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Lab puppy being attacked a lot

(14 Posts)
Lisab85 Tue 02-Sep-14 13:09:30

Can anyone help, I have a gorgeous wee golden lab puppy ( 4 months old) who is very gentle but dogs keep attacking him. All breeds, with the exception of another lab and cocker spaniel. He is very submissive and is obviously no threat to them - I saw a similar thread on here from 2008 and the lady got the puppy's anal glands squeezed when it kept happening to her choc lab and I wondered if there was any update on whether this worked? The thread ended. I'm really worried he is going to be scarred for life and be frightened of dogs now, it's such a shame on him.

SpicyBear Tue 02-Sep-14 13:24:46

Can you describe a bit more what you mean by "attacking"? What is your dog doing, what is the other dog doing, what and where are his injuries, that kind of thing. It's very hard to help without that information.

MothershipG Tue 02-Sep-14 13:29:50

Have you had dogs before? I only ask because if your puppy is being over friendly in the bouncy manner typical of labs the other dogs may just be telling him off for his lack of social skills!

Are they actually hurting him or just noisy snarling?

Toooldtobearsed Tue 02-Sep-14 13:53:25

Just to agree with others, puppies and dogs playing together can look like fighting.
I have had dogs for years, but was still shock when my pup 'played' with other dogs. One particular gsd was quite happily flipping my precious pup up in the air. I did prepare to be outraged until I saw my lab pup, tail wagging, pile back in for more.
Having said that, my last old girl was the softest dog I have ever met. She loved everyone. One day we met a lovely little dog and mine actually bared her teeth and growled. I was mortified, she had never, ever done that before. Apologising profusely to the poor woman, she said that every dog they met had a similar reaction to her dog, who looked perfectly normal and tail waggy to me..... Never saw her again, but it must have been so miserable for her and the dog.

Lisab85 Tue 02-Sep-14 13:59:29

Hi no the dogs are definitely going for him, he approaches them with his tail down and ears back and rolls on his back to show his belly, luckily none have drawn blood but it's definite snarling and biting then the owner has pulled them off and my puppy yelps, he continues to yelp for a bit afterwards too
Sometimes he is bouncy and in their face and dogs will growl to warn him but the attacks are happening when he is being quiet and submissive and usually the owner says beforehand 'he's ok he won't touch him' but then their dog does so it's not like they aggressive dogs.
I had a lab before and never had any issues
I have been socialising him for weeks since the vet said he could be with other dogs

lavendersun Tue 02-Sep-14 14:03:15

OP - we have the biggest wimp dog yellow lab in the world, she has never been any different so I don't know if you can change him.

She smiles and wags her tail at everything even if it is baring its teeth and growling and has done since she was 10 weeks old.

Even now at 10 she is a wimp - loves to play but gets a bit worried by anything that isn't as nice as her - oddly has always loved yellow labs/golden retrievers and is braver with them.

I just made it my job to protect her to be honest and only let her play with dogs that are nice, always put her on lead if other dogs are approaching if I don't know them just in case - to be honest I love the way she is - like a ray of sunshine - always happy.

He will make a lovely family friend if he is so kind. You could take him to puppy training classes to allow him to regain his confidence in a controlled environment and/or invite people with lovely dogs to walk/come and play in your garden.

SpicyBear Tue 02-Sep-14 14:22:34

You need to really proactive and stop him approaching dogs he doesn't know. Some dogs just really don't want to deal with puppies. One possibility is he actually reads the signals that the dog is not of a friendly disposition towards him and so approaches with the appeasement gestures you mention (roll over etc). Really this needs to be turned into "dog isn't friendly, I ignore them". So for example if you see the ears back etc that preempts one of these negative interactions (I do think attack is a bit strong if he's not being injured, snarling and snapping are communication) you call him off for a fun game or treat. You want to condition him to look to you when he comes across an unfriendly dog rather than prostarting himself at their feet smile

Lisab85 Tue 02-Sep-14 14:43:25

thanks Lavendersun, he is a lovely wee dog, although snaps at me sometimes but I know that is normal puppy behaviour! funny, he is ok with other labs too!

Thanks Spicybear, I already do stop him approaching dogs but my husband says if I do stop him from approaching dogs he doesn't know then he'll never meet any dogs! which is why I've tried to socialise him and bringing him to meet friends' dogs etc.
I think he does mis-read the dogs which is why I wanted to get him to meet lots of other dogs to teach him. I know snarling and snapping are communication, but honestly the last two were attacks (yes, no blood) but owner had to pull it off and gave it a boot, he looked a bit scared by what happened himself, and as I say, my pup yelped for a good 20 seconds afterwards
Thanks for the feedback though, I read somewhere that when a dog's anal glands are blocked they don't omit a smell which can be a reason why dogs attack as they don't know what to make of it without a smell... I don't know if this is true, my husband is brining him to the vet today so we'll see what she says!

Thanks smile

MarcoPoloCX Tue 02-Sep-14 14:48:52

@ Lavender, having a calm dog is a dream…. I have the opposite problem.

I have two youngsters, one is 15 months and the other is almost one.
The elder one is calm, more of a people’s dog and would choose to approach a person than a dog.
He usually sits between someone’s feet.
The younger one just wants to play with other dogs, always pulling me towards a nearby dog.
He’s very playful and excitable, almost a bit too much for some dogs which has caused some to snarl at him but no fighting yet.
He plays nicely at first and then out of nowhere it can get a bit rough, so I have to keep an eye on him at all time.
This only started happening the last couple of weeks.
Before that everything was fine and I didn’t have to interrupt.
I put him on the lead as soon as I sense something but I don’t want others to think he’s a naughty or an aggressive dog because he isn’t.
His brother who is half his size is the boss!
He’s just a bit too much for some dogs and he’s in a stage where he’s more confident and he’s testing other dogs’ limits.
When he and the other dogs bark at each other, my older one starts to nip him as if telling him off…. It gets rather noisy and that’s when I have to separate him and put him on a lead.

Lisab85 Tue 02-Sep-14 15:14:35

Yes my dog is the same, prefers people every time! And always sits by our legs - I guess they are all just so different! I didn't think it was possible to get a calm lab puppy though, my last one was crazy!

lavendersun Tue 02-Sep-14 15:33:39

I don't know anything about anal glands but think SpicyBear is spot on and that you shouldn't allow him to approach something you don't know, I wouldn't and don't even now at 10 years old.

We have great walking near us in a huge forest and are lucky enough not to meet anyone most of the time on our daily walk. When we do I usually know them but if I don't I always put her on a lead.

Re what your husband said - you don't really need him to meet every dog, if he is on a lead you have the luxury of being able to ask other owners if their dog would mind meeting a bouncy pup rather than having them scare him.

SpicyBear Tue 02-Sep-14 15:58:14

Agree with lavender's last point. It's better that he doesn't meet a dog than meets one and has a bad experience. When my youngest was a pup we would do parallel walking on lead for a bit with friendly owners before letting them have a greet and/or play if the signs were good they would get along. If you can find a nice class or training club that would be a good place for him to meet other dogs in a controlled way.

Lisab85 Tue 02-Sep-14 17:26:23

Thanks guys, have found a brilliant place to walk him with big open fields and very few dogs there so I'm going to take him there now, I was listening to others who told me to keep bringing him to doggie play area in stormont but I think it's too much for him. I just didn't want him to grow up having not had much contact with other dogs. He is a big wuss though, a husky pup same age as him was nipping him wanting to play and he just lay on his back terrified! Thank you, really appreciate all your help and comments! ��

weaselwords Thu 04-Sep-14 07:23:26

My brown dog doesn't like puppies that throw themselves on their backs at his feet and will roll them and growl, so I keep him away from young dogs. Can pups be too submissive?

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