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Hi Everyone,

I just got a new Shiba puppy last week and things have gotten off to a rocky start. The first couple of days were pretty good, she was playful and curious as all new puppies are. However, the past couple of days as she's become more comfortable with her new surroundings she has begun asserting herself more and this has lead to her lashing out very aggressively towards me. She is only 9 weeks old. I did as much research into this prior to getting her and I knew that this aggressive behavior was a possibility but now that it's rearing it's ugly head I'm a bit at a loss as to what to do. The advice i've been getting is that very mixed. I've heard/read everything from, people saying she's just a puppy and to give her a few more weeks before becoming concerned to others who think i should start to discipline and correct the behavior immediately. My instinct tells me that I should be firm with her when she displays this behavior, however, I'm also told this might result in a negative effect since she is so young and it might end up turning her off to training and bonding with us. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks in advance
 

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Do you have a relationship with your pup's breeder? They should have an opinion/advice to offer on this.

I don't like the word "firm", it has too many negative connotations, and those negatives should certainly be minimized/avoided with a puppy in her formative, early months.

What exactly is the dog doing and how are you currently addressing it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Do you have a relationship with your pup's breeder? They should have an opinion/advice to offer on this.

I don't like the word "firm", it has too many negative connotations, and those negatives should certainly be minimized/avoided with a puppy in her formative, early months.

What exactly is the dog doing and how are you currently addressing it?
Thanks for the quick reply. Yes, I am also in the process of contacting the breeder, but I have a feeling I might be getting better advice on here.

As far as what the puppy is doing, she is biting on furniture and I have been redirecting her to her chew toys when she does this. The first instance of the aggression occured when she was chewing on the coffe table, i took one of her toys and placed it in her mouth so she could chew on that instead, this had been succesful up until yesterday. When i did this she snapped at me, growled and bit my hand, I continued to try and direct her towards her toy but she kept trying to bite me, i then held her down for a quick second and told her no, but she became more agitated and ran away and barked at me then charged again and continued trying to bite. Although she didnt react as violently the rest of the day she did have a couple minor similar outbursts, one of which came out of nowhere. She did let me hold her but she would not look at me. Advice?

HI Thracian thanks for your response,

By lashing out I meant she actually tried to bite me and barked at me. She has been chewing on things, as is excepted and i've been redirecting her chewing to her toys, which had been working well. She did not like this yesterday and when i put her toy in her mouth she growled and begain trying to bite my hand shen then retreated while barking then charged at me again and continued trying to bite me. I first continued trying to redirect her towards her toys but when that didnt work i held her down which didnt help either.
 

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It sounds like she doesn't like it much when you reach out to her. What you might try the next time she growls is turning away from her and ignoring her. As a puppy, she wants your attention, and withdrawing your attention for 10-20 seconds can send a powerful message.

I have to admit I'm not familiar with Shiba Inus, but this has worked for me with other dogs.
 

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I would also start hand feeding this pup. Sounds like a perfect opportunity to classically condition what your hands mean while affording an opportunity to teach bite inhibition. Yes, puppy teach are sharp, you'll likely be bitten, but better your hands to teach than a child's to fear.

Welcome to being responsible for owning a puppy!
 

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I would also recommend finding a really good trainer RIGHT AWAY. While this is probably going to be relatively simple to resolve, the fact that it's occuring in a 9 week old pup is somewhat worrying.
 
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