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Aggression When Picked Up

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Violet Turner, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Doris is a nine and a half week old Miniature Schnauzer puppy that has shown no sign of aggression until last night. (Olive (her mum) shows only one aggression towards certain men, not sure who but she growls at a few men but never women.) Yesterday afternoon Samson her last brother left for his new forever home and she was fine for an hour. Doris then started growling when we picked her up from her being on the floor, in her pen and playing with her mum. She only developed this behaviour last night and she has now bitten a guest and also us. She growls and shows her teeth, but I see no physical signs of aggression (tail down, ears back or licking lips). I just walked into the bedroom where she is and she has chewed up the puppy pad torn up some vet bed and also tipped her water bowl up what should I do for punishing her for this behaviour? I was wondering could it be because of her brother leaving her/Separation Anxiety? Any comments welcome, as we want to get to the bottom of this behaviour ASAP and get her out of this awful habit before she does real damage.
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    That's very early to be showing aggression :eek: I would guess that she's really scared of being picked up - have you given her lots of good experiences of being picked up and cuddled in general? How much damage did she cause when she bit?

    For now - don't pick her up unless absolutely necessary. Lead her to where you want her to go or call her there - it's never too early to start working on recall. Also consider whether there could be something causing her discomfort, or whether she's had a bad experience of being picked up. You could encourage 'close handling' by letting her get onto your lap and finding out how she likes to be petted, e.g. scratches on the chest and tummy rubs, and giving her treats. Then you can gradually take more of her weight in your arms, each time pairing it with a treat.

    As for her chewing up her puppy pad & vet bed and tipping up her water bowl - don't even think of punishing her, she has done nothing wrong. It would be like punishing a baby for making a mess when you left them in a room with a gooey chocolate cake on the floor. And like punishing the baby an hour later, when they will have no idea what it was they did. Find a water bowl that won't tip over, put it on a plastic sheet instead, make sure she has plenty of things she can chew and redirect her to them when she chews something you don't want her to do. But if you need to use puppy pads because you can't be with her long enough to toilet train her properly, I don't think there's anything you can do about her eating them and the vet bed. Punishment would be completely inappropriate. It's very unlikely to be linked to SA - she's just being a puppy.

    In fact, punishment is inappropriate in all dog training. IMO, the only form punishment should take is something like timeouts, but that's simply teaching them 'When I do that, the fun stops.'
     
  3. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    1st thing i'd do?
    As above, INVITE her onto my lap while i sat on the floor, & make it a happy experience while she's there - don't try to "hold" her, let her get off & on as she likes, but the most-fun stuff only happens *while* she's on yer lap, or actually in the process of stepping up; give a nice tidbit of fresh protein as she steps up, pea-sized is plenty.

    2nd thing?
    I'd ditch the puppy-pads; they only serve to confuse pups by making "void indoors" OKAY, & pups don't grasp that the limit of the underlined absorbent pad is "where i go". // They can easily squat on an edge, & it goes into the carpet, not into the quilted paper layers.

    3rd thing?
    I'd get a proper airline-approved shipping crate, for safe secure leak-proof confinement when she's not supervised. :)
    Buy it in a size to fit her as an adult. // To determine her size, "try on" the floor-model crates at any pet-supply, then save $$ & buy one used on-line. GumTree, CraigsList, PreLoved, eBay, FREECycle [where items are indeed given away], & similar direct-to-buyer websites that list classified ads for the seller are where U want to look.
    The smallest crate her mother can enter, U-turn, & exit is the size for the puppy; any excess space that might allow her to pee or poop while lying elsewhere can be filled with clean, empty, stink-free boxes, such as paper boxes from a printing office or copy shop. [No grocery boxes & no liquor boxes; both can carry cockroach eggs. No cleaning chemicals or noxious chemicals, such as a box that once held spray-bottles of herbicide for a garden center.]

    back later - i'm @ work...
    - terry

    .
     
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  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Though this would depend on how long the pup is going to be on her own. How long is she left for,
    @Violet Turner ?
     
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  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I am not sure from your post whether you intended to punish her for the mess or for the growling so I will add on that point. The answer is the same, you should have no need to punish a puppy but nobody should ever punish a growl. A growl is your dog communicating she is unhappy or uncomfortable. If you ignore a growl, your dog will stop using it and will learn to bypass it and go straight to the bite.
     
  6. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    We had guests over every weekend when the puppies were first born and as they grow, and they were all handled and cuddled and kissed. Us as family held the puppies as soon as they came out as Olive had a little bit of a difficult time with pushing, all the puppies have been handled by all the family; young children, teens, adults (men/women) and my nan and granddad. Doris caused his caused his lip to bleed and we told her off and put her away for time out. I have taught her ‘come’ and she is very well trained at it, but having said this she can have selected hearing when she wants. I have done a full body examination and there is nothing that I believe is wrong, but there could be a hidden problem. I just asked my nephew and he said that he and his sister hasn’t done anything, like dropped her or grabbed her too hard. I will try doing what you put about asking on my knee… but she isn’t allowed in the lounge until she is fully toilet trained so what can I do about this? Would a ceramic bowl work for water? Would a Kong be a good investment for teething? Okay, I have been lightly tapping her nose and saying no then putting her in the crate for a ‘time out for 5-10 mins. Is this ok for discipline? Thank you for the quick reply @JudyN :)

    @leashedForLife I would love to get rid of the puppy pads but I don’t know how she would react to not having them at night and also because she isn’t allowed in the lounge so I cannot always watch her all the time and also she has just learnt to go back to the backdoor as the puppy pad is by the door and if I don’t see her then she can wee/poo on the pad. How can I handle it properly? A shipping crate is a great idea I will research first then may buy one.

    @Judy Doris and Olive are usually left in the week for 6 hours I know this a lot but I work really bad hours and only on a few days is she allowed in the surgery. I am getting a sitter soon so they won’t be left for so long in the day time.

    @JoanneF I want to punish for growling, biting and messing her crate up so we can nip it in the bud now, is there a way of stopping her from growling? And messing up the crate?

    Thank you for all the replies very much appreciated :)
     
  7. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes, a ceramic bowl will be fine. Assuming it's not so big & deep she could fall into it and drown (this might sound silly but I'm not used to small pups!) But tapping her nose, 5-10 minute timeouts and punishing for growling, biting and messing up her crate aren't fine. You might as well punish a baby for messing up its nappy.

    And IMPORTANTY don't see growling as aggression or 'bad'. She is simply communicating to you that she's not happy and it's VITAL that she can tell you this. You need to remove the reason for her feeling unhappy, not tell her off for feeling that way and expressing it.
     
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  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Please do not tap your dog on the nose. I imagine you will have learned at some stage in your career how sensitive a dog's nose is and I am surprised that you must have forgotten how easily damaged it is. As well as the potential for damage, tapping her nose will only make your dog learn to fear your hands.

    Housetraining will be impossible with the hours you leave them, it really isn't possible for her to hold her toilet that long. Toilet training requires you to take her out every 30 to 45 minutes, waiting with her, and massively rewarding until she gets it that outdoor toilets make you so happy that she wants to hold her toilet (once she is physically able to) to earn the wonderful reward it brings. Don't scold her, in the first place it might make her afraid of your reaction so she sneaks off to toilet elsewhere - really you want her to come and tell you if she needs out - and second, she cannot help it, she doesn't have the muscle control to hold and you have put her in this situation.

    As I have said, never punish a growl. Welcome it, you want her to keep communicating with you. A dog that doesn't growl isn't telling you that something is wrong, you need her to be able to do that.

    Regarding picking up and cuddling - maybe she just doesn't like it. She has no control over it, think how you would feel if people kept picking you up and hugging you when you didn't feel like it? Try the 5 second rule - pet her for 5 seconds then stop. See what she does. If she actively seeks more contact, pet for another 5 seconds. Stop again. Repeat ONLY as long as she asks for contact.
     
  9. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    I never found an alternative to watching Harri like a hawk during the house training process. I could anticipate to a certain extent when he needed to go (on waking from a nap, during a play session, after a meal, if he hadn't been for an hour etc) but it wasn't fool proof. I never used puppy pads for their intended purpose ( they are great for soaking up puddles though. Much more efficient than paper towels and you don't need to bend down!)

    I'm surprised she's being aggressive though - is her growl just a play one? Dogs have different growls and not all are aggressive. Harri will growl when he's excited with a game but it's very different from a threatening one and his lips don't curl back to show his teeth.

    Similarly with the bite - was it done with intent or was she playing, lunged at his face and just caught him with her teeth? Puppies have teeth like needles and the bite inhibition can go a bit wrong when they are so little. Chewing (mouthing) on you is also normal puppy behaviour. We discouraged it with a swift removal of the body part from the pup's mouth and a "Oi that's me" followed by inserting something into the gaping jaw that he could bite on.

    Tipping up the water bowl and shredding the pads also sounds like typical puppy behaviour. Harri did far worse - I'd get a heavier water bowl and give her plenty of toys that she can chew on. When she goes for something she shouldn't have then just trade it for something she can have. Harri has never been keen on his kong but he loves a ghastly pink plastic snake from B&M which I sometimes stuff with food for him.
     
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  10. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    @JudyN would this bowl be ok > Bowl? But how am I supposed to get her out of doing this behaviour? I have always disciplined my dogs this way, and never any different and it works well. But cannot stop her growling/biting, what am I supposed to do if she ends up biting someone really deep and they have to go to A+E?

    @JoanneF I tap her nose so lightly that it will not be damaged, yes I have learnt about the dog’s nose sensitivity. We let her out every 2 hours because for 1 hour she plays then sleeps then she has a toilet break. We don’t reward her with treats when she does her business we say ‘DoDos’ and ‘Good girl’. Okay but how have I made this situation? But she growls, bites and stiffens up her back when she gets picked up how can I ignore this behaviour? Doris adores cuddles she gets really relaxed when being cuddled and stroked, I will try the five second rule, and see how she is with it.

    @Caro Perry I’m 98% sure her growl is aggressive, she shows her teeth and snarls and also bites very hard. I know a play growl and this is not one. She bit for intent I think, it defiantly wasn’t a play bite. He picked her up off of me and went straight for his face teeth showing and back arched and spiked up fur. She doesn’t mouth she chews her teddy and her other teething ring and she loves socks, but never mouths our hands or feet as many of my other dogs have mouthed and she doesn’t and never really has. Okay I will buy more toys I swear Doris costs more than a baby.
     
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  11. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Stop picking her up. She seems to dislike it.
    We have tried really hard to explain this and I am not sure how much clearer we can be. The growl is dog language for "stop this thing you are doing, I don't like it. If you continue to do it I will have no option but to take this further (bite) which neither of us wants so PLEASE STOP".

    So how you stop a growl is to not put her in a position that she needs to warn you off. A good start would be to stop picking her up and cuddling and kissing her. She seems to be giving you fairly clear messages about it.

    That said, this is based on your interpretation that it isn't play. And tbh in a puppy play is a lot more likely. She may still dislike being picked up but she also needs to learn bite inhibition. I think you have commented on threads about that so I am sure you know the advice on that so no need to repeat it here.
     
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  12. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Okay much appreciated for your help .
     
  13. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    You're in a much better place than me to judge whether she could overturn a water bowl than I am - just use your common sense.

    What behaviour? Tipping up her bowl, or the growling/biting? As has been said, DO NOT try to stop the growling. Simply stop putting her in a position where she feels the need to do this. Avoid confrontation. You've been told how to do this regarding her not liking being picked up, and not giving her more petting than she wants.

    A lot of people have got away with disciplining their dogs in the past. Some dogs happily accept it and roll with the punches, some will be relatively shut down because they are scared of the discipline. And most owners haven't got a clue that their dog's body language is anything but happy.

    And some owners have found that their dogs get more and more reactive and confrontation, and abandon or give up their dogs, or take them on a one-way trip to the vet.

    Dogs aren't born with the knowledge that they should do what we want them to do - why should they? A stranger or even a friend could praise me all they want for doing what I wanted them to do but it would mean nothing to me. Now if they paid me... Our jobs as trainers is to make the dog want to do whatever it is we want to do, and treats are your best weapon here. Praise is likely to achieve the square root of zero.


    Possibly by petting/picking her up when she didn't enjoy it, and not noticing the signals. Or she might have always developed in this direction anyway. Genetics plays a big role in behaviour - I know my dog's guarding is nothing to do with how I reared him - and you don't know what the mother and father were like in this respect.

    You don't ignore it - you adapt what you do in the future but honestly, corrections will do far more harm than good, as has been explained. If you can handle her in a way you're happy with, she will come to trust you, and you can then work on the sort of handling she's not so keen on by approaching it gradually.

    I strongly recommend you get this book and read it thoroughly: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Puppy-Prim...d=1521396564&sr=8-1&keywords=the+puppy+primer Also, these articles on Victoria Stillwell's site: Positive Training And these articles on puppies: Puppy Knowledge
     
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  14. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    @Violet Turner ,
    I'm going to address some things that i see as radical misperceptions - IMO they're very big deals, indeed, & can have a very bad effect, not only on this puppy, but any dog that U own in the future, or even dogs U interact with, casually.
    .
    .

    Heavens! - Violet, she's 9-WO!! - do U truly believe that she's been "trained" to recall?! :eek: She's the equivalent of a 9-MO infant in diapers, & IMO, U are setting an impossibly high standard for her behavior - she's a BABY.

    On average, to achieve an 80% reliable recall [come promptly when called 4 times of 5 single cues, under mild to moderate distraction], most dogs are 18-MO. And that's with consistent training & proofing, not casual "Fred, come!" moments.
    As for "selective hearing", think about the last time U saw young children between 5 & 7-YO in a classroom setting, & how easily they're distracted from a task or the subject of discussion - a bird flies by the window, a voice is heard in the hallway, & depending upon how complex or abstract the subject or text, HALF or more of those kids will shift their attn to the distraction, at least briefly.
    Then think about the same scenario with 2 & 3-YOs... they have attn-spans that might last 30-seconds to maybe a minute, at the very most. // Are the toddlers distracted on purpose? - Do they CHOOSE to be distracted?
    Are the older children, in kindergarten, 1st-grade, & 2nd-grade, also being rebellious & deliberately difficult, when they are distracted? - IMO & IME, no - they are not. They're acting like normal kids, in accordance with their ages; as we grow up, we become less impulsive, learn more self-control, can be immersed in a topic for longer periods.
    These are normal benchmarks, & conversely, being easily distracted as a toddler isn't a sign that this kid is a born rebel who will be making pipe-bombs in the basement to blow the school apart by age 12!

    She's an infant - Yes, she can learn, but nothing at this point in her life is remotely "trained", i-e, a reliable cued behavior, except under very limited circs.
    .
    .

    2 points:
    * Dogs don't grasp abstractions; 'no' is nothing if not abstract, & even for older dogs who might have some vague idea that it indicates stuff U don't like, it tells the dog NOTHING about what to do instead.
    Why waste time? - if the dog jumps up, don't say 'no'; assuming they know sit, say SIT. :D Ask for what U want.

    * Time-outs must be brief, & the younger or more ignorant the dog is, the shorter the time-out must be.
    I wouldn't give a 9-WO pup more than 20-seconds as a time-out, because the penny doesn't drop until they're given the opp to re-offend, & the time-out happens AGAIN... & again... & again... & again! // 5-minutes after committing some minor sin might as well be a millennium, for all the meaning that time-out now carries for the dog. There's no longer a connection between what they did, & being crated / put on leash while the others play / banished from the room / whatever.
    What s/he did is now ancient history, & they aren't learning anything from being sequestered, at that point, except frustration. :(
    .

    .

    How much of the house is this 9-WO pup allowed to access? ... 0.0 ... o_O
    If she's permitted in a room OTHER THAN the one that U are in, right now, she is unsupervised far-too much of the time - IMO. She should quite literally not be out of Ur sight; any time she's not in a crate, or on an easy-clean floor in a puppy-proofed room, she should be under the eye of an adult who is WATCHING her - not watching the telly, & glancing at the pup now & then.

    Personally, when i'm housetraining a puppy [or an adult dog - same thing], i set my alarm every night for 3-AM & i get up, throw a robe / coat over my PJs, slip shoes or boots on, & go outside with the puppy or dog, so they can void.
    With any pup under 12-WO, i carry the puppy bodily till we're outside, then - having clipped the leash on their collar - i put them down on a spot they've used B4, & wait while they figure out the task. // This is typically a short wait; i don't play with them, talk to them, walk around, or sigh irritably; i don't play CandyCrush on my phone, either.
    I stand still, & i WAIT. // When they void, i praise them warmly & quietly, & I have a tidbit under their nose as soon as they stand up, BEFORE They take one step.
    Then we return to the indoors, I crate the pup [or dog] beside my bed, take off my robe / coat, slip off the shoes, & go back to bed. Elapsed time, about 5 to 10-mins max; next morning, the puppy is clean & dry, the crate is clean & dry, & we're both well-rested & ready for the day.
    With a puppy, i don't stop setting the alarm for 3-AM until the pup is on average about 15-WO; with a dog over 6-mos, i might be able to sleep thru the night after a week or so.

    it's all about
    making the puppy as successful as possible - error-free housetraining is possible, U just need someone to be there every time the pup needs to go, to get them out the door, stay with them to monitor & reward, & bring them back in, after. If U work FT, U can hire someone, make a trade with a neighbor, ask a retired friend or relative, etc.
    Every time the puppy voids in the house, it's the fault of the adult human who is there, or who failed to be there when needed. Puppies are never to blame for housetraining mistakes. :oops:

    3 more things about housetraining:
    - puppies don't have operating sphincter muscles on their bladder & bowel until they're 12-WO.
    Until then, they must be scheduled, & once they reach 3-MO, they must learn to hold it & develop muscle tone to do so.
    - the rule for scheduling potty trips:
    [Age in months] + 1 = Max # of hours between trips.
    At 9-WO, she's 2 + 1 = 3-hours max.
    - scheduled trips are in addition to 'triggered' trips.
    Triggers include:
    waking from sleep; a meal or large drink; active play; exciting events. // So if U & the puppy are in the kitchen, quietly hanging out after she voided 1st thing, then she ate & she pottied again, & now, yer other half descends from the bedroom... U may be going right back out, as the arrival of another human can be very exciting for an infant pup. :rolleyes:

    I urge U to download both the free books here -
    http:///www.dogstardaily.com/free-downloads

    they are clear, well-written, & explain how to teach a soft mouth, get a puppy hooked on chew-toys, housetrain, & socialize an infant pup.
    3-weeks remain of her primary socialization period; she should be meeting an average of 30 to 35 friendly strangers each of those weeks who are not Ur relatives by birth or marriage, & who are as diverse as possible in their appearance, diet, ethnic origins, language, clothing, size, ability / disability, age, etc.

    Let the baby be a baby - just set her up to succeed along the way. :)
    - terry

    .
     
  15. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Growling/biting okay I won’t confront her. I would never will never take any dogs 1 way to the vet for this. Okay I will buy some new tasty treats. I have that book and also I am always on that website. But thanks anyway @JudyN
     
  16. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes she is 9 weeks old and she knows recall. I can call ‘Doris’ from upstairs and she will come, a when she is outside I shout her she comes I have took her out for a walk and yes I know a walk at 9 weeks I live on a cul-de-sac and I let her out on different textures. Olive knows when I tap her on the nose that she has done something wrong. Why only 20 seconds if she whines that takes 3 mins not 20 seconds. The bedrooms, Upstairs, The kitchen, The hall way, The garage, The bathroom and the office. But I don’t have to keep my eye on her if she is really restricted. She sleeps through the night and doesn’t need to go out for a wee in the night. I get up at around 5 a.m. so she doesn’t need to hold it long. Doris is crated in the garage not next to our bed is this wrong? No because I just took Doris out 10 mins ago and she did a wee and a poo then she peed in the house so how is it my fault. I know about dogs muscles. Every 2 hours she is put out except at bedtime. Okay why would I need the books when I know how to do everything? But she isn’t a baby…
     
  17. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    If you know how to do everything then why are you asking for advice? And if you have the book I suggested and read Victoria Stillwell's website why do you go completely against what they recommend?

    It is very common for pups to go out, wee, come back in and wee again. It's therefore often advised that the moment you bring the up in, you take them straight out again. But then you know this because you know how to do everything.
     
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  18. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Please don't be sarcastic. I worded it wrong that's all! Yes i have read the book and i go on her website all the time. I don't know what to do about Doris biting and snarling/growling at guests and men and woman
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  19. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    **Update i have tried the above and nothing seems to be working. what should i do, she is still biting and snarling
     
  20. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    You have been trying for less than 18 hours, presumably some of which were sleep hours, and you are surprised it hasn't worked?

    Ok, under what circumstances is she now biting and growling.
     

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