Aggressive biting and growling
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Thread: Aggressive biting and growling

  1. #1
    Erin__clark is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultAggressive biting and growling

    Hello,
    We got Bo about 2 months ago. He's still new to us, but learning very well. He's almost 7 months old, putting him at 5 months when we got him. He is a pure bred chocolate lab. He is shy when it comes to other people. He's making pretty good strides though. He's responding to basic commands very well. He plays well with other dogs for the most part. Just recently, when taking him for walks, he becomes very aggressive when we see other dogs. He tries to lunge at them, while growling and barking. He has not done this before. A few weeks ago, while at the vet, our vet told us that Bo would start having an attitude due to his "puppy hormones." Bo is getting neutered tomorrow. Hopefully it will help with some of this. Bo also has plenty of exercise. He AT LEAST gets 1 hour each weekday. On the weekends, he is very active. He has a "normal diet." He also has a good sleeping pattern...never wakes up us barking.

    Has anyone else experienced this? If so, do you have any tips?

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  3. #2
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Sorry to say, but neutering is probably not going to help that much with this behavior. He needs training. Have you looked into an obedience class?
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  4. #3
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Neutering this young is not good for your puppy, regardless of what your vet said. You can search the forum, there's tons of info on this subject. And.I agree neutering is not going to change these behaviors, sounds like you need a new vet maybe?
    Last edited by tammyhuffman; 04-30-2013 at 10:30 AM.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

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  6. #4
    Dog Paddle is offline Senior Member
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    I agree. This sounds like typical teenage puppy bad manners and lack of training. Neutering is no guarantee he will magically correct, you still have to show him how you expect him to act in public. Are you taking classes? They are the best thing to show him proper manners in a controlled situation before trying to teach the same thing in a big wide world of distractions. A fringe benefit is such classes tend to be a bonding experience.

    There are some sigificant health concerns to neutering too early. There's a good list of research articles on that topic here: Neutering Articles and Information

  7. #5
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    This puppy is probably at the vet as we speak, so that ship has sailed.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  8. #6
    Erin__clark is offline Junior Member
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    I am aware that neutering isn't going to solve this problem. I said hopefully it helps with some of it - meaning his attitude/focus. I know that neutering isn't a magic fix. How old is the proper age for neutering? I have been told, and have read, that right around 6 months is the best time to neuter your dog. Or around the time he or she starts showing dominate traits. I have heard this from others, not just my vet.

    We have not taught him to do this. We work with him very often. He has never done this until very recently....literally happened overnight, as absurd as that sounds. We are looking into obedience classes. But is there anything else we can do at home? Anyone have insight, rather than saying that neutering isn't going to fix this?

    Thanks.

  9. #7
    Dog Paddle is offline Senior Member
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    Did you take a look at the link I provided?

    LOL, happening overnight does not sound the least bit absurd. In a U.K. dog site I go on they call teenage dog a Kevin stage. I was lost till they explained it was from a comedy show where the actor seemingly morphed overnight from lovely prepubescent boy to horrible teenager and his name was Kevin. Of course it stuck with the dogs because it was so apt for them too.

  10. #8
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    You indicate that he behaves shyly around people and now he is being aggressive/growling at other dogs (which is often fear based). Did you get him from a shelter or a breeder?

    I guess you don't know what happened when he was a small puppy? He really needs to be properly socialized around a lot of different people and dogs. I would start with the people (they come over to him with treats, so he starts to associate new people with positive things) If he is really fearful, I would have them toss treats from a few feet away and then work up to closer contact.

    You do a similar thing with dogs - as he approaches a new dog you treat him while he is calm. If he starts to get worked up, reverse direction. Dont let him get to the point of being really agitated.

    He also should learn to watch you while walking. Teach - "watch me" and treat him whenever he does look at you. When he is focussed on you he will be less likely to engage other dogs.

    You could also start using a Gentle Leader head collar, which helps control a dog on a walk and also exerts pressure on the bridge of their snout - which in some fearful dogs makes them more compliant.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  11. #9
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Hopefully you did not get him neutered today! Maxx was never shy and has been in classes since 10 weeks, with 2 - 4 week breaks every 6 - 8 weeks. He has had lots of socislization, he never seemed to go through the teen-ager silliness I have seen before, he is a very mellow boy. However, about 2 months ago he started bullying our 6 year old lab/border collie mix. He was always corrected, very quickly, although it did not stop him from trying over and over again. He then began to bark, just once or twice, if he saw someone walking a dog down the road we live on. (He loves to lay on the back of the couch and watch out the window but never before barked.) We had him neutered about 2 weeks ago, at 21 months, and he is back to his normal mellow self. I don't know if it is a result of the neutering, the constant corrections, lots of socialization and classes, his normal very mellow disposition or a combination of all. I would definitely wait as long as possible to neuter, definitely not before 18 months though. Perhaps if you work on his socialization and confidence it will stop what you are calling aggression but sounds more like fear to me.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  12. #10
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    There is a possibility that this is also an aspect of him being in a fear period. Please read here for more info on that.


    Dog Behavior: Understanding Fear Periods in Dogs
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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