WWYD? Would you rehome?(33 Posts)
Looking for some advice and honest opinions as I'm really confused. I am a first time dog owner and I posted last week about my beagle pup showing signs of aggression. Most of the time she is a lovely, normal bouncy pup but since posting her little signs of aggression have become more frequent and worrying. Today she lunged at my 5 year old dd, growling and trying to bite her hip. My friend and her bf came over and she went for both of them. I contacted a charity for beagles and have been following their advice but if I'm totally honest she frightens me when she is like that and I find it hard to deal with. I dont want to give up on her but i am frightened she will hurt my dd. Please dont flame me I really dont know what to do I dont have experience with dogs, only cats! Im so torn
Have you taken her to the vets to check there isn't an underlying (painful) condition that's affecting her?
If she's in good health then I'd go to a behaviourist and see what they say.
In the meantime don't leave her unattended with any children.
Yeah been at the vets a few times since I got her but they say she's healthy!
How old is she? Eric was really nippy up until he was about four months old. Yelping made him worse so he got a time out if he nipped dd. He was put behind the stairgate and ignored for a few minutes. He hated and still hates being away from us and being ignored so it was very effective pretty quickly because he's a clever dog and soon twigged that nipping would get him a time out.
I'm not a dog expert at all, but if it was me I would get a behaviourist in to assess her and see what they suggest and take it from there. If I found I could work to help prevent/manage the behaviour confidently I would go for it, but equally if you feel you can't manage the aggression don't feel guilty about rehoming her - you will have done your best for you and her and your family.
If you do try and find a good no-kill rescue centre who will get her rehomed to a family who are experienced with this type of behaviour.
As an experienced dog owner I wouldnt have suggested a beagle as a first time dog.
How old is your dog? Tell me your day to day routine. And a rough idea of where you live.
How old is she? Biting is perfectly normal for puppies and beagles can be quite stimulated dogs. Wouldn't have been my first choice for a novice, I have to say. Have you enrolled her at training classes!
Insanity's advice is good about ignoring her. Stand up, turn your back, fold your arms so she can't reach fingers and completely ignore her. Consistency is the key though which is tricky with small children. All they want to do is scream and jump and puppy thinks great, we're playing! It's all about the signals you are giving off, although your dog trainer should be able to explain that.
The main reason I opted for a beagle is because of their soft temperament around children. She is so smart she is house trained already and responds really well unless we are in an actual situation. I take her on 3 walks a day 30mins each at the moment and she gets so much love and attention I really cant figure it out. She has been aggressive again today and I really cant handle her aggression, I fear I am making it worse and I think the best thing would be to re home. Dont even know where to start though, I feel awful but I also feel like I'm just waiting for something really bad to happen
Gosh, sorry for your situation. Have you contacted your breeder for any advice? Or beagle welfare?
We have been looking into this breed, and have done lots of homework as we too have children. Having spoken to a few breeders, spoken to people out dog walking, read lots on the internet I needed to be sure that we would cope with one as a family. We've had dogs before (different breeds, all my life until recently) and a beagle isn't something I'd undertake lightly.
As far as I have gleaned, they are a good temperament with children, not known for aggression, but intelligent dogs and need to be stimulated.
What happens in the run up to the displays of aggression? Is she guarding something precious to her? Has she somewhere quiet to go to get away? Is there anything causing her pain at the moment? Something you can't see?
I understand that feeling of waiting for something to happen add my friend recently went through this with her dog. Hopefully some beagle owners will be along soon for you with some good advice.
Just found your other thread so puppy is only 14 weeks old is that right? She's just a baby and nipping is really normal behaviour at this age and not a sign of aggression. It's just like a baby putting things in its mouth to explore that's all.She hasn't got hands so goes straight in with her teeth.
Your puppy really doesn't need to be walked three times a day,she should only be walked for 5 minutes for each month of her age so 15 minutes a day in total just now.
She is probably over tired and over stimulated and that won't help with the nipping.
It sounds like you could really do with some support.Have you booked into puppy training classes? Just meeting people going through the same thing can help and make you realise that you don't actually own a monster dog.
Are you sure she's displaying aggression? At her age she probably doesn't actually know how to be aggressive are you sure you're not misreading her playing?
I would agree that it sounds more like boisterous play to me rather than aggression, and she's probably jumped up to grab at a the edge of a tantalizing t shirt that to her looks like a great game for tug. A book on dog body language might help you to understand her thought process and show you how to react to encourage the behavior you want.
Blimey yes if she's only 14 weeks old then it's probably not aggression! And three half hour walks a day is far too much on her little legs. My lab is five months and the advice is five minutes walk per month of age. So he has about 20-30 mins a day. He also has training on top of that so he is kept mentally stimulated as well.
I'd be tempted to say your puppy is over stimulated and absolutely knackered. My boy gets a bit frazzled if he hasn't had a nap, which is tricky at the moment because the kids are home from school. Do you have a crate or small room where she can be shut away on her own for some peace and quiet? I'd try that first.
Is she being aggressive or doing puppy biting? Dogs naturally go through a mouthy phase and it is bloody painful, it does pass though. What interaction do your children have with her? Does she have a place to go that she can escape their attention?
Maybe get the advice of a good behavourist, get them to watch you and your family with the dog. They will be able to tell you if this behaviour is of any import. My JRT used to growl and snap as a pup, I am experienced with dogs and it simply used to result in him being put down and ignored. It soon passed.
I have a crate which she goes to after her walks etc for a sleep. I think it is aggression because she can play/nip/growl and its completely different honestly. Sometimes she becomes aggressive when she is guarding something, other times for no reason, she seems to get anxious when there are people over at my house. We just got back from a walk and she has gone for my daughter again. My daughter was just stood next to her! Its got to the point now where I am nervous of her and this is why I am considering re homing because I dont feel like I can take control of her aggression. She is such a beautiful little thing I feel awful. Thank you for everyones advice you are all very understanding and helpful.
How does your daughter normally interact with the dog? does she get in her face? to her and you it will be cuddling to the dog it will be really intimidating. I had to tell my DD off about this. Something is causing her to become anxious when people are around. Subconciously, that is you. You need to learn to relax around her or the problem will get worse.
I would take her to the vet, they will be able to advise re the aggression.
If however you feel you are going to rehome her, then do it sooner rather than later. Go via beagle rescue, don't just sell her on.
With regards to guarding, never try to take her item off her, always offer a better reward, ie favourite toy, nice chunk of chicken etc, and when she leaves her item for the reward you can swap so she doesn't learn that you will take things from her only that you will give her lovely treats.
I think you should give her back to the breeder, as in the kindest way possible you seem way out of your depth and unable to cope. Puppies so young are not aggressive. Sorry, they just aren't. She may have different types of play, including pushing boundaries and very excitable play, but it won't be true aggression.
You're also walking her far too much which could damage the growth of her bones. As a PP has pointed out, it should be only 5 minutes of walking for each month of age. The trick is to tire them out mentally with games and training when they are so young.
As she gets older and enters the 'teenage' years it will get harder, not easier. It's would be kinder to let her have the chance at a new home now while she's young enough to adapt and appealing to rehome.
If you use facebook there's a great group on there you can join that I'm sure will have lots of training ideas and will help put your mind at rest. Look for Dog Training Advice and Support. Good luck.
I know I am not an experienced dog owner but I have grown up around puppies and dogs as I have a big family and they all had them and I do know its very rare but it IS aggressive. Its when she's guarding food etc and for example today she was licking a dirty puddle and I said leave it to her and gently tried to pull her away (she wears a harness) and she growled at me and went for me. I can handle play biting/nipping/growling its different honestly which is why I'm posting here. When she was 8weeks old I noticed it, I've spoken to my vet, I got advice off a woman who works for Beagle Welfare weeks ago with training but its not making a difference. I don't think I'm out of my depth, the poo/wee/nipping I can handle, but I agree that I don't have enough experience to deal with this, will get a behaviourist. Thanks everyone
You says you've been to the vet but if the puppy really is showing signs of aggression, which would be unusual in such a young dog, has your vet ruled out any neurological problems?
Beagles are very intelligent dogs, and very much their own people iuswim, they may have a reputation as being good with children but they aren't easy dogs by any means.
Is she getting enough mental stimulation? It will wear her out more than physical activity. The over walking won't be helping her temperament as she'll probably be wired all the time.
At 14 weeks she should be spending most of her time asleep.
She shouldn't have left her mum until a minimum of 8 weeks old, so this has been a problem since they day you got her then? I would be really really surprised if it is aggression.
Agree with the others , she is being walked far too mUch, will will make her tired and maybe snappy . 15 mins on the lead each day . Definitely book in for puppy classes, and also buy a book. Called the puppy handbook, it's really good. My puppy is 5 months, something I think she seems aggressive as it not just the mouthing but she seems to really jump up to try and get our hands or run after us in the garden and try to bite our legs! Obviously we stop , as she is getting too excited and I do believe it's just a puppy playing.
Can be worrying at times though
Obviously your daughter is still young too, she may run round a bit playing which will get your puppy excited and nippy. Not a lot you can do about that one apart from try to teach your daughter some puppy rules, which I'm sure you have. Don't go near pup when it's eating, don't take toys from her, don't hold a toy up in front of it as it will jump up for the toy and could get her hand instead and so on
Do you have treats on you all the time? Instead of pulling her away I would have enticed her with sausage or ham or frankfurter.Much the same if she has something you want from her. As a puppy Eric wasn't happy to drop something he had but he would let me have it in exchange for ham. Even now if he looks like he's faltering a morsel of ham will ensure he drops it.
Puppies are easily bought IME even the most stubborn ones and from what you wrote in your last thread food is important to your puppy so use that to get what you want from her. At one point during his stroppy teens Eric got most of his food hand fed as rewards rather than in his bowl because he was a bit of a pest at the time.
Now he doesn't need so many treats to get him to behave so he gets his treats for performing tricks instead.
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