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Discussion Starter #1
We just got a 6 week old puppy, he's a lab/retriever.
After doing quite a bit of reading I realize he was taking from his mom way too soon.
Anyways he's a great dog... Normal puppy. Except one thing.. On occasions when we pick him up we will snap/growl/bark at us in an aggressive manner..

There area we live has no trainers so I've got to figure this out. We have a young child so we cannot have an aggressive dog!

Please help me fix this issue!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also we love him dearly and he's a great addition to our family, I just worry he's uncomfortable or I'm doing something to upset him..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Anyone?? Ive been trying to find a trainer all day.. I'm so at a loss. I'd hate to have to give the puppy up...
 

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Lots of dogs don't like being picked up. I recommend not picking up your dog if he doesn't like it, and certainly not letting your child manhandle him. Is that the only time he acts "aggressive"? (I put that in quotes because it sounds like what he's really doing is trying to warn you that he doesn't like what you're doing.
 

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Our child is a baby and doesn't interact with the dog at all. Yes that is the only time ever! But we do have to pick him up to come back inside since he isn't able to climb the steps.
 

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I doubt he is actually being "aggressive" - puppies, esp. labs, are mouthy and well, they bite. they bark, growl, talk and yelp too. remember that a lot of noise is him communicating with you.

If you need to pick him up, make sure you are supporting him well and just do so. You can give a little tiny treat if you like.

A puppy that is mouthy and moody at 6 weeks is like an infant that cries, it is NORMAL.

Start teaching bite inhibition (read the stickies under the first time owners section), reward good behavior and redirect from bad behavior. Don't punish a growl, listen to what he is telling you.

You do have a long road ahead of you in some ways, as a lab puppy (like most puppies and maybe more so) is a TON of work. A puppy and a baby will be even more work. If you are ready to give up a 6 week old puppy for acting like a puppy, then you should be reading all you can now and really looking for a trainer for once your puppy is old enough to join a puppy class etc. Read up on socialization, until the pup gets all his shots you can carry him places to see the world.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you! I'm deff not ready to give up, I was more worried I was going to have an aggressive dog. What you are saying makes a lot of since. He's never bite aggressively. I feel like maybe he gets overly excited and when I go and pick him up he freaks because he doesn't want to stop?

I'm deff going to read those threads! I know it's going to be a lot of work but I always had animals as a child and the reward from them is so worth the work. I want to start of on the right foot and make sure I'm not doing anything to make it worse.


I guess I posted earlier when I was at a point of fusterating because I have no clue where to go. I have no trainers around here unless I travel three hours. It's so ridiculous!
 

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It's pretty common to read posts from people who are frustrated and stressed! You're not alone! :)

You already know 6 weeks was too early to leave mama. What this means is the little guy is missing out on learning puppy manners and bite inhibition from mama and siblings. So, you have to take care of this!

Very young puppies like this are not really "aggressive". BUT, they do have a lot of behaviors that people can misinterpret as aggression. In reality, it's a puppy that hasn't learned manners yet.

Growling is the only way dogs can communicate with us, since they don't have words to use. Growling can let you know something hurt them, or they are scared or uncomfortable. Once, when petting one of my dogs, she growled as I pet her "arm pit" area. When I checked it out, she had a pretty bad scratch that wasn't in plain sight. Growling can also let you know something makes them uncomfortable.
Then, there's also the play growl, you will learn the difference as you get to know your puppy better.

Puppies bite and snap as a form of play, it's how they explore their world. It's kind of like the way a toddler puts everything in their mouth. Check out the sticky "The Bite Stops Here." It's great! A word of advice: be super consistent, and don't give up. Many people think teaching a puppy not to bite all the time should happen quicker. So, they give up on one method and try something else. All that does is confuse the puppy. Remember, you're not just trying to stop the biting on that one occasion, you're trying to teach something that will stay with the puppy for the rest of his life. So, keep doing the same thing every time he bites.
Basically, when the pup bites, you make a noise, like a yelp, or saying OUCH loudly, but not angrily. Whatever you choose, stick with the same noise hereafter. The noise is to let the puppy know you didn't like it. The pup will probably go right back to biting, as it's what they do. Make the noise again, but this time leave the room for 20-30 seconds.
This is what you would do EVERY time. Yes, it's a hassle to leave the room all the time, but it will work.

Good luck! :)
 

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I was more worried I was going to have an aggressive dog.


It's not about whether or not the dog is aggressive. An "aggressive dog" is kind of a cloudy description. I knew a guy who's pitbull was the most loving dog in the world to humans, but actually killed other dogs. Was he an aggressive dog? The debate can go on forever and won't help the dog anyways. In order to help the dog, you have to focus on what triggers certain aggressive behaviors in the dog, and then avoid triggering those behaviors while at the same time desensitizing him to those triggers.
 

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It's not about whether or not the dog is aggressive. An "aggressive dog" is kind of a cloudy description. I knew a guy who's pitbull was the most loving dog in the world to humans, but actually killed other dogs. Was he an aggressive dog? The debate can go on forever and won't help the dog anyways. In order to help the dog, you have to focus on what triggers certain aggressive behaviors in the dog, and then avoid triggering those behaviors while at the same time desensitizing him to those triggers.
I agree, it's more about what to DO about problem behaviors, rather than the label. BUT, at the same time, this is a 6 week old puppy, and I have seen many situations in the shelter I volunteer at where puppies were labeled as "aggressive" when they were really just exhibiting rude puppy behaviors and hadn't been taught manners. Sometimes these puppies are given up, sometimes put to sleep, but, once there is this label, often times they are treated differently.
 

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I agree that just because a dog growls (even in adulthood) it does not mean the dog is aggressive. A growl is just communicating that they don't like something. IMO you should always respect it when a dog growls and stop what you are doing, or go about it differently. My dog occasionally growls when we're cuddling if I "restrain" her too much. If I give her some space she goes right back to happily enjoying being petted. She growls a lot during play too but it's easy to tell the difference through context.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thank you all so much, we realized we switched methods to much and it was causing us some confusion. We also rewarded him every time he was behaving well and we haven't had him snap at us since!

I think I was overly fusterated and he could tell I was. I appreciate everyone's reaspones and I realize heist aggressive he just didn't like what I was doing. I believe he just didn't want to stop playing some got mad! Which makes so much sense!

Wow there are so many typos, but max is jumpin on me :p
 
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