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Old March 17th, 2014, 02:57 PM
Tinalise Tinalise is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Vancouver BC, Canada
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Puppy aggression on stairs and in yard

Hello!

I've recently adopted a german shepherd husky cross. She's around 5.5months old 40-45lbs. She was a stray living on a reserve in northern bc so I don't know much about her past. Overall she is very laid back and sweet. She follows us around the house like a shadow. Knows basic commands and hand signals. She's getting better on the leash everyday. Sounds like an angel right?

Wrong! We have issues with her in the yard and on stairs. In the yard, she will suddenly change posture, she will get down low, her eyes will go black and she will stare at me until she decides to pounce on me. She looks like a wolf that is hunting. She will run full force, jump, bite and bark. She does stop after I turn my back, say no and ignore her but only after she gets in a few bites on my legs. She will do the same on stairs. If she happens to be at the top of stairs of bottom when you are on the other end. She will go all wolfy again.

Oh and she gets plenty of excersise. I take her on 1h walk in the morning with 15min play time in the yard in the. She has 2 additional play sessions in the yard and a 30min night time walk. She also gets socialized with other dogs every saturday.

Is this just puppy play? Should I be worried about this behaviour? She is still loosing teeth, could this affect her behaviour?

Thank you in advance!
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Old March 17th, 2014, 05:12 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,956
Maybe someone training her to be an attack dog? You really need to let the puppy know this is not OK , this could be real problem when she get bigger. She could hurt someone. I don't believe this has anything do with her teeth , if it did there would a lot more cases like this.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 08:18 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,157
She's playing. Most puppies play the same way. When they lower their fronts and keep their backs up it's called a play bow. It's completely normal behaviour but you don't want her to bite you. Jumping on you and barking are not great either, and the jumping especially won't be good when she's a big dog.

You are doing the right thing by turning your back. We call that a time out. You say she stops so it's working. Let her play and it seems she understands to stop when you turn your back and hopefully she will learn to keep you playing by not doing the unpleasant things.

Yes, teething could make her more mouthy. Give her safe things to chew on. I used white rope bones, thoroughly wetted, wrung out, then frozen. The cool sooths sore gums and boy, did they turn red from puppy blood. I rotated two.

There is a rule of thumb for puppy exercise. Forced exercise is allowed twice a day at 5 minutes per month of age. Forced is anything on leash, constant pace, straight line or hard surface. That's and/or. It's hard on still soft puppy joints. Free play on soft surfaces unlimited as puppy can rest, change direction and pace as she wants. I followed this rule loosely with my Lab but found I did have to limit his free play as well as he would literally run till he was gasping for breath, the silly, little nut.

I hope you are taking her to obedience classes too? Classes will teach you how to manage her, get her to pay attention to you and a fringe benefit is they tend to bond your dog to you. Pet classes will do but my preference is competitive obedience, whether you intend to compete or not, as I feel from mine that they gave me better training.

It sounds like you have the makings of a wonderful doggy companion. Good luck with her and we'd love to see a photo.
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