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More puppy woes

Purely Canadian
December 8th, 2006, 08:15 AM
As some of you know, I am the PROUD new owner of a Golden Retriever puppy, Lincoln, who is almost 10 weeks. Most of the time he is the cutest, sweetest little thing but there is something that is concerning me. He seems to be displaying some aggressive behaviours. While I know that nipping is a common puppy issue, he is also growling, showing his teeth, and I swear to gawd that he was trying to hump my leg yesterday. He wrapped his paws around my leg and appeared to be trying to "hump". Is this possible at such a young age??

I took Lincoln to the animal clinic on Wednesday and he became very aggressive with the vet. As she was checking him over, he began growling and flashing his pearly whites. She cuffed him and made a comment that this type of behavior should be dealt with ASAP. I totally agree and have contacted some local pet trainers in my area to see when I can begin classes (still waiting for a reply though).

On a positive note, Lincoln is doing very well with his crate training! He rarely cries when confined and he can make it from 12am to 6am without having an accident. He is quickly learning the "Sit" command and the "No Teeth" command. And, for the first time yesterday, he didn't have a single accident on the floor!! Go Lincoln, go!

Anyhoo, does anyone have any suggestions on how I should handle my aggressive little boy? I want to curb this behavior before it gets too far along.

Cheers!
Sherry

brandynva
December 8th, 2006, 02:50 PM
I may be able to shed some light on the humping issue. I got my male when he was 8 weeks old. He immediately tried to hump the other dogs in the house. It is done as a dominance in males and females both. The thing to do is to say firmly NO and push him away. Make sure he knows you are the boss. With Roscoe, it only took a few times telling him no and he pretty much didn't try it again. As far as the other issues, I'm sure more knowledgable people can help you! Good luck!

Rob n Cody
December 8th, 2006, 03:08 PM
Congrats on the new addition!! First of all, I have to say that I wouldn't be that impressed with your vet for "cuffing" him.....don't know that physical slaps/hits are ever appropriate! With puppies, a stern no, and good finger wagging should be enough to put them in place.
I agree that the humping is probably just a dominance thing, and am sure you will get his place in the home sorted out - just make sure he knows you run the roost.
Good luck!

gonementally2da
December 10th, 2006, 04:33 PM
don't jump on the vet cuffing the pup, even the mother does her version of a cuff to a pup who gets out of line, as long as it is a light and not a hurtful cuff (more of an attention grabber than pain). i was a vet assist for years and did behavior modification for owners with dogs who were having problems. so lets start simple, the vet is right, it is CRUCIAL for you to correct this behavior NOW, not next week. any delay lets the pup know it's ok to act like that, first you have to set the standard as the leader of the pack in your home. next time the pup does ANY of those behaviors, imitate the mother by using your fingers as teeth and "nipping" the pups neck at same time use a sound that catches the pups attention (i always prefer an "ack" sound using your throat to make it louder) immediately follow that with a "no bite" or "no growl", then quickly put pup on her/his (sorry brain lock) back and hold her/him down repeating the command. hold that position until the pup completely relaxes and accepts your command of her/him. keep this as a standard when setting your boundaries as to what is acceptable and not, the pup is testing and sound like a dominant, BUT remember, YOU are the dominant ALWAYS. i hope this helps:p

Inverness
December 10th, 2006, 06:35 PM
I took Lincoln to the animal clinic on Wednesday and he became very aggressive with the vet. As she was checking him over, he began growling and flashing his pearly whites. She cuffed him and made a comment that this type of behavior should be dealt with ASAP. I totally agree and have contacted some local pet trainers in my area to see when I can begin classes (still waiting for a reply though).

This is a very atypical temperament characteristic in a Golden Retriever and an unacceptable behaviour from such a young puppy - should raise much concern. How are the dam and sire's temperaments ?

MyBirdIsEvil
December 10th, 2006, 06:46 PM
With puppies, a stern no, and good finger wagging should be enough to put them in place.

That is absolutely not true of many confident and high drive puppies.
While that may work with a puppy of average temperment or a submissive puppy, some puppies tend to exhibit more dominant behavior than others, and if they have a high prey drive the finger wagging would just elicit them to bite or nip playfully. I'm not saying to smack them around or anything, but some puppies don't respond to just a firm voice.

In regards to the original posters question, I agree with Iverness, that is EXTREMELY uncharacteristic behavior for a golden, and most puppies for that matter. Nipping, chasing, growling, playfully is common in many high drive pups, but actual aggression as you described, along with the humping (especially towards people), is not normal at all for a pup that age.
That level of dominance/aggression is usually not seen until much older.
Though, (sorry I don't know any background on you or the dog), if the puppy was given absolutely no structure or consequences ever for his actions, I could see that kind of behavior developing quickly.
Definately get with a trainer as soon as possible. Once the dog is older it's going to be much harder to handle.

Marshmallow
December 10th, 2006, 06:56 PM
Congrats of the new pup. If I may say so, I don't think breed has anything to do with it at this age. Though I've encountered and know quite a few aggressive Goldens. :shrug: My guess is bad breeding/not-so-knowledgable owners. By standard they are great dogs. But isn't every dog?

That above comment is not directed to the OP. Just generally speaking.

IMO this dog is too young to be away from it's litter. It's needs a lot of socialization with dogs in order to learn appropriate behavior. And as the others said correction is a must. The puppy is old enough to understand. Once you get the sit/stay/lay or down commands down it will be a lot easier.

Where did you get this dog? Would the breeder allow you to bring the pup to socialize with the mom, dad and/or littermates?

Inverness
December 10th, 2006, 07:03 PM
Congrats of the new pup. If I may say so, I don't think breed has anything to do with it at this age.

Hmmm, breed has everything to do with your dog's temperament, whatever the age.

Though I've encountered and know quite a few aggressive Goldens. :shrug: My guess is bad breeding/not-so-knowledgable owners. By standard they are great dogs. But isn't every dog?

Most people will get a Golden Retriever BECAUSE of the breed's temperament.

IMO this dog is too young to be away from it's litter. It's needs a lot of socialization with dogs in order to learn appropriate behavior. And as the others said correction is a must. The puppy is old enough to understand. Once you get the sit/stay/lay or down commands down it will be a lot easier.

Where did you get this dog? Would the breeder allow you to bring the pup to socialize with the mom, dad and/or littermates?

Typically, a larger breed puppy will leave the breeder's house at 8-10 weeks of age. Socialization can take place in a puppy kindergarden and with friends' dogs. I don't think the behaviour described above has to do with socialization, but rather with inappropriate dominance and aggressivity in a non-threatening context.

MyBirdIsEvil
December 10th, 2006, 07:14 PM
It's needs a lot of socialization with dogs in order to learn appropriate behavior.

The problem is aggression towards humans, not dogs.
Teaching the puppy boundries with people is what solves dominance issues towards people, though it's very uncharacteristic for a puppy that age to show aggression towards humans.
The puppy may have a temperment issue genetically, a mental issue, or absolutely no socialization and rules as far as people go.
Socializing with dogs doesn't teach the puppy what is appropriate with humans. Up until about 8 weeks the puppies mother is teaching the puppy boundries and to submit to higher ups. By 10 weeks, proper socializing with humans should teach the dog that humans aren't playmates, and the boundries learned from the mother dog will have helped the dogs interactions with people.
Though it's a good idea for teaching her interacion with other dogs, teaching the dog to socialize with other puppies doesn't help them see that humans make the rules.