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Puppy walk aggression
  • Hi! I am currently experiencing some aggression with my 11 weeks old puppy, Kitsu, during our walks. I got him 2 weeks ago, and we've been taking strolls every single day since he got here. For the last 2 days, he's been having fits where he starts growling and biting the legs and hands of me and my friends. I am unable to tell if his growling is playful or aggressive, but I lean towards aggression since when he gets a bite of my hand, he doesn't let go, but just holds on, growls and bites harder. Good thing I wear leather gloves..

    Today I realized it was too much when I had to deny strangers when they wanted to say hello to him. When he's not in this particular mood, he's usually quite the people-pleaser. He's already said hi to like 100 kids and it's always good fun for him, but when this mood incurs, I don't really know what to do with him, which is why I am making this post.

    I have tried to identify the trigger, but I'm not entirely sure what's causing it yet, and am wondering if you could help me out.

    The Pattern
    1) Kitsu attempts to eat garbage/dangerous object on ground
    2) I use the leash to hold/pull him back from said object
    3) Kitsu becomes angry with me and starts attacking my leg/boots/scarf/etc
    4) I pick him up and talk to him, stroke him and give him a minute to calm down
    5) I put him down
    6) He immediately runs over to the closest piece of garbage/dangerous object
    7) Go to step 1

    Basically, once I let him go, he continues trying to eat dangerous stuff on the ground, which I cannot allow. This behavior doesn't happen until we've walked a bit and I've denied him taste-tests of dangerous things a couple of times. My first thought was that he was lacking something in his diet, but he gets his recommended daily portion and usually extra throughout the day, so I don't think he's starving, so to speak. I also give him plenty of time to screw around on most walks. If he wants to eat leaves from a bush for 10 minutes, I usually let him, I try not to be too restrictive and dislike denying him his instinctive behavior.

    Walk Restriction
    - I allow him to sniff and eat harmless stuff (dried leaves, pure snow)
    - I allow him to sniff but not eat dangerous stuff (cigarette butts, plastic)
    - I don't allow him anywhere near very dangerous stuff (sharp & toxic objects)
    - We usually take 4 walks per day (2 long, 2 potty-breaks)
    - He uses a back-attached harness. He is not yet comfortable with it, but we're training several times a day
    - He leash-bites pretty much during each walk at some point

    - His main food consists of dry food 3 times a day (ACANA Puppy & Junior)
    - He has water accessible all day except the last hour before bedtime
    - His treats are KONG Snacks and diced Turkey/Chicken sausages
    - He tries to eat almost everything on the ground, even though I always bring dry food and treats on walks
    - He tries to drink dirty pond water and eats lots of snow even though I always bring a cup and clean water on walks
    - He has plenty of chewing toys at home, but I don't bring any of them for walks

    If there is any more information I can provide, let me know.

    Best regards,

    [mod edit: changed category and closed thread due to duplicate topic]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2018-01-29 12:59:28
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    @krystah - This is not aggression. This is a frustrated puppy and a common topic on the forum.

    Even though this is a common topic, I will address some of your concerns before directing you to read through some of the existing topics on this.

    Stop using the leash to correct your puppy.
    Stop walking your puppy where there is dangerous garbage around.
    Teach your puppy about impulse control.
    Teach your puppy "drop it" and "leave it".
    Set your puppy up for success (stop letting him sniff dangerous things and expecting him not to want to put them in his mouth... stop letting him eat harmless things, dogs can not differentiate between what is okay and what is not okay when it comes to delicious things on the ground).

    If all else fails, get him a basket style muzzle and train him to wear it.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
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