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09 September 2005 @ 10:32 pm
Big problem maybe  
Okay, I need some serious advice here. I think Charlie may have an aggression problem. He is about 10-11 weeks now. I know he is a terrier and he is a puppy and he has limitless energy....I have had dogs and am used to this. What I am concerned about is the fact that every single time I try to play with him, all he does is lunge at my face, growl, bark, and bite anywhere he can. He very rarely licks or does anything nice. I know this just might be his way of trying to play, but I am concerned and so is my mother about the level of aggression. If he is in an "energetic" mood, even if I am just sitting there without moving a muscle, he lunges at my face and snaps at everything. Mom says there will be a difference after he is neutered. I just don't know though. Did anyone else have this problem? What happens if he really is an overly aggressive dog? I don't understand it....all I do is feed him and take care of him and play with him. Also, when I try to hold him a certain way, he growls and barks and tries to bite my hand until I put him down. When my mom was holding him the same way, he was calm and licking her hand. I've never done anything to make Charlie fear me....I've made absolutely sure not to. I just don't understand. Please help...it is breaking my heart.
 
 
 
NH: Cornholioxsaltyx on September 9th, 2005 07:47 pm (UTC)
Neutering will help, but it sounds like he thinks that he's the dominant dog in the pack. Obedience training will work WONDERS. Your dog needs to know who the boss is! Good luck. :)
Melindamindy1024 on September 9th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC)
I agree with the obediance class. Try and get into a smaller class (the one we were in had 4 dogs) so there was a lot of time for personal questions, one on one attention, and the trainer altered the class to fit our needs. That should hopefully help things! Good luck!
Melindamindy1024 on September 9th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
when Kermie did things we didn't like we used a squirt bottle and sprayed her and she wold stop. We also put some pennies into an empty coke can (tap over the opening) and shake it...however, this really really scared her so we stopped. but those were some suggestions others gave us to stop bad behavior.
hysteric glamour: crank itunquietmind on September 9th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
I agree about obedience training. it's really hard to discipline a puppy because no one wants to be hard on a little guy, but he has to understand that's he's not the alpha dog. I think I learned more in obedience school that our dogs did :)

good luck - I'm sure you'll be able to get a handle on the problem. I think I remember that Hogwarts was a little Snappy-McSnapper for a while, too. Hopefully his mommy will have some advice.
jasminejasmines97 on September 10th, 2005 07:08 am (UTC)
This can sometimes happen if the puppy is removed too soon from it's litter - it doesn't learn bite inhabition, playing, etc. Not saying that this is the case with your little Charlie (since I don't know what week you got him) but it's always a possiblity that he just needed more time with his mom/litter.

But that's neither here nor there, since you already have him! :) Definitely try and get him to obedience class - it's NEVER to early to start. Our Jack was a bit mouth-y when we first got him and we tried a lot of different things with him before taking him to class. I wish we had gone straight to the class, it would have saved us a lot of grief. They have to realize the ranking order in the pack and that THEY are last in line.

Good luck! Keep us updated.
The Girl in the Self Imposed Boxelisabat on September 11th, 2005 05:29 am (UTC)
One thing you can try is whenever he acts aggressive, place him belly up. This is a submissive position and he will get the idea eventually that he is not the dominant one in the relationship. Do this several times a day, but especially when he acts up. He needs to know this behavior is NOT okay. An aggressive dog is not a good thing.
stageiistageii on September 11th, 2005 07:03 am (UTC)
This behavior needs to be stopped, or there is a good chance that it WILL cause problems down the road. Charlie is trying to assert himself as alpha, and there are many ways to show him who is boss in pack-type behavior that he will understand.

What elisabat describes is known as the 'alpha roll'. This is very important. The moment that Charlie demonstrates aggressiveness, grab him suddenly (the object is to startle him) hold him down forcefully, belly-up. Keep a strong grip on him and look into his eyes until he stops fighting it. When he accepts the submissive, let him down.

When feeding Charlie, make him obey a command (like sit) before you put the dish on the floor. Same thing with giving him treats.

If you are playing and he should accidently nip (without aggression), yell out "OW" - strong, loud voice - this is how litter mates communicate and he will know that he went too far.

When he is in your lap, do not let him hold his eye level above yours.

Neutering and obedience training are both good things, a necessity, really. In the meantime, go to the library or book store and buy an AKC recommended training guide or two. No 'dog whisperer' stuff, you need tried and true methods. When Charlie knows his place in your family hierarchy, everyone will be happier. Another really good resource are the folks at bostonterrier.org.

Be firm, and it will pay off exponentially. Let us know how things go!
Scarlett_trocar: Sofie Iconscarlett_trocar on September 11th, 2005 08:47 am (UTC)
Hmm...my little girl Sofie will do that to the boys time to time. She doesn't do it to us or anyone else, but I have an 8 and 6 year old and sometimes, even if they are just walking past her, she will do all that growling and nippy stuff. Sometimes they are just sitting there not doing anything. I don't know if she is trying to get their attention to play with her or what, but it's just wierd she does that.