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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I have a puppy (brindle blue nose) I was told he was 8 wks by the people that gave him to me the vet says he looks more like ten wks. My family consist of 2 daughters 5 and 8, my wife and myself.
So anyways...the pup just came home 3 days ago and we wanted to do all the right things for him. So far we took him to Petsmart and got the Vet to do a physical went home and administered the flea and deworm meds. Yesterday we(wife and 2 kids) attended his first puppy obedience training, all has been going well so far, puppy shows affection eager to play/please however, sometimes he will randomly stare bark and growl. I chalked it up as normal puppy behavior and thought he's just a puppy and doesn't know much yet and still needs plenty of training and maturing. Last night after my 8 yr old was coming down the stairs for no apparent reason he stared her down barked, growled and his back hairs were raised it was pretty intense. Prior to that my kid had formed as close a bond as one could in 3 days. Me...being very non experienced basically went into dad protective mode pushed down on the pups neck with my forearm and held him on his back and with eye contact and a stern voice i said "I'm the boss, not you!" I honestly don't know if this was the right or wrong thing to do?
I'm basically just looking to vent and seek advice from experienced Pit owners hence why I'm posting here. I am in the Air Force and I travel often with little or no notice. My wife and I are both new to inside the house dogs and really remedial with dogs period. We are willing to do the work but obviously my wife runs the house when I'm gone and cares for our two kids, we're thinking we may have bit off more than we can chew? The way the pup challenged my daughter really worries us...thoughts?
BTW sorry for the above rambling really not the best flow for reading...just a bunch of thought I was trying to get out
 

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Kelevra
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unprovoked aggression towards most any human, let alone my kids, and Id have one less dog at my house.... just sayin...
if that dog acts on the aggression and bites.. dirt nap. period
 

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Give him a week or two in his new surroundings. If he still pulls the same nonsense, then it's time to consider PTS. I imagine he wasn't all that socialized as a puppy and is adjusting slowly to his new environment. Work on crate training and obedience in the next couple of weeks, make sure EVERYONE is involved in his training. If after 2 weeks of everyone being involved in training him, and taking him to controlled environments with people, he is still acting agressive toward the children, it would be best for all to have him put to sleep.
 

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I dont think euthanizing should be looked at really hard right now. He is 8-10 weeks he has been there all of 3 days really not enough time to settle in and get familiar with everyone. As well he may not have been around kids at all until now and barking and growling at other pups is normal puppy behaviour he may just not know his manners yet. I would deff supervise your child when they are around the pup but thats for both of there safety some kids dont know how to handle puppys properly as well. I would watch for this and do a correction verbally and if needed use touch to gain his attention to you. I would have the kids work on obedience as well with you if possible get them to give treats, help qwith feedings, give commands when he learns them so he sees them as alpha as well. If this is something that doesnt outgrow in the next month or so I would A. Have a vet check him out especially the eyes maybe he has a vision problem. B. temperment tested by someone who knows the breed well and has experience with them. C. Look to a professional trainer { not a pet store class or trainer but a good one}and see what they can help you work out , if this is fear based at all it can be worked out but does take alot of time and effort. Sounds to me like normal puppy behaviour that needs an attitude adjustment.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the feedback,
Everyone in the house have all participated with obedience training and my children and puppy are always supervised however, any parent knows you can never have eyes on your children 100% of the time. Nobody in the house will play with the pup when he is really exited instead I take him to the backyard to blow off some steam. We do not play tug of war with him and my children definitely do not rough house with him. I will continue to monitor but obviously the safety of my family come first. I am not considering PTS at this point. My wife and I were actually considering finding a new home for him and briefing the potential owner of past incidents of misbehavior. Is this a good option compared to PTS? The pup has a great demeanor/personality 98% of the time it's the 2% that worries us.
 

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Id find a home experienced with this breed and yes breif them on the behaviour you have seen. I have had a pup like this and she was older then yours about 3 months old at the time and showed the same behaviour. I wasnt ready nor set up to deal with it or knew what to do, I placed the dog with my aunt who trains and breeds and has for 30 plus years. She was able to work through it and the dog now over a year old lives happily in a family home with kids. I still get updates from them and no issues ever. Sounds like a stubborn puppy who just needs some work. I would work with a trainer now if this was my situation but you do whats best for your family as you know what you cant and can take on right now. Best of luck.
 

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Yeah the puppy is too young to judge. He is new and growling isn't something in itself to worry about. Pups growl for lots of reasons. I would have a behaviorist come through in addition to the training before making and harsh decision. What's the history of the pup? Do you know the parents?
 

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Puppies go through all sorts of weird stages, my own dog, full grown with hackle up and sound like he's attacking something simply during play.

Growling is NOT a bad thing, I don't care what breed, it's a warning. With a human, if they were in a grumpy mood and didn't want you to bug them would you like them to tell you that? Or let you find out the hard way?

Dogs tell us they're uncomfortable with their body language, which the vast majority of dog owners are ignorant to. Then when the dog growls "Hey, knock it off" people freak out and call it aggression. There's nothing wrong with growling, respect your dog and if he is telling you he's being pushed past his boundaries don't blame him if he reacts when you don't listen. We humanize dogs far too much. (this is not a direct response to your incident, it's in general)
Thank your Dog for Growling | Redyre Rottweilers - Quality companions and show dogs since 1988
 

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ive been a dog trainer for 15 years, all i work are aggressive dogs. this dog doesnt need to be put down or rehomed or drugged. its trying to establish dominance. theres a "pecking" order in your pack, youre alpha male, your wife is alpha female, hes wanting to be alpha over your kids. you need to lay him down asap when he pulls that crap, dont say a word, just take advantage of that pressure point under his ear, behind his jaw. there are videos showing how to do this all over the net, or you can pm me and ill give u my number and walk you trough it. doing this when he tries to dominate your kids and he will understand that they too are alpha over him. teach him some tricks, to him its a game, in reality its just another way to control him. my dog sets in front of my door outside and wont come in after his walk until i say so. ive had to lay him down a couple times and hes calmer and more confident after the work i put in. i never hurt them when i lay them down, its amazing how little you have to push, it is a pressure point after all.
 

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End-F0rum-Communism
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When i brought my puppy home, he didnt want to be held by no one. He was food aggressive, he hated everyones guts. He didnt want to listen with weiners or treats.

A week later after playing and petting him. He quickly learned we were his new family. I wouldnt put the dog down to sleep for that reason.

Lets look at it from a positive perspective. The dog my not have recognized your daughter, and growled to let you know about a stranger. The pup my have been acting like he was protecting you. If i was in a strange place and i heard someone running down making loud step noises, i would be startled too.

Just make sure, your kids do not, DO NOT PLAY ROUGH WITH THE PUPPY. I know most kids, whatever age they are, they tend to annoy dogs.

Give him time to adjust. Youre over reacting!
 

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a lot of kids are way to rough around an animal, they make excellent trainers after you show them the right way tho.
 

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He's a puppy and while dogs are stunningly adept at figuring out what we want from them and how to live with us, they don't come pre-programmed with all the info they need. Much like your own kids, they will try stuff to see if it works or gets them what they want. Behaviors that are not rewarding (to the pup) tend to die out.
The pup has been playing with his littermates for his entire life, and pups will often bark and growl at each other to initiate play. He needs to learn that play with people is initiated by other behaviors. Since your daughter has been playing with him a lot, he probably sees her as a playmate, more so than the bigger, scarier adults.
It could also be a fear reaction to her sudden appearance (though all your other accounts of the pup don't lend themselves to a super fearful pup)
I don't put much stock in the dominance theory, it's been pretty thoroughly debunked. None of my dogs spend their days plotting ways to get control (who would open the cans??????) I find dogs get tagged with that label far too often, when all they need is a little clearer understanding of how to get what they want by doing what we want.
I don't punish for growling. I would much rather have a dog growl at me then skip the growl (because it's been punished and taught that growls don't work) and go for the bite. I work with dogs of all breeds everyday and I appreciate the warning. I also respect it, the dog is telling me something. Perhaps he doesn't want me to look at his feet, or cut his nails.... well, ok, I probably won't die if I don't force him to do it anyway, and there is little to be gained by that force, since the next time will be worse. I let the owners know the dog was uncomfortable with his feet being handled and set them up with a protocol to do at home to desensitize the dog to having his feet handled, make it less scary and more rewarding.

I would handle this pup a lot, in a manner that the pup will find comfortable, feet, nails, ears, make this type of handling super fun and rewarding for the pup. It's great he's in classes already and I encourage you to make sure the family attends these as well. It really helps if everyone is handling the pup in the same manner and will give your kids a way to 'play' with the puppy that is productive. I actually really like tug as a game and if it played with rules, it can be a great game for working on manners and mouth placement, teaching the dog to settle when asked. You need to teach that (as well as an out command)
 
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