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Hey Folks,

We have had Bloo, our ACD/Blue Heeler puppy since she was 5 weeks old. I hear that's a bit early to be separated from mama and litter and I assure you we didn't know until she was home already. She seems to be overly aggressive to everyone in the house - maybe that's just a puppy thing - but that's what I'm here to ask. Not particularly affectionate either. She loves to play of course and we do our best to give her a lot of play time with us. It is difficult though when she seems to be mostly interested in biting us instead of the toy. When she exhibits this behavior we will present her with the toy and when that doesn't work we turn and walk away. If we pick her up she will growl and bark and bite at your face. Puppy "time out" has been a regular thing (per a tip I read elsewhere) when she can't be deterred from biting and barking (she will chase you down and bite your ankles if you try to turn or walk away) we put her in the bathroom and close the door. Giving it just a few minutes once she calms down we will go in and pet and if she is behaving will let her back out to play. Now, it has been a long time since I had a puppy and maybe I just don't recall this being a thing. We do have another dog and have had several rescue fosters come through so we aren't total idiots when it comes to being dog owners, just a little concerned for her behavior. Any advice or reassurance is welcome. We LOVE this little demon and want to do what's best for her!

Thanks!

Sincerely,

The Keepers of Blucifer the Raptor Puppy
 

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Sounds normal, especially for a puppy who was taken from her mother and siblings too early and therefore didn't have a chance to learn proper bite inhibition from them. Keep doing what you're doing... it can take weeks or months. That's normal!
 

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Hello, You have had her since she was 5 weeks, but how old is she now?It does make a difference as per advice. However it does sound totally normal and "little demon" made me laugh. You sound like you are doing all the right things. My one suggestion would be to have the time out's within the same room as the family. Use a playpen or kennel. It [just works faster to achieve the desired results [ the point of the time out is clearer for the dog and your timing on length is better judged. Some dogs only see the isolation as an issue which causes more problems later on while if left in the same room with the family they "see" the reason for it quicker. It can still take a while however. I know puppies are cute but try to not pick her up too often if at all. I say this as it has always worked for me and even now I have a pup [almost 22 weeks] which was a terror when picked up and not once did she ever sit on my lap or cuddle. Now she is amazing.Less attention with structure and very short training sessions does wonders although I know it is so hard to not play all the time. Oh and by training I mean purposely let the pup out and teach her bite inhibition and when she fails give a good yelp or ouch and place her back in her playpen/kennel do this several times and when she is roaming free and it happens just cross your arms and turn away. Do not walk away as this will just start her again. She will understand quicker if you train inhibition rather than just react when it happens.
Good luck and for the most part she sounds perfectly normal for a "little demon" lol.
 

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She is currently 9 weeks old. The "ouch or yip" when she is biting has zero effect for this one and when you fold your arms and turn away your ankles will pay the price regardless of you walking away or not. I like the idea of her time out being in the same room, however I hesitate to use her crate as she is being crate trained for nighttime and when we are away at work. I don't want her to associate her crate with punishment. A small playpen in the living room (where we spend most of our time) might be the thing. I appreciate your help!
 

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Sounds like a really nice cattle dog to me!! Whip smart and totally into everything.

Use two rooms. Have a gate you can step over or go through for your time out. Saves ankles and socks.
 

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Using a pen or baby gate that you can step over is definitely a good idea. As far as the "yipping" strategy goes, I think it mostly works on softer dogs without much prey drive - so... not cattle dogs, haha! A lot of puppies do wind up getting amped up by the yelping or shrieking and bite even harder, so I'd skip the noise and just go straight to redirecting with a toy or leaving the play area.
 

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This sounds like a Cattle Dog puppy for sure. Cattle dogs are very smart and hard headed which can be a lot of dog. Puppies are bitey little monsters that need structure to prevent all the biting. Some bite worse than others.

Time outs are fine as long as they are not a true punishment. Ignoring puppy and biting won't stop or puppy is just absolutely nuts with the biting? Nothing wrong with calmly putting them in the crate (I would actually give them a frozen kong with peanut butter/canned food/yogurt even) or in an ex-pen. Treat dispenser toys for their dinner. I would start working the puppy with multiple short training sessions a day. Get out your clicker and treats, look up some Zac George or Kikopup and work on some basics. I would also highly encourage a puppy class! It gets the puppy out and doing things which = happier more tired puppy, gives you a refresher on what to work on and a goal!

Puppies are going to bite no matter what.. but I find that biting is kind of like anything else when training a puppy. Try to prevent it as much as you can by giving them other outlets. Also settling with mat type work because learning to settle in a high energy breed of dog kind of a great thing to have. Good luck!
 
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