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Please help! My puppy snarling/biting/growling when stopped/picked up, getting worse:(

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Yogi123, Apr 2, 2019.


  1. Yogi123

    Yogi123 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello, despite following advice from many sources, my puppy Cockapoo Woody, 14 weeks, is getting very vicious when picked up or stopped from doing things, I bought him as my partner died last year in front of my children, and we are very loving and wanted to give a puppy a lovely home, but he is becoming like a bully at 14 weeks, I have tried giving him treats when picking him up so he associates it with treats, but if I don’t have one or I am having to move him if he is chewing on a lap top charger which my daughter has dropped for example, he viscously lashes out, my daughter who is 11 has a red bite mark on her cheek from when she picked him up to move him earlier. I am picking him up correctly supporting his bottom, it just feels as if he is so head strong and determined to get his own way. I am quite sensitive and finding this so upsetting, We’ve tried being quiet and still holding him, telling him no, giving him time out, none of it is working and I am scared that he is becoming agressive and the last thing I could cope with is having to rehome him as we love him so much. We have to pick him up sometimes for example if he spots something one of my children has dropped on floor which could harm him, or to put him to bed at night. He is walked everyday and has tons of toys, please please help, thank you so much :) xx
     
  2. Yogi123

    Yogi123 PetForums Newbie

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    P.s just to add do I need to get a behavioural specialist for him? Thank you
     
  3. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    Hello and welcome I'm sorry to hear about your partner. I have a sox month old puppy this does seem typical puppy behaviour they are like little crocodiles. They do grow out of it. Try to redirect with a treat or toy for example if he is chewing the laptop.

    Have a read of the puppy support thread in dog chat.

    Are you and pup signed up for puppy classes it would be worth taking your children as well.
     
  4. Yogi123

    Yogi123 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks so much! I just want to do the right thing for him. We went puppy classes there were only 3 in a course will look for some more. I think it’s just reassuring to know he will grow out of this or it could endanger him/other children maybe :( thanks again for your kind reply X
     
  5. Yogi123

    Yogi123 PetForums Newbie

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    Also he is so clever he has figured out that if he does something naughty he gets a treat when I try to redirect him?! It’s a minefield! Xxx
     
  6. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I don't have any children and still found those first few months a real strain he would jump on my older dog and hang off him like a piranha he attacked my floaty pjs and tore them I could go on :eek: he is much easier now. Do you have a kong ?

    Cockerpoo are a mix of two intelligent breeds training and mind games are important this can tire them more than exercise. If you have any dogs trust classes near you they are really good.

    This to will pass I promise Loki is now turning into a nice boy he still has his mad bity moments but less and less.
     
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  7. DizzyNova

    DizzyNova PetForums Member

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    Hi! I'm so sorry about your partner, it sounds like it's been a difficult time for your family.

    He sounds like a typical boisterous pup, we got our second pup last year (she's also a cockapoo) and it was madness. She would hang off our older dogs ears, neck, nip at her legs and was a complete terror!

    Is your pup crate trained? We found that by making our pup have some time in her crate to chill during an evening she came out a lot more compliant and less boisterous! Good puppy training classes are worth their weight in gold, but make sure you look for ones that use positive reinforcement and avoid any that mention dominance or pack leadership!

    It does get easier! Look for ways of stuffing and freezing kongs and other interactive toys, they'll help tire him out mentally as well as encouraging him to settle down, I know our pair always crash after chewing on a king for a while!

    Good luck! There's tons of support on here if you need it :)
     
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  8. Pricivius

    Pricivius PetForums Junior

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    Being picked up - even by loving arms - can be pretty scary to some dogs. He doesn’t know he’s not going to be dropped! Maybe a houseline would be a good idea for a while so you can move him away without having to lift him - a houseline is a light lead with no handle that stays on him all the time. Can be very helpful, alongside a drop command with a treat to get back whatever you need from him...
     
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  9. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    This doesn't just sound like normal puppy biting/mouthing to me.

    If he is reacting by using his teeth when you try to prevent an action or behaviour, that is different.

    He could be resource guarding, not at all uncommon in Spaniel Breeds.

    There is a sticky post on the forum with advice on that.
     
  10. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    You have had excellent advise and I would echo the advice of a houseline. You can make your own cheap lead cut the handle off and attach to the handle.

    I know a cockerpoo isn't a toy breed but a lot of toy breeds get a bad rep for not being able to be handled which is usually due to being handled rather than trained per se when puppies. I mean it is so easier to pick up a puppy especially one that may be less than 1 kg and will grow to maybe 4kg so is always handable compared to most dogs. If new toy breed owners come here my first piece of advice is always not to pick up the puppy for training purposes per se as the puppy learns quickly to say hey no, I was having fun and this touch stopped me. I prefer all touch to be positive so this is where a houseline negates the touch as a negative experience and you can move your puppy accordingly.

    So not only can you get a puppy which grows into a dog that doesn't like being handled but also a dog that likes to run away if you need to say put on a harness groom, administer medication. It can work two ways a game to the puppy or just a complete growling mess which means go away don't touch me.

    Making positive associations with touch won't mean you never will get to pick your dogs up. My two toy breeds automatically jump on the back of the sofa once my OH comes home to be picked up and cuddled! They also demand stroking by not so elegantly hitting me in my face, usually the eyes to make sure I stroke them continuously and are always on someone's knee!
     
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  11. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    All the rest, plus; stop picking him up if you can.

    If you redirect him with treats or toys then he will see the advantage to stopping what he’s doing. If you just whisk him off his feet then that is just frustrating for him and he’s protesting in the only way he knows how.
     
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  12. Yogi123

    Yogi123 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you, he has a kong, I will try that again, and look at the classes at Dogs Trust. Really appreciate your help!!! Angel!! X
     
  13. Yogi123

    Yogi123 PetForums Newbie

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  14. Yogi123

    Yogi123 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Linda, right, thank you, will stop picking him up and tell girls too. Could I just ask though, what if he is doing it for attention which is what he seems to do a lot, for example if he goes up the stairs and I say woody come here and he does and I say good boy and give him a treat he goes straight back up stairs as he has worked out it’s a way of getting a treat? Xx
     
  15. Yogi123

    Yogi123 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you it’s so interesting to read about toy breeds, all the dogs I’ve known have loved being picked up and cuddled and I just assumed same for Woody... off to get a houseline tomorrow! And great to know there is a cuddly future ahead ?! Xxx
     
  16. Cookielabrador

    Cookielabrador PetForums Member

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    Hello and welcome!!
    When your puppy is biting/nipping, completely ignore him, until he becomes calmer. Once he does become calmer, reward with loads of toys, chews and treats! This method worked with out puppy, but will only really be effective if your whole family is consistent.
    As a Cockapoo is a cross between two very intelligent dog breeds, try to redirect his attention by using toys such as Kongs, Puzzle bowls, chew toys.
    If this behaviour worsens or doesnt improve, I would recommend taking him to the vet for a checkup!
    Good luck! :)
     
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  17. Yogi123

    Yogi123 PetForums Newbie

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    thank you so much!!! I thought I would get a lot of replies saying he is very aggressive, many people don’t seem to be honest when you ask them about how their puppy was.. freezing the kong is a fab idea. Xxx
     
  18. Yogi123

    Yogi123 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much, will definately try this too, so much great advice on here I’m really grateful X
     
  19. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    I think most dogs tolerate being picked up. Owning toy breeds it's been a bit of an eye opener to me as reading and talking to breeders they all said the same most liked being picked up but at the end of the day they are dogs with4 legs and should use them. The groomers and the vets I have had contact with have always been more concerned handling my toy breeds than my terriers which I used to own. Always asking how they are, will be and apparently it's nice to have a dog their size behave well and be amicable. Of course both situations are often stressful for dogs so dogs can behave totally out of character. It's just everytime I turn up with one of the toy breeds will they be ok being examined. Not once was I asked this before.

    Another tip is it's usually easy to train dogs in some respect than children because who doesn't want a cute puppy to play with. So it's teaching your children to let sleeping dogs lie literally. We get many threads here where children approach a sleeping dog and startle the dog, dog puts fear of God in child. Make sure puppy has a safe space where s/he can go. Children leave puppy alone there even if he's playing.
    My kids did help feed the dogs though and it's come full circle again as my eldest is mid twenties and he's back to feeding the dogs with the skills he taught whilst younger.

    I also would look at training as things that are practical to you in your household. So send to bed that type of thing, capturing the calm. Am more of an advocate for training that's useful to you at home.

    You will get there especially as if everyone gets on the same page. I actually trust my son's walking my dogs than my OH .OH panics over nothing. Which is sweet he doesn't want any harm coming to them.

    Even grooming you can use a child to feed treats to acclimitaze your puppy to get used to the feel with treats being given as a piece of reassurance.

    If nothing works then I would be asking about pedigrees and recourse guarding in there.

    Oh sorry for my disjointed jumbles, keep working on names means every thing. Even an ear flicker showing there was some recognition there your puppy needs a treat asap. Names are vital and used correctly and become high rewards to them it's often something where you expand and work on. From there.

    Apologises about my rample. Disclaimer I have taken a sleeping tablet so I think that makes my head hit the clouds.
     
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  20. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    It’s often hard to read a puppy’s mind. In the stair scenario maybe he thinks the treat is for coming when called, not for leaving the stairs? If you can go for a stair gate I think that will work better. My dogs all had a stair gate and as they grew up just got ‘unused’ to going upstairs; their puppy curiosity had gone and they saw no point, as everything interesting happened downstairs.

    Try to look at every scenario from a puppy point of view because, whatever he does he is just behaving like a puppy. ‘Manage’ stuff you can’t control his behaviour with (for example, he can’t steal it if it isn’t there) and if he does things you don’t like try to find an alternative behaviour you can reward so it’s a win for both of you.
     
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