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Old 01-03-2014, 04:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Puppy growling and biting 14yo dog

Hi everyone, I'm a newbie here (and to forums in general) so please forgive me if I am not posting this correctly.

We just got a 9 week old puppy who upon meeting our 14 yo love of a dog began growling, barking, lunging and snapping at her. I immediately turned the puppy on her side and firmly said no. My old girl just walked away, too docile to do anything about it and I redirected the puppy with a toy. The next morning the puppy came down with Parvo. Fantastic! She just came home last night from the hospital and resumed her bad behavior to our senior dog. I again repeated the steps above and she seemed to start getting the message, even opting to cuddle with her to take a nap, which my old girl more than tolerated. But, when she turned to reposition her old bones they came nose to nose and the puppy acted aggressively again toward her. Again, I put her on her side and then redirected. I expect this to continue for awhile. My questions to all of you, whom are much more experienced with GSD dogs in general and puppies are:

1.) is this normal GSD puppy behavior? I've never seen this with the 5 puppies I've raised before but they weren't GSDs.
2.) I'm seeing conflicting reports on putting her on her side in response to this behavior-is this the right thing to do and if not, what should I do instead?
3.) Does this behavior signal we have the makings of an aggressive dog? I have the time, patience, resources and energy to ensure this puppy turns out to be a loving and amiable member of our family. We will be taking a lot of classes once she has her vaccinations and the Parvo is completely behind us.
4.) will this behavior go away with consistent training?

Thank you for your time and assistance with this. I really appreciate any advice anyone has!

Last edited by Stassie'smama; 01-03-2014 at 04:31 PM. Reason: Grammatical error
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Can you post a video of the behavior?
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That is an "alpha roll" and completely worthless. She's a puppy. Redirect her with a toy and teach her what is appropriate. She'll learn. It took a couple weeks for my puppy to learn not to drag the cat thru the house by his tail.

No, it does not mean you'll have an aggressive dog. It means you have a puppy. Congratulations on your landshark!
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes. It is normal GSD puppy behavior. Please stop putting the puppy on her side. She is not being aggressive. She is playing. 9 weeks is much too young to even consider aggression. Just redirect her, if she starts getting to rough. Give you senior dog a break from her, if need be. Put the pup in a crate or gate her in another room.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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In my opinion, a 14 yr old dog does not need to put up with puppy behavior. I had my deposit for Seger in the mailbox the night before we lost our senior so I didn't experience it but our thoughts were to keep them separated just so she didn't have to deal with it. I think you should redirect and engage the puppy as soon as she starts. Laying next to your senior is fine. Playing gently is fine. Any rough play should immediately get redirected.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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the senior dog deserves more respect than to be mauled by a puppy.

keep them separated .
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for taking the time to give me advice on this matter. I will definitely stick to redirecting rather than laying her on her side first. I'm glad to hear this isn't a sign of an aggressive dog. It certainly didn't seem like she was playing as the first time it was over my older dog's food dish and the second scenario could have been territorial of the space on the couch with me. Her tail wasn't wagging at all and her bark was different, but we are just getting to know each other and we certainly could be misreading the behavior.

Ideally, we would have waited until our old girl passed to get the puppy but my husband is an on-call firefighter who is gone all hours of the night and his full time job is ramping up his travel schedule this year. With little ones at home we needed some protection. There have been some break-ins in our neighborhood recently, leaving us feeling a bit vulnerable. My family has been trading off time with our old girl one on one while the others are with the puppy so she doesn't feel isolated or replaced. Thanks again for the help!
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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And in regards to the food, I've already separated that and pick up the dishes when they are done eating. Unfortunately, our old girl has always been a grazer so I'm going to have put her food down when the puppy has outside play time or crate time and then pick it back up when the puppy is out and about.
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stassie'smama View Post
And in regards to the food, I've already separated that and pick up the dishes when they are done eating. Unfortunately, our old girl has always been a grazer so I'm going to have put her food down when the puppy has outside play time or crate time and then pick it back up when the puppy is out and about.
That will work, though it wouldn't for me in my house. If your older dog is a grazer, it's because they aren't hungry! So I'd just change it up and start having mealtimes in the house.

Glad you are seeing that your puppy is just playing. And it's your 'job' to play with your puppy not your older dog (though they may start up as they get more used to each other). Be aware that GSD puppies really do bite hard (bleeding hard) when they play ................. but it's still PLAY.

We had to make a sticky cause of this! ---> Puppy biting... Hints and tips to help

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Old 01-04-2014, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stassie'smama View Post

Ideally, we would have waited until our old girl passed to get the puppy but my husband is an on-call firefighter who is gone all hours of the night and his full time job is ramping up his travel schedule this year. With little ones at home we needed some protection. There have been some break-ins in our neighborhood recently, leaving us feeling a bit vulnerable. My family has been trading off time with our old girl one on one while the others are with the puppy so she doesn't feel isolated or replaced. Thanks again for the help!

If you waited for an ideal time, you would never have a dog.

Just a side note: It will be at least a year before you even have a dog that will be a deterrent. More like two before you see any defense from her. If you wanted a dog as protection, you probably should have gone with an adult.

Where do you feed the puppy? Seger gets fed in his crate. Not because our adults will take his food, but because he doesn't know to stay out of theirs. He is not released until they are done eating. So give your senior her food and when she walks away, pick it up and then let her out.
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