Puppy growling... - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-02-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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Just a quick chime in here, but if I had bred this dog, I think I would want it back... was thinking about it last night at training and although I have never had someone have a problem with one of my puppies... if this was going on, I would either want the dog back or want a guarantee from the buyer that they were going to see a behaviorist.

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Old 05-02-2009, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This whole thread just makes me exhausted and upset.

I think you have gotten a lot of advice on how to help our puppy grow into a better puppy, but I think you don't want to do it. I really think your puppy is not growling in anger and I think he is just a vocal dog. I'm not there so yes, I could be wrong. Either way, if it wasn't this it would be something else... puppies are a project. A full time one just like kids. The more time you spend nurturing what you want from them when they are young the more stable they grow up.
I am never one for giving up on a dog, but if your breeder would take the dog back, that almost seems like the best option because you sound like you just want an out now. Like you are just waiting for someone to say it's ok. The money is a non-issue at this point. Donate all the stuff you bought to a local rescue. And know that even if you decide to get another puppy down the road, it will be a project too.

Also, I don't know how you KNOW that your puppy is not in any pain. Labs can be prone to hip problems among lots of other things. Did he get a vax recently? The site is always sensitive on most puppies for a couple of days.
As for the nipping, puppies need to be taught bite inhibition. If he was still with his litter they would teach him this. Since he isn't, it is your job. There is a lot of info out there on how to this without hurting the pup.

I really don't think you should give up on this baby. That is how so many dogs end up in shelters... because people get them thinking they will be easy and fun. They aren't easy and they don't train themselves. You haven't even started your major bonding yet. Puppies are tough, but they are so worth it in the end.... that is, if you want that. Labs are also really vocal and really smart. They need A LOT of mental stimulation and A LOT of exercise. That is something that they need daily. A tired puppy is a good puppy.

I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say I haven't wanted to take the advice I've been given. I've taken the advice of my breeder, I've taken the advice about teaching my boys to give puppy more space (which, interestingly enough, the breeder said NOT to do), and I've received advice to just return the puppy. I do believe the puppy is growling out of anger. And I'm not looking for a "way out", not sure where you came up with that. If this puppy is not a good fit, I'd rather figure that out now than months/years down the road.

No, I'm not 100% sure he's not in pain, but pretty darn sure.

It's probably best that you stop reading this thread if it's bothering you that much.

Sara Mama to DS (6) and DS (4)
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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Sara,

Please don't feel bad if the dog isn't the right dog for you. It happens. We, as breeders, are happy to know if it doesn't work out because we don't want our babies to be in the wrong homes, either.

You have gotten pretty beat up on this thread (unfairly so). You have to do the right thing for you and your family.

If you are set on a Lab, maybe look for another breeder who might have a finished champion available to a pet home. These dogs are SO well socialized, used to being touched and handled and groomed, and have heard every noise on the planet. They are usually bullet-proof as far as temperament and really are a pleasure to own.

We have placed adolescent finished champions in pet homes a lot, because we only keep the best. Even if the dog can finish, usually it is still kind of a pet quality dog to a breeder... we only want to keep the "great ones" to go on with. So you could get a ready made pet that was about 2 years old... usually it shouldn't take a GOOD dog longer than two years to finish. Most of ours (not Labs--they just take longer) were done before a year.

So you would still have a puppy, or a young dog, but none of the garbage and the dog's temperament would not be a mystery.

Just a thought... I have been thinking of you and I don't think you got the right puppy. I think he's too dominant a male puppy and he is going to always challenge your kids like he is now. Not the mellow easy puppy you need and want. And he never will be. He should be in a performance home.

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Old 05-02-2009, 01:17 PM
 
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I'm no expert, but I think that this is one reason we buy from good breeders - because they stand behind their pups, and if for whatever reason it isn't a good fit, they take the puppy back. So you know he will be well cared for, and found a good home, and you can go on to find a pup that is a good fit for your family.
I won't even try to analyze what is going on, we can't know through the computer, but clearly this is not the companion you want, or paid for, and I think the best thing for all concerned is to return the pup to the breeder.

I'm sorry you have had such a trying time with your pup, and also such a hard time on here. Good luck.

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Old 05-02-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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One reason you buy from a reputable breeder, is so you can be sure the dog won't be dumped in a shelter if it turns out you aren't a good match for it. The breeder can take him back, work with him, and find a better home.

Of all the millions of dogs out there which need good homes--couldn't you find a better match for your family than this puppy? I think so.

This is why people on the board say the ONLY people who should breed are those in a position to, among other things, commit to the dog for the duration of it's entire life. And this is why you buy from those kinds of breeders. Because if a dog turns out to be a bad match it will not a) languish in a bad situation until there is a crisis like a serious bite of a child or b) end up dumped in a shelter.

The whole point is that you take him back now, BEFORE the dog is given the chance to really create a problem in your home, that will ruin his chances of being re-homed by the breeder.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:53 PM
 
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this is our first puppy and I'm pretty clueless overall.
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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 limits.

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this is our first puppy and I'm pretty clueless overall.
I don't have a degree in dog psychology, but I don't think you can say that is definitely true. I don't think there's any way to know definitively why the puppy is growling without taking him to a behaviorist (which approx. half of the replies have suggested).

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I think I'm having a hard time buying the notion that this growling is sooooo abnormal. I'm not saying everyone on here is wrong, but I'm just not totally convinced.
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this is our first puppy and I'm pretty clueless overall.
Feel free to ignore the people on here who have suggested that it IS abnormal and listen to your "responsible" breeder and the owner of the sire or dam of your dog, and do alpha rolls. However, I'd say that alpha-rolling a puppy, keeping a hawkeye on your children so they don't mess with him, and then alpha-rolling what will be a large dog, is more of a "project" than just having a companion dog. And isn't that what you originally wanted?

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Old 05-03-2009, 01:34 AM
 
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You said that you've invested a lot of $$ in this pup & that gives you pause when you consider returning him.

It sounds to me like this is a very bad match. Your breeder (if she's as reputable as you say,) ought to recognize that she didn't make a good match & no doubt she will be willing to take back that dog because 1--either he's not quite right, or 2--he would thrive in a different home. Either way, a good breeder will take responsibility for her dogs that turn out to be unsound, or for her dogs that require working homes.

You could have easily gotten a puppy out of the paper or from a rescue. You chose a reputable breeder because you wanted to be sure of what you were getting, right? You were willing to pay for that assurance. Here's where you collect on that insurance policy. Don't wait. Do it now.

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Old 05-03-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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How? How can you guarantee that? Do you know this person? Are you personally acquainted with their dogs?

Just because someone can make puppies from dogs, does not make them any sort of an expert.

I am not an "armchair dog trainer", I am just going to assume that was not directed toward me. I am not working as such at the moment, but I have in the past. I have also worked as a towing dispatcher, but am not at the moment. However, I am still quite qualified to give advice about dispatching, and I could pick up a radio and dispatch any tow truck at any time. The same applies to dog behaviour.

Aren't you a breeder? Have you ever worked as a trainer or behaviourist? Are you working as such now?



This is very alarming to me. This is a very young puppy, and he is now escalating to nipping at your son. This is not normal. There are poorly bred, aggressive dogs of every breed. There are well bred dogs with something wrong in the wiring of their brains, making them aggressive- of every breed.

If he was growling at 9 weeks, and nipping at 10 weeks, what do you think is going to happen at 11 or 12 or 22 weeks? Or during adolescence?



This.

Your puppy should not be feeling irritated at being approached, gently picked up, or touched. Not at this age, for sure.
Yes to all of the above!

This puppy does not need a "performance" home. Any lab puppy, who is bred to be a happy go lucky goof ball, that is growling and nipping at 9 weeks of age needs to be placed in the home of a very experienced owner and neutered, or pts. This is not normal. Just as there are truly crazy people in this world, there are truly crazy dogs.

Mom0810, you're very big on putting down others' experiences, but fail to share your own aside from being a breeder. What titles do your dogs obtain other than conforming to a standard (again, no training required there). Have you worked as a trainer? (I'm honestly curious which reputable trainers will still advise rolling a dog - I thought that had gone the way of keeping dogs on tie-outs and feeding Alpo) Even the monks of New Skete, who started the whole "roll your puppy" craze - no longer advise doing it!

Sara, I'm involved in labs and lab rescue - I would be more than happy to help you get in touch with your local rescue if you decide to return this puppy to the breeder. I cannot emphasize enough that this is NOT normal lab puppy behavior in any case. I'm very sorry about the financial loss you will have incurred, that has to be incredibly difficult. But it sounds like a tolerant adult lab would be a great fit for you all - and there are lots of them available in this economy sadly enough
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You said that you've invested a lot of $$ in this pup & that gives you pause when you consider returning him.


You could have easily gotten a puppy out of the paper or from a rescue. You chose a reputable breeder because you wanted to be sure of what you were getting, right? You were willing to pay for that assurance. Here's where you collect on that insurance policy. Don't wait. Do it now.
It's not that the money gives me pause in returning him. I wouldn't NOT return him because of the money if that makes sense. If he needs to be returned then I would do it regardless of the money issue. I just made that comment as an aside because it certainly is frustrating. It's not the deciding factor or anything.

Yes, I did go through a reputable breeder because I wanted to be sure of what I was getting. We were wiling to pay more for sound temperament and health.

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Old 05-03-2009, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sara, I'm involved in labs and lab rescue - I would be more than happy to help you get in touch with your local rescue if you decide to return this puppy to the breeder. I cannot emphasize enough that this is NOT normal lab puppy behavior in any case. I'm very sorry about the financial loss you will have incurred, that has to be incredibly difficult. But it sounds like a tolerant adult lab would be a great fit for you all - and there are lots of them available in this economy sadly enough
Thank you! I'll PM you if/when I could use your help.

Sara Mama to DS (6) and DS (4)
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:18 PM
 
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Mom0810, you're very big on putting down others' experiences, but fail to share your own aside from being a breeder. What titles do your dogs obtain other than conforming to a standard (again, no training required there). Have you worked as a trainer? (I'm honestly curious which reputable trainers will still advise rolling a dog - I thought that had gone the way of keeping dogs on tie-outs and feeding Alpo) Even the monks of New Skete, who started the whole "roll your puppy" craze - no longer advise doing it!


Actually, I'm not putting down anyone's experiences... I feel like that is what is done to me all the time, actually! I have answered this question here before, but here goes... Yes, I am actually a REAL life trainer! I teach obedience classes, puppy through advanced. I teach agility. I have done schutzhund, tracking and all kinds of other training. I HAVE TITLED DOGS in obedience, agility, herding...etc. I have been in dogs for over 30 years. I have worked as a vet tech, a groomer (since i was a child), apprenticed with several VERY top handlers, and yes, I am a breeder. I have bred MANY champions, owned and co-owned several top dogs in a couple of breeds. Dogs are a family affair and I come from a family of dog people, too. I am a member of SEVERAL all breed and breed specific kennel clubs. I've done it all, and I've done it my whole life.

I have been really careful NOT to give too much away about my identity, because I have been really open about discussing PPD on MDC, and I suffered with it twice. IF you are a dog person, and IF you have shown anything in obedience, conformation, etc... then you know how vicious dog people can be, and to let anyone know any kind of weakness on my part would be not a good thing. Of course *I* don't perceive PPD as a weakness, but there are some very mean and spiteful people out there. Once you win ANYTHING... they will be eager to get something "on" you. So yes, I have been really nonspecific. It's all very intentional.

I have been doing the alpha roll technique for so many years, gee whiz, I can't even remember the first time I learned it. But it was decades ago. And yes, there are SOME who disagree with it. So what? I don't like clicker training. There are people in training who think that "prong" or "choke" collars are abusive. I disagree. As I have tried to explain to others here, in dogs there are so many "right" answers that nothing is really wrong after a while. Techniques come and go, and fads come and go. My technique works for me, and decades of VERY happy clients... so I still use it. I have tried other ways, and they don't work as well for ME and for MY DOGS. I still do this, others may not. That's fine. The longer you do dogs, the more you say, "oh well," when someone disagrees with you. It's like each to his own, you know? It's usually the mark of a true novice to wonder why everyone does not do things all the same...or that certain training methods are long gone... or that something is just "wrong". There is much gray area.

The poor OP... sorry Sara for the hijacking of your thread. But I felt this had to be answered... again... hopefully, this takes care of it. :

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Old 05-03-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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I have been really careful NOT to give too much away about my identity, because I have been really open about discussing PPD on MDC, and I suffered with it twice. IF you are a dog person, and IF you have shown anything in obedience, conformation, etc... then you know how vicious dog people can be, and to let anyone know any kind of weakness on my part would be not a good thing. Of course *I* don't perceive PPD as a weakness, but there are some very mean and spiteful people out there. Once you win ANYTHING... they will be eager to get something "on" you. So yes, I have been really nonspecific. It's all very intentional.
If you are really worried about people finding out who you are, you have made posts in the past that would make very simple for someone to do so. You have mentioned where you live and posted pictures of your dogs that also have pictures of I assume you, it would not be hard to put 2 and 2 together... I live in your general area and I could probably guess correctly what training club(s) you teach at based on the advice you give out. Some clubs are known for being more "primitive" than others... The dog world is a small world indeed.

I am saying this in a very general sense - Just because someone is a real live trainer, put titles on dogs, and has been in dogs for 100 years doesn't mean much. What matters is how they train and how they get those titles on their dogs. I have trained at several clubs, some are better than others. If nothing else I have learned there are some trainers that are not qualified to pick up dog poop...
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