Is this normal? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Is this normal?

We didn't go through the puppy stage with our previous GSD -and he never was aggressive toward us. Our new puppy just growled and snapped at me when I went to pick her up. I am the main food giver, caregiver, etc.

She just turned 12 weeks old, and is starting the phase we read about in seeking independence a bit more (no longer following us around as much, going to the neighbor's houses when before she was too timid) - is this part of the independence phase or is this the beginning of aggressive behavior? Our other rescued GSD had issues, but he never growled or snapped at us.

Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 08:39 PM
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No. Not normal.
I would start with a vet check. If something hurt when you picked her up, that may be why she reacted that way.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 10:22 PM
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Sassy little bitch you have......

Agreed, it is not tolerable to have a pup/dog growling and snapping at you.

Better it be a young pup than an older have ample opportunity to make the appropriate changes. Exploring the world together at 12 weeks is a fine time.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2014, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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This makes me nervous, as we have a kiddo as well. We didn't want to have the aggression issues, and were specifically trying to avoid that. I'm not sure how to work on this, as it was completely out of the blue. We are starting by giving her treats when we pick her up...could it be that was she just overtired and acting in a toddler like way? Thanks for your input.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-18-2014, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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We have been training her and we have had people in public comment on how her great temperament, so this is quite disconcerting. She knows come, down, sit, paw (for shake, so we can teach her to ring the bells eventually), look, is getting the beginnings of gentle and leave it, as well as crate. We had been out and about a bit that day, so we think part of it was overtired and over socialized, but we've done that on other occasions by accident and she didn't growl, snap and bite at us.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone else have any input? Is this aggression? Thanks!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 12:16 PM
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A quick vet visit to check for anything that might be causing her pain is a good idea. She may have just had gas. If nothing is wrong, then you can begin NILIF to assert that she has to work for what she wants and snipping and growling get nothing. At only 12 weeks you have a great opportunity to train out this behavior. I would not go with punishment for wrong behavior but reinforcing good behavior, like you said about giving treats. Remember treats do not have to be food, they can be happy words, petting, toys, etc. At this age I wouldn't call it aggression specifically, its more like trying out the boundaries. Stay consistent in your training. Have you tried clicker training at all? Clickers are great for teaching new behaviors as you can click when they get it right and mark that behavior so they know when they hear the clicker they did something right. Good luck, you have many stages to go through. Don't give up and you will be rewarded with a magnificent animal and pet for your family.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 12:22 PM
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I won't comment on what it is because for experienced dog trainers(which I am not), you really have to see it. It could be a number of things or several things at the same time. I would do as the first response suggested and make sure it's not something physically wrong first. That's something that can be quickly determined. If that checks out, then start looking at mental aspect. Once the physical option is addressed, then it may be easier for people here to help you. It's a matter of elimination.

Just a suggestion, and it's where I would start.

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