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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have a 6week old female rottie, we've had her sence she was 3weeks, when we play with her (with& with out her rope toys) she gets all sorts of worked up and growles at us and gets a little out of hand, is she just playing & being hyper ? Is this a sign of aggression? Is this normal? How should I correct this behavior if it needs to be corrected? TIA
 

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Well, at 6 weeks old she should still be with Mom and littermates as that is where they start to learn how to play and how hard to play - so you've got a long road ahead of you in terms of properly training this little one. What was the reasoning behind the breeder letting the puppies go early - ESPECIALLY at 3 weeks old?!?!?!

Were you able to see the puppy with littermates? Were they all vocal like yours? Then again, at 3 weeks they don't DO much of anything. DO a search on raising a singleton puppy - essentially that is what you are doing - your pup has had little to no time to learn anything from her littermates or mother - so you are going to be the one that teaches her EVERYTHING - so if it goes wrong - nobody to blame but you ;)

NEVER correct a dog for growling (which is not what your puppy is doing right now) - growling is a first sign a dog is not uncomfortable - take that 'warning sign' away and your dog will escalate straight to a bite with no vocal warning.

She has no clue what aggression is at this age - she is using her voice but has no idea why or what it means. If she bites, end the game and walk away calmly, but making noise is normal during play. When my two females played it sounded like a royal war - but when they got into a fight - it was scary quiet except for the 'losing' dog screaming in pain and my screams for help.
 

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As someone who raised a singleton and got him early (6 1/2 weeks), I'll testify as to how much of a pain in the ass it is. When I first brought him home, he would bite hard and had no bite inhibition. Hell, he even growled at me for touching his food the FIRST time I fed him. Now, he's the sweetest dog ever.

What it took? Socialization, socialization, socialization. What really helped? Having an older female dog who nipped him good a few times. Without those two things, it's going to be real hard on you.

Find friends with older dogs who you trust. And socialize. Personally, I'd also refrain from engaging in combative play. Tug is a "winning game." While you may beat him now, I promise when he's 100+ pounds, the game will a bit more difficult to play. And you don't want your dog thinking he can control you. My two cents...
 

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Tug is a perfectly acceptable and ENCOURAGED game in the classes I teach - regardless of breed or size of dog. But I remind people that tug should ONLY be a game started by YOU and ended by you - in essence, TUG is YOUR game and you decide when and where to play. I tug all the time with my dogs, and I've played tug with my friends 100+ pound male who is a pretty tough dog - but he knows the rules of tug.

Other than that, I agree with the above advice.
 

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Sheera learned how hard to play with us just like she learned bite inhibition. She learned that we would quit playing with her if she played too rough. We would tell her "no, ow, bad dog" and walk away when she was a pup. By 6 months she had it figured out. When she was older she would play with a cousin's pit/lab mix like it was WW III and then turn around and nudge the husky pup out of the way so she wouldn't get trampled :)
 
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