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53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Paddy, our 11 week old, has particularly become aggressive towards my 10 year old daughter, who adores him! He loves to chase her, grabs clothing and has bitten her twice this weekend. I have noticed he is far worse when he is tired. He doesn't do this all the time but for some reason this weekend has been particulary bad :evil: . he also does this if she has a friend over.

I'm aware of the 'pack' order and I think he's trying to position himself above her and any other smaller child.. We have 2 other children ( 13, 15) who he doesn't seem to have a problem with.

We have told Beth to be firm and shout 'Ouch' or 'No!' loudly, turn her back and ignore him, or walk out. This she tries to do, but sometimes he just won't let go of her, until I grab him and prise his mouth open to let her go! :( . He has just done this again so I have given him time out in a room on his own).

He appears to listen to me more than anyone else and when I shouted at him , it upset me, as he cowered on the floor....I would hate it, if he became scared of me. I have pushed him away at times when he is being naughty, but would never do anything more.

Apart from this, he is wonderful and we know it's a puppy thing but we don't want it to become worse!

Any advice from you all would be greatly received!



54 Posts

Sounds like you have your hands full. I'm sure other people will be able to offer you lots of advice on this but I did have a similar problem with Max and my 5 year old niece. We got him when he was 8 weeks old and he was fine with her and she became very attached to him as a result. But then when he was about 11 weeks he became quite rough with her, although it can seem agressive if a puppy is running around like a looney and nipping it is often more likely that he is just getting over excited.. either way it isn't acceptable and needs to be corrected.

Our method with Max was to totally ignore him... if possible we would pick him up and put him in the conservatory by himself for some time out, or if it wasn't possible to isolate Max (such as when we were in the garden) we would walk away and leave him alone. We wouldn't say anything or even look at him until he had calmed down. He soon picked up what he was doing wrong and the behaviour stopped... he still has his mad puppy moments but doesn't nip anyone in the process any more.

Once he had calmed down, and my niece had recovered her confidence, we encouraaged her to play more chilled games with Max, such as hiding treats etc to try and teach MAx to play gently with children, and he seems to have picked it up. He is now 5 months 3 weeks and is a lot better behaved, it just takes time and lots of patience.

You mentioned the hierarchy thing and this can be an issue, to tackle this we made a point of feeding both my niece and nephew (20 months at the time) in front of Max and then feeding him afterwards... he seemed to understand this and hasn't tried to take the upper hand with them since. Although he is about to hit adolescence and I hear this can trigger all the bad behaviours again :?

You also said that Paddy does it more when he's tired, I have heard of puppies getting more snappy when they are tired (just like babies and fully grown men.. :D ) The best thing I found was to give Max a haven that he knew he could escape to if we were getting on his nerves in the form of his crate.

I hope that helps a bit... i'm no expert just thought i'd let you know I had a similar problem and it can be solved... Keep up the efforts and keep us posted


193 Posts
I'll say we had very similar problems with my Girlfriend and Molly at about 11 weeks,
Molly would growl and bark at her, for no real reason, also would nip a little.
It did pass pretty quickly (in a couple of weeks) we just made sure that she asserted her dominance over Molly at all oppurtunities.

- Roll her on her back and place a hand on her chest until she stays still (don't be too rough, it's not always the right time to do this)
- also stand astride her and pick her up off the floor (apparently it shows you have control over them!) leave it like this for 30seconds or so and then place back down
- be sure to asser dominance over the bed/sleeping area
- take toys off the puppy and replace with another toy regularly.

All this together with a bit of time should see you right!..

I know my girlfriend was very upset by this behaviour, and at times didn't want to keep Molly as she didn't want an aggressive dog in the house, but now we have a loving, soppy, bonkers 6month old who is happy with her place at the bottom of the pack!

best of luck
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