We recently adopted an 12 week old hand raised Border Collie/Blue Heeler mix. We were told she was the runt of the litter.
When the puppies were 1 week old, the mother was hit by a car and killed, the litter of 8 puppies was separated between 2 families and hand raised. When we picked out the puppy, we played with her there and checked her temperment, all seemed fine so we brought her home.
She was very skittish and leary her first few days, we have a yr old Beagle with an overwelming personality, so this was expected. The puppy yipped and nipped at our beagle those first days, but now they are great friends.
The problem is, the pup seems disconnected toward humans. I have hand raised a litter of pups also, but never had this type of problems with the pups so I am at a loss for explanation.
She will wag her tail and show happiness toward you when you come home, she will lick you then and for the most part seems well adjusted and normal.
Now as for giving her attention, she wants nothing to do with it. If you hold her, pet her, talk to her, she stares very blankly at you, will not wag her tail and frankly just wants to go away.
Tonite, I was trying to play with her and she yipped at me. At first I wasn't sure that she was trying to bite, it sounded almost like a play yip. I started to play with her again and this time she yipped and nipped at me. My husband then had the same experience shortly after, in which she growled and acted as if she would bite him. We have been consistent in our training of her, she is not our first dog, we have a 13 year old Lab, and our 1yr old beagle, not to mention both coming from homes with dogs.
What would cause such behavior in a young puppy? Was there something that she was not taught, since she had no canine parents? Is is something in her "mutt"-igre? I need suggestions. Aggression at this age is not a good thing, I don't want to have "that" dog. I am open to any comments or suggestions.
There are a few reasons why this puppy is acting the way she is. Since her dam was gone at the pup's very young age of 1 week, she had no older dog to teach her how to act. She was not taught bite inhibition, and apparently her owners did very little socialization with her. You have a big job on your hands, if this is all true.You said when you first got her home she was very nervous and skittish. That could have been just the change of surroundings, or it could have been fear of being in a house with humans. I had a dog similar to that once, and it took him 3 years to warm up. I just persevered with letting him come to me, not picking him up, and forcing him, and then rewarding him with treats for any sign of affection. One thing that is different with your dog is she is showing one of the 3 basic types of aggression, and which one is it? Dominance, fear, or territorialism.
It definatly sounds like she didn't learn anything from her litter mates, and humans cant teach a dog how to be a dog. She is probably very confused. Time and patience should do the trick. Blue heelers can have a mean streak, but usually is towards protecting their home. Not nasty to thier owners. I would definatly start her in puppy classes, and then obediance. The more you get her used to, the better she will be.
Lastly, alot of herding/working breeds are not found of being picked up. Try to play with her in a gated area, or an x-pen. See if being on the floor will make her happier then being in your arms or lap.