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Old 05-09-2011, 10:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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5 Mo. old Puppy aggression?

Hey folks just a question for those who have dealt with Dobies before..
this is my first doberman, and Tweener is 5 months this week. Everything is going great so far, but was just wondering if anyone has ever had a puppy show aggression from being moved while sleeping or accidentally sitting down on one of their paws? He only does it sometimes, but boy he gets pretty pissed if i try and pick him up while he's asleep! any input is greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My five month old does not do this. I find it totally unacceptable, and a big deal. He can't show aggression (especially towards you) ever. A stern NO is a good start. I'm sure other members will provide suggestions that might help remedy this problem.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How exactly does he show aggression? And why are you picking him up when he's sleeping?
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What's he doing that you're considering aggression? Disturbing a sleeping dog might not be an aggressive response, especially in a puppy, and especially if he's startled from being woken up by being lifted off the ground.

I'd avoid calling accidentally sitting on one of his paws aggression, especially with a puppy. That hurts like hell for any dog, and I don't ever blame a dog in pain for growling or yelping. A growl, yelp, or snap is a normal reaction from an animal in pain. They can't talk, of course, so it's their only way of saying 'it hurts'.

My first aid kit at home includes a muzzle, in case Griffin ever does get seriously hurt. It's safer to muzzle an injured dog so he doesn't snap at you. That sidetracking aside, if you could elaborate on what exactly your pup is doing that's showing aggression, it would help. I'd contact your pup's breeder and ask, or consult with a trainer or behaviorist too. Given that it's a puppy and showing aggression in two situations where dogs might (being stepped on, and picked up while sleeping), I wouldn't worry too much right now.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think you should consult your vet first to rule out the possibility of your baby not feeling well, and then a behaviorist asap and not take too much advice from the internet on something like this. While i always doubt aggression in a puppy this young, there is something known as irritable agression which is a remote possibility.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What's he doing that you're considering aggression? Disturbing a sleeping dog might not be an aggressive response, especially in a puppy, and especially if he's startled from being woken up by being lifted off the ground.

I'd avoid calling accidentally sitting on one of his paws aggression, especially with a puppy. That hurts like hell for any dog, and I don't ever blame a dog in pain for growling or yelping. A growl, yelp, or snap is a normal reaction from an animal in pain. They can't talk, of course, so it's their only way of saying 'it hurts'.

My first aid kit at home includes a muzzle, in case Griffin ever does get seriously hurt. It's safer to muzzle an injured dog so he doesn't snap at you. That sidetracking aside, if you could elaborate on what exactly your pup is doing that's showing aggression, it would help. I'd contact your pup's breeder and ask, or consult with a trainer or behaviorist too. Given that it's a puppy and showing aggression in two situations where dogs might (being stepped on, and picked up while sleeping), I wouldn't worry too much right now.
I totally agree with the first statement....my 4 month old pup doesnt have a aggressive bone in his body...actually he'll probably be the most friendly watch dog ever, but a few weeks ago i let him sleep in bed with me for the first time. He fell asleep, and shortly after that, i tried to pick him up and move him to his crate. I startled him awake, and he gave me a growl, as if he was mad that i woke him up, but not an aggressive growl. He's never made any other noise even close to that again, but i also dont wake him up to move him anymore...i personally dont think it sounds like aggression, i would be pissed if someone woke me up or stepped on my paw too.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I disagree with NAA2586 too many people jump on the aggression wagon that really upsets me every where aggression this and aggression that puppies usually do not have those type problems. Most people make their own problems with their dogs when puppies they are way too harsh with them.Remember the old saying you get better results with honey than vinegar.Have fun with your puppies you can train them with fun you will get better results.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with what everybody above has said:

1. Define "Aggression". Could it actually be a fear reaction? Or one of pain?

2. Consult a vet. Many behavioral things can turn up because of the puppy not feeling well (Thyroid difficulty is one that comes to mind). Might want to get that paw checked out as well.

3. When did you get Tweener? What kind of training do you do with him when he's awake, and how much do you handle him (feet, ears, mouth, etc.)?
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I didn't mean to imply that it was for sure aggression. I was just borrowing the OP's terminology. Whatever it was, I wouldn't tolerate it. I also didn't tell him to be harsh. I told him to tell the dog NO. A dog shouldn't growl at his owner. I don't care if he's dreaming about a date with a French poodle. It's a matter of respect.

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I disagree with NAA2586 too many people jump on the aggression wagon that really upsets me every where aggression this and aggression that puppies usually do not have those type problems. Most people make their own problems with their dogs when puppies they are way too harsh with them.Remember the old saying you get better results with honey than vinegar.Have fun with your puppies you can train them with fun you will get better results.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I didn't mean to imply that it was for sure aggression. I was just borrowing the OP's terminology. Whatever it was, I wouldn't tolerate it. I also didn't tell him to be harsh. I told him to tell the dog NO. A dog shouldn't growl at his owner. I don't care if he's dreaming about a date with a French poodle. It's a matter of respect.
The problem with saying "It's a matter of respect" is you're oversimplifying.

If it's a medical problem--how does it help to "not tolerate" it? And I agree with the suggestions to have a vet evaluate this puppy, btw.

If it's fear, how does yelling NO at the puppy help with that?

If it's irritability, well, that's a tad more complex, and I'd want to know how/why the pup got triggered and what the OP was doing to train a more appropriate response, and to manage the issue.

Folks who punish out the "growl" without addressing the underlying issue often wind up with a dog who "suddenly turns," i.e. bites without vocal warning.

No one's advocating letting a dog grow up to walk all over you, just to clearly define the actual problem, and then solve that, appropriately.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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First off, a stern NO is not a yell. Yelling at your dog doesn't help any situation. I didn't tell the OP to yell nor did I mean to imply it.

Second, if it's a medical problem then that's a different story. However, the OP did not mention that the puppy was sick.

Third, the issue here might be fear but it seems more likely that the puppy was just pissed off because his owner woke him up.

Lastly, we are here to share our opinions but we are handcuffed by the fact that we can't ever know or even see the dog in question. A true evaluation of a puppy's behavior cannot be done over the internet. I was giving the OP my best guess concerning what's going on. Are there a variety of possibilities? Of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFawnRising View Post
The problem with saying "It's a matter of respect" is you're oversimplifying.

If it's a medical problem--how does it help to "not tolerate" it? And I agree with the suggestions to have a vet evaluate this puppy, btw.

If it's fear, how does yelling NO at the puppy help with that?

If it's irritability, well, that's a tad more complex, and I'd want to now how/why the pup got triggered and what the OP was doing to train a more appropriate response, and to manage the issue.

Folks who punish out the "growl" without addressing the underlying issue often wind up with a dog who "suddenly turns," i.e. bites without vocal warning.

No one's advocating letting a dog grow up to walk all over you, just to clearly define the actual problem, and then solve that, appropriately.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Puppies go through so many stages of development just like our human babies. I teach my youth group that babies are born "bad". They are selfish, self-centered narcissist with no sympathy or empathy at all. Me, myself and I. Everything good is learned behavior. This learning begins at birth and without the proper socialization and teaching can have detrimental effects on their development. At 5 months your puppy is going into a testing period. He's learning his boundaries and where he fits in in the family, how much can he get away with. He is also coming into his second fear stage where if dealt with harshly you will have a nervous, fearful dog on your hands. Nervous, fearful dogs=dangerous (not neccessarily aggressive). During this fear period there can be a single incident that "imprints" in them and causes what some people would perceive as aggression. This is why it is very important to learn how to interact with puppies the age of your puppies, because it can have a lasting impression on their behavioral development. Also imporant to rule out medical issues that can put a hinderance on this normal progression of development.

So, in short, yes. It is possible your dog is telling you "I don't like it when you do that." That's okay, he doesn't have to like it but a true growl is not permitted. Instead, work on a simple off command or scoot (teaching "touch" work great for this) to move him out of the way instead of physically moving him. Right now you do not have an aggressive puppy but he is still far from forming his adult character who you know will be charming and confident.

This is a good site I like for the development stages. Developmental Stages
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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We are always pretty mindful of our dogs while they are sleeping. If I want one of them to move off the couch I tell them Off, I don't physically move any of them. I don't need to, they know this command and do as they are asked.
I suggest doing the same with your pup.
I don't think it's an aggression issue at all, it's more than likely a reaction to being disturbed while they are sleeping. Heck I'd probably growl at you if you picked me up while I was napping.

My male Tzu snapped at my 15 year old Son causing a puncture wound to his foot a few months back. Giz was sleeping at the time, my Son didn't see him as he was getting off the sofa and trod on him. My son learnt a lesson that day to be more careful around our Dogs. Did he blame our dog? Not at all!

I suggest a check-up with your vet, just to make sure all is well and start some good positive training, maybe enrolling in an obedience class too. He is young and still has so much to learn, he would really benefit from training.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Hey folks just a question for those who have dealt with Dobies before..
this is my first doberman, and Tweener is 5 months this week. Everything is going great so far, but was just wondering if anyone has ever had a puppy show aggression from being moved while sleeping or accidentally sitting down on one of their paws? He only does it sometimes, but boy he gets pretty pissed if i try and pick him up while he's asleep! any input is greatly appreciated!
I would not consider it normal nor would I accept it. I'd work on desesenstizing my dog to those things. I know dogs can get started but I would not expect aggression when being startled nor would I let it go.

The only dog I had that reacted aggresively to being moved was eventually PTS for human aggressions, so keep in mind because of my experience I may be less tolerant. And even he was fine at 5 months.
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