I really need advice. Snappy puppy...(9 Posts)
14 weeks? Have you had dogs before? How old are your children? What sort of home did he come from before you? Is it totally different?
I've got no real suggestions. My dogs have always been very friendly but they were incredibly well socialised from day one. Maybe he feels threatened? How long have you had him? What breed is he (out of interest?)
He's still just a baby and unfortunately they do tend to be nippy and snappy at that age, they need to be taught bite inhibition and appropriate behaviour and that takes time and a lot of effort.
Progress isn't always linear and they will often go through phases where it feels like they have forgotten all their training and everything's gone to pot, but if you stick with firm and consistent training he will get there in the end.
I understand your concern about him snapping at your children, but nipping etc is part and parcel of pup behaviour and something that should be considered before taking on a pup. At this age it's unlikely to be malicious/true aggression, more a lack of social skills and over-excitability.
It's impossible to advise effectively over the internet, as you really need to see the pup's body language and behaviour and observe the family dynamics etc to work out what's happening and why.
I would advise you to get hold of a properly qualified behaviourist for some one-to-one sessions. You need someone who knows what they are doing to observe his behaviour and assess the underlying reasons/causes for him snapping, then come up with some strategies for dealing with it. Investing in proper, professional behaviourist advice while he is still young will be worth every penny when he grows up to be a well trained and good mannered adult.
Please look for a suitably qualified behaviourist in your area on either the APDT or APBC sites.
Great - they should be able to advise you much better than anyone on here could, as they can properly observe his behaviour and the interaction and dynamics between you.
As I said, it's not unusual for pups to still be nippy/snappy at this age and it's not usually malicious. Unfortunately, a two year old's face being within easy snapping height, makes it more of a problem. Whereas older children and adults would just be likely to get fingers and feet nipped. Also, two year olds have higher-pitched, more squeaky voices, which makes them far more attractive to some pups. All this is why many rescues refuse to rehome to families with very young children.
We are planning on getting a pup later in the year and I have to admit I'm a bit nervous, as the last time there was a pup in the house was just under 8 years ago, when ds2 was 18 months old and at the time we had two other dogs for the pup to nibble on and a strong matriarchal bitch to put him in his place. My youngest dc is 4 1/2, but very dog savvy and we have been talking a lot about how/why pups nip and what to do when/if it happens. The plan is to wait until she's in school full-time before we get a pup - unless the perfect rescue comes up before then.
We have child-gate on the kitchen and if I can't actually be in the room with them, I always make sure the dcs are one side and the dog the other - even if it's just for a few minutes (despite the fact that lurcherboy is a huge lump of soppiness). Would that perhaps be an option for you?
I'm sure the behavourist will be able to tell you if it is anything to worry about.
But puppies do bite. Ours was shocking at that age and wrecked loads of clothes and drew blood on a few occaisions. It was fairly short lived but it is hard. I think the age of your dc will make it harder to be honest, my blood pressure used to go through the roof when my friend brought her toddler round.
If it helps he is now 9 months and I have no worries what so ever with regard to biting. Keep up the ignoring when being bitey in the mean time till help arrives.
The thing is worrying that a 14 week old puppy is a dog that hates children is a bit like worrying that a 3 year old child is a psychopath because they've just hit another child for playing with their toy...
It's normal puppy behaviour, yes it's unwanted and yes you want to work on it, but it doesn't really mean anything terrible.
I totally sympathise! When my pup was 14 weeks you couldn't walk next to him without him hanging from your ankles, he nipped and snapped at the dcs and they were terrified of him. My DH is not a dog person and wanted the dog to go.
He is 9 months now and very gentle mouthed. He has actually started snapping again when over excited but doesn't actually bite.
We are working on the snapping by ignoring him if he does it. The behaviourist will be able to help you - keep on in there!
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