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My dog Lucy is almost 11 months old, I got her when she was 2 months old, she has always been quiet and even though she had her hyper moments they weren't all that bad compared to other dogs I have been around. She is very calm when it is just me and her, she has never been negative towards me, in fact she lets me stick my hand in her mouth and take human food out, I use her as a pillow, she used to listen to my commands, went to the bathroom when I took her out... she was turning into a very calm dog but recently she has started barking a lot and doesn't listen when I tell her to stop, she growls if anyone (who isn't me) goes near her when she is eating, when I take her outside to go to the bathroom she won't go and I have to end up taking her out several times before she actually will go, as soon as she hears a sound even if it is a leaf blowing or sees a squirrel in the next yard there is no chance of her going to the bathroom. Sometimes she will start biting and pulling on her leash and jumping up on me, most of the time if I say "enough" she will stop. She has nipped my 2 year old nephew in the face a few times and drew blood twice. She has always gone into the basement with me when I do the laundry and three times in the past 3 weeks she has pooped in the basement, she is very good at not going in the house so I don't know why she would be doing that. She was "potty trained" at 4 months. I know some people say dogs aren't potty trained until they are 6 months but she stopped having accidents and would let me know when she needed to go out at 4 months.

The only other time she ever went in the house was when I left her at my boyfriends house over night when I went to go visit him out of state, she had only met him the day before and as soon as I walked out the door she had a total freak out (Crying, barking, scratching at the door) and she peed. My boyfriend would take her out every hour because she wouldn't go to him when she needed to go out and he didn't want her to have an accident and as soon as he took her back inside she would pee on the floor again that was 3 months ago and she was doing fine. She has separation anxiety from me which I am still trying to figure out how to deal with.


Does anyone know why she might be acting differently or what could cause this?
 

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The only thing I can think of is maybe she's hitting the "teenage" stage as they call it in dogs. I'm not sure if it comes that early, but every breed is different. They say with teenage stage, dogs will test you to see if you're going to hold through with your commands. Ex: they may know "sit", but will test you on it. If it's not that, I'd ask your vet what's going on. Good luck with Lucy.
 

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Biting your nephew - not good. Did your nephew do something to the dog to get bitten? Although this is probably teen-aged rebellion, this puppy sounds like one who needs more consistent training and definitely supervision when around children.
 

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The only thing I can think of is maybe she's hitting the "teenage" stage as they call it in dogs. I'm not sure if it comes that early, but every breed is different. They say with teenage stage, dogs will test you to see if you're going to hold through with your commands. Ex: they may know "sit", but will test you on it. If it's not that, I'd ask your vet what's going on. Good luck with Lucy.
I thought I had gotten back to this.
Her vet said she was going to be hitting her teenage stage around 9 months, they didn't say how long it was going to last though. I would really like to get her into obedience classes but I am very picky because most of them seem to use methods I don't like. (choke collars, hitting, domination) Thank you.


Biting your nephew - not good. Did your nephew do something to the dog to get bitten? Although this is probably teen-aged rebellion, this puppy sounds like one who needs more consistent training and definitely supervision when around children.
My nephew hits Lucy, pulls her tail, kicks her, jumps on her when she is sleeping even bites her. I try to keep him away from her but he doesn't listen either! I was constantly training her but my sister (who I room mate with her, her husband and kids) said no one else she knows is so obsessed with training so trying to limit the fighting I laid off the training a lot. Now I wish I hadn't because even if this is her teenage phase or needing more training she is becoming destructive lately, mostly digging the couch and not in a trying to get comfortable kind of way and my brother in law resorts to hitting her in the face, I have noticed that after he does that she bites even more. Tonight she even bit me hard enough to leave teeth indentations.
 

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It is a phase in every dogs life. She became sexually mature and is slowly adopting her breed(s) character. This phase will last until she is about 2 years old. Most dog owners complain that at your dogs age their dogs seem to forget everything they learned and knew before. Some ignore their owners when told to do something they dont Like. Some dogs are growling at people they know and were OK with before. Your job is to be consistent, continue to socialize, train, and discourage unwanted behaviors, and understand it is a passing phase.
 

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It's hard to blame Lucy for biting your nephew. You need to find a way to keep them apart. Lucy should have a safe place to sleep where your nephew cannot get to her. The digging in the sofa is probably caused by excess energy and frustration. She should not be hit in the face for it, but exercise her at the times of day she's likely to do that. Tire her out. She definitely needs to "work" for everything she gets from you. Have her sit or lie down before you pet her, feed her, and take her outside, everything! Don't stop training Lucy. I know when I ease up, my 3-year-old boy begins to revert. Bottom line, though, she's returning violence with more violence. She's retaliating. Some dogs do that and some don't. Mine would be like that too if he felt he could get away with it. A ton of training, 3 different home trainers, 3 group trainers, and 1 behaviorist later I have a dog that's a fun and loyal companion. I have learned something different and useful from each trainer. I still cannot trust him if strangers come to the house or yard and he doesn't like children. He is muzzled when strangers are in the house when he is not under my direct control, because he will try to nip them.

The point of all this training is the dog learning to trust you and listen to you and look to you for direction. Some dogs require a lot more training than others and sometimes the going is slow and you feel you are getting nowhere, but you eventually will.

If you cannot keep your nephew away from Lucy or keep your brother-in-law from hitting her, and you cannot move you and Lucy to another home, you may have a difficult time of it.
 

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I have a 12 month old collie x and he is acting similar. I am hoping it's just his teenage phase and he'll grow out of it. I am just trying to reinforce all our training and keep consistent. At the moment it's a real battle of wills.
 

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She is behaving exactly how one would expect a dog to behave under the circumstances. If you can't change the circumstances and protect her from hitting and toddler harassment I don't know what to tell you :/.
 

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What did you do for socialization with her? What kind of exercise does she get? What breed is she? These are all things that play into what is going on. Junebud is right about her defending herself. If you were getting hit wouldn't you want to fight back? As said before she should have a special place, preferably a crate so worse case you can close the door to keep your nephew out.

I know there is a lot to be said about the "teenage" years but frankly with consistent training and a "nothing in life is free" mentality I've found that the teenage time is extremely limited. I have a 3 year old male Rottweiler that when he went through this period there was barely a blip in rebellion because we remained consistent and did not let anything get in the way of his training. Of course with a Rottweiler and living in a small community and close living quarters we were extra watchful of him and his attitudes and were able to intervene at the first sign of disobedience.

With your living situation you will probably be facing an uphill battle if you cannot convince your nephew and brother-in-law to be more gentle with her. That's why I again really believe a crate would go a long way in helping you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Lucy's "safe place" is my bedroom, she will often just go in there if the house is getting to noisy and the kids are running around.
I was thinking about a muzzle, does it eventually teach them not to bark or do they have to wear it for the rest of their life?

I have been on a waiting list for an apartment out of state and at the beginning of the month they told me to expect a call by the end of the month to do a interview. If it pans out then me and Lucy will be leaving for New York.

She hasn't really been socialized because I don't know anyone here. She has been around the few dogs that roam around the neighborhood, the dogs at PetSmart (that never ends well) and the two dogs that we just took in- I found them sleeping under an old truck and am now trying to find them a home.
For exercise I have a run out in the back yard, we play or sometimes chase each other. We also go for two 20 minute walks a day- one in the morning and one at night.
I don't know for sure what breed she is, when I bought her I was told she was a Labrador Retriever but the older she got the less and less she looked like a Labrador and more like a Terrier.

She doesn't have a crate because she doesn't like small areas. In the 10 months that I have had her she has had 3 crates and she has busted out of all three of them.
 

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A muzzle does not help with barking. A muzzle prevents the dog from being able to bite. You can only use a muzzle for short periods because they make it hard for the dog to eat and drink, but at times a muzzle might be helpful if you can't keep your eye on Lucy and your nephew. I hope you are able to get your apartment so you can concentrate on Lucy's training and socialization. If you can afford it, you really need a professional trainer too.
 
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