10 week old puppy growling and nipping
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Thread: 10 week old puppy growling and nipping

  1. #1
    Member HailisMommy's Avatar
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    Angry 10 week old puppy growling and nipping

    I just got a new puppy 2 weeks ago, a little schnoodle to be a little sister for my 2 year old schnoodle. So far she is a little cutie pie that is doing well with house breaking and listening to me for the most part. Only the last couple of days she has been growling a lot when I pick her up and just today she got more aggressive and tried to bite me. Luckily she is small enough that when I was holding her she could reach me to bite me (she was flailing around in my hands growling and nipping pretty bad for a little puppy). I immediately crated her and told her "no" and kept her in the crate for about 10 minutes and she was fine after that. I also put my finger to her nose and said "no" every time she growls at me. Is this normal for a puppy this young? Is she trying to "test" the waters with me? I got my first puppy when she was about 3 1/2 months old and she was such an angel but this one seems to have an attitude. I want to stop the growling and biting NOW since I have neighbors with kids and I don't want her to bite one of them. She is so lovable most of the time but at least once or twice a day she growls and gets very mean. Any advice would be great!

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    Re: 10 week old puppy growling and nipping

    I'm in the same boat as you in term of the nipping. I've tried a bunch of things that don't seem to be working, but I'll let others tell you what works. I did want to say you should avoid using the crate for punishment. You don't want her seeing that way. Instead you want to make it a safe and comfortable so she'll want to be in there.

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    Junior Member JoeRosco's Avatar
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    Re: 10 week old puppy growling and nipping

    From what I understand this is about the age where puppies try to find their place in the group. My pup is going on 12 weeks and still nips sometimes but I tell her NO MOUTH! which I say to her any time she is using her mouth for anything other than eating or chewing on one of HER toys. She dose not always like it but so sometimes I will have her sit and stay to give her time to think about it lol.

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    Re: 10 week old puppy growling and nipping

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeRosco View Post
    From what I understand this is about the age where puppies try to find their place in the group. My pup is going on 12 weeks and still nips sometimes but I tell her NO MOUTH! which I say to her any time she is using her mouth for anything other than eating or chewing on one of HER toys. She dose not always like it but so sometimes I will have her sit and stay to give her time to think about it lol.
    Interesting.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Entwine's Avatar
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    Re: 10 week old puppy growling and nipping

    Your puppy is acting like a puppy will if not trained to avoid such behaviors. First of all, teach her that being picked up is pleasant for her. What was she doing when you picked her up? If it was something she liked (i.e.-chewing a toy, playing with something), she was reacting to that.

    I'd highly suggest you stop sticking your finger in her face--that's only giving attention to her bad behavior and she doesn't know what "no" means. Instead, try giving her treats when you pick her up/hold her. This will help her to associate positive things with being picked up, so she is less likely to be upset.

    Are you implementing NILIF? There's a sticky thread on this site that explains it.. It could help solve your problem.

    Oh, and don't crate her for bad behavior. Then she'll associate it with bad things and not want to go in there when it's time for bed, etc. Instead, if she's growling/biting when you're trying to do something with her, use the treat method.

    Are you obedience training her? This could also help.

  7. #6
    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: 10 week old puppy growling and nipping

    HailisMommy;525179]So far she is a little cutie pie that is doing well with house breaking and listening to me for the most part. Only the last couple of days she has been growling a lot when I pick her up and just today she got more aggressive and tried to bite me. Luckily she is small enough that when I was holding her she could reach me to bite me (she was flailing around in my hands growling and nipping pretty bad for a little puppy).
    There's a reason why she's growling when you pick her up, and tries to bite you because you didn't listen to her warning you NOT to pick her up (that's what the growling is - it means stop what you're doing)! Maybe the way you're holding her makes her feel insecure, or, maybe she hurt herself, and picking her up hurts.


    I immediately crated her and told her "no" and kept her in the crate for about 10 minutes and she was fine after that. I also put my finger to her nose and said "no" every time she growls at me.
    Crating her serves no purpose, because your puppy has no clue why you stuck her in the crate. The worst thing you can do is to punish a dog for growling. You're teaching her to not growl a warning, but to go straight to the bite.


    Is this normal for a puppy this young? Is she trying to "test" the waters with me? I got my first puppy when she was about 3 1/2 months old and she was such an angel but this one seems to have an attitude.
    Puppies get wildly excited, bark, make growly noises, get mouthy, and even nip. My Standard Poodle puppy leaped and jumped and gave me "love nips," in her wild joy at seeing me after I'd been away from the house for a time. Her nick name was "land shark!" LOL I turned my back and ignored her, or else I went into another room, removing myself from her access. Then I'd try again in 1-2 minutes (10 minutes is too long). It didn't take her long to figure out that jumping and nipping = loss of me, the very thing she wanted. Lucia still gets wildly excited, BUT, she's learned to sit, and wait for me to lean down so she can place her paws on my shouders, and bury her head in my neck, while I pat, or give her butt scratchies. We're both happy.

    Saying NO, and putting your finger to your puppy's nose isn't teaching her anything. She doesn't know what "no" means, nor what your finger in her face means. Instead of thinking in terms of what you DON'T want her to do, think of what you'd rather have her do instead. Distract her when she starts the unwanted behavior, then redirect her to a wanted behavior (a sit, or shake paw), then follow up with positive reinforcement.

    I want to stop the growling and biting NOW since I have neighbors with kids and I don't want her to bite one of them. She is so lovable most of the time but at least once or twice a day she growls and gets very mean. Any advice would be great!
    Sounds like excess puppy energy to me. When Maddy was a young puppy, she would bark/growl, and run like a maniac, then charge me, stopping before touching me, and leap from side to side, barking, growling, her eyes wild! I thought she was insane! She was simply trying to get it through my thick skull that she needed more exercise and mental stimulation than she was getting! There's not a mean bone in her body, but, she looked like a mad devil! LOL Maddy is very intelligent, and I wasn't meeting her needs - she was bored, bored, bored!

    What is your puppy's daily routine? What kind of exercise does she get? What do you do to provide her with mental stimulation? Do you take her on walks? For car rides?
    Last edited by poodleholic; 04-20-2009 at 03:53 AM.

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    Member HailisMommy's Avatar
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    Re: 10 week old puppy growling and nipping

    Thanks for all of this advice. I am perplexed because my first puppy was SO sweet and never had behavioral issues. When I pick her up it’s usually when she’s getting ready to go potty in the house or getting into mischief so she is probably mad that I am taking her away from what she is not supposed to do. I will treat her when I hold her from now on (she’s going to be one fat puppy!) I do understand not crating her when she’s in trouble now, she already doesn’t like me to crate her when I go to work, so I can see how this will make it even harder to crate her.
    I have her on a good routine with taking her out first thing in the morning, feeding her and letting her and her sister play together, she is always full of energy in the morning and I let her run it out while I am getting ready for work. I crate her while I am at work and take her out at lunch. After work I let her go out and play with her sister some more and feed her and give her TONS of TLC. She is pretty good for the most part until close to bed time. Maybe she is just getting grumpy because she is tired???? But I do play with her, love her, feed her, treat her and let her be a puppy, she gets plenty of exercise and play time, I think she may just be trying to find her place at my house. Hopefully the treating will help with picking her up and that will end the nipping as well. Wish me luck and thanks for all of the great advice! 

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    Junior Member JoeRosco's Avatar
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    Re: 10 week old puppy growling and nipping

    I will treat her when I hold her from now on (she’s going to be one fat puppy!)
    Just use her kibble if that is what she uses I do for my pup so she wont get an upset stomach or spoil her feeding times.

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