I posted on here earlier about Grant nipping and what not. Here lately though he seems to have become more aggressive. He growls and barks a little more aggressively. Is this normal puppy behavior, or should I try to correct this?
Yes, you have to correct this behavious. You have to show him that it's not acceptable to behave like that. In such a young age, he is trying to test you, he wants to be the alpha of the family. You can't let this happen.
When he growls or nip, said "No!" (in a mean voice), then you could punish him, by put him away for 5 minutes or so (either in a yard, or a room, BUT not his crate).
Being separate from your pack is a punishment for a dog. After 5 minutes or so, you could let him back in. Keep doing this everytime he growls or nip at you.
At this stage, don't play tug of war with him. The game will make him think, he could actually be more powerful than you are.
I would suggest you to join a puppy class/obidience class. I'm sure they have lots of info for you and perhaps, they could give you a better explanation that I do.
Petsmart or PetCo has one for a really good deal, $100 for 8 classes.
I believe it is normal puppy behavior, but it does need to be corrected. When Cooter was a puppy, I could hardly sit in the floor with him without him play-attacking me. The bigger he got, the more it hurt! You need to let him know this is not acceptable! When he gets too rough, say "Ouch", and then "NO", then walk away. When he plays nice, praise, praise, praise. He'll learn the difference and that when he's too aggresive, he doesn't have anyone to play with. Also, always remember: A TIRED PUPPY IS A GOOD PUPPY!
see: Bite Inhibition how to teach it
"1. No painful bites. 90% of puppies will stop if you give a high-pitched squeal or yelp. If they stop, praise and reinforce by continuing the game. The other 10% and puppies who are tired or overstimulated will escalate their behavior instead of stopping. This requires you to confine the puppy or end the game. Remove all attention. It does *not* require any added aversive -- yelling, popping the nose or under the chin, shoving your hand down his throat, or spraying with water.
If you end the game, you need to be able to get away from the puppy with as little fuss or attention as possible. Even negative attention is attention. It's often helpful to have the puppy tethered, so you can simply move back out of his reach. Or, have him in a confined area and simply stand up and move past a boundary. Because the getting up and moving is tough to do at the instant the undesired behavior occurs, consider using a hand signal that will always mean "You're a jerk. Fun's over." Use it consistently when poor behavior occurs and you're going to withdraw attention.
I am well aware that puppy teeth hurt, and that this step can be overwhelming. Do it when you can, and at other times redirect, redirect, redirect. Puppy mouthing is a 100% natural dog behavior. It's not dominant. It's not meanness. It's a puppy being a puppy. When it's too much either redirect or end the game. Aversives are confusing, unfair, and unnecessary."
"~ Dogs are like children when it comes to the need for attention. They would rather be praised than punished. And they’d rather be punished than ignored. Catch your dog in the act of doing something RIGHT, like chewing on his bone instead of your shoe, and praise him for the GOOD behavior
~ Think REDIRECTION before correction. If you catch your dog in the act of misbehaving, REDIRECT the negative behavior to a positive alternative. When you find your dog chewing on your slippers, take him to his toy box and play with one of his toys with him for a few minutes. If your dog is digging in the yard, stop and play a quick game of Frisbee to tire him out.
In summary, consistency is the key to owning a well-mannered dog. It’s not fair to your dog if you occasionally allow misbehavior (such as begging at the dinner table or lying on the couch). Your dog will become very confused at your unpredictability"
Well I've asked many questions here. I asked when Cooter was nipping everyone. And he totally has grown out of it. You tell him NO BITE and he quits instantly. And it's rare he even does it in the first place.
He was getting aggressive with my daughter and he's totally chilled out. Once he was neutered he turned into the best dog in town!
I'm hopeful you'll find that time will take care of these issues with a some training and persistance.