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OKay...I am a new boxer owner, but I did much research on the breed before we got our little girl...I know boxers arent  really aggressive unless they are breed to be that way, or something happens to them that makes them that way.

My 10 week old boxer started doing something recently, and I cant figure out if its just her learning her voice, just playing...or really being p*ssed off!

I noticed that she growls at you if you try to pick her up when she is in the middle of playing hard core...for example, the otehr day she was running full speed doing laps...and when I called her over to me...she came over to me, and immediately tried to chew on my pant legs!  When I picked her to get her to stop..she made this growling sound in my face!  She has also has growled at my mom and my husband everyonce in a blue moon when they pick her up!  However, she also has cuddled with them, and gave them lots of kisses and been very loving towards them.  

I have also noticed her growling at her toys sometimes too (right before she attacks them!!) ..and when I took her over to play with another boxer puppy over the weekend...she growled at first.

Her parents were not aggressive in anyway...and I dont think anything tramatic has happened to her!  We have had her since 8 weeks and have offered her nothing but a loving, caring, safe environment.

Should I be worried?
 

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Sound like a normal vocal boxer pup to me...
 
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Sounds to me like a typical puppy...Jetta at that age...would chew my pant leg, feet, hands...growl and bark and play...boxers are very rambunctious dogs and rather vocal in their play.  When you pick her up and she growls, tell her no...and see if that stops it...every time tell her no.   If she continues to growl, tie her up to a door knob away from you for a few minutes as a time out...if you think she is getting too aggressive while playing, intercede, pick her up or put her in her crate.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you! That makes me feel better...I know I am probably be soooo over protective :)
 

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I wouldn't be too quick to assume that it's just play. if she's growling when you're trying to move her, like you said when you picked her up she growled. She could be trying to tell you off!
If she's growling at toys, I think that would be ok. But growling at you is a no-no, and you should correct her right away.
 

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Ok I have this same problem.  I have a boxer already...I know how vocal they are....Mine is definately telling me off only I get very painful bites with it.  He drew blood on Adam's finger, Bentley latched on and wouldn't let go.  He is very sweet most of the time but if you pick him up when he doesn't want you to or take him away from his toys (or the cat) he gets snippy.  

I'm not trying to take over the thread but it sounds like your baby is doing the same thing mine is...He is going on 10 weeks this week also.  I've tried saying no, I've tried putting him in time out, leaving the room, yelping; nothing is working.  So I've tried putting him on his side an holding him there gentlely and that is working but I don't want him to fear me, I guess I feel like i'm being a bad boxer mom when I do this but I can't get anything else to work.  I'm not hurting him by any means just holding him down until his tantrum is done and then I make him say sorry by giving me kisses.  Am I being mean?  I don't want this to make him more aggressive.  He even trys to so dominance over Duke--Duke (our 1 year old boxer) let is slide for the first couple of days but now he is putting him in his place also.  I've never had such a young puppy be so aggressive.

Sorry I really didn't mean to take over your thread, I'm just at a loss also.
 

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Correction of growling when you pick up your pup is a necessity! Not cruel in any form. Remember, she is just trying her boundaries with you to get the dominace order in the house.
A couple things that can be done that are painless to your pup...pinch a width of skin from the back of the neck area, and hold her down...this is exactly what his mom would have done to correct this behaviour. If she growls and bites..you might try putting her down imediately, and turning your back on her. Some have wrote that this method works well, but takes time. Always be OVER your pup..look her straight in the eye while correcting her..you will see as she learns she is NOT dominant, she will refuse to look at you what-so-ever, and may even roll onto her back.
Yes this breed has a mind of their own..and will try several times during development to "overtake" you in the Alpha dog role.
Most of what your seeing now is pure puppy play..but must be kept under control, as when your pup weighs 50+ pounds..this will NOT be a fun thing!!
Love her..enjoy her..but don't let her become the "boss"..lol :lol:
 

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PEOPLE! NEVER EVER CORRECT A DOG FOR GROWLING!!
 

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nano\";p=\"95458 said:
PEOPLE! NEVER EVER CORRECT A DOG FOR GROWLING!!  This is essential because this is the only way a dog can warn you that he can't handle something.  If you correct for growling the dog will not growl and his only available response will be a BITE.  I work with a well known canine behaviorist and we tell everyone that this is essential to know.

This dog is being a typical 10 week old puppy.  Please do not interfere with the learning phase of play growling. If you use the Ceasar Milan dominance techniques described above in my (professional) opinion if you do as has been suggested above you could possibly ended up with a fear biter.   I know, I get to work with them and they are almost always caused by gross owner error.  

Nano

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I disagree with nanno.
Correcting this behavior is a must. You DO NOT let your puppy growl at you. You should be able to pick up your puppy when ever you want with out getting growled at. I agree he is testing his boundaries and needs to be corrected now rather than later.
What happens with you've let your puppy growl at you for the last 12 months (because he's a growing puppy) and THEN try to correct him when he's been used to this behavior for the last year? LOL you do that you will be giving Ceasar Millan call LOL As Cesar would say your dog need "Rules Boundaries and limitations"
I realize he's just trying to tell you he doesn't want to be picked up but just like kids he really doesn't get a choice does he! If you picked up your child and he started screaming and thrashing would you simply say oh OK I'm sorry and put him or her down or would you correct that behavior? LOL for your own sake I hope you would correct it LOL
That's my 2 cents anyway!
 

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Well when you work with the well known behaviorists that I am blessed to have in my life with decades of knowlege and experience and have had boxers for as long as I have you might just change your opinion.
 

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Sorry but I am not going to let me puppy growl at me when I pick him up.   I can pick him up whenever I want.  I never let Duke growl at me (my one year old) and he will tell me when he doesn't like something or has had enough and its not with a growl...Yes he still growls at animals that come into our yard or at a stranger he doesn't like but he knows he can not growl at me.  So I complete disagree with you Nano....I know to each his own but to tell someone to let their dog growl at them especially when its their first boxer is just setting them up for more problems down the line.
 

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Do you teach your son not to be a bully by pushing him around?  I would guess not.  You TEACH.   You define things, explain things.  He doesn't know something you help him understand. Dominating anything or anyone is not teaching.

My son has a lot more reasing skills than my DOG, yes I sit him down and explain and reason with my son. Sorry but I don't believe my dog is human and therefor don't sit him down and try to reason with him.
I believe he is a dog and needs a pack leader not a father that's reserved for my son.
Again I don't cup cake raise my kid or dog.
I am the dad what I say goes no argument.
I am the pack leader what I say goes no argument


Dominating anything or anyone is not teaching
Obviously you have never served in the Military!

But if you want to sit down and try to reason with a 10 week old puppy more power to ya!
 

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Nano, I certainly mean no disrespect toward your behaviouralist, but we are speaking of a 10 week old puppy that seems to need to understand the difference between play growling ( which IMO is something done when your "playing" ) vs an agressive behaviour that could soon turn into a nightmare for a boxer owner.
I wonder along the lines of "allowing" your puppy to growl at its owner...what does your behavioralist think when this 10 week old pup is 24 weeks old, and you bend over to pick its food bowl up and it growls at you..This is to be allowed? How about this 10 week old puppy that growls at your child, or God forbid a neighbors child when they try to pick up a puppy toy?
I doubt any of us here were speaking of beating the poor thing, but firmness whether through your voice or gentle correction has never, as you put in your second post "cost a dog its life" ( still a bit confused on that statement ).
Every trainer I know of has always stated if you can not correct "pack" mis-behavior in the manner it would have been taken by the parents ( doggie, not human ) you will FOSTER aggressive behavior. As BoxerBoys put it so well above..
I am the dad what I say goes no argument.
I am the pack leader what I say goes no argument

I refuse to let a full grown dog rule my life with growls, and them becoming the dominant in the family, much less a puppy that can be corrected in a fashion that will not harm the animal in any way.
 

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That's a tough one, I can see the reasoning for both approaches.  Every owner has to do what they think is right and what will work in the longterm, even the most seasoned experts often disagree.  I personally don't believe in hitting or grabbing skin or any of that.  I also don't think it's a crisis that a 10 week old has moments where he doesn't want to be picked up, but I wouldn't tolerate my dog growling at me either.  My dog has never growled at me so I can't say what I would absolutely do, but he did growl at my friends young daughter when he was a puppy.  She kept trying to bother him while he was sleeping and he growled at her.  I agree with Nano that this is definitely a better response than a bite, and I do think a nip was coming next.  Just by monitoring the interactions over time, I gave him a stearn "no" anytime he looked like he was getting upset with a child.  I also had to to teach children playing with him to not disturb him if he's sleeping.  Now he's very patient with kids but even still I like to monitor small children with him, especially if he doesn't know them.  I'd like to think that if I try to pick him up and he doesn't want to be disturbed, he just gives me "the look" and I know what's up.  But there are times when I do have to get him up and he has to know he doesn't have a choice in the matter.  One thing about puppies is that I would make him sit or make sure he's calm before you pick him up.  I think any dog would be upset if he gets picked up in mid-gallop.  If he's in a situation where he needs to be under control, then leash him.
 

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I agree with nano.  Dogs who are corrected for growling soon learn to bite as their first response to a threat.  

Let's take a step back, here.  This is a 10-week-old puppy.  This growling is not "dominance"; it's simply the puppy's way of displaying frustration at being removed from what it's doing.  You wouldn't spank a baby for crying when you take it's toy away, would you?  You wouldn't think that infant was trying to 'dominate' you; you'd simply realize that the baby wants the toy and when you take it away, it expresses its displeasure in the only way it knows how.  For babies, that's crying; for puppies, it's growling.

Rather than punishing the puppy, or scruffing it (which, in fact, is not what a mother dog would do in that situation), simply let the puppy know that growling at you is not appropriate behavior and teach the puppy what is acceptable behavior.  (Most importantly, though, you should first make sure that you aren't inadvertently hurting the puppy when you pick it up - in that case, the growling is entirely appropriate.)  This may be as simple as an "OH! What do you think you are doing! That is so rude!" for some puppies; others will require a time out, removal of a highly valuable reinforcer, etc.  You're only limited by your own creativity, really.  In the mean time, whenever you pick him up and he doesn't growl, be sure to praise him and let him know that's what you want - the more often the good behavior is reinforced, the more likely it is to reoccur.  

This article discusses teaching the vital skill of bite inhibition - it can be adapted toward addressing growling issues, as well:
http://www.jersey.net/~mountaindog/berner1/bitestop.htm

More specifically, a few comments:

the otehr day she was running full speed doing laps...and when I called her over to me...she came over to me, and immediately tried to chew on my pant legs!  When I picked her to get her to stop..she made this growling sound in my face!
Picking her up when she's obviously in a highly-excited state is probably not the best way to stop an undesired behavior in general - as you've learned, it just creates another one!  First off, when she came over to you when you called her, I hope you at least gave her lots of praise; this will a) let her know that coming over to you is better than whatever else she was doing and b) help build a solid recall when you get more serious about that training.  When she tried to chew on your pant legs, a "Yipe!" or "Ah!" or some other exclamation might have interrupted her (for some puppies this excites them further, so you need to evaluate on a case by case basis - and her reaction may change on a different day, at a different age, in a different situation, as well) - again, in that case you praise heavily and give her an appropriate toy to play with.  If that doesn't interrupt her, then you leave the room - attention is a powerful reinforcer (and to a dog, "bad" attention is still attention) - withdrawal of attention can thus be a powerful deterrent.  (An important point here - most of the time it's more effective if you can leave the room and keep the puppy separated from you, rather than taking the puppy out of the room.)  Again, if necessary, this can escalate to a time out on a tether or in her crate, but for most puppies this only needs to happen a few times.  (An important point is to be consistent with this; if she is sometimes allowed to chew your pant legs - or whatever - and sometimes not, that will often lead to an increase in the behavior rather than a decrease.)
 

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I love your quote  by John Cage, Jennifer.  It says it all to me.  

There is another one of which I am partial to and that is by Herbert Spencer that is very similar.  "There is a principle to which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance- that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

I am always learning and listening and observing all around me. I certainly don't claim to know everything and believe that I can always learn and do better.  I believe (and studier show) that dogs are living beings and are quite capable of understanding consequences and learning appropriate behaviors by being taught.  They don't understand the meaning of human language but are capable of learning a few words thru repetition, but do easily pick up the cadences of our speech, facial expressions and body language.  I believe in treating all living things with respect, human and non-human.  I would urge the person who asked the question regarding the new puppy to keep these excellent quotes in mind when considering the advice that has been given.  I certainly give them credit for asking questions. One can never go back easily when they have made a choice without investigation.  I am looking out for the well fair of this puppy and the currently age appropriate behavior it is exhibiting.  It is a puppy first and foremost and wasn't born knowing what is expected of it.  As I've said I have heard, worked with and known of  many instances where a bite was the dogs only choice of behavior it could resort to due to being silenced on the growl.

Nano
 

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A dog mother is much like a human mother who nurtures, protects, and teaches her children to live and function in their world. In the early hours after birth, her milk provides them with antibodies to keep them healthy. In the early weeks, a mother dog will protect her puppies, keep them warm, nurse them, stimulate and clean them. As they grow older and begin to tumble about, she teaches them to potty outside the den and keep living quarters clean.

She also teaches them how to interact within the pack and how to submit to authority. It's natural for puppies to play wrestle and establish their rank, but the mother dog steps in, quite firmly, when they do not behave appropriately. If play becomes too rough, she will correct all puppies involved, growling and holding them down until they stop struggling and submit to her authority. That's why it's best for puppies to stay with their mother until at least 7 or 8 weeks of age, although they need some human contact in order to make good pets.

Taken from an paragraph from Cesar Milan.......CALM Assertiveness..without hurting is exactly what a mother dog would do!
 

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I think we have to define what the word "correction" means.  When you use the word, there are certain persons, with certain beliefs, who will automatically throw up red flags.


I use a firm "no" as a correction.  At 10 weeks the puppy doesn't know the word and I'm not teaching it that early.  There really isn't much need IMO for any type of "correction" at that early age.  If the puppy is biting me, I use the "yipe" technique to help teach/reinforce bite inhibition.  Over time the pup learns to bite very gently and I let her play bite a little.  All of the dogs I've lived with over the years learned this way and all grew up to have very gentle mouths.  As the dog gets a little older, maybe 15ish weeks, I'll start to use a firm "no" to tell them that their play biting is not wanted by me.  I consider this a correction.  Obviously much different than hitting a dog, or pulling on a leash, but I'm still 'correcting' a behavior I don't want.
 
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