7 month old growling and snapping :(

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rogben1
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7 month old growling and snapping :(

Post by rogben1 » 25 Dec 2013, 00:37

Maggie has just started growling and snapping all of a sudden! I first noticed it the other day when I tried to take a bone off her after she'd been chewing for about half an hour. I know they're protective over bones so thought it was a one off however yesterday and tonight she walked into her bed/crate without going for a wee outside first so my partner reached in to get her out then she growled and snapped at his hand! I really don't want her to turn aggressive she's usually the sweetest little girl. Could it be a sign she's coming into season or is this only going to turn worse?

Ps Merry Christmas everyone :)

Pippin
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Re: 7 month old growling and snapping :(

Post by Pippin » 25 Dec 2013, 10:42

Could she be hurting in any way? Ears or a tooth or something?
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Puppies should be warm clean and well, walk away if they are not.

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pixie's mum
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Re: 7 month old growling and snapping :(

Post by pixie's mum » 25 Dec 2013, 13:35

7-9 months is a trying age for pups as they try to change boundaries and push buttons - just like teenagers do.
Go back to basics in training using stays and leave it and lots of tasty rewards when she does well. Be persistent and calm but firm and they usually come group this stage just fine. It can reoccur about 15 months but not so badly.
This age is a confusing time for pups and a season may be on the cards but don't forget it is the teenage time too.
Merry xmas
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linny
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Re: 7 month old growling and snapping :(

Post by linny » 25 Dec 2013, 14:10

My guess is that this is homonal and she could well be nearing her first season.....also as Pixies mum says the teenage phase can sometimes be difficult and some back to basic training won't go amiss.
My money is on an approaching season :)

canteron
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Re: 7 month old growling and snapping :(

Post by canteron » 27 Dec 2013, 15:32

It well be an approaching season, but I think I would try and curb the habit quickly anyway as its not a good way to express herself and could be a way of her getting confused about her status in the household? Is she quite a confident dog normally?

I had the most gorgeous labrador many years ago who did get confused and started to get a bit snappy, we took some advice and just did some basic signs, in doggy language, that we were in charge, not him, he was much much happier once he understood he didn't have to take leadership on his shoulders.

My inspiration came from a book called the Dog Whisperer by Jan Fennell who was very much in vogue at the time and I still think is great. There were 7 basic rules, I can't remember all of them but the ones we used were ….

Never let the dog get higher than you, so for a little bit sofas, chairs, etc are out of bounds - top dog always gets the best seat.
Never let the dog go through a dog before you, you are the leader!
When you feed your dog, always pretend to help yourself to a bit of his food first - in a pack the lead dog eats first and they the subservient ones eat later.
When you go out of the door don't say goodbye if you are leaving your dog, or greet immediately when you come back - you have the right to come and go as you like and don't have to ask permission.

If you are interested the book is still available and is a very interesting and good read.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Dog-Listene ... +whisperer
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Bid
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Re: 7 month old growling and snapping :(

Post by Bid » 27 Dec 2013, 15:45

Bones are very high value things to a dog, and it is confusing to them to take away something you have given them, and likely to encourage food guarding. If you are happy for her to have bones (and I give ones to all my three) then I would give her somewhere she is allowed to eat them without interruption. The idea of taking them away, and proving your dominance to them was first put about in the 70's by a guy called Mech looking at captive wolves, but he later did more research on wild wolf packs and showed that the original research was faulty. Current thinking says that taking away resources from dogs and eating before them etc just confuses them and doesn't mimic the way a real wolf pack works. For example in a wild pack the nursing bitches and pups feed first not the alpha male.
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Liz!!
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Re: 7 month old growling and snapping :(

Post by Liz!! » 27 Dec 2013, 19:51

I had the Jan Fennel book - fearfully out of date now. A well-trained dog will not suddenly think it is 'above' you if it has to ask to get on the sofa - that's our rule. Going after you through a door is important for safety and at field edges so you can be sure there are no cattle etc, so we follow that to the letter as well.

But on the whole, 'pack' rules are not exactly pertinent as they have been living with us symbiotically for thousands of years - they look to us for instruction.
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Bid
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Re: 7 month old growling and snapping :(

Post by Bid » 28 Dec 2013, 00:52

Spot on Liz! A brilliant book to read if you are thinking that the old dominance and pack theory still stands is "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson - very readable and makes so much sense,. Another is "Dominance -Fact or Fiction" by Barry Eaton.

Is Maggie showing any more definite signs of a season yet?
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Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices - Byron

rogben1
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Re: 7 month old growling and snapping :(

Post by rogben1 » 28 Dec 2013, 09:33

Thanks everyone! We recently introduced the "wait" command and holding up my finger after putting her dinner on the floor, when opening the front door, before she jumps up on the sofa with us etc. She's brilliant and just sits and stares at me before I say "go on" and then she proceeds. Shes so intelligent and gets things really easily but she's equally very needy and wants attention constantly. I've been trying to use the wait command for her jumping up at people but I think her excitement takes over her thinking, she just loves people!

Thankfully we've heard no more growling from her since those two days during Christmas, another sign of an impending season though, she's started humping her beloved teddy (poor ted) and then I was playing on the floor with her last night and she decided to hump my leg! I assume this may be a sign?

Did everyone have a good Christmas?

DiSet
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Re: 7 month old growling and snapping :(

Post by DiSet » 28 Dec 2013, 13:02

I've found reading a good cross section of books really helped. I took bits of advice from each and ignored what I didn't think would work with my dog. I also found the Victoria Stilwell forum very helpful. My dog was very challenging as a puppy, but looking back I think a lot of the time he just wanted to play, and still does! :)

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