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Hello. I'm new to the forum and I'm sure it's been asked already and I could have found similar situations thru search but I wanted to start a thread addressing my specific dog and what yall can do to help us.

Christmas eve we adopted 'Tessa' from a well known foundation here in South Florida. She was approximately two months old when we got her. The kids promptly renamed her Princess Coco Chanel which has morphed into just Coco.
She was crate trained and semi potty trained when we got her. Beautiful little pup.



Two weeks after we got her she slipped off a sofa and broke her Tibia. She was right next to me and next millisecond whoops and over she went. She had a full cast on her leg for two weeks and a splint on for another ten days..



Throughout this time she was fine and happy. Really surprised me how well she took the hard time with broke leg. Now about a month after leg break she's growing fine gaining weight up to date with shots, back to regular puppy life as it should be for her. 99% of the time she's a happy pup. She plays with kids, licks, fetches and does what puppies do. But now she seems to be developing an aggressive behavior which I desperately need to get out of her.
Sometimes when she's laying in her bed or on the carpet by my feet I try to slowly wake her up with a few pets and a couple nice 'wake up, let's go'. When I actually go to pick her up or gently push her up she growls at me and others in the house when they do same. This isn't the play growls she has outside when we play with her stuffed animal. This is an aggressive growl and if I continue to try to pick her up she swings her head back and tries to bite me. Only in instinct do I retract y hand which I think may be that she's training me and now she knows how to get left alone? Last night she growled at me when I went to pick her up I did not hesitate, I did not draw back my arm but I continued to pick her up. She swung around and mouthed my arm. It was I guess halfway between a real bite and just placing her mouth on me. Either way her needle teeth I felt and if my five year old had done same it would definitely have made him cry or much worse. This brings me to my problem. My son will wake up and go to her bed and sit next to her and play with her in the morning. I came in other day and they were both in her bed laying down playing and licking each other but I fear I am only a millisecond away from him trying to pick her up and getting bit.
Like I said 99% of the time she's fine. She jumps. I've read how to use your knee to push her away and this has helped. I've learned to look up and wait for her to sit before I give attn when I come home. I am working with her in backyard nightly for about an hour teaching her to sit and stay and again not to jump when we play. She has a new toy, a frisbee which she loves. She brings it, we wrestle and I take it away from her. Before I throw it she has learned to sit and not jump all over me (mom loved dirty paw prints on her white pants :) ).
She is now right at four months old. It has cost me close to $1500 in unanticipated medical bills which I gladly paid because from the moment I saw her I fell in love. My mom loves her, the kids well aren't quite as happy as I hoped but still love her. My wife is a bit different she is not used to dogs inside and comes from a country where dogs are left outside only. They are dogs not family members. But she is even coming around. Sometimes it's that's a bad dog and she's gonna bite my son and them I'm gonna .... you! And rightfully so she would be entitled. Then other times she is hand feeding her talking sweet nothings to her. Slowly she's coming around. I came home early the other day and caught the wife sitting down outside and Coco was licking her all over he face. This is a big step for my wife because she was actually bitten by a tied up dog when young.
I love the dog. My mom and wife are now pressuring me to give her up, or back to the foundation we got her from which they will do. But I don't want to give up on her. I'm not a quitter. I made the decision to add a member to our family and want to make it work.
We have never hit her hard. I have pushed her away from our chihuahua which
has not shined on to her yet. When she has moved to bite I have yelled no or yelped and walked away. The other night she had a piece of plastic in her mouth. Up till now she would let me take it out of her mouth but when I went to take it away I had my fingers in her mouth and in an effort to keep it she growled and chomped down which caught my thumb and made it bleed. I yelped of course because it hurt. When I yelped OUCH I walked away and she came up to me with sad puppy eyes curled up by my feet, licked my toes and seemed genuinely sorry.

I'm stuck now and not sure what to do. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to try to answer as many questions you may have and give a decent background on the pup.

Please help as I dont want to give her up. Unfortunately though with many kids over all the time I can't take a chance one getting bit.
 

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For one thing, I wouldn't wake her up that way or try to pick her up. Dogs don't like to picked up generally, anyway, so train a "down" command for getting her off furniture. I also wouldn't allow her on furniture for right now.

One of two things is happening, either she's resource guarding her spot on the furniture, which is very common, or she's having trouble waking up, so touching her is frightening her and she reacts as dogs do.

The growl is actually good. A growl means "stop that, or I'll bite" and that's a warning you want. If you train away the growl, she'll just go straight to biting, and then where will you be?

We have stickies on resource guarding, I would read those. Culture Clash is a great book and anything by Ian Dunbar is great, too. You don't want to punish resource guarding, you want to change the emotional state with positive experiences, generally treats. Resource guarding is very treatable.
 

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Is your puppy's hearing ok? I ask because I find it odd that you are waking her with petting or lifting her off the floor. Is this necessary? While she may have behavior that needs work, I can't really blame her for being startled out of sleep by your hand and being grumpy about it, if that is what's happening when she growls. Does the sound of your voice or your movement about the room not cause her to wake up?

And is there any chance that she's experiencing lingering pain from her leg injury? Was an x-ray taken to verify the bone healed correctly? I imagine it was, and it may be an unlikely issue since she jumps while playing... but I'm just wondering if the leg is getting sore or stiff when she gets up from laying in one position for awhile. It could explain her unwillingness to get up or be lifted. Just a thought.

If it were me, I'd find a different way to get her up when needed. And as long as she isn't biting down hard enough to break skin, don't let her chase your hand away with her snapping. If you fear her, she'll know. Puppies bite, and they have to be taught bite inhibition. My pup hasn't done the play bite thing for a long time, but occasionally when I'm trimming his nails (the one thing he hates), he'll still turn his head and open his mouth and kinda put it around my hand... but not actually do anything with it lol. Where he used to bite as a young pup, now he just kinda makes the motion and does nothing. And it's only when I'm trimming the nails.

Biting, especially puppy biting, can be trained out, so don't give up on her. In the meantime manage her. Give her a quiet place away from the kids to sleep, where they won't disrupt her. An adult should be supervising any interaction between a young dog and a young child, anyway, so when you think she might nip or bite, separate them.

I don't know what to think of the statement "We have never hit her hard." Do you hit her softly? I also don't recommend the knee method you are using to stop her jumping. She is young and has already sustained a broken bone - there are methods that don't pose an injury risk. Ready the sticky titled "Be a tree."
 

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I missed the "hitting hard" thing.

Violence begets violence. If you hit a dog at all, even what you think is softly, expect violence in return. Dogs can't hit, so they bite.
 
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