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Thread: Struggling with new puppy

  1. #21
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Honestly, I'd return her. Not because she's a bad dog, but because I can assure you she hasn't permanently bonded exclusively to you or your family that young and after only two weeks, and that it's quite simply not too late. She's enough of a headache for you now without involving a trainer, being trained yourself, and fronting even more money for the benefit of the additional effort. Who knows how effective it will all be, and even if it is, whether you feel it will be worth it for you and your family. Additionally, there's no guarantee your son will overcome his fear of the dog. You're vastly better off making friends with someone whose adult dog is demonstrably well socialized with strangers and acquaintances, and bringing your son over to interact with him than you are. Or perhaps better yet him volunteering at shelters at his leisure once he's old enough to (should he desire to overcome the fear) would be better. Or even just getting an older dog. There are about 1,000 better ways.

    Being frank, and knowing it's not your explicit intent, dogs are living animals not meant to have their most adoptable and formative weeks / months gambled on whether it'll help Timmy overcome his fear. Additionally, it doesn't appear you're getting or intend to get any working / functional benefit from the dog. I just don't see the point. I'd chalk it up as an experiment that wasn't meant to happen and eat whatever costs you may have forfeited adopting and returning the dog.

    I'm not judging. Everyone makes mistakes. And so long as it's two weeks back and forth and the puppy's still at prime adoption age for another loving family, I don't see much harm done. Best of luck.

    And FWIW, I don't think it's possible to "responsibly" purebreed a 150+ year old bloodline.
    Last edited by j.man; 09-21-2019 at 02:48 PM.

  2. #22
    Platinum Member charity's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=j.man;7164946]Honestly, I'd return her. Not because she's a bad dog, but because I can assure you she hasn't permanently bonded exclusively to you or your family that young and after only two weeks, and that it's quite simply not too late. She's enough of a headache for you now without involving a trainer, being trained yourself, and fronting even more money for the benefit of the additional effort. Who knows how effective it will all be, and even if it is, whether you feel it will be worth it for you and your family. Additionally, there's no guarantee your son will overcome his fear of the dog. You're vastly better off making friends with someone whose adult dog is demonstrably well socialized with strangers and acquaintances, and bringing your son over to interact with him. Or perhaps better yet him volunteering at shelters at his leisure once he's old enough to (should he desire to overcome the fear) would be better. Or even just getting an older dog. There are about 1,000 better ways.

    Being frank, and knowing it wasn't your express intent, dogs are living animals not meant to have their most adoptable and formative months / years gambled on whether it'll help Timmy overcome his fear. Additionally, it doesn't appear you're getting or intend to get any working / functional benefit from the dog. I just don't see the point. I'd chalk it up as an experiment that wasn't meant to happen and eat whatever costs you may have forfeited adopting and returning the dog.

    I'm not judging. Everyone makes mistakes. And so long as it's two weeks back and forth and the puppy's still at prime adoption age for another loving family, I don't see much harm done. Best of luck.[/Q





    That's honestly so hard to read. I always respect your advice so I'm not dismissing it. I absolutely hear you. But I have to give it some more time and effort before I do that because that would be a very very sad thing for me to do.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by charity
    As she"s gotten more confident I'm realizing she is very headstrong. I give her chew toys but she still bites me. If we yelp (common internet advice) she ignores and keeps biting. If we walk away she runs and lunges after us. If I am very strong and dominant with her ( common advice also) she seems to become even more aggressive. If i put her to another room she scratches and whines very loudly. While being affectionate with me she will bare her teeth and go for my face.

    Now she has a lovely side too. She is affectionate and intelligent. She sleeps a fair bit and is not a hyper puppy. Neither has she drawn blood so yes she is mostly controlling her bite force. However, the bites do hurt and she looks quite fieresome when she open her mouth. My daughter gets scared of her though she loves her. I'm not scared of her but i do am actually struggling with her. I can safely say she is more difficult then either of my kids ever were. The sad thing is that the more she behaves badly the more I start to dislike her. Im worried I've chosen a headstrong dominant dog that will be hard to handle when older. I'm worried my sons fear of dog's will be worsened. I'm ashamed to say I'm considering returning her to the breeder.

    Okay, advice is welcomed, particulary if anyone has had a puppy who bites a lot!
    It's hard to tell from your description whether this is aggression or just puppy-play. Puppies do bite and the baring of the teeth and growling is a form of canine-communication. Sometimes it means aggression, but sometimes it can actually be affection.

    My dog used bite at my face. She did this to me as a puppy, and well into her adult years. Anyone seeing it would probably think she was attacking me. She'd bare her teeth right up against my face and snap her teeth shut a couple of times, all the while making her 'snuffling' noise. I bared my teeth right back at her and made the same noises. And I'd smack at her teeth and she'd nip at my fingers and growl like a rabid nut. But she never actually bit. This was what we did on weekend mornings as we sat on the couch and watched TV. Our bonding ritual.

    If you have a dominant dog (like I did--also of the spaniel family), you can't be afraid of her. You have to be the boss. If you're not comfortable with that, then as another poster said, consider giving her away. This very early stage of bonding would be the best time for all involved. And she will be much more adoptable as a puppy than as an adult with a "record."

  4. #24
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    The puppy is playing not being aggressive . And probably teething . I would get her into training now .

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  6. #25
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    My shepherd was a big goof even at 12 weeks but never growled. His paws were too big for his body and his ears were still floppy then. I didn't encourage any tug o war games or games that encouraged aggression or aggressive responses even at play. In this way I think he grew up very trusting in general and made friends very easily at dog parks and public places. He remained fearless around extremely aggressive dogs and never had confidence issues. He was often happy go lucky and a pack leader. When he was young he did tend to chase after more insecure dogs (yappy dogs that were poorly socialized) out of curiosity. He had to be taught not to prey on smaller dogs because of their insecurity or fearfulness because he had never come in contact with that before. I'd emphasize trust and confidence and always keep in mind that your dog is your liability from puppyhood to adulthood.

    If he wanted attention in one way and it wasn't acceptable, I'd deflect and show him how to behave instead (replacing a non-acceptable behavior for one that is acceptable). Like Jibralta we also played but it was mostly playful. It wasn't unusual for me to get down to his level on the floor and sit with him or lay there and play. Dogs will test you and try to gain the upper hand. It's not because they disrespect you or have any personal vendetta against you. They're testing to see how far they can get and how malleable you are as a dog owner. For her safety, you should be able to establish that bond and trust/connection with your dog where what you say goes and it's non-negotiable. There may be any number of events that happen later on in your lives and it's on you to protect your pet and other pets or anyone else in the surrounding area (to trust that your dog is not a loose cannon).

    There was some nipping too in puppyhood but he outgrew it (they all generally do unless there's no proper training). I think some dog breeds may be more prone to attention-getting or needing that secure bond/trust established. They may need to be told and trained more than other breeds. The shepherd I had was trusting and obedient by nature but very strong. I had my own challenges at the 6 month to 1 year mark and it took us awhile to get used to walking nice for example. I used positive reinforcements and if there was unacceptable behaviour, as I mentioned above, I'd replace it immediately with an alternate behaviour. Then positive reinforcement again. And again and again.

    Every exercise you do with your dog will be an exercise in bonding and trust. I really hope it works out for your dog and your family. It takes work but it sure is worth it.

  7. #26
    Platinum Member charity's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    My shepherd was a big goof even at 12 weeks but never growled. His paws were too big for his body and his ears were still floppy then. I didn't encourage any tug o war games or games that encouraged aggression or aggressive responses even at play. In this way I think he grew up very trusting in general and made friends very easily at dog parks and public places. He remained fearless around extremely aggressive dogs and never had confidence issues. He was often happy go lucky and a pack leader. When he was young he did tend to chase after more insecure dogs (yappy dogs that were poorly socialized) out of curiosity. He had to be taught not to prey on smaller dogs because of their insecurity or fearfulness because he had never come in contact with that before. I'd emphasize trust and confidence and always keep in mind that your dog is your liability from puppyhood to adulthood.

    If he wanted attention in one way and it wasn't acceptable, I'd deflect and show him how to behave instead (replacing a non-acceptable behavior for one that is acceptable). Like Jibralta we also played but it was mostly playful. It wasn't unusual for me to get down to his level on the floor and sit with him or lay there and play. Dogs will test you and try to gain the upper hand. It's not because they disrespect you or have any personal vendetta against you. They're testing to see how far they can get and how malleable you are as a dog owner. For her safety, you should be able to establish that bond and trust/connection with your dog where what you say goes and it's non-negotiable. There may be any number of events that happen later on in your lives and it's on you to protect your pet and other pets or anyone else in the surrounding area (to trust that your dog is not a loose cannon).

    There was some nipping too in puppyhood but he outgrew it (they all generally do unless there's no proper training). I think some dog breeds may be more prone to attention-getting or needing that secure bond/trust established. They may need to be told and trained more than other breeds. The shepherd I had was trusting and obedient by nature but very strong. I had my own challenges at the 6 month to 1 year mark and it took us awhile to get used to walking nice for example. I used positive reinforcements and if there was unacceptable behaviour, as I mentioned above, I'd replace it immediately with an alternate behaviour. Then positive reinforcement again. And again and again.

    Every exercise you do with your dog will be an exercise in bonding and trust. I really hope it works out for your dog and your family. It takes work but it sure is worth it.
    Okay thanks Rose that's very helpful advice

  8. #27
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    I really like the idea of having your son volunteer at animal shelters. My friendís son is 9 and has been doing this for about a year and heís so proud of himself as he should be. I too would cut losses now especially since it sounds like you also risk your puppy biting someone who comes to the house if this is the situation now. Also I think in the meanwhile your sonís fears will worsen with this type of behavior.

  9. #28
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    Lots of dogs, even adult ones "mouth", ie they bite but there is no actual force or intention to hurt behind it. I work in a veterinary hospital and that has happened to me a fair few times. Have you considered what is happening when your puppy bites or shows what may be aggression rather than play aggression? Lots of people think that dogs enjoy all sorts of things that they really don't and she could be getting massively stressed out. Kids especially will do things like dressing up the animal, picking them up, getting them to participate in human things, but there can also be stressors within the environment in terms of noises, nowhere for the dog to escape to, no place that is exclusively their own etc. Be consistent with the "yelping", immediately stop whatever you were doing when the biting/aggression started and turn your back, reward positive behaviour and do not shout. If you are intent on keeping the puppy (which doesn't sound like a good idea, given your son's fear) then puppy training classes are a must and you may need the assistance of a behaviour specialist. I had to get help from one when my ex-husband and I adopted an adult rescue Springer who kept going for me right from the moment we got him home. Although he could never be fully trusted, his behaviour after we worked with him using her techniques massively improved.

  10. #29
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I agree with others. Seek professional dog training and leave it up to the experts for the best advice and teachings. Plus, you need to reinforce what's taught to your dog.

    I just finished giving my 14 year old dog a great life. She passed away in Jan. 2019. She went through her puppy stage, matured and became the type of dog who is of 'Guide Dog' for the blind caliber. She was that smart, calm, quiet and behaved extremely well. She's the finest lady I had ever met. I miss her terribly. I doubt I'll own another dog though. I agree, dogs are a lot of work. However, I miss the companionship of a dog.

    Anyway, you'll be fine with professional dog training. You have to remain patient and continue training for the dog's life.

  11. #30
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    Puppies are babies. They chew on everything - including you. You should tell her "no" or "leave it" and give her something she CAN bite.

    I think the WORST thing to do when a child is afraid of dogs is to get a dog.
    you get over your child's fear by getting to know other people that have older, calm dogs (since your child might panic) and make slow, brief introductions - plan to be out walking and have the dog owner agree ahead of time to let them briefly meet or meet in a relaxed environment where the child can simply observe the dog.

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