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Old 04-30-2012, 01:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 8 wk old puppy, aggressive?!

This is our 3rd GSD and she is doing something that is really concerning me/scaring me..at this young age, it is very surprising. Sometimes when we pick her up and hold her, she snarls. I mean, bares teeth and snarl growls and looks like she is going to bite. Where is that coming from at such a young age? She doesn't do it every time though. Other times she is licking our face and very happy go lucky. Is she just trying to tell us she has had enough, give her space, leave her alone? When she plays with Duke (our 4 yr old male mix) she stays calm and plays like a normal puppy. When she starts playing with Shelby (our 15 month old GSD) it starts out calm but then turns a bit aggressive. She bares her teeth and snarls at Shelby. Shelby is not as gentle as Duke because she is younger and more hyper in general. She doesn't try to hurt the puppy, but her size and faster movements are more of a challenge to the puppy.
So this concerns me that she is doing this, and especially being so young. Is it normal? Will she grow out of it? Or is it likely that it will get worse without correction?
When she does it, we have been holding her snout (not hard, just to turn it to our face), look her in the eyes and tell her "no, calm down" and in just a few seconds, she has calmed down and then we set her down on the floor.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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a rambunctious 15 month uninhibited dog is not a good playmate for an 8 week old pup. There is a high chance of accidental damage to the pup - you said it yourself , her size , weight and speed . I'll add the excitement and prey element . The pup should not be corrected , the pup should be protected. She is sorely outmatched and is forced into a defensive snarl and teeth baring to protect her physically vulnerable self. And then you correct her? and tell her to calm. It should be the bratty (normal) but still bratty 15 month who should be reigned in and given some obedience and self restraint, manners.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
a rambunctious 15 month uninhibited dog is not a good playmate for an 8 week old pup. There is a high chance of accidental damage to the pup - you said it yourself , her size , weight and speed . I'll add the excitement and prey element . The pup should not be corrected , the pup should be protected. She is sorely outmatched and is forced into a defensive snarl and teeth baring to protect her physically vulnerable self. And then you correct her? and tell her to calm. It should be the bratty (normal) but still bratty 15 month who should be reigned in and given some obedience and self restraint, manners.
I have to agree, she's trying to protect herself from the 15 month old and is getting overwhelmed. You need to show her to trust you to keep her away from harm and she won't feel the need to go to the extremes of snarling and biting
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Shade View Post
I have to agree, she's trying to protect herself from the 15 month old and is getting overwhelmed. You need to show her to trust you to keep her away from harm and she won't feel the need to go to the extremes of snarling and biting
I third this.

As for snarling at YOU... I have no idea lol.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What I am concerned about is an 8 week old snarling and baring teeth at the owner. Not normal, to me.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Does she realize you're coming up to grab her? Or does she snarl when you surprise her? o-o
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Puppy doesn't want to stop playing, puppy growls.
I doubt it's abnormal. Puppy needs to learn that handling by humans is good, and doesn't mean "game's over".
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi ...I had the same issues with my girl when she was that age and a bit younger as I got her when she was just 5 weeks old.

I was so upset that I thought I had a mean dog and was fearful that she was going to grow into a 70 pound snarling bitch.

She would bare her teeth at me and growl and go to bite me.

She did outgrow it and I did have to scruff her pretty firmly at least 10x over a period of 2-3 weeks for her to outgrow that behavior.

I attribute my having to go through this and correct her to the fact that I got her before she should have left her mother (another story).

She is now 15 months old and very sweet and I trust her to never snarl and bite me 100%. Except now she is entering her knucklehead stage a bit when we go out in public and we are working on those issues now. The training never ends as they say.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would find a good behaviorist and have them evaluate your puppy with you. Snarling and growling at the 15 month old sounds like a normal, nervous reaction to a hyper dog that is much bigger than her but snarling like that at you shouldn't be allowed. I wouldn't be correcting her until you get her evaluated.

My aunt and uncle had a puppy like this who at 12 weeks old all of a sudden started snarling, growling, and eventually biting anyone who tried to pick her up. I even took her for a couple of weeks because I thought maybe some time because I though they were just overreacting to normal puppy behavior. That is the only dog I've met that I truly believe had a screw loose. She was wonderful with other dogs, albeit pretty pushy for a 12 week old puppy, and very smart and trainable. But... she would turn into kJ if you touched her when she didn't want you to. Long story short, please find a qualified BEHAVIORIST (not a trainer) to observe the behavior. Can you post a video of it by any chance? Could it just be that she thinks you're playing?
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok I need to add this cus I think there was a misunderstanding from some of the readers.
When she is playing with the other dogs, it always starts out fine. She is the one to always approach the other dogs to play. She never gets upset playing with the 4 year old cus he's "lazy" and plays really gentle. She is fine with Shelby most of the time, but sometimes she does seem to get mad. Shelby doesn't really get too rough and I wouldn't call her "rambunctious", we are right there inches away when they are playing. She's just bigger and faster, so I think it alerts the puppy. Understandable. Any moment that Shelby does get too hyper, we correct HER, not the puppy by saying "calm down" and she does.
My main point of this thread is towards us, not Shelby.
The puppy is only corrected when she growls at US. It's not when we catch her by surprise. It's when she is already in our arms, and apparently she wants out of them immediately so she turns to face us and snarls. That is when we grab her snout and say "No" and wait for her to calm down, then we say "Good girl" give her a quick scratch behind the ears and set her down. It's not just with me or my husband, she does it with the kids too. It may be that she is one of those dogs that hates to be picked up.
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