What is aggressive and just puppy

Posted by PhillipElliott
May 5, 2008
I have a 12 week old Shih-Poo. She does well monday through friday when she is the only dog around. On the weekends, we visit friends with a year old dog of the same breed. Then she becomes a little demon dog, she won't listen, she growls at me when I pick her up. She also attachs the other dog...you can tell she is mad.
Does each person have to teach her that they are the alpha dog so she will quit the growling? Will the other dog have to teach her they are the alpha dog?
I just want me and her to be happy and not in a constant state of correcting her. Is this just puppyhood or an aggression issue?
Posted by Todd
May 15, 2008
Hi there Phil and thanks for the post

I think part of this is a puppy thing and an aggression thing. But unfortunately if left i can guarantee it will become a very serious aggression problem. I am very glad you asked for help and i will try to help you.

The alpha questions you asked. yes in a way they should be the alpha when they come to visit. They don't have to cover everything i usually ask people to do but simple things like telling them off and not letting them control the situation are things they should focus on.

You guys can keep up the alpha training as these are very very important.The other thing i think is important is to remember to keep up on the obedience work for 10 minutes twice a day. Work on basic sit, stay and come

I think it may be a good idea to create some controlled situations where your friends bring themselves and their dog over.

What i think we should do is get your friends to bring their dog over on a lead into your backyard. Put your girl on a lead and get her to sit on the far side of the property.

Know the aim here is to allow her to advance and benefit from being well behaved. Start at a distance. Ask her to sit. If she sits and responds to you then praise her with attention and petting. This will help reinforce good behaviour.

If she growls, doesn't respond, walks off, or does anything you don't want her to then she needs to be told off, quickly. Give her a quick yank on the lead as well as a GRRR or and AHHHH. This will let her know she is misbehaving.

Then ask her to sit again. When she is behaving get her to take step forward then get her to sit again. Keep on doing this.
On the first few meetings don't let the dogs meet. Let them get near each other. After a few meetings let them meet - keep them on lead and don't let them rough play.
After a few more sessions let them play off lead but make sure no rough play etc.

Again get your friends to tell your girl off for misbehaving just the same as you would do.

Be patient with her, slowly socialise her and see how things go. I will be here to help anymore, good luck.