5th August 2011, 07:37 PM
Aggression in Rescue Pup?
My rescue/foster puppy will be 6 weeks old tomorrow. So far I have seen a few signs in him that are causing me to worry. 1) he is humping things, I never knew dogs this young would begin this behavior. I distract him when he does it and he stops. 2) he sometimes gets VERY nasty, huge growls showing teeth, posturing, etc. Last night we were playing with a toy and he got very angry in the middle of it and attacked the toy and then moved onto my hand and it nearly drew blood.
I am so sad because he is otherwise a very good boy, and is already learning sit! I have him play with other dogs almost every day, and his bite inhibition on people is going very well except when he gets into his nasty little bouts. Is it normal for a puppy this age to experiment with these behaviors, or are negative solo-puppy side effects already beginning that I cannot reverse?
5th August 2011, 08:43 PM
This is all normal puppy behaviour - this is NOT aggression, it's play behaviour to learn how to act as adults. The humping is not sexual.
Normally the pups would learn from each other and from their Mother what is acceptable behaviour, they really need this socialisation period to grown into adults with the skills needed for interacting with other dogs and with people.
IS there no way the litter can be brought up together? This would be the best way to ensure happy, sociable adults.
If he bites then you need to say "OW" very loudly and withdraw your attention from him, this is what his littermates and Mother would do.He will quickly learn that the game stops when he bites - IMHO and experience you can let them mouth your hands gently [obviously do not encourage it, it's not a game] but NOT bite you, so they develop bite sensitivity, This is what they would learn from littermates and that way if they ever find themselves in the situation of a bite they know that it is not acceptable to apply pressure.
Familiarise yourself with Ian Dunbar's articles and free downloads http://dogstardaily.com/free-downloads
it is ESSENTIAL that this is handled correctly, and you need the information to raise the puppy up successfully.
What are you going to do with him during the Wedding?
5th August 2011, 09:12 PM
Yes I always yelp when he bites and I discourage and redirect his biting onto toys, otherwise I end the game. WIth that he has been getting very good at play biting my hands gently from the two weeks I have had him. But the other night it was INCREDIBLY aggressive, - if what I saw had been in an adult dog it would have been a bad situation.
Originally Posted by Nicki
I have contact info from 5 of his litter mates and he gets to go play with them. I also have called 3 local shelters asking about litters and none of them had a litter he could join :\
During the wedding my neighbor is going to puppy-sit him.
I am still worried he is going to grow up to be dominant and aggressive though, but I also have never had a puppy this young before and it could be normal and I am over protective...
5th August 2011, 09:41 PM
I would second what Nicki says. Your puppy isn't only missing out on constant playing with a peer group, he's also missing out on interaction with older dogs - not just his mother but other older dogs, who would have dealt with this sort of biting with a good growl, if not a nip or batting the uppity pup across the floor! In many ways it's great that he's so confident (not dominant) after his awful start in life, he just needs to learn his own strength, and what is and isn't acceptable. In the absence of canine mentors, he's only got you!
Kate, Oliver and Aled
6th August 2011, 11:29 PM
7th August 2011, 12:19 AM
Thanks everyone. I do understand it is all good and play, but there have just been a few incidents where he was more extreme than normal. He growls, barks, and plays a lot, nips a lot, and that I am doing fine with. What worries me is how he has reacted a few times in a way I viewed as extreme. I wish I could have it on video to get your opinions !!! Because he absolutely snarled snapped and jumped, I swear his hackles were up and he was baring his teeth...just looked too nasty for the pup to do.
I have the Ian Dunbar book for after you get your puppy and am already working on several things
7th August 2011, 12:42 AM
I agree with what has already been said. It's not dominance or aggression. I've seen this a lot in puppies separated from the mom & litter too young. I know he has Coco but it is very different then being raised by a mom with litter mates. Remember dogs don't speak "human" so he may not be receiving the proper ques with his behavior. Most puppies will outgrow it with proper socialization. In a puppy with this tendentious I would NOT allow games like tug away or anything that involves him nipping or playing rough. Continue discouraging his behavior. If a game turns too rough...walk away and ignore him. He is also at the VERY nippy puppy stage that many owners don't see because there puppy is still with the mom. Puppy teeth are SUPER sharp at this age too!
One of our pups came to use super young when I lived with my mom. We called him a Tasmanian devil because he growled, barked, snarled, and made so many scary sounding noises. Hahaha he outgrew most of it by 3-4 months of age and with proper training and turned into a normal sweet dog.