Aggressive 17 week old puppy

Posted by Suzanne
Jan 31, 2008
I have a 17 week old Boxer puppy. He started displaying aggressive behavior at 10 weeks He started by fighting with our other dog, an energetic jack russell-border collie mix. He has since moved onto children. Recently he has attacked a 6 year old. He bit the child repeatedly and I had to pull him off his jeans. He got very agitated because the child was being very loud and rowdy in the back yard. Once he gets focused and is actively biting someone, it is very difficult to get him to stop. I have to pull him off. I am very surprised he so aggressive. I have never seen a puppy attack with such tunnel vision. We had a Boxer for 9 1/2 years and he never acted this way.
Posted by Todd
Feb 3, 2008
HI there Suzanne and thank you for your question.

The first advice i would give you is to ensure you and your family members have read and understand the techniques in the bonus book "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog". These are great techniques for maintaining or establishing your position at the head of the household. No matter what the problem is all dogs need to know where the stand in the house for both yours and their peace and comfort.

Here are some ways to reinforce your position-

1) If you come across your dogs while they are sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making him move so that you can pass by.

2) Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dog around the house on the leash, making your dog wait while you walk through doorways first.

3) At mealtimes make sure that your dogs eat after all of the humans have.

4) Do not feed your dogs tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.

5) Do not greet your dogs straightaway when you arrive home. Make it wait until you are ready and then call it to you.

6) Whenever your dogs want attention or anything wait till they are sitting and being well behaved.

7) When you give a command make sure that you are in a position to enforce the action that you require from your dog, especially in the initial stages of Alpha Dog training. Also, use the Alarm-No-Command technique as described in the Alpha Dog bonus book to reprimand your dog if it does not obey your command.

Generally I do not recommend people give their dogs bones as this encourages the aggression, because in the wild the alpha dog would be the only one to have the privilege of chewing the bones. The reason your dog growls at you when you approach it with a bone is because it believes that it has the right to the bone and is trying to discipline you for challenging your dog for its dominant role.

I would also ban him from bring able to get on any beds or couches as these create items where dominance aggression can become an issue.

I would also make sure that he is obedient. Obedience is the key to controlling many behaviour issues. I would work with him for 15 minutes twice a day on the basic commands of sit, stay and come.
The more obedient a dog is the less likely they are to bite and be aggressive. It is also much faster to fix problems when dogs are obedient.

I would recommend not allowing your children to reprimand the puppy as this will only make the aggression issues worse.
It is important to reprimand him when he is being aggressive. He needs to learn what is acceptable and not acceptable for his and your sake.
Whenever he misbehaves you must tell him off, use a loud GRRRRRRR or AHHHHHHHHH to tell him off. A water pistol or a blanket is also a great idea to help reinforce things.
When he is behaving remember to praise him and give him attention.

Give these things a go and let me know how things go. I wouldn't leave your puppy alone with the kids and make sure you don't let them play rough with him.

Good luck

Todd Field