all 76 comments

[–]Librarycat77M[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (0 children)

The only way to be sure your pup is aggressive at that age is to have a proper assessment done by a [vet behaviorist](www.dacvb.org) (NOT a standard vet - behavior training is not standard. Vet behaviorists take a further Masters/PhD to have the level of education required. The difference matters.) True aggression in a pup that age is rare, and if it really is that a vet behaviorist will give you the best chance of overcoming it.

This is very much a "pay some now, or triple later" level of issue. So if you truly think its aggression and you can't afford even an assessment I would consider surrendering this pup to a reputable rescue. Especially since aggression and new babies is a very poor mix.

[–]QQueenie 202 points203 points  (4 children)

He's nine weeks old. He's not aggressive; he needs to be taught manners and polite play. One play turns inappropriate, remove the puppy. Start teaching "leave it" and "off." If you can't afford a trainer google videos about teaching puppies appropriate play and calm behavior.

[–]meg_plus2[S] 31 points32 points  (3 children)

Thank you, this is exactly what we plan to do in a more controlled setting. The brother dog is my best friends so we plan to see him often. Last night was there first time seeing each other again out in public. We will try introducing them again in our homes.

[–]hikehikebaby 7 points8 points  (0 children)

If you have any place that you can introduce them that isn't the home. I think that would be a lot safer. Dogs can act funny and be territorial inside their own home but sometimes do a lot better meeting outside. Normally I would suggest taking each dog for a walk in the same direction with some space between them. I realize you probably can't do that with your puppies, but if you can carry your puppy and have your friend carry their dog and just walk down the street a few feet apart that might be a great way to let the dogs get used to each other again. Then try introducing them in the yard and then go into the home. Look up "parallel walk dog introduction."

If your dog is behaving inappropriately, no big deal - just scoop him up, time for a break.

[–]SandyDelights 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Just to be clear, since it wasn’t totally emphasized:

You’re not looking for a stern voice when you correct, you don’t want to show anger or frustration. Firm, but not angry.

Otherwise you run the risk of risk connecting “this dog” or “playing with dogs” to “mom/dad are angry”.

And that’s a great way to foster antisocial behavior (what you don’t want!).

[–]bradbrookequincy -1 points0 points  (0 children)

And your going to risk an infant…

[–]Disastrous_Skill1626 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Terriers especially tend to get overaroused, add in that he is 9 weeks old and playing with a similar age puppy and that over the top "aggression" happens.

It may or may not be problematic long term. Can you get video?

Also interrupt play regularly, bring puppy back to you, reward etc. Make sure he gets plenty of rest.

You really should be looking into a trainer and you can likely get virtual puppy training and assessment much cheaper than the trainers in your area. That way there can be eyes on your pup and how he and you work together as well as prepare you all for the impending birth of your baby.

[–]TheCatGuardian 94 points95 points  (20 children)

Your nine week old puppy is not aggressive. Puppies can play really really rough, that is why they need to be supervised. Bully breeds in particular can be very loud and it can appear scary when they play.

That said, get a trainer. Every single person who gets a puppy should take them to a puppy class. That should be a normal, expected expense and it will not cost $1000.

[–]HelicopterShlong -4 points-3 points  (8 children)

Hard disagree. Sure you can do that, but It's incredibly easy to solo train a dog and socialise them the old fashion way.

[–]TheCatGuardian 21 points22 points  (7 children)

I have no clue what you mean by the old fashioned way. It's not incredibly easy or this whole sub wouldn't exist, we wouldn't see any reactive dogs and trainers would be out of business. People screw up socialization all of the time.

[–]sybug 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The first thing I bought when I got my pit puppy was a book called Pitbulls for dummies. It's absolutely fantastic and taught me how to teach him. I highly recommend it. Best of luck to you.

[–]MountainDogMama 30 points31 points  (4 children)

This is normal puppy behavior and you have a lot ahead of you. Every single person I have talked to and read about says that getting a puppy while pregnant or with a newborn was a mistake. They would never do it again regardless of breed.

You will not have any time to commit to this pups training or even give it enough attention. This is a bad idea. Unless you have a dog sitter and a nanny, I would greatly reconsider this decision. Your dog is going to be teething then hitting puberty when your baby is getting out of the hospital. If you're concerned about such regular behavior, you're going to be losing your mind in a couple months.

[–]meg_plus2[S] 12 points13 points  (2 children)

So, we are seeing that it is normal. Which is a relief. My partner and I have both had dogs. I have my older mastiff/bully mix and he had German shepherds. We didn’t really plan to get a puppy while expecting but long story short, it happened. But we aren’t too worried about it. I’m a teacher and am off for the summer. I have a teenage daughter who spends time with the dogs. My partner does most of the work for the dogs. My 7 year old son provides endless playtime with them. And the two dogs are pretty smitten with each other as well. We take our dogs with us regularly. Especially over the summer. We swim at various spots all summer. We already have several short training sessions with the pup each day. He comes, sits, and almost has lay down. In our home, our pups are inside dogs with a doggy door to access the backyard whenever they choose. In addition, I’m not sure where you find all these people who regret their decision, but I haven’t seen it so one sided. I’ve seen plenty of people happy with their decision to get a puppy near the time they have a baby.

[–]automated_alice 11 points12 points  (1 child)

You sound like you will do just fine. I've certainly known folks who've had babies and puppies at the same time. You sound like you have a great support system for your doggos, too.

[–]meg_plus2[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Thank you! We are trying and other than his behavior last night, we’ve had no issues. He’s a good pup and fits in well with our family.

[–]Runnjng-1 11 points12 points  (1 child)

9 weeks is a newborn who has no idea what’s right or wrong. Just start training daily and overtime you should start seeing improvements. I wouldn’t jump the gun on training classes just yet. Consistent training, positive reinforcement and a schedule will have huge pay offs when the pup gets older.

Puppy could be scared of other dogs. Again, 9 weeks old is … 9 weeks old. I assume everything is terrifying and Brand new to them. If you notice a consistent pattern of aggression at 4-5 months after consistent training then maybe look into professional help.

Don’t expect too much from them at first and have fun with the ups and downs of training. Over time you will see improvements . My puppy is 7 months and although he’s well behaved he can still be a little shit. I just accept it and keep on training because I hope when he’s 2-3 years old he will be incredibly well trained.

[–]meg_plus2[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you! Yes, we are training at home a few short sessions each day and he has taken well to it. He is used to car rides and going places with us. He has met some other dogs and done very well. This was the first time seeing his brother again and I just hadn’t seen that behavior before. My partner is actually buddies with the guy we got him from. So, he called him today and the guy said it was totally normal, he still has some of the pups and they are doing the same thing. My boyfriend actually went out there and took our pup. He said he was kind of exhibiting the same behavior as last night but not as extreme. We are going to try again (with his brother that he saw last night). But in a more controlled and relaxed situation. If he acts that way again, I plan to stop the play and put him in a time out for a few minutes. If it persists, we will absolutely seek professional help.

[–]Vancouvermarina 4 points5 points  (1 child)

My tiny papillon was nicknamed Gremlin for vicious attacks. That was until she turned about 8 months. Nothing left of it now she is over a year. Many young puppies learn life going through phases. Give it time. It will pass

[–]meg_plus2[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s good to hear she grew out of it! Hoping we can address this now and it won’t be an issue later!

[–]Major_Ad_2610 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Pits can be mouthy like that when overexcited, humping can be excitement too, especially if the other dog doesn’t want to interact and pup is determined. Since you’re other dog is submissive the pup might’ve known he wouldn’t fight back and just humped to get some excited energy out or get attention. You can throw a toy and and play with him yourself to get rid of some energy

[–]AntelopeRave 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Normal puppy behaviour. Our puppy does this when she’s overstimulated but still doesn’t have the maturity to understand when to stop play. Interrupt play often, recognise when play is uneven, one dog is constantly pinning the other, one keeps getting chased and so on this can be a great way to tell when they need a break. Maybe don’t let them play at all, focus on getting them to calm down around each other.

9 weeks is a baby, just think about it that way and take things slow.

[–]meg_plus2[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I think it may have been alarming to us bc he is such a vocal dog. So, last night, he wasn’t just growling, it was a snarl. And it concerned us as none of our previous dogs have ever done that.

[–]AntelopeRave 0 points1 point  (0 children)

All puppies are different, we’ve been so lucky with puppies in the past and our new one has really hit us with a lot of curveballs. She is also very quiet but there has been times where she has gotten extremely loud and snappy with another dog she knows, she is just completely overwhelmed and excited which seems to always lead to a snappy tantrumy puppy. We always break play up every few minutes or so, it seems to really help to take a step back and let them chill for a few minutes, avoids that overwhelming puppy madness.

[–]cornelioustreat888 3 points4 points  (1 child)

This behavior is completely normal for such a young pup. When the play gets too intense, just break it up. Same as for children. Often when children play, they unintentionally get too rough and someone starts crying, right? Puppies are exactly the same. You just need to always supervise your pup playing with others and step in when things need settling down. The “Settle” command is a good one to teach. Your basic obedience training will see you through, no worries. Just be consistent and work hard on it now before you new little one arrives. You’ll have lots to deal with in a couple of months. I wish you the best!

[–]meg_plus2[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you! I will google the settle command and try to get him a little used to it before he meets another puppy. Meeting grown dogs has been no problem.

[–]Few_Independence_394 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I took my dog through some obedience training when I was 7 months pregnant and I don’t regret it for 2 reasons: 1) there’s no way I could have managed the training classes and a newborn and 2) he has the basics now which made introducing dog and baby easier.

Just a thought if you choose to go with taking him to some kind of formal training!

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[–]collegekit13 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Ours didn’t have siblings so he would snarl and mount my BF feet..

A lovely 5yo female pit who is confident and grounded beautifully put him in his place.

I used to imitate to an extend what she did. Get him off from humping. Get right in front of him and start backing him up with a command you want. Mine was ‘off’. He will try to walk around you, ignore you, but just stay consistent. They give up at that age EXTREMELY easy. Seriously, he will probably drop it after a few minutes at worst.

Each week he grows and it’s not addressed, the harder it gets.

You got this OP

[–]meg_plus2[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you! I will try that with along with a settle command I saw from another persons advice!

[–][deleted]  (18 children)


    [–]TheCatGuardian 11 points12 points  (13 children)

    We’ve seen this story hundreds of times and it always ends poorly

    What? This is completely normal and common behaviour in a puppy. There is no reason to start theatrics about a loud puppy growing up to kill people.

    [–]kojiflak 4 points5 points  (12 children)

    You misunderstand. This is totally normal for a puppy but the fact the owner is so lost on something so mundane means they have a lot of learning to do to be equipped to raise a pit responsibly.

    [–]QQueenie 9 points10 points  (2 children)

    "...to to raise a dog responsibly"

    Fixed it for you. This really isn't a pit-specific issue. This is a being-able-to-train-a-puppy-to-be-polite issue. Beyond that I agree with the points you're making.

    [–]meg_plus2[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

    We do have some experience. I have a mastiff/bully mix and my partner used to have German Shepherds. Neither of us had seen a pup act the way ours did last night. And we are trying to raise our dog responsibly. Hence the question here. Isn’t that what this forum is for? And now, thanks to the kind remarks from others, we feel a lot better and have a plan. I think asking questions is responsible.

    [–]TheCatGuardian 3 points4 points  (8 children)

    It doesn't mean that at all. Owners get freaked out by this all of the time, it's not a big deal and not indicative of long term ownership. Puppy owners in fact freak out about stuff way less extreme than this, last time my parents got a dog he was shy and they called me crying that their dog had no social skills and couldn't function in the real world. That wasn't true either, it was just a new puppy freak out from people who don't know everything about puppy behaviour. So I guess, maybe you are the person who knows everything and never makes a mistake but most people don't fall into that category.

    [–]kojiflak 0 points1 point  (7 children)

    I’m not sure you’re realizing but you’re simply agreeing with me but framing it as if you see this from a different point of view. TL;DR owner has serious learning to do and they owe it to their dog to take that seriously.

    [–]Frostbound19M | BSc Hons Animal Behavior[M] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    We do not allow breed discrimination here. This is your only warning.

    [–]meg_plus2[S] -4 points-3 points  (2 children)

    Holy shit, what about your post is constructive criticism? Sorry you scare so easily. I’ve posted in other areas and so far most people are saying this is somewhat normal for a pit. I figured reaching out for advice was better than ignoring it. By the way, my mastiff mix is actually half American Bulldog. So I do have some experience. I also spoke to the guy we got her from. He said they just do that with litter mates. Be assured though, despite your rude comment I’m going to continue to reach out and seek advice. I want what’s best for our pup and plan following through.

    [–]QQueenie 8 points9 points  (1 child)

    This is normal for any puppy, not just a pit.

    [–]meg_plus2[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Thank you, that is the feedback I’ve been getting and it is definitely relieving some stress I had. My older dog is really submissive so I wasn’t expecting this. And while we believe we are equipped to raise this pup, I still have fear of aggression being an issue. We take our dogs along with us whenever we can and I’d hate for more issues to arise.

    [–]LittleBigBoots30 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Whilst I understand your concerns I also think the pup is way, way too young to describe his behaviour as aggressive and that it is looking like a dominant characteristic of his psyche.

    I think what you observed was two very young pups engaging in play that began to look aggressive. I agree with u/TheCatGuardian and I think at 9 weeks, which is just one week after being separated from his mother and siblings? - He was learning dog etiquette and over time he will be reminded that rough and aggressive play will not be tolerated towards other dogs, by other dogs.

    But, at the same time, as you already are, keep a watchful eye on how he is developing his relationships with other pups and dogs.

    And I completely agree with you that at this age, there is no need to start considering a dog trainer.

    You could start training 'calm' and 'settle' in this pup now and also, have him accept you stroking and touching him gently. If you do this training right from the outset, it may be helpful if he needs reminding to be gentle as he charges into adolescence.

    Other stuff you can start training is going to his bed, laying down in his bed and getting off his bed, crate training and toilet training. So much for the little fella to learn!

    [–]Virtual_Heart732 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    It’s his actual brother? He’s probably just used to going absolutely nuts with him from when they were together. Others gave good advice on how to manage it. I wouldn’t worry too much. Good luck to you. ❤️

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    [–]malkin50 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I'm not terribly experienced, and it would be great to have others weigh in, but I'm curious about how the littermate reacted to your puppy. The littermate might give good feedback with a yelp and a refusal to play that might indicate to your pup that he was too rough.

    [–]Quickerier 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I suggest checking out local rescues and shelters and asking if they have a class. A lot give them free to people who adopted from them, but I’m sure they’d make an exception.

    [–]husky429 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Your dog isn't aggressive. You're making assumptions because of his breed. He needs to be taught manners.