13 Week old puppy already showing signs of aggresion? What can I do different to end this now?

I recently purchased a Catahoula leopard dog from a shelter when it was about 10 weeks old. Now he is at about 13 weeks. When it is time for me to go to bed I bring him with me into my room every night. By this point he is usually half asleep or asleep somewhere. When I try to pick him up he goes into puppy attack mode. The last time it happened it was almost like he lunged at my face as I was trying to pick him up. When this happens I have hit him on the nose with my fingers or smacked him on the butt, both times scolding him and telling him no. Whatever I do seems to agitate him more. After the scolding I have tried to pick him up again and the same thing happens. By the end of it I leave him be and make him follow me into our room. I feel so horrible that he is reacting this way to me. What can I do differently to end this bad behavior so that it doesn't turn into a bigger problem later on?

Asked by Member 1145659 on Dec 17th 2012 Tagged puppyaggression in Behavior & Training
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STOP smacking him!! He is a baby & you startle him awake, then swoop in to pick him up. Of course he is going to defend himself. He is NOT aggressive..BUT he will be if you keep using those methods. Changing your approach will help. Call him softly & let him wake up first. Or..
Why not set up his crate/bed where you want him to your room. After final potty, take him there. Crates are ideal for this. You put him in his crate, he falls asleep. You finish what you're doing & when you go to bed, he is already where he needs to be.
Please research catahoulas..they are a working breed & are definitely NOT a dog for a novice. These dogs hunt wild hogs. They can handle being tossed 20 feet by a 200 lb boar..& come back again. They are hard, drivey dogs that NEED a job.

Look into positive training methods "Train Your Dog Like a Pro" by Jean Donaldson is a grest, cheap book, with a dvd that comes with it. Train daily in short, positive sessions..sit, down, come, name recognition.

Member 904338 answered on 12/17/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Gray Dawn Treader

If a dog is frightened, they're going to try to defend themselves. When you hit him for it it only confirms to him that there is something to be afraid of that he needs to defend himself from.

I don't see anything that needs to be done here other than waking him up in a way that doesn't scare him.

Gray Dawn Treader answered on 12/18/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You have some good advice here, but another thing you need to know is you should NEVER hit a dog on their nose! Not even lightly. This will make them wary every time you or anyone wants to pet them or praise them - they will think you are going hit them. Furthermore, dogs' noses are very sensitive and smacking them can damage their sense of smell. But again, you don't want your dog to associate your hand on their face as punishment, only reward.

Branna answered on 12/18/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


This is pretty scary... a Catahoula is not a breed that you want to be smacking or hitting, EVER. They are bred to take pain and toughness and will only become even MORE set in their ways in response to physical punishment and this will not turn out well at all.
You have received good advice from the previous posters concerning this issue, but I would STRONGLY suggest you get him and you enrolled in a good, positive based training class ASAP. You MUST learn to guide his behaviors, NOT force them or you will be looking at life long issues with him.
Please consider this while he is still a baby and can be helped.

Member 641257 answered on 12/18/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Your dog is a puppy. Just a tiny baby. That would be like saying a human infant is aggressive. Puppies play and chew at all hours of the night. If you want sleep without disturbance, try crating him overnight with a Kong. Hitting him is not the best way of training your dog not to bite. He doesnt know why you're hitting him; he just knows that you might hit him. Not a great way to build trust. Instead, Prompt him with a NO! and replace whatever inappropriate thing he was chewing on with something that is acceptable, like a Kong or a Nylabone. Remember to praise him when he chews a "good" object. Puppies need mental stimulation and a ton of exercise, especially working dogs like the one you have chosen. This means you will have to adjust your behavior in order to give your puppy what he needs to grow into a well-adjusted and -socialized adult dog.

Libby answered on 12/18/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer