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We brought home an adorable 8wk Old GSD Puppy on Saturday. She seems to be acclimating okay, but I do have some concerns. We have an 8yr old Shep/Lab mix and they are getting along mostly, but randomly the puppy with growl, snark and bite at our older dog. And she is pretty protective of her food. It doesn’t seem like she is playing when she does this, it’s not the puppy growls during tug of war. Should we be concerned for the future, will she grow out of it. And is there any ideas to break her of the habit before it becomes more solidified? Thanks!
 

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Congrats on the pup! I wouldnt worry about it. The little guy is only 8 weeks old and youve only had him for 2 days so this is a huge adjustment period. Its not aggressive behavior because they dont really have that in them yet. Just make sure you dont leave them alone together without them being supervised and if you see the pup overly annoying the older one just crate him for a little and let him cool off. Id worry more about the older dog finally being over it and biting him or something which could give him some fear issues in the future. Other than that Id give it about 2 weeks before they are sharing a bed.
 

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I 2nd dogma's advice. Start crate-training the puppy for house-training purposes, train the puppy to start liking its crate by feeding it in the crate, tossing treats in there, and making it a safe space for the puppy to get rest.

The older dog probably won't be aggressive toward the puppy. Older dogs tend to let pups get away with a lot before there's even a warning growl, BUT... adult dogs LOVE puppy food. Higher fat content... yum! And your pup needs all his food! So, help him out and feed him in his crate where the older fella can't steal it.
 

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I have to disagree with BlitzTheGSD. I had the same issue when mine was that young. I shrugged it off then, thinking it was harmless. Now at 10 months old and 80 lbs, I can't get near his food. He's snapped at me and even drew blood. If I were you I would take the advice of any of the more experienced members here and nip this in the bud before she gets big like mine.
 

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Like a cute baby smarting off, at the time some laugh and think it's cute but when it's a teen or adult it's not so funny.

Nip that in the bud! Place your hands in the food bowl when it's eating. Feed her by hand from time to time. That reminds them where the food comes from and teaches them to gently take from your hands.
I always feed mine side by side. I correct when/ if they growl or try to eat the others, praising when doing good. I always put my hand in their bowls and touch them all over while they eat. If i am showed aggression i correct them and praise when doing good.
My older dog and new puppy play together a lot however i know he gets tired and so either i play with her and let him rest or i crate her for a bit with a treat and her fav chew. I never leave tgem alone together, she goes in her crate if I'm out or away.

The aggression to the old dog probably will get worse unless your older dog or you correct her on it. My pup likes to bite my olders dog back feet and pull his tail. My older dogs is a very gentle spirit and corrects her gently, however she won't stop sometimes so thats when big bad momma gives her a little pat on the booty and tells her no! She stops and goes find something else to chew or bother.

So yeah, if a puppy shows aggression it will only get worse until leader of the pack steps in and shows them who's boss and how they should behave.
 

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Does puppy growl and snap at you over food, or just the other dog?

I would just ignore the behavior if just at the dog over her own food. I would, however, change the situation so meals aren’t so stressful for her. Feed puppy in her crate so she doesn’t have to guard her dinner. Let them both relax and eat separately in peace.
 

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Resource guarding is normal in puppies, and is unlike actually aggression. A puppy that lets itself get pushed away from the food bowl during feeding time will not survive, Mom won't step in and it's siblings won't go "Oh hey did you eat enough?" Crate the puppy or put it in a separate room to eat. DO NOT mess around with your pup's food, put your hand in, take their food away, ect... That will only increase anxiety around meal times and the belief they need to "fight for and defend" their meal. I like to use meals for training and hand feed my pups, otherwise they go into a crate and get left to eat in peace.
 

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I just wanted to share these of my puppies (11 week old and 7 year old)and the behavior i expect in all my GSD. Today my my two year old grand nephew came for a visit, he is respectful to the dogs too. They are hardly around children and yet lookie how calm both are, well all three are lol.

Once they know they have a safe place and aggression at meal time or most times, is not tolerated this can be all dogs.

I have accomplished this with all my dogs no matter the breed or age;by (as i stated above in earlier post).
Standing beside them when eating, placing my hand on them and in their bowl from time to time while they eat and hand feeding about 1/2 their food during the day. I correct all growling, ears back with verbal calm "no" and calm praise praise praise when all is good. Some dogs are little more aggressive so for them i do a little different. Your puppy isn't there yet so i won't overwhelm you with that training.

If you'll notice in the photos the ears are relaxed, that comes very quickly once they understand.

I hope you are finding some relief with your new puppy. As with most puppies/dogs, they just need to know what's expected and our job is to help them figure it out.

I just wanted to share, there is hope without locking them in a crate to feed them or giving in to the behavior...something i never do. I want my puppy to become a well rounded dog, so i teach them to be one.

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