Hello, there are a few things my puppy does that cause me a bit of concern. I am a first time dog/GSD owner so I am not sure if this is normal or if I have a problem.
I would be grateful if some experienced people could cast an eye over this list and tell me either - it's normal behaviour OR you need to address this urgently.
Don't get me wrong, I love this dog to bits, I am willing to work with him on anything he needs and to live with any of these behaviours that can't be corrected, but I need to know if he needs
or not. He is in no danger of going back to the shelter.
All of the things he does are linked to aggression (or appear so to me) but this is just the worst of him, most of the time he is a lovely, gentle, friendly puppy.
A bit of background - he didn't have a great start to life, him, his mum and his littermates were rescued from a gypsy camp. I met his mum and she was a nice friendly girl, we are not talking extreme abuse but not the care a dog should get. When he was driven away from the camp he vomited a chip (fry) so I think we might have a root for food issues.
He is somewhere between 10-14 weeks.
1) Food Aggression
I was watching a Leerburg video and saw how much he petted his puppy while it was eating, great I thought, I will give that a go. So with his breakfast today I started stroking his ears, he was fine for a minute or two then started getting upset. Tensing up, growling, giving me looks, I stuck with it trying to reassure him by being gentle and nice voice. Eventually he snapped at me. He did not bite but he whipped round and touched my arm with his teeth - the warning was clear.
- Normal? or Problem?
2) Meeting new people
When we are out an about and see new people he barks at them and pulls towards them on the lead. This isn't a very fierce type of barking but is barking all the same, some people get worried by it. Those that ignore it and come to stroke him he is lovely with, he starts whining and licking and snuggling into his arms - no aggression or fear that I can see at all. Normal or Problem?
3) Meeting new dogs
When a dog comes over to us he has two reactions. If the dog if little, like a jack russell he cowers, rolls on his back and whimpers, very very submissive. If a big dog comes over he acts fierce. He barks and pulls on the lead towards the dog. If the dog comes over he is gentle and touches noses with the dog and settles down. Normal or Problem
He is a big biter of our hands, feet clothes, the kids etc - I am sure all of this is normal, we can;t find any counter bite technique that doesn't excite him more so far so often when he is too fierce it leads to a timeout in his crate - this is when he gets a bit more serious, while he is being carried or lead there he will snarl and lunge and bite with a bit more conviction. Normal or Problem
That is all I can think of for now, please don't get the impression he is a devil dog, he isn't he is lovely, these incidents only happen a very small amount of the time.
We have him booked on British Kennel Club puppy socialization starting on 12th January and plan to follow through with good citizen and the bronze, silver, gold awards and onto agility if we can.
My Uncle was also a Royal Air Force, Military Police, dog handler (guard dogs, personal protection dogs and search dogs) for 10 years so hopefully I have plenty of expert support to fall on but I will not be seeing him until the New Year, so any advise now would be very gratefully recieved