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Old 12-20-2006, 03:43 PM   #1
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Default From Runt to Ruffian! 9.5 week old ACD

At 6 weeks, we selected the runt because he was the only pup who interacted with us. At 8 weeks we took him home because he had shown no growth whatsoever.
After a much needed trip to the vet (we could have went perch fishing with the parasites living inside his little body - seriously!) he is now feeling much better and has become a little terror! He was doing well with commands such as "come" and "gentle", but seems to have forgotten all of this now. Once passive and desiring to curl up in our laps, he's now in that phase where he chews on our hand and attacks our ankles at every opportunity. We are CONSTANTLY redirecting him to his collection of appropriate chew toys and discontinuing our attention for misbehaviour. It works for a moment, then back to the aggressiveness. We're nervous. only the size of a chincilla, with the mind of a godzilla, we're worried if this is normal 9.5 week behavior, or the signs of an aggressive dog!

Question -

Is this normal behavior for his age and how do we contain it?
Is this indicative of a now healthy pup which was too sick to romp with litter mates and is now realizing puppyhood at last?
Is this dominance posturing which needs to be 'nipped in the bud' somhow?
Are these signs of (oh no) an Alpha?

We're hoping that this is a typical phase and that we need some advice as to how to get us all through this.

Thanks

LF & RJ

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Old 12-21-2006, 05:59 PM   #2
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Sounds very normal for a happy healthy young pup to me, although I guess very hard to tell without actually seeing the behaviour. They do all seem to go through a phase where they are all teeth and wriggly cant sit still bodies, and you breathe a huge sigh of relief when they crash out asleep. Sounds like you are doing all the right things to deal with the play biting / chewing.

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Old 12-23-2006, 12:15 AM   #3
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Good to know, and yes, he IS getting the hang of things a bit better now and responding to simple commands again. We're really sinking in "come", "sit", "leave it", "fetch" and a few others. No shortage of braincells, that's for sure, maybe the power went out for a few days. We had heard that Australian Cattle dogs were scarey smart - this guy catches on pretty quick, and seems eager to please.

So here's our next challenge. WE NEED to WORK the PUP with the CAT, DOUBLE TIME! Our cat just broke his leg and is now in a cast from toe to shoulder

We specifically got an infant pup so we could begin cat tolerance young. We realize that any shepherd breed will likely have some prey drive, but have other qualities that we like, so were hoping to get the pup young enough to train otherwise, but we'll have to speed things up.

Thanks to the INTENSE prey drive of our last dog, the cat doesn't cotton to canines at ALL - and now feeling even more vulnerable - he runs when the pup comes to greet. The pup- naturally- tears off after. This has happened about 3 or 4 times I'm sorry to report, so hopefully the pup is young enough we can reverse any patterns the pup has established concerning the cat.

Any help with this would be appreciated. We have 6 weeks to go with an outside cat that now must remain inside. A good stretch of time to get it right, I guess.

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