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  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.

« When People Like Their Dogs Better Than Other People | Main | The Scoop On Poop »

August 02, 2008


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I am currently raising a singleton puppy. It's a Chihuahua even! She will be 5 weeks old this Thursday, and so far so good! We do a lot on handling with her, and are stern with the whole "biting" issue. I also have two small(ish) children who love to play with her. Hoping this will help with the whole "frustration" issue as they hardly let her do what SHE wants! The mother has also done a great job of teaching her with play, and doesn't always let her feed when she wants. Thanks for the tips and reassurance!

Leah Hanley, DVM

I have a mixed breed 14 month old pup that was orphaned by her mom at 3 weeks and has all the issues you described in singletons. I'm a veterinarian and worked with a trainer from 9w and we overcame her bite inhibition problems but she is becoming increasingly dog aggressive (starting around 6 months). I have made an appointment with a behavior trainer but would love to read more about how to modify this behavior. I am willing to do what it takes. Thank you very much for your assistance!


janet, i have a now 1yro male Rhodesian singleton. unfortunately the breeder did not do anything to curb what was clearly a dominant aggressive personality. our initial issue was he had NO regard for authority and fought (hard) against the meaning of NO. we took him back to the breeder for what she terms a "realization of god" moment, which helped immensely. it was terrible to watch but worked and 30 minutes later we left with a authority respecting puppy. i did several training classes with him and socialized him EVERY SINGLE DAY with dogs at our neighborhood dog park.

our boy is now 1yro- we waited to neuter him till he was 11mo, had been shooting for 12mo, to allow for proper growth and physical development. we decided to do it a month early becuase he had begun to go after other intact males. 3 days before he was to be neutured he began to go after all males, even those who he already knew (regular playmates). i have NO idea what happened. this is a dog who i regularly, multiple times a day did play dates, took to busy markets and malls, etc. the positive side is he is excellent with kids and female dogs, and still great with all people. his aggression has on occasion even turned to me. anyone have any tips? janet have you found anything that works?


I have a singleton pup which I have had since 7 weeks, and she has ALL the behavioral problems you described.
I am a very experienced dog fancier and professional, and this dog has confounded all my dog training and handling experience of over 25 years. Behavior modification and desensitizing her has been the biggest dog challenge of my life, and I am not succeeding. The closest description would be a canine version of Asperger Syndrome.
I have the support of 2 other very laid back and social dogs in the household. She still after 4 years cannot read social cues of play, nor does she understand personal space canine or human. The normal dogs try to ignore her strange behavior, but she will pester them.
When she is overwhelmed she will take flight to the extreme and run blindly or throw herself over railings, down the stairs, into bicycles just because another person or dog has glanced her way.
She will be 0 to red line in an instant, in a whole bunch of other situations as well.
The saddest thing is that she sets off other dogs to behavior aggressively towards her as well because of her own bizarre behavior.
Things I have tried to modify her behavior:
Daily walks/ bicycling on public pathway
Obedience classes
Agility classes
Bach rescue remedy
Behavior modification therapy
Canine massage and acupuncture to over come her touch sensitivity

Nothing seems to work.


Anytime I have any new puppies, I always try and schedule play dates with friend's puppies. Works out really well for their behavior, in my experience.

Karen Cartwright

We have a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog singleton puppy; he's cute as a button. In some ways he seems easier than the other dogs I've raised. He does seem to be a drama queen when things don't go his way(we ignore this behavior)! He is doing well with the bite inhibition (we yelp when he bites too hard). He is an ankle biter/ pant leg chaser I'm thinking of a water spray bottle for this...


Ok, so I have a singleton standard poodle puppy due in a few days. As a trainer, this worries me!

I'm looking all over to find any litter of puppies to get together with. I've even offered to foster a litter of orphaned pups with a couple of the local shelters. So far, nobody has contacted me saying they have an orphan litter.

So, until I find such, I'll plan on interrupting nursing, and stuff like that. Any other suggestions? I do have 4 adult dogs (the mother, a golden, a large mixed breed, and a mini poodle) who are all very used to having puppies around. Do you think a pup can learn enough from just the pack? (I'm thinking no, as my adults are VERY tolerant of puppy behavior!) An other suggestions you might have?


Interesting stuff, enjoyable read :)

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