Tired/nervous pup - snarl bite at face. - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-13-2014, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tired/nervous pup - snarl bite at face.

My pup is just 3 months old and it is very important to me that we recognize what she needs and what we can do to have a happy home with a successful dog. She is a white GSD/husky mix (we think) and she has shown a lack of confidence and some weak nerves. Yesterday we were all at a sledding hill, off to the side her and I were enjoying our own personal space with her on a lead. She seemed to be enjoying herself but then got tired and kept trying to sit and lay down behind me or my husbands feet. I was resting on my knees next to her when a car began pulling up in the area close to us so I grabbed her lead and pulled her towards me so she was safe. I was watching the vehicle, not her face, and when I turned around as I pulled her into me - kind of hugging her - she snarled and reached her head around and bit me sideways on the face.
Not 'hard'. I've never experienced this before and it really worries me. It has affected my interactions with her because I don't known how to understand what happened. Is this fear/aggression? just aggression? warranted? unwarranted? warning sign of problems to come?

What would you suggest I do? Should I have her temperament assessed? We are going to do puppy obedience starting this week. She has no intentional breeding - she is a rescue, but we took her home at 8 weeks.

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Old 01-13-2014, 04:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How long was she outside in the activity for? Pups need downtime and she may have been getting over her threshold without you realizing it. When you pulled her into you, maybe you tweaked one of her limbs or something. I think it was probably just a reaction on her part(young pups would do that with each other).

I would pay more attention to her body language, calming signals and make sure she does have downtime(crate).


I was at a trial and there were two Dutch Shepherd pups/about 4 mos old....they were out all day long(different owners, the pups were littermates) in the cold rain, and they started getting very snarky about 2 hours in. I don't know why the handlers didn't see they were in need of some quiet time. But then some sport people think their pups should be able to deal with everything.

Eventually one of the puppies nailed his hander very hard because she was correcting him for reacting to another dog. It wasn't the pups fault, IMO...she set him up to fail.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
How long was she outside in the activity for? Pups need downtime and she may have been getting over her threshold without you realizing it. When you pulled her into you, maybe you tweaked one of her limbs or something. I think it was probably just a reaction on her part(young pups would do that with each other).

I would pay more attention to her body language, calming signals and make sure she does have downtime(crate).


I was at a trial and there were two Dutch Shepherd pups/about 4 mos old....they were out all day long(different owners, the pups were littermates) in the cold rain, and they started getting very snarky about 2 hours in. I don't know why the handlers didn't see they were in need of some quiet time. But then some sport people think their pups should be able to deal with everything.

Eventually one of the puppies nailed his hander very hard because she was correcting him for reacting to another dog. It wasn't the pups fault, IMO...she set him up to fail.
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to this. I feel much better and I agree that she was over-extended and I understand it is in our hands to prevent those situations. She gets very cranky when she is over tired. We don't see any other aggressive signs from her - it is most likely situational. Again thanks, it means a lot - this site has been so helpful to me already.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just sounds like with suddenness of grabbing lead and pulling her towards you maybe just startled her at 3 month they dont understand that nipping or biting is naughty training class will help though but you may have hurt her without realising when pulled her towards you but more likely think you startled her and she reacted quickly to protect herself sometimes quick movements can frighten young pups wouldn't read too much into it at moment as still very much baby

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Old 01-14-2014, 09:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I know with my Dutch Shep and I did not have the quality of bond at 12 weeks that I have now at 8 months. He has always been head strong and at 12 weeks could be snarky from time to time. I would put this down to 12 week old moodiness but definitely go to class and plan to invest invest invest in this pups first 16 months of life!

Best, very cute pup!
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My mishka gets grumpy too. After 9:00 pm she MUST be in bed or she gets nippy and unreasonable.


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Old 01-14-2014, 10:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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She is 10 weeks, and we brought her home when she was about 5 weeks.


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Old 01-14-2014, 11:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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oh my.....5 weeks is way to young to be away from mom and littermates. Probably lacking bite inhibition that would have been a learned behaviour if left with mom and litter to a minimum of 8 weeks. Redirect all biting to a toy. Time, paience and lots of redirect.
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