I have a 13 week old pup. Has been great so far. Is basically housetrained, sleeps all night in his kennel, has not had an accident in it. doesnt bark or whine much. I have been trying to socialize it as much as possible, (as much as i can in the middle of winter in iowa). I just brought him to a friends house on sunday, they had a superbowl party he got to meet a lot of people and did great. I have noticed whenever he gets startled, mostly with other dogs, he has hair that stands up on his back, never concerned me too much. Today i was going on a walk with him and 2 kids where sledding down a snowhill, and i brought max over to them and he had his hair sticking up and started growling so i bent down with him and started to pet him while they did then he was fine, hair went back down.tail started wagging like it does with everyone else. I do not like this attitude i have just seen of him and it needs to change. I do not understand why he is doing this and I am very concerned.
Excitement, fear, aggression all can be the source of him getting his hackles up. Just keep working with him. Don't let thehair standing get to you. Work on the growling. Make sure that no kid hurts him, sometimes kids can do things that they do not realize aren't the best things to do.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
k thanks for your help!
I agree 100% with the advice HersheyK's Dad gave you.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
I am no expert... but i have heard that when your dog does growl... you should not pet them because your dog could interperet that as praise for that behavior. I have a 6 month lab, and i used to do that too, when she would growl, i would pet her to calm her down, but she kept growling (seemingly for no reason) and then someone told me to stop petting them when they growl because it could turn them into a more aggressive dog later down the road. Now, if she gets growly, i just say hey! or something to get her attention, and try to get her to focus on something else. You dont want your dog to think its ok to greet new people or situations by growling. Again, i am new at all of this, but it makes sense, and it has worked so far for me.
Lots of exposure & practice getting used to meeting new people and being in new situations is going to help so much. Kudos on already working on that. Its good to have something around to break your pup's concentration too, a toy, a treat, something to make them focus on you and relax. Not like good dog you growled and got a treat, more like hey... look what I have... Im way more interesting than being worried, now sit down & have a cookie.
Lauren the one who buys Saffy's Kibble
pick up a copy of "Cautious Canine" (Patricia McConnell) and look around for a local, positive reinforcement based trainer with experience dealing with fearful dogs. The socialisation window is very short, so you'll need to work on this now or be playing catchup for months.
http://www.trulydogfriendly.com has a trainer search.
I have heard, and agree, that one should NOT pet, pick up or coddle a dog that is afraid or angry. ever. you are telling them they are are CORRECT to be afraid and are encouraging the behavior.
personaly i would go either of these two routes - redirect (call puppy, treat, distract and be more exiting in a good way than the other thing is scary) and/or if possible as people if we can go say hi (especially in cases were it is not dangerous - but ask before you are right up to them).
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Just wanted to add that puppies go through several fear periods in their social development - so this may simply be a phase for him - but it is very important to not reinforce his fearfulness and to make all interactions with people and other dogs positive.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
ok thank you for all the input! He has been doing very good lately and I am still walking him everyday and he is doing better.I wish this winter would finally end so we could go on longer walks. We even met the mail man and he walked right up to him!