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 Post subject: 13 week old aggresive with neighbours puppy
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:16 pm 
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Hi,
I am a new owner of a 13 week old cocker puppy, Holly. She's adorable when its just ourselves (except in the morning when shes full of energy and a bit nippy). The problem she has is that she has become aggresive with the neighbour's puppy, even when on their territory, and has been banned by the neighbour from meeting up. This is a bit of a blow to my daughter who was all excited to bring the two puppies for walks with her friend.
I'm wondering what I can do about this behaviour... we have enrolled in a training class to start next week, but I am concerned she will always be a bit aggresive... She also growls at visitors, but settles down and ignores them if they ignore her. Wish she was a bit friendlier. Any ideas?
Colette


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 Post subject: Re: 13 week old aggresive with neighbours puppy
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:24 pm 
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Puppies that age can be really aggressive with each other. When we were actively breeding puppies, we eventually learned not place two puppies from the same litter in the same home... because the pups would always have some nasty fights until one of them finally backs down and lets the other be the Alpha dog. So, what I'm saying is, what you're experiencing is not all that unusual... so don't let it freak you out too much and definitely don't get it in your head that you've somehow got a bad dog.

The training class will probably help, but there's something else I would encourage you to do. After the experience you've had with your neighbor's dog, you might be thinking that you should keep your puppy away from other dogs for a while. I think this would be a BIG mistake. If you do that, the behavior is not going to get corrected and it may actually get a lot worse... as your pup simply will not learn how to properly act around other dogs.

What I'd suggest is that you actually increase your efforts to get your puppy some play time with other dogs in your area... just try to put your pup with dogs that are a little larger than your dog. If your little pup acts inappropriately around a slightly larger dog, that dog will probably correct your pup pretty quickly. The difference in size will be intimidating enough to your pup that it probably won't take much time for the larger dog to put your pup in her proper place. Of course, you need to supervise the meeting VERY carefully... and you want to make sure you don't put your dog together with an aggressive dog with a short fuse. In other words, see if you can arrange some play time with a friend that has a gentle Golden Retriever... not with your friend that has a pit bull.

I hope that's helpful.

Please, other forum members, feel free to jump in with your own ideas and experiences!

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 Post subject: Re: 13 week old aggresive with neighbours puppy
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:57 pm 
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Thanks for the advice... I do go to puppy socialisation sessions once a week with her but she really doesn't want to join in and is a bit overwhelmed when there are a lot of puppies jumping around. On the plus side, she doesn't show signs of aggression there... I think she's not as confident with so many pups. I am taking her on walks and she meets other dogs then. As you say, she's fine with bigger dogs but mean to the smaller ones. I'm a little worried... my friend has offered to mind her when I go on an overnight trip. She has a teacup chihuahua who is 8 months old. Holly has never met either of them... Maybe I should go for a walk with them first and see how it goes?
Colette


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 Post subject: Re: 13 week old aggresive with neighbours puppy
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:01 pm 
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Walking together with two dogs who have never met is usually a good idea. That's how a lot of rescues advise bringing a new dog into the house - take them for a walk together. If your puppy is bigger than the Chihuahua, though, you might see the same behavior from Holly. She'll be the bigger dog and want to intimidate the smaller one. Maybe the age difference will help. If the 8 month old is more mature, even though she's smaller she might not tolerate much from the puppy. Do you know if Holly was taken from her mother at a young age? They usually learn how to behave (somewhat) from the mama dog, so I'm wondering if she was weaned early and taken from the litter.

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 Post subject: Re: 13 week old aggresive with neighbours puppy
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:57 am 
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I wondered about that, too. You might check with your trainer to see if they have a puppy play time with fewer puppies. Mine recommended a time when most of the dogs were of a similar age and size to Jennie and she did really well there. She was definitely intimidated when we did the second class and her two classmates were a German Shepherd Dog and a Rottweiler. Even tho they were her same age, they were so much bigger that it took her a few weeks to be comfortable with them.

If you have a friend with a calm dog that has had puppies, they can be very helpful in teaching yours not to be bratty. I'm lucky to have a neighbor with a 4 year old female Cocker that has helped teach Jennie how to play nicely.

With your visitors, you might try having a small dish or bag of treats at the door for them to throw to her if she doesn't growl when they come in. That will help her to associate visitors with good things and might speed up the acceptance process. Just make sure they aren't rewarding the growling. If she growls, they need to wait until she stops for a few seconds and then give or toss her a treat.

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"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: 13 week old aggresive with neighbours puppy
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:09 am 
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Thanks for the advice. I did bring her walking today with my friend and her very calm 4year old terrier. It went very well. The terrier put her in her place really quickly... And they got on fine after that. I decided we'd try bringing the terrier into our house to push it a little. Holly got cross but we corrected her and gave her treats for sitting quietly beside her new friend and all went really well after that... Just some reassuring needed for me... Can Holly be trained out of bratish behaviour or is she going to be snappy and cross always?
ColetteC


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 Post subject: Re: 13 week old aggresive with neighbours puppy
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:38 pm 
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IMHO, IF you are consistent with the training you started today, your pup will learn appropriate behavior with other dogs.

As Jim said, this is very normal puppy behavior, and all puppies need to learn it's not accepted by adult dogs- or their people. You have a puppy and she needs to learn. Please keep up her training.

Over the years I've watched many a cocker get "put in their place" by an adult female cocker. When I started doing rescue, my own baby then (Feather) was 10 years old, and weighed 16.8 lbs. She helped train the rescued dogs, and there was a progression of actions on her part: The Look ("dogging"), a push aside, a snarl in their ear, a snap at their ear, and if the objectionable behavior continued, she would flip them flat out on their back with one turn of her very small paw. It was actually hilarious to see those adult males, who weighed twice as much as she did, flailing and screaming like they were being killed. If she had to flip them, it only took Once. That is exactly the way a momma dog is supposed to discipline her own pups. But if they leave her too soon, and no other dog is available to take over, the job doesn't get finished. Most breeders don't want to keep their puppies for 12-15 weeks and most new owners are anxious to have them home, but 10-15 weeks is the optimal "socialization with other dogs" period.

Funny story along the same lines, a couple of years ago my grandson adopted a little corgi mix, who came with a lot of baggage, so to speak. He was abandoned in a shelter night dropbox at about 4 weeks, taken in by a rescue, adopted out _3 TIMES_ and returned each time, before my grandson got him. His nickname was Cry Baby, because really, that's all he did. He would stand and shake and cry. He had developed separation anxiety, and was terrified of the world. He got coddled and loved and decided he is the king of the house. When I went to visit with my Cricket, who was about 8 then, he tried to mount her. She very quickly went through the whole progression of corrections, and he kept trying, so she slapped him out flat on the floor. He screamed, got up, shook himself, and has acted totally appropriately with every dog he's met since then. They just have to learn, and it's really best if another dog teaches them.

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Sophie, 10-22-2015, home 9/19/15-
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Maggie Mae: home 9/1/2014 - 3/31/2015, 7 mo of Love
Feather: 3/23/1994 - 11/17/2011, 17 yrs, 8 mo of Love


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 Post subject: Re: 13 week old aggresive with neighbours puppy
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:53 pm 
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That's good to hear. I got Holly at 8 weeks. I suppose it was a little early. She is really good at doing commands like 'sit' 'lie down' and a few others... and was quick at learning house-training.... but the snappy behaviour goes on. My sister called over on Friday with her two grown-up daughters. They were thrilled to meet our little puppy, but she wasn't so happy about meeting them. She cowered away when they went to fuss over her, and actually snapped at one of them when they went to rub her tummy. Needless to say I wasn't too happy then either. People tell me i should correct the snappy behaviour... I just dont know how? Have I got a cranky dog for life?
I really appreciate the advice, folks,
Colette


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 Post subject: Re: 13 week old aggresive with neighbours puppy
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:46 pm 
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She is still young and needs to learn what is and what is not acceptable. You can teach her that people skin is very sensitive and is not to be touched with her teeth. This is called bite inhibition.

If you search the forum for bite inhibition, you'll find lots of discussions on how to do this and what worked for different people. There are also excellent articles on WebMD and the ASPCA website about teaching a puppy bite inhibition.

From pets.webmd: "Puppies usually learn bite inhibition during play with other puppies. If you watch a group of puppies playing, you’ll see plenty of chasing, pouncing and wrestling. Puppies also bite each other all over. Every now and then, a pup will bite his playmate too hard. The victim of the painful bite yelps and usually stops playing. The offender is often taken aback by the yelp and also stops playing for a moment. However, pretty soon, both playmates are back in the game. Through this kind of interaction, puppies learn to control the intensity of their bites so that no one gets hurt and the play can continue without interruption. If puppies can learn how to be gentle from each other, they can also learn the same lesson from people."

One of the best pieces of advice that I got from Jennie's breeder was to handle her all over every day, especially her tail, feet and ears. She now loves to get foot massages, ear rubs and even to have her tail scratched. She accepts being touched by other people and her groomer and vets think she is the best! Of course, I think spending time cuddling with her is the best thing ever.

Stick with the positive, reward based training and you'll be able to help her through this. :th-up

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Susan

Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: 13 week old aggresive with neighbours puppy
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:01 am 
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Hi Colette,

Cici is proof you can teach an old dog new tricks. We got her at 5. She was fear aggressive toward bicycles, pedestrians who got close and strangers in the house. She is still very anxious with strangers in the house, but she has made and continues to make amazing progress. Like Susan said, she has even learned to playbite me and know it is alright when I handle her paws, legs, whatever. If she doesn't like something, she lets me know - gently. As a result of her nervousness, she was not always gentle. She is never aggressive now.

So, if Cici can learn these things at her age and be a loving dog, then your little-bitty pup can too!

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