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Old 12-03-2018, 04:32 AM
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Name: Laurel and Chocolate's Mom
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Default Teething puppy breaking skin

Laurel is absolutely NOT aggressive with humans, but she is teething very intensely and I made the mistake of letting her chew on fingers....um, two weeks ago it wasn't any big deal.

Now she accidentally breaks skin on me if I do that and it's not her fault at all BUT...

She is too young for her Rabies shot. If she breaks skin on a human child and the child's mother doesn't understand dogs this could get very, VERY bad for my innocent little teething toddler(ish) .

I need help from both ends: suggestions for puppy-appropriate analogues to Hylands Teething Tablets, amber necklaces, etc. but if anything can be done from the training end in a friendly, lighthearted manner to help her understand that breaking skin is a VERY serious matter and NEVER to be done to a human child except under very extreme circumstances, I would appreciate perspective and ideas from more experienced chi moms.

Instead of making a separate post, I'm just going to mention that she is 13 weeks old and currently "homeschooled" since she loves people, including "human puppies" over the age of about sevenish, and does best with mature, well-trained, well-cared for older dogs, usually I encourage interactions with labs and goldens, since they're so friendly. Laurel isn't, but every time a bigger, more experienced dog listens to her and respects her boundaries, I can feel her relax and not feel the need to be quite so aggressive with the next friendly retriever.

It was going great until she appeared to attack a friendly Doberman Pinscher who knows me quite well from pre-Laurel times for NO APPARENT REASON WHATSOEVER with murderous intent, i.e., "look at the cute little tiny puppy!" suddenly turned into a three headed six legged demon guarding the gates of hell...."Hi, I'm Cerberus!" and of course I was embarrassed and didn't want the Doberman punished when he DIDN'T DO ANYTHING.

But from Laurel's perspective, it was like some horror movie or twilight zone episode! She grew up with minpins and here was this giant minpin that was ten times the size it should be. She was selectively bred for generations to develop a strong enough bond with "her person" to be constantly on the alert for threats to my safety (I need a watch dog because I am an older woman with no local family and I live alone) and, in a worst case scenario, a guard dog who is willing to give her life to protect mine.

Laurel was not being a "bad doggie" when she was doing her job. She was being a "good doggie" and I told her as much while teaching her the human-friendly command of "Stand down" to let her know that her job was done and she could relax.

Both issues are, of course, just basic canine good citizenship overthought by a new puppy parent who doesn't know the right lingo to communicate with other dog owners and temporary social awkwardness. I've decided against Petco Puppy Play Group until Laurel gets a bit further along with getting to know other dogs and then we'll see if it's worth the stress.

She did very well with her first pittie, which is my second-favourite breed and one I would really miss interacting with if she NEVER likes other dogs, so I'm hopeful we can work things out at her pace if I can just maintain the friendly acquaintanceship I already developed when I was a "very friendly stray person who doesn't seem to belong to any of the dogs at the park".

The pittie's owner claimed he didn't know anything at all about dogs, but I watched and listened to how he talked to other dog owners since the pittie is a bit of a weirdo who absolutely ADORES puppies and not every new puppy parent is as immune to prejudice against pitties as we are.
__________________
Laurel: born 9/1/18, 6 lbs, with me since Veteran's Day
Chocolate (foster/adopt): born 10/4/18, 11 lbs, with us since Memorial Day
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