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Dr L Simmon
Dr L Simmon, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 796
Experience:  Veterinarian MVB MRCVS
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I have an 8 week old Jackadoodle who keeps attacking me

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I have an 8 week old Jackadoodle who keeps attacking me buting growling head butting my legs he has me pretty scared .
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: Not really I try ignoring the behaviour he gets his second injection on thursday
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda.
Do you know the history of the Jackadoodle? Did he come from e.g. a family home where he was handled a lot or was he from somewhere that he would not have had much interaction e.g. a puppy mill or a rural farm? All pups require human interaction from several weeks old to ensure they accept people and do not fear them.
With regards ***** ***** I would be hopeful that it is play based rather than aggression based as he is so very young. Even during play, pups can become over excited and will snap hard, growl, bark etc. He shouldn't break the skin. If you witness pups play together as they naturally will, it can look quite brutal! Try to read his body language- is his tail wagging or does he appear tense and nervous?
What triggers the episodes? Is it when he is protecting a resource such as food/bedding? Is it after being woken up? Or is it simply when he is having a mad few minutes of 'zoomy behaviour'?
I would encourage you to video several episodes to show the vet so they can determine if it is play or something else.
It sounds as though he has a lot of energy so it is important to re direct it. Pups need lots of physical and mental stimulation in the form of games, running about and interactive toys. They also need lots of sleep, so ensure he has a calm environment where he can go and rest without being disturbed e.g. a crate only he is allowed in with a large bed. If he is not crate trained, I would advise starting now.
Its also worth establishing if his behaviour may be driven by pain of some sort. If he does have any source of pain this will certainly be causing him to act out when approached. The vet can check for this.
During his episodes, the best thing to do is to stand up, fold your arms, remain silent and do not look at him until he finished. When he is calm, reward him with a treat.
Certainly, reward based training in general should start now, to build his confidence in general. Staft teaching basic tricks such as 'sit' and reward heavily. You should also be rewarding calm and settled behaviour and any toileting he does outside or on his puppy mat.
Are there any sources of stress you can think of? E.g. loud children, shouting voices? He needs a calm and relaxed environment at this stage.
I would purchase an Adaptil adaptor for the room he is in as it releases a feel good hormone that mimics what his mother would have released when he fed from her.
By all means, discuss everything with your vet. You may also require help from a behaviourist and I would seek help sooner rather than later.
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
He has a crate just barks cries howls, there is only the puppy and myself so very calm environment as soon as I move he starts attacking, he was purchased from a breeder who has been in business for a good few years ,I saw both parents nice dogs well looked after .
Thank you for this information.
It's good to know he is from a breeder. I would strongly advise talking to them about your concerns as they should also have some tips and will know the pup and his personality.
If he is barking and crying in the crate he does not see it as a safe place and is not yet crate trained, so you need to take a big step back with it and re start the crate training. It should be his safe space. Here is a good website on how to introduce crate training slowly so the pup accepts it: https://www.paws.org/library/dogs/training/how-to-crate-train-your-dog/
If his behaviour is movement related I would carry a rope toy/plush toy with you so you can re direct his behaviour towards it and encourage him to play with that as you walk by. We need to teach him what he is allowed to do and where to direct his energy and attention. The more we can offer good alternatives for him to do, the less he will want to direct his hyper energy towards you.
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