Aggressive Puppy - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Aggressive Puppy

Ok i just typed a mile long question and it didn't go through so this version is going to be shorter due to frustration.

Long story short, when i first got my pup (8 weeks) i was stupid and took her on a trip down to FL with me to visit my friend who just got a 12 week old chocolate lab. The lab was really aggressive and would pin my pup down and make her cry. I quickly separated them but everyone said i was being over protective and that they were puppies just playing. I did a quick google search and it seemed to say the same thing. I let the pups play again and before you know it my pup was whining and running back to me and i would put her up on the couch but she would beg to get back down and run right back at the lab. The lab would pin her and nip her and she would cry and the whole process would repeat itself. The total trip was only for a day and a half but the morning i was leaving i awoke to my dog coughing weird. This is my first pup but a quick googling led me to learn she had kennel cough...great!

So I drove her home (coughing the whole way) and went to the vet that same day. Got her better in a week and she seemed happy as can be. She still is a very happy pup but she is very fearful of other dogs. I don't know if it because of this first interaction (i think it is) or what. She warms up after awhile and eventually plays but larger dogs scare the crap out of her. She will whimper if they simply approach too quickly. I socialize her to the extreme...we walk everyday typically meeting a new dog every time and she sits between my legs until she knows its safe.

Now for my question...will this fear eventually turn into aggression? I plan on going back to Florida this summer for another visit. My pup will be around 7-8 months then and I don't want her to get in an all out fight with my friends chocolate lab. His brother has a pitbull also and I really dont want to deal with my pup getting hurt or hurting one of them. Do you think by that age the pups will be able to play nicer? Also, they are all females so i know that might make a difference.


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 06:10 PM
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Re: Aggressive Puppy

The first info on this link have different forms of aggression.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Aggressive Puppy

does anyone think this one bad weekend has caused her fear?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 10:05 AM
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Re: Aggressive Puppy

That type of play between two puppies seems totally normal to me (assuming that the lab was just nipping and not snarling and growling) -- as does the running back and forth between owner and somewhat scary (but also fun) thing.

Do you know if she exhibited this type of fear before that weekend?

The only thing that I can think of that might lead to this one weekend being the cause of her fear of dogs is if she was in a fear imprint period (which usually happens between 7 and 12 weeks). Given that she was running back to the lab, I think it's unlikely that she was truly that frightened.

It's possible, too, that this is just part of her personality and that she's showing normal apprehensiveness about new dogs and experiences. If there's any safe way to get her together with other pups for play sessions she will be able to learn a lot about how dogs play and communicate. It's especially great if you can get her together with dogs in her same age group because they will have a similar age-appropriate style of play (LOTS of biting and nipping and wrestling and taking turns falling onto their backs -- not much chasing). Some training facilities (or pet stores or doggie daycares) will offer this type of facilitated (the owners are heavily involved) puppy play time -- this is a great way for puppies to socialize without the unpredictability of the dog park. (And if your dog is too scared, they can just sit with you and watch what's going on until they are comfortable.) It's also a great chance for owners to learn how dogs communicate and to learn to watch for signs of when their pup is uncomfortable.

--Rhena, owner of
Juno, White German Shepherd, female b 10-15-2008, adopted 01-05-2009

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Aggressive Puppy

she was in her fear imprint stage...i think getting sick after playing with the other pup didn't help things either. I don't know if she associated her discomfort with the rough play of another dog. Either way she is more apprehensive now than anything. She never barks at people or other animals unless they are around her property. When we are on walks she is pretty much fine unless the other dog barks (she gets scarred) or is really big (somewhat understandable). Thank you for the response Rhena.
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