Aggressive 5month old puppy
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  1. #1
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    Default Aggressive 5month old puppy

    My puppy, Potito is a chocolate lab and is 5 months old.
    He has always been a little bit moody. When I am taking a nap in the couch he usually takes a nap as well and if anyone walks towards me he will growl at them. He wonŽt travel down the 2nd floor stairs (he can climb stairs if I hold him and bring him down one step heŽll navigate the rest w/o problems) so usually we carry him down. When I try to carry him, he runs away until I give him a firm NO and he'll stay put. When anyone else tries to do so he growls and gets mad.
    Today I accidentally stepped on his front paw, he was limping a bit. He was asleep downstairs and my sister was trying to pet him goodbye (I was at the office) and he growled at her, I don't think he'll bite anyone but I still have to curb this behavior.
    He's very friendly with everyone, specially kids, he adores them we never leave him unattended he is always with someone at the house and has free roam of the yard and inside of the house.
    Could you please advise why does he growl at others and how to change this.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Aggressive 5month old puppy

    Obed training. May not be out and out aggression, but, rather, dominance. And obed training will help.

    I'm still trying to get my mind around someone carrying a 5 month old dog down a flight of stairs!!!

  3. #3
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    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Aggressive 5month old puppy

    Why does he growl? it is difficult for any of us to say without being there. However, from what you have described, it sounds like a it could be a mix of fear and possesion aggression. But you are completely right -- growling is not normal or acceptable behaviour for a 5 month old puppy. This kind of behaviour is both genetic and environmental. You don't say where you got your puppy from or how much socialization he received in his early puppyhood, but these are likely to be huge influences over the behaviour you describe.

    For a start, you must revoke ALL couch privileges. Dogs who growl at their people when on the couch do not deserve to be up there. He is being possessive of what he perceives as 'his' space and he needs to learn that sitting on the couch is a privilege and not a right. Get him a separate dog bed and put it near but not next to your couches. Have him drag a long line around the house. Reward him for using his own bed and make it a positive place to be. Also, sit down on his bed with him and pet him. He needs to learn to share his space. If he puts a paw on the couch, immediately redirect him back to his own bed and praise. Old habits die hard and this will take a lot of repetition but don't give up.

    Don't carry him down the stairs. If he can navigate the last few steps, he can navigate all of them. You are catering to him. If he won't go down, strap his leash on, arm yourself with a treat or a favourite toy, be firm but fair and encourage him down ALL the steps on his own. If he does it once he won't 'forget'.

    Lastly, ROUTINE! young dogs in particular thrive on it.

    Breakfast time? make him sit and wait for it. Then realease him. Then do a quick 2 minute 'workout' -- sits, downs, etc.

    Walkies? schedule them for the same time every day if possible. He will feel more content knowing when his walks are coming. Make him sit to have his leash put on and then implement some obedience into his walk.

    What to be petted? sure, but you have got to 'down' first.

    Dinner time? again, you have got to work for your food.

    I think you understand what I am getting at. More consistency in routine, obedience training and exercise is what is needed here. Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Aggressive 5month old puppy

    Thanks for your responses.

    We got him when he was 8 weeks old, regretfully he arrived sick (http://www.justlabradors.com/forum/i...topicseen.html), from a breeder in another town, but the puppy is registered and I met both parents, very lovely dogs.
    I believe he was properly socialized as a younger pup, we always had kids and grown ups in the house playing with him (he is the new pup in the neighborhood and kids come and play with him).
    Due to his early sickness he has 4 feedings, (7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm) and walks twice a day(6am and when I get home at night).

    He sleeps on his bed which next to mine, but when we are watching TV downstairs he climbs on the couch but is not bothered by others sitting on the couch. He just growls when I'm sleeping and others come close, and sometimes when he thinks someone is going to carry him.
    Regarding the stairs, it is a tough job carrying him, I have tried with treats or anything else to coax him into coming down but he just won't take that first step.

  5. #5
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Aggressive 5month old puppy

    He was sick 12 weeks ago! I'd cut the four feedings back to two.

    And at one of them, put the bowl at the bottom of the stairs and walk away. Give him 10 minutes to navigate the steps and if he doesn't come down ~~voop~~ away goes the bowl 'til the next meal.

  6. #6
    JustineNYC Guest

    Default Re: Aggressive 5month old puppy

    Quote Originally Posted by lupinoquenopodio
    Thanks for your responses.

    We got him when he was 8 weeks old, regretfully he arrived sick (http://www.justlabradors.com/forum/i...topicseen.html), from a breeder in another town, but the puppy is registered and I met both parents, very lovely dogs.
    I believe he was properly socialized as a younger pup, we always had kids and grown ups in the house playing with him (he is the new pup in the neighborhood and kids come and play with him).
    Due to his early sickness he has 4 feedings, (7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm) and walks twice a day(6am and when I get home at night).

    He sleeps on his bed which next to mine, but when we are watching TV downstairs he climbs on the couch but is not bothered by others sitting on the couch. He just growls when I'm sleeping and others come close, and sometimes when he thinks someone is going to carry him.
    Regarding the stairs, it is a tough job carrying him, I have tried with treats or anything else to coax him into coming down but he just won't take that first step.
    If he growls when he thinks someone is going to carry him. STOP carrying him. Large dogs gt hurt when people try and pick them up.

    If he refuses to take that first step, Id leave him there and go on about my day. What are you going to do if he grows to the size of a small pony?

    Is anyone scolding him when he growls? Sounds like he doesnt know who the boss is.

    I would enroll him in obedience school. A puppy growling is something Ive never seen before and I imagine itd get worse if not nipped.

  7. #7
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Aggressive 5month old puppy

    Vet checkup - he may be in pain or discomfort, hence the irritability.

    NILIF time (I like this protocol: http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20DOGS/Writing/LTD.html )

    Stairs - how I teach them to nervous dogs is to start on the lowest step. Pick him up and put him there, or guide him up the one step with a leash. Then guide/assist him back down that one step. Repeat, repeat repeat till he is confidently hopping up and down the one step. Then move up to the second step, and do the same thing, and so on up the stairs. You can give treats for each correct repetition, but I prefer to just do this as quickly as possible, cheerleading and showering the dog with tons of praise for being so brave and clever.

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