8 week old pup acting oddly help! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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8 week old pup acting oddly help!

I brought my 8 week old pup home Sunday. She seemed to growl and snap at my adult female when she startled her, but I decided she was probably just overwhelmed from a 6 hour car ride. She was VERY well socialized with many other Shepherds at the breeder. I met mom, dad, and grandmother and all were very gentle and sweet. Other pups from them are fantastic also (snooped on social media for about a year prior). She is very smart, land shark like my other two of course. Very friendly toward people of all sizes, races, and ages so far (we met some family and friends). She is very laid back and calm all but morning and right before bed. Everything else is picture perfect except for this. She happily plays with my big girl now, but has offered a growl with no play markers, and stiffening/freezing several times. Once at night when she was created and my big girl got up, once when my big girl was coming up the stairs, and once upon meeting. I work with dogs with severe behavioral issues, so these have my pretty worried. I’ve raised two sheps, one was very badly treated as a young pup. Neither had these things pop up so early on. My worry is from a standpoint of issues arising <12 weeks of age. I’ve worked with and trained adolescent and adult dogs for 5 years, and I’ve seen so much bad. Is this just a normal thing? How long before I should be worried? I expected the barking/whining/biting/play growls with play signs, but not what looks so much like fear/defensive aggression. I just don’t know enough. I’ve studied puppy development, but it’s all book knowledge so I’m not sure what to do. Should I chalk it up to fear period and wait until 11wks? If it still persists mention to the breeder? She has startled at other household things without anything but a retreat then a swift ‘lets be friends’ but non human living things seem a bit different. It SEEMS reasonable. Dark, semi trapped by leash or crate, big creature coming out of nowhere. It seemed like she MAY have let a small growl (didn’t notice for sure) at a cart in a parking lot (carried her, needed to buy a lock, didn’t want to leave her unattended) but immediately was best friends once a person was around it. I feel like I might be overthinking it, but I just don’t know.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:03 PM
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How old is your older dog? How is she behaving when the puppy reacts to her? Is it possible she startled the puppy or accidentally hurt her?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:24 PM
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How did you introduce them?
This is the 5th day in a strange environment, new home, new people, new dogs, everything she knew has been turned upside down.
Does she have a crate, placed maybe somewhere or higher up, where she can observe everything that is going on while still feeling safe?


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:33 PM
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Puppies change so much over time, and your pup (a) has been with you less than a week, and (b) is such a new arrival and very young. So I wouldn't worry too much about it. But at the same time I wouldn't forget about it or brush it off as nothing because it is a part of her temperment that you could see more of in the future.

It sounds to me like she's got spunk, pretty brave for 8 wks old even though it's probably fear motivated, the fact that her response is of a fight rather than flight variety at this age, says to me that you will want to make sure she is well socialized and (as with all puppies) taught clear bohndaries as she's growing up. But again, don't read too much into these incidents, the fact she's playing with your older dog indicates, from my perspective, that things are going okay. Just give her time to adjust...
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It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:47 PM
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Puppies change so much over time, and your pup (a) has been with you less than a week, and (b) is such a new arrival and very young. So I wouldn't worry too much about it. But at the same time I wouldn't forget about it or brush it off as nothing because it is a part of her temperment that you could see more of in the future.

It sounds to me like she's got spunk, pretty brave for 8 wks old even though it's probably fear motivated, the fact that her response is of a fight rather than flight variety at this age, says to me that you will want to make sure she is well socialized and (as with all puppies) taught clear bohndaries as she's growing up. But again, don't read too much into these incidents, the fact she's playing with your older dog indicates, from my perspective, that things are going okay. Just give her time to adjust...

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
How old is your older dog? How is she behaving when the puppy reacts to her? Is it possible she startled the puppy or accidentally hurt her?
They were introduced outside on neutral ground. My older girl is 5 years old. She likes her/initiates play. She was slow to approach and had friendly posture. She is trained public access/medical alert. New pup was supposed to take her spot when she retires, thinking that might not be her route now. She pretty much just takes a step back or just looks up at me for direction. No chance she was injured as sheÂ’s never out of view unless crated or in a playpen.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tim_s_adams View Post
Puppies change so much over time, and your pup (a) has been with you less than a week, and (b) is such a new arrival and very young. So I wouldn't worry too much about it. But at the same time I wouldn't forget about it or brush it off as nothing because it is a part of her temperment that you could see more of in the future.

It sounds to me like she's got spunk, pretty brave for 8 wks old even though it's probably fear motivated, the fact that her response is of a fight rather than flight variety at this age, says to me that you will want to make sure she is well socialized and (as with all puppies) taught clear bohndaries as she's growing up. But again, don't read too much into these incidents, the fact she's playing with your older dog indicates, from my perspective, that things are going okay. Just give her time to adjust...
It indeed is the spunk that has me thinking. She definitely has a lot of that. Not much scares her for sure.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sunflowers View Post
How did you introduce them?
This is the 5th day in a strange environment, new home, new people, new dogs, everything she knew has been turned upside down.
Does she have a crate, placed maybe somewhere or higher up, where she can observe everything that is going on while still feeling safe?
She has a playpen with a crate inside. She already goes in it on her own to sleep if I lay in the bed. She has finally started showing some puppy energy. First few days were no mouthing, much sleeping, no vocalizing.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 10:40 PM
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For now while she is getting used to her new home, try crating and rotating. Keep them separated most of the time. Work with her on the basic training she needs to have as an adult alert dog. Did you train the older one? It’s a good idea to get a puppy now, a friend has a guide dog and at age 7-8 her first dog stopped wanting to go anywhere or work. She was without a dog for almost a year while she got back in line for a replacement. At age 5, you don’t know when your older one will retire herself.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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For now while she is getting used to her new home, try crating and rotating. Keep them separated most of the time. Work with her on the basic training she needs to have as an adult alert dog. Did you train the older one? It’s a good idea to get a puppy now, a friend has a guide dog and at age 7-8 her first dog stopped wanting to go anywhere or work. She was without a dog for almost a year while she got back in line for a replacement. At age 5, you don’t know when your older one will retire herself.
I trained her myself with some assistance now and then with any questions that popped up along the way. She had some big fear issues with floor transitions, escalators, and whining, but thatÂ’s about it. Went the educator e-collar route with her. Just turned into a nice light and vibration recall after her adolescence. Thanks for the advice, itÂ’s appreciated.
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