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Aggressive puppy and 3yo(27 Posts)
We have a 10 week old puppy who is being very aggressive towards our 3yo. Goes for him anytime son is standing near him; jumping, snarling and barking. Doesn't show aggression towards dh and I.
We are doing 1 on 1 remote training with a recommended trainer and my dh thinks he can be trained out of it.
I'm really not hopeful at all and want to give him back to the breeder while he's still young enough to find a new home easily (without children).
I don't think it's fair for our son to be scared in his own house due to a pet we brought in.
He's been around lots of other dogs and isn't scared of dogs in general.
What do you all think? Have you overcome a situation like this and how?
Unlikely for a 10 week old puppy being aggressive.
More likely wants to play, gets over stimulated near your 3 year old, or even fearful of your 3 year old.
3 year olds , are fast moving, noisy, high pitched and unpredictable which will over stimulate your puppy.
What advice has your trainer given you?
It definitely looks aggressive, the trainer saw an interaction. He acts differently when he's playing.
Trainer suggested we start teaching him the 'leave' command for these situations which we've started.
If it's just overstimulation will he grow out of it soon? He's constantly jumping on 3yo and scratching him, biting his clothes etc so now 3yo doesn't want to be in the room with him. It's horrible.
I doubt the dog is aggressive but do think you should return the puppy to the breeder if that’s what your gut is telling you.
Better to return the dog now whilst they’ve a good chance of being rehomed (people prefer unspoilt pups) than after an incident at which time the dog will be labelled as aggressive with kids and pretty much written off.
Is your dc screaming /making a noise around the puppy?
(obviously he is 3 and it's likely!) our puppy went nuts if ds 5 made any sort of squealing sound. Told ds he sounded like another puppy enjoying rough play time and had to stop. He did and it was instant.
Puppy is 5 months and they are great together. No issues at all.. Can your dc give sit command and a treat?
Our dog was very much like this! The behaviourist said she was rambunctious! We were very close to sending her back. Our salvation came because we had a holiday booked so she went back to the breeder for two weeks. That time spent with her own mother again, plus a brother sorted her out. Her mother taught her how to behave obviously and she came back a different dog-could you try that?
The puppy jumping up and scratching a toddler is very common and you do need to prevent this.
I am not happy with a leave it command with a 10 week old puppy that is over excited and stimulated - it is a big ask
90% of puppy training is control and management, so work out ways to stop the puppy jumping up. It may be having the puppy on a lead,it may distracting the puppy when you DC is around.It may be have the puppy the other side of a stair gate and scatterfeed food when your son is in the room.
Your trainer does not sound very experienced if "Leave it" command is the only option they are giving you.
A good book that will help you is : easy peasey puppy squeezy by Steve Mann only £4.00 on this link
Have you owned a puppy before OP?
Or actually, a more pertinent question would be: Have you owned a puppy while also having a toddler in the house?
There's nothing wrong with your puppy.
However if you don't feel you can deal with normal puppy behaviour like this then returning pup to breeder is the best idea. It would suggest you are not equipped to deal with a puppy right now.
Do not get a different puppy - you'll face the same problems. Either get an older dog, or don't have a dog.
10 week old puppy aggressive ? Aye right! More like 10 week old puppy being a 10 week old puppy!
Get a crate and put the puppy in it when they are over stimulated as mostly they need sleep when they're being menaces, lots of chews to redirect mouthing and lots of sleep! Ours was a grumpy cow if she wasn't asleep unless it was for a sweet spot of about 2 hours. Try brain games like sit and wait as that tires them
FATEdestiny has it exactly right .
You need to give the puppy back, no question. A "leave" command is in no way an appropriate response to an apparently aggressive instinct to a 3yo child. There could be all sorts going on, and maybe certain ways of addressing it might help, but really it's not worth the risk, and it should be up to the breeder to find out the problem and resolve it.
I think send it back while you still can. He probably still needs to be with his mum
It's highly unlikely that your puppy is aggressive, but puppies and toddlers are very very rarely a good mix. There's a reason breeders and rescues are reluctant to re-home to people with young children in the house. Toddlers are not known to be gentle and often scare dogs by poking them, pulling at them and making sudden loud noises and movements.
What are you doing to keep them separate? They should never be in the same room together unless you're right there to supervise them. Invest in some baby gates and a crate or pen for the puppy so he can have some space to himself where he's guaranteed to be left alone.
This behaviour won't go away overnight, mine was bitey and jumpy on and off until he was about eighteen months old. If you can't cope with spending the next 18 months doing what needs to be done to keep them both safe, then you need to re-home the puppy. You should have a contract with your breeder to return it if things don't work out.
I’d re-home the puppy in your shoes. You have enough to do looking after a toddler without learning how to train a puppy too.
Our dog didn’t really settle down until he was about 18 months. He was hard work for at least the first 12 months as he’s very determined and pig headed and DH does his best but he’s no idea really. Doggo is much better behaved with me as I’m very firm and issue short clear commands.
DH has a waffly conversation with the command word in there somewhere.
We waited until my youngest was 7 before getting our dog (reasonably large breed) and he was definitely a lot rougher and threw his weight around more with Ds than the rest of us. He played much more aggressively with him than with me, DH or DD and even seemed to bully him at times if that makes sense. DS was quite scared of him and they didn’t have much of a relationship, although he did have his pain in the arse puppy moments with the rest of us too.
We had a trainer who said that basically DS and the dog didn’t have a relationship and that the dog could get more of a (scared) reaction from Ds than the rest of us so we needed to work with DS on building a close but mutually respectful relationship between them. He got DS much more involved in training, feeding, walking etc and now 4 years on they are best buddies.
Obviously with a 3 year old you have to be extra careful and your puppy is probably not being any more aggressive than any other puppy playing with a sibling - and while I think pack theory is utter crap your pup might be trying to dominate your DS but puppy/dog play can look a bit brutal even when it’s not. Our DDog has a best friend who is Male and the same breed as him so both big dogs and when they play it can look like they are trying to kill eachother but it is just play and nobody gets hurt
Puppies mouthe. Which is a nicer way of saying they are bitey fucking bastards.
It’s not aggression. It’s how they explore the world. Telling them to leave won’t help. You just need to substitute something they can chew on every single time.
I kept pup on lead round the kids to start with.
Puppies and 3 year olds just don't mix, we got our labrador puppy when ds was 9 and even that was a challenge.
Puppies and 3 year olds just don't mix
^^ This. Puppies play rough - it's just their nature. Surprised your breeder didn't voice any concerns about having a puppy with a 3 year old.
A ten week old puppy doesn't know what aggression means. Like infant anythings, they are exploring the world with no self-control, no understanding of social behaviours, and, importantly at that age, no fear mechanism which is the trigger for aggression. Dogs don't fully develop their fear response until 16 weeks.
To be honest you don't sound like you have a clue about raising a puppy (and actually, your "trainer" doesn't sound like they have either, if they think it's aggression at 10 weeks!). I am a huge supporter of dogs and kids together. But not when the adults don't know how to manage either. You should return the puppy now so it has a chance of a nice and stable home - yours isn't the right environment for it, and things are going to get a lot worse.
A puppy is a baby/toddle, just like human toddlers go through the hitty bitey phase which you sometimes can't stop. So do puppies.
Keep them apart or if you can't cope, then return now, while it can be readopted.
Also agree with the posters about the leave it command being silly - would you expect your 3yo to stop on command everytime when he was excited oor he was having a tantrum? Probably not. Puppy is no different.
That's how a puppy behaves, what were you expecting?
My boy’s mouthing was so bad as a pup there was a point I genuinely wondered if it was aggression - of course it wasn’t, and he’s matured into the sweetest, most even tempered dog. That said I think it would be best to return the pup while he’s still young enough to be snapped up, it will be less stressful all round - just don’t get another one!
What kind of trainer do you have OP?
Are the APDT members?
don't think it's fair for our son to be scared in his own house due to a pet we brought in
not fair to get a puppy if you're clueless about them.
Is this your first Puppy? Does the child annoy it, pull it's tail and shriek at it and generally irritate the puppy?
Very unusual for a puppy to be aggressive, I assume he's just playing, he's a BABY! That's what puppies do, they mouth, they play!
Reminds me a friend, bought a kitten, then complained the kitten was vicious and was attacking her child 🙄 took it back and got another kitten and said that one was also vicious , she was an idiot, that was the problem, she had no idea about how kittens behave.
Not being harsh op but surely you knew a dpuppy came with teeth?