I Think I have an Aggressive Puppy

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Dog Aggression, The case of the puppy that could not help but, attack her people.

“Rory” and her people are great! They did all the hard work, stood by their pup when things got ugly, they followed the training. We include this case to let you know that we can handle the unusual, difficult and complex cases of canine behavior. There is a lot of hot air in the common dog training world that goes something like, “I have 100 dog training certificates and have trained dogs for 1000 years… bla, bla, bla,.” We like to show people what we can do, not do a lot of talking about it. So, yes we have succeeded at some difficult dog behavioral challenges and this means of course we can help with the easier stuff as well.

We have great respect for “Rory” and her people because these are the people we are honored and lucky to help! Working with any dog gives us more than we can ever return, but, we do our best. This is just an ideal example of what it takes to really help a dog.

The names have been changed to protect the innocent, no seriously, we value privacy. Yours and our own.

With us expecting dogs to put up with some questionable behavior, we are surprised that dog attacks are not more common. A dog attacking its owner is luckily not so common, especially in a puppy. Now puppy biting is not only common but, it is natural part of being a pup but, sustaining prolonged attacks on their people is not. What happens if even after learning how to properly handle a potentially aggressive dog from an elite dog trainer? Your dog still likes to “take it out on you?”

Introducing “Rory”

The case of the puppy that loved to attack her people.

New pup parents! We’ve been super excited about training “Rory”, and were hoping to set up a set of training sessions with you so that we could learn from the best! From what we saw on your website, it looks like that would be a four-week package, but let us know if there are other options you think would be better.

To the best of our knowledge, “Rory” is about 17 weeks old, and we are guessing that she is a mix between some type of collie and something much larger (she is getting big fast, and we are waiting on a breed test result to see because we’re curious!).

Rory will be getting her final round of puppy vaccines today and will be up-to-date. Medically, Rory seems pretty healthy, though she had some mange and parasite issues when she first came home.

Dog Aggression Toward Owner

Behavior-wise, Rory is as active as any other puppy and is pretty keen to learn and play. We’ve been working on basic commands (Sit, Down, Stay, Leave It, Drop It, Bed, Gentle, Settle) and she is often quick to respond. Through training, we’re hoping to help build our confidence with her as we begin exploring the outside world together and start meeting more new people and dogs. One of the issues we’ve been working through, and would like to include in our lessons, is nipping and biting. She doesn’t seem to be aggressive, but she definitely tends to nip and bite more with “Betty”.

Now you have met “Rory” why would a seemly normal puppy have episodes where she relentlessly bites at anyone handling her, especially her people? Anxiety is the leading cause of aggression in dogs. People are often bitten when they mishandle or startle their own dog, but, seriously bad things happening to people that love and respect their dogs is super rare.

Motley Dog Behavioral Summery:

After exposing “Rory” to a variety of environments and stimuli, there is no external trigger for her bouts of aggression toward her handler. This aggressive behavior is not predatory, defensive or “rage.” These episodes are best described as frustration. After considering, pain, length of time training or exercising and observing her and her people in various activities, there is no obvious external factor that would cause frustration. Therefore, the cause of her behavior is intrinsic, and any medical causes need to be investigated.

After determining that this was a medical situation, we advised our team to see their Veterinarian, who prescribed medication. While hitting the books, we found a study of canine aggression toward their people, supporting our hypothesis that “Rory’s” condition has no external cause.

Rory’s Case Had a Genetic Component

While researching Rory’s case, Motley came across many articles about genetic potential for aggression in dogs, here is a sample reference.

Dogs have a genetic predisposition to aggression directed towards an owner or a familiar

Nationwide Children’s Hospital have found that dogs have a genetic predisposition to aggression directed towards an owner or a familiar dog;

Just one of many articles and resources. Gives you an idea of the cause.

How did Motley Dog Training do with this Case?

We will let “Rory’s” people tell you:

When we adopted our 8 week old mixed breed pup, we were enthusiastic but unprepared to train a very high energy dog on our own. Motley Dog did a great job of assessing what would be most important to make behavior changes (for us AND for our puppy), especially when puppy biting was a stubborn habit to break.

Dog Socialization and canine behavioral training at it best. We are, so, proud of Rory and her people. They did the work, we just lead the way.

Motley Dog’s approach didn’t try to change our puppy, but rather to understand her and teach her skills to manage herself. Working with Motley Dog has made a big difference over the course of 6 sessions on impulse control, social interactions, responsiveness and so much more. The experience was as much for us as it was for our dog, and Motley Dog was great at giving critical feedback for us to make pivots in order to see more success with her behavior. We would highly recommend Motley Dog for all the wild and crazy pups out there!

We love “Crazy Puppies”

The Motley Dog Training solution for “Rory” took months, not years, like some of our local competitors. Yes, we know clients from other dog trainers. We are still not going to tell you that it was fast, easy or always a good time. In any event, “Rory’s” people deserve all the credit, we simply lead them to the right things and places.

See also

Dog Aggression

Dog Anxiety

We are grateful for people like them, and their dogs are too.

Have a question about canine aggression or just want help from Motley?? Click the pup below.

We study all aspects of animal and human behavior, as well as new dog training. We take the best of it, to help you and your dog. Motley offers Cognitive Behavioral Dog Training, Dog Training that will help you achieve any goal that you and your dog might come up with. From dog obedience to the very difficult cases of extreme canine anxiety or dog aggression of any type. Our lead dog has an MS in Behavioral Sciences and decades of experience. Yes, this is more effective than any other dog training or dog behavior modification.