 2 and a half year old daughter. The attack was completely unprovoked and happened right at my feet during one of the only times that they were ever in the same room together.

    I know it's dramatic and I'm not saying that this will happen to you, but my warning to you is that no matter how hard it is for you, you must take him to obedience and work your guts out to help this dog.

    Truly fearful dogs will probably always be fearful but they can be desensitised to a certain extent and improve their quality of life.

    I regard fear aggression as a mental illness in dogs, it's not their fault and they may look healthy but their brain is not.

    Maybe some of you can understand why on earth I got a Pugalier this time round! Quite cheeky but guaranteed to love everyone!!

    I also am now a firm believer that young couples should not get a dog until they have had children. Diesel probably would have been a great companion for us all had he have been brought into our home now and learned to live with the chaos of kids and school pick-ups and playdates and bike riding in the backyard.

    Sorry to be so grim, but I have had too much experience with this and would not want anyone else to go through what I went through.

    All the best and look forward to hearing your progress.


    Thanks for this Rosie's Mum, I really appreciate it. Although I adore dogs my kids will always come first (when I have them), and I know this can be very hard and unsettling for the dog. Hopefully we can work through the issues, and I will get some professional advice too.

    As far as we know she never suffered any abuse and although taken away from her litter when young she was given to a loving foster home with another dog. Not sure what could have caused her fear but perhaps it's genetic, which will make the training harder..... hmmmmm.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Perth, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    What Rosies Mum said.

    I have seen big dog after big dog have no idea how to play nicely and when they're big it is difficult to impossible to teach them. Loads of owners quit when their dog behaves badly or gets stressed out as a puppy.

    You need to take your puppy to as many places to meet as many dogs and people as you can in a safe environment, ideally every day, maybe a couple of times a day.

    There are different strategies to approaching it and it will depend a bit on how other owners cope. But do not let your dog attack other dogs, walk her away. Return when she's calm, repeat lots. Try "bar open" ie go to a place where there are lots of dogs, and feed your puppy - hand over hand, little bits of roast chicken (she won't need her dinner after that). Lots of dogs are good things ie she will start to associate the pleasure of chicken with lots of dogs. At this point, it is a good idea to stay separate to the lots of other dogs, but where they can be seen. If they all come in for the treats, you'll have to stop. Do not feed other people's dogs or they will separate you from your puppy dog. That's a PITA. Its a PITA even when you don't feed other dogs and they know you have treats.

    I find it is best to start with if other dogs are not allowed to approach your puppy if she's fearful and agressive. It's best if you approach and walk away - so you will need the help of other dog owners. And until she's calm, and not showing signs of aggression - keep a safe separate distance. Do not believe owners that say their lunging barking dog is "Only playful and boisterous". Allowing your dog contact with these no matter how well meaning is going to be traumatic.

    If you get a trainer / behaviourist, make sure they work with you and the puppy with lots of other dogs. Otherwise - what's the point? Ask your friends, people you see with well behaved dogs, your vet, your dog training club, and the RSPCA or AWL to recommend people who can help.

    Do not quit now - or you will have a dog that is no good with most other dogs. And going for walks will be unpleasant.

    This link might help
    Teaching Bite Inhibition | Dog Star Daily
    and
    Digital Dog Training Textbook | Dog Star Daily
    and before you give up
    Common Excuses For Not Socializing Your Puppy | Dog Star Daily

    Thanks Hyacinth, some very good ideas. We have actually been following a vet friend's advice and taking her out a lot more than we really should at her age, in order to get the socialisation. She's been to the dog beach several times and gets walks to the local park twice a day. She's only barks at a handful of them, not all, and the real aggression wasn't until the puppy class last night while she was on the lead. The vet nurse seemed unconcerned and said with the right training she'll be fine. We'll just have to monitor to see how she develops and improves. Does worry me though, I'll admit.

  8. #8

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    Often with those mixed breeds, the fear aggression can be an inherited trait and impossible to confirm. Diesel's was inherited and very much because of his breed.

    I do have a slight beef with rescue shelters. I know they do great work rehoming adult dogs, but I thought I was doing the right thing in going to the shelter and not the pet shop to get a puppy and I ended up getting something that was not what I expected and threw me for six, quite frankly.

    I believe you have to have a license to own a Dingo - I was given one no questions asked. Shelters need to do more to ensure that they are not re-homing dogs like Diesel. I tried re-homing Diesel for about a year and I realised that that was out of the question, he simply wouldn't have coped with a new family and I knew he wouldn't pass any tests that the shelters would have done.

    I am lucky that he was taught bite inhibition and so the damage to my daughter's face was not major, but geez, what a lesson to learn!!

    I know I am probably going to be unpopular after this post but at least I had my say! Take it or leave it.

  9. #9

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    Yep some great advice and ideas given

    But all I will say, is that going on what you have written of her,her behaviour - ie ;pushing the old bloke around cause she can- I dont believe she is fear aggressive.
    I would be looking more at a dominance issue with her .
    GageDesign Pet Photography
    Site still in construction so will post link when it's finished.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralley_girl View Post
    Hi all,

    We rescued a pup from up north of WA over a week ago - see pics here (http://www.dogforum.com.au/general-d...es-breeds.html). The first week she showed some typical dominant signs (barging through the door first, growling when we told her off etc.) but we did a lot of research and changed our training and behaviour towards her and she's come a long way in a week and now we think she knows her place in our "pack" (i.e. very loved but at the bottom).
    This has N O T H I N G to do with dominance. Barging through the door first or second or last has nothing to do with dominance, your puppy has no clue that it should or shouldn't be done. She's just barging because she's young and being silly and doesn't know how to behave properly yet. Growling is a sign of not trusting you and being intimidated when you approach in a rough and assertive (read: aggressive) way. Some dogs will defend themselves and will strike back when they're cornered and acted aggressive upon.
    She's fine with my parents labrador although she snaps occasionally and pushes him off his bed and takes his food, and he's too nice and polite to do anything about it (we tell her off and put her outside or in the "naughty room"). I don't want to take her near a stronger more fiesty dog though in case she becomes even mroe scared. Should I keep her around the friendly lab until they learn to get along and she learns he won't harm/fight her?
    The worst thing you do is to put your pup in a "naughty room". Your labrador is a dog. Dogs raise perfect puppies - not us humans If he's not bothered with her behaviour - then let her be. When she goes overboard - he'll let her know and teach her a lesson. You should do the same with other dogs, but pick the same size dogs and those you know that are stable and well behaved.
    We take treats to the park and reward her when she just sniffs other dogs.[/QUOTE]

    Do not reward her when near other dogs. It can caouse jealousy and fight. Dogs can be really posessive of their owner and food when around other dogs. Rather have her leash loose and talk calmly and just let them be.

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