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 Post subject: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 24 Jan 2016, 20:05 
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Joined: 05 Jan 2016, 19:54
Posts: 11
We have a 14 week old mini labradoodle. He is, fundamentally, a sweet boy BUT he is showing signs of being pretty obnoxious. He has bitten my 9 year old and me on separate occasions (once each and with little to no warning - proper bites, too) when we stroked him whilst he was eating breakfast. We have started to hand feed and will return to bowl feeding in our laps and eventually give him distance as we try to associate us with being his providers and not to be guarded against.

This evening he snarled at our six year old boy who stroked him as the puppy was seeking to sleep. Let sleeping dogs lie, you say, but our other dogs have never been so stroppy and have just moved to find peace elsewhere.

I'm a virgin doodle owner and am beginning to question the wisdom of our choice of breed. Does this all sound normal? I'm really concerned that our children or their friends will receive a bite that triggers a court mandated one way visit to the vet and I'm keen to avoid this.

Any thoughts welcome, please!


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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 24 Jan 2016, 22:04 
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Joined: 03 Nov 2006, 20:30
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Location: South Dorset
Hi there - I'm sorry you are worried about your pup, but tbh I think it too soon to say he is aggressive. First of all puppies bite - they all do. Part of training your pup is training them to inhibit their bite. He wants to have his food to himself, and he wants to be left aone to sleep, and from his point of view what better way of getting what he wants than biting? Teaching your pup to control his bite is the most important part of training - google "bite inhibition and Ian Dunbar" and you will find lots of information.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 24 Jan 2016, 22:43 
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Joined: 10 Sep 2010, 18:36
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Hi, I'll add the kids must leave the pup alone esp when trying to sleeping. No debate.
You can't at such young age expect a pup to go off and find another spot to sleep. Pup needs to feel safe and have his own quiet time without fear of disturbance. Kids often can freak a pup out due to their irratic child behaviour.
It is very rare for a dog esp a young dog to bite without prior warning eg stillness of body/freezing, avoidance, low growl, lip curl and very last resort is to bite. Punishing the pup for his snarl or bite will,at this stage, only encourage him to inhibit these warning signs which would be more worrying long term.
Hand feeding is good idea, for now would restrict this to adult activity.

Be gentle, kind and consistent whilst your pup learns from you how you wish him to fit into your world.
Best wishes


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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2016, 20:49 
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Joined: 10 Oct 2014, 18:01
Posts: 36
My 1st port of call would be the breeder. Did you meet your pup's mother and father, what where they like? I have been very lucky and in nearly 40 years of dog ownership (mainly rescues) have never had a biter or one that guarded food. Puppies nip and need to be trained out of it. How long have you had your puppy?

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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2016, 21:12 
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Joined: 05 Jan 2016, 19:54
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We have had the puppy from 11 weeks old. At first he was good but he developed an aggressive side around food or food-based toys. This is not a case of puppy mouthing or Labrador mouthing but rather biting in anger.

At risk of heresy, I'm considering an electric collar to zap him each time he bites in anger. meetings with parent dogs were brief and breeder controlled so pretty useless.


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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2016, 21:24 
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Joined: 22 Aug 2013, 20:05
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He's just a puppy! An electric collar will not make him less aggressive only more so! He needs patience and lots of love. Anny


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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2016, 22:30 
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Joined: 30 Jul 2008, 13:51
Posts: 746
Location: Manchester
I think it would be better to return this puppy to the breeder, you clearly are not happy with your choice and the pup would be better off in a home that uses positive training.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 10 Feb 2016, 23:56 
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Joined: 09 May 2013, 00:38
Posts: 3304
Location: N. E. Derbyshire
It doesn't sound as if the breeder would be all that interested, Ben, unfortunately...

I do understand your concerns, 44Whitehall, especially when young children are involved, but your puppy is still very young to be thinking of using an electric collar. Has he been going to puppy classes, or have you got his name down for them? Perhaps the trainer would be able to give you some pointers.

Your children do need to be aware that he shouldn't be disturbed when he is tired, or at the moment, eating. If the breeder wasn't all that bothered, he may have had to fight for his food as a little one.

If he isn't going to training yet, do you have a vet who can recommend a good behaviourist to help you? (You need one who uses modern methods, not the Caesar Milan-type.)

Good Luck with your puppy - doodles really are beautiful dogs, but they do need to know their boundaries... The best way to do this is with positive reinforcement, rather than punishment. I know that it can all seem over-whelming sometimes (I've been there with grooming issues in the past) but with perseverance and consistency, it does get better. If you can, try not to see it as 'aggression', just a young puppy who doesn't know the right way to behave yet...

Anne, Ianto & Wyre x


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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2016, 09:02 
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Joined: 30 Jul 2012, 09:00
Posts: 169
Location: Woburn
The first time Rudy growled was when he was eating and i just walked past his bowl - he was going to puppy classes and i mentioned it to his trainer who said along with the biting (which he did a lot) it's not aggression but just a wilful pup testing his boundaries.
For the growling around food she suggested we approach his bowl while he's eating with a bit of cheese or something he loves and just drop it in. Pretty soon Rudy started backing away from his bowl as we approached - waiting for his cheesy treat! :D
It made him realise we are not here to steal his food and now in the middle of eating i can touch his bowl and he's fine.
It takes time, but positive, reward based training leads to a more balanced happy dog i think.
Hope it goes well

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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2016, 20:12 
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Joined: 30 Dec 2012, 13:50
Posts: 3306
Location: Waltham Abbey
Hi. I hope you can get over it with the pup. I just used screech ouch when Lulu Bit. I had young grandchildren who played with her so I did watch them (I have had dogs all my life but you can't trust kids and dogs together ). Pups are reAlly learning All the time as are children. They have to learn boundaries as do children. You wouldn't put an electric collar on a child if they bit (I have known Children to bite). All the above are suggestions I would follow if my ouch didn't work. It has only been three weeks. Perhaps all give yourselves a bit of time. Stand back and start again. Hopefully all will turn out okay in the end

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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2016, 20:29 
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Joined: 05 Jan 2016, 19:54
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Thanks for the suggestions. I've put the taser(!) on hold and will try the tricks y'all suggest. Back soon with an update.


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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2016, 21:56 
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Joined: 22 Dec 2012, 15:40
Posts: 1008
Please don't use an electric collar on your puppy. They are very cruel and will make him worse not better.

I know how you are feeling as when I got my pup I was flabbergasted at how naughty she was and I was on here begging for help and asking if I'd picked a devil. We called her Tess of the Baskervilles!
As I was told, I now know it was all normal puppy stuff or if it was bad it was solvable with hard work.
Doodles are not for the faint hearted. They are lively, bright intelligent dogs and like children they are not born with manners or a knowledge of how you want them to behave.
That said, they are very rarely aggressive or dangerous. If you can find a way to connect with your boy and find a positive strategy that works you WILL have a wonderful companion and the best friend you could wish for.

I found my pup overwhelmingly challenging and I have worked really hard with her. She is now the most fantastic dog you can imagine.
It's normal for pups to bite and push the boundaries like kids do. Be firm but give lots of praise too. You must show them what you do want him to do, that you won't take his food away- you'll give him more if he is calm.

When he bites tell him "No!" very firmly and instantly offer him a toy and praise him for biting that. Yelping might work , it didn't for me but it does for some. Different ideas work for different pups.

Look on the Labradoodle Association website. On the training ideas section it shows you how to teach "Off" meaning "get your face/teeth/nose away from me or that". It really worked for biting us, biting the brush, the towel etc and also is great for stopping food snatching and poking noses in stuff.

Please do another post giving us more detail about what he's doing and how you're handling it. Hopefully the wonderful people on here will be able to offer you lots of positive advice and help. Xxx

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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2016, 22:13 
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Joined: 09 May 2013, 00:38
Posts: 3304
Location: N. E. Derbyshire
I have joked in the past that I needed a tazer for Ianto's Recall 'issues', 44Whitehall.... until someone suggested that what I really needed was a dart gun.... :roll:
Good Luck - and keep us posted. I've learned an awful lot from all the good people on this forum... (Thank you everyone!) :D
Anne, Ianto & Wyre x


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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2016, 22:45 
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Joined: 11 Jan 2012, 20:22
Posts: 844
Location: Swindon.
Hi,

I'm sure it's just a stage you are going through, it happened to us, Oscar was on the verge of being sent back to the breeder, but we persevered and the rest is history. Here is a link to an old post that explains more. Your puppy is very much a blank canvas, please don't electrocute it :( , have never ever heard of this tactic being deployed on a doodle :?

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=25888

Oscar & hoomans.

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 Post subject: Re: Aggression in 14 week old
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2016, 22:52 
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Joined: 22 Dec 2012, 15:40
Posts: 1008
Doh! Think I meant the Labradoodle Trust website- sorry. X

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