Rough Day

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Today was a challenging and emotional day. I guess my premonition on a previous post of the “calm before the storm” came to fruition. The puppy has been displaying some alarming aggressive behavior for the last week and we were uncertain whether he was a good match for us. He was sweet most of the time, but his aggression went beyond simple puppy play, and was a little scary. I anticipated sleepless nights, messes on the floor, behavioral challenges with the kids, even scratches and minor bites from sharp puppy teeth. But, aggression towards me and especially my kids would be a tough one to work into my already busy life, and we feel the puppy would be served better by someone without little kids. He liked to charge at Joe, knock him down and go for his head all the time, not with little puppy noises, but with an aggressive growl and snarl, and that just totally scares me. He also growled at Flo a lot when she’d try to pet him, and he growled and bit at me a lot when I’d pick him up or take something out of his mouth. I know he’s very young and that behavior could be worked on, but the fact that it’s even there to start with would limit my trust, and make it hard for him to be the companion we were expecting. Oh man… parenting is tough. If it weren’t for the kids, I’d probably give it a go longer and spend hours working with a trainer, etc., but we got the puppy primarily as a companion for the kids, and the kids are afraid of him. And since I’m the primary caretaker, it’s just more than I bargained for to constantly have to wonder if the puppy is going to really hurt one of the kids when I’m not watching. I was recollecting my experiences with Chip, and with a black lab puppy I raised in college, and though there were challenges normal to the stages of development, I never felt nervous or uncomfortable around either of them. In fact, Chip is so passive, other than mouthing and chewing as a puppy, he’s never so much as snarled or growled at anyone or anything.
Flo's Drawing
So, I guess it’s a learning experience, but we made the decision to return the puppy to the breeder, in hopes that he will find a more suitable home. The hardest part was hearing Flo cry when we left him, and it just broke my heart for her and the puppy. We will try not to be totally turned off to the possibility of having a puppy in the future, as this experience has been so emotional, but we will give it some real thought before we endeavor to adopt another dog. It makes me feel like I failed, and I’m so disappointed because I was really ready to put in the work and enjoy the experience, and I was so excited to get Flo the puppy she’d been asking for for a couple years now. It was extremely hard to leave him, and drive away today, but we’re sending lots of positive energy with Biff, and we hope his time with us will at least provide information for the breeder, so she can find him a good home and make someone a great companion. Farewell Biff.

1 thought on “Rough Day

  1. Vickie

    Hi – I just got to your site after googling for some information about aggressive puppies. I can’t believe what I’m reading; I am going through the EXACT same problem you did with Biff. We picked up a yellow lab female at 7 weeks, and now that she is 9 weeks, I am actually afraid to be around her. She snarls at me, she tries to really bite me, she runs circles around me, etc. I called the breeder and he told me that this was normal at the age of 8-9 weeks for them to try to gain dominance over the person disciplining them (me), and he told me nobody else had called to express displeasure over their puppies’ temperaments from the same litter. Well, I don’t know what i’m going to do; I guess I want to try the classes, but I feel EXACTLY as you did in your post; I am losing trust and patience and want to return the dog now. I know I’ll lose almost $1000 but I can’t believe that I’m losing the love I felt early when we picked him up. Anyway, thanks for sharing your story.

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