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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I've never had a dog before so I'm very new to all of this and am hoping you can help me. I have done a lot of research but was a bit surprised at this one - my pup is only 10 weeks old and is getting very aggressive. It started when I went back to work so I feel it might have something to do with her spending all day in her crate which could be leading to pent up energy in the form of aggression. I have someone that is coming in to let her out to pee and for a play at lunch time as she's too young to be alone for the whole work day right now.

I'm not really sure what I can do for her. She doesn't have her 12 week vaccination so we aren't walking yet. I try to tire her out by playing with her and now that the weather is warming up I've taken her to the backyard to run around (she doesn't like this yet!). She growls, bites hard (no matter how many times I replace my foot, hand, sweater, hair, etc) with a chew toy. She lunges at my face. Barks at me. She also wraps her front paws around my legs so that she can continue to bite at my pants while I walk. When she's not being aggessive she's a perfectly lovable pup. Really cute and fun to be around but I'm really concerned about this aggression in such a young puppy. She certainly wasn't like this at the breeders or when we first brought her home.

I feel like I've created a little monster but I'm not sure what I did. I give her lots of attention. I try to dissuade nagative behaviour with positive reinforcement. The only time she's alone is while I'm at work.

Has anyone else been through this? Can you offer any suggestions for me to get through this time? She will be going to puppy classes as soon as she's old enough.

Thanks so much!!
Melissa
 

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Don't panic.....it's not aggression...your puppy will be ok. I imagine you aren't going out for longer than 4 hours at a time.
Puppies bite, and they test the boundaries to see who is boss....you need to be boss.

They all do seem to have a crazy half hour.
My Lady who is now the most gentle and calm dog, except when she is playing.
Would attach feet, and bite like crazy...this isn't agression, just a puppy being a puppy.

I too thought I had a BEAST! you dont,,,she will calm down.

There are a number of different things to try one of which will work. but try each one a few times untill you find the one.

When she bites....yelp..sometimes follow with a wimper...this will let her know that she hurt you
or
STOP playing and completely ignore her
or
do not repremand, just put her in her crate for a quiet 3 minutes, do not remove her untill she is silent
or
when she gets nippy give her a chew toy to deflect the biting


Give these things a try.....she could bee teething too which makes them want to bite and chew.
 

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My puppy does all of these things too. She has even bit my 3 year old in the face. Amanda is right though. It's not aggression. It's just how puppies play and they get over excited easily. It quickly becomes only fun for them! I'm just learning this as I go, but i've read over and over on here that this is normal and I'm just hanging in there until she stops this.

I will say that Olive has growled and snapped at my kids in a non playing, warning way. She does not tolerate them picking her up and she lets them know. But everything you described sounds like normal, over excited puppy play. 10 minutes ago Olive was insane. She was jumping up and biting at me anywhere she could latch on. Nothing i was doing was stopping her. Then I looked at the clock and realized it was 11pm. She was tired so off to bed she went. She went right to sleep when i put her in her crate. I've been noticing that a lot of times she can't settle herself at night and she just goes nuts. So just like a baby I have to put her to bed!
 

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She does sound normal Buddy was the same .Prehaps because she spends most of her day by herself in the crate wont help.At that age they need company is there no one you could leave her with? Or i would pay for her to go to a dog sitter ,once shes able to go out it will get easier but she should really not spend most of her day in the crate.
I appreciate its hard when you work ,but at this age i wouldnt leave for longer then 2 hrs really.
 

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hi melissa -
i have a 14 week old who behaves like that very often. its not aggression if she isn't showing her teeth and growling - its just a puppy being a puppy. no one really warns you about this before you get one!

everyone says they grow out of this phase and i think you will find that once you start walking her and socializing her, she will tire out and be more docile. my husband and i also work so our little pup is crated for 4 hours at a time - we have someone come walk/feed/play with her at noon and then again at 4. when they are very young i think it makes sense to have someone come twice a day.

i have also heard that teaching them tricks and training them helps with the pent up energy. but all in all, i think its a phase that will eventually pass.

if your pup is teething - you should get teething treats and toys. a lot of people on here also talk about freezing a damp tea towel and giving it to do the dog to chew. our little lady doesn't like this but others say it works wonders.
 

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This sounds all to familiar. I agree with the advice that was said. I remember when I brought Kody home I thought I purchased an alligator instead of a cockapoo. We could not walk around barefoot or have our ankles and legs exposed.

Be patient, this is puppy play and possible teething. The yelp and walking away changed his behavior in a matter of weeks. The other thing you can try is to take a spray bottle with water and give them a squirt with a firm NO when they're behavior is unacceptable.

Good Luck!
 

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Hi. Sounds as if you might enjoy a good puppy-socializing class. And your puppy would enjoy it too. There is a lot to learn and it helps talking to other owners and getting tips from the trainers. Can you find one near you?
I think it will get easier when you can walk at regular times each day with your puppy and that it would help if you can find a way for her not to be left alone for so many hours each day. Maybe the puppy class will give you contacts who could help over this. It's hard work with a puppy for the first few months, but so worth while getting it right early on. Good luck.
 

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I am trying to word this carefully, I do not want you to think I am being critical of you, but I do believe that it is a very long time to leave any dog, let alone a puppy, every day. Even with someone coming in for - half an hour? an hour? your pup is alone, assuming "nighttime" is 8 hours, for at least 14 hours out of 24. Young puppies do need a lot of sleep, but not all at once, they need to play, eat and sleep, and interact with people, and meet other dogs and experience the world. I do understand that you need to work, and I believe there may be a cultural difference towards leaving dogs in Canada to the UK, but is there a doggy daycare or someone who would doggy sit for you, at least for part of the day so your pup was only alone for a minimal amount of time? Socialisation is so important in the first 4 months, you and your pup would gain so much if she were not on her own all day. I hope you will be able to sort something out, for both your sakes.
 

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How far away is your breeder? Can play dates be arranged? Did she pick out the pup for you, or did you pick her? I have the feeling that you got a hyper one.

Now, to reply!

I've never had a dog before
How many books have you read on dogs? I advise doing right now and getting the whole library selection on it.

It started when I went back to work so I feel it might have something to do with her spending all day in her crate
You guessed it.

Picture this:

1 hour: Watches you go, chews some, goes to bed
2 hour: Sleeps
3 hour: wakes up, sits down bored.
4 hour: Gets really bored. Other human takes her out.
5 hour: Attacks a toy, gets even more bored.
6 hour: by now she's bouncing off the walls, but she naps anyways.
7 hour: About to go insane.
8 hour: Is now finished transforming into a Tasmanian Devil.

which could be leading to pent up energy in the form of aggression.
It's not aggression. It's frantic insanely spiking energy that's threatening to pop her open paired with hours in solitude. :D

I try to tire her out by playing with her
What kind of play? Tug? Fetch? Training?

She growls, bites hard .... She lunges at my face. Barks at me
Like a puppy playing with its litter mates. Or trying to 'least. Your certainly not a pup, but what other option does she have? She's BEGGING you to do something with her.

She also wraps her front paws around my legs so that she can continue to bite at my pants while I walk.
Your puppy sounds like a blast lol. I'd swoop her up, blow on her, briskly walk outside, plop her on the ground, and sprint off into a game of tag in the yard at that point.

When she's not being aggessive she's a perfectly lovable pup.
No, she's not aggressive. I'll rewrite it for you: When she's not being a very hyper, friendly, but not very well mannered, baby she's a perfectly lovable pup.

I'm really concerned about this aggression in such a young puppy.
'This energy' in such a young puppy. :D Which considering how long she's alone, and her age, is to be expected.

She certainly wasn't like this at the breeders or when we first brought her home.
She had 3, 4, 5, 6, even 7 play mates, along with mom all day with just as much, or more, energy then she has. Of course she was calmer. :)

I feel like I've created a little monster but I'm not sure what I did.
She's not a monster. She's just as frustrated as you are. ;) But it's easily fixed. You two are just having problems with 'speaking' over the species barrier is all.

I give her lots of attention.
Attention is great, but how much of it is rough knock-down-drag-out play? She needs more of the hyper stuff.

Has anyone else been through this?
My pup had training classes and 3/4 mile walks by that time. And D to pummel. And I was home all day lol.

Can you offer any suggestions for me to get through this time?
Whatch videos of playing pups. They're rough and slightly evil, but it's all in good fun just like your girl. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=puppys+rough+playing&page=&utm_source=opensearch
Get to the library! Find someone with another pup in your area, and do in house play dates.

She will be going to puppy classes as soon as she's old enough.
Great idea. :D It'll really help you and her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for all your advice. It's encouraging to know that a lot of you have been through this and that you don't consider it aggression. Thank you for your suggestions. I knew about some and some are new which I'll be trying with my girl. I understand your concerns with leaving a puppy alone. Lacey's schedule right now goes like this:
5:45 am-7 am -breakfast/pee/playtime with me (I get ready for work at night so she has all my attention)
7-8:30 pee/playtime with husband or brother
11:30/12-12:30-1:00 food if she wants it & water/pee break and playtime
4:00-11:00 PM I'm home to play/supper/more play

I know to a lot of you this still isn't ideal but we are doing what we can to ensure that she's okay.

Enneirda - I did a massive amount of internet research both before and after I decided to get a Cockapoo. Bookwise I read Puppies for Dummies and You and Your Cockapoo.

We play fetch, work on training, run around the back yard since we can't go walking yet, etc. I'll start working to tire her out even more with our play time.

We are coming up on 12 weeks later this month and then we'll be able to go walking and to puppy classes. Looking forward to that! I also joined a dog meet-up group in Ottawa called Paws and Play which I think will be excellence for socialization and we'll be making trips to the dog park and soon as she's old enough.

All this to say...doing my best but I do appreciate all your advice!!

Melissa
 

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Melissa, you are obviously giving Lacey lots of quality time and love when you are at home, but she must be lonely, and bored, spending that number of hours alone every day. Would it not be possible for you to at least have someone else to come in a couple of times during the day, other than at lunchtime, so her day is broken up?
For example

5:45 am-7 am -breakfast/pee/playtime with me (I get ready for work at night so she has all my attention)
7-8:30 pee/playtime with husband or brother
9:30-10:00/10:00-11:00 pee /playtime with puppy sitter
11:30/12-12:30-1:00 food if she wants it & water/pee break and playtime
2-3 pee/playtime with puppy sitter
4:00-11:00 PM I'm home to play/supper/more play

This is a very different picture for Lacey, she would be alone for 1- 1 1/2 hours at a time, during which time, having had plenty of fuss and exercise she will probably settle to sleep quite happily, or be happy with a filled kong.

Good luck with what you decide, and I hope that your biting issues are resolved
 

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Please can you look into getting Lacey to a dog sitter during the day. Leaving her for 6/7/8 hours a day is really not fair on a puppy. It's hard enough leaving an adult dog, who has access to parts of a home. But a crated puppy is bordering on cruelty.

I'm sorry if this is too direct, but it seems like you're wanting your actions justified as acceptable behaviour.

How are you toilet training?

Puppies are like babies, they need caring for.

You will have a much happier more socialised puppy/dog if you get it right now.
 

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Poor little puppy being left on her own for so long in a crate every day. Young puppies need love affection and stimulation. My little Bonnie still cant go for long without a pee and she is dreadfully upset if she messes in her crate. No wonder she is aggressive. You should at least puppy proof your kitchen and let her have the run of the place with toys, kong etc.
 

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5:45 am-7 am -breakfast/pee/playtime with me (I get ready for work at night so she has all my attention)
7-8:30 pee/playtime with husband or brother
11:30/12-12:30-1:00 food if she wants it & water/pee break and playtime
4:00-11:00 PM I'm home to play/supper/more play
So she's along for 3 to 4 hours, then later, left alone for 2.5 to 3?

Well... that is long. Quite. That's a total max of 7, or at the least, 5.5. She's so young, that's the problem. :( A adult dog wouldn't mind. They'd just sleep lol. But a youngling... yeah.

OK! I got a question! :D How many toys that she can work on (puzzles, kongs, treat dispensers, ect.) Does she get? Do you give her new toys on each period she's alone?

Bookwise I read Puppies for Dummies and You and Your Cockapoo.
Good start, but for a first time doggie owner, that is just a start. Please, keep going! :D You can never learn everything from a book, that's for sure. But you can learn a LOT. Get the ground work laid. Think how fun it'll be to help out in doggie discussion, or even teach a few things to, the dog owners at the Paws and Play meet up! (Great idea, by the way!)



@Tess:
No wonder she is aggressive.
She's not aggressive Tess, just hyper and bored.
 
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