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Old 04-16-2006, 04:10 PM
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Default Puppy excessive growling

Hi there! My mother purchased a chihuahua puppy a few weeks ago. The breeder allowed her to take the puppy at just 5 weeks old, saying he was already eating canned food. I think my mother was reluctant on taking the puppy so early, but the puppies environment was less than desirable. Anyway, I'll get to my original question. ..

The puppies name is Toby. Does anyone have any experience with a 7 week old puppy's excessive growling? Is this normal. He growls when he's being picked up. I noticed the behavior last week when I baby sat for my mom. If you taunt him with a toy by sticking it in his face to try & play, he gets really upset...growling, showing his teeth. I think he's even trying to bight too. Is this normal...or could there be something wrong. She hasn't called the vet yet, she wanted me to look online to see if maybe there is a simple solutions or reason for this behavior.
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Old 04-16-2006, 04:18 PM
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Hi there. I'm not an expert by any means, but five weeks is way too early to be taken away from its litter. The puppy may look old enough to leave, but the last two weeks are really important for him to learn his socializing skills from his mother and litermates. That may be why you are having problems. There are a few animal behaviourist on here. I would listen to what they have to say. Not to mention people who have owned chi's for many years. I don't want to give you any advice because I'm not that experianced with behavior problems. I would, however, tell your mom to take the puppy to the vet, especiallly with it being so young. Good luck and I hope you enjoy the forum. It's a great place to learn!!
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Old 04-16-2006, 06:29 PM
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Thanks for replying. I too thought he was too young to be taken away from his mom. But like I said...when the breeder told my mom that he was ready, I think she was eager to get him out of the environment he was living in. She taken him tot he vet several times for a healthy checkup & whatnot, so I know the vet knows how young he is. Should I wait until one of the behavioral specialist read this post & respond, or do I need to search for them & ask them directly. I'm knew to the forum thing so please excuse my ignorance.

Thanks again!

Val
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:19 PM
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I think some pups just have dominance issues from the time they're born. Elvis' breeder had posted something to the effect that it was Elvis' way or the highway and boys will be boys. I think that translated means he has always had big issues with dominance aggression.

Dominant agressive dogs tend to growl more if you pet thier face or neck or upper back, they can be aggressive over food or toys. They won't like to be moved or petted. It is very frustrating. I came to this forum because of Elvis' problem. I have seen a lot of posts on this but not a lot of answers.

I've tried all kinds of things with moderate to low success. He just has his days sometimes. He can be as sweet as honey one moment and cujo the next.

I wish he could talk, in words. I wish I knew what he was thinking. Of course that's not to be. Lucky for Elvis, he's so freakin' cute we can't stay mad at him. Good or bad, a lot of times we let the growling go and call it "purring". It's just who he is. My husband defends him, he's just a puppy... he's teething...he's sleepy...etc. It's just a lot of excuses for us not knowing what to do for him and hoping he'll grow out of it.
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Old 04-17-2006, 01:48 AM
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well first off i want to say welcome to the board!

now as has already been said 5 weeks is MUCH too young to ba away from his family, but im glad that if the breeder was so willing to send him away he ended up in a home thats willign to work with him instead of someoen who wanted him ONLY because hes small and cute.

when he left his family he was entering into a stage of life where he and his simblings would be wrestling growling biting and generlaly asserting dominance over eachother, testing each others limits and boundries, and testing mom too, theyd be growling biting snarling ect and of course mommy dog being what she is shed very quickly give em a nip back putting them into place. and then other dominance issues would be tested between them.
now being hes missed that criticle part of his development you and your mothers gonna have to play that part (hes still young enough but itll take time)

now it does sound like in his liter he was probably the top pup, but he probably also never got to the stage where mommy put him in place...which means You guys are gonna have to be mommy.

its not gonna be easy or quick and going to take lots of patients, persistence and praise, but also a firm hand.

personally the only case ive delt with like this dominance assertion was what worked, basically every time the puppy growled he got a very firm NO and rolled onto his back. (not forcefully but the rolling him over is a show that your in charge (now i dont suggest dominance rolling for any ole thing but this is how his siblings and mother would have told him where he stood and at such a young age...)

SHOW NO FEAR. he might try and bite, and yes it would hurt at least a little if he got you but if you show fear hell just keep showing you hes the boss.
If he growls at you when he has a toy, take it off him, if he tries to snap at you when you take it, a Firm NO (dont shout just be strong) and dont pull your hand away, continue to remove the toy, your showing him that YOU are in charge. then play with the toy yourself for a moment before giving it him back and saying GOOD BOY.
same with food, if he growls over his food, start hand feeding him, if he wants his food hes got to accept you being around it. dont do it with every meal just randomly go to his food bowl and take a handfull and let him eat it out your hand, after hes eaten what youve got in your hand let him finnish the rest of his meal undisturbed, again this just reinforces that you are in charge and you tell him when its ok to eat.

growling and snapping should imediatly recive a firm no followed by the coninuence of what you were doign to cause him to growl. if he continues the growl after the no gently putting him on his back hold him there untill he stops struggling as soon as he seems to settle say "Good" and let him up.

hes at that age where hes testing his boundries and hes not had the interaction with a domainant dog (his mother) long enough to have that dominance asserted over him.

Also i suggest starting the nothign in life is free program...start teaching him the basics, hes plenty old enough for SHORT (5 mins) training sessions, find a treat he loves and keep it very small,
faves in this house would be pupperonie (cut it up into tiny peices to keep him interested and without a full belly lol) cheese broken or crumbled up real small or cooked beef hotdog again cooled and cut up real small.

start with a basic sit, hold the treat infront of his face and let him know its there, hold it almost touching his nose and slowly move it above his head the aim raise the front end the back end should drop as soon as hes in the sit position give him the treat. (dont use words yet itll just distract him)
Keep doing the treat lure into sit untill he seems to have it, once hes confident with it you want to add the word sit as his butt hits the floor and treat imediatly after. eventually youll find that saying sit hell go into that position wihtout you luring him, and once at that point you want to treat him occasionally and randomly (your trying to wean him off the treat every time)

once sit is learnt you can start down...again you would gethim into the sit postion then lure his nose with the treat towards the floor and forward slightly, again once hes doing it add the word down ect.

now once hes got the sit down you can start the Nothing in LIfe is free program.
befor he can have his food he has to sit, verytime your doign somehting he enjoys he has to do something you tell him first. if he wants you to throw his ball he has to sit first, ect. this program again asserts that YOU are in charge.

As for the growling when you wave the toy infront of his face, you also have to rember he missed out on alot of the socilization he should have gotten and things that are normal to us could be frightening and threatening to him. start off slow try not to push things at him. he also needs to start going everywhere possible and exposed to as many different things as possible. keep it short at first go to the park (hold him since he wont have his full set of shots yet) and just let him hear the sound of kids playing ect, let people talk to him but not touch him or get real close in his face.

My favorite thing to tell people is
imagine you are him, imagine you are his size, all what under a lb of it and imagine you were just taken from your littermates and given to this strange looking giant who you dont know and who keeps talking strange words at you.
how would you feel if some giant keeps poking at you prodding at you picking you up and shoving toys in your face, imagine how loud or big things sound and seem...

its a huge world out there for a child let alone for something as tiny as a chi puppy...

slow and steady.

i also suggest AS SOON AS all his shots are done with (the series of 3 and his rabies) enrol him (and yourself anf mother) into a puppy class, this will also help with his basic obedience and socilization!

i wouldnt think that kind of agression is realy a health concern right now, more just the product of being removed from his family too soon!
hes missed quite a few criticle stages in his life but with lots of time and plenty of patients he can become a well rounded dog.

id also suggest weaning him onto a good quality hard kibble to keep his teeth in good shape, theres lots of good posts on what foods are good, i feed royal canin but brands like innova and wellness chicken soup puppy brand ect, feeding only wet food you will REALY have to keep a close eye on his teeth (and get him used to having his teeth brushed) but a dry kible will kep them in much better shape, ive also found many picky dogs are wet food eaters, the problem with that is if they change the formular smell or taste even slightly they go off their food and its hard to find a new one...

continue to ask ALL the questions you want! thats what this forum is for!
its a wonderfull resource!

i truly hope this helps. Just Dont give up!b
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Old 04-17-2006, 03:55 PM
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Puppies are thought to develop behavioral problems if they are taken away from their mother too young. In my opinion, too young would be anything under 8 weeks of age. I understand why your mother took the puppy, but that puppy really shouldn't have been weaned off of its mother's milk at 5 weeks. I definitely know it should've have been eating canned food at that age. Poor puppy. I would just try to socialize the dog better. If you don't do that now, that puppy will probably get worse with the growling. I'm thinking that the puppy probably has separation anxiety since it was taken away from its mother at such a young age. Good luck!!
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:02 AM
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We got Bailey at 6 weeks - which was also way to young! Before we got him we phoned the Scottish Chihuahua Club and although they agreed he was too young , they said it was better if we took him as we would give him the special care he needed and be able to sort any problems with him. If we didn't take him she would probably have given him to ANYONE! Bailey is very timid and scared of strangers but is VERY friendly with me and my family. He is extremely friendly and comfortable with approximately 12 people. I think that the puppy maybe has some behavioural issues because of the age he left the mother, but i also thinkhe has some dominance issues!!! There is often some useful advice in books on how to tackle aggressive behaviour. It is maybe a good idea to try a book for advice, either that a dog psychologist might be a good idea!!!
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Velvet Elvis
I think some pups just have dominance issues from the time they're born. Elvis' breeder had posted something to the effect that it was Elvis' way or the highway and boys will be boys. I think that translated means he has always had big issues with dominance aggression.

Dominant agressive dogs tend to growl more if you pet thier face or neck or upper back, they can be aggressive over food or toys. They won't like to be moved or petted. It is very frustrating. I came to this forum because of Elvis' problem. I have seen a lot of posts on this but not a lot of answers.

I've tried all kinds of things with moderate to low success. He just has his days sometimes. He can be as sweet as honey one moment and cujo the next.

I wish he could talk, in words. I wish I knew what he was thinking. Of course that's not to be. Lucky for Elvis, he's so freakin' cute we can't stay mad at him. Good or bad, a lot of times we let the growling go and call it "purring". It's just who he is. My husband defends him, he's just a puppy... he's teething...he's sleepy...etc. It's just a lot of excuses for us not knowing what to do for him and hoping he'll grow out of it.

LOL its like reading the Life of Snickers, my moms chihuahua.

He's this smallest of the whole bunch but the meanest and the top dog! He's not necessarily violent towards people, mostly other animals. Like you said above he'll have his good days and he'll have his bad days. He will never ever bite my mom or I. I can pick him up if he's in a bad mood, he'll sound evil but he'll never bite me. Though if my boyfriend were to pick him up ....lol..... he'll bite real quick. Lex doesn't do any of that. He never bares his teeth just growls and puts his tail underneth him and hides. Very odd. I'm actually going to be curious who'll be the dominate one once Smidge and Gabe comes. ...haha
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