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Help my puppy is aggressive to my husband

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by heidicarter, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. heidicarter

    heidicarter PetForums Newbie

    Jan 4, 2012
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    We have a 12 week old jack russell cross poodle male puppy who has been with us for 4 weeks now. He has never listened to my husband and in fact growls and barks back at him when he disciplines him. For the most part the puppy is ok with me and I have taught him to sit and fetch the only problem I have is when he gets over excited and he goes a little crazy and bites me too hard. However my husband has always had a problem with the puppy listening to him and he never takes any notice of him. Please can someone give us some advice. My husband suggested getting him neutered to tone down his aggression but I do not know if this will really help.
  2. Barkie

    Barkie PetForums Senior

    Aug 22, 2011
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    Morning, welcome to the forum. Sorry to ask you loads of questions but we need more info to help i think,

    Is this your first dog? Did you see the mother / father, were they nice and friendly? Is your pup bold, confident or shy?

    Is he used to men? Is your husband telling him off? If so why? Puppies can interpret being told off as a noisy game and will bark back. If he thinks it's a noisy exciting game that isn't being aggressive.

    If pup doesn't know why he is being told off doing so may make him stressed out because he has no idea what he has done wrong. Puppy doesn't know much yet about how to behave but they learn well when they get a nice reward for doing the right things.

    Some pups need a few minutes a day and weeks of daily training before they know what a word means but assuming he is a bright boy he hears the word sit when you say it ok but he maybe doesn't recognise the word when you husband says it because it sounds different to him. I train our pup and I've had to teach my partner to do the hand signals as well as how to say the words like I do. He might be hearing your husband but not understanding him

    So to the rest of your q - redirect him to play with his toys not your hands, stop before a game it gets too exciting, play some quieter games, if he nips let out a yelp, turn away, stop the game to let him cool down and you can play again when he is calmer.
  3. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Apr 21, 2010
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    You may have your answer in that word "discipline". Just what defines discipline? Dogs will respond to rewards like treats for good behaviour, ignoring them completely for bad behaviour. They do not respond to anything else and as said, if he is shouting at the pup, that is why the pup is shouting back.

    For biting I have always found the best way is to keep your hand or whatever he is biting, perfectly still. If you move your hand, pup thinks it is part of the game and will chase it. Keeping it still becomes boring, so he should let go and find something else to do. It does work, though you have to keep still no matter what. A pup that age shouldn't hurt too much.

    He is far too young to be neutered. I wouldn't neuter a dog until he is fully grown if I could help it.

    Puppies that age are very, very rarely aggressive. It is all part of the game to them. Aggression is a very strong word and it doesn't sound to me like aggression at all.
  4. Catz1

    Catz1 PetForums VIP

    Sep 19, 2011
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    As everyone has said puppies at this age are very rarely aggressive. We silly humans often interpret many behaviours as aggression or defiance when all the dog wants is to play.
    Your pup may not listen to your husband because he/she has learned that your husband is unpredictable. Biting, growling and acting the fool are puppies way of saying "Come on I wanna have fun!" so if your husband "punishes" him/her for it then it ruins the trust your pup has in him. Why listen to a person who may yell at you for being friendly?
    Perhaps your husband could start feeding your pup and encourge nice interactions between them using toys and treats. Your husband could also find some training classes to join with your pup so they both learn how to behave. I think it is a lack of bond between your pup and your husband that is causing the issues and not your pups behaviour.
    Its up to your husband to step up and show this little guy that hes a good person instead of him demanding your pups love.
    As for neutering, your pup is far to young for that. Depending on the breed of the pup, I usually wouldn't neuter until around 2 years of age.
  5. Manoy Moneelil

    Manoy Moneelil PetForums VIP

    Sep 1, 2011
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    This thread links to: http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-training-behaviour/212559-behaviour-issues.html#post1061698676

    Your husband needs to be more involved with the dog's day to day care and walking. Unless the pup's relationship with your husband is one where he is seen to provide food and lead the walk - your husband is just some human that turns up occasionally and takes away his playmate/boss (you) attention, no wonder the pup is not responsive to him.

    When husband comes home he should give you attention (!) then get the dog to sit for a treat that he brings home with him. Over time the dog will learn that husband's arrival is a good thing and results in treats if the pup is well behaved.

    When he bites too hard in play - you need to yelp! like a litter-mate pup would do - this tells the pup he is playing too hard. If he does it again in a short space of time stop play and ignore the dog.
  6. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
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    what does 'discipline the pup' include?

    if as i suspect it includes smack his butt, scruff the pup [grab his nape or collar], scold, pin, etc,
    it's INTIMIDATION & the pup reacts by defensively threatening - he's scared & growls or barks.
    pups need to be taught impulse-control, & this is especially hard when they're excited -
    even dogs who are excited can bite in play much too-hard, altho their intention isn't to hurt us,
    but the pain or injury occurs despite their nonaggressive intentions. :(

    avoiding play WITH HANDS - wrestling, cuffing gently, grabs, slapping jowls or shoulders or butt, etc -
    makes it much-less likely that the pup will grab hands or skin. Play with TOYS: tug with a rope,
    tug with a rubber bone or other grippable toy, etc - keeps hands & arms away from dog-teeth. ;)

    then hubby needs to teach the pup that "paying attention to me" pays off! :thumbup1:

    clicker-training can be extremely effective for teaching 'attention' & focus.
    FREE week-long lessons for beginners by e-mail:
    7 Day FREE Clickertraining Course

    just sign-up with a first name & an e-mail address; it's not SOLD, ShaRED, or spammy. :thumbup1:

    yes, neutering can help with aggro - & 3-MO is OK in a dog who will be under 20# as an adult.

    however, it sounds from the description as tho HUBBY's behavior needs to change, more than the pup's:
    he 'disciplines' the pup who growls & barks at him, indicating the 'discipline' is too punitive or scary.
    he expects the pup to 'obey' him without being taught that compliance is richly rewarded -
    pups don't OBEY just because we're humans & they are lowly dogs. :eek: they have to be taught,
    just like any other infant or youth - or for that matter, adult. ;) any dog who hasn't LEARNED that
    compliance = rewards is simply untaught; they're ignorant, not willfully disobedient.

    ignorance is curable - it's not a crime. :p
  7. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
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    go to the website DogStar Daily & download the 2 FREE books:
    'Before U Get Ur Puppy' & 'After U Get Ur Puppy'. [see 'free downloads']

    they are chock-full of excellent training advice, & especially good on how to teach a soft-mouth,
    AKA an inhibited bite, so that the pup understands that teeth-contact must be carefully controlled.

    dogs [or puppies!] are CAPABLE of exquisite sensitivity & incredible control of their teeth & jaws -
    but they have to learn this, it's not automatic. Normally their siblings & their dams are the first teachers -
    How old was this puppy when s/he left their litter & mother?

    How many other pups or dogs has s/he been allowed to meet & play with?
    free play with other dogs [puppy-tolerant adults or sociable pups] is the best way for a pup to learn
    an inhibited bite, but to extend it to humans means specific lessons... Dunbar's books are among
    the very-best sources for good 'how to' advice on this topic. :thumbup1:
  8. Corinthian

    Corinthian PetForums Member

    Oct 13, 2009
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    Your answer is right there in your description. Your husband has conditioned the dog to expect an aversive event when he comes around.

    If he wants to change this behavior he will have to give up trying to "discipline" the dog and SLOWLY create a new emotional dynamic, so the pup feel a need to defend itself.

    What holds true for human relationships is also true for your pup. Your husband wants to bond with the dog, then he'll have to put in the time creating a positive experience when they are interacting with each other. Luckily, it's relatively easy to get any dog to like you.

    This is normal. Follow the advice given and it will get better.

    And yes, getting the dog neutered is good advice at any time and it will/may help prevent many of the problems that come with sexual maturity.
  9. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
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    sadly, yes - but luckily it's a very fixable problem. :thumbsup:
    i think that's what U meant to say, Cori?... :p but i may have gotten the details wrong,
    altho i think i got the gist correct. :)
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