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mommachap's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-28

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Our pup is now 12.5 weeks old, and I swear getting more insane by the day... lol. I am getting worried because he is starting to get really rough with our cat and the kids. At first he was just wanting to play with her, but now it seems like he is trying to take her somewhere to hurt her. I swear every time they are in the house together, I look over and he has either got her head or her tail in his mouth and he is dragging her across the floor. He will pull her down from furniture by the neck and continue to drag to where ever he wants her. One day he actually managed to drag her from one end of the house to the other, trying to take her into the laundry room.  She tries to give him warnings, but she is 17 years old now and not very strong. Is this normal behavior? I was told that if he ends up killing her he will  get a taste for killing things. Is that true? I am trying to teach him "no touch" and it seems to work for everything but with the cat. Does anyone have any suggestions?

He is also insane with our kids ages 5,3 and 1. I don't think he is trying to hurt the kids, but seems like he is looking at them more as toys. He wont leave the younger ones alone, he is constantly running at them and will kick them in the chest or back to push them over so he can get up on top of them. He is always biting their ears and face, he actually tore through my 3 year olds lip a couple of weeks ago. I am not sure what the proper way to get him to stop doing this is. Is there a way to get him to play better with the kids? Right now they are all a little afraid of him because he is so rough. I just want everyone to love him as much as I do. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

jakezzdobe's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-27

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I am dealing with the same issues but not to the extent that you are.  There are some really good articles on this site about how to deal with this. 

When Hagen starts getting too rough I will grab him by his scruff and give him a firm no.  Then I will direct him to a play toy and actually play with him myself to helf him get his energy out.  Another tactic is for when he is play biting is to wrap your hand around his muzzle and give a firm No, then direct him to the proper play toy. 

Hagen is 12 weeks  old and I have been doing this with him for several weeks now and he had gotten much better. 

mommachap's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-28

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Thanks, I will definitely try both!

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-18

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mommachop, Emerson is treating the kids and the cat as he would litter mates. That's what they do to each other - wrestle and drag each other around. It's up to you to correct this behavior and protect the poor old cat. But the kids need to learn how to correct the puppy too, and how to behave around the puppy as to not appear like litter mates. ;-)

Particularly with the cat, it's important to teach him not to chase. Don't be afraid to really come down on him. Don't hit him of course, but feel free to hold him down on his side, and give him a firm bite-like squeeze with your fingers and a good bark "NO" - just like his mother would.

mommachap's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-28

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Thanks AlphaAdmin! I have been afraid to be too firm with him, because I read on a site that being too hard on them can cause aggression, but I'm guessing that is why he is getting more out of control. I am so glad that it isn't an abnormal behavior! I will try and be really firm with him now, and I will for sure try and teach the kids how to be as well. Are there some things that I can teach the kids? I have been telling them to just push him down and tell give him a firm "no". Is that the right thing to teach them, and if it is, is there something more that I can teach them, or do myself? They seem to be having a hard time with it because they are afraid.

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-18

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When kids push or yell at puppies, puppies usually interpret that as play. Small children should always have an adult around watching the puppy. Older children should understand how to be calm around the puppy, and when he gets rough or bites, they need to understand how to direct that energy to toys. When the puppy is out, all the kids should have a toy handy to direct the puppy at, and if the puppy gets rough, the kids should ignore the puppy.

Puppies are a lot of work for the whole family.

Happydance's picture
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Joined: 2010-11-14

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Yes, absolutely don't leave the pup unattended with the one year old child or the cat, never ever for now at least.  (That poor old kitty doesn't deserve that  .)  He's sounds like he's going to be a bit of a handful and needs to learn his place.  NOW.  Also, he sounds a bit bored to me.  Do you (in your busy life I'm sure) have time to spend with him playing and a time for him to learn things?  When my pup was that age one of the games I played with her was simply sitting on the floor and rolling a tennis ball for her to chase and bring back to me was really a teaching session, come, drop it, etc. but it was done in an upbeat way so it was great fun.  Learning is so fun for them, and it really does wear them out. If there's times that you can't be right there with him and the kids, is there an area that you can gate off to put him in for a few minutes while you do the mom things?  By the way, the gate has to be a very sturdy one, possibly attached to a wall.  It took Fancy about a nanosecond to figure out how to throw her weight into the one I had and get through it. 

But, WELCOME to the forum.  We love love love to see pictures of our little ones!

Give your cat a safe place to be that the puppy can't get to - a gate works well for this.  With the kids, total supervision is key. Do not be afraid to use some tough love with the puppy - a scruff shake (not hard) and firm "no" is good - BUT you have to do it immediately because if even a few seconds tick by, they do not associate the correction with the action ... and have no idea why they are being punished. Also, redirect to toys they can have and things they can chew on.  I would suggest making a safe area for the puppy where they can see but not always interact with your kids. Young kids run and scream - excited puppies grab with their mouth. 

Many times out of control puppies were seperated from their litter mates before they learned bite inhibition. So now you have to teach it.  

When I have a litter of puppies, I start to sit in the puppy area on the ground when they are about 5 weeks old and do a lot of yelping while teaching bite inhibition. The "cold shoulder" works well with this as well. I come out of it with lots of puppy bites and scratches.... BUT the end result is puppies that have learned not to put teeth on people by the time they go to their homes. 

There is a really good book about dog behavior called "The Other End of the Leash" - it is one of my go to books for dog behavior training. 

 

Hickory67's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-20

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We had the same problem with Gideon. Mauling the cat; mauling the chihuahua; mauling the kids. It got better after he turned 16wks, but I had to do a lot of correction like you're learning here before then. One of the things that worked best was the loud "OW!" It took a while for him to get it but he recognizes it now and immediately switches to kisses.

He still wants to play rough with the cat and the little dog, so we have to keep on him about that. We never leave them unattended. That's not to say the two (or three) can't occupy the same space - there are some tranquil moments - we just have to be vigilant for the changes in demeanor.