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OK. MuShu is 15 weeks only and he is HUMPING his stuffed animals! What is going on!!! It seems awfully early and isn't it too early to neuter him. He doesn't hike is leg to pee yet. Anyone else with this happen this early?
 

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MuShu's humping is probably not sexual, but dominance at his young age. That means he probably has an "alpha" personality and you'll have to be extra diligent now to establish yourself as the "pack leader" so you won't have problems as he matures.

Dominance

Pups are naturally pushy and will get away with anything they can. Some pups are by nature active and bossy others are laid back. Some pups are independent and do what they please, others look to you for direction and are very eager to please. Dogs can be classified according to their reactions to threat. Dogs with passive defense reactions leave or go still when threatened, dogs with active defense reactions fight back. You need to consider if your pup is very active or very passive (or falls in between) and treat the pup accordingly. Remember that the way a pup is brought up will make a difference too. For example, rough play with children can hype up even the most relaxed of pups. The following are dominance games; never encourage these behaviors and I suggest you correct a pup for these behaviors.

* Biting your hands--even in "play".

VERY IMPORTANT: Whether pug or pit bull, no dog should ever be allowed to learn the power of its jaws--all biting even in play has to be strictly forbidden. No pant's leg tug-o-war, no sleeve or hand chewing allowed. This is the most important rule for the dog. If you slap or hit the pup when he does this it will either make him hand shy or more aggressive. The correct response is to create a negative situation which is removed when the dog releases your hand. I push my fingers way down the pups throat until he "gaks" them out and decides that that wasn’t as much fun as he thought it would be. If you have long nails, pointing the nails up so that they hit the roof of the dogs mouth is effective too.

* Mounting and humping--this is not really sexual in a young pup--it is dominance and should be discouraged. If your young pup does this (both males and females do this) contact your breeder for advice on how to eliminate the behavior.

* Tug-o-war is more than just a game to a pup. This is how dominance is established in the pack and winning means the pup is boss. I strongly suggest you not let the kids play tug-o-war with the dog. You can allow tug-o-war if the pup is taught to release on command and will do so for any one who plays the game.

* Barking at you to get food or something else it wants--you are supposed to tell the pup what to do, not the other way around. If your pup nudges you for pets or barks demands that you get treats, please resist the urge to think its cute and respond. Remember, Kings don't get told what to do.---One exception, Kings don't like poop on the floor, so if your dog pesters you to go out give in, unless he is simply taking advantage of you.

* Stealing food, or taking things and running--A well socialized pup would never do this in a pack. A pup who does this thinks it is the boss. Correct the pup if it does this!

Remember, the dog is a pack animal and looks to you to be "alpha-wolf" if you don't act the role the pup will. Your dog will be a happier dog and you will be a happier owner if you are boss. You can be kind and loving but still be boss.
 

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Great article, Marj. I have to admit that Catcher barks for his breakfast.... I'll have to be sure to be diligent about making him sit before I give it to him. So far, I'm alpha but I have to remember to maintain my status....
 

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Lady barks for her breakfast.....and her supper, treats, etc! She has no alpha tendencies at all, just a huge appetite! She is happy to be the lowliest member of my pack, way behind the cats, as long as the food keeps coming!

Here's a link to the puppy aptitude test, too.

http://www.volhard.com/puppy/pat.htm

It's always a good idea to evaluate the puppy's personality before you buy, of course, so you can make sure the two of you will be a good match. Good breeders will do this with prospectives buyers, find out as much as possible about them and match them to the best puppy for them.

When a friend up in New York got her first Golden Retriever, after and extensive phone interview, she was allowed to come visit. She was only shown the one puppy that the breeder felt was suitable, not the whole litter. It was a match made in heaven!
 
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