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rita1
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01-06-2019, 04:06 PM

Will puppy grow up to be vicious?

I have a 10 week old cockapoo. I knew she'd be a little madam when I chose her. She was all over me like a rash and clung on when I tried to put her down and gave a little whimper of disapproval, and this was what attracted me to her.

For the 1st week, I was very pleased with her. She was friendly, confident and happy. Last week, however, she started growling and biting (not the usual play biting and not out of fear). Basically, she gets in a very bad temper tantrum when she can't get her own way. For example, this morning, when I tried to hold her back from eating her poo, she growled and bit me hard. Even when I bathe the sleep from her eyes, she'll try to bite. On the other hand, she'll let me pick up her food and toys with no problem at all.

How common is this and is it just a toddler tantrum which she'll grow out of or could she grow up to be vicious? She is my first puppy in 40 years, so I'd appreciate some opinions on this.

Saying “ouch” doesn't work with her and, anyway, it's deliberate. I know the theory of what I'm supposed to do – I stuff a toy in her mouth if I've got one handy and say “No” sternly, but it's very difficult to turn my back, ignore her and walk away when she's got her teeth very painfuly embedded in my flesh and I've still got to try to stop her doing whatever it was she was doing.

When she's not in a temper, she's a normal, playful puppy who enjoys being picked up for a cuddle.

I am fond of her, but, unless she improves, I can't see us having anything like the extremely strong bond and love I shared with my exceptional dog who died in March. In the 8 years we were together, she never once growled at me and I can't help making comparisons (for which, of course, I feel guilty!).

She has top quality cold pressed puppy food – no cereals, M & A derivatives or other rubbish and she's not hyper, so I can't see that diet's to blame, as I've seen suggested in other posts on here.
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Chris
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01-06-2019, 10:44 PM
Originally Posted by rita1 View Post
Last week, however, she started growling and biting (not the usual play biting and not out of fear). Basically, she gets in a very bad temper tantrum when she can't get her own way. For example, this morning, when I tried to hold her back from eating her poo, she growled and bit me hard. Even when I bathe the sleep from her eyes, she'll try to bite. On the other hand, she'll let me pick up her food and toys with no problem at all.
How did you hold her back? Did you grab at her?

A couple of things here. Firstly, go out with her and pick up straight away. This a habit you don't want to get established.

Secondly, try to distract rather than grab. Grabbing is confrontational and, like us, if we are confronted we feel the need to confront back. Throw a few treats away from the poo, then go to pick up. It saves all the aggro

Saying “ouch” doesn't work with her and, anyway, it's deliberate. I know the theory of what I'm supposed to do – I stuff a toy in her mouth if I've got one handy and say “No” sternly, but it's very difficult to turn my back, ignore her and walk away when she's got her teeth very painfuly embedded in my flesh and I've still got to try to stop her doing whatever it was she was doing.
This sounds more like your puppy is in the puppy mouthing stage. It's a phase most of them go through. Be consistent and again non confrontational. Shouting and jumping about tends to turn it into a game.

Detach her from your flesh then walk out the door. Close it, count to 10, go back in. As soon as she goes to nip again, repeat. At first it seems like it's just not working and you get so fed up of repeating, but it does work. You'll also find that as she gets a little older this becomes less of a problem. No problem at all if you guide her through it.

When she's not in a temper, she's a normal, playful puppy who enjoys being picked up for a cuddle.
She sounds pretty much like a normal, playful puppy to me.
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rita1
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02-06-2019, 11:19 AM
Thanks for reply. I went up to her as soon as she'd finished and, no, I didn't grab or shout at her. I would never do that - I just very gently put my hand on her chest and tried to get her to step back. This happened in the garden and I never leave her outside alone. I did shake her treat bag to try and distract her (she knows what this is) but she wasn't a bit interested. Anyway, that was just one example.

I'm not at all worried about the usual puppy mouthing (apart from the pain!) as I know that's normal and that she'll grow out of it. It's just that she's very strong willed and determined to get her own way - and that's what leads to the temper tantrums, growling and biting - and it's this behavior that leads to my concern that she might still bite when grown up whenever she gets frustrated.
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Dibbythedog
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05-06-2019, 02:35 PM
There's a new puppy book out Easy peasy puppy squeezy by S teve Mann that has lots of good advice.
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tumbleweed
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05-06-2019, 08:59 PM
Dogs respond to tone of voice more than what is said. if your puppy is doing something you don't what it to do, no good saying in a soft voice" now stop it" or similar. You have to show who is the boss with a firm loud voice using one word "NO"

The trick is to tell it firmly not ask it, the tone of voice changes which they recognise after a time

Way back in 1972 when we had our first puppy ,an Afghan hound, training methods were very different and now would be abhored by modern dog trainers. Not cruel, far from it but oh so different.

Now many years later and owned several dogs often 2/3 at a time this isn't a problem.

This little madam rules us



Teazle
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