Aggressive Puppy

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mustangrooster, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Calling all dog owners...

    First of, i love this little rat to shreds. But this behavior cannot continue on.

    My 5 month old puppy, has behavior that is getting out of hand. Its biting, barking, jumping, the whole lot.

    First I'll address the jumping issue..

    She Jumps all the time. If your just walking around minding your own business, she may run up behind you or in front of you and jump all over you, and it hurts like crazy with her claws and big body...

    As for biting, her biting is out of hand.

    When she was little, im talking like 5 weeks and up, she always did play biting , it didn't hurt till' she got older, and i read you shouldn't let them play bite, but i thought its just a phase, and she would be doing that to her litter mates, right?

    Well as of 5 months old shes still doing it..its hard and it hurts. Whatever your doing she'll bite, maybe on the feet, maybe on the hands, whatever she can get really. Sometimes shes gentle, sometimes shes hard..

    She'll jump on you and play bite, she'll wrestle you, she may get very full on and take play biting to another level.

    When it comes to training, if she gets frustrated, she'll nip and bark. When she doesn't get her own way, She'll bark at you, when i tell her to do something like maybe get out of the house for a while, she'll bark at me and run away from me, so im literally chasing after her till she gets the picture. When she needs to go to her crate for a bit, she'll result to barking and not listening to me. None of the other dogs do this, but then again, they weren't taken of their mom at 4 weeks old. I've tried everything online, most methods to stop this behavior, even putting bitter tasting liquid on the skin to discourage biting. Its not working.

    At times she very disobedient sometimes she might tumble over you and wrestle, theres just no stopping her. At 5 months old, why is she STILL acting like this?

    The situation is very hard for me to put in words, if you could see the behavior for your self, you would understand, but its hard for me to put everything in words and hope that you fully understand. Im missing alot of stuff in this behavior thing, because i just cant put it in words.

    I forget to mention, shes the destruction queen, and she chases my poultry around the place when she's in the mood for running, shes gotten my Quail once, thankfully it lived, shes almost bit the head of my duck once, its still alive, and often she chases the roosters away.

    But then, most of the time, she'll be sleeping right next to the ducks, or chickens will be climbing over her, and the rooster swill be right next to her and she does't do anything.

    Shes like that alot of the time, shes a really good girl when she does't to the behavior i've mentioned. She'll snuggle up next to me on the couch while watching TV, She'll greet me in the mornings with wet kisses when im barely awake, she can be very obedient and has learnt countless tricks. Shes my best friend, but this bad behavior is driving me insane. I need to fix it, but how?

    Any help appreciated.



  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    You mentioned that this behavior goes as far back as 5 weeks, so I find myself wondering if you have had her (and her dam/litter mates) from birth, if you took her from a dam/littermates and if so at what age, or if this pup has been bottle raised without any dam/littermates and, if so, from what age -- this will play into the answers.
  3. Not exactly.... Her and her Litter mates were sold as weaned 6 week old puppys, they looked very big in the photos...When i got her, she fit into both of my hands, and looked to be only 4-5 weeks old and was not weaned.

    Yes, she has been raised from 4-5 weeks and up without her litter mates, or dam. I've raised her on puppy milk replacer from that age.
  4. JaeG

    JaeG Free Ranging Premium Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    I'm so sorry you are going through this. One thing you could try is controlling everything, including her freedom. If she's out of her crate she has to be on her leash which is attached to you. If she's misbehaving, ignore her. When you've had enough or she needs to calm down, put her in her crate and ignore her. At meal times don't let her eat until you say she can, and that's only when she's calm. Put the food down and push her away if she tries to get it. She may get confused and start barking at you but just wait. It may take ages to wait for her to calm down but it's worth it.

    Keep training sessions very short so she doesn't end up losing focus and misbehaving.

    As for biting, have you tried Deep Heat (it's a rub for aches and pains)? Worked for our dog. It was recommended by a vet nurse and it worked like a charm with no ill effect.

    5 months old is still a puppy. Our dog didn't start to show maturity until she was about 4 years old! She's still super exciteable (and I mean to the extreme) but now calms down if ignored. Believe me, I know how frustrating it can be!

    As for the jumping up, just keep pushing her away and say "Down" until she stays down (often they will sit), then reward with a treat or whatever works for her. Perhaps drop the treat infront of her so she doesn't jump up to you to meet it. If she's nipping at you she needs to be taught to stay out of your space unless invited. I found stepping purposefully towards them helps. Keep moving towards her and make her move away. She comes back towards you, step into her space again and make her move away.

    Her moments of destructiveness is possibly just crazy puppy antics burning off excess energy.

    Reward her randomly for doing the right thing/being calm. If she's calmly laying down somewhere drop the odd treat in front of her nose as a reward. Reward the good, ignore the bad (as much as possible).

    What works for some dogs doesn't work for others so you just have to keep trying different techniques until you hit on one she responds to. YouTube has lots of good dog training videos too.

  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    That likely is a large part of the issue -- puppies gain a LOT of social training beyond even the 6 week typical weaning mark, which is why many breeders don't place pups until 10-12 weeks. There are certain lessons of acceptable behavior that are taught during rough play with litter mates and the dam - lessons that, unfortunately, your pup missed out on. The play biting that you noted that takes place between littermates is one example of this social training - yes, it does happen, but if/when the pups get too rambunctious about it the other party (another pup or the dam) will react in a way that says, "STOP" -- and that is how they learn acceptable/unacceptable amounts of rough play.
    The good news is, while you can't change what has happened, you can change what happens from here moving forward. I would strongly suggest you enlist the assistance of an animal behaviorist -- the reason being that in addition to the above noted complications you also have the complication of the bond currently between you and this pup that can work against you in your attempts to re-train at this point. Having an neutral third party involved will help both you and, more importantly, the pup to move forward and re-wire things.
    In the meantime - you need to set her up for success. With regards to the birds, no more off leash access to any of them. Interaction needs to be on leash only, this allows you to provide immediate feedback in those moments when she even begins to think about inappropriate behavior with them. Allow a brief time of positive behavior and then move away, distract to other activities before she has the opportunity to become bored and switch to bad behavior with them.
    2 people like this.
  6. Thankyou very much for this reply, it means a lot.

    She has all the freedom in the world, she can do what she wants when she wants, she'll follow me out to the horses, she'll go on walks on her own...i dont know how well she will take being on a leash when shes out of the crate (Shes not always in the crate, only when i need to get head space from her..) But it sounds like a good plan. Expect, when shes on a leash, she always bites the leash and pulls it, almost like shes walking her self.

    She has been leash trained, but its barely on the leash. Shes an off leash walker, when you live rural a leash isn't really needed. She does have a few leashes, but if shes going to be on it all the time attached to me, how long do i need it to be?

    Funny you mention about letting her eat when i say so, i've just started doing that, shes a lunatic at meal times, so i make her sit, put my hand in front of her, then i say "wait" i step back a few steps and when i say "Good Girl" only then can she eat. Shes pretty good at that, and surprisingly doesn't bark out of confusion.

    No, i have not tried Deep Heat, but i might try it if i can find some, however i dont really see myself rubbing it over me to prevent her from biting, the stuff i have burns! Is that what i would do?

    Yes, she is still a puppy, but for a PiitbullxBull Arab cross, shes already the size of a fully grown pit-bull (Without the big heads etc) Thats why im eager for this behavior to stop, but you really gave me comfort when you said your dog didn't start to show maturity until 4 years of age!

    I forgot to mention, I've tried pushing her down when she jumps on me, but she thinks its a game and barks and jumps again, very frustrating! And i i keep moving towards her to get her out of my space, or for her to back away, she either runs up and jumps, or backs away but thinks its a game and goes all lunatic like again.

    Im going to try and reward the good behavior randomly as much as possible, she loves cheese and will do anything for it, so i'll use that as the reward...

    Thank you again...
  7. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster 5 Years

    Jul 18, 2013
    You have been given excellent advice. The only things I want to add is a tired puppy is a good puppy. While puppies do need their rest they also need to be physically and mentally active. Puppies are like little sponges and soak up everything, for good or bad, in their environment, You might want to get her into a puppy class where she will be learning new things. I'd much rather praise and reward a puppy then scold it for its behavior. The moment a puppy moves into my house I carry treats and a clicker in my pocket.
    You might want to google Nothing in Life is Free (NILIF) a gentle and fun for the puppy way of putting you in charge.
    1 person likes this.

  8. Thankyou for all the information. I have tried a firm "STOP" But it doesn't make any difference.

    I mentioned that we live rural, so getting a animal behaviorist isn't exactly an option...Can i please ask what you mean by "you also have the complication of the bond currently between you and this pup that can work against you in your attempts to re-train at this point." ....Because Her and Myself have a pretty strong bond, considering i raised her from a tiny thing, she also learnt to sit on command at 5 weeks of age,

    No more off leash access to any of my birds? Im willing to put in the effort to do that, but i have a lot of free range birds, thats going to be a bit difficult. The two birds she has trouble with are the Quails and Turkeys, and sometimes ducks...but shes good as gold with the chickens.

    I appreciate the information...
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Structured exercise, like walking on a leash and paying attention to the human at the other end of the leash can work wonders. It's energy draining exercise, it's works them mentally, and it reinforces that you are in charge. Freedom is great and all, but dogs, like children, need rules and discipline to reach their full potential.
    A very common misconception is that dogs 'grow out' of puppy behavior. It's a falsehood. They are 'trained' out of puppy behavior. It takes a lot of work to take a rambunctious puppy, and turn it into a well-behaved companion. All the behaviors you mention are excitement related. To address it, you must first be in control of your behavior when she is acting like that. Did you get her too riled up while playing? Do you greet her with excitement? You must first reign in your reactions, before you can do anything about hers. She loves you, but doesn't respect you. If she's jumping or barking, turn and ignore her. She want's your attention, don't reward her misbehavior with what she wants. She starts biting too hard while playing, get up and walk away. Above be calm and consistent. And stop chasing her! I've spent the last 6 months working with a dog that learned that her name meant run away, thanks to her previous owners. At 5 months old, your puppy is likely teething, so be sure to have plenty of safe chew items around for her to gnaw on.

  10. JaeG

    JaeG Free Ranging Premium Member

    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    It sounds like your poor pup had a rough start. And it makes sense (as Ol Grey Mare said) that she has missed out on some important socialisation from her doggie family.

    Are you feeding her biscuits or raw food? If you can access raw food it is good to get them onto it especially as chewing on a raw, meaty bone does help them through teething, but I know it's difficult if you haven't got access to a reputable source of raw food and the right advice. Even if she's on biscuits another good activity is making her sit outside (tie her leash to something if you need to as back-up) while you sprinkle her food about, then she gets released to find it. It encourages them to use their nose and is a good mental activity. It keeps them occupied for awhile too.

    Our dog (chocolate lab x pointer) has been a very easy first dog, but puppies are hard work!!! Never having owned a dog, or had much to do with puppies, it was a bit of a shock the trouble they get into. They are worse than toddlers (I know because I had one of those as well when I fell in love with the puppy at the petshop)! It was actually a trainer that I bought a front control harness from that said our Honey would be about 4 before we saw any maturity in her and she was so right!

    My parents recently puppy sat my sisters French Bulldog. I did a bit of training with him and he was just so different personality wise. I could feel the stubborness sometimes which is common with the breed. Just so different to our girl who will do anything for food (isn't that the labrador motto?!), and often starts running through her repertoire of tricks if she even thinks there's the chance of food in it for her. Honey loved having a playmate though, especially one that was so much slower than her (she's fast and she loves to win).

    I recently found this lady's website and it has some really good articles on it:

    Hopefully something there will help. It has articles about problem behaviour tips, aggression, jumping up, leadership basics, as well as discussing questionable techniques that are often used by professional dog trainers.
    1 person likes this.

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