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I just recently got 2 king charles cavalier spaniel puppies who absolutely hate being held. Boy and girl. I got them from a neighbor and i helped raise all 7 puppies since they were born. When i went and played with them when they were younger they all jumped on me and wanted to be held and wanted to sit on your lap. Anyways, i took my 2 home when they were 8 weeks which was a couple days ago. Recently when i pick them up they start growling. The girl only growls when i give her a kiss when i am holding her or when i have her close to my face. On the other hand, they boy starts growling ferociously right when i pick him up and her start trying to bite my face and snap. He wasnt like this until yesterday and he excpecially hates when i kiss him. I dont treat them like babies or stuffed animals, but would like to hold and give my puppies love sometimes. I noticed before this incident that they wrestled all the time! and sometimes it looked like they were going to far. And i mean they wrestle all the time ferociously. I know puppies wrestle but when the wrestling started getting ferocious, thats when i noticed they would growl when i picked them up. Are they trying to assert their dominance or what. And also, the first time the boy got really ferocious, was when he was REALLY hyper and was wrestling with his sister. I want to know if i should interrupt their wrestling or should i let them wrestle? And also, why do they growl and not let me hold them? what can i do to make them more lovable? The follow me around most of the time and when i lay on the ground they come over to me. I just want to be able to hold them. Please tell me anything you know or anything i can do. I thought king chalres were not that aggressive and loved to be lapdogs. And i know they are puppies but all the other puppies i ahd enjoyed being help and let me cuddle and kiss them. And i can also tell they are used to our environment because they run around wild and show no signs of being scared about this new environment. And i also thought since i have raised them since they were born, they would be more loving to me. Sorry about all these random statements and questions. thanks.
 

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IMO there is no such thing as an aggressive 8 week old puppy ... unless of course it has actual mental disabilities. I do not think your pups do ... they are just being puppies.

I took a dog who was 4 weeks old and tried to raise him. I had him for 6 weeks and tried to teach him bite inhibition ... as he acted way worse than what you are describing your pups to be. He actually bit and drew blood numerous times just being a puppy. :) I asked the same things you are asking and was told he was not aggressive. The advice I was given was good and proved to be correct months later. I just got him back at the age of 9 months ... and he is as sweet to everyone and every animal as you would want him to be. He has other issues but only due to not being trained while he was with other owners.

From what I know about dogs, ... they do not like you staring at them because in dog language you are asking them to defend themselves from yourself. I firmly believe in my own mind that your pups are play growling with you. They just want down to play when you are holding them. I had two pups from the same litter that I still have,... they are 5 years old now. As they got older all that play stuff went right out the window. I am not a pro ... but I have had pups and dogs for many years.

I would give them individual time with you. Separate them from each other while you are training them. They are less likely to be distracted from each other. Right now they are wanting to be playing with each other and ignoring you. This way they can understand that you are the person whom all good things come from. Read in the training forum about NILIF. This is a good place to start. :) Forget about kissing them for now and start training. :)

Good luck .... remember ... this is just how I would handle it.
 

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Imagine, for a moment, a 17-year-old boy playing quarterback at the Homecoming game. His team is a bit behind its opponants, but he's sure they can pull ahead if only they push a little harder. Now it's halftime and the coach is prepping them for their next play. Our boy is concentrating on the moves when suddenly his cheerleader girlfriend runs up and throws her arms around his neck. He kisses her quickly, then pushes her away so he can listen to the coach. Her feelings, like yours, are hurt.

What neither of you get is that there is a time for playing and a time for snuggling. If your pups are having a grand old time wrestling, then you picking them up for a snuggle is just getting in the way of them having fun. Of course they are going to growl...if you won't let them play with each other during play time, then they're going to want to play with you, which is going to manifest itself as growling, wiggling, wrestling, and biting. Your dogs aren't aggressive, they're irritated by you interrupting their fun!

So, first thing: make sure both dogs are getting plenty of exercise that isn't just wrestling with each other. I wouldn't take them around too many other dogs before they've finished their first series of vaccinations, but short, on-leash jaunts on city sidewalks or even around the backyard are great. Try to vary whether you exercise the pups together or alone, as they need to learn how to behave under both circumstances.

Secondly, start training the little boogers. Work on basics like sit and down individually. Accustom the dogs to responding to their names. Every time you say a dog's name and it looks at you, give it a treat! Don't start this process while the pups are distracted because you know they won't respond, but as they get better at giving you their attention,you can call their names while they're playing, give them a treat for responding, and then release them to go play some more.

Thirdly, start desensitizing the dogs to handling. AFTER walking them, AFTER working on some training, and when they are NOT playing with each other, put one dog on your lap for a couple of seconds, feed it a treat, and then release it. As the dog gets more comfortable with this, start upping the time that you require it to stay on your lap before you give it a treat. Progress to holding the dog for a moment, then rleasing it, working on building up to longer and longer times.

Thing #4: Remember to be appropriate. It isn't appropriate to force your snuggles on a dog that doesn't want them. Yeah, you should be able to pick up your dogs without them growling, but that doesn't mean you should take advantage of them to do so whenever you feel like, regardless of THEIR feelings on the matter. Cavs are lapdogs, it's true, but sitting quietly on a lap is not something that puppies do naturally, nor is being halued around and kissed the same as lap-sitting.
 

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Good advice so far. They are not being aggressive. Growling is the only way dogs can communicate with us. They growl when they play, and that growl sounds different than a normal growl. You will learn to tell the difference, as you get to know both pups better.

My guess is that they don't like you interrupting their play and growl to say so. Or, once you've interrupted them they turn their playful attitude toward you.

They are not trying to be dominant.

Now, there will be times when you'll need to interrupt their play, when they get too crazy. As I said, you will learn their different sounds and body language and you will know when they take it too far. But, when you need to interrupt them, you'll want to distract them and/or separate them, not just hold and cuddle them.
 
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