10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?
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Thread: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

  1. #1
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    10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    My wife and I have just recently got our third dog, a mini schnauzer from a reputable breeder. We've had her for two weeks now, we also have a 4 year old schnauzer mix and a 7 year old lab mix. Things had been going well until the past couple of days, it started with my wife and happened again with me last night. The puppy has an extreme energy playtime around 6 to 8 where she just wants to run and play hard. Around 8 she will just lay down and she's done for the night. Two days ago she did all this and laid down and after a few minutes my wife went to pick her up and the pup growled and snapped at her, enough to scare my wife. The same thing happened again last night when I tried to pick her up. She's only 5 lbs but it's a little startling to have a puppy act fierce like that.

    I'm worried that we've already done something wrong in these first two weeks. We had already decided to enroll her in a training class when she was older, and now we are thinking of doing it sooner. Any suggestions or information is very much appreciated, I've owned 5 dogs and have never seen this before so I'm at a loss as to what I should or shouldn't be doing to correct this.

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    Senior Member Pawzk9's Avatar
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    Re: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    How much work have you done on teaching the pup that being handled is a good thing. I would also make sure she is awake before messing with her, and as much as possible avoid picking her up (which is extremely unpleasant for some dogs (of course, you want to teach her that being picked up is a good thing - as training, but many dogs find being swooped off the floor disorienting and scary. ) A good, positive reinforcement based puppy class would be an excellent idea.

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    Re: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    We both try to pick her up, touch her feet, ect. as much as possible. Like I said, we are definitely going to take her to class, I was just surprised at this reaction as I've never seen it before.

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    Senior Member Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    This is not at all uncommon. Pawzk9 is right, being suddenly, and without warning, swooped off the ground by a giant can be terrifying. Instead of just touching her all the time, use treats to teach her that touching is fantastic. Give her high value treats like cheese or hot dog pieces every time you touch her. Before you pick her up, make sure she's already awake. Then say a word(s) you want to associate with being picked up, like "up" or "up we go" or whatever you want. Then pick her up and give her that really great treat. That way, she'll know that "up" means getting picked up so she's not surprised, and she'll associate being picked up with awesome treats.
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    Re: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    Thank you both, I think this will definitely help both my wife and I, and as a side note I'm loving this forum. I just found it and there is a LOT of combined knowledge here!

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    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    This is not at all uncommon. Pawzk9 is right, being suddenly, and without warning, swooped off the ground by a giant can be terrifying.
    I would tell customers to go to a tavern where a bunch of drunks are dancing the polka and lay on the floor face up, I guarantee they would not feel very secure. This is how some pups might look at the giants around them.
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


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    Re: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    We've been trying the suggestions above and things are definitely better. At night once she has laid down for the night she still growls a little when I wake her up to put her in the crate, but I don't push it and talk to her before touching her. I'm definitely not just scooping her up, I say her name first and then lightly pet her before attempting to pick her up but she doesn't still growl a little and mouth me as I'm picking her up. Is this still normal behavior? We are taking her to her first class on weds.

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    Re: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    As a follow up, our girl is now 4 months old and we have been working on saying UP and giving her a treat when we want to pick her up and it is working well. However, she will still snarl and growl at us on occasion when we want her to do something she doesn't want to, mainly when we attempt to put her harness on before taking her for a walk. It generally happens only in the evenings or if she is clearly tired. The latest example was just last night, we took her to our weekly training class and after class there is a short time of controlled free play with the small puppies. When this play was over and the trainer handed our girl back to us I tried to put her harness on and she growled and tried to bite me and the harness. The trainer didn't witness this since we had walked out of the room before it happened. Is this normal behavior? Should we be worried about this?

  10. #9
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    Re: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    My Sacha did this more before when she was younger (she's 1 now), and still does it sometimes.

    From what I have seen, it is when she is tired or overstimulated.

    It has worked well for me to wait when she's like this and go slow.

    I'm nt an expert, but I hope this helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingston73 View Post
    As a follow up, our girl is now 4 months old and we have been working on saying UP and giving her a treat when we want to pick her up and it is working well. However, she will still snarl and growl at us on occasion when we want her to do something she doesn't want to, mainly when we attempt to put her harness on before taking her for a walk. It generally happens only in the evenings or if she is clearly tired. The latest example was just last night, we took her to our weekly training class and after class there is a short time of controlled free play with the small puppies. When this play was over and the trainer handed our girl back to us I tried to put her harness on and she growled and tried to bite me and the harness. The trainer didn't witness this since we had walked out of the room before it happened. Is this normal behavior? Should we be worried about this?
    -----------
    Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. ~ George Elliott

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    Re: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    thank you, that does make me feel a bit better knowing is not just us. that sounds exactly like ours, over stimulated and/or over tired = grumpy puppy

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    Re: 10 week old puppy growls and snaps at us?

    It is a lot like kids, isn't it? lol

    My nephew was over today and got right in sleeping Sacha's face and grabbed her. She woke up and licked him! I a
    ttribute this to 10 months of popping a beef cube into her mouth after waking her during a deep nap.



    Quote Originally Posted by Kingston73 View Post
    thank you, that does make me feel a bit better knowing is not just us. that sounds exactly like ours, over stimulated and/or over tired = grumpy puppy
    -----------
    Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. ~ George Elliott

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