Puppy aggression toward us

Posted by vtdanokim
Oct 28, 2010
We rescued an approximately 3 month old lab/terrier/boxer mix female from the pound a week ago. She was a stray that someone brought in. She was spayed the day we brought her home. She was very loving and sweet for the first couple of days. She's very happy and loving to strangers and other dogs.
Towards us, she's usually sweet and loving, but occasionally she'll start attacking and biting our legs and our feet. We think her tail is still wagging as it seems she is trying to play too aggressively. The first couple of days she did this we over reacted and held her out and away from us by her leash. We stopped doing that after a couple of days and just ignore her and tell her no. She continues to bite and get crazed even when we tell her a firm no. If she stops for a few moments and we try to take a step she will immediately growl and snarl and bite some more, even jumping up and chomping above our knees.
She doesn't bark when doing this or very often at all-- she's not a very vocal dog most of the time.
Outside of these situations she only growls a tiny bit when playing rough with a toy by herself.
When she's not crazed she's a good puppy.
I believe she's afraid of running noises as she gets crazy when one of us runs with her on the leash. How can we go about introducing this to her, without her continuing to bite us.
We did notice a few times when we fed her, she calmed down. We aren't sure if it could be a blood sugar issue (as sometimes she doesn't eat all of her food when it is given to her.) But we also think it could be that her taking the time to eat distracts her from the crazed state and she just gets calm again because she is refocused on something else.
Once we can get her calm either with a small amount of crate time or making her sit and stay on the leash for an amount of time, she goes back to being a sweet girl with what i would consider a typical amount of puppy nipping that is easily satiated with a chew to.
How do we handle her in those situations and ultimately put an end to them?
Posted by kjd
Nov 4, 2010
Hi, vtdanokim.

Are you consistent with your correction whenever she goes crazy? If so, these should gradually decrease as she sees they get her nowhere.

If you really think she might have a blood sugar problem, please talk with her vet.

Posted by Kate-Jacobz
Nov 5, 2010
Hi vtdanokim,

Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) in Dogs

Hypoglycemia is a syndrome that occurs primarily in toy breeds between 6 and 12 weeks of age. A hypoglycemic attack is often precipitated by stress. The typical signs are listlessness, depression, staggering gait, muscular weakness, and tremors-especially of the face. Puppies with a severe drop in blood sugar develop seizures or become stuporous and go into a coma. Death can follow. This particular sequence of symptoms is not always seen. For example, some puppies exhibit only weakness or a wobbly gait. When a dog is suffering from hypoglycemia dip your finger or a spoon in honey and have the dog lick the honey. It will help to increase the blood sugar level. Occasionally a puppy who seemed just fine is found in coma.

If you believe that your dog is suffering from Hypoglycemia please take it to the vet sooner rather than later.

You can't afford to ignore this behavior because if you do you may end up with a very aggressive adult dog that may need to be put down. Try gentle leash corrections whilst making a deep guttural bah sound (this sounds a little like a mother dog correcting her puppy) and place her in a sit or down position. Then reward and praise her. You may need to invest in a spray bottle which you will fill with water and spray in her face to get her attention if the gentle leash correction does not work on its own.

I still have a spray bottle for my dogs - as soon as I produce it they sit rather than be squirted. I might only have to pull it out of the cupboard once every six months and it is usually only when they have been in the care of other people.

Best wishes for happy dog companionship.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Nov 10, 2010
Hi vtdanokim,

Did you have a chance to take your puppy to the vet?

To me, her behavior just sounds like one of typical 3 mos old puppy, especially if her breed is actually a mix of lab/terrier/boxer! They are all hyper-active breeds! I bet she jumps at people too

If nothing is wrong with her health, all you can do is to give her a lot of physical and mental exercises to let her energy out.

The reason she gets excited and tries to bite your feet when you run with her is because it is exciting and fun to her. I would rather walk with her to train her how to walk without pulling first.

When she play too rough (I don't know if "aggressive" is a right word or not) have her sit and relaxed for a while. If she play bites stop playing with her. She needs to learn how to play nicely with people. We are different from the four legges ones and she should be able to distinguish the difference.

Does she have playmates or do you take her to a dog park (of course after she is done with all necessary shots though)? She still needs to socialize with as many people and dogs at this stage.

It will be a good idea to enroll in a dog training class. She will not only learn all the basic commands, but also the bonding between you and her will be established nicely and she will start looking for your directions and guidances.

Enjoy your puppy She sounds like a sweet one!