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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
All - First I am sorry for my many stupid questions, just love my pup and probably worry too much as she is my first.

Onyx (my 14 week old lab/border collie mix) that I have had appx. 2 weeks has started to bark at nothing in the last week. Usually in the same spot, but nothing there. (This is the first she has really started barking at all) Her first vet appt. is Wednesday. She has already had checkups, some shots, etc., from the rescue org.

Second and MUCH more of a concern, she gets very aggressive when playing sometimes. She tries to bite me, growls, badly etc. so I just ignore her. Sometimes she does it and we were not playing, she just gets excited.

By the way, sometimes when she gets REAL excited and I try and stop her she will circle me around my couch about 100 miles an hour! Talk about a herding instinct! Why would she do that to me though? Sometimes I tell her to sit and she will before lunging at me.

I think she just wants to play and can't control her excitement but obviosuly I don't want this to escalate as she gets older so looking for advice how to curb this.

Sometimes I think I just need to give her more excersise...I have many things I do with her like fetch( on leash), playing with toys, etc. but for some reason she does not want to walk far before she wants to turn around and sprint home.

Is this normal puppy stuff?

Thank You!
 

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Alot of that sounds like normal puppy stuff.

I think more exercise will be of big help. As soon as she's had her shots, i'd recommend a dog park. Maybe walk more often with food as a lure to get her to follow might help.

As far as the biting, that's very normal and I had the same reaction as you. Half the battle if avoiding getting bit in the first place. Playing with other dog GREATLY helps bite inhibition that is very hard for a human to teach. I started bringing my pup to daycare about twice a week and after the first week there was a huge decrease in biting. Dog parks help alot with that too.

Also, the running is circles is normal (although funny). Mine did that too. Again, sufficient exercise is the solution. A tired dog is a happy dog.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks...I know what I need to do, sometimes I need to just be assured that it is normal puppy behavior! When she acts out, I feel like a failure even though I am addressing it.
 

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The play biting is normal. Stop all play when she starts doing this. If she does it to get your attention, walk away. You want to show her that biting, growling, etc doesn't work.

As for the barking, could be boredom, could be hearing a sound outside, who knows. Just try to look for consistencies as to when/where she's doing it. Could she be expecting someone to knock on the door? (Someone coming home, mailman, etc) are there noises outside? Is it close to feeding time? Things like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Missmutt - Last night when she barked in the same place I took her out to play. She didn't have to go to the bathroom, I think she just wanted to go out and run around. Is this ok? I wasn't sure if I should take her out but I don't see barking to let me know she wants something as a bad behavior..

Whats funny is she barks in the direction of the cabinet I put the food in. On the bag (Purina Natural Selects) it says 1 1/4 cup per day. That is not enough for her so I feed her around 2 cups a day and her weight now is perfect so I am don't want to give her more. She is already getting more treats than she should (although I break up my liver treats into 3-4 pieces) because I am training her. She is growing VERY quick!
 

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It's not a bad thing, especially for things like the bathroom - you just don't want it to get obsessive. If it does, you might have a dog who'll bark wanting to go outside all the time, not even for the bathroom. That is one downfall I have heard of when people use a bell attached to their door for their dog to alert them for potty breaks. First it works well.. then it turns into the dog ringing the bell at 3 AM because he wants to go run around and play.

If you suspect she wants to go out to play, try having her sit at the door before going out. That way, even if she DOES bark, she'll connect sitting at the door with the door opening (as opposed to barking = opened door).

If you're doing a lot of training on a particular day, don't be afraid to cut back the food a little bit. I do it with Marge all the time. If we're going to training class (where she eats hot dogs and cheese -- we need really stinky stuff for behavior modification work) she will get a LOT less kibble than on a usual day.
 

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Puppys and most dogs let out a high pitched squeel or yelp when they are bitten too hard. If you make this same noise and yank your hand away whenever your puppy starts to gnaw, he will learn that he needs to be very careful with human skin.

But you really need to swallow your embarrassment and make a real yelp noise so your dog can understand that his teeth are hurting you... This has also gotten my puppy to give kisses when he plays with humans instead of biting, but he still plays just as aggressively as he should with other dogs.
 

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Puppys and most dogs let out a high pitched squeel or yelp when they are bitten too hard. If you make this same noise and yank your hand away whenever your puppy starts to gnaw, he will learn that he needs to be very careful with human skin.
Some puppies WILL get more excited from the squeak. You can try it, but it isn't a be-all end-all.
 
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