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Is my puppy aggressive?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Monkeypuppy, Jan 24, 2021.


  1. Monkeypuppy

    Monkeypuppy PetForums Junior

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    We've had our puppy for a few weeks, he is 16 weeks old. He's generally quite bitey which I know is normal and occasionally he'll bite us when he gets over excited playing or over tired. I'm not so concerned about this.

    He tries to chase cars and barks at them, so we have been trying to distract him with treats and eye contact, which sometimes works but sometimes he us so focused on the car or van that he will snap at us.

    Also if he is trying to chew something he shouldn't, or on furniture he shouldn't be and we try to stop him he will snap at our hands.

    Is this a cause for concern or normal puppy behaviour?
     
  2. Emlar

    Emlar PetForums Member

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    Sounds like a puppy to me. If our puppy reeeeeally wants something and we reeeeeally don't want him to have it, he will definitely snap at us. Its just his way of showing his annoyance I suppose!
     
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    If he’s doing or chewing something he shouldn’t, avoid handling him or just taking the item away.

    Call him to you for a tasty treat or swap the item for a higher value item.

    If you continue to push him he will likely escalate his response.

    Dogs give us subtle signals if they aren’t happy about our actions which might be causing them anxiety, and they can be missed so the dog escalates the response.

    This chart is useful (though I prefer Ladder of Anxiety):

    F70267E1-1199-49D7-B5FE-E1E0FC7EA5AA.jpeg

    If a dog growls, listen to the warning that they are giving and change your technique of handling the situation. Never punish a growl - it’s a communication.

    @Emlar - if your pup is snapping at you then you need to reconsider your approach to the problem otherwise he might escalate to a bite.

    With the cars, etc. you need to get his attention on the treat before he is over threshold. Try sitting on a bench far enough from the road where he can watch without being stressed so you can reward that calm behaviour. Gradually, close the gap using praise/reward so he learns not to be anxious.

    This technique works with other dogs, strangers, etc. Work at a distance he’s comfortable and go from there.
     
    simplysardonic, O2.0, Sairy and 2 others like this.
  4. Emlar

    Emlar PetForums Member

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    @Lurcherlad We will, thank you. Trying to remind ourselves to swap what we don't want him to have with something he can have, rather than just trying to take something off him! :)
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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