My parents adopted a puppy(Nora) a month ago, she's about 3 months old now. I'm having trouble disciplining her when she misbehaves.

She is not getting along with our other pets. By that I mean that she almost constantly bothers them. She bites and jumps at our older dog, she runs after our cats and grab them. The other dog pretends to viciously bite her, but pretending is all he can do. He usually ends up barking and whining for help. Our adult cat doesn't hesitate to slap her if she comes too close, she even scratched the puppy once. Nora doesn't seem to get the message and keeps bothering them.

When she does this I'd usually tell her "no". If the behaviour continues I raise my voice and if she continues, which happens quite often, I would punish her by putting her alone in a room for a little time.

The problem is : How can I do that when she runs away from me?

She basically just stay out of my reach and carry on her misbehavior if possible! If I manage to catch her, she tries to get out of my grip by vigorously contorting, rolling on the floor and trying to bite me! How can I handle this? She's so agitated, I'm afraid that she'd bite my face if I try to carry her.

I am more of a cat person, so I know that I may be biased. But I find her far too rough to the other pets. I live in fear that she may hurt my kittens. I'm worried that the adult cat may hurt her for good as well.

My father is home all day long, but he is quite passive and I know that he doesn't do anything to actually raise/train her. It's basically up to me and my mother to do this. Needless to say, coming home after a long day of work to a disobeying puppy leaves us with very little patience.

Honestly, if things don't get better, I consider suggesting that we get rid of her. I would rather avoid this. I have a long record of taking in abandoned cats and I don't feel like doing this to Nora.

  • 3
    Need the size and breed of the dog in question to even begin to come up with an answer.
    – sleddog
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 12:35

2 Answers 2


3 months old is really young. It sounds like she has a lot of energy, which is normal for a puppy of her age, and wants to play with everyone. The problem is that she doesn't understand what acceptable forms of play are. You need to engage her in play that is acceptable. Use toys to distract her from the other animals, take her on walks, and work on structured obedience.

I am a proponent of reward-based training, and avoid punishment as much as possible. Aversive training methods have been proven to be less effective than reward-based alternatives, and leads to unnecessary stress and stress-related behavior. Training a dog using reward-based training requires you to determine the specific behavior that you want to eliminate (rough play in this case), identify an acceptable alternative behavior, and then take the steps to substitute the acceptable behavior for the unacceptable.

Punishing a puppy for playing is likely to cause her to develop an aversion to other forms of engagement with other members of the household. She will see aggression as an acceptable response to engaging with another. Instead, when she begins to become too rough, substitute in a different type of play. Have her fetch, or chase a toy instead of other animals. Take her for a long walk. I don't usually recommend "tug of war" play because if you aren't careful, it can lead to bad habits such as toy-possessive behaviors.

A puppy at that age needs lots of structure. I try to stick to a very strict schedule. I let my dogs out at the same time every day. I feed my dogs 3 times a day, at the same time each day. I also use feeding time as obedience training time. They know what to expect and when to expect it. They are able to learn when it is acceptable to be excited and playful, and when it's time to be calm.


I think you should play with her more often so her energy subsides. She is obviously extra hyper. Also considering bringing her to a dog trainer would be a good idea. If this is not possible, you could take her to the dog park and make her meet new dogs that would teach her how to behave now that your older dog isn't teaching her that. You should probably leave the kittens in a different room to guarantee safety. Training your dog to sit is the first thing you would want to consider after safety is guaranteed. And of course don't forget to provide lots of toys and treats when she hushes down a bit.

  • 2
    Yes I agree, the dog is not so much misbehaving, as being a typical puppy.
    – user6796
    Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 1:08

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