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post #21 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
The reason to not alpha roll your puppy are legion. Read up on alpha rolling and see if this is really what you want to do. And when that stops working what will you do next?

Breeders are not automatic experts in dog behaviors and often times simply blame the new puppy owner rather then admit faults in their breeding program. There could be a million reasons this puppy is growling-you are a novice home and advising you and your kids to do alpha rolls is horrible advice.

If you are going to keep this puppy please enroll in an obedience class that the whole family can attend-including your hubby. Get a second opinion on what is going on with this puppy from a behavorialist. Where are you located?
I don't think it's too difficult to figure out why the puppy is growling. He is seeing the kids as littermates and he's testing the limites. As far as alpha rolling, I really don't know a lot about it, but it doesn't sound that unreasonable to me. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about???
post #22 of 72
I stand by my previous statement. And I agree with what mom0810 said about a possible screw loose, I just didn't know how to say it.

A 9 week old lab is a baby and should not be growling. It should not be occurring in his baby mind to growl and object to being picked up. Maybe a 9 week old Tosa or something, possibly, although I'd even question that.
post #23 of 72
Quote:
He is seeing the kids as littermates and he's testing the limites
Is he? Are you sure? You posted before about having no idea if growling was appropriate because as you said yourself:

Quote:
but this is our first puppy and I'm pretty clueless overall.
So know you suddenly feel comfortable doing alpha rolls and other aggressive responsives to behavior you admit you don't understand? Where did this insight come from? Your hubby is hitting the puppy (!!!!), he is growling at your kids and now you have decided he is only testing your limits?

Who knows maybe this puppy is just confused and needs guidance but please stop posting for advice on the internet and get busy with hands on help for this puppy.
post #24 of 72
I used to rescue pitbulls and owned a rottweiler from police lines. My pitbulls NEVER growled at me (one did later bite my son, but he never growled, ever). I remember now when my rottweiler was 6 weeks old, we just got her (yes, I know it's too young). We took her over to my mothers house and she was eating a rawhide bone thing. My sister reached over behind her and took it from her mouth. Gretta started hissing and bit my sister, through her shirt and drew blood. It was crazy!!

we started alpha rolling her from the time we got her. She was always very dominant and as she got older she stopped submitting at all. But I never worried about her biting us. She had other issues, such as food aggression and sometimes toy aggression. She was A LOT of work. A constant "project". After my son was born she started growling at him. We DID socialize her around children constantly but she always hated them. We rehomed her to a place without young children who want to invest a ton of time into her.

She's MUCH happier.

I saw be grateful he's only 9 weeks old and it'll be easier to find him a better home. Labs can be a very domineering breed.

As far as growling when playing with toys, I've never seen that as a problem. My DH liked to play pretty rough with our dogs. But that was a completely different situation.
post #25 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
Is he? Are you sure? You posted before about having no idea if growling was appropriate because as you said yourself:



So know you suddenly feel comfortable doing alpha rolls and other aggressive responsives to behavior you admit you don't understand? Where did this insight come from? Your hubby is hitting the puppy (!!!!), he is growling at your kids and now you have decided he is only testing your limits?

Who knows maybe this puppy is just confused and needs guidance but please stop posting for advice on the internet and get busy with hands on help for this puppy.
Okay, now you're just being rude. Did it ever occur to you that maybe I did a little research? Maybe I asked for advice elsewhere? Maybe I talked to the breeder?

I didn't say I was comfortable with alpha rolls (and what other aggressive responses are you talking about??). I just said I'm wondering what all the fuss is about.

I might not know a TON about puppies since this is our first one, but I'm not an idiot, so stop making me out to look like one. And I WILL continue to post for advice if I want. You don't have to respond.

Give me a break. You're ridiculous.
post #26 of 72
I am not being rude. I am being blunt with you because I care more about you doing the right thing by your family and I worry that you are getting very dangerous advice. Good luck. Hope it works out for you, the kids and your puppy. And I hope your DH gets on board too.
post #27 of 72
I'm so sorry you're going through this!

Please do not "alpha roll" a puppy, I'm going to be blunt - it's an out of date, unfounded, and dangerous practice, especially if you haven't been around dogs much. There is not one certified veterinary behaviorist in the country that recommends rolling dogs. Not one. Breeders are really great at bringing dogs together to reproduce, but they are not behaviorists and many times not great trainers either (just look at dog behavior at dog shows lol).

Quote:
HISTORY & MISCONCEPTIONS OF DOMINANCE THEORY
[ABOUT THE ALPHA ROLL]

Note: The information in the following article came from an interview with Dr. Ian Dunbar, who spent nine years studying the social behavior of dogs during the study mentioned below. In an earlier version of this article, Dr. L. David Mech was credited with the 30-year study. This was a mistake. The researcher who conducted the study was Dr. Frank Beach. An effort has been made to correct this error. However, if you know of a place where the original article was published, please notify the editor and request a correction.
The original alpha/dominance model was born out of short-term studies of wolf packs done in the 1940s. These were the first studies of their kind. These studies were a good start, but later research has essentially disproved most of the findings. There were three major flaws in these studies:

1. These were short-term studies, so the researchers concentrated on the most obvious, overt parts of wolf life, such as hunting. The studies are therefore unrepresentative -- drawing conclusions about "wolf behavior" based on about 1% of wolf life.
2. The studies observed what are now known to be ritualistic displays and misinterpreted them. Unfortunately, this is where the bulk of the "dominance model" comes from, and though the information has been soundly disproved, it still thrives in the dog training mythos.

For example, alpha rolls. The early researchers saw this behavior and concluded that the higher-ranking wolf was forcibly rolling the subordinate to exert his dominance. Well, not exactly. This is actually an "appeasement ritual" instigated by the SUBORDINATE wolf. The subordinate offers his muzzle, and when the higher-ranking wolf "pins" it, the lower-ranking wolf voluntarily rolls and presents his belly. There is NO force. It is all entirely voluntary.

A wolf would flip another wolf against his will ONLY if he were planning to kill it. Can you imagine what a forced alpha roll does to the psyche of our dogs?
.
3. Finally, after the studies, the researchers made cavalier extrapolations from wolf-dog, dog-dog, and dog-human based on their "findings." Unfortunately, this nonsense still abounds.

So what's the truth? The truth is dogs aren't wolves. Honestly, when you take into account the number of generations past, saying "I want to learn how to interact with my dog so I'll learn from the wolves" makes about as much sense as saying, "I want to improve my parenting -- let's see how the chimps do it!"

Dr. Frank Beach performed a 30-year study on dogs at Yale and UC Berkeley. Nineteen years of the study was devoted to social behavior of a dog pack. (Not a wolf pack. A DOG pack.) Some of his findings:

* Male dogs have a rigid hierarchy.
* Female dogs have a hierarchy, but it's more variable.
* When you mix the sexes, the rules get mixed up. Males try to follow their constitution, but the females have "amendments."
* Young puppies have what's called "puppy license." Basically, that license to do most anything. Bitches are more tolerant of puppy license than males are.
* The puppy license is revoked at approximately four months of age. At that time, the older middle-ranked dogs literally give the puppy hell -- psychologically torturing it until it offers all of the appropriate appeasement behaviors and takes its place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. The top-ranked dogs ignore the whole thing.
* There is NO physical domination. Everything is accomplished through psychological harassment. It's all ritualistic.
* A small minority of "alpha" dogs assumed their position by bullying and force. Those that did were quickly deposed. No one likes a dictator.
* The vast majority of alpha dogs rule benevolently. They are confident in their position. They do not stoop to squabbling to prove their point. To do so would lower their status because...
* Middle-ranked animals squabble. They are insecure in their positions and want to advance over other middle-ranked animals.
* Low-ranked animals do not squabble. They know they would lose. They know their position, and they accept it.
* "Alpha" does not mean physically dominant. It means "in control of resources." Many, many alpha dogs are too small or too physically frail to physically dominate. But they have earned the right to control the valued resources. An individual dog determines which resources he considers important. Thus an alpha dog may give up a prime sleeping place because he simply couldn't care less.

So what does this mean for the dog-human relationship?

* Using physical force of any kind reduces your "rank." Only middle-ranked animals insecure in their place squabble.
* To be "alpha," control the resources. I don't mean hokey stuff like not allowing dogs on beds or preceding them through doorways. I mean making resources contingent on behavior. Does the dog want to be fed. Great -- ask him to sit first. Does the dog want to go outside? Sit first. Dog want to greet people? Sit first. Want to play a game? Sit first. Or whatever. If you are proactive enough to control the things your dogs want, *you* are alpha by definition.
* Train your dog. This is the dog-human equivalent of the "revoking of puppy license" phase in dog development. Children, women, elderly people, handicapped people -- all are capable of training a dog. Very few people are capable of physical domination.
* Reward deferential behavior, rather than pushy behavior. I have two dogs. If one pushes in front of the other, the other gets the attention, the food, whatever the first dog wanted. The first dog to sit gets treated. Pulling on lead goes nowhere. Doors don't open until dogs are seated and I say they may go out. Reward pushy, and you get pushy.

Your job is to be a leader, not a boss, not a dictator. Leadership is a huge responsibility. Your job is to provide for all of your dog's needs... food, water, vet care, social needs, security, etc. If you fail to provide what your dog needs, your dog will try to satisfy those needs on his own.

In a recent article in the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) newsletter, Dr. Ray Coppinger -- a biology professor at Hampshire College, co-founder of the Livestock Guarding Dog Project, author of several books including Dogs : A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, and Evolution; and an extremely well-respected member of the dog training community -- says in regards to the dominance model (and alpha rolling)...

"I cannot think of many learning situations where I want my learning dogs responding with fear and lack of motion. I never want my animals to be thinking social hierarchy. Once they do, they will be spending their time trying to figure out how to move up in the hierarchy."

That pretty much sums it up, don't you think?
from: http://www.bogartsdaddy.com/Bouvier/...ha-roll_no.htm

I've had labs my whole life, and know a number of breeders around the country. This is NOT normal lab puppy behavior, and imo, it is certainly beyond any quick fix like rolling the puppy onto its back. I would seriously consider returning the puppy to the breeder. You haven't had it much longer than a week if it's only 9 weeks right?

From your other post it sounds like an "adult" dog might be a great fit for your family. There are TONS of really great 4 year old labs in rescue. They're still young enough to play around with kids but past the puppy "seek and destroy" stage Plus, they will have been in foster care and evaluated for their suitability for a life with kids! This is one that has a couple adult dogs available that are listed as good with kids:
http://www.rockymountainlabrescue.co...2/Default.aspx

Sending you all good thoughts and prayers in the meantime.
post #28 of 72
Puppies that age do not test rank. Not with other puppies or people. They haven't really figured out the dominance thing yet, and that is why puppies usually get "puppy license" with most adult dogs.

I also disagree about it never being ok for a dog to growl. Dogs growl sometimes to let you know that they do not like something or they are uncomfortable. It doesn't always lead to a bite, but it can sometimes. If you punish your dog for growling, you take away their voice and that only leaves them with the option to bite when they are uncomfortable. I also do not think it is ok for a puppy to think it is ok to growl at everything. If it is growling when the kids are picking it up, then I think the kids are probably hurting it. I also think that kids should always listen to signs that dogs give, because typically kids are the ones being annoying and ignoring the animals' behavior and in the end being bit the most. I do find it very odd that a puppy that age is growling in an aggressive manner.

As for the "alpha role", it is a touchy subject because it can cause more damage than good when done by most people. Only middle ranking pack members physically fight over placement. Typically, the dominant leader has enough of a presence that a lower ranking will submit themselves... not be forced into submission. Most of the time, when dogs do forcibly submit another dog, it is to attack them. So expect your dog to defend itself. I think there are probably other better ways to assert your dominance without having to use this method.

I think you should find a highly recommended trainer or even a behaviorist in your area to start working with your family and your dog... now. I would also recommend not letting your kids play with your puppy when it is all revved up (you know, in the evening hours before bed but after dinner when they are so restless and other times like that).

I also think you definitely need to start practicing NILIF with your puppy. And the best thing you can do is be consistent and fair every time.
post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarathan View Post
I don't think it's too difficult to figure out why the puppy is growling. He is seeing the kids as littermates and he's testing the limites. As far as alpha rolling, I really don't know a lot about it, but it doesn't sound that unreasonable to me. I'm not sure what all the fuss is about???
Neither am I, but like I said, I was afraid to bring it up here for fear of major backlash.

But you are exactly right in how you are looking at it. And remember, your BREEDER told you to do this. Trust her. She knows what she is talking about. I don't know if those who are so critical of that alpha roll have actually ever RAISED a litter of puppies, let alone know the ins and outs of dog behavior like a breeder does. Trust your breeder. Your puppy DOES see your kids as puppies and IS challenging them. That puppy's whole world needs to cave in on him for you to change the behavior. Please listen to your breeder and you will not regret it.

And perhaps, maybe, those who haven't raised litters or been involved professionally in dogs for any length of time should not throw stones???
post #30 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarathan View Post
Okay, now you're just being rude. Did it ever occur to you that maybe I did a little research? Maybe I asked for advice elsewhere? Maybe I talked to the breeder?

I didn't say I was comfortable with alpha rolls (and what other aggressive responses are you talking about??). I just said I'm wondering what all the fuss is about.

I might not know a TON about puppies since this is our first one, but I'm not an idiot, so stop making me out to look like one. And I WILL continue to post for advice if I want. You don't have to respond.

Give me a break. You're ridiculous.

You're not an idiot, OP. You are doing the right thing. I told you there would be unfounded and crazy backlash against mentioning alpha rolls... just go on and do as you have been told and go with the people you know IN REAL LIFE who are the experts, like your breeder. She is not wrong.
post #31 of 72
OP, I suggest you either close the thread or just don't read the negative responses. You can PM me any time, I am happy to help you. Alpha rolling will help you SO much with this puppy. Like within the day, it will help. Good luck and best wishes.
post #32 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
OP, I suggest you either close the thread or just don't read the negative responses. You can PM me any time, I am happy to help you. Alpha rolling will help you SO much with this puppy. Like within the day, it will help. Good luck and best wishes.

Yeah, maybe you're right about needing to close this thread. I've gotten all the advice I need I think (thank you everyone!! ) and I don't want the alpha rolling debate to get too nasty.
post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarathan View Post
You're exactly right, I want a companion for my boys, not a project.

I just wanted to comment on this, a puppy is a project, a big one. You just brought a new baby into your home (he might have 4 legs and be covered in fur but he's still a baby). They really take a ton of time.
post #34 of 72
Excuse me if I missed this, but are we sure this pup is aggressively growling and not being a loud pup? I mean, if its being puppy growly it still needs to be worked on....lots of exercise, keeping time with kids and pup together calm and controlled, etc but its not a huge red flag IMO. However, if this pup is showing true aggression at 9 weeks, then yes, I would say something is very wrong.
post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmagick View Post
Excuse me if I missed this, but are we sure this pup is aggressively growling and not being a loud pup? I mean, if its being puppy growly it still needs to be worked on....lots of exercise, keeping time with kids and pup together calm and controlled, etc but its not a huge red flag IMO. However, if this pup is showing true aggression at 9 weeks, then yes, I would say something is very wrong.
:
I, too, have a hard time believing that a 9 week old is being downright aggressive. All my dogs have growled like crazy when they were pups, but it was never aggression.
post #36 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmagick View Post
Excuse me if I missed this, but are we sure this pup is aggressively growling and not being a loud pup? I mean, if its being puppy growly it still needs to be worked on....lots of exercise, keeping time with kids and pup together calm and controlled, etc but its not a huge red flag IMO. However, if this pup is showing true aggression at 9 weeks, then yes, I would say something is very wrong.
I've thought the same thing. I'm pretty sure it's growling though, at least it sounds like growling. Now just to be clear, he is NOT baring his teeth when he growls. He's just making the growling noise.
post #37 of 72
so no bared teeth, no hackles up, etc? I dont think this is really aggressive growling. Puppies make all kinds of rumbling noises that arent necessarily growls. Also, not to rehash, but if this is not aggressive dominant growling, I really really wouldnt do alpha rolls with him. I am of the school of thought that they can have their place when done in the correct situation and in the correct way, but definitely not just for being puppy! (and not by someone who isnt well versed in them)

Now, the pup does need to accept being picked up and handled, but I would do that in a very positve environment when everything is calm and chill, and give treats/praise etc for staying calm and quiet.
post #38 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
Neither am I, but like I said, I was afraid to bring it up here for fear of major backlash.

But you are exactly right in how you are looking at it. And remember, your BREEDER told you to do this. Trust her. She knows what she is talking about. I don't know if those who are so critical of that alpha roll have actually ever RAISED a litter of puppies, let alone know the ins and outs of dog behavior like a breeder does. Trust your breeder. Your puppy DOES see your kids as puppies and IS challenging them. That puppy's whole world needs to cave in on him for you to change the behavior. Please listen to your breeder and you will not regret it.

And perhaps, maybe, those who haven't raised litters or been involved professionally in dogs for any length of time should not throw stones???
Just because someone puts a couple of dogs together to make puppies does not make them expert in behaviour. We have no idea what kind of "breeder" this is, and to be honest she sounds very inexpert at best when it comes to behaviour.

Like I said before, if this behaviour is somehow normal for this breeder's dogs, she needs to stop breeding NOW.

Oh, and I have been involved professionally in dogs. Not in breeding, but in behaviour (and, separately, in rescue). And I'm not throwing stones, and I haven't mentioned one word about the alpha roll question.

Oh, how I wish that Joanna would come back. Sigh.
post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
Neither am I, but like I said, I was afraid to bring it up here for fear of major backlash.

But you are exactly right in how you are looking at it. And remember, your BREEDER told you to do this. Trust her. She knows what she is talking about. I don't know if those who are so critical of that alpha roll have actually ever RAISED a litter of puppies, let alone know the ins and outs of dog behavior like a breeder does. Trust your breeder. Your puppy DOES see your kids as puppies and IS challenging them. That puppy's whole world needs to cave in on him for you to change the behavior. Please listen to your breeder and you will not regret it.

And perhaps, maybe, those who haven't raised litters or been involved professionally in dogs for any length of time should not throw stones???
There's "major backlash" because this a dangerous practice. It's detrimental to the BABY puppy and to the humans who will be forced to deal with it when it's no longer an 8 kg imp but a 40 kg growling, aggressive adolescent dog.

I've got to agree with Sevenveils. Anyone can put two dogs together and call themselves a breeder. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to watch puppies for 8 weeks - but I'll share anyway. I worked in a medical research dog colony for almost two years. My job? Monitor the pregnant dogs, assist with whelping, monitor litters to weaning, assist with neonatal and pediatric care including tube feeding, fluids, etc., complete artificial insemination on in heat dogs, and so on and so forth. I would estimate I've "raised" between 15 and 25 litters. We *literally* will take people off the street, train them for one week - and they can do this job. Raising puppies is not hard, and does not make one a behavior expert.

As for my credentials? I have spent time working in dog daycare, with dog trainers, with veterinarians and observing veterinary behavior consults. I've just finished two years worth of veterinary education, which includes lectures on behavior and training. I have extensively researched canine aggression with the ultimate aim of creating my own research proposal. This is not a hobby for me, or something I do on the side, I am in school to become a behaviorist. I still have a lot to learn, but I do my best to keep current with behavior research and what is in the best interest of both the dogs and the people who have to live with them long after their breeders have gone on to sell 20-30 more puppies.

So, just because I don't order semen, make puppies, and sell them does not mean I'm not qualified to speak on the subject - tyvm. Perhaps you'd like to share your background since you're so quick to assume about my own?
post #40 of 72
Take the pup to be evaluated by a good dog trainer/behaviorist. They would be able to interpret the dog's behavior and either give you peace of mind or set you on a good path to a well behaved adult. One of our dogs had behavior issues as a pup and the trainer really helped us, we learned so much about how to give the right signals about what was acceptable and who she was in the pack, and how to work with her in a way that was safe for all of us. He also gave us videos to watch and recommended Childproof Your Dog, which someone else posted all ready.

If you just start trying different things you may end up doing more harm than good. We have never regretted the investment we made in our dog, and she is almost 8. We went fro being unsure about what she would do next and just being overwhelmed by her behavior to enjoying her company and being confident in our dealing with her.
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