Our 5 month old pup attacked my husband

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Kim Falcone, Apr 18, 2022.

  1. Kim Falcone

    Kim Falcone Registered Users

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    Hello all. We have a now 5 month old black Lab that has been great except for her being a croco-pup, pretty on par with what many of you are, or have gone through with your pups. (Nothing like our first Lab, though, I feel I need to make clear. She was mouthy but nothing like Maeve!). Anyway, I thought we were over the hump. She is better, for the most part but now instead guards stuff she finds outside. She won’t let us take it out of her mouth. It’s been manageable up until this morning, when she found a newly dead squirrel. What a prize! She ran around the yard a couple of times and even after tempting her with some yummy meat she would not give up that squirrel! I was terrified it had been poisoned and that she was going to eat it and die herself. Finally my poor husband grabbed her from behind. Maeve, startled, bit him twice on the hand-very hard. It was awful and I still haven’t gotten over it. We have been been good parents to her. Why would she attack? This can’t be normal, can it?
    Any words of comfort would be great.
     
  2. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    Hello, I am no expert, so perhaps a chat with a positive behaviourist might be wise. However, my take on it is that as you said tried to remove the prize from an excited, startled, young pup. I don't think it was an aggressive attack, more a response to giving up something cherished. I have never physically removed anything from my dogs mouth, but would expect her to drop when asked, even for the juicy, smelly rabbits she finds often and loves. A secure drop takes a lot of training, but is so worth it and can be a life saver if they have something risky. Whilst not a great experience, I would focus on continuing her training, maybe look at going to an obedience class, if not there already.
     
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  3. Kim Falcone

    Kim Falcone Registered Users

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    Thank you, EDP, for your reply. Yes, my husband had this same response. And I agree that an animal behaviorist’s input or obedience class is in order.
    Tomorrow is a new day…
     
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  4. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

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    We did a year of obedience classes. They were hard work but so worth it. Good luck.
     
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  5. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    This must have been a nasty shock for your husband, but I agree just an instinctive response from a dog who was over-aroused and taken by surprise.

    I wrote about how I trained Molly to give up dead seagulls (applies to all dead creatures, but seagulls are her most prized). https://thelabradorforum.com/posts/374491/ (I hope this link works)

    Of course you'd need to set up a scenario with a creature you were sure wasn't poisoned. And the key thing is patience - I was probably waiting 10 minutes the first time.
     
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  6. Kim Falcone

    Kim Falcone Registered Users

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  7. CeeCee

    CeeCee Registered Users

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    I haven't actually had this problem, but you may find this article helpful https://www.labradortraininghq.com/labrador-behavior/how-to-stop-resource-guarding/
     
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  8. Kim Falcone

    Kim Falcone Registered Users

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  9. Kim Falcone

    Kim Falcone Registered Users

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    Thank you, CeCe. Your post was helpful. We are now working with a trainer and things are looking up. Maeve has relaxed her urges to guard ‘stolen’ items with repetitive training to ‘leave it’. Thank goodness for that!
     
  10. CeeCee

    CeeCee Registered Users

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    I'm so glad you have seen some improvement, Kim. Don't lose heart, Maeve is still very young and just needs to learn what is acceptable and what is not. Labs on the whole just want to please you.
     
  11. Kim Falcone

    Kim Falcone Registered Users

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    Thanks, Joy. Your post about training your pup, Molly, was helpful. We’re finding that playing with other dogs, along with training and support from folks like you on Dogs Talk, has improved the guarding and biting somewhat.
     
  12. Skye Goodrich

    Skye Goodrich Registered Users

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    I think when you say "grabbed her from behind" this may have causes her to startle and feel threatened. For me, i never grab the puppy from behind. I want him to see me coming and be forewarned. Also i don't really grab him for any reason, he stays on the ground, me in the air. Sometimes he's jump on couch (half way) or bed, but I don't encourage him. Need to let me have his space and come to you.
     

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