- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Pup separated from mom too soon

April 26th, 2005, 07:56 PM
I called the APL shelter to see if they had any more info about our puppy we adopted in early March. Turns out the birthday of Dec 23 was an educated guess. A woman brought in a box of 9 puppies Jan 18, said she`d found them and took off. So our pup was less than 4 weeks old when she left her mom! That certain explains some of her behavior problems. They were formula fed, so had some early human contact, but still, in a shelter environment, so not nearly as much as if they were in a home. They were also guessing about her breeding, definately chow (blue-spotted tongue), maybe shepard or collie, but while her tail curls up, its not as curly as you`d expect, and a lot thinner than you`d see in a chow or collie. I`ll try posting a pic if I can get a good view.

Anyway, I`m wondering what other behavior problems might be attributed to this? We already know she has no bite inhibition, is extra fearfull or 'skitish' and has a hard time backing off from older dogs. Is there anything we can do for her at this point to help overcome her rough start? We are working on training, and starting classes next week. She still isn`t reliable in anything except mostly housetrained.

Thanks for any advice

April 27th, 2005, 02:35 PM
Do you access to an older (but not elderly), gentle dog that could withstand the little one picking on them? I am no expert, but I am thinking that maybe if your little one regularly spent time with an older dog that maybe she would learn a little bit. I do know that it will take patience in socializing her since she didn't learn the early socialization with her littermates. I was just thinking that maybe an older dog would be able to teach her some manners if you had access to one that won't hurt the pup if she gets too rough, but won't run away either - one that will play but will also let the little one know when enough is enough. As I said, I'm no expert but I did take in a pup that was thrown over our fence when she was very, very young. The vet thought she was probably about 2 weeks old. We had an older dog at the time, and I think that the older dog took over the mothering since she was female. Our stray was always a very nervous dog, and would always shy away from short men with full beards (?) and she never completely got over the nervous thing. I wish you good luck!

April 27th, 2005, 02:53 PM
Dog that are taken away before 8 weeks usually are unusually fearful or aggressive with other dogs. They form a really strong bond with humans and are not too sociable with dogs (unless you socialize them TO DEATH).

Bite inhibition is also not taught, and the dog doesn't know where he stands in the heirarchy (could be a reason for the aggressiveness or fear extremes).

April 27th, 2005, 07:48 PM
Pamha - I know how difficult it is to raise a puppy separated from its mother and possibly littermates at such a young age. My puppy was 6 weeks old when I found him on the side of the road. Although he has done remarkably well (he's 10.5 months old now) he still has very little bite inhibition when he gets excited. He was shy in the beginning and still acts threatened around certain people or in unusual situations. He is excellent with other dogs (now)but can get "flighty" if the dog barks or gets aggressive. Even now, he'll suckle on his toys and separation anxiety remains a bit of problem. He is very attached to me and is easily frightened by raised voices. It also took a long time for him to housetrain.

Anyway, with that said he has been a wonderful companion. He continues to improve daily and I've never had such a social dog. I don't really have any suggestions for you but I think you will find that she improves as she develops and her confidence and trust in you increases. Dodger was very aggressive as a pup, often nipping at other dogs but has since learned proper doggie etiquette (not from me but other dogs). My cat has also taught him how to be gentle with her but he doesn't seem to think that it should apply to me as well! Formal training will help your pup tremendously, I'm sure that you will get through it!

Good Luck!

April 27th, 2005, 09:04 PM
I was thinking the same thing Kandy. Unfortunately most of the dogs we know are either elderly or dog-aggressive. We did have her visiting with an older dog last week who set her straight a few times and it really helped her manners while we were there. She plays well with puppies, but I think she really needs a 'momma' type to get her in line. Our older dog is 13, blind, deaf, & senile, so all she wants is to keep the puppy out of her face. We were trying to enforce that the older dog is 'alpha', but she`s so out of it that its kind of pointless. Maybe we will try the dog park or meet someone at puppy class who will help us set up some play dates. You all have kind of confirmed what I was thinking about her behavior, we really need to keep working on socializing her.

I`ve got a couple of pic links, hope this works. This is the only pic since puppyhood of Maggie`s face without her eyes looking freaky from her cataracts.

April 28th, 2005, 07:28 AM
Your dogs are absolutely gorgeous! Definitely chow in there!

Just as stated before, a dog removed from its mother and littermates too soon can have problems in the future.

Your puppy needs to be socialized very well in order for it to grow up well adjusted. I think the training classes are a good way to go and the trainer can hopefully help you out with this as well. Since your dog is part chow, socialization and training are particularly important in your case. Chows can be dog aggressive as it is and this would help.

We found my Beagle when she was approximately 6-7 wks old. Also very young to be separated from her littermates, but not as young as yours. I took her everywhere with me in order to socialize her with different sounds, people and situations. I only allowed her to play with dogs that I knew were healthy and vaccinated. I also enrolled her in a training class. This seemed to help in our case.

April 28th, 2005, 10:05 AM
Pamha - I forgot to mention a couple of things - not that you need to hear more troublesome stuff. The other 2 things that my puppy still tries to do with me is hump and tries to stand on his hind legs to be taller than me and therefore be in the dominant position. This is stuff that he should have learned about with his littermates - maybe yours has learned, I'm not sure.
It's quite confusing because his not a dominant dog usually - he is not possessive about his food, treats or bones but when he gets over-stimulated all he thinks about is either humping or standing taller than me! This only happens when we are playing/wrestling so I mostly try to avoid situations where I end up on the floor because he then starts his "dominant" nonsense!!!

Your dogs are very sweet looking!!


April 28th, 2005, 10:16 AM
I love the animation in the photos! Too cute! I am confident that your pup will get the socialization he needs with you for a mommy. Good Luck!

April 28th, 2005, 11:00 AM
Lissa, your dog sounds like mine, except for the humping (thank god!).

We don't know much about his history, but we suspect he was taken from the litter too soon. He is learning bite inhibition slowly, and tries to be dominant when he gets to our level. I used to love sitting on the floor to play video games, but not anymore!

We are doing our best to be's been hard this week though because both me and BF have picked up a bad cold (started last thursday and I'm still blowing my nose constantly!)

Pamha, just be consistent in your commands and your dog will know who is boss. We don't know many people with dogs, so it's hard to find people to meet with and play with. Plus, our dog is a little dog agressive with little dogs (shihs, lhasas, poodles). He is usally ok unless they are barking. If a dog barks at our dog, and it's a small dog, our dog gets agressive, if it's a big dog, he just wants to play.

April 28th, 2005, 12:44 PM
raingirl: My puppy Diego sounds exactly like what you described of your dog. Diego too was separated from mom dog when he just turned 7 weeks old. He is learning bite inhibition, but quite slowly, and he loves to jump up and paws me. We tried to tell him to "get down" and praised when his 4 paws are down, but so far this has done very little progress on his jumping problem.

I'm actually not quite sure if he's a dominant dog, some days he's so sweet, other days he's like a little devil. He's very very excited when other people are around, so we tell our friends to just ignore him when they visit. We are also leash-training him, he pulls so hard I think he's choking himself to death, but I'm hoping with time and training, he'll get better.

He'll start puppy school next week, hopefully he'll learn to better socialize with other dogs and people.