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Old 01-12-2008, 02:46 PM   #1
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Default Questions...about a puppy, what else?

Hey all,

I signed up for this board back when we first got our new puppy, a female chocolate lab puppy, Georgia.

I didn't post because things have been going fairly well. But I have some questions. The housebreaking went very well, and she's pretty much house trained...at least as much as a 3 month old puppy is ever housebroken.

We are having a little trouble with biting, and jumping onto the furniture.

With the biting...First, how can we tell the difference between playing and aggressive behavior? She will growl sometimes if she's chewing on a ball, and my wife or I try to take it from her. She bites at our hands if we are trying to put on or take off her leased, take a toy away from her, or if we're just sitting on the couch...for example, she'll be chewing on a toy, and I'm sitting on the couch, all of a sudden she'll go after my hand. We've tried all sorts of things (holding her down & telling her no, shaking a can with some rocks/ coins in it, lightly smacking her on the nose with a rolled up newspaper) but whatever we try, she just thinks it's a game. Shaking the can worked for a bit, but after awhile it just became a game to her.

As for the jumping on the couch, it's really the same thing. She jumps up, to attack our hands, or the newspaper we're trying to read, or to try and attack a blanket. Any tips on how to stop this. We tell her "no" or "off", and put her back on the ground, but again, it seems like she thinks its a game, and just tries to jump right back up on to the couch.

Thanks!

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Old 01-12-2008, 03:20 PM   #2
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Hey good to see you back! I guess 'no news is good news,' huh? Glad to her things have been going well!
Well it's very hard to say without being there, but almost all of the time, it is puppy playfulness and not aggression. It does happen that a 3-month old puppy can be aggressive, but it is really rare.
If holding her, shaking the can etc all don;t work because it becomes a fun game to her, you might try the 'withdraw your hand and ignore her' method. Sometimes giving them no attention is the worst punushmentyou can dole out. If she learns that biting and nipping only get her ignored then eventually she may stop.
This thread might help you since it has some more info on this subject.
http://www.dogforum.org/showthread.php?t=9741

With the jumping on the couch, again, ignoring her may be more effective.
Good luck!
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:38 PM   #3
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Thanks SkunkStripe. There's some good info in that link. I guess we'll just keep at it, but my hands cannot wait for the puppy teething stage to be over! I think we need to work on the ignoring part a little more also. As for the aggression question, I figured it was just her playing, but the vet asked about it at our last visit, and I said I thought it was play, but after the fact I realized I've got no idea how to tell the difference. Thanks.

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Old 01-12-2008, 06:59 PM   #4
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It is not always a teething problem just natural play for alot of puppies and it should not be allowed. I have one puppy now and she is grabbing my pants when I feed. I stoop down and pinch her nose as the mommy does when weaning or scolding a litter. I have watched many litters and the moms working the pups and they do this with their mouths over the nose and grumbling to them.

Now, I cannot tell you what she might be saying but I know this is how they scold and train a puppy to leave me alone. Get up and walk away and before say NO NO, hand it a toy then ignore is the best cause.

When I feed puppies I always sit down and mess with them. Alot, feel u leave a puppy alone to sleep and eat. I do not as I never had a food agressive pup grow into a bad adult as I make my hands part of the food deal. I put my fingers over the nose and rub it, down into the dish and stir, just playing but certainly NOT teasing the puppy.

They have never growled at me doing this as I start it immediately when I start to feed them or they come from Germany. I feel puppies grow up into adults as good as the owner made of them. Mine have great temperments, but if I left them get away with things, they could be nastey when eating etc.

I just feel they should never learn to bite the hand that feeds them. Just my personal way of letting them know I can remove a dish, or leave it same goes for sleeping.
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:33 AM   #5
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I can definately sympayhise with you because we have a lab puppy too and we're having similar issues at the moment (not with the growling, but with nipping) ours is a bit older than yours, 21 weeks, but we've been trying to ignore lately and it seems to be slowly sinking in. The problem with puppies is from week to week they change so quickly! One week you think they're never going to get the hang of going to the toilet somewhere other than on the rug, the next week you realize that they've finally stopped doing this but have developed a fixation with your sock drawer, this then drives you mad for a week and they stop doing that and move somewhere else. Good luck with getting her out of the nipping - just wanted to say you're not on your own, it seems to be a thing with labs, hopefully it will get as old as the sock drawer eventually!!

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