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Thread: Struggling with new puppy

  1. #1
    Platinum Member charity's Avatar
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    Struggling with new puppy

    So, myself and my two kids got a puppy. My son, 13 is afraid of dogs and i thought bringing a small puppy into the house could help that. We had been thinking about it for ages, I did my research and thought we were ready. We were so excited! Well well well......

    So I chose a cocker spaniel puppy . I bought her from a very nice and responsible breeder at 9 weeks. I met her parents and older siblings. All seemed like great dogs. She's now 11 weeks. I choose a puppy who was a 'middle of the road puppy'. In the litter of 8 pups she was not the shy quiet one but neither was she the hyper dominant one. She seemed playful yet calm, quiet but affectionate. The first few days everything was great. She was finding her feet, she was affectionate, happy and calm.

    Two weeks later...she's a terror! I dont mind the mess, I dont mind the training, I don't mind the whining or yelping. But the big problem is that she bites...a lot. 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!

  2. #2
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    Get her into training. She is doing puppy things.

    Have you owned a dog before?

    Have you owned a Cocker before? They are subject to ear issues.

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    She's probably teething and it's painful for young dogs. Twist a wet towel and stick it in the freezer. Have a bunch of them and take them out throughout the day and let her chew on them. Be patient with them during this time. It's very uncomfortable for young dogs. Nipping or play biting is also common especially with puppies. Your kids have to learn to deflect and stand their ground. Have dog/puppy-appropriate toys for her to play with and make sure she goes on sufficient walks. You didn't talk about how you walk her. Visit your local store and look into resources for training. Go on the web and be prepared to invest the time for some classes and training. Most of it will be in training YOU so that you and your kids know how to handle her as she grows and establish a more secure bond. It should be based on trust and be translated into every level of command. You'll need to be trained to speak her language and for her to understand your language.

    A common mistake is bringing home a dog expecting it to be therapy to a sick or ailing child or other person and expecting a dog (untrained) to make a human better. That's not how dogs work. If you're looking for more of a therapy dog, try getting her trained (with you) or look into a dog that is already trained and older.

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    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Why would you get a puppy? There are so many adult dogs that are easier.

    Well, now you have it. You need to go to training with her. Sheís doing puppy things.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member charity's Avatar
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    Hi Rose, thank you. Yes I've been giving her lots of chew toys. It works some of the time. I'll try to be even more consistent with that. She hasn't been for walks as shes not had all her vaccinations yet. I hope it'll help when she starts getting more exercise. I do have a garden though so she gets lots of of fresh air. My son is not sick in any way. He was threatened by a dog when he was 4 and he became fearful of dogs. I thought intoducing a small puppy to the house would show him how great and loving dogs could be.

    I guess my question here is....is this (biting, growling, aggression when corrected) normal puppy behaviour?

  7. #6
    Platinum Member charity's Avatar
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    I got a puppy for a few reasons. Firstly, because my son would not have accepted an adult dog due to his fear. A puppy has that baby cute factor that I hoped he' take to. Secondly my daughter so badly wanted a puppy. I had said no for years. For myself I was uncomfortable getting an adult dog who may have not been socialized correctly.

    If whats she's doing is normal puppy things then thats fine because she will outgrow it with consistency and discipline. But is it normal puppy things?

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    It will help once she has all her vaccinations. As soon as you have the all clear from the vet and the go ahead, take her on walks. You're absolutely right not to socialize her or take her out yet until all her vaccinations are complete. Growling and aggression are not normal puppy behaviour. Your dog shouldn't be displaying signs of aggression especially at this age... I'm not sure what you'd term growling and aggression though. Are you sure you're not a bit overly sensitive? (not meant as insult, just wondering) I've seen puppies test themselves but I've never seen a puppy growl with hackles raised. I wouldn't expect a dog that age to know fear like that so early unless something went seriously wrong. I'd definitely speak to someone about this in your local area and look into training (once vaccines are done) if you feel this is an issue or something that you're afraid of becoming an issue in the near future.

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    Originally Posted by charity
    I got a puppy for a few reasons. Firstly, because my son would not have accepted an adult dog due to his fear. A puppy has that baby cute factor that I hoped he' take to. Secondly my daughter so badly wanted a puppy. I had said no for years. For myself I was uncomfortable getting an adult dog who may have not been socialized correctly.

    If whats she's doing is normal puppy things then thats fine because she will outgrow it with consistency and discipline. But is it normal puppy things?
    You should consider training, as it sounds like your first dog.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Adult dogs are almost always better behaved than puppies. And there are small cutesy ones that would help with the fear.

    Puppies are a LOT of work. Like toddler level of work. Yes, the behavior is normal. Yes, itíll take probably about a year before the dog calms down. Which is why itís imperative to get it trained right away. And your whole family needs to be involved in the training b

  11. #10
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    It will help once she has all her vaccinations. As soon as you have the all clear from the vet and the go ahead, take her on walks. You're absolutely right not to socialize her or take her out yet until all her vaccinations are complete. Growling and aggression are not normal puppy behaviour. Your dog shouldn't be displaying signs of aggression especially at this age... I'm not sure what you'd term growling and aggression though. Are you sure you're not a bit overly sensitive? (not meant as insult, just wondering) I've seen puppies test themselves but I've never seen a puppy growl with hackles raised. I wouldn't expect a dog that age to know fear like that so early unless something went seriously wrong. I'd definitely speak to someone about this in your local area and look into training (once vaccines are done) if you feel this is an issue or something that you're afraid of becoming an issue in the near future.
    I agree, I doubt itís aggression but rather puppy growling (play growling)

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