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Thread: Overwhelming and puppy agression

  1. #1

    Default Overwhelming and puppy agression

    I have an 9 week old pyrennean x lab who we just picked up last weekend. He is great at home and we just adore him. I have been trying to socialise him as it is very important to me that he becomes a very friendly and happy dog, and he has settled in very well with us, but I am concerned about one of his behaviour traits. The first day we had him he growled at my 10 year old brother twice when he tried to pick him up, but my brother just said no to him and proceeded to pick him up (my brother is very confident with animals), so since then the puppy hasn't growled at all at him, he has been just fine. I have taken him out to friends places to play with their puppies, he gets along well with my other dog and he has come with us to ride our horses this week and has been very good. However, last night I took him with me to a trivia night with me, and the kids there all wanted to play with him, Im afraid that I let him get overwhelmed by it all, by letting him go and play with the kids rather than keeping him with me. He let the kids pat him (though by the end of the night he was trying to hide from them) but would growl and snap at them all when they tried to pick him up. I can understand why he did this (dominance, tired, feeling overwhelmed) but im still not happy at all with the behaviour and am afraid this is an indication that he may be aggressive when he is older. Most other puppies I have known will let anyone pick them up and play with them without being aggressive.

    I will continue to try and socialise him in more controlled environments. What are other's thoughts on this? Have I made a big mistake by letting the whole situation happen? Could he still turn out to be a well adjusted and friendly dog? Im very worried at the moment and feeling very uneasy.

  2. #2
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    I do think it was a mistake to put the pup in that situation. I would just start all over and make sure that his experiences with kids from now on are all positive. Which may mean not letting them pick him up at all. Your pup will grow into a big dog and I don't think it is necessary at all to get him used to being picked up. Others may not agree with this, but I just don't see any reason why you would want to pick him up? I never pick up small dogs or pups. I even try to avoid carrying the cat. They have legs, they can walk.

  3. #3
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    Sorry to sound rude but i think its your mistake by letting him get overwhelmed by all the kids.
    My pup is very well socialised (IMO) but when i took him into my daughters kindy he freaked out because he suddenly had 30 odd hands trying to pat him at once.
    Luckily it was only a few days after a vet had visited the kindy with a few dogs and pups and the kindy teacher pulled them all up and reminded them what the vet had taught them about approaching strange dogs. The kids settled down and then took turns one at a time and instead of patting him on his head they where just rubbing his chest so he could see what they where doing to him. He was much better after that. At 9 weeks i wouldnt be too fazed about the biting. The way i see it is they dont have hands so they 'feel' with thier mouths just to suss things out. If he gets worse when he's not being overwhelmed then i would consider taking some sort of training but i'm not really the right person to tell you how. I'm sure others here will have some good advice on that.
    Congrats on the new pup.


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  4. #4
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    Have you thought that it might be pain..........he is a large puppy at nine weeks, because of the cross he is. They often have growth patterns that are very fast and pain is often a part of that.
    Firstly good puppy socialisation should always be under adult supervision, other wise put the puppy in a safe quiet environment. Kids do not often mean it, but they can torment puppies/dogs, all in the name of play.
    A puppy should really only have a small amount of exercise......I am not sure if you just meant visiting the horses or actually out on a ride.

    I have giants, I do puppy socialisation classes and I train dogs.........I never allow kids to be with my puppies alone. I only do short exercise periods and allow the puppy lots of rest.

    I love kids to get to know my puppies and I will allow lots of interaction with the puppy. But I only allow sitting in the lap on the ground, no picking up of large puppies, because it can be painful. If the puppy at anytime gets bashful, timid or shy , I ask kids to move away and wait for the puppy to choose to go to them. Often given some time, puppies will do this.

    The wrong kind of interaction can actually make your puppy aggressive out of fear. Please be very careful and protect your puppy.........Adults are responsible for the safety of the puppies

    There are so many good articles and books on puppy socialisation.........But here is the one and the same again. Please read these free downloads

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  5. #5

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    I definitely know it was my fault letting him get in that situation, there weren't supposed to be kids at the event and I thought it would be a great socialising event for him, but one friend got stuck for baby sitting so her 4 kids came. Im not concerned about chewing, but he was snapping at the kids aggressively- not just chewing with his mouth.

    Sorry I meant visiting the horses- he doesnt come on rides, just lies at my feet and watches my brother ride. I did also consider it could be pain- except he doesnt growl when we pick him up so I thought maybe it was a temperament issue, not pain.

    I know he wont be picked up at all when he is older, so that doesnt worry me too much, im just concerned that it could develop into something more- snapping when just being pat etc?

    I will definitely be more careful in the future- it just got out of hand last night, I was more wondering if he is likely to get over this event, or if it will be detrimental to his future? He is obviously prone to this behaviour as he showed the same to my brother on the first day which was a concern too. In all other ways he has been a lovely puppy. Ive had an aggressive dog before, hence my big concerns about him becoming aggressive.
    Last edited by musicalinstrument; 01-14-2012 at 10:49 AM.

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    What you have to remember that adults are often more polite and pickup better.......usually with supporting the back end......Just back up a few steps and start again, but only allow kids quietly/nicely under your supervision.
    As much as socialization is important at this time. protecting the puppy form what it thinks is frightening is also very important. puppies should be protected form scary events
    Last edited by newfsie; 01-14-2012 at 11:09 AM.
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  7. #7
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    I agree that smaller kids are just too clumsy to pick up a pup that size properly. I now allow my 7yo to carry our cat on occasions, but she only weighs 2 kilos and cats are easier as they are more flexible.

    I understand your concern. My old dog was great with humans but she was a pain with other dogs and it was a constant worry. I think the key is to make sure your pup from now on has only pleasant experiences with kids. And adults and dogs and cats and anyone and anything you can think of! It would be great if you could find some younger kids to play with the pup. But only if the kids listen and do not do anything to make him feel threatened.

    I have drilled my daughter from a very young age into respecting dogs' personal space too. "A dog is not a toy" is a much used phrase in our family!

  8. #8
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    Do you know anything about the temperament of both his parents, that can give you clues. I had a dog once with a debateable temperament. Mother had a lovely temperament but when I met the sire I could see he had mild issues.

    However it is never good to overwhelm a pup. Not all pups want to be manhandled by kids, especially if there is any pain. I had a pup once I had to leave in the backgarden of one of my friends house when I was visiting. Her young daughter went outside and I wasnt worried as they have dogs, but I realised that the child was chasing my pup around the garden with a stick. I went and intervened but my dog although not aggressive never liked children after that traumatic event. She got better when she was older but in her younger years any sign of a child and she would dissapear quickly.

    It is really essential that you give your pup good controlled exposure to children and always stop the interaction while the pup is having fun and before he becomes overwhelmed. Kids are clumsy and inexperienced and any physical interaction with young children should be supervised carefully

  9. #9

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    Yes I met both his parents and pups from the last litter and they are all lovely with great temperaments, hence why I chose him.

    I just took him for a play at a friends and she has a young 2 year old who just ignored the puppy completely (I watched very closely) and good news is the puppy wasn't scared of the child at all, so hopefully that is a good sign.

  10. #10
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    Have you read the Ian Dunbar free downloads yet?? They will really help you
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