Jump to content
BC Boards
rossie

My otherwise nice dog is mean to puppies.

Recommended Posts

My dog, Buzz, who is almost 10 months old, is usually very nice to other dogs. He is appropriately submissive to older dogs and plays nicely with dogs of all sizes. Buzz is sometimes the target of other dog’s meanness: in particular, there is a Doberman that consistently plays too rough with Buzz and has to be restrained.

 

Here is my problem: twice in the last few weeks Buzz has been aggressive with puppies at the park. These are both around 4 months old; both appear to be labs or lab mixes and are around 20 pounds (Buzz is just over 50 pounds). The wee puppies approach Buzz being sweet and submissive and Buzz sniffs them and might even start to play with them, but he quickly gets snarly and needs to be pulled off of the puppy. :rolleyes:

 

On both occasions I have immediately taken my dog out of the park. However, I suspect that he doesn’t understand that he has misbehaved. What is the best way to nip this behavior in the bud?

 

My gut tells me that this is a phase he’s going through and the best thing to do is keep him 100% away from puppies for a month so that he has a chance to grow out of it before it becomes a habit. We would still be able to play with his best friend, but I’m not sure how much other doggy socialization we’d be able to get.

 

I’m interested in any and all feedback.

 

Here he is, looking innocent of all charges.

422800252_6117f4b373_b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I could help you there, but two of my dogs are mean to puppies. If Tweed is not humping them enthusiastically, he is following them around biting them on the nose (not hard) to let them know what he thinks about them coming in here and screwing up his chances to climb the canine social ladder. He still does it to Woo.

 

And Red Dog is just mean all around. He always has to be supervised with puppies. He eventually resigns himself to them, but he is not very nice at first and there is a lot of kennel rotating when I first get a pup in. Now that he is old and gimpy, though, he can't catch them :rolleyes:

 

Piper is fair to puppies. She beats them down when they need it but is pretty tolerant. And Woo loves all puppies.

 

We ran into a friend with this dog Stella yesterday. I have not seen Stella in a year and she is now 18 months of giant Great Pyr mix. Mr. Woo was in LOVE with Stella and enthusiastically humped her tail, as her tail was the only bit he could reach, she was that tall. I was very amused.

 

RDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just be careful you aren't correcting him for telling the puppies they are being rude. . . I don't know too many Lab or lab cross puppies that AREN'T rude. My 2-year old hit a stage right around a year old when she suddenly decided that she only had to submit to older adults; puppies were fair game for dominance. She never bites or 'smacks' them too hard with her feet, but she definitely brings the teeth and growl out on meeting a pup. Now, if she asserts herself and the puppy submits properly she most often will then start playing and zooming around with them and generally acting like a fool. But if at anytime they are rude or don't treat her with respect, out come the teeth and growl again. If your 10-month old is not neutered yet it could also be some nice male hormones starting to come in - that's always a fun time! My male went through a period at that age where he didn't think much of puppies. I kept him away and now (at 4) he pretty much doesn't mind anything unless it jumps on his head and attacks him.

 

If the owners are freaking out about this I'd just keep him away. If you let him be for a couple seconds and he seems to just be reminding them to behave I wouldn't think much of it. Dogs aren't all smiles and giggles when they talk to each other after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just be careful you aren't correcting him for telling the puppies they are being rude. . . I don't know too many Lab or lab cross puppies that AREN'T rude.

 

Well, so far I haven't been correcting him except to remove him from the situation, since I wasn't sure how to best help the dog understand what to do. I'm 99% sure that this isn't normal "teach the puppy manners" type stuff. Today, the lab let Buzz sniff, then was play-bowing and being sweet, Buzz went over to see him again then suddenly had the puppy pinned down, had the puppy's scruff in his mouth and was making aggressive noises.

 

However, you do bring up an interesting point: I've *never* seen Buzz tell another dog off for going too far. Perhaps Buzz is trying to figure out how to do that? I keep expecting Buzz to tell off a couple of the ruder dogs, but he just whines and takes it until someone intervenes.

 

 

If your 10-month old is not neutered yet it could also be some nice male hormones starting to come in - that's always a fun time! My male went through a period at that age where he didn't think much of puppies. I kept him away and now (at 4) he pretty much doesn't mind anything unless it jumps on his head and attacks him.

 

Buzz was neutered at 8 months. How long did you keep your male away from puppies? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, so far I haven't been correcting him except to remove him from the situation, since I wasn't sure how to best help the dog understand what to do. I'm 99% sure that this isn't normal "teach the puppy manners" type stuff. Today, the lab let Buzz sniff, then was play-bowing and being sweet, Buzz went over to see him again then suddenly had the puppy pinned down, had the puppy's scruff in his mouth and was making aggressive noises.

 

However, you do bring up an interesting point: I've *never* seen Buzz tell another dog off for going too far. Perhaps Buzz is trying to figure out how to do that? I keep expecting Buzz to tell off a couple of the ruder dogs, but he just whines and takes it until someone intervenes.

Buzz was neutered at 8 months. How long did you keep your male away from puppies? Thanks!

 

 

Tell Buzz, (who btw is the absolutely cutest dog I've ever seen)

to stop what he is doing when he goes after a puppy in this way. Be as firm as the situation calls for. Pick him up by the scruff of the neck if you have to and make it plain and clear that this is not acceptable behavior.

 

just my 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's hard because some dogs just don't like puppies I guess. I know labs can be pretty rude most of the time (and even more so when the owners wont take the time to train them right) Black Jack is really good with other dogs except labs. He doesn't like many labs, I don't know if it's because they're bigger or what. He did great with a little dog at the park but almost got into a fight with a lab. I would make a command like "be nice" or something and make sure he doesn't get to aggressive towards them, but at the same time don't let them run over him either since he needs to be respected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tell Buzz, (who btw is the absolutely cutest dog I've ever seen)

to stop what he is doing when he goes after a puppy in this way. Be as firm as the situation calls for. Pick him up by the scruff of the neck if you have to and make it plain and clear that this is not acceptable behavior.

 

just my 2 cents.

 

I don't care what stage they are going though. Whatever it is, you have to be firm and consistent with your training (with what you want them to do and what you don't want them to do). They will do different things according to where they are in their development. But it's your job to adjust their behavior to what is acceptable to you, no matter what.

 

Forget dog psychology. I am a psychologist. I deal with humans. I've discovered that with dogs, it's a whole new ball game.

A very simple one, if you are up to it.

 

Dogs are not people!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wish I could help you there, but two of my dogs are mean to puppies. If Tweed is not humping them enthusiastically, he is following them around biting them on the nose (not hard) to let them know what he thinks about them coming in here and screwing up his chances to climb the canine social ladder. He still does it to Woo.

 

And Red Dog is just mean all around. He always has to be supervised with puppies. He eventually resigns himself to them, but he is not very nice at first and there is a lot of kennel rotating when I first get a pup in. Now that he is old and gimpy, though, he can't catch them :rolleyes:

 

Piper is fair to puppies. She beats them down when they need it but is pretty tolerant. And Woo loves all puppies.

 

We ran into a friend with this dog Stella yesterday. I have not seen Stella in a year and she is now 18 months of giant Great Pyr mix. Mr. Woo was in LOVE with Stella and enthusiastically humped her tail, as her tail was the only bit he could reach, she was that tall. I was very amused.

 

RDM

 

I just don't understand why you would allow your dogs to be 'mean' to puppies.

 

I know that this is natural to bring puppies to their knees (paws), whatever, but when you take a dog on as a pet, you must control this behavior. These are not dogs in the wild. Dogs in the wild kill the weak in their pack. This is natural behaviour. And it works well for the good of the pack.

If you want them to behave like they are in the wild, then you don't take them on as pets. Your job is to shape their behavior to your terms. If you mean what you say and they know it, they will bow to your wishes and be happy dogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but dogs (wolves, do you mean?) in the wild do not kill their own pack members for being weak.

 

And many times when a dog is being 'aggressive' it is a sign that they are fearful, nervous, or confused. If you had a 2-year-old child who was fearful, nervous, and confused, would you pick him up and spank him? I certainly hope not.

 

I think for now, removing him (firmly, yes, but not in a manner that scares him) from the situation is probably the best way to go about it. You could also bring in some real good treats, and when he first greets the pups call him off BEFORE he gets upset and give him a treat and tell him how great it was that he was so nice and polite, and then maybe walk away for a bit and do it again.

 

My boy had a period till he was probably about 16 months old or so where puppies just disgusted him. As soon as I heard him rumble I just walked away. It also helped him learn that if he was uncomfortable in a situation he could do just that - walk away. No fuss, no getting mad, no nothing. Correcting him for it did nothing. Keeping him away and then re-exposing him slowly helped him much better. If you are concerned you could read some good behavior books on aggression as well - there are some really good ones out there. And not training books, but books on the dogs themselves and how they interact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many dogs have little or no tolerance for puppies, unfortunately. Especially big, goofy lab puppies. It's hard to say, there may be something about them that sets Buzz off. Dogs don't have to like all other dogs and you can't make them, all you can do is manage it.

 

I don't believe you should answer any display of aggression with aggression, though (i.e. the scruff shake). I do agree with letting him know it's not acceptable with a verbal reprimand and removing him from the situation.

 

I'm sure my situation is different, but after the second time Jack went after another dog at the dog park, we just didn't go anymore. You'll just have to see how this develops with Buzz. If you can limit his playtime to dogs he gets along with, fine. Some dogs, once they're past puppyhood, don't really play with "strange" dogs anymore. It's natural for them to play with their own pack, but not so much others.

 

As Buzz matures, his personality is still developing, so I think you'll just have to see how it goes. In the meantime, I'd definitely limit and or closely watch any interaction with puppies. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sorry, but dogs (wolves, do you mean?) in the wild do not kill their own pack members for being weak.

 

Yes I do mean wolves in the wild, and yes, they do kill their own pack member for being weak. sorry to burst your bubble but what the hell, facts is facts, eh.

 

And many times when a dog is being 'aggressive' it is a sign that they are fearful, nervous, or confused. If you had a 2-year-old child who was fearful, nervous, and confused, would you pick him up and spank him? I certainly hope not.

 

agreed. Your dog always will usually react in this way because of fear. But you are dealing here with dogs, not human children. Look to wolf behaviour if you really want to learn how to deal with a pup.

 

I think for now, removing him (firmly, yes, but not in a manner that scares him) from the situation is probably the best way to go about it. You could also bring in some real good treats, and when he first greets the pups call him off BEFORE he gets upset and give him a treat and tell him how great it was that he was so nice and polite, and then maybe walk away for a bit and do it again.

 

if it works for you, great. For me I don't use treats to make a dog conform to my wishes. In the natural wolf world, a correction is enough. What treats could a wolf parent possibly use other than....yes, you are doing it right. The pups respond positively to this.

 

My boy had a period till he was probably about 16 months old or so where puppies just disgusted him. As soon as I heard him rumble I just walked away. It also helped him learn that if he was uncomfortable in a situation he could do just that - walk away. No fuss, no getting mad, no nothing. Correcting him for it did nothing. Keeping him away and then re-exposing him slowly helped him much better. If you are concerned you could read some good behavior books on aggression as well - there are some really good ones out there. And not training books, but books on the dogs themselves and how they interact.

 

thanks, but I don't read books on how to train dogs. When I did, I got so confused, there were so many different methods and philosophies.

, it just paralyzed me and helped me to forget my instinct and what I already knew.

I read books on wolves. I study wolves.

 

The best parents in the wild are wolf parents. Dogs are much like wolves. When I have a problem with my dog, I look at what a wolf parent would do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jackpine-I think Rosanne was advising the OP to read books on dog behavior, not you. But, anyway, have you read "The Culture Clash" or "The Other End of the Leash"? I can tell by your philosophy that you probably haven't, but I'd really recommend them. Not training manuals, but books on dog behavior and the human/dog relationship. There's a lot more to it than dogs=wolves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sorry, but dogs (wolves, do you mean?) in the wild do not kill their own pack members for being weak.

 

And many times when a dog is being 'aggressive' it is a sign that they are fearful, nervous, or confused. If you had a 2-year-old child who was fearful, nervous, and confused, would you pick him up and spank him? I certainly hope not.

 

I think for now, removing him (firmly, yes, but not in a manner that scares him) from the situation is probably the best way to go about it. You could also bring in some real good treats, and when he first greets the pups call him off BEFORE he gets upset and give him a treat and tell him how great it was that he was so nice and polite, and then maybe walk away for a bit and do it again.

 

My boy had a period till he was probably about 16 months old or so where puppies just disgusted him. As soon as I heard him rumble I just walked away. It also helped him learn that if he was uncomfortable in a situation he could do just that - walk away. No fuss, no getting mad, no nothing. Correcting him for it did nothing. Keeping him away and then re-exposing him slowly helped him much better. If you are concerned you could read some good behavior books on aggression as well - there are some really good ones out there. And not training books, but books on the dogs themselves and how they interact.

 

 

in reply to your first sentence, yes, wolves do kill members in their pack for being weak. More likely they will banish them, but if they refuse to go, they will kill them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jackpine-I think Rosanne was advising the OP to read books on dog behavior, not you. But, anyway, have you read "The Culture Clash" or "The Other End of the Leash"? I can tell by your philosophy that you probably haven't, but I'd really recommend them. Not training manuals, but books on dog behavior and the human/dog relationship. There's a lot more to it than dogs=wolves.

 

I will defiantly take you your advise and read these books.

 

Thanks much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goodness, where on earth did you come from Jackpine? Just a month in and you're already jumping into the fray!

 

I wonder why people think dogs are wolves? They are NOT wolves, they are dogs. And also, they are smart dogs and they know we are not dogs, or wolves. I would not try to correct a canine as if I were another canine, because I'm not a canine and my dogs knows that. I can't pretend to be a canine, expect poorly, so I don't even try. The dog would know I was being a parody of a dog, and that's just embarrassing. It should be for you too.

 

There are some very positive trainers / handlers on this board. I'm not one of them, but I also don't stop my dogs from having personalities by beatin' it out of them. Why is my dog allowed to be mean to puppies? He is not. But he IS. He is dog aggressive and always has been. I have worked with this dog for ten years on his various unpleasant behaviours and I have better control over this dog than 99% of the people I know do over their dogs. But no amount of correction in the world will change the fact that he is a dog aggressive dog.

 

As for Tweed, everyone who knows Tweed knows he is not a dog, but a weird, annoying, frustrating alien in a furry suit. A zillion people would have given up on Tweed long ago. The fact that I haven't is a testament to my ... insanity. Or possibly the fact that no one else would have him.

 

Jackpine, I have rehomed about 450 border collies over the years and they have come in with no issues to every issue under the sun. You name it, I have seen it and dealt with it. Not all methods work for all dogs, and YOUR methods certainly do not work for all of them. The fact that I have had some 80 foster dogs come through my doors over the years without major incident, and raised well adjusted dogs under RD's iron nastiness, just means that in fact I do not "let" my dog be mean to puppies. He just does not like puppies and there is no way any wolf would convince him otherwise.

 

And hell, he's ten years old. He's earned the right to hate puppies.

 

RDM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Goodness, where on earth did you come from Jackpine? Just a month in and you're already jumping into the fray!

 

I wonder why people think dogs are wolves? They are NOT wolves, they are dogs. And also, they are smart dogs and they know we are not dogs, or wolves. I would not try to correct a canine as if I were another canine, because I'm not a canine and my dogs knows that. I can't pretend to be a canine, expect poorly, so I don't even try. The dog would know I was being a parody of a dog, and that's just embarrassing. It should be for you too.

 

There are some very positive trainers / handlers on this board. I'm not one of them, but I also don't stop my dogs from having personalities by beatin' it out of them. Why is my dog allowed to be mean to puppies? He is not. But he IS. He is dog aggressive and always has been. I have worked with this dog for ten years on his various unpleasant behaviours and I have better control over this dog than 99% of the people I know do over their dogs. But no amount of correction in the world will change the fact that he is a dog aggressive dog.

 

As for Tweed, everyone who knows Tweed knows he is not a dog, but a weird, annoying, frustrating alien in a furry suit. A zillion people would have given up on Tweed long ago. The fact that I haven't is a testament to my ... insanity. Or possibly the fact that no one else would have him.

 

Jackpine, I have rehomed about 450 border collies over the years and they have come in with no issues to every issue under the sun. You name it, I have seen it and dealt with it. Not all methods work for all dogs, and YOUR methods certainly do not work for all of them. The fact that I have had some 80 foster dogs come through my doors over the years without major incident, and raised well adjusted dogs under RD's iron nastiness, just means that in fact I do not "let" my dog be mean to puppies. He just does not like puppies and there is no way any wolf would convince him otherwise.

 

And hell, he's ten years old. He's earned the right to hate puppies.

 

RDM

 

 

LOL! oh god you did me in. I bow to you. And, oh I know, just a month in and I'm slamming all over the place. Blushes! sorries, etc. well I am a Canadian after all. And I reallllly mean it. sorry.

 

 

Hey Mr Snappy, I really appreciate all that you said (above).

And I am listening to it.

 

Don't necessarily agree with all of it but, bloody hell, I do agree with most of what you say ....haha

 

Nice to meet you and your dogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Buzz actually hurting the puppy or going through a ritual of snarling and threatening?

 

I know people at the dog park don't like their puppies to be threatened by other dogs (I hate it, which is why I don't bring my puppies there! :rolleyes:) but if Buzz isn't doing any harm, I would consider it a correction to the puppy. Granted, I'm not there and I can't analyze what he's doing, but it sounds like the puppy just crosses some invisible annoyance barrier and Buzz puts the pup in its place.

 

I think it depends on the owners of the pup, but my opinion is that if they can't deal with dog behavior (and it is just dog behavior) shouldn't bring their puppies to a DOG park.

 

And RDM, if there was a bow smiley I'd be using it right now. I couldn't agree more with this quote.

 

And also, they are smart dogs and they know we are not dogs, or wolves. I would not try to correct a canine as if I were another canine, because I'm not a canine and my dogs knows that. I can't pretend to be a canine, expect poorly, so I don't even try. The dog would know I was being a parody of a dog, and that's just embarrassing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dog has the opposite problem: he doesn't like any dog to come at him fast, "in his face." But if it's a tiny puppy, he'll tolerate anything. There was a 2-month-old lab puppy at the park a couple weeks ago, and the thing was hugging my dog's neck, biting his face, rolling him over, and nipping his legs. Mean old grouchy "reactive" dog Buddy just stood there with a stupid grin on his face.

 

By the way, your dog looks a lot like Buddy:

post-7173-1174257076_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the thoughts so far, I'm definitely going to see if the library has the Donaldson or McConnell books as I have seen them recommended numerous times and I certainly have much to learn. For now, Buzz will not be going to the Saturday playgroup at the park. I don't think that he is aggressive in general and I realize that what he's doing might be interpreted differently by someone who knows more about dogs and their social structure--maybe it is okay and normal--but I do know that it makes me uncomfortable when he tries to...um...eat puppies...so we're going to take a break until I can put a well thought-out plan into action. It may be that Buzz and I will just invite his favorite dogs to have a separate meet-up as the Saturday playgroup has become a bit too crowded and unwieldy and I do think I'm asking a lot of him to be polite at all times when a number of dogs are rude, rude, rude.

 

 

Is Buzz actually hurting the puppy or going through a ritual of snarling and threatening?

 

I know people at the dog park don't like their puppies to be threatened by other dogs (I hate it, which is why I don't bring my puppies there! :rolleyes:) but if Buzz isn't doing any harm, I would consider it a correction to the puppy. Granted, I'm not there and I can't analyze what he's doing, but it sounds like the puppy just crosses some invisible annoyance barrier and Buzz puts the pup in its place.

 

 

I have seen some dog-to-dog corrections and I would describe them as follows: they are usually are an escalating thing where the corrector first bares his teeth, growls a little, maybe pushes the correctee away or down. If the correctee doesn’t correct himself, the corrector tries again, but this time a little bit louder and closer and harder. The corrector will continue to increase the volume, power, and closeness of the correction in small steps. If the correctee really doesn’t get it, then at some point the corrector may have the correctee pinned down and may have the correctee’s neck in his mouth.

 

This is not what happened. Buzz went from 0 to 60 in 1.2 seconds. There was no back and forth. This is why I feel it wasn’t a correction. It certainly wasn’t a fair correction or one that the puppy could learn from if, in fact, the puppy was being obnoxious is some way that I didn’t see.

 

Also, in the interaction the previous weekend (different lab puppy) I pulled Buzz off the pup then walked him a short ways (25 feet) and had him do a few tricks to refocus. I called Buzz’s pal Milly over to us and let him go when she came over, thinking he would focus on Milly and be a good boy. He played with Milly briefly, but then went back to the puppy--going around several dogs to get to the puppy--and was mean to the puppy as soon as he reached him. Which just doesn’t seem like it could possibly be a correction. Unless the puppy saw somehow talking smack and Buzz heard him from 25 feet away?

 

I’ve seen other dogs do what Buzz did. I’ve seen other dogs do it to Buzz. Never once have I thought that they were correcting him, I’ve always thought that they were being jerks.

 

I think it depends on the owners of the pup, but my opinion is that if they can't deal with dog behavior (and it is just dog behavior) shouldn't bring their puppies to a DOG park.

 

The puppy’s owner wasn’t upset with me or with Buzz. The puppy was upset from the treatment he received and the owner just matter-of-factly checked him over and sent him on his way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
just means that in fact I do not "let" my dog be mean to puppies. He just does not like puppies and there is no way any wolf would convince him otherwise.

 

I must have a relative to your mean ol' dog. Nothing under the sun has convinced Mick to be nice to puppies. Yes, he'll tolerate some interaction but short of shooting him, I can't make him like or be nice to puppies. I've settled for not blooding them or killing them. Funny thing, most of the pups who've grown up here or pass though here adore him, keep coming back for more torture. So it must not be as bad as it looks...at least that's what I think.

His half sister Dew takes at least 10 feet to belly crawl up to him just to lick his face maybe once before being jumped on and rolled or squashed into the ground, 10 minutes goes by and there she is crawling back for more abuse! When they play which is really just running around the fields cause lord knows he'd never lower himself to "play" with a stupid puppy, he's constantly rolling her and holding her down. Heck it's entertainment around here!

 

Now I do have an old female who was a horror to all puppies until 3 years ago I got a puppy who just adored her, wouldn't leave her alone, same scenario as the one above except this bitch would really hurt the puppies. Josie bugged Raven till Raven finally gave in and let her bug her. Now she will tolerate puppies, I've even seen her kiss one now and then, go figure!

 

I think Mick took lessons on how to hate puppies from Raven when he was growing up. He wasn't 10 weeks old and she'd blooded his nose, he still has great respect for ol' Raven. She rules the house. A look from her and they all tremble. Except those damn puppies, I guess she gave up the fight for the sake of her sanity and it took to much time to correct those hard to learn puppies. But let any adult dog step into her bubble and watch the fur fly.

 

Personally I don't go to dog parks, to many stupid dog owners with their stupid dogs. I'd rather keep to ourselves and find other ways of socializing the pups.

What they learn at dog parks is like what my kids learned in the bathroom at school. Nothing good.

Kristen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...